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Thread: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

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    Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    I purchased my first AGP (see sig) to see if I'm even a pool guy at all. Spent an afternoon leveling the site and setting up the pool and have to say, it's been an good investment. I don't know why I haven't tried this before. It's so nice coming home after work and taking a dip. I've even made a swim harness so I can swim in it for extended periods of time for exercise. Very nice.

    Of course, I did the usual newbie track; took my well water to the local pool dealer and had it tested and purchased about $140 worth of chemicals to get the water balanced. Turns out that my well water had no minerals in it and was fairly soft. So I had to raise everything, pH, alkalinity, hardness, chlorine, etc. Lots of stuff went into the pool but it's been sparkling clean and clear since I filled it up. Since I knew nothing about the water chemistry, my goggling lead me to this forum and I have read most of the pool school articles and many, many posts that related to my situation. Kudos to all of you that have contributed so much information to this forum. It has been a great source of info and I thank you all.

    I also ordered the TF 100 test kit since the test strips leave me wondering what is going on so I'll be asking some more questions once I get it and learn how to use it.

    So, on to my questions.

    1. Is there an TF-100 instruction document that I can download and read on how to perform the tests? I'd like to read it and digest some of it before I get my kit.

    2. My Intex AGP has holes where the liner does not go all the way to the top rail which in effect allows water to "overflow" out them. The only thing I don't like about it is that the water flushes out of these holes/gaps when I'm swimming and I loose a lot of water. Intex tells me I can fill the pool to 4" below the top rail but by the time I've had an evenings worth of swimming, it's down a couple of more inches. My question here is that I'm wondering if there is anything I can slip over the top (like a huge molding) that would keep most of the wave water in the pool? Kind of like a splash guard. This would allow me to keep the pool as full as possible.

    3. Lastly, I "think" I want a solar cover to keep the heat in over night but I can't find a good source for a "good" 16' cover. Can I just use a 15' solar cover or would it be better to buy an 18' round cover and trim it to size?

    I appreciate any feedback you all can give.

    Thanks,
    Bill
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    HI and welcome!

    I can't really advise most of your questions, but I would go with trimming an 18' cover to fit.

    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: Another newbie with a few questions

    Welcome to TFP!!

    You should be able to find expandable rubber plugs that you can use to seal the overflow holes while swimming or, as you may not have a solid port to plug into - you can try to find some appropriately sized threaded plugs and the receiving female adapters for them and thread the plug through the hole into the female adapter to minimize water loss while enjoying the pool. All you want to do is reduce the water loss, not make it fully watertight, right?

    FPM's take on the solar cover is what i would also advise - if you cut the 18' cover to size, leave a couple of inches up the wall for best performance

    We'll be here to help with all the questions/ issues you may encounter -- ENJOY the pool!
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    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!)

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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by wsettle
    1. Is there an TF-100 instruction document that I can download and read on how to perform the tests? I'd like to read it and digest some of it before I get my kit.


    Thanks,
    Bill

    I don't know of a download but the instructions are inside the lid of the kit. They aren't that long and it is very easy to use - no need to study in advance.
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    Welcome to TFP!


    Quote Originally Posted by wsettle
    I purchased my first AGP (see sig) to see if I'm even a pool guy at all. Spent an afternoon leveling the site and setting up the pool and have to say, it's been an good investment. I don't know why I haven't tried this before. It's so nice coming home after work and taking a dip. I've even made a swim harness so I can swim in it for extended periods of time for exercise. Very nice.


    A swim harness? I'd love to see a picture of that! We have a 33' pool, nice for playing in but not very effective for lap swimming. A harness sounds like just the gadget I need.


    Since I knew nothing about the water chemistry, my goggling lead me to this forum and I have read most of the pool school articles and many, many posts that related to my situation. Kudos to all of you that have contributed so much information to this forum. It has been a great source of info and I thank you all.


    Most of us came here the very same way you did. We were new to pools and interested in learning how to manage our own swimming holes without being dependent on pool stores and chemicals, the names of which we couldn't pronounce and which were draining our wallets. Soon enough you, too, will help other new pool owners.


    I also ordered the TF 100 test kit since the test strips leave me wondering what is going on so I'll be asking some more questions once I get it and learn how to use it.


