Going to try to do it myself with a bit of back story.

Poolmonkie

Active member
Apr 28, 2017
35
Phoenix Arizona
#1
Pool started Aug 2015. I have been using the same pool service for chemicals only doing the rest of the cleaning myself. No issues until March 2017 when I was informed I needed to drain the pool due to high CYA level. I agreed but contacted the builder who said it's way too early for this pool to need a water change. Pool builder has informed me I wasn't running the filter system long enough, I had been running it about 6 hours a night during the summer reducing it to 2 hours a night during the winter. It was recommended that I run it on filtration mode (1750rpm) for 8 hours and then cleaning mode (2750rpm) for 4 hours for a total of 12 hours a day of filtration.

Water changed beginning of April 2017.

I had never changed the Nature 2 cartridge in the chlorinator but was advised to do so by the builder.

After coming to this site and reading a bit I have decided not to buy another Nature 2 cartridge and to just try running the filter for the recommended time. My goal is to do it all myself in the long run and I have ordered the Taylor K-2006 kit to get some accurate readings before I do anything more. As of now the pool service is using the hockey pucks in the chlorinator but it seems that isn't the way to go in the long run either.

As a side question, during the first few months of running the pool I noticed 3 small stains on the bench under a water fall that I have. The stains almost look like rust strains, could these have been from the pellets in the Nature2 system that got out and were left there after being pushed through the waterfall?

I don't have my test kit yet so I'll include my test strip numbers for now:

FC- 10
Total Chl - 5
pH - 7.2
total Alk -120
CYA - 0
Hardness - 500

Any questions or suggestions for me as I start ease myself into self caring for the pool are welcome.

Thanks.

Not sure if my signature showed up so here is the info:

30'x15' 16,000gal Pebble Sheen, Cartridge
Jandy VS Espeed , Nature 2 chlorinator, MX8 cleaner
Started Aug 2015
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#2
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

First CYA build up has nothing to do with pump run time, as you seem to be implying, which I do not understand ...

Also, generally there is no need to run a pool pump for more than a couple hours, even in the summer ... unless ... you need longer run times for the SWG to generate enough FC.

The CYA problem is 100% due the exclusive use of the hockey pucks ... they are just NOT a proper method of chlorination in areas with long swim season and very little rain.

The stains could very well have been due to the Nature 2, either pellets getting out or just the general build-up of metals in the water.

It is not really even worth trying to offer advice based on test strips ... wait until you get the K-2006.
 
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Poolmonkie

Active member
Apr 28, 2017
35
Phoenix Arizona
#3
Thanks for the welcome.

I wasn't implying that running the filter had anything to do with the CYA directly, I was not implying anything, I am just explaining what I have been told by the builder and the tech who cleans the pool.

I was told by the builder that because I wasn't using the cartridge and running the pump longer that the tech was needing to put in too much of the tabs and that is what caused the CYA buildup. He believes that the nature 2 cartridge along with long filtration periods should mean using almost no chlorine tabs at all.

I'm hearing 2 differen't opinions now, the tech who tells me that it's normal to change water ever 1.5 years due to hardness in the area, my builder who says it should go 3-5 between changes.

As you can tell I'm a bit confused and yes I'll post up the accurate numbers as soon as I get the kit in a few days.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#4
You builder sounds like he has no idea what he is talking about. :D

Every pool needs a certain amount of FC added daily. That is usually 2-4ppm which impacts how fast you need to have the tablets dissolve. TFP is of the opinion that adding metals is a bad idea and we do not consider them decreasing the level of FC that should be maintained.

There is no way that the hardness (CH) will rise too much in 1.5 years. But, we do have hard water and a lot of evaporation, so the CH does tend to rise fairly quickly. From my experience, after 3-4 years the CH is getting up there and by 5 years, it is probably a good idea to replace the water. Remember this is due to the CH rise. If you are using Dichlor or Trichlor tablets to try to chlorinate your pool, the CYA is going to climb much faster than the CH and that means replacing water sooner. This is why we do not recommend the use of tablets.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,874
Bedford, TX
#5
Monkie,

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all pools owners with sky high CYA... :shark:

You would think that anyone that can build a pool would surely know all about maintaining a pool, but sadly that is not at all the case.

