First Time Pool, First time going crosseyed.

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#21
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!

Thanks for the advice Paul. I never went to the pool store to get anything except for replacement eyeballs for the returns. I was warned by my pool guy which ones to go to, and which ones to stay away from.
I used the pool math app on Monday and it said to add 2 quarts of bleach to the pool to bring the FC up. So I did that, and I was away the past couple of days, but I will test everything tonight and report my readings. Thanks again.

~Rob
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#22
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.

LM, yeah the pool had a white crust build up all along the waters edge that looked horrible, I had that bead blasted off. The quality of the pool is pretty much builders grade, as that's what they do here in Arizona when they build these housing developments. (Unless you are involved with the builder from the start and have something else done)
More so the damage I was referring to was all the pool equipment that I had to replace due to heavy corrosion. Like I said in my OP, they couldn't even crack open the filter with out breaking the nut right off the bolt. The band on the filter cover was corroded badly, the pool light was shot, the SWG main board was fried, the cell was done, and the pump was a rebuilt POS.
So I had everything replaced with all new equipment except for the SWG, which I can always add back in down the road if need be. My spider senses lead me to believe that this pool was dormant for quite a few years during the housing crash back in the late 2000's, and the owners prior to me did not use it at all. Basically I think they had it fired back up and cleaned to be able to put the house on the market. But yeah, there was some serious neglect on the pool for quite some time.

Thanks for your advice on the SWG info.

~Rob
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#23
^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.

Dom, thanks for the info. See my reply to LM, but yeah there was a ton of neglect of this pool.
I know Ill eventually get my head rapped around the chemistry behind balancing the pool with the kit and knowledge from everyone, it's just a learning curve right now.
Thanks for the info.

P.S I was born and raised in Bridgeport Ct, spent a ton of time at Toads Place in New Haven.:D

~Rob
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#24
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!
PG, yeah unfortunately I did add stabilizer to the pool because that dumb Clorox app I was using with their test strips was telling me to do so. Needless to say, That thing ended up in the garbage can!!
When I had my VSP installed, I scored a killer deal on the unit online that even my pool guys couldn't by it at. So at the time of install there were no rebates from our utility company, but I saved on the pump itself. That and I cut my electricity bill in half from switching out that old single speed pump to the VSP.

Thanks for the advice.

~Rob
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,219
Laughlin, NV
#26
An FC of 4 with CYA of 80 is on the edge. Are you testing just before your SWCG starts for the day? That is the best time as that is the lowest level your FC will be during the day. I target 7.5% of CYA in the morning. Leaves a bit of cushion for the errant flock of birds or larger than normal bather load.

Keep your pH in the 7's. Once your CH rises above about 400 ppm you will need to start monitoring CSI.

Take care.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,219
Laughlin, NV
#28
Then your FC is really too low. Follow [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA]. Maintain your minimum FC at target level or above.

You need to reduce your CYA to 50 ppm to use liquid chlorine.

I thought the Swimclear device in your signature was a SWCG.
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#29
Ok, so i added 2 quarts of 10% chlorine, and 1 quart 2 cups of MA this morning as pool math suggested. So now my readings are.
FC 10
CC 0
PH 8
(I didn’t test the rest as I’m mainly working on the 3)
So I have no idea how yesterday CC was 1, and today it’s 0. And the PH didn’t change at all???
But the FC definitely went up.

~Rob
 

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Jun 22, 2017
799
Baxley, GA
#32
Took me a good minute to figure out what LM meant, lol.

With a FC of 10 or greater, the pH test is less accurate. Try doing the pH again, but this time fill up the little pH vial and add a single drop of R-0007 and then complete your pH test as usual. R-0007 should tie up the chlorine and reduce their effects on the pH test.


EDIT
After some further reading, while R-0007 does reduce the FC of a sample, its might raise the pH of the sample as much as the higher FC does. So while it would reduce the FC in your pH test, it itself would still raise the pH and throw off your readings.
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#33
Took me a good minute to figure out what LM meant, lol.

With a FC of 10 or greater, the pH test is less accurate. Try doing the pH again, but this time fill up the little pH vial and add a single drop of R-0007 and then complete your pH test as usual. R-0007 should tie up the chlorine and reduce their effects on the pH test.


EDIT
After some further reading, while R-0007 does reduce the FC of a sample, its might raise the pH of the sample as much as the higher FC does. So while it would reduce the FC in your pH test, it itself would still raise the pH and throw off your readings.
Yeah I just ran the test while you were editing and it came back the same.
 
Jun 22, 2017
799
Baxley, GA
#34
Well the test tops out at 8, so you could have been higher than that and the MA you added just got it closer to 8. Set PoolMath for 8 targeting 7.2 and add more MA. Test again 30 mins after with the pump running the whole time.
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#35
Well the test tops out at 8, so you could have been higher than that and the MA you added just got it closer to 8. Set PoolMath for 8 targeting 7.2 and add more MA. Test again 30 mins after with the pump running the whole time.
I think for now I’m going to let the pump run it’s nightly filtration time ( 2am to 8am at 1500rpm) then the cleaning time ( 11am to 3pm at 2700rpm) and let the sun burn off some of that chlorine and retest tomorrow afternoon.
I don’t want to add anything else until that chlorine comes down so I can get a more accurate reading on the PH.
I have the PM app doing all the math, and at the current reading it’s telling me to add another 2 quarts and 2 cups of MA. I want to wait till that chlorine drops down because if I add more MA at this point, it could drop the PH way down because of the false readings.
Thanks LM, I’ll chime in with tomorrow’s reading.

~Rob
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#37
FC 7.5
CC 0
PH 7.6

Getting there. After adding another 2 quarts of MA this morning, ph is starting to come in line.
PM is having be add another 2 cups of MA and 2 cups of chlorine which I’ll do in the morning when the pump is running.
Question I have, is it ok to add them both back to back, or should I wait a little bit in between??
Thanks!
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,261
Chandler Arizona
#39
Ok, so everything is moving along nicely. As you can see by the numbers, I’ve been dumping in MA daily to bring that PH down to 7.2 or so. I added another quart this morning to drop it down some more, because I’m now going to start working on getting that TA down by running my waterfall and aerating the water. What should I expect to see in a drop in TA from doing so? Quick? Slow?
I don’t usually run my water feature that often, but I’m looking to see how often I’ll need to do so to keep the TA in place.
Thanks.
~Rob
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,508
Bedford, TX
#40
Rob,

When I do the aeration thing to reduce TA, it takes me a couple of days... You don't just do it once a day or it will take forever... :D

You Test your pH and then add acid to reduce it to 7.0 or 7.2... you then turn on your waterfall and leave it on. In about three or four hours retest your pH and TA and if the pH is above about 7.5 lower it again to 7.0 or 7.2... you keep doing this over and over, every few hours until your TA is just below what you want... Then you just keep running your waterfall until your pH comes back up to 7.6 or so..

I start early in the morning and keep doing it until I go to bed.. then I pick it up the next day, but I never shut the waterfall off.

Anyway that is what works for me... after you do it once you will know what works best for you.

Thanks,

Jim R.