1st pool all kinds of questions!

coldjustin

Active member
Jul 25, 2017
39
Morristown, TN
Had our pool for 3 weeks and we are kinda overwhelmed. It's great having it right off the house but I'm concerned about sooooooo many things. I built a 12x25 deck that drops down 25" off another deck. The pool was "professionally" installed. 27' round 52" side wall height. Bought the work free package to supposedly make upkeep easier. The pool is a Heritage. I'm concerned the deck posts are too close to the pool and that something will settle and the pool and the deck will be against each other. My Ph likes to keep rising which seems common in the heat we've had. Concerned I have a leak. And worried my ladder is gonna eventually rub a hole in the liner. So many questions and concerns and the installer really is a great guy but I worry he's a bit biased with his answers. I'm realizing quickly every trip to the pool store costs me a minimum of $50 worth of chemicals even though my pool is crystal clear. I built the deck however I haven't back filled yet. The installer says backfilling isnt necessary. They dug one side down 24" to level for the pool. I'm concerned water will run under the pool because of this. Pictures in my profile if everything uploaded correctly. We are happy with the way it looks but concerned about how lomg everything will last. We spent a good amount of money and wanna see 15 years or so out of this pool. Glad to have a forum to turn to with all my concerns as we are clueless!20170719_203647.jpg
 
Last edited:

BattleOfYakima

TFP Guide
Apr 15, 2016
1,682
Central Florida
Welcome to TFP! We've got lots of AG Vinyl experts, but I'm not one of them, so I'll answer your other questions first:

Bought the work free package to supposedly make upkeep easier.
I see you have "frog system" in your signature (thanks for filling out your signature!)
We do not suggest the frog system, for reasons explained here and here and here and other threads too. This is not an emergency at all, but if you can still return it, that is probably best. If not, that's okay, just don't refill it until we get a full test result posted from you and see where your levels are. It can stay hooked up once it is empty without hurting anything.

If you want your pool to be less manual effort, a SWG something to read about here. There are other options, ask if interested.

My Ph likes to keep rising which seems common in the heat we've had.
ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry explains what causes PH to rise in the PH section. Any PH between 7.2-7.8 is wonderful. Once it gets to the highest value on your test kit (8 or 8.2) then it is time to lower it, perhaps with Muriatic Acid or another recommended pool chemical.

Concerned I have a leak.
Do a bucket test for leak detection as described here, but attach to ladder since you don't have stairs.

I'm realizing quickly every trip to the pool store costs me a minimum of $50 worth of chemicals even though my pool is crystal clear.
A one time investment in a TF-100 test kit will let us help you spend as little as humanly possible on your pool. One time investment of about what you're spending each trip... great value! There are other test kits, like the K2006C, but for a new pool owner, the TF-100 was designed for you to do TFP as cheap as possible and not run out as fast as K2006 or K2006C. Comparison chart here.

We are happy with the way it looks but concerned about how lomg everything will last. We spent a good amount of money and wanna see 15 years or so out of this pool. Glad to have a forum to turn to with all my concerns as we are clueless!
Test kit + Pool School + this thread + our help = Trouble Free Pool For As Little Time and Money as Possible and Best Chances at long lasting crystal clear pool and max liner life!
 

coldjustin

Active member
Jul 25, 2017
39
Morristown, TN
I will be ordering a test kit for sure. 3 different pool stores. 3 different test results. The normal from what I've been reading up on. I do like the idea of the frog system and it sort of automating the chlorine etc. Maybe I can run it for the duration of this Summer? Then switch to a recommended chemical system. My wife likes the idea of not having a chlorine tablet thingy floating around the pool. I will be placing the order for the test kit this evening and will post results asap. Is there a store bought kit that i can pick up locally? I worry that not monitoring my Ph will cause cloudiness while waiting on the test kit to arrive. I'm really concerned about the backfilling process and with how close my deck posts are to the pool. They are 36" in the holes filled with concrete. Not like I'm gonna be moving them but it's something i wish i would have looked into further before building the deck. I was just tired of the trash and dirt being carried in from the yard. I appreciate anyones advice on the backfilling and I'd love to hear some input on the deck posts. I think i have a picture of the frame work before the deck was complete so I'll try to upload those.20170711_211652.jpg
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,111
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome!!

Battle gave you a great run down.

