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Thread: New underground pool owner needing help

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    New underground pool owner needing help

    Hello all. My wife and family purchased a home last year with an underground pool. The pool size is 33 x 16 with an 8 foot well in the deep in with diving board, and it slopes up to a 3 foot end I believe. We moved in around late October and I have no prior experience with pools. We hired a professional to close the system down last year and the same people to reopen it this year. Everything was going well with my dipstick type test kit (free chlorine, total chlorine, ph, and alkalinity) except for the free chlorine was stubborn in coming up.

    I purchased some shock from the local pool supply company and all was much better but not up to par for FC yet. So being the noob that I am, I cranked the chlorinator up to 4 when it was running fine on 1.5. I thought this would fix my problem, but it only created more problems. I took a sample into the pool supply for verification because I couldn't get any readings with my test strips. He informed me that my chlorine is through the roof and I have no alkalinity or ph. He sold me 3 pounds (a bucket full) of alkalinity increaser. He calculated out that I have around 21,000 gallons of water. He said to dump it all in the pool, and that I should see a result in 30 minutes. It appears to have raised, but i'm just lost because not enough I guess.

    Also, he sold me some ph increaser. He said to add it directly to the skimmer where the water intakes in on the side of the pool. I figured out so far I should add about 24 ounces of this, but I haven't done so yet.

    I don't have any #'s right now, sorry i'm back at work, and this was on my lunch hour. The chemicals cost me $52 bucks, and I don't want to spend more because i'm dumb when it comes to water. Anyway, i'm thinking of buying that TF100 kit. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    James

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Start here:

    BBB for Beginners

    What to test for and what the tests mean

    ABCs of pool water chemistry

    It isn't complicated, it's just a bunch of new information at once. When asking questions, we're going to need your test results. Free Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity and Stabilizer(CYA) are the important ones to start with.

    Welcome to the forum!
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    dba72,

    As you surmised, you are going to need a decent test kit. The TF-100 kit is great, but the Taylor K2006 and the Leslie's DPD/FAS test kit are good also. I believe the TF-100 kit includes more reagent, so you get more bang for your buck. The dipstick tests just are not accurate enough to maintain your pool chemistry.

    If you can't get the test kits soon, then I would take a sample of your pool water to the local pool store to get tested. Maybe even get the water tested at two pool stores. DO NOT buy anything from the pool store when you take your water in to get tested. DO NOT add anything more to your pool until you are able to post complete test results here at the message board.

    How does your water look? Clear and sparkling? Green? Cloudy?

    Good luck. We'll be looking forward to your test results.

    Titanium
    24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft) with 350 gallon attached spill-over spa
    2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
    1983 Laars XE Pool/Spa Heater Type ES 400,000 BTU, 1998 Hayward Super Star-Clear C-4000 cartridge filter (400 sq ft, 4 separate cartridges)
    1998 Polaris 380 pressure-side cleaner w/ 3/4 HP booster pump
    One skimmer :( and one PoolSkim :), One Supervision Galaxy LED pool lamp, Second story solar panels
    Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 (replaced 1983 vintage dual circuit Intermatic timer)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium
    dba72,

    As you surmised, you are going to need a decent test kit. The TF-100 kit is great, but the Taylor K2006 and the Leslie's DPD/FAS test kit are good also. I believe the TF-100 kit includes more reagent, so you get more bang for your buck. The dipstick tests just are not accurate enough to maintain your pool chemistry.

    If you can't get the test kits soon, then I would take a sample of your pool water to the local pool store to get tested. Maybe even get the water tested at two pool stores. DO NOT buy anything from the pool store when you take your water in to get tested. DO NOT add anything more to your pool until you are able to post complete test results here at the message board.

    How does your water look? Clear and sparkling? Green? Cloudy?

    Good luck. We'll be looking forward to your test results.

