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Thread: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

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    Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Hello to all. I am a newbie here and have a few questions maybe yall can help me with(yes I said yall, i am from the south LOL) Anyways I have a AG 24' round pool that is 13,600 GAL. I am testing with the TF-100 and I have used the pool calculator and dont understand is the Goal when you first bring the website up is that what I need mine to be at or do I need to plug in some numbers there?
    Here is what my levels are now.
    FC-5
    CC-0
    TC-5
    PH-7.2
    T/A-170
    CH-N/A
    CYA- I filled the beaker to the top and could still see the black dot so I would say about 10.

    We just got this pool installed two Fridays ago and I am already frustrated. The first thing spa and tub MFG had me do was add 22LBS of baking soda to bring the TA up and set my Pool frog system to 4. Then a few days after that before I got my test kit I ripped the liner with the fountain attachment for the aqualuminator so I had to drain some of the water patch it and know here I am totally clueless. I shouldnt have paid for the frog system and just used the BBB method which I didnt know about untill finding this wonderful website. Anyways I will quit rambling for now. Thanks in advance for all of your help.

    Jeremy

    PS. I also have a 1.5 hp pump motor and the ysaid I need to let it run for about 14hrs aday is this right.
    24' AG, 52" wall ,resin with 1Hp pentair pump with sand dollar sand filter. Hayward aquatrol salt generator

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Hey Jeremy,

    Welcome to TFP! To use the pool calculator, you put in the numbers you have now in the NOW column, and then what you want your numbers to be in the GOAL column. For example, your CYA is around 10 now, so you would enter "10" in the NOW field, and enter "40" in the GOAL field, and then click on "Calculate" at the top. The numbers should change in the field to the right of the parameter you changed (in this case, CYA), to tell you how much CYA you should add. Don't forget, you also have to enter the size of your pool at the top, too!

    Your numbers look OK, save for the CYA, pH, and TA. Get some CYA in your pool first. shoot for somewhere between 30 - 50 ppm. The pH will eventually need to come up to around 7.4 - 7.6. Go ahead and add some borax to get the pH up, and read the sticky on lowering TA. Once you're familiar with the steps involved, you can start lowering your TA.

    Don't worry, most of us were newbies when we showed up here, and the help you'll get here is outstanding.

    EDIT: No, you really don't have to run the pump for 14 hours a night. You have the same size pool that I have, and I run mine for 12 hours max, usually 6am - 6pm. Yeah, I bought an autochlorinator with my pool, too. Go ahead and keep it to use in case you go on vacation, but think about switching to using bleach for your chlorine needs while you're home.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    This article from Pool School is a good place to start when trying to figure out what the goal levels for your pool should be.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Hey Jeremy,

    Welcome to TFP! To use the pool calculator, you put in the numbers you have now in the NOW column, and then what you want your numbers to be in the GOAL column. For example, your CYA is around 10 now, so you would enter "10" in the NOW field, and enter "40" in the GOAL field, and then click on "Calculate" at the top. The numbers should change in the field to the right of the parameter you changed (in this case, CYA), to tell you how much CYA you should add. Don't forget, you also have to enter the size of your pool at the top, too!

    Your numbers look OK, save for the CYA, pH, and TA. Get some CYA in your pool first. shoot for somewhere between 30 - 50 ppm. The pH will eventually need to come up to around 7.4 - 7.6. Go ahead and add some borax to get the pH up, and read the sticky on lowering TA. Once you're familiar with the steps involved, you can start lowering your TA.

    Don't worry, most of us were newbies when we showed up here, and the help you'll get here is outstanding.

    EDIT: No, you really don't have to run the pump for 14 hours a night. You have the same size pool that I have, and I run mine for 12 hours max, usually 6am - 6pm. Yeah, I bought an autochlorinator with my pool, too. Go ahead and keep it to use in case you go on vacation, but think about switching to using bleach for your chlorine needs while you're home.
    I don't have an issue per sae with the advice on an "auto chlorinator" for vacations, however, the Frog is also a mineral ionzer. I am very anti-frog and I would advise you against using it but that's just my honest opinion. BTW, I just returned from a 9 day vacation and added no chlorine to my pool and my water was clear....I shocked before I left and left the cover on and the filter running.

