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Thread: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

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    goody222's Avatar
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    Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    I'm a new pool owner of a 26k vinyl in-ground pool with a SWG that was completed in late fall. I live on the Virginia coast where we typically have 45F winter highs/35F winter lows. With the SWG off (due to winter low temps), FC = 0 and CYA = 0. I've been maintaining pH and Alk. The pool builder and 2 local pool shops said that its OK to leave FC and CYA at 0 UNTIL the weather starts to heat up, then I really need to get on top of it. A few questions:

    1. At what pool water temperature does my SWG start working (Hayward T-Cell-15)?

    2. At what water temp should I get all my chemistry in band for the summer?

    3. My pool builder is coming by on Monday or Tuesday to raise the salt (currently 2300ppm) within band. Due to this temporary warm weather (highs in the 70s now, back to the 50s next week), pool temp went up to 60F a couple of days ago and the salt cell is working but FC is still zero (due to the low salt?). Should I add FC in the meantime? Speaking of that, what type of Chlorine and shock do I add to a SWG pool?

    4. Any general guidelines for hours of operation of a 2 speed pump when the SWG is OFF in winter? My pool is currently clear with 2 hrs High Speed & 8 hours LOW speed operation.
    THANKS!!!!
    26k In-Ground Vinyl 38' x 18', Hayward Aqua Plus with Goldline T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward TriStar 1.5 HP Pool Pump (2 Speed), Swimclear Cartridge filter C200s, Hayward Booster Pump (6060), 2 Hayward Colorlogic 4.0 lights
    Gemini style with jump rocks and waterfall, Taylor K-2006 / Speed Stir, Seven 4x12 'Solar Industries' Solar Panels on 2-story roof, Built 2017 in Chesapeake, Virginia. -Mark

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    Welcome to the forum!

    If you do not close your pool, ie drain the equipment, drain some water from the pool, and cover, you should be maintaining your water all winter. CYA of at least 30 ppm and FC based on FC/CYA Chart. Use PoolMath for how much you need.

    So, right now, you need at least the above. You will have algae if water gets to 55F or above.

    Your SWCG will not work without enough salt in the water. So that is why it is on but not generating. Should say Low Salt or something similar.

    Once you are sure you have no algae from your 0FC/0CYA winter, and your SWCG is ready to operate, bring your CYA to 70 ppm.

    You are running your pool pump more than enough. Read Pool School - Determine Pump Run Time. In reality, only a couple hours per day, at most, is needed in the winter. Once your SWCG is operational, the run time needed for it to create your chlorine is what will determine your pump run time.

    Take care.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Use liquid chlorine / bleach for FC and CYA powder to bring up your CYA. Put the powder in a sock and hang in front of a return. Be sure to not let the sock rest against the side of your pool.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    Goody,

    You asked "...what type of Chlorine and shock do I add to a SWG pool?"...

    One of the great things about following the TFP guidelines is that you never need to add bags of pool store 'shock'. Not on a weekly or semi-weekly biases, or ever for that matter...

    I have a SWCG and most of the year that is all I ever use... In the winter, when the SWCG does not work, I use Liquid Chlorine, or just plain bleach (not splash-less or scented..) The only difference between the two is the concentration of the chlorine. Cheap bleach is about 6%, better bleach is about 8.25% and Liquid Chlorine can be 10% or 12.5%.. The lower the percentage, the more you have to add to get the same reaction..

    The key is to always ensure your FC and CYA are in sync per this chart... FC/CYA Chart

    I also do not close my pool, and I run my pool in the winter, the same way I do in the summer, chemical wise... I just don't need to do it as often, because everything slows down in the winter.

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    goody222's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    Thanks Marty and Jim!! Getting some CYA and bleach today. That's surprising about never putting in shock? Even after a "heavy bather load"? That doesn't affect your chemistry? Also, a couple of times a year my neighbor's pool turns cloudy after a very heavy rain, so he shocks it then it clears up after a couple of days.
    26k In-Ground Vinyl 38' x 18', Hayward Aqua Plus with Goldline T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward TriStar 1.5 HP Pool Pump (2 Speed), Swimclear Cartridge filter C200s, Hayward Booster Pump (6060), 2 Hayward Colorlogic 4.0 lights
    Gemini style with jump rocks and waterfall, Taylor K-2006 / Speed Stir, Seven 4x12 'Solar Industries' Solar Panels on 2-story roof, Built 2017 in Chesapeake, Virginia. -Mark

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    If we have a heavy bather load day I just put in 10ppm of bleach before everyone shows up. If no children no biggie. If littles, you might hit it again after. Swimming in FC up to shock level is no issue and no one will know the difference.

