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Thread: Another newbie with pool issues

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    Another newbie with pool issues

    Hi Everyone, first post here, so go gently on me

    I recently relocated to FL and am currently renting a house with a 12-13k inground gunite pool with a cartridge filter. Weekly pool care is included in my rent. Last weekend I went out of town and came back to a bad algae bloom. Greenish in color and enough that I couldnt see the bottom in the shallow end (~3ft deep). I called the property management company, and they got a hold of the pool guy, who came that afternoon. It was unclear to me if he had actually come the week before. So I dont know weather poor maintenance or the tons of rain we had gotten (or a combination of both) were to blame for the algae bloom. He treated the pool with yellow out (i think he called it) and a bunch of granulated chlorine. He never measured anything, just said he kinda knew how much he needed to put it. He brushed the pool also and the algae started to cler almost immediately. This was monday afternoon and his normal service day is thursday. He said he would shock the system again at that point. Well, I am not sure if he came again...no evidence of the pool having been brushed or vacummed. The water is pretty clear, not pristine, but I would swim in it based in appearance. My wife and 11 month old daughter will be moving down permanently next week, so I need to make sure everything is good to go when get down here.

    Today, I took a water sample down to the local leslie's. The guy didnt do all the measurements, but enough to really make me concerned. Here is what I got:

    FC=2
    Ph=7.4
    TA=60
    CH=250
    CYA 100+

    The Leslie's guy said to take care of the TA issue was the first thing to do as it can cause false readings of PH....(is that true??) He said that the FC was fine, but looking at the CYA/Chlorine chart by Chemgeek, if the CYA is 100, then my target FC should be around 12.

    I am planning on taking up my concerns to the property manager, and I would like to be able to speak a bit more intelligently about pool maintenance and what needs to be done to get the pool healthy and keep it there. So, if anyone can help me sort through the issues, it would be greatly appreciated.
    16' x 48" round Intex AGP. 1500gph Intex cartridge filter/pump.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Hi Fiziksgeek,

    Welcome to the forum


    Quote Originally Posted by Fiziksgeek
    He said that the FC was fine, but looking at the CYA/Chlorine chart by Chemgeek, if the CYA is 100, then my target FC should be around 12.
    You are correct.

    One problem is that CYA readings of 100 are often actually even higher. The FC of 2ppm is not nearly enough to sanitize.

    So, the biggest problem is the CYA.

    A series of partial drains/refills to lower the CYA to a managable level is the first step.

    Do you have a SWG? (Salt Water Generator?) or, auto chlorine feeder?

    Did Leslies happen to give the TC or CC test numbers?

    If you plan on taking control of the pool, the best investment you can make is a good test kit. I highly recommend the TF100 sold by duraleigh, one of our members. There is a link in my sig and one on the home page. There is a comparison on test kits in Pool School (link in my sig and at the top of each page in the sub-heading).
    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.

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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Welcome to TFP!!

    A couple of thoughts:

    You have someone taking care of the pool that doesn't do things 'our way' (and apparently doesn't bother to test the water before dosing the pool )

    Your CYA is at least 100 (probably closer to 200)

    You now know how to properly maintain a pool, after coming here




    It may cost you some extra $$ out of your pocket, but take control of the pool your wife and infant will be using and maintain the pool yourself (you won't save any $ off the ~condo fees - I end up having to shovel my wife to the car and out to the street a couple of times each winter, I don't get a break on my fees because I do this - but my wife makes it to work on time )

    The first thing I would do is replace at least 1/2 the water in the pool to lower the CYA to a manageable level - depending on the water table in your area, this might be done all at once or in a series of partial drain and refills. (if you are in an area with a high water table, you could end up popping the pool out of the ground, if you drain too much at once )

    Please keep us informed with what's happening with the pool, we'd love to see you have a 'trouble free pool' that you are maintaining 'our' way
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    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 pool issues

    Thanks fore the replies!

    Waste...where are you from? I just moved down here from Simsbury, CT!

    I dont really want to maintain the pool myself, but if that's the only way to have it properly maintained, I will do it. I am a fish guy, sold my 300 gallon reef tank when I moved down here. So I am used to maintaining complicated water parameters....but with the goal of keeping things alive, not killing things, haha.

    I rent a single family home. As mentioned, the pool care is included in my rent. I plan to give the the property manager/owner a choice, either let me do the pool maintenance (and reduce my rent) or get a different service company who can do it properly.

