Brand new to this, hoping for a gentle nudge in the right direction

JBourne10

Member
Sep 28, 2021
6
Florida
Taylor 2006 kit, I think I'm understanding the methods. 17.2K gal, vinyl, iChor 30, Sand, water feature (sheer descent 48", I note that because it is a form of aeration I hear?)
Results: FCL 1.0, pH 7.2, TA 30, CH 50, CYA 0, Salt 2800
I've read the Taylor charts, perused the forums and other sites--so many variables of one thing might be affecting the other.
Where do I start? The FCL I assume. Then what? pH? CH? TA? I assume the Florida heat burnt up the CYA.
I tried a local store for testing and chemicals, their instructions and methods turned everything milky white last year--which is why I hired a pool guy....who is moving back to South FL now. So here I am. Anybody got time for an absolute Newbie?
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,164
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Are u sure your ta is 30?
Test again & wipe the regeant bottle spout with a damp paper towel between drops. See if u have a different result. The new bottles can sometimes have a static buildup on the tip that affects drop size.
After the 1st few tests wiping isn’t necessary anymore.
If TA is really is 30 add some baking soda to get it to about 60. (Should be about 7.5 lbs)
Use PoolMath to calculate all additions.
Use some liquid chlorine/bleach to increase fc to 4ppm now.
Your cya needs to be at least 60 for your area but for now add enough to get to 30ppm via the sock method 🧦. You don’t wanna over shoot so its best to add cya/stabilizer in stages. It’s possible u have some cya in the water just not enough to measure via the test.
Since you have been running a low level of fc it would wise to do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to rule out organics before you raise cya past 30 or so incase a SLAM Process is needed.
This is done w/ the swg off.

Ch is fine - u have a vinyl pool. Unless u have a heater that the warranty specifies otherwise.
Ph will rise on its own when u get ta in check so long as u aren’t adding acidic products like Muriatic acid, trichlor, or dichlor.
Salt is a bit low. 3600ppm is optimal for that unit
 

JBourne10

Member
Sep 28, 2021
6
Florida
Are u sure your ta is 30?
Test again & wipe the regeant bottle spout with a damp paper towel between drops. See if u have a different result. The new bottles can sometimes have a static buildup on the tip that affects drop size.
After the 1st few tests wiping isn’t necessary anymore.
If TA is really is 30 add some baking soda to get it to about 60. (Should be about 7.5 lbs)
Use PoolMath to calculate all additions.
Use some liquid chlorine/bleach to increase fc to 4ppm now.
Your cya needs to be at least 60 for your area but for now add enough to get to 30ppm via the sock method 🧦. You don’t wanna over shoot so its best to add cya/stabilizer in stages. It’s possible u have some cya in the water just not enough to measure via the test.
Since you have been running a low level of fc it would wise to do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to rule out organics before you raise cya past 30 or so incase a SLAM Process is needed.
This is done w/ the swg off.

Ch is fine - u have a vinyl pool. Unless u have a heater that the warranty specifies otherwise.
Ph will rise on its own when u get ta in check so long as u aren’t adding acidic products like Muriatic acid, trichlor, or dichlor.
Salt is a bit low. 3600ppm is optimal for that unit
Thank you so much for the reply! I took a sample to my local store, and they ran it with the same results except they had TA at 25 and CH at 55. So here's my dilemma--at least I know my testing skills (and kit) are at least average, but since I didn't know exactly what to buy, how much, what order to put things in (successive days or all at once? what can you put at the same time?), etc. I walked away with $147 worth of stuff, which is the amount of chems that I had deciphered with the Pool Math calc, etc. But....

For $100-$125/mo I can get on someone's route, knowing they will keep it straight and use the least amount of chemicals possible (cuz it saves them money). It seems every time I try to test it myself or take it in for testing, I'm dropping more than a monthly route would cost. So, I'm obviously missing something--unless everyone on this forum is used to spending $150-$200/mo just for the fun/experience of doing it theirselves. I just don't think I know all the tips and tricks yet, for example, you mentioned not to worry about Calcium because of my vinyl, I din't know that--that would've saved me $50.

