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Thread: More new pool help needed

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    More new pool help needed

    Our pool has been set up for a little over a month (5500gal, AG vinyl, 1500gph, SWG). I've been reading this forum and website since I purchased the pool- and you guys have been a huge help- thank you!
    Things have gone pretty well with the pool so far. With all the reading I've done, no big surprises yet. But here's my dilemma- my water is clear, no smell, very little or no irritation to the eyes- but the local pool supply told me to add more acid (which I figured to lower pH) and 1 lb shock or superchlorinate/boost (which I'm questioning).

    My wife works right next door to the pool business and they do my water analysis for free. I've had the water analyzed weekly since I put the pool up, and I supplement this with daily testing with a cheap $20 Wmart kit (which so far has seemed sufficient with the weekly pro analysis). So here are the latest results from a water sample taken at 7am:

    pH - 8.2
    TA - 217 (they list it as "Alkalinity w/ stabilizer correction")
    FC - 4.7
    TC - 5.3
    CH - 130 (listed as "Hardness")
    CYA - 10
    Salt - 3100

    I have some concerns about following the pool supply recommendations, since the water seems fine as it is, other than the high pH. With my daily testing, the TC is usually around "5" or off the chart high in the morning, and ".5" or off the chart low in the evenings. I want to add stabilizer to hopefully help with this swing in TC, but the pool supply has told me not to add it until I get the water "under control". I'm not sure what that means, I thought that's what the stabilizer was for...

    Here are some more notes I've made, which will hopefully provide you with enough information to help me or offer some advice. Thanks so much in advance for your help!

    -The pool is in direct sunlight.
    -The SWG is on from midnight to 8am.
    -The pump is on a timer and runs 15hrs a day with two breaks (mid morn, evening).
    -I've added two gallons of acid (one each the last two weeks).
    -I've added 1 box (4lb 12oz) of 20 Mule Team Borax.
    -All of the "pro" testing was taken from water sampled early in the morning.
    -I don't cover the pool, and have added very little new water so far (it's getting a little low now, but my city water supply is high in Alkalinity, so I've tried to wait until absolutely necessary).

    Oh, one other question while I'm at it. Has anybody had problems with BATS around their pools, and if so, is there anything to do about it? I've got three or four that love to swoop down over the pool, and may even skim the water. Interesting, but my wife and kids don't like it one bit!

    Thanks again for any advice you can provide!
    11000gal Intex AG vinyl, 2100gph Intex Pump, cartridge filter, Krystal Clear SWG

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    You need to lower your PH right away with mA and raise you CYA to a min of 60, you can read in pool school the instructions on doing this. See the CYA chart located in pool school. The bats are just eating bugs. The wont harm you. Their radar is so sensitive they can turn on a dime, it just seems like they are going to run into you. I really dont think there is away to keep them away unless you close in your pool. Bats are good to have, we like to watch them fly around at night diving for mosquitoes!
    Les
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    The pool store wants you to shock based on the .5 CC, I'd bet. (TC = FC + CC). I'd suggest doing an overnight FC loss test. If you lose more than 1ppm overnight, then I'd definitely shock. If you lose 1ppm or less, I'd let it go, especially given that your water is clear.

    As Tiz suggested above, most definitely add some muriatic or dry acid to get your pH down.

    Here's a good article about setting up the smaller pools. linky. One of the recommendations is to initially use dichlor to add chlorine and CYA to your pool. Since your CYA is low, this might be a better option rather than buying a big jug of CYA only.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    I would agree with both posts above - the dichlor option may be better for you if you can't find small cannisters of CYA - check that pool store - they may have 1-2 lb jugs.

    Couple things stand out at me. Because your TA is high, and because you run your SWG so often to maintain chlorine - your PH is rising rather quickly.

    BY raising the Stabilizer/CYA to the recommended levels (70-80) you won't need to run your SWG as much. You may be able to get away with as little as 2 hours of operation (others have reported this). This means your PH won't rise as quickly and you won't have to add acid as frequently.

    I would raise the FC to 10 with liquid chlorine or bleach.
    I would start adding the stabilizer (use the "sock method") or Dichlor to build the CYA level up **.
    I would follow the instructions to Lower TA

    The end result will be a much more stable water balance.

