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Thread: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    First post.
    I am in Chandler AZ.
    12,000 gallon in ground pebble tech, salt water, cartridge filters, ozone.
    6 year old Shasta pool.
    Water is two years old, time to change.
    Problems since the first season with black algae.
    Tiling the water line helped, but currently have a couple small areas affected, on the bottom. Also a couple rust stains from pool store algicide.
    I need help with a plan of action before it starts to get too warm.
    I have to drain the pool, clean off the stains and existing algae spots, clean out filters, fill and restart the pool.
    Need help with how to clean off the stains and algae spots.
    I have long suspected the Shasta store advice was full of baloney and designed to make you spend $$$ on chemicals that don't really work.
    Sooooo glad I found you guys and am looking forward to doing it the right way this time.
    I want to have all the salt , borax, etc in place before I start.
    Thanks
    13000 Gallon Shasta Pool In Ground 2004
    Gunite/PebbleTech, AutoPilot Salt Water, Cartridge Filters, Ozone, In Floor Cleaner.

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Welcome to the forum! You'll find lot's of folks here to help you keep your pool crystal clear.

    First thing will be a current set of comprehensive test results. I always liken it to a map.........we can't tell you how to get where you need to be until we find out where you are.

    Can you post test results for pH. FC, TC, TA, CH and CYA? The abbreviations are in pool school if you need them.

    Those current test results will be essential for us to get you started down the right path.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Oh, I'm draining the pool and want to start fresh.
    Before I do so I need to have everything in place, because of the temperatures here you don't want to leave the pool empty very long.

    A) I need to know what to have on hand to clean the gunite/pebble tech; removing rust stains and black algae.
    B) I need to know what to have on hand to start the pool once it is refilled.

    The only discrepancy I can see is that the pool builder advised me to keep the ph at 7.0 because of the hardness of the water here the salt cell requires more frequent cleaning.
    Thanks!
    13000 Gallon Shasta Pool In Ground 2004
    Gunite/PebbleTech, AutoPilot Salt Water, Cartridge Filters, Ozone, In Floor Cleaner.

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Before you drain, check these guys out! Save your water!

    www.calsaway.com, they are in your area!

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhead
    Oh, I'm draining the pool and want to start fresh.
    Before I do so I need to have everything in place, because of the temperatures here you don't want to leave the pool empty very long.

    A) I need to know what to have on hand to clean the gunite/pebble tech; removing rust stains and black algae.
    B) I need to know what to have on hand to start the pool once it is refilled.

    The only discrepancy I can see is that the pool builder advised me to keep the ph at 7.0 because of the hardness of the water here the salt cell requires more frequent cleaning.
    Regular and thorough brushing combined with copious quantities of chlorine should eventually remove algae stains... though it may take longer at this time of year. I suppose you could drain, then scrub at the stains with bleach or liquid chlorine but this could be accomplished with water still in the pool. For more on this please read Defeating Algae.

    Are you certain the other stains are rust? Before you drain you might want to check that using a vitamin C tablet (read more about this here: Metals in the Water and Metal Stains). Do you have a heater? It's possible the pH went too low for some period of time and stole away some of the copper from the exchanger. If it turns out not to be metal staining, the preparation will be readying liters and liters (or gallons and gallons) of 6% bleach or liquid chlorine for shocking. To do it right you must have a good test kit... so that's the other item to put on your list. I use a FAS-DPD chlorine test (found in Taylor's K-2006 test kit and also in the TF-100) because of its precision and ability to test high levels of chlorine. If the algae has been a recurring problem, I'd recommend shocking the pool even after (assuming you decide to go ahead) it's drained and refilled.
    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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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    I'm draining it because the water is too hard. Cartridge filters means no back wash, the only water replacement is from evaporation. I did get through three years the first time around, but it was very difficult to maintain chlorine levels and ph, and that's when I really started having a hard time with black algae at the water line. After the following year we tiled the water line, so now we're back on a two year cycle for the water change, which is what Shasta recommends.
    Builder recommends 1.5 - 2.0 for the chlorine level.
    Salt chlorinator is a QuickChlor, runs at 2250-2750.
    We usually put just enough salt in to make the "low salt" alert go off when refilling the pool. We almost never have to add salt after, there are plenty of salts in the water here. In fact, just recently after heavy rains the last couple of weeks, is the first time I've seen the low salt warning after the initial start up with fresh water.
    I have only been testing for chlorine and PH, and take a water sample in to the Shasta store for testing once every week during the season but not as much off season.
    Will a decent test kit be available locally or will I have to order on line?
    Don't want to start until I have everything in place.
    I will take a day off of work to get it done, the night before I will rent a pump and drain it.
    Hopefully I can get the stains cleaned and the filters hosed out the next day and begin to refill it.
    But I need a ballpark figure for Borax, etc. so I can get everything together before I start.
    13000 Gallon Shasta Pool In Ground 2004
    Gunite/PebbleTech, AutoPilot Salt Water, Cartridge Filters, Ozone, In Floor Cleaner.