    Titanium
    Thanks for the 2 quick replies. I will begin reading when I get time here asap. The water looks clear and sparkling to me. I did take water in today after I tested it, and they freaked out on me and asked what I did. It made me feel dumb, but oh well. Anyway, that's when he sold me the chemicals. I haven't added anything besides the baking soda. Is there a cheaper place to get such chemicals? Why do you say don't buy from them when you take your water in? I will look at that Taylor and Leslie kit now.

    Also, I will take some pictures and post on here of the water and my equipment.

    Thanks.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Guest
    another thing, should i be aiming the 2 pool jet returns toward the surface of the water to raised the PH? someone told me that at the store. shouldn't the jets normally just be pointed straight or down? I have one jet in the 3ft shallow end on the 16 ft span and one jet in the deep 8ft end on the 33 ft span.
    thanks.

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    WOW, that's cool ...... I have never seen an underground pool. JK .......

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You can aim the returns up to the surface to raise the PH. Do you have any reason to need to raise the PH?

    Normally the returns should be aimed slightly down and to the side to get the water to circulate around the pool so the skimmers work correctly.
    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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    dba72,

    Why do you say don't buy from them when you take your water in?
    I'm not saying you shouldn't EVER buy anything from them. I'm just saying don't let them sell you anything when you don't KNOW what purpose that particular chemical is supposed to achieve. Doubly so when the pool store personnel "made you feel dumb". That was rude of them. We want to get you to a point where, between the visual state of your water plus your own test results, you will know exactly what your pool requires for chemical treatment.

    Until we get you to this point, you are like a lamb being led to slaughter whenever you walk into a pool store. Until you get up to speed, DO NOT follow any pool store advice. Someone on this forum will give you great recommendations on how to achieve your pool objectives.

    Soon you will know more than the pimply-faced teenager at your local pool store. And then you can made THEM feel dumb.

    Titanium
    24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft) with 350 gallon attached spill-over spa
    2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
    1983 Laars XE Pool/Spa Heater Type ES 400,000 BTU, 1998 Hayward Super Star-Clear C-4000 cartridge filter (400 sq ft, 4 separate cartridges)
    1998 Polaris 380 pressure-side cleaner w/ 3/4 HP booster pump
    One skimmer :( and one PoolSkim :), One Supervision Galaxy LED pool lamp, Second story solar panels
    Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 (replaced 1983 vintage dual circuit Intermatic timer)

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You can aim the returns up to the surface to raise the PH. DO you have any reason to need to raise the PH?

    Normally the returns should be aimed slightly down and to the side to get the water to circulate around the pool so the skimmers work correctly.
    Thanks for your help. I just went outside and pointed the jets down and slightly to the side. Apparently, I needed to raise the alkalinity and PH because i cranked up the chlorinator too high and the chlorine ate up the alkalinity and ph????

    I did a strip test tonight at the ph appears about 6.5 now and the alkalinity was just below the ok level, forget the #. I am ordering a new test kit tomorrow, i just need to decide on which one from the previous mentioned in this post. I read through the BBB. I wish I would have read that before I just shelled out 50 something bucks today. Oh well, learn the hard way I guess. The water is still very clear.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    If TA is low then the trick of aiming the returns up to raise the PH doesn't work.

    You should raise the PH to at least 7.0 fairly quickly. Low PH can cause damage if it stays low for too long. Washing soda/soda ash/PH Increaser is the best choice when both PH and TA are low. Using both borax and baking soda will also work.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Welcome aboard.

    Once you get your new TFtest kit, run a complete test and post your numbers. Then the gurus will take you from there. Do it ASAP and you'll save more. Many pool owners get their water tested at pool store but not buying anything, very normal and common so do not feel embarased to have water tested and not buying. It's their business to sell everything possible but not your business for something you don't need.
    8,000 gal IG concrete & tiled lap pool, 1/2 hp pump, 24" sand filter, SWG Auto Clean, whole pool under shed, 3 X 2ft waterfall one end overflow the other end. TF100 Testkit. 80 F Water whole year round.

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