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Thread: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    First let me say I so thankful I have found this site! I'm really impressed with all the information I have found so far.

    Now a little history. Purchased home with in-ground 18ft x 36ft vinyl pool in off-season 2008. Hired a guy to take care of it during the 2009 season. $100 per month, he gave me a Polaris 360 and came out once a week and provided all the chemicals. I think all he did was add chlorine to the automatic chlorinator and shocked the pool weekly. Pool stayed clear all season. Towards the end of the season, he said he was raising his rates to $250 per month because the cost of chemicals went up. Well, I can't swing that but he agreed to finish out the year for $120.00 per month. I found an old test kit the previous home owner had left and I tested the water. Chlorine was off the chart. So I'm thinking "no wonder your paying so much for chemicals. you're dumping way to much in there!".

    So this year, I'm going to tackle it myself. I was getting a little overwhelmed because of the price of all the chemicals I was seeing. Found this site and read pool school and this BBB method. Found a GREAT deal on a Polaris 360 and ordered it. Going to buy my test kit tomorrow.

    So once I take this tarp cover off, I need to start everything up and test the water. Then I just plug it into the pool calculator and add what it tells me? Is it really just that simple! If so I am so happy I don't have to find some place to store chlorine! I was so worried about it rusting all my yard equipment, etc. I really hope it's just that easy because I don't want to be one of those guys standing in line at Leslie's waiting to get my water tested and then walking out with Metal Reducer, AK Up, Bromine, etc. I have a Koi pond I have to maintain as well, plus a 2ry old and a 7month old!

    Also, we have two vacations planned this summer. Both a week long. Should I just shock the pool with bleach before I leave or should I buy some chlorine tabs and stick them in my automatic feeder? Thanks!
    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Welcome to TFP Todd! Or should I call you Ricky?

    Quote Originally Posted by todd.scallions
    First let me say I so thankful I have found this site! I'm really impressed with all the information I have found so far.

    Now a little history. Purchased home with in-ground 18ft x 36ft vinyl pool in off-season 2008. Hired a guy to take care of it during the 2009 season. $100 per month, he gave me a Polaris 360 and came out once a week and provided all the chemicals. I think all he did was add chlorine to the automatic chlorinator and shocked the pool weekly. Pool stayed clear all season. Towards the end of the season, he said he was raising his rates to $250 per month because the cost of chemicals went up. Well, I can't swing that but he agreed to finish out the year for $120.00 per month. I found an old test kit the previous home owner had left and I tested the water. Chlorine was off the chart. So I'm thinking "no wonder your paying so much for chemicals. you're dumping way to much in there!".

    That is a very expensive pool service!

    So this year, I'm going to tackle it myself. I was getting a little overwhelmed because of the price of all the chemicals I was seeing. Found this site and read pool school and this BBB method. Found a GREAT deal on a Polaris 360 and ordered it. Going to buy my test kit tomorrow.

    What test kit are you going to get? You need a service type like a TF-100 or a Taylor K-2006. Check out the TF-100 in the link in my sig line.

    So once I take this tarp cover off, I need to start everything up and test the water. Then I just plug it into the pool calculator and add what it tells me? Is it really just that simple! If so I am so happy I don't have to find some place to store chlorine! I was so worried about it rusting all my yard equipment, etc. I really hope it's just that easy because I don't want to be one of those guys standing in line at Leslie's waiting to get my water tested and then walking out with Metal Reducer, AK Up, Bromine, etc. I have a Koi pond I have to maintain as well, plus a 2ry old and a 7month old!

    That's pretty much it. Get the water circulating a bit and then run your tests. Read Pool School to learn the basics. You will need to test for FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, and CYA. Get those numbers and you can go from there.

    Also, we have two vacations planned this summer. Both a week long. Should I just shock the pool with bleach before I leave or should I buy some chlorine tabs and stick them in my automatic feeder? Thanks!