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by salp
    Before you drain, check these guys out! Save your water!

    http://www.calsaway.com, they are in your area!
    Interesting, I sent them an email.
    It only costs me about $50.00 over and above my normal water bill to fill my pool, we'll see what they get.
    13000 Gallon Shasta Pool In Ground 2004
    Gunite/PebbleTech, AutoPilot Salt Water, Cartridge Filters, Ozone, In Floor Cleaner.

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhead
    I'm draining it because the water is too hard. Cartridge filters means no back wash, the only water replacement is from evaporation. I did get through three years the first time around, but it was very difficult to maintain chlorine levels and ph, and that's when I really started having a hard time with black algae at the water line.

    If you've only been testing for chlorine and pH it's understandable that you've been having a difficult time avoiding the algae. Without knowing the level of cyanuric acid (CYA) it's impossible to predict how effective the 1.5 - 2.0 ppm chlorine is in your pool (though the algae provided the answer, in a way ) Though I don't know the model or capacity of the Quick Chlor SWG on your system, it could be that you're running it below specification and this may be contributing to the chlorine maintenance issue. Of the residential SWGs currently manufactured by the maker of your cell (Clevaquip) only the "heavy duty" RPHD is advertised to work with a salt level as low as 2500 ppm, the others in their line require a 3750-4500 ppm salt solution. Something you may want to consider.

    After the following year we tiled the water line, so now we're back on a two year cycle for the water change, which is what Shasta recommends.
    Builder recommends 1.5 - 2.0 for the chlorine level.
    Salt chlorinator is a QuickChlor, runs at 2250-2750.
    We usually put just enough salt in to make the "low salt" alert go off when refilling the pool. We almost never have to add salt after, there are plenty of salts in the water here. In fact, just recently after heavy rains the last couple of weeks, is the first time I've seen the low salt warning after the initial start up with fresh water.
    I have only been testing for chlorine and PH, and take a water sample in to the Shasta store for testing once every week during the season but not as much off season.
    Will a decent test kit be available locally or will I have to order on line?

    If you can find a Taylor K-2006 in a local pool store for less than $75.00, buy it. Most pool stores stock the K-2005 but this kit doesn't have the FAS-DPD chlorine test. Leslie's sells it on-line for about $71.00 the last time I checked. Competitive pricing is available at other sites but check shipping costs, which can be crazy expensive... PoolWeb $65.00, PoolCenter.com $54.38, Spspools-spas.com $55.00, Amatoind.com $41.88. I've not yet ordered anything from Amationd.com so caveat emptor. TFTestKits.net sells the TF-100XL for $77.00 plus shipping.

    I have no direct experience adding borax to my pool so perhaps other members will address that, though I'm aware that it's considered a mild algaestat. You can read about it in this thread.


    Don't want to start until I have everything in place.
    I will take a day off of work to get it done, the night before I will rent a pump and drain it.
    Hopefully I can get the stains cleaned and the filters hosed out the next day and begin to refill it.
    But I need a ballpark figure for Borax, etc. so I can get everything together before I start.
    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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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    No, really, printed right on the unit, 2250-2750...... works great.
    CYA and other levels at the moment are unimportant to me as I am draining the pool and starting with fresh water.
    Sorry no one can tell me what I would need for a proper start up.
    13000 Gallon Shasta Pool In Ground 2004
    Gunite/PebbleTech, AutoPilot Salt Water, Cartridge Filters, Ozone, In Floor Cleaner.

