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Thread: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

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    New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    I am a new pool owner, so please forgive me if I ask a silly question! I'm trying to make the switch to the BBB method - I'm tired of walking into the pool store and spending more $$ than the pool cost! And I am still trying to "digest" the info in Pool School!

    We went on vacation for 2 weeks and yes, the pump died while we were gone! The new one has been running for 5 days now. I have added nothing to the pool in over 2 weeks.

    The water looks clear until my kids get in and swim, then it's cloudy. There appears to be sand on the bottom of the pool (mustard algae?), although that is better since the new pump is up and running (24/7). I keep the pool covered whenever we are not in it!

    Here are the numbers from the pool store:
    Alkalinity - 0
    pH - UR (unreadable?)
    Calcium - 0
    TC - 0
    FC - o
    Stabilizer - 21


    I know it's not much to go on, but it's all I got! Please tell me what to add and where to get it!

    Thanks,
    Sheri Olejasz - Chesapeake, VA
    TOTAL newbie (make that frustrated, confused, never owned a pool before newbie)
    3600 gal, 16' x 42" Above Ground, Intex-style ring pool from GenFoam
    Vinyl liner Cartridge filter Type A/C
    F1000C pump motor moving 1,000 gph

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    you need cyanuric acid (cya, stabilizer). add enough to get to about 45ppm or so. (30-50 is the range). see http://www.thepoolcalculator.com for how much to add. you can get it at a pool store or some walmarts, lowes, home depot's, etc.

    you need baking soda to raise your alkalinity. see http://www.thepoolcalculator.com for how much to add.

    you then need to retest your ph and adjust as needed. see this article on how to do that: pool-school/recommended_pool_chemicals

    you need to shock with bleach or liquid chlorine if your pool store has it and it's a better deal (remember chlorine will be a higher strength than bleach, so take that into consideration in the cost aspect). this is how to shock: pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    you also need your own good test kit. I highly recommend the one from http://www.tftestkits.net it's a bit of an outlay, but it will save you money right now, and later on by letting you take control of the pool and not rely on the pool store which is often inaccurate. I would not let my kids swim in that pool. you will be doing yourself a huge favor by reading the chemistry section in pool-school/ and getting your own test kit. also, I just saw that you have a small pool, so I would recommend reading this article first: simplifying-bbb-for-very-small-pools-e-g-intex-t14533.html
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    Welcome to TFP!

    That isn't much to go on. It is fairly unlikely that TA is actually zero, though I suppose it is possible, and who knows what to make of a PH of UR.

    Do you have any kind of test kit of your own? You are going to need something. By far the best thing you can do for your pool is to buy a top quality test kit. It will more than pay for its self in the long run.

    You should add some chlorine right now. Other than that, I would really like to see a second opinion on at least the PH, and preferably everything, before starting to make adjustments (other than adding chlorine).

    It really isn't safe to swim when there isn't any chlorine in the pool. You should be adding chlorine, even if you do nothing else. What have you been using for chlorine in the past?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    I do have a 3 way test kit that I was using, but since everytime I used it all the readings were 0 I thought I was screwing it up and I'd just let the pool store do it!

    Hubby is at WalMart as we speak buying a better test kit (at least for now) and BBB of course! We'll try to get a better test kit from a more reputable place.

    I was adding whatever the pool store told me to, but that was just getting too expensive. Everytime I walked in the door it was another round of lots of stuff and the staff never really seemed to be able to agree on what to do to treat a small pool!

    Thanks for the prompt attention! We are totally lost!
    Sheri Olejasz - Chesapeake, VA
    TOTAL newbie (make that frustrated, confused, never owned a pool before newbie)
    3600 gal, 16' x 42" Above Ground, Intex-style ring pool from GenFoam
    Vinyl liner Cartridge filter Type A/C
    F1000C pump motor moving 1,000 gph

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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    I was recently in the same boat as you. New pool owner with really no knowledge of how to take care of a pool. People here harp on the test kit over and over and over again and through my experience i can tell you they are right, the number one thing you need is a good test kit, i have the TF100 (from the link above). It is worth every penny. The test kits they sell at wallmart are usually lower quailty and don't have the FAS/DPD test for chlorine (which is really great). The chlorine color match tests i found to be very ambigous. But the TF100 gives you exact numbers, which you can then use the pool calulator to figure out how much of everything you need to add. I brought my pool water to the pool store for a while too, they used a digital test strip reader which gave me terriable results.

    The best thing you can do is get the right test kit (TF100) and get your numbers in balance (CYA, altalinity etc...) after that all you will need to add is chlorine, and some pH adjuster
    20,000 Gallon In-ground Vinyl Liner
    Hayward Sand Filter
    CompuPool CPSC48 SWG

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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    Thanks everyone for helping!