    I think you are fine with your numbers, nothing there that you can't deal with fairly easily with the advice on this forum. The fact that you have your test kit already gives 2 steps ahead! Sorry about the tear in the liner. that's a bummer.

    Welcome!
    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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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Hey Jeremy,

    Welcome to TFP! To use the pool calculator, you put in the numbers you have now in the NOW column, and then what you want your numbers to be in the GOAL column. For example, your CYA is around 10 now, so you would enter "10" in the NOW field, and enter "40" in the GOAL field, and then click on "Calculate" at the top. The numbers should change in the field to the right of the parameter you changed (in this case, CYA), to tell you how much CYA you should add. Don't forget, you also have to enter the size of your pool at the top, too!

    Your numbers look OK, save for the CYA, pH, and TA. Get some CYA in your pool first. shoot for somewhere between 30 - 50 ppm. The pH will eventually need to come up to around 7.4 - 7.6. Go ahead and add some borax to get the pH up, and read the sticky on lowering TA. Once you're familiar with the steps involved, you can start lowering your TA.

    Don't worry, most of us were newbies when we showed up here, and the help you'll get here is outstanding.

    EDIT: No, you really don't have to run the pump for 14 hours a night. You have the same size pool that I have, and I run mine for 12 hours max, usually 6am - 6pm. Yeah, I bought an autochlorinator with my pool, too. Go ahead and keep it to use in case you go on vacation, but think about switching to using bleach for your chlorine needs while you're home.
    I don't have an issue per sae with the advice on an "auto chlorinator" for vacations, however, the Frog is also a mineral ionzer. I am very anti-frog and I would advise you against using it but that's just my honest opinion. BTW, I just returned from a 9 day vacation and added no chlorine to my pool and my water was clear....I shocked before I left and left the cover on and the filter running.

    I think you are fine with your numbers, nothing there that you can't deal with fairly easily with the advice on this forum. The fact that you have your test kit already gives 2 steps ahead! Sorry about the tear in the liner. that's a bummer.

    Welcome!
    Y'know, I'd forgotten about the mineral insert that the bacpac fits into. Personally, I'd just dump some tabs in it sans insert, but then again, the DW and I usually don't go on vacations. We tell everyone we take 2 day vacations in the back yard every weekend. The official vacation time I get off from my real job is usually spent doing home improvement projects and then time off around the holidays.

    Just wondering, how much chlorine did you lose in 9 days? With a cover on, I'd say probably not much.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Cool, the frog is going to go this afternoon when I get home. Thanks for all of your help, I can tell this is going to be a place where I spend alot of my time.
    24' AG, 52" wall ,resin with 1Hp pentair pump with sand dollar sand filter. Hayward aquatrol salt generator

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    (FYI the frog manufacturer says not to use any tablets in the canister without the mineral cartridge in place. I don't know if that's just to get you to buy their products or not. I took my frog out of the line for this years set up.)

    A few reasons why I think my pool experience while on vacation was positive...

    My water is balanced and I'm always on top of it, testing, etc. I shocked before I left and doubled checked my FC the morning I left. I never let my FC drop below target level so I'm confident it's unlikley anything could have developed quickly. Our pump was running on low 24/7. It wasn't terribly hot while we were gone.

    Our solar cover stayed in place, protecting the CL from UV rays, and reducing water loss thru evaporation.

    I tested my water yesterday morning. Everything was normal, my FC was 6.5, CC 0. I poured in one 96 oz jug of 6 % at 7pm Sunday, so that basically held. So I'd guess my FC dropped to around 1ppm over 9 days (it had been at 16 when I left) and was about to turn green if I hadn't come home when I did.....hehehehe

    I wouldn't say this will work for everyone, and we were gone a day longer than originally planned. I would recommend having a friend or relative who has a pool come over and check on your pool and add some chlorine midweek, make sure the water level is ok, etc., if this is possible.