Also of note, I used this same "local store" when the pool was first installed because I had heard, "Oh a SWG will make it so easy to maintain" ;), and after the third trip of doing everything EXACTLY as they told (and about $230 over the first month) they had my water absolutely milky white. When I took samples back and brought pics, they were stumped and said "Hmm, well maybe we just need to have one of our route guys come by and see if they can figure it out."

So any more tips, resource links, where to source chemicals, general advice is appreciated. And again, thank you very much for your initial reply!
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,164
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Baking soda raises ta - u need about 8 lbs
So that’s roughly $4.60 @ walmart or the grocery store
D8158F1A-D647-42E4-A747-86FD72B88EA5.png
You need about 8lbs of stabilizer to get u to 60 - I would add 4lbs via sock method then test cya again in 24 hrs - this works out well because about 2lbs will fit easily in a sock 🧦 so if u have 2 returns you can do a sock in front each retun. The more often u squeeze the sock the faster it will dissolve & be in the water. Do not pour dry stabilizer in your skimmer.
4# of stabilizer is about $15 & u need 2 so that’s $30
It can be found at Walmart (i buy mine online) or in lowes/Home Depot in the pool section - some people have luck w/ amazon as well.
C1E321BE-8FC3-4393-8CAA-B04093379847.png
U need roughly 2 bags of salt - they’re about $8 each around here.
A gallon of 10% bleach cost about $3.79 here @ Walmart/lowes etc & to raise fc to 4ppm you’ll need about 1/2 gal today (more if u need to slam obviously) so find a good source. You should always have some on hand to bring fc up quickly if needed (like heavy bather loadsas a swg takes a while.
you may find it much cheaper since you’re in sunny pool friendly florida - many find it at various pool stores in refillable 2.5 gal jugs
Always follow the FC/CYA Chart
recap - $5 baking soda
$30 stabilizer
$16 salt
$4 bleach/liquid chlorine
Total = $55 approximately
Salt & stabilizer only need replacement if there is a water exchange taking place like heavy rains, overflow or backwashing. They should be checked at least monthly.
Heat can reduce some cya over time but the major factor is water exchange.
Once your ta is around 60 it will not likely need additional adjustments.
I have only had to increase my pool’s ta once in the last 5 yrs & it was because i used some trichlor pucks to increase fc & cya. (They are acidic)
Have u been using anything else to chlorinate the pool besides the swg?
Or been reducing ph with acid?
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,164
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Also, here’s a nudge - don’t go in to the pool store anymore 🤣
at least not for advice/suggestions/testing.
-TRUST YOUR TESTING-
The only pool store testing recommended is for metals (copper & iron) if u think u have a problem or have used something that would introduce them into your water like algeacides or “blu” products - & that’s just because there’s not a reasonable home test for those.
Many here @ tfp , including myself still patronize the mom & pop pool stores for accessories, parts, liquid chlorine,salt & sand if they have reasonable prices.
Just say no to ❌magic potions 🧪.
 
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JBourne10

Member
Sep 28, 2021
6
Florida
Baking soda raises ta - u need about 8 lbs
So that’s roughly $4.60 @ walmart or the grocery store
View attachment 375376
You need about 8lbs of stabilizer to get u to 60 - I would add 4lbs via sock method then test cya again in 24 hrs - this works out well because about 2lbs will fit easily in a sock 🧦 so if u have 2 returns you can do a sock in front each retun. The more often u squeeze the sock the faster it will dissolve & be in the water. Do not pour dry stabilizer in your skimmer.
4# of stabilizer is about $15 & u need 2 so that’s $30
It can be found at Walmart (i buy mine online) or in lowes/Home Depot in the pool section - some people have luck w/ amazon as well.
View attachment 375377
U need roughly 2 bags of salt - they’re about $8 each around here.
A gallon of 10% bleach cost about $3.79 here @ Walmart/lowes etc & to raise fc to 4ppm you’ll need about 1/2 gal today (more if u need to slam obviously) so find a good source. You should always have some on hand to bring fc up quickly if needed (like heavy bather loadsas a swg takes a while.
you may find it much cheaper since you’re in sunny pool friendly florida - many find it at various pool stores in refillable 2.5 gal jugs
Always follow the FC/CYA Chart
recap - $5 baking soda
$30 stabilizer
$16 salt
$4 bleach/liquid chlorine
Total = $55 approximately
Salt & stabilizer only need replacement if there is a water exchange taking place like heavy rains, overflow or backwashing. They should be checked at least monthly.
Heat can reduce some cya over time but the major factor is water exchange.
Once your ta is around 60 it will not likely need additional adjustments.
I have only had to increase my pool’s ta once in the last 5 yrs & it was because i used some trichlor pucks to increase fc & cya. (Tabihey are acidic)
Have u been using anything else to chlorinate the pool besides the swg?
Or been reducing ph with acid?
Look, just give me your Venmo link and I'll just shoot you the $125/mo!! I mean, not really, but I'm not opposed to adding you to our Christmas Card list ;). Thank you for the replies, the links, the explanations. I've had time now to look over a few other threads on TFP, and realize I'm not the only new guy who is apprehensive about being an amateur chemist. I just read a great reply from a Sr member who said to the original poster "If you're doing all that, then you're not following the TFP method...you're making it too complicated" --that's encouraging that many of y'all have figured out how to keep it simple.