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Sorry no one can tell me what I would need for a proper start up.
    First thing will be a current set of comprehensive test results. I always liken it to a map.........we can't tell you how to get where you need to be until we find out where you are.
    Again, we will need a starting point. Fill your pool, test the water, and we can advise based on those test results.

    Black algae (which is pretty rare) is best dealt with by maintaining higher than normal chlorine levels (after the pool is filled). I am not aware of algecide causing a rust stain.

    I know these are not the answers you are looking/hoping for. Anything else provided without test results is purely a wild guess.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Hi there, welcome....

    I think what they are trying to get to the bottom of is, is whether you really need to drain at all. If you have been following the advice of the pool store it is entirely possible you have been mislead. There really isn't a need to drain every two years. We recommend draining in some specific situations like when the CYA has gotten too high or the CH has gotten too high, and that usually only happens when pool owners follow pool store advice and/or abuse pool store chems. Thats why they were asking what your numbers were. If your CH is not over 600 and your CYA is not over 100 you may not need to drain.

    It sounds to me like draining was your decision and it's been made, that you want a 'fresh' start. If that's your final decision, what you need to have before you begin:

    Pick up some vitamin C tablets to help diagnose the "rust" stains. (can you post a pic?)

    You need a test kit, and the best way to obtain it is online. Most stores don't stock the two we recommend and will often try to sell you a poor substitute. Your best bang for the buck is to order through TF Test kits, the link is on our home page. Be sure to get some salt test strips too.

    You'll need salt, enough to reach your desired level.
    You'll need Cyanuric Acid.
    You may need some baking soda and Borax. You can calculate how much of those you will need by testing your tap (or fill) water (take it over to Shasta if you don't want to wait for the kit to arrive - Have them test the PH and TA). If your PH is low you'll need borax. If your TA is low you'll need Baking Soda. If both are low, you can just use Soda Ash, sometimes old in the grocery store as Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, if you can find it, otherwise Shasta should have "soda ash", sometimes sold as "PH UP".

    Your numbers may not need anything at all. It may be that just your CH is a problem locally which is why they recommended keeping your PH down.

    Have some Muratic Acid on hand, if your PH is too high.
    Have a couple jugs of bleach on hand, so you can have chlorine in the pool while you get the salt balanced and the SWG operational.

    Once you have your water refilled and your test kit on hand, you can begin the process of attacking the black algae.

    Black algae forms when the chlorine is allowed to drop too low for extended periods. It sounds like your chlorine levels were not at the right level, despite your SWG. Your minimum and recommended FC levels are entirely based on your CYA levels - refer to the CYA chart. Proper FC levels will eliminate algae and prevent a reoccurrence.

    To kill Black Algae, You will need to keep your FC elevated for a few weeks, while brushing the pool walls where the algae is several times a day. It's the elevated chlorine levels and the brushing that is the key to getting rid of the black algae spots. They have a tough outershell that is resistant to chlorine - by brushing you knock off that shell allowing the chlorine to get to the insides.

    So order a test kit, and while you wait for it to arrive, read the articles in Pool School, read some of the threads in about similar stories. You can do key word searches using the "google search" feature in the bottom left corner.

    Is it your intention to try and tackle the stains while the pool is empty? That's usually done with an "acid wash" and best handled by professionals. It is not necessary for the pool to be empty to attack that black algae. That is ok to do with the water filled. Same with most stain treatments. Acid washes aren't often "required" at all in these situations.

    Anyway, good luck and hope this helps. Post back if you are confused about any of this.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Hi there, welcome....
    There really isn't a need to drain every two years.
    Talked to calsaway today, did confirm that it is correct to drain every two years in our location and for the type of pool I have, either that or their massive RO treatment. But, given the algae and staining, acid wash and refill would be the best bet.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    You need a test kit, and the best way to obtain it is online. Most stores don't stock the two we recommend and will often try to sell you a poor substitute. Your best bang for the buck is to order through TF Test kits, the link is on our home page. Be sure to get some salt test strips too.

    You'll need salt, enough to reach your desired level.
    You'll need Cyanuric Acid.
    You may need some baking soda and Borax. You can calculate how much of those you will need by testing your tap (or fill) water (take it over to Shasta if you don't want to wait for the kit to arrive - Have them test the PH and TA). If your PH is low you'll need borax. If your TA is low you'll need Baking Soda. If both are low, you can just use Soda Ash, sometimes old in the grocery store as Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, if you can find it, otherwise Shasta should have "soda ash", sometimes sold as "PH UP".