    Or if someone had a regular CL feeder (not an ionizer) and their CYA levels were low it'd be okay to use that for extended vacations (1-3) weeks. Longer than that and you risk problems with low PH and high CYA.
    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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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Yeah, the manufacturer said that about the Aqua-Smarte system I had as well. Then the pool installer who did the initial setup on my pool said I never had to replace the mineral insert, so that told me right there that it didn't really do anything. And then I noticed the bacpacs were nothing but 1" trichlor tabs..... Anyway, I put my SWCG where the chlorinator used to be on my pool, so I don't have it on mine either. I only advise folks to leave it on there for vacation use if needed. I don't think a week or so of using trichlor would up the CYA that much, but I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time I was wrong today, in fact..
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Nah, I think even a month is okay to use tri-chlor, if your CYA is 30 or less....I think it messes with ph tho, so that has to be monitored. And then there is the issue of the Frog bac pacs, I know of several instances where the bac pacs or Frog has malfunctioned, dissolved the entire bac pac of tri chlor into the pool in a matter of days, instead of weeks, as intended. That's alot of CYA at once. It's happened to me on several occasions and I've talked to other Frog owners who said it happened to them too. If you have someone unfamiliar with the product, who turns the knob up to 10, that would release the chems faster. Put in another bac pac, etc., and before you know it your CYA is up there.....When our pool was new, our BIL got a pool the same year, Frog package and all. He said to me at the time, "I just turn the knob up to 10 when I want the pool to be shocked". Well suffice it to say neither one of us knew what the heck we were doing....
    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: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Ok so I am ready to switch to the BBB method and have a couple questions. As stated before I have the TF-100 kit and Have the numbers posted above. I am going to go to the store tomorrow to get stabilizer. When I take the chlorine pack and the mineral pack out of the frog I will have to start adding bleach everyday. Right? How often should I test for FC, CC, TC, PH, T/A and CYA? Once a week? The little blue kit that came with my TF-100 says it test for TC and PH. Judging by the TC how do I know how much bleach to add daily since there is no space for TC in the Pool Calculator? I thought I was supposed to be worried about the FC not the TC. How much Borax should I keep on hand? Please forgive me for asking so many questions I just feel like a total idiot everytime I start thinking about this. Thanks in advance for all of your help.

    Jeremy
    24' AG, 52" wall ,resin with 1Hp pentair pump with sand dollar sand filter. Hayward aquatrol salt generator

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremydu
    Ok so I am ready to switch to the BBB method and have a couple questions. As stated before I have the TF-100 kit and Have the numbers posted above. I am going to go to the store tomorrow to get stabilizer. When I take the chlorine pack and the mineral pack out of the frog I will have to start adding bleach everyday. Right? How often should I test for FC, CC, TC, PH, T/A and CYA? Once a week? The little blue kit that came with my TF-100 says it test for TC and PH. Judging by the TC how do I know how much bleach to add daily since there is no space for TC in the Pool Calculator? I thought I was supposed to be worried about the FC not the TC. How much Borax should I keep on hand? Please forgive me for asking so many questions I just feel like a total idiot everytime I start thinking about this. Thanks in advance for all of your help.

    Jeremy
    No worries,

    You can do the little blue part of the kit daily or every other day, once your comfortable with your pool/routine. I would do it daily for awhile till you get the feel for things and "know" your pool's chlorine demand.

    If you use a solar cover during the day when it's not in use, you will lose less chlorine. Assuming you aren't having any issues your TC and FC will usually be the same. Assuming you don't let your CL fall below the recommended target level (according to the CYA chart) you shouldn't develop CC's under normal situations. Sometimes extended use of the solar cover can lead to CC's. I would test with the OTO daily and the FAS-DPD after several days or once a week or more if you suspect something (cloudy water, etc. or if your OTO test registers low or no chlorine).

    Assuming all goes well, you will rarely have to adjust ph or ta or anything else. Since I switched to BBB a year ago, I have not added anything except bleach to my pool. People with spa's or SWG's or sources of aeration have to contend with that but I don't so it's somewhat easy for me.

