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Thread: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

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    ColdAirGuy's Avatar
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    New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    I'm a total rookie with pools, the house I just bought has one that was a swamp.......I've gotten cleared up with chlorine, alot of algae still though.......

    My question is.......My water test kit, is it good enough? (See signature)

    Second is my filter too small? Rep at leslies said it's too small for that size of a pool........
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Welcome to TFP....you found the right place to get your pool clear. I'm not a DE filter expert, so I will defer that question to others. Your test kit although may be somewhat helpful, will not test for all the parameters you will need to monitor your water. I would recommend ordering the TF100 from TFtestkits.net or another alternate would be the Taylor k2006. We tend to think the TF100 is a much better value.

    A good kit should test for FC (up to 50ppm), CC, PH, TA, CYA, CH.

    Please read through pool school (buttom on upper right of the webpage) and you'll see many articles that will teach you the basics such as good testkits as well as the types of filters, how to clear a swamp...etc

    Hope this was helpful and feel free to post back with any specific Q's
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    I've been lurking for a couple of days and was thinking my kit was inadequate, but I guess I had to hear it from someone else! haha.

    I'm gonna order the TF100 right now, if i'm going to be asking people for help while I learn about water chemistry it might help that i'm on the "same page".
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Ahh...I wish they were all that easy

    Wise choice...No point in wasting $ on chems you don't need. As soon as you get the kit, post them up and we'll help you out. Also if you happen to use a SWG or plan to use borates, it would be a good time to buy salt test or borate test strips....but the test kit is the main key to knowing what's going on w/ your water.

    Also a good time to check out http://www.poolcalculator.com and familiarize yourself with how to use it...very helpful tool
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    I don't really know anything about salt water generation systems or borates etc.....haven't had enough time to read up on it.

    I'm still trying to learn all the abbreviations for the terms related to the chemistry. I have to admit, after leaving leslies I was terrified of all the product they were trying to push on me!

    I'm glad I found this site, i'm finally starting to relax.....just a little!
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    If you really want to keep your pool clean, I'd ditch that teeny filter (I'm not a DE guy either, for the record!). I like cartridge filters, specifically the Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 420 or the StaRite Mod Media 450. Both hold a lot more dirt than that DE filter (good chance you'll be "losing" paint also, which will chalk and end up in the filter). I think it would be money well spent if you could get one of those filters.

    Welcome to the 'page! Keep reading and learning and you'll be a Pool Pro in no time!

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Yeah there are very few stores left that don't try to sell vs saving the customer money.

    here is some help with the abreviations, from pool school

    FC - The stuff that sanitizes your water.

    CC - Combined Chloramines - The stuff that smells like chlorine and burns your eyes that you get rid of by shocking your pool...hmm the way most public pools smell

    TC - Total Chlorine = FC+CC

    PH - Potential of Hydrogen - A measure of how acidic or basic (alkaline) a solution is. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, anything above 7 is basic and anything below is acidic. Pools are usually kept at a pH from 7.2 to 7.8. pH in pools is tested with the indicator phenol red.

    TA - Total Alkalinity - TA is sometimes called carbonate hardness or kH. It has nothing to do with water hardness. This is a measure of the carbonates and bicarbonates in your water that help keep your pH from swinging up and down. It is tested with a titration (drop counting) test that has a distinct color change from green to red or from blue to light yellow, depending on your test kit.

    CH - Calcium Hardness -This is the amount of calcium in your water and is most important if you have a plaster pool (marcite, exposed aggregate, quartz, etc.). It is not as important in vinyl pools. In fiberglass pools it helps prevent staining and cobalt spotting. Too high a calcium level can lead to scaling and cloudy water, too low can damage plaster surfaces. The recommended range is between 200-400 ppm for both plaster and fiberglass. It really is not an issue for vinyl pools unless it is very high. Anything above about 130 ppm is probably ok for vinyl and above 200 ppm for fiberglass. If there is a warranty on your pool or liner that specifies a calcium level then follow that to keep your warranty! It is tested with a titration (drop count) test that changes color from pink to blue.

