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Thread: Hello and Questions

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Hello and Questions

    Just wanted to say hello. I am the proud new owner of a 20x40 24,000 gallon in-ground vinyl pool. We have just purchased a new home complete with pool and we are very excited. In addition to the pool we also inherited a Polaris 380, which I had rebuilt at the local pool store.

    I found this website after trolling around the internet researching pool ownership. I found poolforum.com but I believe that site is now defunct. Either way there was a suggestion to visit this site and there is a lot of similar thinking and information here.

    I am planning to follow the BBB method as it seems to keep the cost of ownership fairly low, or as low as it can be for a chlorine pool. The only thing that I am trying to determine at this point is whether I will buy bleach from Wal-Mart or if I will be 12% liquid chlorine (bleach) from the pool store that is on my way home. The latter charges $5 for a 2.5 gal refill of your carboy, which I believe works out to the equivalent to $1 per gal of 6%. The guy also sells 100# of tabs for $129.99 which he says is substantially cheaper (I haven't gotten the details to make a comparison) but that is taken all the other adjustment out of the equation.

    My first thing that I need to do is get a good test kit and I will probably follow the suggestions on this site and get a good one. That should help avoid the pool store $$$ experience as much as possible.

    Here are my test results (some) from the pool store, which will have to do until I get a real test kit.

    FC 4
    TC 4
    CC 0
    pH 7.6
    CYA 69
    Alk 37
    Ca 32
    Temp 75

    This calculation was done based on 30,000 gal. My pool is 20x40 with and avg. depth of 4ft, which should work out to 24,000 gal.

    I am currently fighting a cloudy pool so I am running the pump 24 hr until it clears.

    Any suggestions?

    BTW this is in Mississippi
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  2. Back To Top    #2
    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Questions

    Hello, and welcome to TFP!

    Your FC is a little low for your CYA level which is probably why you're fighting cloudy water (nascent algae bloom, I'd bet). Per JasonLion's pool calculator, for your CYA level you need to keep your FC between 5 - 10. Since it's cloudy, you probably need to raise your FC to shock level, and keep it there until you lose no FC overnight. Once you accomplish this, let it drift back down to between 5 -10 and maintain it there. For your CYA level, your shock level would be 20.
    Your CYA level is a bit high, and your TA and CH are also both a bit low, although the CH isn't as important with a vinyl lined pool. It would be worth your while to go read the articles in Pool School . Lots of good information there, especially with regard to balancing your water.

    Lower CYA - drain out some water
    Raise FC - add liquid chlorine
    Raise TA - add baking soda
    Raise CH - add calcium chloride

    As noted earlier, Jason's pool calculator can be used to determine how much chlorine/baking soda/ calcium chloride needs to be added to reach your target values.

    I would stay away from the 100# of tabs. It's more than likely tri-chlor, which will cause your CYA to go up even further.

    The two test kits most recommended on here are the Taylor K-2006 and the TFTestkit TF-100. The K-2006 can be bought at a good price here, and the TF-100 can be bought here.

    Again, welcome to the forum!
    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!"

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Hello and Questions

    Thanks for the prompt response. Tonight I actually added some Baking Soda to bring up the TA and added some chlorine.

    What I forgot to mention is that after my test I brought the FC level up to 10 and then added 182oz of generic bleach (which should bring it up to about 13.X ppm). I don't have a test kit that is capable of testing above 10ppm right now so that is priority #1.

    My cya is a little high but I was wondering if I should maintain it at this level due to the fact that it is so hot and humid down here and the pool has 0 shade during the day.

    Also I added 50 # of CH and 4# of Baking Soda (It was all I had)
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  4. Back To Top    #4
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Questions

    HI there,

    IMHO, the $5 price for refillable jug is very good. Also, since you are at the high end of CYA I would also recommend sticking to the LC instead of tabs. If you did decide to use tabs, just remember that they raise CYA and lower PH so those need to be monitored and your PH and FC adjusted accordingly. The higher the CYA the higher the FC needs to be or you will end up with trouble.

