First Timer needs help balancing AB pool

JediKnight

Active member
Jun 8, 2019
42
Grass Valley, CA
I'm learning about pools for the first time while we are living with and helping my grandparents. They have a 16' Intex pool that is buried 2 feet into the ground. My Nana has been back and forth from the pool store and they keep selling her things, we add the instructed chemicals and then repeat and the balance is still off.

I've been watching videos and reading to educate myself but am still grasping the concepts any advice is appreciated.

Pool store test was done yesterday (6/7) and states as follows:

*Note the top right has the surface listed as plaster, it is a vinyl AG pool would this greatly affect their instructions?

FC - 1.8
Total Chlorine - 2.11
CC - .27
pH - 8.3
Alkalinity- 55
Adjusted Alkalinity - 52
Hardness- 135
CYA - 8

They instruct to add 12 oz of PH down, then 2lb 2oz of Alkalinity+, then 1.3oz of shock treatment, 1.2 (3") tablets of trichlor, 1/2 gallons of instant conditioner, and finally 5 pounds of calcium elevator.

_________

Last week we followed their instructions adding shock treatment, instant conditioner, a lot of ph+, calcium and trichlor tablets. This pool has been sitting over winter and was a terrible mess. Hopefully, with some education and help I can get it and keep it nice for the grandparents.

Attached is the pool store sheet we received 6/7/2019
The green state of the pool was 5/29/2019
The much clearer state of the pool is today, 6/8/2019
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
The best way for us to help you is to get a proper test kit. But will your grandmother use it when you leave? Pool owner testing and adding only what the pool needs (which some of what the pool store sold you was not) is the cornerstone of TFPC.
If she is going to go with the pool store methods in the future, the best idea is to do a substantial drain and refill with fresh water and start over.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 

JediKnight

Active member
Jun 8, 2019
42
Grass Valley, CA
Welcome to the forum!
The best way for us to help you is to get a proper test kit. But will your grandmother use it when you leave? Pool owner testing and adding only what the pool needs (which some of what the pool store sold you was not) is the cornerstone of TFPC.
If she is going to go with the pool store methods in the future, the best idea is to do a substantial drain and refill with fresh water and start over.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
Thank you for the reply! We have been living with them since January and will continue to do so as they need the care, so we won't be leaving.

I have been reading and learning a lot this past week on pool basics. Granted, math and chemistry were never my strengths, and I've downloaded the TFP app and would like to abandon the pool store completely, buy a Taylor K-2006 kit and do it myself for them. When I saw the test results I noticed they don't even have the right pool type selected and read that vinyl pools don't even require calcium. Will be taking that back to them.

Nana has been using the pool store drop test for the FC and PH herself but was having a hard time with the pool store's recommendations.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
OK -- the K2006 is fine. It is light on reagents for the two tests you will do the most, FAS-DPD and CYA. I suggest the TF100 from TFTestkits.net. Best value for the residential pool owner.

While you are waiting on your kit to arrive, add 5 ppm FC worth of liquid chlorine each day to the pool. Be sure the pump is on and mixed well. Clean the filter every time the pressure rises by 25% over clean pressure.
 
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JediKnight

Active member
Jun 8, 2019
42
Grass Valley, CA
OK -- the K2006 is fine. It is light on reagents for the two tests you will do the most, FAS-DPD and CYA. I suggest the TF100 from TFTestkits.net. Best value for the residential pool owner.

While you are waiting on your kit to arrive, add 5 ppm FC worth of liquid chlorine each day to the pool. Be sure the pump is on and mixed well. Clean the filter every time the pressure rises by 25% over clean pressure.
Checking into the TF100 now, as I haven't ordered anything yet. Currently it's had Cal_Hypo 73% added to it early last week and the 3" Trichlor pucks. Is it best to abandon the pucks and switch to liquid chlorine?

Again, thank you for the wisdom and patience!
 

JediKnight

Active member
Jun 8, 2019
42
Grass Valley, CA
Update:

FC seems to around 3
PH seems to be around 7.8 ( no change after two acid treatments?)
Is it always a guesstimate to read these comparators?

Will get a proper test kit (probably the K-2006 still) ordered this week so I can take total control of pool maintenance.
With no way to test for anything but FC and PH I took a sample to the pool store and also returned the calcium they sold to us a few days ago. When I told them we do not have a plaster pool, but an AB vinyl, the TWO clerks both said "Well, you still need calcium!" to which I replied, "That's okay, I still have some from the last time left over anyway that you sold to us."

I saw they had the Taylor K-2005 and when I inquired about the 2006 they looked at me like I'd asked about their underwear or something. Informed they did not and after a few clicks on a computer screen told me they could get it. Perhaps they have never heard of Amazon 😅

Thanks for this forum and the TFP resources I know not to trust the pool store testing. Today's results:

FC 7.41
TC 7.41
CC 0.00
PH 7.7 ( I added dry acid two days in a row according to Pool Calculator) it was 8.3 last week
Alkalinity 57 (up from 52 last week)
CYA 23 (up from 8 last week after almost a gallon of instant conditioner)

I will not be adding any calcium, nor following the pool store's "directions". It was my first time going to one and I wasn't impressed and can see why my Nana was perplexed on if she was doing her testing correctly!

While we still have a lot of the supplies I'll continue to use Cal-Hypo and the Tricolor 3" pucks to maintain the chlorine, and when thats almost out, I may switch to the liquid chlorine. The tub of Alkalinity+ will be refilled with store bought baking soda since that's what it is and any PH+ needs after the pool chemical tubs are used up will be replaced with borax. Simplify!

Chlorine and PH pics attached from an hour ago

I've been siphon vacuuming the sediment and muck of the bottom at least once a day for two weeks. However yesterday and today the gunk looks more black and random, is this dead algae?

After vacuuming the pool is looking really inviting!
 

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