    CYA - Cyanuric Acid - Sometimes called stabilizer or conditioner, it helps protect the chlorine from 'burning off' in direct sunlight. Too little and most of your chlorine can be lost in about 30 minutes of direct sun. Too much and it interferes with your chlorine's ability to sanitizer and kill algae. Recommended range is 30-50 ppm unless you have a salt water chlorine generator, then the recommended range is somewhere between 50-100 ppm depending on the manufacturer of your unit.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Bottom Line......... Filter size, and type depends, largely on what goes in to your pool and how much, and the micron size filtering you need. You pump and filter are sized well together. See below..... I finally bit the bullet and just put in a very big filter and variable flow pump. In my circumstance I need the fine filter that a DE filter using cellulose provides. My best friend need a new filter so I'm advocating a sand filter to replace her DE filter. She doesn't need the finer filtration and sand will be easy for her to maintain.

    Your filter should be OK with a 1 HP pump. I used my 2.23 SFHP (service factor of pump multiplied times the HP) pump with a 36 sq ft DE filter for 24 years and the same set up 5 years before we purchased the house. The big pump was over-sized or the filter was undersized (which ever way you want to look at it) and I don't think there was too much above normal stress on the filter as far as having to replace grids and/or manifold as nothing ever "blew up" but I'm sure the efficiency factor for the whole system was reduced because of the setup.

    My big pump was sending water through the filter really fast, probably reducing the efficiency of the filter. For all of those years I had to backwash weekly because of the extremely fine chalk and clay powder that goes into my pool helped a lot by lots of wind. After I started using cellulose for filter media I had to start backwashing even more frequently because of the finer filtering by cellulose.

    The high pressure from the pump probably packed the filter media more to the grids so backwashing took a lot of water for a long time to get most of it cleared out.

    But, you have a pump better sized to your filter and I'll bet you don't have nearly as much powder entering into your pool.

    I got by for 24 years with a 36 sq ft filter, an over-sized pump, and more stuff going into my water in a week than most people see the whole season.

    So I think you are just fine with your filter. I certainly wouldn't replace a working filter without using it for a season so you can gauge yourself. In a few months you will be very acquainted with your pool and system.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Wow.....thank you guys for the info and tips already.

    I definately believe time with this equipment will teach me the pros and cons of my set-up. I do have a "friend of a friend" who gave me the water test kit I presently have.......

    he mentioned something about the painted pools being "chalky" after only a few years of painting and said it may cause my filter to clog up faster and may begin to look cloudy after a day of people using the pool because of it.

    He also said my pool has a "Deathlight"........I guess it's an old style light where the Junction box cover is about a foot away from the coping, which says "Anthony Pools" on it BTW, and i'm guessing can become a shock hazard because of the proximity.
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    So I think you are just fine with your filter. I certainly wouldn't replace a working filter without using it for a season so you can gauge yourself. In a few months you will be very acquainted with your pool and system.
    I second that very good advice. Your decision to keep that filter or get a new one will be apparent to you after you learn the ins and outs of this one.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    You have a "deck J-Box", which no longer passes code, and is unsafe. The current code is that the J-Box needs to be a minimum of 10' from the pool and 8" higher than water elevation (I am in your area, and am pretty familiar with this ). Please be very careful with that, and get it addressed as soon as you can!

    Anthony is no longer in business, but built a great pool! Even though it may be older (and painted!), chances are you have "good bones"! Congrats!!

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    I'm thinking about just disconnecting the light for now as I don't want to fry my family. He was suggesting installing a GFI for it, but i'm still not cool with the idea of that thing being used while were in the pool.

    I'll probably just go ahead and cut the power to that light and when I Eventually re-plaster/coping/tile/deck the Pool i'll have that box moved, like you said it's an old pool, '50s.
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Okay, i'm a little excited and nervous at the same time....my TF100 test kit will be delivered today (just tracked) and while my pool looks clear I do have some algae on the walls that I can't seem to get off with the brush.
    I'm most nervous about the CYA levels because i've used up about 10 triclor pucks in the floater since I moved in, not knowing what CYA even was.
    I'm anxious to get this BBB method working for me as i've tried to get other family members with pools to look into it but laugh at me like i'm an idiot, while I listed to them harp on about how much chlorine their pools seem to be sucking up this year for some reason! HA

    I'll post my numbers later and will keep reading through the Pool School page to sort out the jumbled definitions etc. in my head.
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    CAG,

    We promise....you will have the last laugh!

