Fired the pool guy, I'm taking over! Levels and questions.

Ampsonic

Member
May 13, 2018
17
Henderson, NV
Hello TFP!

I bought a home in Henderson, NV with a pool last year, but decided to hire out someone to take care of it for me. This summer I've decided to take over myself! I've done my initial testing with the TF100 kit and it seems like we have some work to do. I've read the beginning articles and the ebook.

Yesterday the TC was 0. I added 185oz of Clorox 6% bleach. I've since learned to not use Clorox as it contains Cloromax. (It may be a good thing to consider adding a Clorox warning to the beginner articles and the beginner sticky in this forum.) I bought 10% liquid chlorine from Walmart today (I checked the expiration and got the newer bottles, there were many on the shelf from 2018.)

Here's my readings from tonight:
FC: 0.5
CC: 0.5
pH: 8.2 (or more, it was a darker pink than the highest reading)
TA: 190
CH: 1000
CYA: 95

This evening I've added 42oz of 29% Muriatic Acid and 128oz of 10% Bleach. Hopefully that will get my FC up and pH down. Will test again tomorrow evening.

A few questions:
  • When testing CH, how blue is blue when waiting for it to change? I have a long period of what I'd best call "purple" or "violet", but kept adding drops.
  • Is a CYA of 95 ok in the desert where I may need a bit of protection for my chlorine?
  • If that CH number is accurate, is my only choice a dump and refill of the pool? About a month ago we lost about 1/3 of the water due to the pump output gasket breaking and emptying a portion of the pool. I'm guessing the CH is so high because the pool guy was using chlorine tablets which I assume were cal-hypo?
  • I believe my pool is plaster or pebble, how do I tell for sure?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,381
Laughlin, NV
Good job on a quality test kit. Pebble is Plaster. So put plaster in your Signature.
It is likely the pool person was using trichlor. They add chlorine and CYA.
Do you have a Speedstir? You get far more accurate CH testing with it.
With your CH level (and frankly, your CYA level) I recommend a complete drain and refill. Sadly, you should have done that about a month ago. So now you would be better off doing a water exchange.
You can exchange some water without draining.

If you place a low volume sub pump in the deep end and pull water from there while adding water in the shallow end (through a skimmer or into a bucket on a step so you lessen the water disturbance) you can do a fairly efficient exchange. That is assuming the water you are filling with is the same temperature or warmer than your pool water. If your fill water is much cooler than your pool water, then switch it. Add the water to the deep end (hose on bottom) and pull water from the top step.

The location of the pump and fill hose may change if you have salt water, high calcium, etc.
In my pool, with saltwater and high calcium when I drain, I put the pump in the deep end and hose in shallow end. The water in the pool weighs more per unit volume than the fill water from the hose.

Be sure to balance the water out and water in so the pool level stays the same. Also be sure your pool pump is disabled during this process. Once started do not stop until you have exchanged the amount of water you wish.
 

Ampsonic

Member
May 13, 2018
17
Henderson, NV
Thank you for the quick response! I've updated my signature with plaster. I also have a SPA that waterfalls into the main pool, should I add that somehow to my signature?

I did get the SpeedStir after seeing it recommended so many times on this forum. I can see why now that I've started testing. When testing CH, how do you know when it's blue enough? I went through many shades of purple before I stopped adding drops.

I've also requested a quote from a company that does the reverse osmosis filtering for residential pools. No idea what that costs but if it's somewhat reasonable that would work for both CH and CYA, correct?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,381
Laughlin, NV
Please add the spa to signature. Do you have automation? Be sure to add that too.

When you do high CH level testing, Follow the Fading Endpoint method shown in CH test directions
but I suspect your CH is quite high. Do you know the last time the pool was drained and refilled?

RO is an option. It will be quite expensive and you will still need to make up at least 1/3 of your pool water volume. It will remove CH and CYA. You need to leave ~250 ppm CH in the water to start to protect your plaster.
 