Most pool builders are experts at building a pool, but know almost nothing about water chemistry, automation, or equipment operation.

And why should they, as in most cases, the PB hands the owner off to some Pool Guy, and never hears from the customer again.

We are at the other end of the tunnel... Most members here don't know much about how to build a pool, but they know a lot about how to maintain a pool.

You have to decide if you wish to follow our advice, or the advice of a Pool builder and tech who have already proven they have no clue about how to maintain your pool.

Thanks for posting.

Jim R.
 
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Poolmonkie

Active member
Apr 28, 2017
35
Phoenix Arizona
#6
Yes it's quite an eye opener and I am very concerned now that I have been wasting money on pool service and getting bad info for so long. I don't get a warm fuzzy from the tech who tells me he is not familiar with the chlorinator and keeps having to ask his boss about it.

I have one concern and it's the reason I haven't tried to deal with the chemicals myself so far. I travel a lot and I might be gone 2 weeks at a time. I don't know if I want to put the responsibility on my family to take care of things when I'm gone that long. Is the TFP system really ideal for me or should I keep looking for a service that "gets it"?
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,265
Tucson
#7
You were told that the water needed to be drained due to high CYA, then told a draining was needed every 1.5 years due to high calcium. Sounds like two different explanations, doesn't it?

Truth is traditional pool store methods cause both to be a problem. The pucks are adding more and more CYA. The only other form of solid chlorine, (commonly used as powdered "shock") adds unnecessary calcium. The solution is a good test kit, study of the info in Pool School (the button at the upper right of this page) and use TFP methods to take control of your own pool maintenance. It seems a bit confusing and overwhelming at first reading, but after a bit all starts to make sense. There are also plenty of folks here to answer any questions and help you through.

As far as drain cycles, yes the water in AZ is high in calcium and evaporation high, but if managed properly draining should only needed every 3-5 years.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,265
Tucson
#8
There are ways to automate part of the process like liquid chlorine injection systems or adding a salt water chlorine generator(SWG), but nothing substitutes for regular testing and adjustments of chemical balance. Pool services generally can't manage it with once a week visits. If you are regularly away for two weeks at a time, someone else needs to be managing the pool.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#9
Following the TFP method can be very easy, so your family could handle it. One option would be to switch to a SWG pool which should maintain the FC level for you, reducing the amount of hands on effort.
 
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Poolmonkie

Active member
Apr 28, 2017
35
Phoenix Arizona
#10
Ok thanks for the replies, lots to think about.

I assume switching to SWG is pretty expensive so not really attractive for a pool that isn't even 2 years old, but I could be wrong.

I don't mind paying for someone to service the pool who knows what they are doing, I wish I could find one that follows the TFP method and can keep on top of things.

So once a week testing isn't enough? How often do you guys test the water? Doesn't it take time to see water changes? I know I can get my family to test the water for me but I hate the idea of trying to direct them to drop chemicals every day and retesting to where it becomes a job and a source of stress.

thanks again for the replies.
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
#11
Poolmonkie,

Once you get the CYA and CH where it needs to be, testing and adding bleach takes 10 minutes per evening. TFP is so easy and works so well that sometimes I wish I had more to do...lol. I just have to satisfy myself with extra top skimming and brushing! If you can teach a family member how to do the FC test once every day or two, your pool is not going to need much bleach. Adding the pool math amount of bleach from a plastic measuring cup near a return is all it takes. Buy a white "lab coat" ....er i mean cheap robe at Walmart to protect clothes. After 2-3 weeks, you won't even have to consult pool math. You will know how much to add from your notebook log. Generally, it will be about the same amount every time. Simple Simon.

Crystal
 
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Poolmonkie

Active member
Apr 28, 2017
35
Phoenix Arizona
#13
Ok so I'm still waiting on my test kit but I've been using the test strips I have and took my water in for testing. I fired my pool cleaning service and there are 4 tabs still in the chlorinator that I'm going to let get used up.