    Many choose not to learn and it will be futile trying to convert them. That's fine.

    You will enjoy quiet satisfaction with your pristine sparkling pool water.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    ColdAirGuy's Avatar
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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Okay, received my TFTestkit today and I have to say this is a really nicely put together kit with easy to follow directions....here are my first results:

    TC (Taylor that is in kit) 1ppm
    PH 7.4
    FC 1.5ppm
    CC .5
    which would equal (TC 2ppm?)
    TA 110
    CH 300
    CYA 20

    Now I need some clarification with the TC.....I used the Taylor kit in the TFTestkit to determine Total Chlorine which gave me 1ppm and then when I did the Chlorine drop test My free chlorine and combined equaled 2.

    Also i've been using tricholr pucks since i've moved in and am kinda surprised with the low CYA......this was my first testing and will test again in the morning to verify my results.

    Any recomendations with what i'm showing so far?

    Thanks
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ColdAirGuy
    Okay, received my TFTestkit today and I have to say this is a really nicely put together kit with easy to follow directions....here are my first results:

    TC (Taylor that is in kit) 1ppm
    PH 7.4
    FC 1.5ppm
    CC .5
    which would equal (TC 2ppm?)
    TA 110
    CH 300
    CYA 20

    Now I need some clarification with the TC.....I used the Taylor kit in the TFTestkit to determine Total Chlorine which gave me 1ppm and then when I did the Chlorine drop test My free chlorine and combined equaled 2.

    Also i've been using tricholr pucks since i've moved in and am kinda surprised with the low CYA......this was my first testing and will test again in the morning to verify my results.

    Any recomendations with what i'm showing so far?

    Thanks
    The color matching test should read the same as the powder & drops, but it's somewhat subjective. If you're testing with the powder, don't waste time with the color block. The powder is more accurate.

    Recommendation: boost the CYA. Remember it will take a week or so to show up on the test. So don't waste a lot of reagent testing it too soon. Keep watching pH. It's sure to rise. When it does, drive it down to 7.2 or so with Muriatic Acid. TA will go down as a result, which you can speed up by aeration. Search it on the bottom of the page if you need clarification.

    CH is also going to rise, unless you're filling the pool with water from a softener. Don't get excited - just watch the CSI on the Pool Calculator.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    How do I boost the CYA.....I'm wondering if I should keep floating the trichlor tabs to bring it up?

    I still have some algae on the walls that I need to get off..............I guess it's hard to do the FC overnight test with those pucks floating around correct?
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    You can leave the tablets in the floater to bring the CYA up but realize it's going to be slow. If you still have algae you need to shock. You're right, you can't perform the overnight test with anything adding chlorine to the water.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    I'm a little late to the party but I also have a 36 sq.ft. DE filter for a pool not much smaller than yours. Might not be what I would've bought myself, but it works fine.

    Ditto Bama's remarks.
    --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
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    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: New Home/Pool Owner who needs basic advice

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    I'm a little late to the party but I also have a 36 sq.ft. DE filter for a pool not much smaller than yours. Might not be what I would've bought myself, but it works fine.

    Ditto Bama's remarks.
    --paulr
    I've actually been able to get my pool clear by cleaning the Grids really well and increasing the amount of D.E. in the filter......I actually also purchased an inline "leaf catcher" for the Baracuda G3 which has REALLY helped.

    Being a Pool newbie.....I just didn't know what was involved with clearing up a pool with so much debris and algae in it. I was forced to take apart that filter every day for two weeks and wash the grids by hand because I don't yet have the ability to backwash it yet as it was never plumbed for it.

    Now that the pool is clean and clear I haven't had to take that filter apart in two weeks, pressure is still fine, pool is clear now, still some remaining algae. I need to read up on how to shock it and figure out the pool calculator.
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
    Pentair Intelliflo, FNS Plus 60sf. DE, Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    TF100 Testkit

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