Do it on my own or leave it to the professionals?

Crysalize

Member
Feb 10, 2020
10
NEW PRT RCHY, FL
Hi everyone,

I am at my wits end with pool service companies. I pay for once a week pool service and thought I leave it to them to take care of the chemicals. I am not a pool professional nor claim to be. I would rather pay someone and have the hassle free pool, I thought. But I am quickly finding that I have to followup with the pool company that I hire. By testing the pool water myself and possibly add more chemicals when needed b/c they only come a certain day of the week. Being in FL during the summer, it rains everyday. I am finding out that the PH dips down every time it rains.
This past summer my husband and I found a slight rusty/brown stain around the rim of our pool and spa. We thought nothing of it. Well several months went by and we go into winter when we started using our gas pool heater almost twice a week. The stain got much worse. One weekend morning we woke with our pool walls being basically stained black. We questioned our pool guy at the time what the heck was going on. He said it most likely had to do with something with the heater. Granted this pool guy only does the chemicals and cleaning of our pool. He doesn't do appliance repair or piping repair, etc. We called our pool repair guy. He came out to look at the pool heater and found that a sensor was corroded. Needless to say the pool heater is literally barely a year old. He said this is due to fact that our pool cleaning service is doing the chemicals wrong. I am not happy as the sensor was replaced and the rusty stains continue to happen. After research I found out the PH being out of wack can cause corrosion on pool appliances. I fired my pool guy and hired a new one. Well the stains continue to happen. He has put in metal sequestrant to get rid of the metals. Well the stain keeps coming back. I got pool test strip and my PH is never where it should be. It's way low. The stain turns out to be a copper stain. So I got a copper test strip kit and well it's so high that it's above what the test strip can read. I have started draining my pool every two days and added PH, cleaned the pool filter every other day for the last few days. I am beyond fed up and just think that I am going to go about this myself b/c it seems like the pool needs tender loving care and really looked at everyday. Especially during the summer. I am also thinking I may have to replace my pool heater completely.

I need words of encouragement and should I really get rid of my pool service? I am finding you can't just add the soda ash and trust that the PH is raised to the proper levels in 15mins. My pool guy only stays that long. The soda ash has to be added by the dosage recommended on the package. Let it circulate for an hour and then measure the PH. And then you have to determine if more should be added or if you need to do something else like acid.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,504
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
You need a proper test kit, see Test Kits Compared. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
The low pH has most likely destroyed your heater. Be prepared for a very early failure.
Please fill out your signature. Your pool and equipment specs helps us help you.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,164
NY
I need words of encouragement and should I really get rid of my pool service
This place is by far the best spot on the interwebs for both of those concerns. Experts will walk you through what you need to do in the least expensive ways with no uspells or financial gain. Plenty of others will root for you as you learn cuz most of us were in your shoes once. Welcome to the party.
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
Oh boy did you come to the right place. Be prepared to get your mind in a totally different mindset...yes, you can easily take care of your pool. No, you do not need a pool service company; you can do WAY better than they can. You do not need to be a professional by any means to take care of this yourself. I have a new pool as of November, and thought Id have a pool service take care of my needs, and Id sit back and enjoy. Well come to find out, Im out of their range, so I had to learn myself how to take care of this. Realize this is from someone who barely knows what a hose is, and doesnt know how to open the hood on my truck. These great folks here will guide you and teach you all you need to know. And you will be amazed how easy it is! And you will be able to love your sparkly clean pool.
 
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Crysalize

Member
Feb 10, 2020
10
NEW PRT RCHY, FL
Welcome to the forum!
You need a proper test kit, see Test Kits Compared. I suggest the TF-100 A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
The low pH has most likely destroyed your heater. Be prepared for a very early failure.
Please fill out your signature. Your pool and equipment specs helps us help you.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
Thank you for the welcome. I'm gonna start studying up on what I need to do. I will look into ordering the test kit. Just feel overwhelmed. My husband wanted this pool when we looking to buy a house. I didn't necessarily want a pool b/c I knew that there would be obstacles around them and they tend to be a money pit. Now I do enjoy using the pool and love it now. But I don't want to see my hard earned money go down the drain. We have to maintain it b/c we are now invested.

Here are my sats on my pool. I don't have all the details but this is the best I know off hand.

14k gal, Fiberglass with water feature spa that runs into pool, 2.0 HP hayward pump, Cartridge Filter, Cholrine Tabs, Zodiac G3 barracuda vacuum.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,504
Laughlin, NV
We understand. And most of us got here in the same way you did. Surprisingly, once you get the test kit and the pool chemistry worked out, that part will be easy. You will find that the use of the 'chlorine tabs' you show in your signature will need to be greatly reduced. You will need to make a decision on how you will regularly chlorinate your pool water. Many of us have Salt Water Chlorine Generators. They make that part of pool ownership much easier.

Read through Pool School. Ask questions.
 

Crysalize

Member
Feb 10, 2020
10
NEW PRT RCHY, FL
Hi TFP,

I posted earlier that I was having trouble with my pool service company and have decided to take it upon myself to figure out my pool issue. I currently have copper in my pool. There is a stain on my pool walls that rusty brown. I need to know where to start to get rid of the copper and what chemicals should I combat first to get a handle of the issues I've got going on. I went to my local pinch a penny today and had them test my pool water. Here are my stats:

FC- 0.0ppm
PH- 7.0 pinch a penny told me I needed to add 5lb but pool math is telling me 2lbs 6oz. Let's just say I had already added 5 lbs before this.
Base Demand- 0 According to pinch a penny this needs to be 10?
TA- 80
CH- 500
Stabilizer- 100
Copper level is above 3.