    I will take a better look at the equipment tomorrow and let you know what I see. I also plan to order a test kit, which will allow me, at the very least, to check up on the water parameters now and then.

    But it kinda sounds like the pool really isnt that safe for swimming...certainly not for a baby?? Basically because the pool does not have the proper sanitizing level. Its may not be harmful to me as a strong healthy adult, but as a relatively new father, my concern is for the little one of course!!
    16' x 48" round Intex AGP. 1500gph Intex cartridge filter/pump.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiziksgeek

    But it kinda sounds like the pool really isnt that safe for swimming...certainly not for a baby?? Basically because the pool does not have the proper sanitizing level. Its may not be harmful to me as a strong healthy adult, but as a relatively new father, my concern is for the little one of course!!
    You got it, I wouldn't let my baby swim in it. For the baby's safety and yours (swim diapers don't really do much....)

    I would go the negotiate a rent decrease route. I would guess the pool companies are charging a lot, I would call around, see what they are charging. IF it's like $50 a month, undershoot them by $5 or so. BBB is very inexpensive, you won't spend that much on it, but don't tell them that!

    I lived thru high CYA problems in my pool, I agree with the advice to do a partial drain/refill.

    BTW, Welcome to the forum!
    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 pool issues

    HAHA We learned the hard way about swim diapers. Went to the beach, she loved the sand (so much she wanted to eat it) but was afraid of the waves, so she never got wet. We made a couple stops on the way home figuring she was covered...she had a diaper on. We'll never do that again. Swim diapers dont hold anything!!

    When i first moved into the house, I was impressed with the pool. I couldnt even tell that it had chlorine in it at all....now I guess I understand why.....it really didnt have any!

    Took a look at the equipment set up. There is a Whisperflow 1hp pump, a Pentair model 320 auto chlorine/bromine inline feeder and of course the big Pentair cartridge filter.

    I guess my first step will be to get a test kit and see if I can confirm the readings that they gave me at Leslie's.
    16' x 48" round Intex AGP. 1500gph Intex cartridge filter/pump.

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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Disposable swim diapers are not designed to hold much liquid. They do a so-so job of holding solids. Cloth swim diapers do a much better job holding in the solids since they are tight around the legs. Either way urine will leak right out into the pool. Cloth swim diapers can be purchased at Target or online several places - if you are interested. My daughters preferred the cloth swim diapers as did I.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
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    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Quote Originally Posted by savdoc2
    Disposable swim diapers are not designed to hold much liquid. They do a so-so job of holding solids. Cloth swim diapers do a much better job holding in the solids since they are tight around the legs. Either way urine will leak right out into the pool. Cloth swim diapers can be purchased at Target or online several places - if you are interested. My daughters preferred the cloth swim diapers as did I.
    Me too, they fit better and did a better job on the solids. I think all parents have learned the hardway about the swim diapers not holding liquids. I know I did. Good thing the carseat covers are washable...
    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 pool issues

    I know you moved in thinking "Great! I get a pool and someone else will maintain it for me " Fortunately you realized that the pool guy is a Bozo and the pool probably isn't fit for human use On the bright side, you can tame that pool beast quickly with the help here and after that, pool maintenance will probably average ~ 1/2 hr a week

    I strongly suggest considering the TF 100 test kit (in my sig)! the shipping is FAST and the customer support is without equal!!!

    I know it's a bummer to have 1 extra chore a week that you thought would be done for you, but having a safe and sanitary pool for you and your family should more than make up for any inconvenience! (also, some folks find their 'Zen' moments while caring for the pool - it can be a nice way to 'decompress' after a weeks work and it's a nice feeling to look out the window every day and know the pool is sparkly and safe for your family to swim in )

    I'm in the Waterbury area since 2000.

    If you need any help with the pool - we will be here for you!!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    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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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiziksgeek
    ............12-13k inground gunite pool with a cartridge filter.............Took a look at the equipment set up. There is a Whisperflow 1hp pump, a Pentair model 320 auto chlorine/bromine inline feeder and of course the big Pentair cartridge filter
    It would be very helpful if you would add all your pool and equipment info in your signature. As much detail as you can gather is great.

    Just go to User Control Panel (top left under TFP Logo),select "Profile" and then "Edit Signature".

    ETA: We also love pix! :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 with pool issues

    Oh yes, I left one piece of equipment off the list. One of those Nature 2 mineral purifiers....what the heck does that thing do anyway? Is it any good?

    Cant get any pics yet. The camera is with my wife...still in CT until this weekend!
    16' x 48" round Intex AGP. 1500gph Intex cartridge filter/pump.