    Your numbers may not need anything at all. It may be that just your CH is a problem locally which is why they recommended keeping your PH down.

    Have some Muratic Acid on hand, if your PH is too high.
    Have a couple jugs of bleach on hand, so you can have chlorine in the pool while you get the salt balanced and the SWG operational.

    Once you have your water refilled and your test kit on hand, you can begin the process of attacking the black algae.

    Black algae forms when the chlorine is allowed to drop too low for extended periods. It sounds like your chlorine levels were not at the right level, despite your SWG. Your minimum and recommended FC levels are entirely based on your CYA levels - refer to the CYA chart. Proper FC levels will eliminate algae and prevent a reoccurrence.
    OK, now this is helpful. Also found out from calsaway that Shasta's recommended chlorine level of 2.5 is OK in the winter, but should be much higher as water temperatures increase past 80. This is probably why I got black algae in the first place. Water is clear, never had a problem with that.
    Right off the bat, I know my PH will be high. Also the salt cell constantly drives the PH up. In the peak of summer, I'm adding about 1.5 gallons of muriatic acid a week.
    My TA will be low with the refill.
    CYA I'm totally clueless about, need some guidance here.
    If I want to add borates as an algae inhibitor, how much do I use?
    Thanks
    13000 Gallon Shasta Pool In Ground 2004
    Gunite/PebbleTech, AutoPilot Salt Water, Cartridge Filters, Ozone, In Floor Cleaner.

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Sounds like you are taking a lot of advice from Shasta (I assume thats a pool store) and Calsaway. First off, i'm with poolmom. I dont think you need to do a full drain. A partial drain would most likely be ok, but we cant tell since you did not post what your calcium level is nor what your stabilizer level is (CYA). I realize in your area that calcium hardness in your fill water is a problem. However, that's not why you have algea. You have algea, i suspect, because of a combination of low chlorine levels, and high stabilizer levels. The suggested levels of 1-2 ppm FC is most likely not enough. Realize, companies that sell an RO system have an agenda. I'm not saying that they are bad, they are not. But, they are selling a product that may or may not be needed. If you can do a complete drain and refill for $50 or so, there is no need to do and expensive RO treatment. Again, I dont think you need to do a complete drain, but it seems you want to, so why not start fresh. Get the test kit,and do your own testing. Shasta may be a fine company. But, the folks on here can walk you through everything you need to know and you will never have to rely on pool store advise again. You really have to decide if you are going to rely on the pool store, or TFP. I have found that sometimes its tough to do both
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhead
    Talked to calsaway today, did confirm that it is correct to drain every two years in our location and for the type of pool I have, either that or their massive RO treatment. But, given the algae and staining, acid wash and refill would be the best bet.
    What kind of pool is that, btw? Can you update your profile to include your pool specs in your signature. Go to User Control Panel, top left, then Profile, then Edit Signature. You are allowed 5 lines of text. Be sure to include your location in your profile or signature, so you won't have to repeat it and others won't have to search for it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhead
    OK, now this is helpful. Also found out from calsaway that Shasta's recommended chlorine level of 2.5 is OK in the winter, but should be much higher as water temperatures increase past 80. This is probably why I got black algae in the first place. Water is clear, never had a problem with that.
    Right off the bat, I know my PH will be high. Also the salt cell constantly drives the PH up. In the peak of summer, I'm adding about 1.5 gallons of muriatic acid a week.
    My TA will be low with the refill.
    CYA I'm totally clueless about, need some guidance here.
    If I want to add borates as an algae inhibitor, how much do I use?
    Thanks
    Ok, there is alot to cover here.
    Your FC is based on your CYA level. Period. Regardless of temp. Yes, in warmer temps/higher bather load, your chlorine will get used up quicker, but the required minimum levels dictated by one's CYA level doesn't change based on temp. So for them to say 2.5 in winter is okay without mentioning CYA is erroneous. Once Black Algae takes hold, it can survive at any level of chlorine that is below your recommended FC level. If your CYA is 200 and you keep your FC at 5 you are going to get algae. I hope that makes sense.

