First time pool owner with some questions!

rosslamon

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
62
Northport, AL
Hi all! I've done some research on this site for about a year. Last year I had someone come out and open the pool for me as I was working a lot and had just bought my home. This year I'm looking to open the pool myself. I did make a foolish error. In my working I never covered the pool and it is surrounded by trees. Now it's coming up on spring and my pool is just chock full of debris. I know that the first act of all of this will be cleaning all of the debris I can and scrubbing the walls, and vacuuming to get as much out of the pool as I can. The next part is where my questions start. I understand that CYA helps the pool maintain a chlorine level. I've also read that you need to have your pH in order before you shock, ideally. So here is my plan and the results of my tests. I measured my FC, CC, and CYA at 0. I used the TFP-100 test kit. Pool water under the label, reagent to the top of the label, filled the tube until I couldn't see the black dot (I saw the black dot the whole time). I did the test with the powder to test FC and CC and it didn't turn pink when I put the powder in. (The test kit says that means there's no chlorine) I used the pH test and came in around 7.5 to 7.8. TA measured at 30-40. Here's my plan-all of these numbers are based on the tfp calculator with it's suggestions. I know they aren't a guarantee and will test at each step. Put in 8 lbs of stabilizer to bring CYA to 42. This will lower pH to around 7. Add 13.5 lb of baking soda to increase TA to 73 and pH to 7.1. Add 55 oz of washing soda to bring pH to 7.5 and TA to 87. Add roughly 5 gallons of 8.5% bleach to bring FC to 17. Maintain the 17 testing as often as possible and adjusting as necessary until the pool is clear and the overnight loss is less than 1 ppm overnight. Then allow to return to normal levels and maintain around a 5FC to keep my pool clear.

Does this plan sound right- assuming all numbers test to the estimated numbers?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Ross

I forgot to mention it comes in right around 22.5K Gallons...that's pretty important.
12805714_10207243709703465_1390137542098232188_n.jpg
 

Mr Bruce

TFP Guide
Mar 24, 2014
2,438
Greenville, SC
Sounds like a good plan to me. Only thing I would suggest is to shoot for 20 on CYA, then adjust up slowly after slam. If you go over you have to drain. It can take a week to show up in the test, just assume it's there once added. Gives you a lower FC target for slamming also.

Congrats on having the most informed first post EVER.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Hello Ross, and welcome to TFP! I applaud your efforts, and you have the TF-100 ... OUTSTANDING! Let's recap a few things: First .. CYA. Dot never disappeared so you can bet you have little to no CYA at all. Yes, you need to add stabilizer. Since it went to zero (and so did the FC) there's a chance you may other issues going on as well. So here's what I ask of you,.......when you do start the SLAM, if you add bleach (FC) and it just disappears to almost nothing REALLY fast, let us know right away. Otherwise, yes, you'll add stabilizer for a target of 30 ppm and raise FC to shock of 12 based on the Chlorine/CYA Chart. Or you could go for a CYA of 20 and FC shock of 10 for now to use a little less bleach. As you noted, pH needs to be between 7.2-7.4 before starting the SLAM. If it's a hair low, don't worry. After that, you won't test pH until the SLAM is done. TA could be around 50-ish. No need to go too right now, and just round numbers to the nearest tenth (i.e. 40 or 50) when testing. Same with all the others.

The rest is SLAM history as they say ... pump running 24/7, scrub, remove the large debris manually, and clean filter often. Maintain the FC of course. You have a black mess, so it will take a while, but keep the bleach handy/maintained and you'll do fine. Take lots of pics each day.

Also, please add your pool info to your signature by going to the top of the TFP web page (just under the Pool School button) and select "SETTINGS". On the next page look to the left for a menu bar that says, “MY SETTINGS” and go to "EDIT SIGNATURE" to enter your pool and equipment info there. It will help us later. This link may also help you: Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post. Welcome!
 

rosslamon

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
62
Northport, AL
Thanks for the comment on most informed first post! I really try to be informed and search forums before asking questions.

I've bought a leaf eater last year. I know it's about to get some heavy use!

Per your advice I'm adjusting to 30 CYA as a target. I would do 20 or less, but I'm not going to always be home enough to add chlorine that frequently during the SLAM. At worst I'll be getting 2 measurements / adjustments in per day. At best I'll be home all day and able to monitor it.

New plan.