From what I've read and what the pool store has told me my numbers are as follows.

FC 3
CC not avail
CYA 55
pH 7.6
TA 120
CH 250

my concern is with the CYA, I did a full water change one month ago and it's already at 55 according to the pool store (my test strip shows 0). I know strips are not great but it's all I have till my test kit shows up next week.

I want to use liquid chlorine instead of the tabs but the pool store salesman told me that it would cost me a fortune vs tabs. He also told me that if I use only liquid then "I'm for sure going to get a green pool during the heat of the summer" I have seen what tabs did to the pool, I am not going down that road again and it's worth extra cost and some effort to avoid water changes every 1.5 years.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,874
Bedford, TX
#14
Monkie,

Well, who do you believe, us or the pool store? We give our advice away for free, the pool store's goal is to sell you something!!!

If the owner's that followed our advice all had their pools turn green in the summer, how long would it take for this site to have zero visitors?

But, as you know that is not the case... this is the place everyone goes when after following their pool store's advice, their pools turn green.

We rescue people, they sell "magic" potions... we shine the light of knowledge, they want to keep people in the dark.

Not really much of a choice is it..

Jim R.
 

RonsPlc

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2015
590
Gaylesville, AL
#16
Another option ,rather than a SWG, is to use a Stenner pump to add the liquid chlorine for you. Once you get it dialed in, all you pretty much have to do is test your water to make sure there have been no major changes in the chemistry, and make sure the supply tank of bleach doesn't run out.
 

tucsontico

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2014
234
Tucson, AZ
#17
I agree, I'm going with the TFP method, now any thoughts on the CYA of 55 one month after the refill? :)
CYA of 55 (most likely it is 60) is fine just don't let it get any higher! Depending on how your Nature 2 chlorinator is plumbed, it is possible that the pressure from your pump has accelerated the amount of Chlorine and CYA into your pool. Since your pool is so new, I recommend you visit the Nature 2 website and refer to their installation requirements. If the PB installed the Nature 2 system incorrectly, you may be able to talk the PB into replacing it with a SWG.

I mention this because that is exactly what happened to me. My PB installed a Pool Frog system on the high pressure side (versus the low pressure side as required by the manufacturer) and it dissolved the pucks at 3-4 times the rate necessary. I had my CYA go through the roof (150+ ppm) in less than 10 months with an associated massive algae bloom because the chlorine was bound up and not sanitizing my water. I had to drain and refill my pool and, because the PB made an error, I got him to remove the Frog (after I found TFP!) and install an SWG. My water has been absolutely perfect since I had that done and embraced the TFP methods.

As mentioned, a Stenner pump feeding liquid chlorine to your pool is another very good option to minimize the "work" involved with your pool. Good luck! :cool:
 
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Poolmonkie

Active member
Apr 28, 2017
35
Phoenix Arizona
#18
Jandy pump layout.jpg

I looked at the pump layout but most of it is underground so I'm not exactly sure if the chlorinator is the low or high pressure side. Here is the schematic I was given from the builder, it looks to be downstream of the cartridge right before the returns and scuppers. Any help?

I removed what was left of the pucks from the chlorinator to try to keep the CYA from increasing. Is there anything I should do initially to make sure the CYA doesn't increase?

I think I'll just start with manually adding the chlorine liquid to start with but I like the idea of the Stenner option for when I'm away so I'm not putting it on my family, thanks for the suggestion.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#19
I am not sure what you guys are talking about being high pressure and low pressure side. High pressure and low pressure side of what? Any tablet feeder or swg needs to be the last piece of equipment before the water goes back to the pool.
 
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Poolmonkie

Active member
Apr 28, 2017
35
Phoenix Arizona
#20
I'll just assume that the installer did plumb the chlorinator as the last piece of equipment before the pool, unless someone knows of an easy way to confirm that. As I have mentioned most of the lines are buried so I can't just eyeball it.

Either way I'm not using the chlorinator anymore and plan on manually adding liquid chlorine.