    Refer to the chart. The higher the CYA, the higher the corresponding FC must be. Black Algae (and mustard for that matter) can survive in chlorinated water, even when the water is clear yet chlorine is present. It's not uncommon to see it where prolonged conditions of too high CYA and too low FC exist.

    Their blanket recommendation of chlorine levels without mention of the CYA relationship makes me question if they understand it. It also makes me question their blanket recommendation to drain every two years, regardless of test results. Every pool is unique, some pools may go longer between water changes, etc. You just can't make a blanket statement like that.

    Why an acid wash? Have you confirmed what the stain was? Is there other scale present? Acid washing isn't the prescribed treatment for black algae, chlorine and brushing is, so I'm not sure why they think that is the route to go. Can you post pics? I'm not saying draining isn't correct in your situation, I'm just questioning if an acid wash is necessary too.

    Other things can drive the PH up, but the salt cell can do that if the other numbers aren't balanced. What do you typically maintain your TA level at? If it's too high, that will cause the PH to drift. Many SWG users report more stable numbers with a TA of 60-70. How new is this pool?

    Lastly, I recommend you wait until you are completely confident and experienced maintaining the pool and mastering the other parameters of testing before you tackle borates, which are completely optional by the way. Some users do report rave reviews but others get by just fine without it. In any event, you need to get a handle on stabilizing your other chemistry factors like FC/CYA/PH/TA and CH before you tackle borates.

    Hope this helps.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Frustratedpoolmom,

    Just wondering what your CH is coming out of your tap is. In parts of AZ and Southern California, most of our water comes from the Colorado River and with river levels being low, it is not unusual for CH to be around 400ppm. That puts us at the high recommendation level. So, for part of us, it is recommended that you do a partial water drain every 2 - 3 years. The reason I found this site is after 3 years my CH was 900ppm and causing bad staining in my spa and Baja Step. Since controlling my CH, I have been able to stop the staining from getting any worse. I suspect every place is different and I have seen enough pools in San Diego County that tells me CH is not a good thing!

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Copperhead-

    Rust stains (if that is what you truly have) are not good and cannot be scrubbed away! If you have rust stains you have iron in the pool (rebar/tie wire too close to the surface, etc.). The heat exchanger suggestion earlier mentioned is not the case as that would be copper sulfite staining, and would be green.

    Pebble pools require higher dosages of acid, and will allow black algae to grow if you do not maintain your pool properly. A gallon and a half a week ( ) is an awful lot (and I hope you are not adding it all at once!)! Are you adding it when the pool is circulating or off?

    Try your pressure washer on the pebble first. Pebble will take repeated acid washing, but I would still try to keep it to a minimum.

    You will need CYA, chlorine (bleach) and some muriatic acid for your start up. Add your salt after you are balanced.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by salp
    Frustratedpoolmom,

    Just wondering what your CH is coming out of your tap is. In parts of AZ and Southern California, most of our water comes from the Colorado River and with river levels being low, it is not unusual for CH to be around 400ppm. That puts us at the high recommendation level. So, for part of us, it is recommended that you do a partial water drain every 2 - 3 years. The reason I found this site is after 3 years my CH was 900ppm and causing bad staining in my spa and Baja Step. Since controlling my CH, I have been able to stop the staining from getting any worse. I suspect every place is different and I have seen enough pools in San Diego County that tells me CH is not a good thing!
    No, too much CH is not a good thing.
    I'm not debating that in areas where CH is high it can lead to problem in pools, I just don't like it when companies make blanket statements and advise someone to drain and acid wash their pool without testing the water or confirming what the stains on the pool surface even are. I would hate to see a pool owner rush into something with out having a full understanding of the various issues affecting their pool, only to have a reoccurence of one or more of the various issues.