    I think you would be okay to run with the CYA where it's at for now, without taking the time to lower it via partial drain, for a couple reasons. 1, like you said, very sunny. But 2, you have a sand filter, so overtime with backwashing the CYA will come down slowly. And 3, when you get rain from hurricanes, etc., which is entirely possible given your locale, you'll be draining out some of your water and then CYA will be diluted from heavy rain, and then draining water out will result in a lower CYA. While that may be rarer to occur than the backwashing, it can still be a factor. FYI, I started out with 70 CYA in May. I did a partial drain to lower it to 40-50. Over the summer with splash out, etc., it dropped to 30, and then 25. In the last two weeks we've had the remnants of a couple of hurricanes and another major weather system that resulted in at least 14 inches of water going into my pool. So I've drained it several times, and My CYA is not registering anymore. Just my .02.

    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Hello and Questions

    Thanks for the reply. Hurricanes are worth considering since I am on the coast but also we are in the rainiest area of the US. http://www.livescience.com/environment/ ... ities.html.

    Today I also found that my local Lowe's has generic bleach for 2.98 for (2) large bottles (1.42 gal) of 6% strength. That works out to about $1.05 a gal for 6%, which actually is cheaper than the pool store because I don't have the expense of a carboy. The real added convienience is that Lowe's is open later than the Pool Store.

    The main reason that I want to go LC is to avoid adding in chemicals that I don't need and constantly having to tweak the pH. My dad uses tabs and always wonders why the pH is low. I guess it must be due to dry acid in the tabs?

    Thanks to this website I went and returned my 42.5# bucket of chlorine+ tabs at Lowe's and I am going to the BBB method.

    After looking at all the info on here. It looks like once I purchase my test kit. I should have my major expense out of the way with the exception of any pool repairs that may come up. Well that and possibly the purchase of a Liquidator.

    Thanks
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
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    Re: Hello and Questions

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Sounds like you've got it all figured out and will be enjoying a Trouble Free Pool for many years

    Don't worry about future repairs - we may be able to help you do them yourself or at least knock the price down if you have to hire someone to do it

    ENJOY THE POOL! 8)
    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!)

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Hello and Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Welcome to TFP!!

    Sounds like you've got it all figured out and will be enjoying a Trouble Free Pool for many years

    Don't worry about future repairs - we may be able to help you do them yourself or at least knock the price down if you have to hire someone to do it

    ENJOY THE POOL! 8)
    Don't know if I quite have it figured all out or not, I'm still living with a cloudy pool!!!
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  8. Back To Top    #8
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by CGS
    I'm still living with a cloudy pool!!!
    Keep in mind that with a CYA of 70, your shock level is higher, about 28 according to the Chart. So if you're only hitting about 13 that's not high enough, and would help explain why your water is still cloudy.

    Being unable to test higher will be a problem till you get your kit. Do you have any other way to test until it arrives, or is the pool store your only source? When you know your current FC level, use the Pool Calculator to figure out how much bleach to add to raise it to 28, and then keep it there until your water clears and your FC "holds" overnight. Good luck!
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Hello and Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Quote Originally Posted by CGS
    I'm still living with a cloudy pool!!!
    Keep in mind that with a CYA of 70, your shock level is higher, about 28 according to the Chart. So if you're only hitting about 13 that's not high enough, and would help explain why your water is still cloudy.

    Being unable to test higher will be a problem till you get your kit. Do you have any other way to test until it arrives, or is the pool store your only source? When you know your current FC level, use the Pool Calculator to figure out how much bleach to add to raise it to 28, and then keep it there until your water clears and your FC "holds" overnight. Good luck!
    I have two liquid test kits that were left by the preivous owner and some test strips. None of the liquid test kits exceed 5 ppm and the strips do not exceed 10ppm.
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  10. Back To Top    #10
    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Questions

    Until you get a test kit that has the FAS-DPD chlorine test, you can use the shotglass method to get an approximation of what your TC level is. Unfortunately it won't allow you to determine what your FC level is, but TC should work until you get a better test kit. The shotglass method involves adding equal amounts of distilled water to one part pool water, doing your OTO chlorine test (liquid test, not guess strip), and then multiplying the result by a factor determined by how many equal amounts of distilled water you add. For example, if you add one part pool water and one part distilled water, multiply by 2; one part pool water and two parts distilled water, multiply by 3; one part pool water and three parts distilled water, multiply by 4. So, say you do one part pool water and two parts distilled water and get a 3 ppm reading, then your TC is roughly 9 ppm.
    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!"

