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Thread: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

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    Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    I just ordered my TF-100 Test Kit so I'm not sure what my readings are yet, but I've been getting my water tested at a pool store. I was told my PH and Chlorine levels are fine, and that my Conditioner was over a 100 so everything was good to go. My water is clear so I trusted that everything was ok so I kept adding Trichlor tablets via floater not knowing what exactly they were doing to my CYA levels. Now that I know better I've stopped using the dreaded tablets and switched to Liquid Chlorine from the pool store (planning on switching to BBB ASAP). So I had my water tested again at the pool store, and I got the same results PH and Chlorine levels are good and condition is over 100. So I asked shouldn't I do at least a partial drain to bring down my CYA level? Instead of getting a yes response I was told that since it gets so hot and sunny here in Southern California they recommend keeping Conditioner levels above 100. But everything I've read here suggests I should bring my CYA level down. I know the previous owner of the house used Trichlor tablets, and I've been using them for about 6 months now so I can only imagine how high the CYA levels are right now. At this point should I start a partial drain? If so what's the best way to start draining? I have what I think is about a 25,000 Gal. in ground paster pool with a cartridge filter. I've read about people backwashing and draining/vaccumming to waste, Etc. to do partial drains, but since I have a cartridge filter I'm not sure how to drain water. I have a drain at the bottom of the deep end of the pool and one skimmer drain, but the control panel only has an option to drain the spa? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    23K Gallons • IG • Plaster • Cartridge Filter • Solar Heating • TF100 Test Kit • Attached Spa w/ Spillover

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    Do you have a waste option on your plumbing anywhere? If you could add a signature to your account listing your type of pool, capacity in gallons, pump size, and filter brand, type, and size it would be helpful. Also if you can take a picture of your equipment pad showing the the plumbing and valves that would help us figure out the best way for you to drain some water. Most cartridge filters have about a 1/2" drain plug near the base, but that would take forever to use to drain the pool!
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    How does your water look? If your water is in good shape, I suggest just keeping some liquid chlorine in the pool until you get your own kit and do your own testing to confirm that high CYA.

    If it is that high, partial draining is a great idea and almost necessary (IMO) but another few days to confirm that high level shouldn't hurt anything.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    Take a look at the equipment pad and see if there is a hose bib somewhere near the pump for the filter. when the filter is running you can take water from there, if you have that.

    You pool is just a bit bigger than mine. I put a large jug of bleach in every other day, and so if you add a big jug and a quart that might be about right to keep you covered for 2ppm loss a day plus some, not a problem to be a bit over at that CYA level. Just a guess, and it may be low but it wont' be long until your kit arrives.

    The reason for the wait before draining is that when water is pricey, you are better off doing it once than having to do it more than once. That is, on the second draining you are getting rid of some of the water you just put in.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    Thank you all for the replies. Received my TF-100 Test Kit and confirmed CYA well over 100. I'd say about 1/2 the way up before it reaches the 100 mark. Checked Calcium Hardness and stopped after 40 drops of absolutely no color change. So I'm thinking a partial drain of 50% to being with? As advised by duraleigh I've been adding bleach (probably over doing it) since I don't want a green pool. My water is actually clear and sparkling. So I did find the drain plug on the filter and I also found the hose bib which oddly comes out of the heater. Is that the correct hose bib? If so should I connect a hose to the hose bib, turn it on then turn the pump on to drain water? How long would that take to drain about 50% of my pool? Can I let the water drain down my driveway to the sewer at the end of the curb? Thanks again!

    Test Results thus far (probably not fully accurate):
    PH - 7.5
    TA - 150
    FC - 20 (been adding bleach like a paranoid madman)
    CC - 20
    CH - 400+
    CYA 100+

    From everything I've been reading, since my CYA is so high is it correct to think that with a FC level of 20 it is okay for my kids to swim in still? (Can't start draining til next week and it's going to be 90+ degrees here in CA over the weekend)
    Thank You everyone.
    23K Gallons • IG • Plaster • Cartridge Filter • Solar Heating • TF100 Test Kit • Attached Spa w/ Spillover

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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    Yes. Go swimming. The very high CYA "inhibits" the FC so it is fine to swim.

    I would suggest keeping your FC around 15ppm until you can drain. The hose bib sounds like it will work...try it.

    When the pool water level goes below the skimmers, you will have to shut them off and draw water from the main drain only.

    not more than 50% drain sounds very good....you'll probably have to do it twice.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    Ok I cannot get my main drain to drain. I tried moving both valves in opposite directions from their original positions but the main drain does nothing. Both valves appear to only change circulation to either pool only, or pool and spa, or spa only. I'm assuming the main drain is plugged? Can I attach my hose to the skimmer drain and attach the other end of the hose to the vaccumm head in the deep end of the pool and continue to drain using the skimmer drain and hose bib?
    23K Gallons • IG • Plaster • Cartridge Filter • Solar Heating • TF100 Test Kit • Attached Spa w/ Spillover

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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    Just looked at your testing results from Sat. Are you sure CC is 20ppm????? Or, did you mean TC? TC = FC + CC.

    If you try and use your vacuum hose and skimmer to drain below the skimmer, you will probably air bind the pump.
    13,000 gal AGP, Hayward X-Stream 100 sq ft cartridge, 1 HP Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump, all on two 6-hour on cycles per day. Baquacil to BBB convert.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    I bet your main drain is plumbed through your skimmer. Search for Richard320's post on his main drain and you'll see how they are set up and what to do to improve the situation.

    If your vac hose plugs directly into the bottom of the skimmer you might be able to get a good enough seal to drain the pool throuhg it. If you use a vacuum plate in the skimmer. Most of the time they won't seal good enough to allow you to get the water level very low before they suck enough air in to cause the pump to lose prime.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    It is possible to drain using just your vacuum hose plugged into the skimmer and the vacuum at the bottom of the pool, it is the way I have to do things as mine has no bottom drain, just make sure you can do it while it is supervised in case the hose pulls loose and you loose prime on your pump.

    Ike
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    Another option is a Reverse Osmosis (R.O.) service. This will remove the CYA (along with just about everything else) from the water without wasting it. Depending on the price of water in your area it may be cost effective as well as more environmentally appealing.

    One of our members, simicrintz, does this, but I think he is in the San Diego area.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    I had the same sky-high CYA problem and my main drain has a waste basket which cannot maintain vacuum once the water level falls below the basket.

    When I was pumping down as the water level got below the level of the skimmers I shut off the main drain and second skimmer valves. I was able to continue getting a decent seal one one skimmer by sticking the water hose into the skimmer and letting it run just enough to make a seal with the vacuum hose while I was pumping water out.

    Kevin
    17,500 IG Plaster, 15 tons moss rock waterfall, raised spa
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    Re: Noob w/ Dreaded Pucks

    Yeah sorry that was a typo the TC=20 and yes it appears the main drain is plumbed into the skimmer. I decided to just drain down to the skimmer each night and bring the CH and CYA down slowly. I'll post my readings as I drain and refill. This site and contributors are invaluable to any pool owner trying to learn and maintain their own pool. Thank You all so very much!
    23K Gallons • IG • Plaster • Cartridge Filter • Solar Heating • TF100 Test Kit • Attached Spa w/ Spillover

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