Another New Pool Guy Needs Help

MichaelHyland

New member
Jul 11, 2020
3
Belleville, NJ
Had 18' round above-ground installed last Thursday. Hayward EC40AC with Spec-X Pump. Circulation seems good.

Filled through next day, waited for rain to pass through. Added DE on Saturday per instructions, along with water conditioner. Floated some Chlorine pucks. At dusk, shocked pool with packet provided. Just have test strips right now, but FCI was good. Alk and pH were low. Cya was low -- not sure what these all mean or what to do next (aside from a better way to test).

Need basic (treat me like I'm 5) advice: My understanding is I should run the filter 12 hours during the day, and float chlorine pucks daily. Shock every 1-2 weeks? What should I be testing for and adding on regular basis moving forward? How often do I add DE?

Anyone who can help me establish a healthy routine with what I'm working here, I would greatly appreciate it -- there's so much information on the web/this website that I'm feeling overwhelmed.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,643
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
Also go through these links to start --

First move is to order a proper test kit. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols. Test strips are truly worthless and misleading.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,443
NY
Hey Michael and Welcome !!
My understanding is I should run the filter 12 hours during the day, and float chlorine pucks daily. Shock every 1-2 weeks? What should I be testing for and adding on regular basis moving forward? How often do I add DE?
This is clearly pool store advice. It is sending you down a path that works just long enough to fool you into believing it. When it inevitably fails, you will blindly trust them selling you big $$$ fixes that only last for a few weeks without ever addressing the main pool store induced problem. When the ‘fix’ works for a few weeks, You’ll spend $$$ again to fix it for another few weeks...... see the problem ?

Get yourself a TF-100 test kit. Take control of your pool from the get go with reliable testing and we can guide you the rest of the way with cheap generic ‘chemicals’ like bleach, baking soda and borax. Those of us with kids already have 5 lbs of borax laying around for slime making. (My daughter saw my box and scolded me for not using hers, Thanks sweetie)

Read all the above links from Marty. They are amazing and will get you where you need to be. It’s a lot of terms at first but it will click at some point and you’ll realize how simple it really is.

Thanks to this being a global community, (and insomnia too I guess) there will be folks available 24/7 to help guide. They might type with a funny Aussie accent, but their help is just as good.
 

MichaelHyland

New member
Jul 11, 2020
3
Belleville, NJ
Alright, thank you all for the replies. I asked the same questions on reddit, and one of the answers sent me back here. :)
The resources I reviewed above were helpful. Let me break down what I've learned:

I started with a pool conditioner, some shock and some pucks -- just starting out this is OK but can't do this long term.
  • need a decent liquid test kit to monitor chlorine level, pH, alkalinity and Cya
  • I can use chlorine pucks to start, but should really transition to liquid chlorine / bleach as my cya begins to grow.
  • I can use soda ash or baking soda to raise pH.
  • my DE replenishment needs will be defined by my filter pressure.
  • aside from the above, don't buy into all the other chemicals / junk
So, tomorrow I need to raise that ph and begin my cleaning schedule (skim, brush, vacuum). Alkalinity should rise as I maintain. Avoid shocking unless Fcl drops dramatically -- shouldn't need any conditioner otherwise. Any other tips for this? I've got a 7-year-old and an 11-year-old, so my main goal is safe and healthy in addition to learning and do the right thing long run.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,889
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Your ph is low due to the pucks, as soon as you stop using them Ph will rise and you will need muriatic acid to lower it. So dont buy too much soda. Please fill in your signature with your pool info so we can help you better. Also order the speedstir makes testing easier and consistent.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,249
OV, CA
Alright, thank you all for the replies. I asked the same questions on reddit, and one of the answers sent me back here. :)
The resources I reviewed above were helpful. Let me break down what I've learned:

I started with a pool conditioner, some shock and some pucks -- just starting out this is OK but can't do this long term.
  • need a decent liquid test kit to monitor chlorine level, pH, alkalinity and Cya
  • I can use chlorine pucks to start, but should really transition to liquid chlorine / bleach as my cya begins to grow.
  • I can use soda ash or baking soda to raise pH.
  • my DE replenishment needs will be defined by my filter pressure.
  • aside from the above, don't buy into all the other chemicals / junk
So, tomorrow I need to raise that ph and begin my cleaning schedule (skim, brush, vacuum). Alkalinity should rise as I maintain. Avoid shocking unless Fcl drops dramatically -- shouldn't need any conditioner otherwise. Any other tips for this? I've got a 7-year-old and an 11-year-old, so my main goal is safe and healthy in addition to learning and do the right thing long run.
Step 1... Order your test kit. Its all conjecture until you have a way to test your water. We don't guess, we test. everything else depends on that
Step 2.. use liquid chlorine now.. put the pucks away.. save them for when you have to go on a trip, they are good for that, but you should use LC now. I can't say what's going on with your CYA until you test the level.. So add 5ppm pf CL each day until your kit arrives.
Step 3. you can raise your pH by areation.. making bubbles, you don't need to throw more chems in. besides we don't know what your pH is until you get your test kit.
Step 4, you backwash your filter when it reaches 25% of the clean pressure. and you'll need to recharge the DE when you do.
Step 5, put all the other junk aside until you get your test kit and we know what your water levels are...

Did you see a theme there? I did that on purpose, tee hee ;)
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,297
Sebring, Florida
I can use soda ash or baking soda to raise pH.
Nope. Baking Soda has VERY little affect on pH.......it is used to raise TA..

Get a test kit that we can trust (Taylor K-2006C or TFTestkits TF-100) and post a full set of test results. I doubt you will need either chemical at all.