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Thread: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

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    Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Hi!
    I just got my T-100 test kit today and just went out and tested...Now what???

    Here are my numbers:

    FC 1
    CC 0
    TC 1
    pH 7.8
    TA 60
    CH didn't test
    CYA 20
    temp 94

    salt 2890 according to strip (2700 on Aqualogic)

    We have a pebble tec IG pool; free form (roughly 20 x 30, beach entry to 5.5 ft) Attached spa, 1.5 horse pump, SWG. Need anything else?

    Just need some help before I go adding anything to it. Pool guy has been tending to all this for the past 3 months...my turn now!
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Welcome, not sure why no replies to you, but I will add my two cents worth.

    Your CYA is low, with a SWG you should keep it up around 70PPM, the TA is also low, your SWG will have specs for what it wants. Chlorine is a tad low, but I like it low, I think with a SWG it should be around 3.

    Hope this helps,
    Rik

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Guest

    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Why didn't you test calcium? You have a plaster pool (pebble tec), calcium levels are important!
    CYA is too low for a SWG! Shoot for 70-80 ppm with your Aqualogic.
    Once you get CYA in line maintain your FC beween 3-5 ppm. This will give you a 'Trouble Free Pool" in S. FL! (Are you in the Naples area?)
    Salt is a bit low, Aqualogic is happiest with salt between 3200-3400 ppm
    Leave the TA alone right now but test the calcium! Your lower TA might be an advantage with a spillover spa. It will help maintian a more stable pH BUT you might need to increase CH to compensate and keep the water balanced. Test the calcium!
    Your pH is a bit high. Lower it to 7.5-7.6 but not lower.
    You might want to read these threads on water balance for SWGs

    category/pool-school/water_balance_saltwater_generator

    viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3663

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Welcome to TFP....

    I think Waterbear wants you to test your calcium....
    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 needing reassurance!

    Hi graffster,

    Welcome to the forum

    yep, need to see the CH test #! :P
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    OK,
    I'll test the calcium tomorrow! I was testing with an 'audience'...a 2 year old, 4 year old and a 7 year old...and an antsy 18 year old who I was holding up from going somewhere!! ha ha (It appears some things are better done "alone"!!!)

    I will also try to have more specifics on my pool (see sig). Those are guesstimates on my part. Hubby is busy right now and I don't want to bother him with things that he probably thinks I already know!

    Does it matter when I test the calcium? I'll try in the morning and then post...then you all can tell me what I need to put in the pool to get it where it needs to be.

    This is scary!!!

    Thanks for all your responses...

    kathy
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Hi Kathy,

    Nothing to be scared about. Once we get the final # (CH), balancing your water should be easy.

    You can test anytime, just have the pump running at least an hour before doing any kind of test as the water needs to be mixed.

    On the CH test, it is best if you take your time (good thing you waited ) because it is time consuming and you really need to swirl between EACH drop!

    Oh the sig, please add info on the SWG.

    I hope you were able to find time to read/print out the articles waterbear gave you.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Thanks, Butterfly! Yes, I saw that the CH test was a little more involved than the others, so I thought waiting was the better idea! I'll do that in the morning and let you all know what I find.

    Yes, I read the articles Waterbear suggested and my head is still "swimming"!!! While it all makes sense, I'm still overwhelmed by it all! And so afraid of a problem sneaking in there and the pool getting away from me.

    We had a problem a few weeks after initial fill. Unfinished landscaping and a torrential downpour! I had a MUD PUDDLE! Couldn't even see the bottom of the "beach" area (5"??) We've now got the landscaping done, but still have an occasional problem of dirt getting in if we have a BIG rain(lots of rain in short time). Then the pool overflows, I have to drain off the overflow, and the salt level is all over the place!

    As far as the salt goes, I tested with the salt strips. At first, I thought the "white peak" was around 4.8, but after it sat for a few minutes (less than 10), I saw a skinnier "peak" that looked like 5.2. (a difference from 2450 to 2890). But Aqualogic said 2700. Is that not to be trusted? Either way, it looks like I'm dumping more salt tomorrow! (That'll be my 4th drop of 80# in the last 6 weeks or so!)

    OK, I'm rambling now...so glad to be here on this board. I appreciate the support already...and I know I"ll need LOTS more!!!

    Good night,
    Kathy
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    OK...(drumroll, please!) CH level is 140. (14 drops and it went from pink to a bluish purple) Colors are kind of subjective, arent' they??

    So...what do I need to add?

    Here's my numbers again:

    FC 1
    CC 0
    TC 1
    pH 7.8
    TA 60
    CH 140
    CYA 20
    temp 94

    salt 2890 according to strip (I think!) (2700 on Aqualogic)
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    The CH looks OK to me, but I think waterbear may indicate bringing it up a little bit because your TA is low. We will wait till he chimes in on that one.

