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Thread: Are we on the right track??

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    Are we on the right track??

    Hi! New to the board and semi-new to pool ownership. We bought a house in late December that has an above ground pool. I am guessing it was not closed properly. I do know that it had a tarp over the top that had a hole in it.

    When we lifted the tarp, it was swampy, but we could see the bottom. About two hours after exposure to light, no more bottom . I skimmed all of the surface debris off and we started treating the pool.

    We started by using shock. It's had about 10-15 bags of shock put in it (the pool is approx. 12,000 gallons), several boxes of Borax to raise PH, some baking soda and just now my husband added some (only about a pound) of stabilizer. He also added an additional box of Borax about 45 minutes ago.

    Our current numbers:

    FC: 10
    PH: 6.4
    Alkalinity: 80
    CYA: 0

    I'm surprised by the CYA #, since it's had shock (doesn't that raise that #?). We are 48 hours into the opening.

    We had to add quite a bit of water to the pool (probably the top 18+ inches). We are running the filter (sand) 24 hours a day and backwashing about every 2-3 hours.

    We've gone from a very swampy, dark green color to a cloudy, blue. Are we on the right track? Where to go from here? How do we clear up the cloudiness?

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    Re: Are we on the right track??

    I would increase the ph to at least 7.0 with borax.

    Check the shock package it was likely Cal-hypo, which would raise your hardness.

    You have the algea on the run, continue to shock brush/backwash it will clear. The amount of time this takes will depend on how close you maintain your shock level.

    I would consider buying a good test kit like the tf-100 , Its hard to maintain water balance without all the facts.
    coloeb,
    20k gal. IG fiberglass/plaster rectangle 32'x16'
    Hayward Superpump 3/4 H.P. primary Hayward model 5060 Booster Pump
    Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter
    Pentair Model 320 automatic Chlorine/bromine in-line feeder

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Are we on the right track??

    The only way the shock bags would raise the CYA is if the shock product was Dichlor. Do you know what the active ingredient is?
    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: Are we on the right track??

    What pH test gave you an answer of 6.4? Most pool-water pH tests only go down to 6.8.
    --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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    Re: Are we on the right track??

    I don't think the CYA shows up on a test right away -- wait a week to test it. My understanding is to figure out what you've added via the calculator and assume that is your CYA until it is time to test it and confirm. I am a total newbie, so wait for others to chime in, but it might help them if you could tell them more about your pool -- 12,000 gallons, but what surface (vinyl, etc), what climate, what equipment, etc. Good luck - - I know these guys can help you get it sparkly!
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Are we on the right track??

    I'll try to answer the questions .

    We've used HTH Super Shock and Shock n Swim both. http://www.archchemicals.com/Fed/HTH...ucts/shock.htm. It says is chlorine and "other ingredients".

    I know what you all will say about the tester. Hubs bought the six-way HTH strips and hasn't been convinced to buy a different system. I'm working on him. The lowest reading on the strip is 6.4.

    He's dumped another box of Borax in and the ph level hasn't changed.

    The pool has a vinyl liner and a Hayward (I think that's the name) 60gpm sand pump/filter. We live in NE Kansas in a rural area. It was a much harsher than usual winter here, though I don't know if that does anything to the pool (it broke out hot tub ).

    Also, I can now see three large shadows at the bottom, which I assume are leaves, etc.... In fact, leaves keep floating up from the floor of the pool. When should I vacuum those?

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Are we on the right track??

    As far as I can tell, both of those "shock" products are calcium hypochlorite (cal-hypo), which contribute to hardness but not CYA. You would need to add real CYA.

    Each box of borax ought to raise pH by about 0.7 in a 12,000 gallon pool; if you see no change, then obviously the test strips are worthless. If hubby wants to dig in his heels about a top-end test kit, your HTH supplier ought to have a 6-way kit that uses drops to turn a sample different colors, which would be a huge improvement over the strips. Seems to me I've heard Walmart sells this for around $20 so it would not break the bank either.

    Oh, and get the leaves out as soon as you reasonably can, it can only help.
    --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

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Are we on the right track??

    Today's numbers (day 5)
    Hardness: 400
    FC: 2
    PH: 7.2
    Alk: 180
    CYA: 30-50

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Are we on the right track??

    Quote Originally Posted by mllogbeck
    Today's numbers (day 5)
    Hardness: 400
    FC: 2
    PH: 7.2
    Alk: 180
    CYA: 30-50
    Yeah, I'd say that shock was Calcium Hypochlorite....

    How's it look? You may still have high Combined Chlorine if there's a bunch of debris in the pool. Don't you have a birthday, or anniversary, or something coming up so you can ask for a TF100? How about getting one for him for Father's Day?
    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!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Are we on the right track??

    It looks blue, but still cloudy. I can easily see the debris on the bottom of the pool that needs to be vacuumed (which I am planning on doing this evening).

    I'm going to just go get a better kit. Should I order one and wait, or would I be better served to just go buy one in town since we are already neck deep into the opening. I'd REALLY like to be able to use it this weekend! Our Walmart has the HTH 6-way and there are a couple of pool stores nearby. I also thought about taking a sample to one of them, but know they'll only try to sell me a bunch of chemicals!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Are we on the right track??

    Order one and wait. A good kit gives you a TA reading.

    TA (Total Alkalinity) affects how fast your pH gets adjusted. (I recently learned about all that.)
    You can raise pH by aerating. I did this by pointing my return 'eye' up, so that it bubbled. If your TA is high, it can be hard to move pH. (Seems as tho you are tho.)
    Borax is a quick way to raise pH, but it also raises TA.
    13,500 Wilkes Vinyl AG (15'x30' rectangular)
    Hayward Power-Flo LX SP1580, 1HP
    Hayward S-160T High Rate Sand Filter

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