    Blindly trusting pool service/pool store advice is what resulted in most of us finding our way here to TFP, including me.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    OK - So the only really new info I'm hearing here is that there is a critical relationship between CYA and chlorine level. Shasta (the builder) did not educate me on this.
    I will try to verify the information in the chart from other sources. I'm getting the feeling that maintaining a pool in the Southwest is a quite a bit different from what you guys are doing, and perhaps the BBB method etc. will not work here.
    A little amused that you think I'm nuts by draining my water every two years, when it's a very common practice here with cartridge filter and SWG pools.
    Traditional chlorinators and sand or DE filter pools here go forever because they backwash a LOT.
    Overall water waste theoretically is lower by draining the pool every two years and no backwashing the filter.
    No permit needed to drain or refill, water must be pumped into the septic sewer, not in the street or storm sewers.
    In the peak of the summer, I'm adding about 1/2 gallon of muriatic acid every 2-3 days at night with the pump running.
    As soon as the water temp hits 80, the aerator goes on and runs all night. With the low humidity here, it really does a great job of lowering the water temp. Highest water temperatures I will see are in upper 80's.
    Automatic water leveler. Summer temperatures up to 120 with very low humidity so there is sizeable evaporative loss. The water is very hard here and gets harder by the minute in the pool.
    Hot water heaters must be flushed twice a year or they will fill up with calcium deposits in just a couple years, if that is any indication of the calcium problem here.
    Monsoon season kicks in around the 4th of July and we are treated with almost nightly dust storms. The in floor does a great job of cleaning up by morning, just a couple little areas in corners around the steps that need to be brushed out.
    So I am going to drain the pool and spot clean the small rust spots and small areas of black algae on the bottom. Probably will rent a pressure washer and give the whole thing a once over before I refill.
    Too warm this week, if it cools off a bit next week I'll take a vacation day to do it.
    Hope to figure out how much borax and CYA I need by then.
    13000 Gallon Shasta Pool In Ground 2004
    Gunite/PebbleTech, AutoPilot Salt Water, Cartridge Filters, Ozone, In Floor Cleaner.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,677

    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhead
    OK - So the only really new info I'm hearing here is that there is a critical relationship between CYA and chlorine level. Shasta (the builder) did not educate me on this.
    I will try to verify the information in the chart from other sources.
    Most pool industry people do not know the info, so they dont pass it along. high CYA levels are the number one reason why pool owners have algea problems. They cannot keep enough chlorine in the pool to be effective.


    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhead
    I'm getting the feeling that maintaining a pool in the Southwest is a quite a bit different from what you guys are doing, and perhaps the BBB method etc. will not work here.
    Not sure why you say that. The method is about more than using "BBB" to maintain a pool. It's really about knowing how to test your own water, and thne knowing what to do with those test results.


    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhead
    A little amused that you think I'm nuts by draining my water every two years, when it's a very common practice here with cartridge filter and SWG pools.
    Why wouuld a SWG pool be different out there than anywhere else? The biggest problem i see is the higher level of calcium not sodium chloride. Again, a partial drain will take care of the calcium issues. As stated a number of times on this site, high TDS in and of itself is irrelevent.


    Quote Originally Posted by Copperhead
    In the peak of the summer, I'm adding about 1/2 gallon of muriatic acid every 2-3 days at night with the pump running.
    As soon as the water temp hits 80, the aerator goes on and runs all night. With the low humidity here, it really does a great job of lowering the water temp. Highest water temperatures I will see are in upper 80's.
    Ah, ok, i think I understand your high acid consumption now. You have 2 issues. 1). your SWG puts an upward pressure on the pH. The way to counteract that is to lower the TA to around 70-80 ppm. This will counteract the rise in pH and make the pH more stable. 2) You aereate the water a lot! This is, I suspect, the main reason why you add so much acid. Aereation of the water increases the pH. This methodology is used to lower the TA. In other words, you add acid to lower the TA, the aereate the water to increasse the pH without adding chemicals. Your aereation to cool the pool off increases the pH to the point you are adding a ton of acid every week.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    81

    Re: Change Water, start fresh... please help.

    GREAT!
    The last coupla posts have been real informative in helping me understand what is going on. I'm going to order the test kit today.
    I'll take some pictures and get specs on the equipment this weekend.

    OK, to do the basic start up I'm going to need borax, salt, CYA and muriatic acid?
    Salt I can figure out, muriatic acid I always have and I gotta figure out a ballpark on the CYA, or do I want to test the water after it is filled before I buy any?
    I know how to get the salt right and get the SWG going, this will be my fourth start-up on the pool.
    Usually I get the salt, PH and chlorine where they want it, take a water sample in the store and they give me a ton of chemicals to dump in, but this time I'm going to do it differently and you're going to help, right?

    13000 Gallon Shasta Pool In Ground 2004
    Gunite/PebbleTech, AutoPilot Salt Water, Cartridge Filters, Ozone, In Floor Cleaner.

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