Can someone tell me where I need to start. I am assuming the first thing I need to do is raise my PH as the PH is imperative to keep from forming more copper in the pool. I did bypass my pool heater as I feel that is the culprit. I am hoping that I can still use the pool heater in the future without any more issues with copper being in my pool water. At this moment I had to pull my pool filter out b/c the suction was just not working on my pool. Once I pulled the pool filter out the suction started working. I've cleaned the filter before this the best I could but that still didn't help with the suction. I think the filter needs to be replaced. Tonight I am going to do the last hooorah on the filter and try TSP. If that doesn't work I will be ordering a new one on Amazon. I really need to get this copper out of my pool. Where do I start? I was told that I need to drain my pool and refill. I do have bioguard pool magnet plus 2 quarts and will be starting that in a couple of days.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,504
Laughlin, NV
Once you get your own test kit we can provided guidance on a path forward.

With copper in the water and a possible very high CYA level it would be best to exchange this water to fresh.
 

Crysalize

Member
Feb 10, 2020
10
NEW PRT RCHY, FL
That
Once you get your own test kit we can provided guidance on a path forward.

With copper in the water and a possible very high CYA level it would be best to exchange this water to fresh.
Yeah I know about fresh water but that's gonna take me awhile to exchange water b/c my pool is fiberglass. I just can't drain my water fully and replace, I gotta do a little bit at a time. :( This gonna take forever.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,504
Laughlin, NV
No, you need to exchange it.
Read Draining - Further Reading

I do not drain my pool either. I have a fiberglass pool. But I do exchange the full volume about every 16 months because of a buildup of calcium.

Read the article above. You will need a low cost submersible pump. Available from Amazon or Harbor Freight.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,487
Tallahassee, FL
Lets go step by step:
-test kit-please order it tonight. look in my siggy below for TF-100. This kit is the best bang for the buck.
-While you are waiting for the test kit look into how you are best going to drain the water using the links above.
-look around your area and see where you have a source for liquid chlorine. Some pool stores sell it in jugs you put a deposit down on. You are going to want to start using this once we get the readings from the test kit.

-take your tap water down to the pool store for a metal test only. Are you on well or city water?

Kim:kim:
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,934
Stuart/FL
Crysal,

You've got great experts and enthusiasts already helping you convert to TFP pool bliss. So I'll just add a word of encouragement. You'll have a short transition to fix the poor service you've been through and in the process you'll learn the secret we all have in common. Pool care is simple and cheap. All it takes is a few chemicals that you can buy dirt cheap and a good test kit. We have experts in everything pool. Kim helped me get on board 5 years ago and my pool has been gorgeous ever since for about $12/month. Marty, Allen and others are a wealth of knowledge about everything pool and there are many others too. The one thing the all have in common is a desire to help people like you and they sell absolutely nothing. So they're never conflicted.

You're way ahead by getting rid of the pool service and starting with TFP. Good luck and just be sure to ask any questions you may have.

Chris
 

Crysalize

Member
Feb 10, 2020
10
NEW PRT RCHY, FL
Lets go step by step:
-test kit-please order it tonight. look in my siggy below for TF-100. This kit is the best bang for the buck.
-While you are waiting for the test kit look into how you are best going to drain the water using the links above.
-look around your area and see where you have a source for liquid chlorine. Some pool stores sell it in jugs you put a deposit down on. You are going to want to start using this once we get the readings from the test kit.

-take your tap water down to the pool store for a metal test only. Are you on well or city water?

Kim:kim:
I'm city water but I do have a whole house salt filter.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
1,759
OV, CA
@Crysalize Welcome to the club! this is the best place to start regaining control of your pool! Follow what these fine folks say. there is a wealth of knowledge here and I guarantee you will be overwhelmed to start with. But the fact you found this place and started posting is the a great start...

Step one! you have to get the test kit they recommend here. To have meaningful conversations about your pool chemistry we all have to standardize on the same testing equipment.
Step two use the Pool app so we can all see your pool chem in real time.
Step three fill out your signature... ooop you did that!
I know you have a ton of things to address and they will be in due time.

As to your copper. Do know have any idea where its coming from? you should have city water tested to see if its coming in that way.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,487
Tallahassee, FL
With City water my guess is the heater is the problem with your water BUT we do need to know if you think the old pool company adding any algaecide? Some of it had copper in it that builds up over time.

I agree with @mguzzy about getting your house water tested. I would do one sample before the house filter and one sample after the house filter. Make sure you know which is which. I would only ask for the metal tests.

Kim:kim:
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
And dont be overwhelmed. You may feel that way, but just take it one step at a time, if theres ANYTHING at all that you dont understand, ask. I wish I could convey how totally stupid I was when I started out...I was so stupid I didnt even know enough to know what questions to ask. These people here are so wonderful, they live to help people like us! The hardest part is to get started! Once you get that test kit, you'll be on your way!
 

Crysalize

Member
Feb 10, 2020
10
NEW PRT RCHY, FL
Hey Y'all I'm working to get the TF-100 test kit just not in the budget right now. Hopefully in a couple weeks.

Anyways, my plan is to exchange the water this Saturday. Boy am I going to have a high water bill. My water is high already which is just normal for this area. People complain about our water companies high water rates all over local facebook pages. The water company is contract company for the city which literally charge a $40 dollar service fee a month. You get charged that amount regardless if you use 0 gallons a month. Such a rucket and highway robbery.

@kimkats I will do your suggestion today and get my regular house water tested with bypass on and off.

For those that have fiberglass........what is safe drainage level or the max you can drain without making the pool pop out of the ground?