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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiziksgeek
    Oh yes, I left one piece of equipment off the list. One of those Nature 2 mineral purifiers....what the heck does that thing do anyway? Is it any good?

    Cant get any pics yet. The camera is with my wife...still in CT until this weekend!
    The Nature 2....

    You should read this article....
    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 pool issues

    Well, I did some reading here and else where. And as I understand it now, the nature 2 is really just there to help prevent algae (not addressing sanitation), so with that goal in mind, it may allow a slight reduction in the level of chlorine needed. As far as them chemicals being "dangerous"...well...I am VERy skeptical. Stating the full scientific name of a product may make it sounds scary to most, but not to people with brains! Everything...and I do mean everything is dangerous in certain applications, dosages, concentrations, etc. Additional information would be needed to determine if it were an actual health hazzard. It contains silver nitrate, but is silver nitrate actually released into the pool? If so, how much? And although it may be a useless piece of equipment, if it were really harmful, it would likely not still be on the market. I do, or at least am beginning to understand what effects copper and the like can have on pool chemistry and what it can do to the equipment and your hair.

    I have not opened the unit to determine if there is even a cartridge in it. And if there is, I am not sure how I would go about determining its age. Somehow I doubt my bozo pool guy replaces it every 4-6 months as recommended. It would cut into his profits too much I am sure!
    16' x 48" round Intex AGP. 1500gph Intex cartridge filter/pump.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiziksgeek
    I do, or at least am beginning to understand what effects copper and the like can have on pool chemistry and what it can do to the equipment and your hair.
    Glad you understand that....and most people don't know or realize that the ionizers the pool stores are pushing as beneficial may not cause "harm" per se (from a health standpoint - and that's not necessarily my point) but they certainly don't accomplish what is implied. Many people rely on these and keep their chlorine WAY TOO LOW to keep a pool properly sanitized. Too many people, including some pool store employees, assume that these devices do reduce the amount of chlorine needed. That's a dangersous misperception.

    I think the cap screws off at the top....I found some pics at this link....

    On that page it actually says the following statements, which I think are dispicable....

    "Nature2 is the only purifier that guarantees all this:

    Less chlorine, less chemical use, fewer chemical hassles

    Safer for children

    No red burning eyes, irritated skin or discolored hair

    Less time necessary for pool maintenance

    Nature2 will never create pool stains

    Easy to use

    Annual cost equal to or less than your current treatment

    Safe for the environment

    A more refreshing, highly enjoyable swimming experience"


    What a crock.....
    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 pool issues

    Nature 2 is mostly useless rather than harmful, but there are indirect health risks. Following their directions about lowering your FC level can be a health hazard in some situations. The Nature 2 system doesn't always get enough silver into the water to be effective and there is no practical way to measure the silver levels in the water to be sure. When low FC levels combine with either low silver levels or heavy bather loads, the water can quickly become unsafe.

    The cost of the mineral packs is more than the cost of maintaining normal FC levels vs lower levels, so there is no cost advantage. Combine that with the difficulty in knowing if it is being effective or not and what positives do you have left?
    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

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    Well, you know what they say...a sucker born every minute....and they are looking to sell to as many of those suckers as possible!

    Unfortunately my problems are much deeper...I have so much CLA in the water that the ORP of my chlorine is probably zero! This is likely a consequence of being in Florida, where the pool is never drained. In northern climates, it is more typical for a pool to be partially or completely drained when closed for the winter. So you kinda start fresh every season. I have a feeling that the pool guy had the last tenants using pucks to maintain the pool. Just a guess!
    16' x 48" round Intex AGP. 1500gph Intex cartridge filter/pump.

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    Re: Another newbie with pool issues

    So I checked the status of the equipment. The Nature 2 does have a cartridge in it. I do not see a way for its not to. Looks like the cartridge and top and a single piece, but maybe I did not look close enough. The auto chlorine feeder was empty.

    The property manager is calling the owner to discuss the situation. She stated that they have been using the same pool service for 4 years and never had any problems and no one ever got sick. My reply was that you can never guarantee future performance on past results, and I pointed out that none of the previous occupants had a peeing, pooping little baby in the pool either...kids yes, infant no. I also asked about algae outbreak I had..if this was the first they have seen in 4 years, perhaps that means there has been a change in the maintenance routine....

    I did order a TF100 test kit!
    16' x 48" round Intex AGP. 1500gph Intex cartridge filter/pump.

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