    I think that I have a better idea of what to add to switch over to the BBB method - however I have no idea what order to add each or when to add the next one!

    Can someone give me a recipe??
    Sheri Olejasz - Chesapeake, VA
    TOTAL newbie (make that frustrated, confused, never owned a pool before newbie)
    3600 gal, 16' x 42" Above Ground, Intex-style ring pool from GenFoam
    Vinyl liner Cartridge filter Type A/C
    F1000C pump motor moving 1,000 gph

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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by SheriO
    I have no idea what order to add each or when to add the next one!

    Can someone give me a recipe??
    It is all right there in the Pool Calculator. You need to know how many gallons your pool is, enter that. Then go to the bottom, the yellow "Suggested Goals" part and select vinyl, bleach, and TroubleFreePool goals.

    Now go back to the chart and start playing around with it, enter zero for things that you are sure are zero in the Now column, then use the Suggested Goals for the target. You may need to use a higher number for the chlorine if you are shocking. Look down at the bottom again, the blue area, it gives you Min, Target, and Shock values for Free Chlorine.

    Normally, you will test and when FC is at the Min level, you add bleach to get it to the Target level. Eventually you will learn about how long it takes for the pool to go from the upper end of that range to the lower end. But, of course, that will vary with the number of swimmers, whether they track dirt into the pool, leaves that blow in, recent rain or water additions and so on.

    But for now, just follow the instructions they give you here, trust them, they will help you get this right. And then, you will know how to keep it right, all the time.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    Work on getting PH and TA into the right general area first. Because your PH is presumably off the scale low, it is impossible to give you a specific amount of each chemical to add. You will need to add in batches and see where you get to. If your PH is off the scale low and TA is zero, you want to either us soda ash to raise both PH and TA at once, or raise TA to about 40 with baking soda first and then use borax to bring the PH up to around 7.0, and then raise the TA the rest of the way with baking soda. Using soda ash is much simpler, since it will bring both PH and TA up at about the right rates so you end up close to where you want to be.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    Okay, I have followed the Pool Calculator to the best of my ability! **Remember TOTAL newbie owner here!**

    According to the pool store this is what I have going on:
    FC - 2.95
    CC - 3.1
    pH - 7.96
    TA - 97
    CH - 135
    CYA - 18

    I still have what appears to be mustard algae hanging out at the bottom of the pool, so I will be brushing that stuff up later today.

    These numbers are after adding 2 lbs Arm/Hammer and 1 box Mule Team 20 early yesterday and about 92 oz. Clorox late last night. This morning I added 2 cups Clorox - trying to kill off that mustard algae!

    I will be getting a better testing method as soon as possible, but this is better than nothing - I hope!

    Am I on the right track for killing off this algae??

    Thanks all!
    Sheri Olejasz - Chesapeake, VA
    TOTAL newbie (make that frustrated, confused, never owned a pool before newbie)
    3600 gal, 16' x 42" Above Ground, Intex-style ring pool from GenFoam
    Vinyl liner Cartridge filter Type A/C
    F1000C pump motor moving 1,000 gph

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    That is a huge improvement! PH, TA, and CH are all fine. Your CYA level is a bit low. You want CYA to be between 30 and 50.

    You need to continue shocking the pool. Read the how to shock your pool article at Pool School, if you haven't already.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    Currently continuing to shock the pool by adding bleach each day. We are having mostly sunny days - should I leave the pool uncovered during the day? Or will this just hasten the rate it is consumed?
    Sheri Olejasz - Chesapeake, VA
    TOTAL newbie (make that frustrated, confused, never owned a pool before newbie)
    3600 gal, 16' x 42" Above Ground, Intex-style ring pool from GenFoam
    Vinyl liner Cartridge filter Type A/C
    F1000C pump motor moving 1,000 gph

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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    If you raised your CYA up to the 30-50 range, it would control your loss of FC to the sun.

    However, if that pool store test of 8 is the only CYA test you have, I wouldn't trust it. I would get another test from someplace else or do your own testing to make sure your CYA is really that low and then I would add enough to get to 40ppm.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    keeping it uncovered will also help break down the cc's.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    DCAG's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Owner in need of HELP!

    You could, of course, bring a sample of your water to the same place, and have it tested again. If they get a differant # for CYA (more than 10 differance), pull out your previous results, and ask them to explain the differance. Normally, CYA only decreases by adding water to your pool - so get the stabilizer amount right.
    You don't have to check it very often, perhaps twice a year in a small pool, and once per season in a large pool.

    Dan
    16' X 24' Wilkes Pools "Genesis", 10K Gal
    Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1 hp, & 18" Pro Series sand (S180T)

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