    I'm a tablet floater/feeder guy when it comes to going on vacation. It's cheap and easy. But if you have a neighbor who can dose your pool with bleach and sorta watch things while your gone, then that is good too. Sorta depends on how long you are going to be gone and what your CYA level is in your pool because tablets have CYA in them.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Quote Originally Posted by todd.scallions
    First let me say I so thankful I have found this site! I'm really impressed with all the information I have found so far.

    Now a little history. Purchased home with in-ground 18ft x 36ft vinyl pool in off-season 2008. Hired a guy to take care of it during the 2009 season. $100 per month, he gave me a Polaris 360 and came out once a week and provided all the chemicals. I think all he did was add chlorine to the automatic chlorinator and shocked the pool weekly. Pool stayed clear all season. Towards the end of the season, he said he was raising his rates to $250 per month because the cost of chemicals went up. Well, I can't swing that but he agreed to finish out the year for $120.00 per month. I found an old test kit the previous home owner had left and I tested the water. Chlorine was off the chart. So I'm thinking "no wonder your paying so much for chemicals. you're dumping way to much in there!".

    So this year, I'm going to tackle it myself. I was getting a little overwhelmed because of the price of all the chemicals I was seeing. Found this site and read pool school and this BBB method. Found a GREAT deal on a Polaris 360 and ordered it. Going to buy my test kit tomorrow.

    So once I take this tarp cover off, I need to start everything up and test the water. Then I just plug it into the pool calculator and add what it tells me? Is it really just that simple! If so I am so happy I don't have to find some place to store chlorine! I was so worried about it rusting all my yard equipment, etc. I really hope it's just that easy because I don't want to be one of those guys standing in line at Leslie's waiting to get my water tested and then walking out with Metal Reducer, AK Up, Bromine, etc. I have a Koi pond I have to maintain as well, plus a 2ry old and a 7month old!

    Also, we have two vacations planned this summer. Both a week long. Should I just shock the pool with bleach before I leave or should I buy some chlorine tabs and stick them in my automatic feeder? Thanks!

    yes it really is that easy...I spend 5 minutes a day maybe ten...I test once sometimes twice, and add the proper amount of chlorine each day if necessary...once you get your other test values balanced it really is simple. I spend maybe a hundred or hundred and fifty bucks a summer on bleach.

    As far as vacation, Many of us will simply get our pools up to shock levels...for me with a 30 to 40 CYA I would take my pool up to 14-16 ppm FC...I would then put solar cover on pool, set my timer on pump to run 6 hours per day, and ask my neighbor to check my filter basket and clean if it is too clogged with debris...but with solar cover on it shouldn't be...just filtering water really. I have been gone as much as 13 days, and come back to a pool with an FC of 5 and crystal clear water.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Sweet! Thanks for the response. I was just going to swing by Leslie's and pick up their Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Kit. I was going to wait until May to open the pool but it's been in the mid 80's all week. I'm worried that I shouldn't wait any longer to open it. I feel way more confident doing this now. We have a solar cover as well. Do they really help that much? I don't have a reel. It's just folded up in storage which it why I have never tried to use it.

    Also, just to make sure... is my equipment correct for this size pool?

    1HP Hayward Super Pump Self Priming
    Sta-Rite High Rate 300lb Sand filter
    Pentair 300 Auto Chlorinator
    1 Skimmer and two returns and main drain.
    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Quote Originally Posted by todd.scallions
    I was just going to swing by Leslie's and pick up their Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Kit.
    Leslies is unlikely to have the FAS-DPD in stock. I'd say the odds are one in a hundred that the person working there has ever even heard of it.

    That equipment sounds just about right.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Sometimes folks are lucky and they have it....But....Under no circumstances let them talk you into the "DPD Complete kit" which is the K2005 and NOT the same thing - it lacks the FAS-DPD test.
    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: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    My Leslies has it stocked all the time. They use a Taylor 2006 to test water at the one near me. YMMV.
    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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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Thanks! You just saved me because the DPD Complete Kit is all they have in stock. I'll bypass them! Thanks again!
    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    My Leslies has it stocked all the time. They use a Taylor 2006 to test water at the one near me. YMMV.

