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Thread: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

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    Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Hi All,

    Greetings from Perth, Western Australia. My wife and I recently bought a home with good sized plaster pool. This is our third pool but I decided this time I wanted to manage it without the pool guy who spends 15 minutes every four weeks and charges $100 plus chemicals.

    This pool (not unlike other things in the house) had its share of issues. I went out looking for what to buy for a test kit and found folks in Australia were recommending the Clear Choice Labs kit. I ordered it before we moved in and started testing as soon as we had access.

    Here are the original readings:

    FC: 1
    CC: 0.5
    CYA: <20
    CH: 450
    PH: 7.8 or greater (Probably it was more like 8.2+ but you can't tell in the CCL kit)
    TA: 170
    Salt: 5000 PPM

    About three weeks later, I've read every article on Pool School and lurked in the forums reading about the different challenges members have faced and the great support from the forum.

    As of this morning, I'm now at:

    FC: 5
    CC: 0
    CYA: 55 (this has taken a long time and is just now over the last few days showing improvement and I want to make sure there isn't some undissolved before I add more)
    TA:110 Another that has been slow but I feel like I understand what's going on now.
    PH: 7.4 It still climbs rather quickly so I continue to work on TA.

    I've also tested the fill water and found that it has TA = 125 so I suspect that TA will creep up over the summers when rain is very rare and the temps are hot.

    I wanted to say thanks...TFP has made me very confident that I can manage the pool. (turns out, I really enjoy it)
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Hello Mike and welcome to TFP! Glad to hear the TFP experience is working out so well for you.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Welcome! nice one. levels look good.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeupsidedown View Post
    TFP has made me very confident that I can manage the pool. (turns out, I really enjoy it)
    i agree. tis quite empowering once you get a feel for it
    22,000 litre (5,800 gal) Saltwater Fibreglass IGP, Zodiac Tri-XO Midsize chlorinator, Zodiac 25" Titan Sand Filter, Zodiac FloPro E3 Variable Speed Pump, Zodiac Z200 M4 Heat Pump, AX10-Activ Suction Cleaner, Clear Choice Labs Saltwater Test Kit.

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Welcome to TFP and good to have you here.

    Good job using the resources here. I'm sure it's gratifying to those that wrote and tweaked them over the years.

    Great testimonial
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Hi from Brisbane! Do you have pics of your pool?


    3.2 x 6m | inground concrete | ~27,000 litre | 1.2 - 1.8m | salt and pepper mini pebble | SWCG Atral eq35| Viron xt 1.5 HP VS pump | Astral CA280 sand filter | DB3 robot | 2 x LED lights | travertine coping and paving | ceramic waterline tile |

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Cheers guys. I've definitely been talking about TFP and telling folks to get a good kit and stop using the free test setup at Bunnings.

    I'm interested to know where other folks are buying their chemicals in Australia. For the most part, I've just been buying chemicals (at this point it has just been CYA and HCl) at Bunnings though I'd like to patronize the some of the smaller pool shops.

    @riley00dog
    I've got a few shots from before we moved in that were taken by a real estate photographer. He made it look pretty good. The plants you see behind the pool (there is a waterfall there as well) are a pain as I'd like to put a cover back there.

    -Mike
    pool1.jpg pool2.jpg

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Welcome to TFP Mike

    Looks like a really nice layout no matter who's doing the photography. I like the covered deck.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Looks great in the pics!


    3.2 x 6m | inground concrete | ~27,000 litre | 1.2 - 1.8m | salt and pepper mini pebble | SWCG Atral eq35| Viron xt 1.5 HP VS pump | Astral CA280 sand filter | DB3 robot | 2 x LED lights | travertine coping and paving | ceramic waterline tile |

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Welcome Mike and Congratulations! We love hearing stories from our growing international community, especially Australia! Special thanks for sharing what test kit you found!
    If I was effective, and your pool makes you smile, please make me smile and CLICK HERE to Become a TFP Supporter!
    Also, please make AmazonSmile donate to TFP by CLICKING HERE, at no cost to you!
    My Florida Pool: 20k IG plaster cart K-2006 | Washington State Pool I help with: 17k AG vinyl sand TF-100

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    pool looks great!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeupsidedown View Post
    I'm interested to know where other folks are buying their chemicals in Australia. For the most part, I've just been buying chemicals (at this point it has just been CYA and HCl) at Bunnings though I'd like to patronize the some of the smaller pool shops.
    I tried 3 or 4 pool shops at the start. all except 1 were pretty much cowboys. doing chemical tests with no lids on mixing tubes and using their finger instead for a 'cap'. yeah that'll work well for the next person in line! haha. not that it helps you as you're in WA, but I found Swimaster Willoughby in Sydney were very good. They didn't try to sell me anything when my levels were fine.

