First Time Pool, First time going crosseyed.

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Mar 25, 2018
1,278
Chandler Arizona
#1
Hi everyone, I'm going to apologize in advance for rambling on in my post, but I'm going to try and give you a complete picture of what's been going on.

So.............. My wife and I just purchased a house back in November as we just relocated to Arizona from Boston. We always wanted to live here and we always wanted a pool. So we did just that. This is my first time owning a pool and having to learn how to care for it and keep the water in perfect condition at all times. (I'm seriously anal about doing things the right way, and not the cheap way)

When we purchased the house the pool was up and running and everything was working as it should, or so it seemed. I hired a local pool company to come out and go through everything and to tell me what was working and what was not. (Now keep in mind I have no knowledge on anything pools) Turns out that the pool had a SWG installed that was shot, they couldn't even get the filter open without snapping the nut off to get it open. Upon getting it open, the manifold was blown out with a hole the size of a half dollar, the filters were all collapsed and it was disgusting inside. They told me the water in the pool needed to be drained as it was past its usefulness. The pool was also running off a rebuilt single speed 1.5hp pump.
As you can imagine, I was beyond ******. (I know, my own fault for not having someone look at it before we closed on the house. Insert dunce hat here.) So I did my research and my homework, and had a new Hayward VS pump installed, and a new Hayward Swimclear Filter put in. ( I did not have the SWG replaced as I did not want a salt water pool) I also had them replace the pool light with a new LED one, as I'm all about saving $$ where I can. And I bought the Hayward Aquanaut pool vac, and filter canister for the hose.
I had another pool company come out and get rid of all the white calcium build up around the waters edge on the pool, and drain and refill the pool with fresh water. (This was done in February)
I am determined to learn to get things right, as I cannot see paying someone $100.00 plus a month to do something that I can do myself!

The pool guys had added all the chemicals to the pool when it was filled and everything has been fine until recently. I had purchased the Taylor K-2006 testing kit, buy my eyes seriously went cross eyed, and my frontal lobe felt like I just drank an entire milkshake in one shot upon reading the manual. So i was using the test strips, and they were coming back good. So I found the Clorox testing strip app a couple of weeks ago and starting using that, and that has led me to where I am today.... Going nuts!
That thing has had me adding stuff left and right to correct a bunch of problems with the water, and it all didn't seem right to me. So I've been reading up on this site, and finally got off my butt and figured out (I Hope) how to use the Taylor Kit. The results are as follows....
CYA 80
PH 7.7
TA 110
FC 2.5
CC 0.5
CH 270

Now, if what I've been reading is correct, in order for me to bring down the TA, I need to drop the PH down to 7.2 and then aerate the water to drop the TA but in turn it will raise the PH back up to 7.6-7.7?? Is that correct?
Also, I'm really confused as to how much liquid chlorine I need to add to bring the FC up a little bit. I went out and bought 2 gallons of 10% chlorine at the store today, so I have it when ready. Any advice On what to do, or you folks see anything else I need to pay attention to would be greatly appreciated!!!

P.S The pool is Chrystal clear, I just kept getting readings on the Clorox app to lower the PH, add Stabilizer, add hard metal remover etc etc.....


P.S.S What chemical brands should I stay away from, and which brands do you recommend?

Thanks in advance.

~Rob:cool::cool:
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,561
Bedford, TX
#2
Rob,

Well, your first mistake was not coming here first... and your second mistake was getting rid of your SWCG... Saltwater pools are by far the easiest pools to maintain...

The first thing you need to do is to maintain your CYA to FC ratio... I notice your CYA is 80.. Already!!!! and you just refilled the pool!!! Look at this chart... [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA] Notice that with a CYA of 80 your FC should be no less than 6 and really should be about 10 ppm... your are at 2.5!!!

With a pH of 7.7 there is absolutely no reason to adjust TA all... just leave it alone and see what your pH does... When (if) your pH goes up to 8.0, then add Muriatic acid to drop it back to 7.6 or so. Unless your TA drops below 50 I would just leave it alone...