Do any of your children or others using the pool have blonde hair? If it turns green that is the Frog. Also monitor your CYA, it is adding that too ---

Take care.
 

coldjustin

Active member
Jul 25, 2017
39
Morristown, TN
20170711_123227.jpg

- - - Updated - - -

So for no green hair. It adds some sort of minerals but I'm not 100% sure of what. The copper tests a little higher than it should but I'm guessing thats from the minerals.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,111
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Frog adds copper. They call it minerals to make you feel good.

Quit using as soon as you can. You must drain your pool to rid it of the copper. The copper will stain your liner too if it gets high enough.

Take care.
 

coldjustin

Active member
Jul 25, 2017
39
Morristown, TN
No way of testing CYA till I get a good test kit. The last pool store test showed it was good but im not sure of the reading. Ill find that last paper with the results and report back.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,111
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I second Battle's suggestion on getting a test kit ASAP. I use the TF100 from TFTestkits.net. Designed for the residential pool owner.

Take care.
 

BattleOfYakima

TFP Guide
Apr 15, 2016
1,682
Central Florida
*might* be available locally are Taylor K2006 (also sold as Leslie's 81329) or the more expensive and better value K2006C. Neither offers the value and # of tests for the money that the TF-100 does, but hey, 2nd and 3rd best is still pretty good. If you do go on the local hunt instead of ordering online, be sure to check the expiration dates on the bottles inside the kit. They should be 1-2 years out from time of purchase or you'd be better off paying expedited shipping from TFTkits or Amazon Smile.

You could always buy a PH test locally for under $10 potentially, but again, I'd rather apply that to expedited shipping personally. Hmm, any neighbors have a pool? Pool owners stick together and might jump at the chance to test your water for you/let you test it if you visit them with sample in hand! Water sample in one hand, cold beverage in the other = sure, come on in!

As far as the frog goes - you can totally use up what you've bought as long as you understand and accept the risks: blonde hair go green, liner staining, etc. If it gets to that point, draining up to all but a foot would be advisable and refilling. You might have no issues or you might have issues tomorrow - don't know the levels so couldn't tell ya. Some people have used them for months without issue, but I never thought to check if they were people who had to backwash or not. Cartridges probably don't get as much time since we don't lose a lot of water/get rid of the copper.



I invited a couple of above ground people to this thread to answer remaining questions. Hang in there, ask any other questions you have.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,394
Quaker Hill, CT
Ditch the frog it's only going to cost you money and be the underlying cause of issues down the road.

On the other hand your deck looks very nice. I wouldn't worry too much about it settling or shifting towards the pool. If all those posts are cemented into the ground below the frost line its not going to go any where. If the deck feels wobbly when you are running and jumping on it add diagonal bracing. Did you have other reasons to be concerned about the deck and pool hitting each other? There are some pictures of how I framed my deck in the link in my signature.

As for the back fill it looks like from the pictures they gave you a nice tapered slope away from the pool. if you really want to put all the dirt back in go for it. Another option would be to cover it in landscape fabric and a layer of gravel to hold the fabric down which should keep most of the erosion at bay under the deck.
 

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coldjustin

Active member
Jul 25, 2017
39
Morristown, TN
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm pretty sure the frost line is 18" here and I'm well below that with my posts. The deck feels very solid so no concern there. A total of 17 posts supporting the new deck. The pressure treated lumber drying out and twisting is a bummer but nothing is gonna stop that. I was only concerned that the pool being so new it might move towards the deck over time. I tried to leave a little wiggle room just in case. As far as back filling the slope is actually towards the pool. Not a huge slope by any means but we do occasionally have some drainage issues where the pool was placed. It might happen 1-2 times a year. I also have a good amount of dirt to get rid of from the excavation for the pool. Id like to install a french drain. It might be huge overkill but I'd 10 times rather overkill and be safe than to have errosion issues. My concern there is will it hurt to throw dirt against my pool wall? 2 feet high tapering to hardly anything on the lowest part. Another concern is that the bottom of my pool is nowhere near smooth. It can be felt when in the pool and even seen after dark with the pool light on. The installer says this is completely normal with a brand new pool and that after a liner has to be replaced then it will be much smoother. As far as the frog system goes me and the Mrs had a long discussion about it yesterday. After trying and trying to explain to her the problems with the frog we compromised and unfortunately we will be running the frog untill problems arise. I know its gonna cost more money and lead to issues. She buys all the chemicals for the pool. I pleaded my case. Lessons learned arent cheap but i guess itll take some time for her to come around on the concepts of BBB. I really do appreciate all of the advice you guys have given.
 

