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Thread: First Timer needs guidance

  1. Back To Top    #1

    First Timer needs guidance

    Hello everybody!
    Bought one of those Intex (Walmart) pools: 18 x 48 round AG. Nothing was going well.
    Used well water to fill pool. Turned brownish green after shocking after using test strip, failing, going to the pool guy, no copper or iron found, bought conditioners and calcium hardner and an algaecide.
    No change in color. Ran filter for 5 days straight. Stopped everything for 3 days and found sediment at bottom, powdery, rusty brown in color.
    Bought real test kit from this site. Did a lot of reading. Following are the #'s.
    6100 gallon-AG vinyl pool-cartridge filter.
    At 2:00 pm test:
    FC 6.5
    CC .5
    TC 7
    pH 7.5
    T/A 140
    CH 290
    CYA 50
    Temp. 71-75 degrees

    I shocked to 29 ppm FC according to Pool Calculator recommendations. Checked FC at 3:30 pm and it was 31 ppm. Checked FC at 8:45 pm and I got 33ppm. Tomorrow morning I will check for a drop in FC ppm and CC for algae.
    Problem-water color hasn't changed much. Any advice for tomorrow morning if I follow pool calculator instruction and advice and water is still the same?
    Thanks for all your help.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Coastalish 'down easter'

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    #1 - welcome to TFP!!

    #2 - thanks for doing the pool school reading+ before posting

    #3 - it sure sounds like you've got iron in the water despite the test results You might want to have the iron tested again

    Hope this clears up soon and you have a trouble free summer with your pool!
    Luv& Luk

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    I can retest at the pool place for iron.
    This morning my FC was 31. Water hasn't changed much. Pool calculator says to shock at 29.
    I'm guessing not to add more bleach since it's still above that level even though it has dropped a couple of points.
    Let me start from the beginning:
    When I was filling my (AG, 18 x 48, easy set, cartridge filter) pool with well water-it started out clear. When I was done it was light green. Before testing I added "Shock" (tri-chlor type). The water turned brownish green. I started to panic.
    Took the water to the pool guy. Tests showed no iron or copper. T/A was low. Hardness was low. Stabilizer was low. FC was 4.8, CC 0.0, pH 7.6. And they found phosphates.
    So I bought the chemicals and a vacuum and followed their directions to correct my pool. Nothing changed for over a week though I vacuumed and brushed and ran the filter for days. I ordered two more cartridge filters and changed them all the time.
    Frustrated I stopped everything since I wasn't going to be home for a few days anyway. When I returned the pool water looked green with all this sediment at the bottom that was a powdery brown.
    When I vacuumed it went thru the cartridge filter back into the pool. Clouding and bringing the water back to it's brownish green color. The cartridge always catches some of the debris.
    I called the pool manufacturer who suggested I use the small vacuum that came with the pool because the real vacuum I bought is allowing more water thru it's hose compared to their's using a regular water hose that fits their parts.
    Please forgive me. I hope I make sense in this craziness and someone can help me.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    With a CYA level of 50, normal shock level is 16. Shocking to 29 is only for persistent mustard algae and even then only for a final day at the end.

    If I am following correctly, you lost 2 ppm of FC overnight, so you do have some organics in the water that are getting oxidized by chlorine. I would keep the FC at 16 or higher for another day and measure the FC level this evening and again tomorrow to see if the overnight FC loss is still there.

    Can you tell us more about how the water looks? Is it at all cloudy or murky at this point, or is the water clear and still green tinted?
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    Hi. I just edited my previous post/reply to "clarify" my pool issues.
    I'm glad you pointed out shocking at 16ppm. Because of the color of the water I went with the mustard algae suggestion at 29ppm.
    I don't understand the sediment issue when the pool hasn't run for days. The water is green with powdery brown sediment.
    While it's running/filtering the water is cloudy and brownish green.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    Visible dust/debris/algae getting through the filter suggests a problem with the filter. The fabric of the cartridge might be torn or the cartridge might not be properly seated in the filter housing. Extremely fine particles can go through the filter, but they would normally only cause a haze or mild cloudiness. If you have sediment that settles to the bottom, the filter should be able to catch that.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

    In the Industry

    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    Ahh, good ole intex filters. Others have complained about the filters being inadequate when it comes to getting all the gunk. It takes lots of patience and making sure they are fitting correctly and you are vacuming correctly. One INtex owner suggested vacuming with a hose that empties the dirty water out of your pool instead of through the filter, if you can figure out a way to do that. You would of course have to replace that water. Otherwise, it sounds like its going to be a patience thing, maintaining your FC will kill any algae and then you just need to give it time to clear the water. As far as I know with all the intex owners that have reported problems eventually they have all been able to get the water clear. (unless they gave up and took down the pool and didn't post back on here, who knows?)

