Hi from NW Florida

sunsoaker

Member
Jun 17, 2007
23
Florida
My name is Barb. My husband and I just bought a new (to us) home that came with a pool. Neither of us have any experience at all with pools. I have been reading tons on here the last few weeks and finally registered.

The first thing we did was get a SWG. Then discovered a major leak problem with the pool... well, ended up not being the pool, but the filter head. We found a really nice/good pool guy who installed the SWG for us, and fixed the filter head for a very very reasonable charge. Some of his ideas of the pools needs don't really mesh with what I've been reading here, though I will admit to not really understanding all that I'm reading here. Anyhow, the filter head is fixed. We almost have the salt level up to par - it's been raining tons here the last week or so, and between that and the problem with the filter head, it's been a longer than normal time getting the salt up. Once we are there, we need to get the rest of the pool in balance. This site will help us do just that! I just keep reading. I may have a few questions along the way as I am ignorant when it comes to pools.

The pool: 18x36 IG vinyl (screened in), approx 27000 gal. with a Hayward Sand Filter, AquaRite SWG, and I am still, at this point, unsure of the pump size. I do know the pump is old and loud, but we have a home warranty with the new home and have been told by many to just let it go until it quits working and let the home warranty replace it. As it is now, it's working.

Hope to have my pool in as good of a condition as it can be very soon!... and thanks for any and all help I receive in advance!
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Hey Welcome Sunsoaker! Fellow Floridian here! South East Florida though (Ft Lauderdale area).

When you have an opportunity, test your water (or get it tested) and post your test results here.

Total Chlorine / Free Chlorine
pH
Total Alkalinity
Calcium Hardness
Cyanuric Acid
Salinity Level
(With a leak in your pool, you're probably low in cya and salt)

Regarding your pump, are there any markings on the pump itself? Most pumps will have the model stamped on the plastic housing or on a motor plate on the motor, or on a label on the pump housing. I would think with a 27,000 gallon pool, you're probably running a 1.5 hp or 2 hp pump.
 

divnkd101

LifeTime Supporter
Barb,

Welcome to TFP !!! I am sure by now you have found a wealth of knowledge on this site. There are tons of people here wanting and willing to help. Most of us have been down the same road of trying to get our pools chemicals in line or fixing a pesky leak. One thing is certain, we all work together to make sure you have a "Trouble Free Pool." Thanks for signing up and once again, welcome. :-D
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
Welcome to TFP! None of the ideas here are that tricky, they just don't always mesh with what the pool store will tell you!

Take matters into your own hands by getting a good test kit. Post your numbers, and we can guide you through everything!
 

sunsoaker

Member
Jun 17, 2007
23
Florida
Thanks for the welcome everyone!

I do have a drop based test kit from Ace Hardware but figured it would be a waste to use it until I had the salt level up. We still don't have it up as far as we want it, but it's up far enough that the SWG is generating Chlorine. The pool guy had the AquaRite set on 7%... and it was definitely high! You could smell the chlorine, even up at the house! Tested the water just for chlorine last evening and chlorine was off the charts. This was the first day the AquaRite was generating. I left everything turned off last night, ran the normal short run this afternoon and it was back down. Tested again after work and Chlorine was about 1.0 and CC over 3.0 (highest the kit measures). The kit says if there is a large difference between the two readings that "superchlorination" is needed. But it doesn't say what is considered a large difference? Can anyone tell me? Can I use the superchlorinate setting on the AquaRite or do I need to use bleach/shock?

I am also finding that I am having a hard time determining what color to match the results to. I can't look to the hubby for that either since he is completely color blind. Is there a test kit that doesn't rely on color matching? At any rate, hubby will take a sample to Ace tomorrow after work and have them run a full test. I will post those results.

I have the SWG set at 4% now, and pump run time is 5 hrs at night and 3 hrs in the afternoon. I'm trying to get it balance with the run time to take advantage of our power company's Good Cents program where power is much cheaper at night. If I have to increase the afternoon hours, I will. Just trying to save pennies where I can.

Looks like I'm going to have more questions than I first thought.

Thanks again for the welcome and advice.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Duraleigh Dave should be along any time now. We've been talking about the LaMotte ColorQ tester that is electronic and does not rely on your perception of colors to tell what your levels are. I have one and am pleased with it. Others here also have this tester and are pleased as well.
 

ktdave

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
888
Katy, TX
sunsoaker said:
You could smell the chlorine, even up at the house! Tested the water just for chlorine last evening and chlorine was off the charts. This was the first day the AquaRite was generating. I left everything turned off last night, ran the normal short run this afternoon and it was back down. Tested again after work and Chlorine was about 1.0 and CC over 3.0 (highest the kit measures). The kit says if there is a large difference between the two readings that "superchlorination" is needed. But it doesn't say what is considered a large difference? Can anyone tell me? Can I use the superchlorinate setting on the AquaRite or do I need to use bleach/shock?
I suspect that the "chlorine" smell was due to your high CC value which indicates that YES, you should shock your pool with bleach until you have 0.0 CC. Shocking with bleach instead of using the superchlorinate setting on your SWG will help prolong the cell life.
 

sunsoaker

Member
Jun 17, 2007
23
Florida
OK folks. I have the test results from Ace Hardware. It would seem that the total Chlorine has dropped, as I thought since I could no longer smell the chlorine. Here's the results from Ace Hardware:

Free Chlorine - 2.4 ppm
Total Chlorine - 2.9 ppm
Combined Chlorine 0.5
pH - 7.7
Hardness - 20 ppm (OK for vinyl pool? or should I bring up)
Alkalinity (w/stabilizer correction) - 61 ppm
Cyanuric Acid - 30 ppm
Copper - 0.2 ppm
Iron - 0.0 ppm
Total Dissolved Solids - Not run.