    An excellent decision!


    1. Is there an TF-100 instruction document that I can download and read on how to perform the tests? I'd like to read it and digest some of it before I get my kit.


    I understand you wanting to internalize the testing info before you actually do it but in truth, it'll take you about two minutes to read the instructions that come with the kit and follow them along as you do each test. You've already read some of the Pool School articles and probably know more than you think you do. The TF-100 comes with really good instructions taped inside the lid. Once you read them you'll feel the pennies drop as you connect the dots between what you've read and what you're about to learn from the test.


    2. My Intex AGP has holes where the liner does not go all the way to the top rail which in effect allows water to "overflow" out them. The only thing I don't like about it is that the water flushes out of these holes/gaps when I'm swimming and I loose a lot of water. Intex tells me I can fill the pool to 4" below the top rail but by the time I've had an evenings worth of swimming, it's down a couple of more inches. My question here is that I'm wondering if there is anything I can slip over the top (like a huge molding) that would keep most of the wave water in the pool? Kind of like a splash guard. This would allow me to keep the pool as full as possible.


    A photo would be very helpful here, too. How much of a gap are we talking about? Would it work at all to slit a pool noodle lengthwise and thread it over the liner so it sits between it and the top rail and blocks some of the splashout?


    3. Lastly, I "think" I want a solar cover to keep the heat in over night but I can't find a good source for a "good" 16' cover. Can I just use a 15' solar cover or would it be better to buy an 18' round cover and trim it to size?


    I'd get an 18' and cut it to fit the surface of the water right up to the walls of the pool. When the solar cover lays flat on the water it's held on there by adhesion and isn't likely to blow off, hence you don't need to tie it or weigh it down.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    Wow! You all are fast on the keyboard!

    All you want to do is reduce the water loss, not make it fully watertight, right?
    Correct. I guess a picture is worth a 1000 words so here are several of the "gaps" I mention.



    To stop the splash out would require some sort of slide over molding. This would keep the splash from jumping out but would still let the water level stay up to the bottom of the gap. Duck tape sounds stupid and wouldn't hold up to the sunlight but there may be some sort of material that might work. Maybe some ingenious pool owner has come up with something that might work so I thought I'd ask.

    Hey, it cost me $285 at Sammies so I accept what I got but if I can improve on it, gives me another excuse to jump in.

    Also, thanks for the info on the cover. Sounds like trimming an 18' cover is the way to go.
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    Oh yeah, I'd definitely try the pool noodle thing first. It would act like that foam pipe insulation stuff, the grey tubes with a slit lengthwise that you pop over your water pipes, know what I mean?
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    What, no pics of the harness?
    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
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    A swim harness? I'd love to see a picture of that!
    I warn you, this is the redneck version of a swim harness.

    A $15 ski belt from Sports Unlimited.



    A dog leash clipped to a shock cord and connected to an antenna bracket on my shop. This is way high tech!



    I tried just the dog leash at first and found that I sink without the flow of water under me so the ski belt helps keep me afloat. I had to add the shock cord to reduce the jerking motion while I swim but it works great.

    Or you can spend $80-$100 for a commercial swim harness but it will just be prettier. I doubt it will work any better than my $15 one

    foam pipe insulation stuff
    That's a good idea. I'll look at home depot for some larger sizes that may work. Thanks.
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    That is an excellent improv! Thanks for the picture. I'm going to try and build such a thing.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions

    Bill,

    how goes it with plugging the gaps to limit the splash out in your pool?
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    I got my TF-100 kit today and it tells me about what the PS (pool store) told me. Here are the numbers:

    TF-100 / PS results
    Temp - 81 / 84
    FC - .5 / 1.7 (PS test was done 2 days ago)
    CC - .5 / NA (wasn't on the PS test results)
    TC - 1 / 1.7 (PS test was done 2 days ago)
    TA - 100 / 121
    CH - 80 / 125 (PS called this total hardness)
    CYA - 34 / 41

    I haven't added chlorine for 2 days so this is why it's so low. I'll add it tonight and bring it up.