    ** If you do use Dichlor - this will substitute your daily chlorination - you won't run the SWG during this time.

    So if you haven't learned how to use the Pool Calculator, now is a good time. Click on Pool School, and then read:

    How to Shock your Pool
    How to Lower TA
    Water Balance for SWGs
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Oh, one other question while I'm at it. Has anybody had problems with BATS around their pools, and if so, is there anything to do about it? I've got three or four that love to swoop down over the pool, and may even skim the water. Interesting, but my wife and kids don't like it one bit!
    We have some bats that visit our pool every evening just at dark. We think they are fun to watch and I don't know how you would get rid of them. We just enjoy ours when we see them. I tried hard to get a picture for the Dogs days of summer contest, but couldn't. They fly so fast and its getting dark too.....
    25000 gal., IG, vinyl liner, Sand filter, 1 HP Hayward pump

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Ok- sorry it took me so long to reply to your (all of you!) advice, but I've had a busy work week and just got around this morning to following up on your recommendations. I'm still a little confused about exactly what and how much dichlor or bleach I should be adding, even after reading the posts and charts you've suggested, and putting my numbers into the poolcalculator. But first let me explain how my visit to the "pool store" went...

    I went to the store (not the normal store I frequent) and explained that I was planning on adding liquid bleach to shock my pool, and needed some dichlor to raise my CYA level. Just as many folks have experienced in these forums, the two employees and one owner looked at my like I was crazy. To sum up their responses after much discussion:

    -I should never put "Clorox" bleach in my pool. It's dangerous, and isn't the same product as "pool store" chlorine. After much discussion, we agreed to disagree on this issue.
    -Dichlor will not raise my CYA. I need stabilizer to do this. Even though I was pretty confident I remembered what you had guys had suggested, since I wasn't completely sure, I didn't argue this one.

    I left the store with 1 lb. of "Smart Shock" (63.05% sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione), and 1.75lb BioGuard Stabilizer 100 (100% Cyanuric acid). They told me to broadcast both of these products into the pool one hour after adding the gallon of muriatic acid.
    I also went by Wmart and bought a gallon of 6% bleach.

    I put the acid in when I got home, and right now I have the 1 lb. of dichlor in an old sock hanging in the pool.

    I'd like to know what your suggestions are now. Do I still need to add any of the liquid bleach to raise the shock level to 10 as frustratedpoolmom has suggested, or will the dichlor do the trick? The poolcaculator says I only need 8 oz. of dichlor, but the "Beginners Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools" says I need 1lb for every 2000 gallons.

    Should I use any of the Stabilizer 100 at all, or will the dichlor raise the CYA level enough on it's own?

    How long should I wait to turn on the SWG since the dichlor is doing the chlorinating for me? Just until it's all dissolved? And how long do you suggest I try running the SWG once I do turn it back on- 2-3 hours a night?

    And a new one: Any suggestions on a good, somewhat inexpensive vacuum? I'm sure you are aware that the one that came with my pool is cumbersome and doesn't suck (which is a bad thing!). I've searched some on the net, but would like your comments.

    Thanks again for all your (again-all of you!) help, and sorry I didn't completely understand you initial recommendations... but I'm learning!
    11000gal Intex AG vinyl, 2100gph Intex Pump, cartridge filter, Krystal Clear SWG

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Smart Shock contains stabilizer (Google 'sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione' and read the Wikipedia article) so go for it. However, it is more accurate to raise your CYA by first measuring it, plugging values into the pool calculator, and then adding the needed amount of stabilizer (remember it can take a week for stabilizer to dissolve - in the meantime, backwashing, splash/refill, rain, can all affect the final CYA levels).
    15X30 AGP, Lomart beaded liner;
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Hi,
    Dichlore is granular chlorine with CYA added to it. You should broadcast it into the pool. If you were using CYA only then you put it in a sock and let it disolve. I don't know how long the sock full of dichlore has been in place but you may want to empty it into the pool. I bet you now have the whitest sock in town! Keep reading and asking questions and it will get less confusing soon!

    Edit: Also, check your CYA level 24 hours after adding the dichlore to see if you need more stabilizer. I don't know if this vacuumis any good but it is the only thing I found in a quick google search.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Thanks for the information kjcole and zea3. After posting my questions earlier, I read on the container of Stabilizer 100 that it would raise 3000 gallons of water approximately 40ppm CYA. Since I'm shooting for around 65-75ppm , I plan to test the water after dissolving all of the stabilizer.