    Rain is normally a rise in pH that causes the imbalance. The neighbor is using a powdered shock that is acidic and drops the pH. Better to use muriatic acid.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    Quote Originally Posted by goody222 View Post
    Thanks Marty and Jim!! Getting some CYA and bleach today. That's surprising about never putting in shock? Even after a "heavy bather load"? That doesn't affect your chemistry? Also, a couple of times a year my neighbor's pool turns cloudy after a very heavy rain, so he shocks it then it clears up after a couple of days.
    Goody,

    To be honest, I never have what could be described as a 'heavy' bather load, so not an issue for me... But if I had a birthday party, with a bunch of kids peeing in the pool, I would probably add some Liquid chlorine before the party, and then again after the party, just to be on the safe side..

    I often hear people say that their pool turned cloudy after a rain storm, but I like to say "one excuse is as good as another" If you keep your FC and CYA in order, it can rain for a week and your pool will not turn cloudy if you follow the TFP guidelines...

    I know it is hard to believe that it could be this simple, but it is...

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    goody222's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    wow, I hope its that easy!! Pool parties with little ones are in my future. I'll have to play around with the chlorine before/after. Sounds like I'll have to stop at BJs to pick up some (up to date, I've learned) bulk Bleach.

    Good to know there's no harm in putting 10+ ppm Cl in ahead of time. I guess if you put in too much Chlorine over band, you just wait for it to be knocked down into band where CYA can control it? Thanks again guys!
    26k In-Ground Vinyl 38' x 18', Hayward Aqua Plus with Goldline T-Cell-15 SWG, Hayward TriStar 1.5 HP Pool Pump (2 Speed), Swimclear Cartridge filter C200s, Hayward Booster Pump (6060), 2 Hayward Colorlogic 4.0 lights
    Gemini style with jump rocks and waterfall, Taylor K-2006 / Speed Stir, Seven 4x12 'Solar Industries' Solar Panels on 2-story roof, Built 2017 in Chesapeake, Virginia. -Mark

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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    I have to agree with these guys . They saved me from the "pool guys" and for this i am greatfull . We just had 2 weeks of high winds we were in a burn ban / drought then we got rain,sleet,snow ice for the last week . We totaled 3 or 4 inches of rain
    and today the sun is out. I can still see the small screws that hold the main drain caps on down 8.5 ft (i love it) . This is only because i found tfp website . I have used TFPC since nov.2017

    todays numbers are fc 7 cc 0.5 {lots of organics blew into pool ) ph 7.8 alk 92 ch 195 cya 55 ...I cant think you guys enough for the peace of mind i get knowing i can take care of my pool. thanks jimmie
    Jimmie...28.5 k inground plaster/quartz, 36'x16' 8.5 deep end dive rock 7x10 tan ledge 10" deep ,build date 11/16 open 4/2017, pent intelipro variable...pent.booster/cleaner bot** named george ** pentair s8m150 cartridge.. intellibrite controler(first automation) so i can stop guessing what color lites are , rheem raypac heater, circupool rj-60 plus,16 mil solar cover, TF100 /speed stir /Taylor K-1766.

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    wilkj1 --
    Thank you for the ringing endorsement! WE appreciate hearing about how the TFPC method makes your pool enjoyable.

    As you may not know, the forum is run by volunteers, with no advertising. Any support you can provide would be very appreciated.

    See CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!

    And if you use Amazon - consider using Amazon Smile and selecting TroubleFreePool to support.

    Take care.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    wilkj1's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Chemistry for Open Pools

    Quote Originally Posted by mknauss View Post
    wilkj1 --
    Thank you for the ringing endorsement! WE appreciate hearing about how the TFPC method makes your pool enjoyable.

    As you may not know, the forum is run by volunteers, with no advertising. Any support you can provide would be very appreciated.

    See CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!

    And if you use Amazon - consider using Amazon Smile and selecting TroubleFreePool to support.

    Take care.
    I am pleased to say i just became a true supporter of what i see here and learned (so far) . I have been telling everyone i know about this site and the help that is here. One of the best things is so far is the $900.00 i would have paid the "pool guy" over the last 6 months is down to like 10$ a month thanks all.
    Jimmie...28.5 k inground plaster/quartz, 36'x16' 8.5 deep end dive rock 7x10 tan ledge 10" deep ,build date 11/16 open 4/2017, pent intelipro variable...pent.booster/cleaner bot** named george ** pentair s8m150 cartridge.. intellibrite controler(first automation) so i can stop guessing what color lites are , rheem raypac heater, circupool rj-60 plus,16 mil solar cover, TF100 /speed stir /Taylor K-1766.

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