    So, some questions after comparing to the recommended levels:

    1. Should I bring my TA down or is it OK where it's at?

    2. The TF-100 test kit tests pH from the K-1000 kit and it says not to record that number. However, I don't see another pH test on the rest of the instructions so what am I missing? Do I use the pH # from the K-1000 kit or did I miss a second pH test?

    3. PS recommends FC of 1-3 but the recommendations here are 3-7. Which do I go with and why (or point me to the link)

    4. PS recommends TA of 125-150. Recommendations here are 70-90. Which do I maintain?

    5. When testing chlorine levels, should I adjust for FC levels in the morning or after a full day of sun shine?

    6. Are the reagents and chemicals safe for a septic tank. I would have to think so since there is such a low amount of them but thought I'd ask.

    I am probably one of the few folks here that had a pretty good experience with the pool store and their recommendation seem to have been pretty close as my water has been sparkling clean and the test results are pretty close. I do admit that the cost was way to high and now that I have the TF-100 kit and you guys, I plan on the DIY approach which will be much more cost effective.

    There is a lot of info on this site and I've read most of the pool school articles but it's difficult to absorb all this info in a short amount of time so thanks for any help, I appreciate it.

    Bill
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    1) Your TA is fine where it is.

    2) The PH test in the K-1000 is the PH test. You do record that number.

    3&4) You should go by our FC and TA level recommendations Pool store recommendations are designed for people who mostly ignore their pools, don't test their water, and use trichlor. If that described you, you probably wouldn't be here talking to us.

    5) It is best to measure and adjust FC levels in the evening, but morning can 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

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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    Thanks Jason, you covered all my questions. Much appreciated!

    I did add one more question before you read it. Is the reagents in the TF-100 septic tank safe? I'd rather pour the stuff on the ground and let it filter it if they kill the good bacteria in the septic tank.
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    Read here, maybe will help answer your question?

    which-reagents-are-dangerous-t7297.html?hilit=toddler%20test%20kit
    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: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    Thanks for the link. I'm not a chemist but all that stuff sounds pretty nasty. For now, I think I'll pour the contents in my 300 gal water collection system and see if it does anything to my plants. I doubt it will since it will be so diluted but I'd rather do that then kill the good bacteria in my septic tank.
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    The TF-100 kit is awesome. It IS as easy as you all say it is to do the tests and I've gotten consistent results for the past two runs so I'm getting the hang of it.

    Here are the latest results:
    FC - 1.5 (added bleach 24 hours ago)
    CC - 0
    TC - 1.5
    PH - 7.6
    TA - 90
    CH - 80
    CHA - 60

    I've been having to add about 32-40 oz. of 6% bleach the past few days to bring it up to 5ppm. I was using the chlorinating crystals which contained dichloro-s-triazinetrione which I understand kept my CYA level on the rise so I started using bleach yesterday.

    Does 1 quart of bleach sound like high usage in a 5100 gal AGP?

    Looking at Jason's pool calculator definitions on FC he says, "FC is consumed by sunlight and when it breaks down organic material in your pool". The pool gets full sun all day, no real debris gets in it but my skimmer picks up lots of bugs every day so this may be "normal" bleach amount.

    My CHA is a little high based on recommendation here so I referred to chem geek's chlorine/CYA chart and it looks like I should target 7ppm when I add bleach. Does this sound right?

    Just want a little reassurance that I'm using the tools appropriately. So far my water is clean and clear.

    Looking at my numbers, is there anything I should change as my target levels?

    Thanks again for all the help and support,
    Bill
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    With a CYA of 60, you should not let your FC drop below 5 ppm!

    Use 5 ppm to 9 ppm per Jason's Pool Calculator for your FC range.

    Other #'s look okay and your pH is perfect
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    Great! Thanks.

    For my pool size, having to add 1 QT or more a day seems like a LOT of chlorine. Does this sound abnormal given my conditions and this time of year?
    16' Intex Metal Frame AGP with vinyl liner, ~5100 Gal, 637R 1000 GPH & 633 2500 GPH pumps w/cartridge filters, Intex SWCG

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with a few questions about my test results

    Quote Originally Posted by wsettle
    For my pool size, having to add 1 QT or more a day seems like a LOT of chlorine. Does this sound abnormal given my conditions and this time of year?
    No, that's about a 3ppm daily consumption, which is not out of the ordinary without a cover.
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