    I still hope to get some advice on the bleach. Do I need to add any of the liquid bleach to raise the shock level to 10, or is 1 lb dichlor enough? The poolcaculator said I only needed 8 oz. of dichlor, but the "Beginners Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools" says I need 1lb for every 2000 gallons. I tested the water this evening and the FC was what I'd call slightly darker than the chart high (over 5).

    How long should I wait to turn on the SWG since the dichlor is doing the chlorinating for me? Maybe until I see the FC level coming back down to normal? And how long do you suggest I try running the SWG once I do turn it back on- 2-3 hours a night? Trial and error maybe?

    And as for the sock zea3- yes- it's so white I might start wearing it again! Thanks for the advice on broadcasting the dichlor- I realize now that it's not near as granular as the stabilizer...
    11000gal Intex AG vinyl, 2100gph Intex Pump, cartridge filter, Krystal Clear SWG

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Looks like you might be having some information overload. I'll try to help keep it all straight. This of course requires giving you more information.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drugatolla
    I still hope to get some advice on the bleach. Do I need to add any of the liquid bleach to raise the shock level to 10, or is 1 lb dichlor enough? The poolcaculator said I only needed 8 oz. of dichlor, but the "Beginners Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools" says I need 1lb for every 2000 gallons. I tested the water this evening and the FC was what I'd call slightly darker than the chart high (over 5).
    The pool calculator is telling you how much dichlor you need in order to raise FC to 10, from wherever you told it you were at now. In 5500 gallons, 8 oz dichlor adds about 6ppm FC, so presumably you told it you were at 4. That much dichlor would also add 5ppm CYA, despite the misinformation from the pool store.

    The Beginner's Guide is telling you how much dichlor you need in total in order to get your CYA to some reasonable level for using bleach as your primary chlorine source; you are using a SWG so your CYA target is higher than the Beginner's Guide target. Given that you already bought 1lb dichlor, adding 1/2 lb at a time seems like a reasonable pace, each time you do that you get 6ppm FC and 5ppm CYA.

    You don't really need to put dichlor in a sock, it dissolves fairly quickly. It's only the straight stabilizer granules that take a long time and so that's what we recommend the sock for.

    Again going to the pool calculator, 1.75 lb stabilizer in 5500 gallons is worth about 40ppm. That plus the 1lb dichlor should get you to about 50ppm. It will take a few days, maybe a week, for the stabilizer to be completely dissolved, so in a week you should test CYA again and see where you're at. Then you'll have a better idea how much more stabilizer to add to get you to your final target.

    Hope this helps,
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Thanks for the "information overload" paulr. I feel like I'm beginning to understand this stuff a little better now though...

    Yes, my FC was at 4, so I should be good on the shock now I presume. And thanks for informing me that the dichlor will add about 5ppm CYA. I couldn't find that anywhere.

    By adding the dichlor and stabilizer this weekend, I should wind up somewhere around 50-55ppm CYA. If after testing in one week this is confirmed, to reach my goal of 70ppm should I add more dichlor, or add stabilizer? I'm hoping that I can keep the FC level up now with the SWG, so wouldn't that negate the need for dichlor?

    Again, thanks for your help!
    11000gal Intex AG vinyl, 2100gph Intex Pump, cartridge filter, Krystal Clear SWG

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: More new pool help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Drugatolla
    . And thanks for informing me that the dichlor will add about 5ppm CYA. I couldn't find that anywhere.
    Scroll to the bottom of the Pool Calculator, there is a section that will tell you what the effects are of adding various chemicals.
    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.

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Wow- I either forgot about that section at the bottom of the poolcaculator, or never noticed it.
    Thanks anonapersona!
    11000gal Intex AG vinyl, 2100gph Intex Pump, cartridge filter, Krystal Clear SWG

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Drugatolla
    By adding the dichlor and stabilizer this weekend, I should wind up somewhere around 50-55ppm CYA. If after testing in one week this is confirmed, to reach my goal of 70ppm should I add more dichlor, or add stabilizer? I'm hoping that I can keep the FC level up now with the SWG, so wouldn't that negate the need for dichlor?
    Either you'd turn off the SWG and use dichlor as your chlorine source until you've used up another 2lb, or you keep the SWG on and add another 1/2 container of stabilizer. Up to you, although I would probably go with the stabilizer--you'd have a half container left over, to use the next time you needed to boost your CYA. It lasts forever, as far as I know.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Thanks for the reply paulr.