Ampsonic

Member
May 13, 2018
17
Henderson, NV
I will retest with the Fading Endpoint method tonight. Can you explain why the timing means I cannot do a drain and refill and you recommend an exchange? Too much sunlight on the plaster this time of year?

I called and got quotes for RO, it's going to be about $500. Is a water exchange likely to be successful enough I don't need to consider RO?
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
I will retest with the Fading Endpoint method tonight. Can you explain why the timing means I cannot do a drain and refill and you recommend an exchange? Too much sunlight on the plaster this time of year?

I called and got quotes for RO, it's going to be about $500. Is a water exchange likely to be successful enough I don't need to consider RO?
If you check your tap water rate, that is your best comparison.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,381
Laughlin, NV
The issue is the sun exposure on the plaster. If you had done it today, most likely no issue!! Rain in late April, who would have thought.

That RO cost is not all that bad. Did they say how much make up water they would use? At my water rates, it is really cheap to do an exchange. But I do not know which district you are in.
 

Ampsonic

Member
May 13, 2018
17
Henderson, NV
I'm in Henderson, the water 13k gallons would be less than $50 bucks if I'm doing the math correctly. When my pool guy fixed my pump out, he removed the portion that had a spigot that I could attach a hose to, so I think I'd have to get a pump and some hose. I also need to locate my sewer cleanout, as apparently it's illegal to dump into the street here in Henderson. May be worth the RO just to save the hassle, however they are all about a month out.

The RO people said it would save "up to" 85% of the water..
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,381
Laughlin, NV
I would do the exchange. You need a sump pump, I have a Superior 1/2 hp from Amazon. $80. Harbor freight has similar. Use a garden hose to your sewer clean out.

It will take couple days to do the exchange. Be sure to read carefully what I posted above about how to do the exchange.
 
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splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
I'm in Henderson, the water 13k gallons would be less than $50 bucks if I'm doing the math correctly. When my pool guy fixed my pump out, he removed the portion that had a spigot that I could attach a hose to, so I think I'd have to get a pump and some hose. I also need to locate my sewer cleanout, as apparently it's illegal to dump into the street here in Henderson. May be worth the RO just to save the hassle, however they are all about a month out.

The RO people said it would save "up to" 85% of the water..
I think you will still need to find the sewer cleanout for the RO treatment, they will have discharge water.
 

Ampsonic

Member
May 13, 2018
17
Henderson, NV
Is there a guide to doing the exchange? Wondering how much water I'm looking to move, how long, ect..

Or do I just exchange until my CH levels are more reasonable?
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,279
Stuart/FL
I will retest with the Fading Endpoint method tonight. Can you explain why the timing means I cannot do a drain and refill and you recommend an exchange? Too much sunlight on the plaster this time of year?

I called and got quotes for RO, it's going to be about $500. Is a water exchange likely to be successful enough I don't need to consider RO?
Amp,

A quick look at your water rates indicates you'd be waaay better off to do a water exchange as Marty recommends. Even if you buy at the top tier your cost for 16,000 gal would be about $105. It appears your hardness is about 290 which is not a bad starting point. You could also consider a softener for water additions but this is also way more expensive.

Chris
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
Just wondering how I know how much water to to exchange, or even the rate of exchange. Just based on the pumps specs?



My home has a water softener, not sure if it's connected to the outdoor spigots. Would this be an issue or even helpful?
Do you use potassium or sodium pellets?

You can enter your pool's specs into PoolMath, update the now & target/goal levels and it will tell you have much water volume to exchange
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,279
Stuart/FL
Just wondering how I know how much water to to exchange, or even the rate of exchange. Just based on the pumps specs?



My home has a water softener, not sure if it's connected to the outdoor spigots. Would this be an issue or even helpful?
u
Depending on the capacity of your softener this might work for make-up water to extend the period needed for water exchange. But four your current situation I would do as Marty suggest and address the CH and CYA issue at hand.

Chris
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,381
Laughlin, NV
I would suggest bypassing the softener during the exchange. Then you can use softened water for make up.

The Sodium in your softened water is no issue.