coldjustin

Active member
Jul 25, 2017
39
Morristown, TN
Oh and I almost forgot. Test kit will be delivered within 5 days. All I can really accurately monitor for now is Ph. The pool came with a liquid test kit but it seems pretty unreliable. Only measures Ph and chlorine. And it doesnt measure free chlorine etc.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,394
Quaker Hill, CT
When you have too much copper in your water from the frog it will mean a drain and refill of the pool to get the copper out of the pool. Also have you looked at the cost one of those replacement frog cartridges? Seems like a lot of extra money compared to the liquid chlorine which is costing me 13 dollars a month... but yea sometimes its best to let things be. You've got a good test kit coming. If you use that and compare your results to the levels we recommend you will see for yourself what the frog is and isn't doing.

Don't backfill against your pool unless you know for sure the manufacturer of the pool says its ok for the pool frame.

You do want to do something about covering the bare dirt to control erosion around the pool tho. Under the deck where people climb in and out and under the skimmer will see a lot of water from the pool. Its up to you how you want it to look aesthetically.

Liners will have bumps and wrinkles in the floor not a whole lot you can do about it short of draining out the pool. Lights in the pool are very good at showing every little imperfection thanks to the shadows they make. I can see every little divot in my liner from the second story of my house.
 

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coldjustin

Active member
Jul 25, 2017
39
Morristown, TN
She just bought the first torpedo bac pac. $27. Lasted 3 weeks. I agree fully with everything being said about the frog system. Can't convince my wife of it though. So I'll do as she tells me until we run into problems and then I get to say i told you so and do it different. I wish it wasn't this way but she's the boss. Even showing her the different test results from 3 pool stores of the exact container of water didn't change her mind. Again it may be expensive and cause me alot of work but I'm not gonna argue with her over it. My plan is to lay some sort of protection against the pool wall before putting some dirt back in and sloping things away from the pool. Topping the dirt with decorative gravel. Would standard rolls of plastic be enough against the pool wall before the dirt or is there something better to use? I'm gonna call the salesman and ask him about backfilling against the pool to confirm it's ok.
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
Once you get the good kit, post your readings and we'll let you know what is going on. You can use the Frog, just keep some liquid Chlorine on hand so that as your CYA rises you can supplement up to the proper FC level for the CYA. When the liner starts turning funky colors from the copper, we'll be here to help you learn how to fix that too.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,111
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Any of your neighbor kids have blonde hair and going to swim in the pool? Once the copper hits that level you might hear from their parents -- and be ready that they will try to blame 'chlorine' for the green hair. You will know it is the copper you have been adding.

Take care.
 

jeffchap

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
1,760
Edmond OK
I wonder if this is why they call it the "Frog" system?

kermitthefrog2.jpg
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,814
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
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SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
You've got a great looking setup there!

Forgive me if I'm incorrect on this, but I did want to address one potential safety concern on your deck. In the one shot, the beams are attached to the posts with two screws or nails each. This is insufficient if you have no other support (i.e. lag bolts, bracket underneath, notched beams to sit them on, etc.). I'm quite sure that would not be to code. Again, not being critical, just coming from a safety perspective. The beams themselves are fine as is the layout from what you show (a new smelling wood deck is awesome!), just the attachment of the beams. I certainly understand you may have temporarily attached them with a gun and followed up later with a stronger attachment.

I also don't see joist hangers, though the picture has shadows at the joint ends. Again - my apologies in advance if it's all good but just not visible.
 

BattleOfYakima

TFP Guide
Apr 15, 2016
1,682
Central Florida
So we're using the frog until symptoms begin. Okay, you can live with that, moving on; no more selling her until you have new evidence (like green hair or liner issues).

When you have a moment, go ahead and add the test kit you purchased to your signature.

If you purchased a K2006, K2006C, or TF-100, they are all very similar in testing protocols. If you wish, you can watch videos, read instructions, and read extended directions and clarifications.

I suggest buying 3 jugs of fresh bleach to have on hand. store cool, dark place.
 

Griswald

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2014
761
Hope Mills, NC
I wouldnt put dirt up to the pool walls. Leave a 24" wide flat area so that you can walk around and do normal pool-like maintanance or attaching the winter cover or whatever. On my above ground, I had a gravel path around the pool.
 

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