    I have been buying Chlorine at Bunnings just because its closer than the pool store and open till late on a week night, but I take your point about helping the small pool stores out - they probably need all the help they can get against Bunnings. (am only needing Chlorine when SLAMming btw). I've been buying salt and acid at the pool store - but I haven't been needing that nearly as much now that I'm understanding the levels much better and approaching 'trouble free' Feels like I'm only buying acid now once every 3-4 months instead of every other week at the start.
    Last edited by AU Pete; 02-13-2018 at 04:30 PM. Reason: spelling
    22,000 litre (5,800 gal) Saltwater Fibreglass IGP, Zodiac Tri-XO Midsize chlorinator, Zodiac 25" Titan Sand Filter, Zodiac FloPro E3 Variable Speed Pump, Zodiac Z200 M4 Heat Pump, AX10-Activ Suction Cleaner, Clear Choice Labs Saltwater Test Kit.

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Looks like a really nice layout no matter who's doing the photography. I like the covered deck.
    Cheers! Folks here call that an alfresco. I grew up in Canada so I never understood the need. The sun for about 7-8 months of the year is like standing in a laser beam so it's a must-have.

    I have been buying Chlorine at Bunnings just because its closer than the pool store and open till late on a week night, but I take your point about helping the small pool stores out - they probably need all the help they can get against Bunnings. (am only needing Chlorine when SLAMming btw). I've been buying salt and acid at the pool store - but I haven't been needing that nearly as much now that I'm understanding the levels much better and approaching 'trouble free' Feels like I'm only buying acid now once every 3-4 months instead of every other week at the start.
    I'm glad to hear your acid consumption declined over time...I've put over 8 liters of Acid in the pool now and I suspect I still need another 5+ to get the TA to the right range. I also am starting to think my estimate of the pool size is on the low side as each metric is needing more chemical than my estimates.

    I went to the closest pool shop to me this morning to buy CYA....they wanted 54 bucks for 3KG. Bunnings are charging 12.50 for 2Kg. I shook my head and walked out. I'm all for patronage, but that's insane.

    -Mike
    ~55000 litre Plaster SWCG Pool - Davey PMECO Variable Speed Pump - Waterco s600 (25") sand filter - Clear Choice Labs Kit w/Salt - Pool Controls SG20 Saltwater Chlorine Generator - Zodiac Barracuda Suction Cleaner

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeupsidedown View Post
    I'm glad to hear your acid consumption declined over time...I've put over 8 liters of Acid in the pool now and I suspect I still need another 5+ to get the TA to the right range.
    Yeah I see your TA is still a little high.
    I aimed for around 80 at the start (manufacturer said 80-120, TFP said 60-80 so i figured i'd try in the middle), and my PH was constantly creeping up and I was adding about a litre of acid a week to bring it down.

    I now have TA stable on 60 after I became comfortable with sticking with the "TFP way" alone, and the PH then stopped rising - is pretty much static at 7.6 now, only creeps up very slowly. adding about 300ml of acid every 3-4 weeks now which feels much more sensible
    22,000 litre (5,800 gal) Saltwater Fibreglass IGP, Zodiac Tri-XO Midsize chlorinator, Zodiac 25" Titan Sand Filter, Zodiac FloPro E3 Variable Speed Pump, Zodiac Z200 M4 Heat Pump, AX10-Activ Suction Cleaner, Clear Choice Labs Saltwater Test Kit.

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Quote Originally Posted by AU Pete View Post
    Yeah I see your TA is still a little high.
    I aimed for around 80 at the start (manufacturer said 80-120, TFP said 60-80 so i figured i'd try in the middle), and my PH was constantly creeping up and I was adding about a litre of acid a week to bring it down.

    I now have TA stable on 60 after I became comfortable with sticking with the "TFP way" alone, and the PH then stopped rising - is pretty much static at 7.6 now, only creeps up very slowly. adding about 300ml of acid every 3-4 weeks now which feels much more sensible

    AU Pete, That's really helpful feedback, thanks. Today I got TA down to 90 for the first time so I'm getting there. I measured CH at 570 today which makes me think I measured it wrong the last time. I suspect the fill water also has a reasonably high CH here in Perth which I'm going to test when I get the chance.