90oz of stabilizer to raise to 30, but lower pH to 6.95. Raise pH and TA with 44oz washing soda to pH 7.4 and TA 43. Add 143 oz baking soda to bring TA to 71 and pH to 7.5 then SLAM to 12 and ride the wave.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I would just do one minor change to that scenario. To prevent from raising your pH, I would simply use baking soda to increase the TA somewhere around 60-70. Then hit the water with some acid to lower the current pH of 7.5-7.8 down to 7.2-7.4. Then you should be all set to start your SLAM. And when you do the math in the calculator, try to round everything up or down to whole numbers like 60, 70, etc. You'll beat yourself up trying to go 71, 72, etc. Plus, the tests have a small +/- degree of error, so rounding-up or down is best.
 

rosslamon

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
62
Northport, AL
Okay. If I did that and didn't use the washing soda it would leave my pH around 7.1 according to the calculator before adding any acid? Am I missing something?

- - - Updated - - -

Another question, can I do everything besides chlorine before I clean all the debris out?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
A pH of 7.1. will be okay. It will drive-up fast on its own during the SLAM, so if you see 7.1 now, I would start the SLAM. Even just simple aeration would've raised it by .1 ppm anyways. My comment about the acid was based on your first post results of 7.5-7.8. But at 7.1 you should be set. Good luck on the SLAM.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,837
Grand Rapids, MI
Greeting, rosslamon.

There's one thing you should check before starting your slam since your cya was zero, your FC was zero, and there is heavy debris.

These conditions sometimes cause cya to convert to ammonia and necessitate a slightly different start to your slam to test for ammonia and/or break it down BEFORE adding more cya:


Diagnosing:
1. Test CYA level and record result
2. With pump running, dose FC to Shock (SLAM) per level per Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart, then retest FC after 10 minutes. If FC level drops by more than 50%, then proceed with treatment for ammonia.

Treatment for Ammonia:
1. Begin a SLAM and dose FC up to SLAM level. Do not add additional CYA at this point.
2. Retest FC at 10-minute intervals.
a. If FC loss is greater than 50%, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level and continue retesting FC @ 10-minute intervals.
b. IF FC loss is 50% or less, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level. Go to Step 3.
3. If CYA is below 30 ppm, add enough CYA to bring level up to 30 ppm.
4. Continue SLAM as directed in the SLAM article until the SLAM Criteria of Done are met. Test as directed in the SLAM article - no longer need to test FC at 10 minute increments at this point.
 

rosslamon

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
62
Northport, AL
Okay, I'm a bit concerned. I added 363 oz of 8.25% bleach. That should have raised my FC to 11. I waited about 10 minutes with the pump running and test right at the point of entry. It only took 2 drops to turn the pink water clear again, which if I'm not mistaken translates to 1ppm. I then added ANOTHER 363 oz. Waited another 10 minutes and tested AGAIN with the same result. Is something in there eating my chlorine that fast? Do I just keep adding bleach until it stays above 5.5 after 10 minutes and then add stabilizer? That is my interpretation of your instructions.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
A little clarification:
- Make sure the amount of bleach you're adding is designed to get to your SLAM level based on the CYA you projected.
- Once there (Yes) watch closely every 10 min as noted in post #9. Ammonia is devastating to FC at first, but by adjusting every 10 min the bleach will over-take the ammonia.
- Don't bother with CC testing right now. Only FC testing to ensure you're at the correct FC SLAM/Shock level.

Once you hold 50% of your FC every 10 minutes, you can move-forward as noted above with the SLAM. Hope that helps.
 

rosslamon

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
62
Northport, AL
A little clarification:
- Make sure the amount of bleach you're adding is designed to get to your SLAM level based on the CYA you projected.
I haven't added any stabilizer yet, so it is still at 0 or near 0. If the problem is ammonia I would be better off keeping the CYA at 0 until I have erradicated the ammonia problem and am maintaining FC levels, then add stabilizer and SLAM, correct?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Yes, that is correct. While your FC will be battling ammonia and loss to the sun, do your best to keep the pool fed with FC. At some point I thought you had some CYA in there already, but if not, keep doing what you're doing. Once you know FC is holding and you've beaten the ammonia, add the stabilizer.
 

rosslamon

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
62
Northport, AL
One hour and 9 gallons of
bleach later I'm at 8ppm after a 10 minute test. This is better than 50%. I'm doing one more 10 minutes test after adding a 10th gallon to bring up to 11ppm. If I see minimal loss I'm adding stabilizer to 30ppm and adjusting FC to 12. Here's hoping I beat the ammonia!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,085
Tallahassee, FL
WOW what a battle you had there BUT you pushed through and got it going in the right direction! I think this is the first one for the summer.

Kim
 

rosslamon

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
62
Northport, AL
Possibly not a big deal but possibly a big deal...would the SLAM process be causing my water levels to lower? Like a couple if not 3 inches since the shock began? I figured it was the algae dying and then being filtered out, but I wanted to be sure.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,837
Grand Rapids, MI
For the moment, try a vinyl liner underwater patch kit (check amazon) and see if that holds water. Can you keep your water level halfway up the skimmer plate for proper filtration?