    You'll become familiar with how much chlorine it will take to raise your FC to "X" according to the pool calc. I'd say I use anywhere from 2 cups to 1/2 jug, more if I've skipped a day, more if there has been alot of kids in the pool. I never let my FC go below the minimum target. If I'm out there, I give it a test. If I miss a day of swimming, I don't always test. You'll get to that comfort level too.

    Your not a total idiot, and you will grow in your confidence, trust me.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Okay, I reread all the comments. So your TA is a little high, but nothing to be alarmed at (mine was 120 last year and it's down to 110).

    Did you get your fountain attachment working? That will raise your ph. Then go get yourself some Muratic Acid from the hardware store or HD or Lowes and dose to lower the ph to 7.0. Read about lowering TA in Pool School. Follow those instructions, repeating until the PH is about 7.4-7.6 and your TA is under 90 or so, good ranges for both. This is all manageable and nothing to lose sleep over. Does this make sense?

    If any of the advice seems confusing just post a q here and we'll do our best to clarify. IT's alot to absorb, I know, but you'll get it, don't worry!
    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: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    It all make sense pretty much. I am nervous to switch as I dont want a out of control pool I cant get in all summer but I guess I need to go ahead and take the plunge. Right. Once again thanks for your help.
    24' AG, 52" wall ,resin with 1Hp pentair pump with sand dollar sand filter. Hayward aquatrol salt generator

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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    I have been trying to get my PH to go up today and it is still at 7.2 I have the fountain going in it non stop for aeration. How long does it usually take to get it to go up? I havent disconnected the frog yet because I dont want to be trying to do to many things at one time(PH, Adding CYA, Bleach the whole nine yards) My FC has dropped to 3 because I turned the frog down, 3 is good right? I am going to buy bleach to shock now at my current levels with FC at 3 I need to add 195 ounces right. I hope this is right. It seems to be getting easier the more I read. Thanks
    24' AG, 52" wall ,resin with 1Hp pentair pump with sand dollar sand filter. Hayward aquatrol salt generator

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremydu
    I have been trying to get my PH to go up today and it is still at 7.2 I have the fountain going in it non stop for aeration. How long does it usually take to get it to go up? I havent disconnected the frog yet because I dont want to be trying to do to many things at one time(PH, Adding CYA, Bleach the whole nine yards) My FC has dropped to 3 because I turned the frog down, 3 is good right? I am going to buy bleach to shock now at my current levels with FC at 3 I need to add 195 ounces right. I hope this is right. It seems to be getting easier the more I read. Thanks
    The tri-chlor in the frog is acidic, and lowers ph. So you are defeating your efforts at aeration. It won't hurt anything to shut it off. Take out the bac pac and cartridge and throw them away. The only regrets you will have is for the cost of the frog/frog chems and the money wasted. Believe me. I have no other regrets. Your pool will never look better than with BBB.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, please help. My wife is ready to swim.

    So to clarify, you are buying bleach to have on hand that's good. You shouldn't need to shock yet, or at all, so long as your properly maintain the pool.

    Is your CYA still at 10? Keeping your FC at 3 is fine, 2 is also okay. Keep in mind with CYA that low you will need to check your FC daily and add chlorine, don't let it go below 2 or you could develop algae.

    The only reason you would need to shock at this point is if your CC's rise above .5 or you get cloudy or greenish water.

    Put out of your brain what the recommendation on pool maintenance with a Frog tell you. weekly or bi-monthly shocking is their recommendation because they recommend you keep the FC at .5-1ppm which is too low and the shocking is their way of ensuring you don't develop algae. It just isn't necessary if you maintain your FC at a 2ppm level (once you raise your CYA to 30-50 you should keep your FC at the target levels shown in the CYA chart - 3-6ppm.

    Did you read the articles about lowering TA? You have to follow the instructions exactly, otherwise you are raising your PH but not lowering your TA.

    Okay, I know this is alot and can be overwhelming but you WILL get it and become confident in your pool skills. Just have some more POP.
    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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