    Using my 6-way test kit this weekend, and testing morning and evening, my pH has slowly risen from 7.0 to 7.2, and the TC has been >5 every time. I stated in an earlier post that since I plan to get my water tested weekly at the store, I wouldn't need more than the 6-way kit. Now that I understand a little more about FC, CC, and TC and appropriate levels, I realize that testing only for TC isn't enough for what I need daily. (Surprisingly, the test strips that came with the pool measure FC, not TC, but I've read here that these are unreliable.)

    Would a $25 FAS-DPD kit be enough to get me by along with the weekly testing at the store?

    I plan the get the water tested at the store today, and will post the results here for more comments and suggestions. I'm optimistic that the numbers will be good- the water looks great!
    11000gal Intex AG vinyl, 2100gph Intex Pump, cartridge filter, Krystal Clear SWG

  16. Back To Top    #16
    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    the problem is pool store tests aren't necessarily right or reliable. I had two pool stores tell me my CH was ~400 when it was actually over 600 and I had some calcium scaling (though I didn't realize what it was before i found this forum). fortunately I caught it in time before there was any permanent damage, but a $75 test kit saved me hundreds of dollars in an acid wash and complete pool drain as I now know to keep an especially close eye on the ph and to a lesser extent ta to keep the calcium scaling away.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    IMHO you should be able to manage for awhile with an FAS-DPD test and the 6-way, if you close in a couple months. Where you will possibly have issues is the CYA levels - since the 6-way only has enough solution for 2-3 tests, not sure how much of it you have used? If you don't winterize, you should probably just upgrade now.

    The 6-way PH/TA tests are accurate, the CH is not as much of an issue with an Intex pool, as far as I know that test is accurate too.

    If you were to supplement your kit with a separate FAS-DPD test and a CYA test, you are almost at the price of a full kit cost wise, might as well just spring for it.

    I wouldn't trust a pool store's testing, especially for CYA. Seems like they NEVER get that one right....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    the problem is pool store tests aren't necessarily right or reliable.
    I wouldn't trust a pool store's testing, especially for CYA. Seems like they NEVER get that one right...
    Wow! I assumed that these pool store tests were more accurate than any test I performed with a kit...
    And the results I got from the pool store today show I have 25ppm CYA, when I know by putting the dichlor that you suggested along with one jug of stabilizer, I should have at least 45-50ppm CYA. Of course, I did just add the stabilizer over the last two days, and I read here that it may be a week or so before I get accurate results.

    Sounds like I need to invest in one of the better test kits you guys have suggested. I've tried to justify not spending the extra money on one, but my wife tells me I'm getting too stressed trying to perfect pool water. And the stress comes from not knowing what I've got going on in the water.

    Regardless, here the latest test results from the pool store. They recommend adding a quart of muriatic acid (which will make 3.25 gallons in 4 weeks!), and adding something for the low CH.

    FC= 2.2
    TC= 2.3
    CC= 0.2
    pH= 7.5
    CH= 90
    CYA= 25
    TA= 163

    Unless I hear otherwise, I don't plan to add anything for the low CH (vinyl pool). I'll add the acid to lower my TA some more. And I don't plan to add any CYA for another week or so, pending more test results.

    I plan to start my SWG back up tonight for 5 hours after leaving it off for the weekend while adding the dichlor.

    More comments and suggestions please! You all have been a big help.
    11000gal Intex AG vinyl, 2100gph Intex Pump, cartridge filter, Krystal Clear SWG

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: More new pool help needed

    Your CH is probably fine. In a spa I'd like it a little higher, helps cut down on foaming from the jets, but in an Intex vinyl pool you're probably fine.

    With your high TA and running the SWG, I'd expect your pH to go up pretty quickly. At some point (no rush; get the CYA straightened out first) you'll probably want to work on lowering the TA.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  20. Back To Top    #20
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: More new pool help needed

    A quart of acid is too much. Are you using Muratic Acid or "PH Down"? Either way you only need 12-14 oz.

    You want to use acid to Lower the PH every time the PH drifts up to 7.8. You want to target 7.2 with acid each time. The acid additions will slowly drop the TA as well. Eventually both should be where you want them.

    You don't want to use large amounts of acid all at once to lower TA, because it will drop your PH too low. You have to do it in phases.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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