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Hello and Questions

    So a few things have changed since my last post on this thread. I got my immediate pool problem fixed and got a real test kit. It looks like my CYA level is around 100 or possibly even slightly higher. I have a vinyl pool and even though I will have to back flush my sand filter, it looks like I need to do a partial drain and refill, maybe even twice, to get it down. In order to do that though I will have to replace the current three way valve that is installed on my system. The handle was broken off. I'm thinking of going with a Jandy 3-way if I can find one that matches my setup. When looking straight at the valve it has an inlet on the bottom and on the right, with the exit on the left.

    In addition, my pump must have picked up some trash or suffered some damage. One day back in September it started making a terrible noise like it had a rock or something in it. Once the noise passed the output strength of the pump was noticeably down when compared in the pool and also visually when performing a backwash. The pressure just wasn't the same. I'm not sure what the cause of the issue is (impeller damage perhaps?) and there are no external leaks or anything. I guess my options are to either have the unit rebuilt locally or try to perform the rebuld myself. The pump is a Hayward Super II, Model SP3007X10AZ http://www.haywardnet.com/inground/prod ... oductID=11. This seems to be a pretty good unit, so I would like to stick with it. It currently still works and doesn't make any noise that it shouldn't but the output just isn't there. Hopefully it can be rebuilt.

    On the plus side I have been using the BBB method. My TA and PH have been rock solid since I started. I'm pretty happy about that. Hopefully I can get that CYA down.

    Thoughts, comments, suggestions welcome.

    Thanks guys!
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  12. Back To Top    #12
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Questions

    Whatever was making noise in the impeller may have got between the veins and could be stuck there impeding your water flow. Remove the 6 bolts holding the housing on and take a look.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Hello and Questions

    OK, I will look into that. Are there any special considerations that I need to be aware of before I go looking into the pump?
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  14. Back To Top    #14
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Questions

    Sure there are!

    -Turn the pump off at the breaker since you'll be dumping a housing full of water out and don't need it coming on when you're poking at it.
    -If your pump is below water level you'll have to close a few valves so you don't flood yourself.
    -When putting it back in place don't overtighten the bolts. Hand tight plus 1/4 turn is fine. The brass threads that are molded into your pump housing are not invinceable.
    -You'll need to add water to the housing once you reassemble it for the pump to prime.
    -You might need some pool lubricant handy in case your housing or diffuser gaskets aren't in great shape.

    It's a pretty straightforward operation, just the usual precautions.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Hello and Questions

    Great. Thanks for the tips. I think me and my dad are going to tackle this. He seemed interested in getting the first hand experience. I've been dropping hints to him about the forum, maybe he'll bite on the BBB method. I think he is kind of skeptical right now.

    I think what I am going to do in the short run is replace the three way valve, address the pump issue, and try to flush out the sand filter with the garden hose. Maybe that will cure my current ailments. I will let you guys know how it goes. Once I get to that point I will probably do a partial drain and refill so that way I can wrap up most of this stuff before summer gets here.
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Hello and Questions

    Found out what was causing my low flow problem. The plastic "bearing" between the impeller and diffuser somehow broke and became lodged in the impeller. It got jammed in there so tightly that it wasn't making any noise. I wish we would have looked sooner, because the CL level has been fined but the pool has still been turning green. Guess I know why now
    24,000 G, Sand, IG, Vinyl

  17. Back To Top    #17
    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Questions

    Good work. Did you replace the weir (the plastic bit)? It helps separate the suction and pressure sides of your pump, and without it you'll get some cavitation around the impeller, so if you didn't replace it do so.

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