Most pools use 2 to 4 ppm of chlorine a day.. so in your 11K pool that would be an average of about 50 oz. of 8.25% bleach a day... (Just think, if you had asked them to replace the SWCG, it would just do it for you... :p )

Thanks for posting.

Jim R.
 

Uncle Salty

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2017
223
South Carolina
#3
Sorry to say but you should have replaced your SWG. You’re going to have to keep your chlorine up at 10 with a CYA of 80 if that’s actually what it is or replace more than half your water to get it to where it should be 30-40. You’ve got some decisions to make but if we’re me a SWG is no brainer, not sure what your reasoning was for not wanting a salt water pool. Good luck to you and hope it all works out as a pool should be pleasure not a pain to own.

Salty
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Mar 25, 2018
1,278
Chandler Arizona
#5
Jim, thanks for the info, but it poses a few more questions. What could have caused the CYA to climb so rapidly after just filling the pool? Since February the only thing that has been added to the pool was chlorine via the floater. The problems with the pool started within the past few weeks when the angle of the sun has started to shine more on the pool then it did back in Jan/Feb. Now the pool gets full sun from about 9am to 4 pm. I know here in Arizona we have hard water, and that is the reason we have to drain our pools every 2 to 3 years.
Since the change in the sun is when all the problems started. The PH did climb to 8 and I have added about 3 pounds of dry acid to bring it down to where it is today. Also I added stabilizer and scale/metal and stain control. Other then that, nothing else has been added to the water. So what could be causing it to climb so rapidly??

The reason I did not install the SWG during the replacement phase was because of a few reasons. 1. After seeing all the damage that was done to the pool equipment (See original post) I didn't want that to happen again. 2. Our house has a water softener system installed, and the pool gets fed that salt water via the auto fill on the pool. And 3. I was already into a few thousand in repairs on the pool and wasn't about to go any deeper at that time.
I can always add it back in at a later date if it becomes necessary. But I have a feeling that between the SWG and the soft water from the autofill, that it created quite a high salt concentration in the water, hence all the damage. (The pool light looked like it came off the titanic)


Thanks for everyone's responses, keep em coming.:D

~Rob
 

jeffchap

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
1,760
Edmond OK
#6
Since I'm on my phone, I'll be brief and leave others to tackle all your questions. But the biggie is why your CYA is already so high. That's easy, it's due to the pucks in your floater. All solid forms of chlorine by necessity contain some sort of binding agent to keep them solid, since chlorine is normally a gas.





In most cases, this binder is CYA. The chlorine burns off and has to be replaced, but the CYA remains. So every puck you add raises your CYA, thus requiring more chlorine to sanitize the water. It's a vicious cycle and eventually becomes unmanageable, and you end up having to drain your water.





This is why we recommend the use of liquid chlorine, aka regular laundry bleach, to chlorinate your water. It adds no CYA to your pool.
 

Uncle Salty

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2017
223
South Carolina
#8
Also consider switching to Muratic Acid instead of dry for PH lowering. Dry adds sulfates which build up over time and can damage concrete and such and it’s also more expensive.

Salty
 

jeffchap

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
1,760
Edmond OK
#9
Yup. Be sure to get unscented, NON-splashless bleach. Use Pool Math to figure out how much to add. With CYA at 80, you need at least 6 ppm FC, and personally I'd target 8-10. Anything up to 32 would be acceptable to swim in, so err on the high side.



In AZ, CYA of 80 isn't necessarily too high, as it protects your chlorine from being burned off by the sun. In fact, 70-80 is the recommended range for SWGs. It'll just take more to get your FC into range initially, but once you're there, the daily consumption shouldn't be any more than if your CYA was closer to 30.
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Mar 25, 2018
1,278
Chandler Arizona
#10
Salty, thanks for that advice, I’ll do that.

Jeff, I picked up 2 gallons of 10% chlorine yesterday at Wally World. Not bleach, but pool chlorine so I’ll start with that using the pool math app.
Thanks!

