First time opening by myself - help appreciated!

storkradio

New member
Mar 28, 2020
3
Chicago, IL
Hi,

Long time reader, first time poster.

My wife and I opted to open our pool ourselves this year. The only pain in the process was realizing we've been lighting money on fire by paying someone else to do this!

Pool is about 15k gallons, uses a cartridge filter, and has water that is very green. Here are our initial testing results using the TFP test kit:
  • FC/TC = 0
  • pH = 8.2 (maybe higher)
  • TA = 60
  • CH = 500
  • CYA = 20 or less (black dot was getting faint but still barely visible after entire tube filled -- but I doubt it would get to where "10" would be if it existed)
From reading other threads, I think the following is right:
  • pH is way too high
  • CH is high, but manageable
  • Trichlor pucks (in a floater and in the skimmer basket) will help by adding chlorine and raising CYA
  • Liquid bleach will further help in killing whatever is making the water green and raising FC
Do I need to attack the pH first? If I am impatient and added both some pucks and liquid chlorine, how long would I need to wait before adding acid to lower the pH more aggressively? And should I avoid powdered shock (73% cal/hypo) like the plague, since my CH is already fairly high?

Thanks in advance for help and advice!
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome (officially) to the forum! :wave: Yes, you need to lower the pH first to about 7.2 - then follow the SLAM Process. Don't rely on the pucks though (too slow). It would be advisably to simply purchase a bottle of stabilizer to increase the CYA to 30 (use the PoolMath tool to help). Assume your CYA is then at a 30 and increase the FC to "12", that's your SLAM FC level based on a CYA of 30 (see FC/CYA Chart).

From that point forward, don't bother with any other testing other than FC primarily to try and maintain the FC of 12 throughout each day until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria. That's very important. Also important - follow all the notes on that SLAM Process page.

At some point go ahead and update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info. It will help later. Make sure to specify if your pool is plaster or vinyl as well. Let us know if you have any questions.
 

storkradio

New member
Mar 28, 2020
3
Chicago, IL
Thanks very much! Just added muriatic acid, and will have to order some conditioner. OK to start SLAMming once pH is more appropriate, or necessary to wait on the conditioner?

Will update my signature, too. Happy to finally be a part of the group!
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,168
Morris Cnty NJ
Lower the ph and add CYA if you can now. If not start adding liquid chlorine. I have a 14k pool and I'm often lazy to test and measure. I can do a gallon a day on my size pool and 24/7 pump running and be clear in 3 days early season
 

storkradio

New member
Mar 28, 2020
3
Chicago, IL
Thanks everyone for the help! We added copious amounts of chlorine while waiting for the CYA to arrive, and I'm thrilled to report that the pool already looks pretty great. We will continue to keep an eye on the chlorine levels, and I'll definitely add the CYA now that the sun is actually shining in Chicagoland. Now our only problem is that getting the pool cleared up took way less time than we expected, and we've outpaced the nice weather quite a bit. Oh well -- there are worse problems to have!

We really appreciate the helpful advice. Glad to have joined the forums.