    If you go to Leslies web site...you can order what you need...but I would suggest kicking in a little donation here, and getting a discount on the grand-dad of all test kits...
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    To the OP,

    If it will make you feel better I had never owned a pool either. Came here asked questions and read pool school and used the pool calculator al lthe time, and I am able to test my water and balance it without the help of the pool stores. Sometimes once a month I will take it to the pool store and see what test results they get. Whatever they try to offer me, I just tell them I already have it. If their results and my results are close to the same all is well. If there is a major variance in results, I will go home and retest the particular test.

    Hope this help you.
    13,000 Plaster IG Pool approx
    Hayward C5030 Cart Filter
    Emerson 1081 EB653 1.0 HP 1.40 S.F. 3450 RPM
    Pool Calculator, Pool School, TF Test Kits

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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    I ordered the TF-100 tonight. My vac should be delivered Monday so I'm going to try and open next weekend. Thanks for all of your help. By the way, when can I put that solar cover on? Should I get the chemicals balanced first and then stick it on there? Also, my old pool guy told me to just leave the Polaris in the pool all the time and only take it out when we swam. Is that good advice or will it damage the unit?
    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Quote Originally Posted by todd.scallions
    I ordered the TF-100 tonight. My vac should be delivered Monday so I'm going to try and open next weekend. Thanks for all of your help. By the way, when can I put that solar cover on? Should I get the chemicals balanced first and then stick it on there? Also, my old pool guy told me to just leave the Polaris in the pool all the time and only take it out when we swam. Is that good advice or will it damage the unit?
    You've read the articles in "pool School", right? On your first question, yes it is that easy! The thing is that you have to keep up with the testing and adjusting; I test and adjust several times a day in the early season but by Memorial Day it's just once a day - 5-10 minutes at the most.

    Get used to brushing the pool each day and vacuuming it weekly. Keep the chlorine and CYA (stabilizer) under control and you'll keep the greenies (algae) away all season.

    Solar covers will help preventing evaporation cooling of the water as soon as you put it on. You can test, make adjustments, and add chemicals with the cover in place.

    Personally, I'd only put the Polaris in the water when you are letting it help you clean. I take mine out when I'm finished with it. It should last longer that way.

    Terry in NC
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    On the other hand.... I just leave my Polaris in all the time, and take it out when people go in. With the booster pump on a timer, that's really what makes the most sense. And the owner's manual clearly expects you to leave it in except when people are swimming.
    --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

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Yes, make sure the water is properly balanced and the FC is holding overnight before you begin to use the solar cover. Then once things are stable, you can leave the solar cover on whenever the pool is not in use (that's what i do)....or just use the solar cover at night to prevent evaporation and heat loss, if thats your preference.
    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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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    So I took the cover off the pool on Sunday to completely clear water! Got everything running and let it run for 24hrs before testing the water. Here are my results:

    FC: 4.0
    CC: 0.0
    TC: 4.0
    PH: 7.2
    TA: 70
    CYA: 90

    I wasn't going to add anything right now.... or should I?
    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Your FC is low for your CYA level. For a CYA level of 90, you should target about 10 ppm FC. You might want to try and get the CYA down to a more managable level by draining some of the water (say 1/3 at a time) and refilling. Keeping the Fc at 10 is going to be a bit difficult, but not impossible. It will be much easier if the CYA is down around 40-50 ppm.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Those numbers are fairly good and bk406's advice is good. Just be sure to raise FC up to at least 10 soon. Then you can take a little while thinking about lowering CYA (or not) without worrying about algae in the mean time.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    Just so I understand, why should I raise it to 10? I purchased the pool calculator for my iPhone and it says my goal should be 3.5
    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    You probably haven't entered your CYA level correctly yet. Given a CYA level of 90, you want to keep FC between 7 and 12.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    todd.scallions's Avatar
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    Re: Just So I'm Getting This Straight....

    So I don't leave the preset goals in place for all that stuff? How do I know what I should set my goals as?
    1.) 27,000 gallons
    2.) Sand Filter
    3.) In-ground
    4.) Vinyl Liner
    5.) 1HP/63GPM

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