    -Mike
    ~55000 litre Plaster SWCG Pool - Davey PMECO Variable Speed Pump - Waterco s600 (25") sand filter - Clear Choice Labs Kit w/Salt - Pool Controls SG20 Saltwater Chlorine Generator - Zodiac Barracuda Suction Cleaner

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Hi Mike

    Welcome to the forum, you're on the right track!

    Re chemicals, I buy my MA from pool shop but my CYA from Bunnings (pool shop doesn't have 100% CYA, always a secret ingredient added)
    If I need liquid chlorine, I get it from my local shop. Always fresh, well stored, and only $16 for 20l

    Re TA, I've learnt that every pool is different and will have a "sweet" spot.
    pH and TA are only a range, a recommendation.

    If you find your pH is creeping up, when reaching 8.0 add enough MA to reduce it to 7.4 and wait.
    Eventually it will stabilise and you'll end up adding MA only once a month or so.
    My pool's sweet spot is at pH7.8 and TA 80. Last time I added MA was 6 weeks ago.

    Make sure you test your CH right.
    With plaster pools, you want to use Pool Math (link at the top) to calculate your CSI.
    Play with the different figures to find out the best numbers to keep your CSI between -0.6 and 0, best between -0.3 and 0

    With your numbers I calculated CSI -0.15 which is great.
    FYI CYA 55 is 60.

    Looks like you're doing great!!
    36500 litres (9600 gal) in-ground concrete, rectangular
    VX-7T AstralPool SWG (25g/h=1.32lb/day) see this handy tool, WT100-F Klorman-Watertech Sand Filter + DE, 1HP CTX280 AstralPool pump, Polaris 360
    CCL Salt water kit + Aussie Gold 4-in-1 test kit ---> records with Pool Logger
    Background info: Hi from NSW, Australia

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Thanks Yann,

    I appreciate the extra insight on TA.
    Quick question on the PH. I notice you're also using the CCL kit. I really like the kit but I honestly find the PH part of the kit to be a bit vague and it has a max of 7.8. Are you using the Aussie Gold kit for PH or how are you determining that you are at 8?

    I'm confident on the CH test today. I visited the Water Corp site and there was a notice that they normally keep it at 200ppm but recently in some of the suburbs it has been climbing. I'm just starting to grasp CSI but as you say it does appear in range.
    Thanks again,
    Mike
    ~55000 litre Plaster SWCG Pool - Davey PMECO Variable Speed Pump - Waterco s600 (25") sand filter - Clear Choice Labs Kit w/Salt - Pool Controls SG20 Saltwater Chlorine Generator - Zodiac Barracuda Suction Cleaner

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    In case it's helpful, I found that filling the CCL pH tube 4 or 5 mm above the line, and then adding 3 drops pH indicator (instead of 2), made it easier to see the colour. I just found that I needed a bit more volume, so that when I rotate the tube sideways to look through it, I'm not getting so many reflections.

    pH is the only test where quantity is not critical because it's the shade of colour that counts, and not intensity. Individuals see colour differently, so YMMV.

    Not relevant to CCL, but likewise, I find with Taylor that a couple mm below the line and 4 drops rather than 5 works best for me. It ruins the Taylor acid demand test, because each drop of acid demand reagent will show a bit more pH reduction.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Hi Mike!
    Love the pool, any pool with a covered area is alright in my books. Being a pasty white qlder there's no way I get in a pool unless I'm out of direct sunlight. Of course, I try not to go outside in direct sunlight, or stand near windows, or look directly outside

    -Brett
    19000L (5000gallon) Fibreglass IG. Astral Hurlcon cartridge filter and 0.75hp pump. 2009 build. SWG. Clear Choice Labs test kits ;)

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    Re: Saying Hi from Perth (and a big Thanks)

    Thanks for the comments Needsajet

    Brett...I'm with you, the sun here can be wicked. That covered area is actually slightly translucent and we're trying to figure out if it is letting through any UV. Skin cancer rates across Australia are pretty scary.
    ps. Nice job having a presence on the board. Just yesterday I told a friend in Brisbane to stop messing around and buy a CCL kit so he could figure out what was going on with his pool.

    -Mike
    ~55000 litre Plaster SWCG Pool - Davey PMECO Variable Speed Pump - Waterco s600 (25") sand filter - Clear Choice Labs Kit w/Salt - Pool Controls SG20 Saltwater Chlorine Generator - Zodiac Barracuda Suction Cleaner

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