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Thread: Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

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    Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

    I have been going over the poolschool stuff and theres some great info there. Learning alot. We just purchased a home with a pool and have a housewarming coming up on Oct 24th. My pool is starting to grow some green algae and I'm really worried with my lack of experience with this, I'm not going to have it up & running properly. To start, my solar heater/heaters wouldn't activate, pool's at 58F, after gutting electronics I found a chewed wire to 1 sensor, and a defetive water temp sensor which I'm waiting to come in on Tue. Pump, booster, sweep filters..etc all work perfectly. I'm having a hard time getting the chemistry right especially since I can't be there everyday (& don't know much about it either). I hope to eventually be able to deal with all aspects of the pool on my own, but just want to get through our houswarming with an enjoyable & functioning pool for our friends & their kids. Anyone know of someone or a service that really knows their stuff out in the area would really save my hind.
    1) Pool size: 22,400gallons
    2) Filter: cartridge
    3) Pool Type: IG (in ground)
    4) IG Type: PebbleTech
    5) Pumps : Pentair Intelliflo, Hayward/Polaris PB4 booster pump, Pentair Solar Controller
    6) Cleaners: Polaris 380 , Hayward Phantom, & good old me!

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

    Quote Originally Posted by giz
    Anyone know of someone or a service that really knows their stuff out in the area would really save my hind.
    Welcome to the forum...

    Many of the folks here have migrated away from pool services (at least, from the perspective of buying expensive and unnecessary chemicals often promoted by them) but hopefully someone on this forum living in Contra Costa County, Solano or elsewhere in the East Bay will see this and know of a reputable pool company that might be able to get you started.

    If you're serious about needing to have your pool up and running (and heated, presumably!) by Oct 24 you might want to make some phone calls, talk to neighbors with pools, etc and then check back here in a day or two to see if there are one or more TFP members who can give you a reference. And if you're going to be at the new house for any length of time, don't rule out doing this yourself with the help you can find here... clearing up algae is a pain in the neck, but it's not impossible if you start with a good pool water test kit and are able to get by the house mornings and evenings.

    Good luck!
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

    Hi, Welcome to TFP!
    First off, you need to post your current water test results and tell us if you test your own water, which kit you used or if you have a pool store do the testing. Then someone can help you out with balancing the water based on your results. We need results for Free chlorine (FC), Total Chlorine (TC), pH, Total Alkalinity (TA), Calcium hardness (CH), and Cyuranic Acid (cya).
    As far as the current situation goes here are some suggestions to tide you over until you are moved into your new place. If you do not have a problem with accumulating a lot of leaves and debris floating on the surface of the water, you can use a timer to run your pump and filter automatically. You can set a timer to run about 6 hours a day and clean out the skimmer basket whenever you are there. If you have a lot of debris floating on the water on a regular basis then forget about running the pump on a timer if no one is available to clean out the skimmer for you, you don't want to risk running the pump dry if the leaves clog the skimmer too tightly. Even if you are only there once a week you could still put in a gallon or two of liquid chlorine or regular unscented bleach to keep things in check until you can get it cleaned up.
    As far as a pool service goes, google some in the area, call them up and ask them how they maintain a pool, what tests and chemicals they use and what they recommend for a CYA level over 100. If they tell you CYA doesn't matter politely end the conversation and scratch them off the list! If you find someone who will agree to use only liquid chlorine in your pool and tells you the only way to lower CYA is to drain water and refill, then they probably know their stuff. A service that is willing to listen to you and only use the chemicals you allow would be a second choice if no one answers the pool care questions to your satisfaction.
    Good luck with the new pool!
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

    Welcome to the forum.

    Adding to the really good advice above, you have algae in your pool because you don't have enough chlorine. Chlorine will kill the algae but, in so doing, it is lost from your pool and more chlorine needs to be added daily to keep the algae away.

    YOu can tackle learning how to manage all this and get your pool cleared up but it sounds like your plate is pretty full for the next few days and you may not have the time to devote.

    If you decide to learn and clear the pool yourself, we can help but it will take a number of hours that you spend with your pool. Having someone come in to fix your pool probably makes the most sense if you are bent on having it up and running by then and don't have the time.

    Most of the members here manage their own pools so it may be difficult for someone to help you get the name of a good pool service. As mentioned above, neighbors will probably be a better resource.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

    Thanks for the replies so far. I plan on doing the pool care myself long term but I just don't want my guest to suffer from my inexperience in the short term. I have been using aquacheck 6 way test strips & the DPD Deluxe Test Kit. I adjusted the chlorine level up high for now to kill of the algae which it did for the most part. Then I scrubbed the pool which released it into the water and clarity is a bit off. I am going there on Monday morning to re-test, adjust chlorine and more scrubbing. I'll post up the condition and test results. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    1) Pool size: 22,400gallons
    2) Filter: cartridge
    3) Pool Type: IG (in ground)
    4) IG Type: PebbleTech
    5) Pumps : Pentair Intelliflo, Hayward/Polaris PB4 booster pump, Pentair Solar Controller
    6) Cleaners: Polaris 380 , Hayward Phantom, & good old me!

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

    This may be redundant if you've been reading the articles in Pool School recently, but it sounds like you're on the way to doing all or much of the clean-up yourself, so don't overlook these links:

    pool-school/defeating_algae

    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Pittsburg, CA & San Francisco, CA
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    Re: Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

    Sorry for the delay in test results, got sidelined with more issues thanks to the recent storm. I tried testing with 2 different kits and wow were they all over the board. I hate to say it, but I think I'm just going to have to phonebook it and keep my fingers crossed to get the pool in shape by the 24th. Hopefully I get someone knowledgeable.....fingers still crossed.
    1) Pool size: 22,400gallons
    2) Filter: cartridge
    3) Pool Type: IG (in ground)
    4) IG Type: PebbleTech
    5) Pumps : Pentair Intelliflo, Hayward/Polaris PB4 booster pump, Pentair Solar Controller
    6) Cleaners: Polaris 380 , Hayward Phantom, & good old me!

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    Re: Newbie in Pittsburg CA needs help......simply lost!

    If you have a chance, you may want to check with Wetmore Pool Company out of Vallejo. It's an old-school company. The owner, who must be well into his late 70s -early 80's still sits behind the counter and writes up orders on a pad with carbon paper. He is very sharp when it comes to pools. His daughter, I guess it is, does most of the leg work. When I called them to check on a flow switch problem some time ago, their advice was dead on. Then, when I left my current pool store, where I used to get my muriatic acid, I decided to take the 12 mile trip to their store. We were discussing rising pH and FC levels, and she whipped out her binder with a CYA chart and said, "You are using conditioner, right?" My other pool store guy had once asked me, "What's CYA?"

    I've now used then twice and will go back. They're out of county for you but may be able to help you directly or refer you to someone locally who can. They are at 416 Mississippi in Vallejo (707) 552-3545.
    20K inground gunite w/ Aqua Logic automation and chlorination Sta-Rite 400 K natural gas heater and cartridge filter 2 HP pump 1.5 HP spa bubbler for spillover spa 1 HP dedicated Letro Legend cleaner
    H2O: two parts Heart and one part Obsession. ~Author Unknown

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