We have had RIDICULOUS amounts of rain this summer, so yeah a lot of water exchange. But the pool guy we had for the past 7 months, I swear seemed to only add a bag of salt maybe once a month, and maybe raised the pH once....according to his weekly reports at least.

I'll use this overpriced stuff they gave me starting tomorrow and hopefully will see the numbers move within better ranges. Then I can begin sourcing better products and better prices.

Thank you for the encouragement.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,164
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
U can do it!
Keep with the Recommended Levels & do that Overnight Chlorine Loss Test before u raise stabilizer past 30/40.
At the pool store they are just recommending whatever the computer spits out because the whole system is designed to sell u stuff. Not the employee’s fault
It’s a store after all.
Lots are just overpriced basic chemicals w/ the word pool on the bag & some are just horrible bandaids disguised as magic pills that do more damage than good in the long run (for your wallet & your water).
Bottom line ,
*test accurately & often so u can be proactive
* know what you’re putting in your pool & why
PoolMath effects of adding is a great tool to see all the potential effects of a chemical on every parameter before you add it
*if it’s not listed in poolmath- it probably doesn’t belong in your pool
 

JBourne10

Member
Sep 28, 2021
6
Florida
i was where you are
$150 - $200 every 2 weeks at pool store
now $100 per year using tfp methods, and that is mostly due to draining after heavy rain
if your pool service was any good, your numbers would not be where they are now
in a couple of months you will be bored because it is so easy
I’m gonna hold you to that, and submit my receipts in 364 days. 😉👍🏼 Thanks for the encouragement!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,149
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
So any more tips, resource links, where to source chemicals, general advice is appreciated.

 

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JBourne10

Member
Sep 28, 2021
6
Florida
Are you using PoolMath?

I would suggest downloading the app to your smart phone. It will really help YOU to determine what to do next. You can also share your pool logs here (login with your TFP username and PW). It will help us help you (Jerry McGuire). LOL.
I have gotten Pool Math now and entering the test results, and I will gladly share the logs--and I'm hoping in a month or so that these methods and materials provided on TFP will "SHOW ME THE MONEY" in savings. ;) Thanks for the replies and advice.
 

PoolStored

Gold Supporter
Jun 24, 2021
566
Ashtabula, OH
Pool Size
31000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
On the home screen go to the gear in the upper right and press.
Scroll to the bottom and enable "Link from TFP user profile. If you click on my username
<--Here, you will see how your logs will show up.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
1,019
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
I have gotten Pool Math now and entering the test results, and I will gladly share the logs--and I'm hoping in a month or so that these methods and materials provided on TFP will "SHOW ME THE MONEY" in savings. ;) Thanks for the replies and advice.
For reference, I spend less than $200/year on pool maintenance with a SWCG. I just buy acid and some liquid chlorine once and a while along with small amount of stabilizer.
But before you put anything you bought at the pool store in the water, make sure you know what it is and what it will do to the water. Maybe post up what it is and people can give you advice on whether to keep it or take it back for a refund.
 
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