Salt lever per AquaRite - 2800

Here's what I have in the garage (inherited from previous owners). An entire unopned box of Alkalinity Plus, and pH decreaser. There is also some shock in there, but not enough, and some algaecide which I don't need. The water is perfectly clear. All Chemicals are AqualChem brand.

Pool is approx. 27K gal, vinyl with sand filter and Aquarite SWG. Running pump 3 hrs. in afternoon and 5 hrs. at night. SWG set at 4%. Still not sure of the pump size. Label is too worn. We are going to get the make a model off of it and see if we can do a search to find out. EDIT: Found it - Centurion B129 1.5 hp

The leak was in the filter head, and has been repaired. No longer leaking (so far...).

Here's my questions.

Need to address the alkilinity first. The box of Alkilinity Plus say to raise by 30 ppm to use 13 lbs in a 30K pool. my box is 12 lbs. Do I just put the whole box in? How long to wait after adding this before addressing the pH

The PH decreaser says to add 6oz for 10K or 18 oz for 30K to bring down. How much would I use for a 27K pool?

Do I need to shock before addressing either one of these?

As I haven't enough shock or bleach, can I use the superchlorinate on the AquaRite to address the CCs? How long does it normally take the pool to get back to normal so we can swim after shocking?

Does the CYA need to be brought up some since it is at the bottom of the acceptable range?

The questions may seem dumb, but I am a total dummy when it comes to math, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. (I sure am full of questions).
 

sunsoaker

Member
Jun 17, 2007
23
Florida
Poolsean said:
Duraleigh Dave should be along any time now. We've been talking about the LaMotte ColorQ tester that is electronic and does not rely on your perception of colors to tell what your levels are. I have one and am pleased with it. Others here also have this tester and are pleased as well.
I have purchased one of the LaMotte ColorQ tester kits... Hopefully this will fix my color matching problem. Will be a couple of weeks for it to get here. The site said to allow time for shipping as the item was in high demand.
 

itabb

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
71
Atlanta, GA
Just kind of curious, how is your pool coming along? I did not see any replies to your ALK issue. And with an SWG, btw, I wouldn't touch that ALK. You really want it right at 80 plus/minus 10. Because the higher your ALK (say 120), the faster your PH will rise over time from the SWG.

If you have not already, read up on the effect of chlorine and CYA. You'll find your "off the charts" level of chlorine really isn't at a CYA level of 30. You will also find that a CC level above .5 is a real concern.

During the day, if your pool is exposed to the sun, your chlorine will burn off. Running only 3 hours during the day as your chlorine is burning off could allow unsanitized pockets of water to be overrun with algae, giving it a foothold. Consider running 8 or even 12 hours during the day so that you are always putting chlorine back into the water as it is burning off. Keeping an even level of 3ppm FC or more will really help keep that pool water crisp and clear. However, if whatever you are doing is working well, then that's the best way to go.
 

sunsoaker

Member
Jun 17, 2007
23
Florida
Hi Itabb. I haven't done anything with the alk yet. The pool was doing great, then I suddenly lost my chlorine, and couldn't keep any in. I am currently trying to get it all back right, but having a hard time doing anything with all these thunderstorms every day. We really need the rain, buuuttt.....

My pool has always been crystal clear, but there is also always stuff on the bottom to be vacuumed out daily. The pool is screen enclosed, so where is this "stuff" coming from???? I now think it's the dead algae.... I am getting there. Been getting lots of good help/advice over in the "testing the water" forum.
 

itabb

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
71
Atlanta, GA
Has anyone suggested to you that you could augment your SWG with Clorox Bleach? Let's say you test your pool, and it is FC 0, CC 1. Well, instead of blasting your $600 SWG at 100% for 24 hours, just plop in 2-4 gallons of Clorox bleach. Instantly, you have a FC of 6ppm per 10,000 gallons per gallon of bleach. Since you have added a known quantity of free available chlorine, you'll know if you have a problem when that bleach is used up in 1 or 2 hours.

I once had to add 26 gallons of Clorox in 24 hours to overcome a chlorine demand from multiple sources. Anyway, I keep several gallons on hand at all times to shock the pool. I rarely have to do it, but if I do, it really is much better to "superchlorinate" with bleach instead of your SWG. Shocking is something you want to do now, not over a 24 hour period.

Just this weekend, my FC went to 0. I didn't bother trying to figure out why. I just need to use the pool for a party, though. So I hit the pool with some bleach and brought it to 10ppm FC. I did not adjust the SWG, which I keep at 15%. I figured that would halt any problems and keep things relatively safe for the party. I have a CYA of 60, btw. Then after the party, I shocked the pool to 20ppm with more bleach, held it overnight with the pump running, and now have that crisp look to the water. Tonight is the second night at 20ppm, and then I'll let it go down in the sun. Anyway, it is hard to maintain shock level without the titrate test (ran out of titrate measuring 20ppm -- 40 drops).

You'll find out what works for you. I find that 20ppm shock level solves many problems quickly, and using bleach as a chlorine source avoids creating new problems.