    The FC needs to brought up ASAP, I would use bleach for this until you can get the SWG to hold a steady target FC level. You should aim for an FC of 3 since you currently have a CYA of 20. You can use the pool calculator in my sig to find the right amount to add.

    The PH needs to be brought down a tad you want to aim for 7.5 or 7.6. You can do this with either Muriatic Acid or PH down, but the Muriatic acid has less side effects and it much cheaper. Again, you can use the pool calculator link to determine exactly how much you need to add. If you use Muriatic acid make sure you use gloves, safety glasses and a respirator. Also, stand up wind while pouring as you don't want to inhale the fumes.

    You should also bring your CYA up to somewhere between 60 and 70 you can find this at any pool store and sometimes home improvement stores or Walmart. It will probably be called stabilizer, but it is CYA.
    8200 Gal Vinyl 18' AG Vogue Pool
    150lb Hayward Sand filter with 1-1/2 HP Maxim Pump
    Intex SWG
    Some of the most helpful links for pool owners: Pool School | Pool Calculator | The best test kit | Chlorine/CYA chart

  11. Back To Top    #11
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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Why didn't you test calcium? You have a plaster pool (pebble tec), calcium levels are important!
    CYA is too low for a SWG! Shoot for 70-80 ppm with your Aqualogic.
    Once you get CYA in line maintain your FC beween 3-5 ppm. This will give you a 'Trouble Free Pool" in S. FL! (Are you in the Naples area?)
    Salt is a bit low, Aqualogic is happiest with salt between 3200-3400 ppm
    Leave the TA alone right now but test the calcium! Your lower TA might be an advantage with a spillover spa. It will help maintian a more stable pH BUT you might need to increase CH to compensate and keep the water balanced. Test the calcium!
    Your pH is a bit high. Lower it to 7.5-7.6 but not lower.
    You might want to read these threads on water balance for SWGs

    category/pool-school/water_balance_saltwater_generator

    viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3663
    Your calcium is way too low for a plaster pool. With your TA at 60 (I would leave it there for now) I would bring the CH up to around 300-350

    See 'Rcommended levels"
    category/pool-school/recommended_levels

    Now here is the order I would do everything:
    1. Take a deep breath
    2. get a snack and a beverage (non alcoholic, you are going to need to use your mind for a little bit)
    3. sit down in front of the computer and go to the Pool School area of the forum\
    4. start reading everything in the order it is listed. Take your time, reread things you don't understand and if you still don't get it after a second reading jot it down so you can ask a question about it in the forum.
    5. when you are done take a break and enjoy a dip in the pool. (You deserve it at this point!)
    6. add bleach to raise your FC up to about 4 ppm (Use the Pool Calculator to make this easy--see the link in my signature)
    7. retest your CYA to verify your reading from yesterday and add enough CYA to bring you to 70-80 ppm. To add the CYA first clean your filter if it needs it or will need it soon, with the pump running add the CYA directly into your skimmer SLOWLY (basket removed). It will get caught in your filter and slowly dissolve over the next week. Run your pump continuously for the next 48 hours then go back to your normal pump run time. DO NOT CLEAN THE FILTER FOR ONE WEEK OR YOU WILL WASH AWAY THE CYA THAT HAS NOT DISSOLVED! Test your CYA in one week. Monitor your FC levels and adjust the outut of your SWG down as the FC rises over the week. It might take a bit of tweaking to get your output percentage adjusted to maintain your FC at 3-5 ppm but you will get there and once you do you will find that your pool becomes much easier to maintain.
    8. Bring your salt up to about 3200-3400 ppm (The differences you get from the Aqualogic readout and the strips are within tolerances for both of them BTW so use either number or take an average. If the two are within about 200 ppm, give or take a bit, they are reading essentially the same. The reason is rather technical and I don't want to throw too much at you right now and confuse you. If you ever get readings that differ by more than a few hundred ppm then you probably need to clean the cell.)
    9. Get your calcium up to 300-350 ppm (repeat this test first just to verify that you get the same reading. Be sure to swirl the vial for 20-30 seconds between each drop of titrant when you do this test, btw!)
    Your pH is fine at 7.8 but don't let it get any higher. I would add 1 pt muriatic acid and then retest the ph after about an hour. You don't want the pH any lower than 7.5 either, btw!
    10. Take another deep breath and pat yourself on the back!!!!!!!

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Thanks guys! Now, can you simplifiy it for me just a bit more? (water it down, so to speak ) WHAT exactly am I going to the pool store to buy??? (When I go to Home Depot for an item, I like to have 'same item' in hand so I know JUST what to look for!)

    LOVE the pool calculator, but for this first timer, that's a bit overwhelming! Lots of chemical names, laarge amounts, etc. Can you break it down even more? I know Salt, and I understand muriatic acid, but what else? (And when do I get to be a BBB pool owner??? )

    I promise I'm a quick learner...I just need my hand held for right now...