~Rob
 

peirek

Silver Supporter
Jun 21, 2017
528
Sachse, TX
#12
Rob you hit a home run finding this site.
First: Stay away from the Pool Store.
Second: No more chemical adds without checking here first. Except Chlorine as instructed above.
Third: Your pool is in fairly good shape chemically (once FC is correct), just add Chlorine/Bleach for managing FC and Liquid MA for maintaining pH.
Fourth: Keep testing the water (especially FC & pH) daily (same time morning or evening) until you understand your pool and become a master at water testing.
Fifth: Get to know PoolMath (top of page) or for added convenience get the PoolMath App!

Keep the questions coming you have a huge number of experienced TFP folks here to help.

Get that FC UP!
 
Jun 22, 2017
799
Baxley, GA
#13
The reason I did not install the SWG during the replacement phase was because of a few reasons. 1. After seeing all the damage that was done to the pool equipment (See original post) I didn't want that to happen again. 2. Our house has a water softener system installed, and the pool gets fed that salt water via the auto fill on the pool. And 3. I was already into a few thousand in repairs on the pool and wasn't about to go any deeper at that time.
I can always add it back in at a later date if it becomes necessary. But I have a feeling that between the SWG and the soft water from the autofill, that it created quite a high salt concentration in the water, hence all the damage. (The pool light looked like it came off the titanic)


Thanks for everyone's responses, keep em coming.:D

~Rob
Sounds to me like the damage you refer to is actual from too much CH, thanks to the hard water in AZ. You are talking about white scaling all over the pool, right?

Generally speaking, the salt levels needed for a SWG to work are not enough to damage anything. Even when people talk about an SWG ruining their coping, it's usually because they had very low quality coping to begin with. The ocean, which rusts everything and ruins stuff because of salt, has a concentration around 35,000 ppm or greater, pools typically have 3,500 or less ppm. Even pools dosed with bleach have salt in them, typically around 1000 ppm or more.

Anyway, a properly balanced TFP salt water pool will not damage your pool, assuming the builders used decent materials. Also, over time, you will save a considerable amount of money with a SWG since you pay for the hardware and salt up front, and then nothing but electricity for years (5-7+ depending on how oversized your SWG is), and just have to replace the cell when it wears out years down the line. All the bleach you add every day does begin to add up.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#14
..... Even pools dosed with bleach have salt in them, typically around 1000 ppm or more.....
^This

All chlorine pools contain sodium (salt), added by chlorine, muriatic acid & body sweat & ‘fluids’. When I switched to a SWG after 2-1/2 seasons I had almost half of the needed salt in the pool already.

Most of the ‘damage’ to pool equipment is due to neglect, or misleading pool $tore advise, usually resulting in etched away heater cores, staining & calcium scale.

Continuing low pH will have a larger impact on pool equipment than 3000ppm of sodium.

OP- Glad to have you with us. You’ll be a pro with that test kit in no time, and we’ll be here to answer your questions along the way.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,498
Damascus, MD
#17
3 things to add:

1. I am not so sure you could have gotten a CYA of 80 in such a short time. You would have had to use like 2 big buckets of pucks. Are you sure no one added CYA to the water? Test again!

2. Check your utility for a variable speed pump rebate. Most offer them up to $400 or maybe more.

3. Your water is probably over 1ppt of salt as-is. A saltwater pool adds 2.5ppt more to a total of 3.5ppt. Not really a lot of salt most people cannot even taste it. The ocean is 35ppt so you are only at 10% of seawater levels.

Good Luck!
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#18
3 things to add:

1. I am not so sure you could have gotten a CYA of 80 in such a short time. You would have had to use like 2 big buckets of pucks. Are you sure no one added CYA to the water? Test again!
In post #5 OP mentions adding stabilizer (aka CYA)
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Mar 25, 2018
1,278
Chandler Arizona
#20
Thanks everyone for your posts. I’m on the road and won’t be back till tomorrow. I’ll respond to the follow ups from everyone when I get in. Right now I’m on my phone.
I did drop a half gallon of 10% chlorine in before I left on Monday, I’ll test tomorrow and respond then.
Thanks again.

~Rob