    Happy 4th! You'll get there, 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
    Perfectly Clear Pool Service, Find me on Facebook!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    Since I'm in super shock mode with the pool I'm not going to worry about algae and am going to deal with the sediment.
    I am shutting off the pump and letting it all settle. Then we'll try to rig our wet/dry vac directly to the pool vacuum and get that sediment out completely.
    I'll add water later as needed. I will update in a couple of days.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    TxSkye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Danbury, Texas

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    Welcome to TFP

    Your experience sounds quite similar to mine, although in my case, I do have metals in my well water. Even after using 2 bottles of metal control, water still turned that nasty rusty brown with a solid layer of sediment on the bottom. Turns out, my well also brought up quite a bit of sand due to a faulty check valve.

    The garden hose vacuum head that came with the pool was useless. All the sediment went right through that cloth bag. Not to mention that I’m just adding more metal rich water back into the pool. I bought a regular vacuum head and some flex hose, attached it to the suction side of the pump, and vacuumed very slowly. While I was successful in removing some of the sediment, it just wasn’t getting it all.

    I tried removing the return hose from the pump and vacuuming to waste. That was a no-go, the itty bitty pump wasn’t strong enough to do the job. I’m assuming because it needs a closed environment to work correctly. Next step, I have a small sump pump, flat grid on the bottom where it sucks up water, discharge through a garden hose. I took a 5 gallon bucket, drilled holes on one side towards the bottom, filled it with fiberfill (the stuffing for pillows) set a board across the ladder braces and set the bucket on the board, holes faced poolside over the water. Put the pump in the pool and ran the discharge hose into the top of the bucket and into the fiberfill. You won’t believe the amount of sediment that filling will catch. I basically ran the pump 24/7 for 4 days, stopping only to rinse out the fill.

    I know this may sound like too much work or effort, but I was determined that this 18’ bladder was NOT going to defeat me. Having one of these pools takes creative engenuity and a Mega dose of POP but the joyful sounds of the kids enjoying the pool are well worth all of it.

    5600 Gal.
    18'x48" Easy Set
    1500 GPH Pump/Cartridge Filter

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Orem, Utah

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    I have had one of the walmart intex pools for three years now. Yes they are an adventure. When I lived on a farm our well water would have dirt in it, I am wondering if your filter is not working well. My intex filter barely sucks --ha ha -- anyway make sure you seat the paper filter cartridge down into the cartridge housing tightly, make sure the o-rings are in place and lubed up with vaseline to make a vacuum seal and vent the excess air out of the top of the filter (a little water should run out the top before you twist the vent tight again) and in all 3 years I have never got the dirt out of the bottom of my pool without using my shop vac and vacumming the bottom. (The little $15 vacuums wal mart sells are for getting leaves, hair, and teenage jewelry off the bottom, they don't filter any dirt.)

    Real pools have a bottom drain and the floor is sloped so the dirt goes down the drain and over to the filter. Intex pools don't have that advantage.

    Well water is notorious for pesticides, herbicides and metals from farming nearby, etc., so make sure your pool store knows this is not city water they are testing, maybe their tests are old or just wrong.

    Organic things in the well water will die from chlorine and turn brown and settle to the floor, this is like dead algae and you just have to vacuum it up with a shop vac. (I got one that pumps out when the shop vac gets full-- it works great.) Maybe you should have your well water tested at your local water department to make sure you should be drinking it.... I grew up drinking well water and when my brother inherited the house and had it tested, we should not have been drinking it...

    Also make sure no leaves or saw dust or dirt from plowed fields blows into it, that causes problems. Keep a cover on, I like my bubble solar cover -- really helps with keeping out dirt & leaves and keeping the heat in. And it's light-weight enough my teenage girls can put the cover on.

    And my skimmer works well -- some older intex pools didn't come with skimmers, make sure you have one.

    Tabby (15' round x 42" deep Intex 'training' pool for when I get an inground big one.)
    15 foot diameter round, 4600 gallon, above ground metal-framed vinyl pool with crappy filter/pump, no skimmer (- just me with leaf net), added extra pump/filter underwater inside, placed in full sun with no cover, no heater. Used 2x a week. Filled wtih new water May 2007.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: First Timer needs guidance

    This is an amazing amount of information that deals with my issues and I thank you all for your help.

    As for our well water-we're using a water softener and a whole house filter that covers taste, rust, odor and sediment. We just bought the house 7 months ago and the inspector sent it in for analysis and it came back good.
    But now that you mentioned it we will retest again.

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