    Thanks!!
    Kathy
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

  13. Back To Top    #13
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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Quote Originally Posted by graffster
    Thanks guys! Now, can you simplifiy it for me just a bit more? (water it down, so to speak ) WHAT exactly am I going to the pool store to buy??? (When I go to Home Depot for an item, I like to have 'same item' in hand so I know JUST what to look for!)

    LOVE the pool calculator, but for this first timer, that's a bit overwhelming! Lots of chemical names, laarge amounts, etc. Can you break it down even more? I know Salt, and I understand muriatic acid, but what else? (And when do I get to be a BBB pool owner??? )

    I promise I'm a quick learner...I just need my hand held for right now...

    Thanks!!
    Kathy
    reread the list I posted above and tell me what numbers you don't understand. I will explain.
    You already are a BBB owner since you have a SWG. The SWG takes care of the bleach. Borax is optional but a good idea for a salt pool (if you read the links I gave you previously I talked about borates) but you will probably never need borax to raise pH with a SWG--you will need muriatic acid to lower pH, and you don't need baking soda right now since your TA is OK.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    OK Waterbear...I really am losing it! I just came back to recheck this thread, and I SWEAR I didn't see your EXTREMELY detailed list!!! THANK YOU!! That was exactly what I needed. (Please tell me you added that AFTER my plea for simplicity )

    We just got out of the pool and having lunch. I'm adding water because we haven't had rain (of any amount) for a couple of weeks. I'm adding about 3". Do I need to retest everything?

    I'm going up to get the salt at Pinch a Penny in a bit. If i do test again, do it before salt??

    Thank you SO much for your patience with me...and sharing your incredible knowledge!!!

    Kathy
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Guest

    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Quote Originally Posted by graffster
    OK Waterbear...I really am losing it! I just came back to recheck this thread, and I SWEAR I didn't see your EXTREMELY detailed list!!! THANK YOU!! That was exactly what I needed. (Please tell me you added that AFTER my plea for simplicity )
    Sorry, the posts are in the order they posted! Take a deep breath. Everything will be fine!

    We just got out of the pool and having lunch. I'm adding water because we haven't had rain (of any amount) for a couple of weeks. I'm adding about 3". Do I need to retest everything?
    Probably!

    I'm going up to get the salt at Pinch a Penny in a bit. If i do test again, do it before salt??
    Save a bunch of money. Don't buy pool salt. (not at lose a penny, anyway. Up in N. Fl both publix and winn dixie have pool salt but you can use the blue bags of solar salt crystals for water softenter or the yellow bags of pellets that don't have any additives. The solar salt dissolves faster. It is about half the price of pool salt (which is often just solar salt that has been ground finer!) My recommendation is to buy solar salt for water softeners. It will say 99.5% pure on it.
    Test the salt so you know how much to add after refilling but let the pool circulate for a few hours before retesting so the new water will mix in properly.

    Thank you SO much for your patience with me...and sharing your incredible knowledge!!!

    Kathy
    That is why we are here!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    I added 80 lbs of salt this evening, along with the muriatic acid. Pool stores were closed by the time I was able to get out, so I haven't gotten the CYA or the Calcium Chloride.

    We are going to be gone all day tomorrow, so I'll let pump run and then retest everything on Saturday.

    I'm trusting you all that this gets easier...

    Kathy
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    [s:1nkbbc72]Remember, you need to add some chlorine every evening[/s:1nkbbc72].
    (EDIT)You have a SWG, so ignore this comment.(/EDIT)
    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Remember, you need to add some chlorine every evening.
    JasonLion...you mean until the numbers are right? And a little every night instead of large amounts all at once?

    Ack! I'm so afraid of messing this up!
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

  19. Back To Top    #19
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    I am sorry, I didn't notice that you have a SWG. The pool needs some chlorine every day, but in your case the SWG will add it for you. So you don't have to add any chlorine manually (as long as everything is working correctly). So just ignore my previous comment.

    It sounds like you have everything moving along well. Just ignore my previous comment.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Another Newbie needing reassurance!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    It sounds like you have everything moving along well. Just ignore my previous comment.
    We'll see! Lots of rain here this morning, so I don't know what that's going to do! My salt # is good today, and I plan on testing tomorrow (the whole kit and kaboodle) and see where we are.

    Thanks again!

    Kathy
    Sunny SW Florida! Uncaged Free-form IG pool, Pebble-tec finish, 20,000 gallons?? (Beach entry/tanning ledge is 9' x 9'; it's free form 37' x 19'. Depth 3 feet to max 5.5 feet. There's also an attached spa with spillover: 6 foot radius. Anything else?)
    Prologic computerized thingie with SWG; 1.5 hp Hayward II Super pump, cartridge (i think) filter. (Hubby contracted the whole thing...so I don't have a detailed list on what we've got!)

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