Brand new pool owner


Well-known member
Apr 5, 2017
Cullman , Al
I recently bought a home with a 20x40foot 40k gallon pool.
from what I have read here that with my chem balance I probably should just add a bunch of bleach until it maintains chlorine levels then brush the fire out of everything.
My chem dip stick test (brand new hth 6way strips) shows 0fc 8.4 pH 120-180 TA 100-200 total hardness with 200-300 CYA
the imgur link shows my setup. I have algae. I also want to know why I have a second pump. The chlorinator keeps 5+ 3 inch tablets and never makes a dent even turned to max flow. I suspect that I need to change sand in the sand filter so that is definitely on the agenda just wanted to clean the water up first. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all new-to-them pool owners... :shark:

I'll start with the easiest question first. You have a main pump to circulate water through your filter and back to the pool and you have another pump (the one with the small hoses) that powers a pressure side cleaner.

The hard part is trying to explain why you have algae. We can all guess, but no one can tell you for sure without accurate test data from the testing of your pool water.

Since there are hundreds of testing methods and kits, most of which we do not trust to be accurate, the only way for us to get accurate data, is for you to test your own water with one of two test kits. The TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006C.

Without these results we can't compare apple to apples.

There are almost no good reasons to change the sand in a sand filter. It is like a billon years old, so you can't really hurt it or wear it out.

Suggest you use the link at the top of this page and take a look at the information in our Pool School..

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
Midland TX
Welcome Noob!

Sorry to say right off, but we don't want to give advice based on strips. If you want to control the pool, you really need to get a proper test kit, and learn what it tells you. Unfortunately, multi analyte strips like that just dont provide enough accuracy.

We would love to help you get this in line, and if you look around the Forum, it's what we are all about. A little knowledge, a good kit, and acting on your own results that you can trust.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2007
Houston, Texas
Test kit is a must. Test strips suck. I sure hope your CYA isn't 300. If so, you're probably looking at draining.

While your at it, you can also put your pool information in your signature in the bottom here so we all know what you're working with. Size/type of pool, equipment, etc. I would stock up on liquid bleach right now. You're going to need it. I'd stop using any hard chlorine (pucks, granules) until you get your results.
Pool School - Recommended Levels
Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart