First Time Opening

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Hey all,

I purchased a home north of Atlanta, GA last Summer with an inground 16'x32' vinyl liner pool. The pool liner was in awful condition and need replacing. I had the liner replaced last November and filled it up and then quickly covered it as I have several large maple trees that would have filled it with debris. I also needed to do some filter maintenance.

I'm now at the point of opening and was hoping to get some initial advice..

I've read the information about the SLAM process but wanted some clarity before I begin. I took the cover off the pool 2 days ago. The pool is fairly brown and dirty. I can partially see the bottom of the shallow end but just barely. It seems to be mostly very fine dirt/silt that is causing the dirtiness. The cover was on it all Winter so I don't expect there to be large debris.

I thought that my first step would be to run the filter (just replaced the sand) for a few days to help clear up the dirt so that I can see what's on the bottom to vacuum and then begin my chlorinating. However, I feel like I'm in a catch-22.. I cant see what's on the bottom to vacuum (at least in the deep end) but the filter according to the pressure gauge reaches the backwash pressure in just a few hours.

Am I doing anything at this point by filtering dirty water with no chlorine? I'm going out of town Friday night - Sunday of this weekend. Would it be beneficial to just pause and when I come back in town to go ahead and begin the SLAM process (using my ordered K-2006C test kit) ignoring the silt in the pool?

Thanks for any help!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Welcome to TFP! :wave: There's nothing wrong with starting the SLAM Process now. You can get a good jump on things then resume when you return. Your signature doesn't specify, but hopefully you have a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C test kit to test the FC at the appropriate SLAM level based on your current CYA as noted on the FC/CYA Chart. Don't forget to lower the pH to about 7.2 before increasing the FC though.

As for debris, sweep as much as you can to get it stirred-up and into the skimmer/filter. At some point you should be able to see into the water better. Good luck!

 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Welcome to TFP! :wave: There's nothing wrong with starting the SLAM Process now. You can get a good jump on things then resume when you return. Your signature doesn't specify, but hopefully you have a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C test kit to test the FC at the appropriate SLAM level based on your current CYA as noted on the FC/CYA Chart. Don't forget to lower the pH to about 7.2 before increasing the FC though.

As for debris, sweep as much as you can to get it stirred-up and into the skimmer/filter. At some point you should be able to see into the water better. Good luck!


Thank you for the response! That's good to know. I just adjusted my signature. I have the K-2006C on order. Should arrive Saturday. I have some test strips as well but I understand those are frowned upon. With that being said I assume it will be best to wait to begin the SLAM process until after my test kit arrives?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
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With that being said I assume it will be best to wait to begin the SLAM process until after my test kit arrives?
Technically yes, but you don't want things to get much worse. You should be able to safely add one gallon of regular bleach or liquid pool chlorine each day until it arrives. Mix it around really well during your daily brushing. It's not 100% accurate of course, but should help to keep algae from getting much worse until the kit arrives. Certainly up to you though.
 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Technically yes, but you don't want things to get much worse. You should be able to safely add one gallon of regular bleach or liquid pool chlorine each day until it arrives. Mix it around really well during your daily brushing. It's not 100% accurate of course, but should help to keep algae from getting much worse until the kit arrives. Certainly up to you though.
That makes sense. I would certainly like to get a jump on things.

I'm a bit concerned with leaving the pump running this weekend while gone. My maple trees are currently dropping seeds (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5b/6f/10/5b6f108abd86660c2a4d20e03ae5bbb6.jpg) and they do get in the skimmer basket. It also reaches "backwash pressure" in just a couple hours.

Should I be concerned with either of those things over the weekend?
 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Absolutely. If you don't have a friend, family member, or neighbor who can assist, just leave it off to be safe until you get back. Nothing would be worse than to come home and find your pump dry and motor burnt out.
Good to know. Well I'm going to go ahead and go grab some bleach and start to add some today/tomorrow and just let the filter do its thing until I leave Friday evening.
 
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DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Absolutely. If you don't have a friend, family member, or neighbor who can assist, just leave it off to be safe until you get back. Nothing would be worse than to come home and find your pump dry and motor burnt out.
Good morning,

I just wanted to follow up now that I'm home from my trip and have my test kit.

I did the test procedures and have the following results:

CYA: 0
pH: 7.9
Alkalinity: 120 ppm
FC: 0.8 ppm (I have to assume this is more like 0)
CC: 4.4 ppm (I did add some bleach Thursday/Friday of last week to have something in there. This is the residual from that.)

It seems to me I need to first address the CYA level and lower the pH to somewhere between 7.0-7.2 for SLAM'ing. Correct?

Is there any reason after using poolmath to determine my chemical additions for CYA and pH that I can't begin the SLAM immediately? I have heard that CYA can take time to dissolve properly..
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
It seems to me I need to first address the CYA level and lower the pH to somewhere between 7.0-7.2 for SLAM'ing. Correct?
Correct. I'd get the pH to about 7.2 and add the stabilizer via the sock method right away for a CYA target of 30. Squeeze the sock often to help is dissipate. After the acid has been added and mixed for a few minutes to lower the pH, go ahead and increase the FC to "12" and maintain it until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria on the SLAM Process page. Good luck!
 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Correct. I'd get the pH to about 7.2 and add the stabilizer via the sock method right away for a CYA target of 30. Squeeze the sock often to help is dissipate. After the acid has been added and mixed for a few minutes to lower the pH, go ahead and increase the FC to "12" and maintain it until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria on the SLAM Process page. Good luck!
Follow up.. I lowered the pH and added some CYA in socks to dissolve.

According to pool math I needed to add 371 oz of 7.55% bleach to reach a FC level of 12. I did that close to 2 hours ago. I've done another FC test and I didn't get a result above 1.8 ppm. Is that possible? I was surprised to see the the FC used up that quickly if I truly did add the correct amount.
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I've done another FC test and I didn't get a result above 1.8 ppm. Is that possible?
Two things could be happening; 1) Your CYA isn't fully dispersed to protect the FC from the sun; and/or 2) You have algae eating the FC. But once the stabilizer is all dissolved, consider it at its target CYA. So I would test the FC a little more frequently to ensure it remains around that 12 mark. Shortly it should stabilize.
 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Two things could be happening; 1) Your CYA isn't fully dispersed to protect the FC from the sun; and/or 2) You have algae eating the FC. But once the stabilizer is all dissolved, consider it at its target CYA. So I would test the FC a little more frequently to ensure it remains around that 12 mark. Shortly it should stabilize.
You're probably right with both guesses. One sock certainly hadn't fully dissolved after checking it. I'm going to let this sock dissolve and do some brushing to help any granules that made it out and didn't dissolve.

After that I should shock again and test FC in an hour or so to see if it's sticking around?

I set my valve to recirculate for the first hour or so after shocking this first time. I've turned it to filter now and it does seem like its performing better so it does seem like the chlorine is actively killing algae.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Yes, I would test the FC again in about 30 minutes. You may see a drop that fast. As for the stabilizer, hopefully most of it is in the sock and dissolving. The concern about a lot of it getting out and going to the sand before it is dissolved is that you might flush it out at backwash. Something to be aware of so you don't waste stabilizer.
 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Ok, shocked once again with 340 oz more of bleach. After 30-35 minutes I did another FC test. Certainly higher this time around 2.8-3.0 ppm. Its just getting eaten up very very fast I guess.

I'll have to wait until later this evening when I run to the store to get more bleach to shock again. Didn't know I'd use so much in 1 day. May just go with liquid chlorine to up the concentration some so I don't have to use so many jugs.
 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Yes, I would test the FC again in about 30 minutes. You may see a drop that fast. As for the stabilizer, hopefully most of it is in the sock and dissolving. The concern about a lot of it getting out and going to the sand before it is dissolved is that you might flush it out at backwash. Something to be aware of so you don't waste stabilizer.
Thank you for all your help earlier in the week. I'm seeing so much improvement already. (Picture from last Thursday for reference and picture from yesterday afternoon).

At this point my CC is maintaining 0.5 ppm or less and the OCLT is passing according to my tests. I can see the bottom of the pool in all areas but I do still have some fine silt in areas as well as a turquoise tint to the water. (I've never seen completely clean water in this pool so the final color is uncertain to me I guess).

I did have one area I could use some advice. I was reading around the forums and kept bumping into the horror stories of people adding algaecide with large amounts of copper to their pool and causing stains. I had my liner replaced in November and before I found this forum the pool company sold me a selection of "fresh fill chemicals" that included a 2L bottle of Bioguard Algae Complete, which according to the bottle on amazon has 3.3% metallic copper/13% copper sulfate. This is was last (and for the last time ever) added to the pool in February.

I thought I would do my due diligence of having the copper tested so I'm not fighting an invisible monster. I just got back from Leslie's (where I had an interesting discussion about why I shouldn't be using liquid chlorine (LOL))

The associate tested the copper with a test strip as well as in their testing apparatus and came back with a result of 0.3 ppm. While this is higher than the ideal value of 0 I don't think it's anything to worry about. What are your thoughts?

Thanks again!
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nice job! :goodjob: You're making fantastic progress. Stick with it because you will be amazed of the water clarity in the future. As for the copper, 0.3 is right at the edge of what we like to see, but you should be okay as long as no more is added. During the SLAM Process, the elevated FC level of 12 would tend to aggravate excessive copper to cause odd water color or staining, so if you aren't seeing any of that you should be okay.

Lastly, don't bother doing anymore OCLT's unto the water is crystal clear to the deep end. No sense wasting your reagents since clear water is one of the 3 SLAM criteria anyways. Things are looking good. Be sure to brush often, vacuum the silt and stuff, backwash as needed, and inspect any/all surfaces that water can touch. Be consistent and patient. You'll get there.
 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
As for the copper, 0.3 is right at the edge of what we like to see, but you should be okay as long as no more is added. During the SLAM Process, the elevated FC level of 12 would tend to aggravate excessive copper to cause odd water color or staining, so if you aren't seeing any of that you should be okay.
Glad to hear that. I didn't think it was an issue yet but I wanted to confirm.

The Leslie's associate did the full range of tests and the FC result came back way under what it is by my test (3.25 vs 11.5). I've tested mine several times though and believe my test to be accurate. If I didn't see him do a copper strip test that matched the computer test I would be a little more suspicious of the cu result.
 

DavidM15

Member
Apr 1, 2021
11
Georgia
Just wanted to post a final update..

Thank you so much to Texas Splash and the TFP community as a whole. The amount of knowledge here is absolutely incredible and has been a gold mine for myself. I'll never go back to the old way of pool maintenance.

Attached is a picture the day after I uncovered the pool (4/1/21) and a picture from this last Sunday after successfully executing a SLAM (4/11/21)
 

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Texas Splash

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