Hi, new member

Bark3rd

Member
Jun 29, 2010
8
Hello all, I am so excited to have found this site! With no research whatsoever, and just a stubborn dose of common sense tempered with a healthy frustration with the $$$ spent at the local Leslie's over the years, this week I started to dump generic Clorox into the pool. Now I found the site and realize that in fact I may not be a complete crackpot! Now I just need to do it right. I fired the pool guys a year ago and have been managing the pool by trial and error (only recently started using "strip testers"), to medicore results- I think the only success I have had has been due to brushing the pool every day while swimming with the kids and lots of elbow grease (vacuming, etc). I want to learn how to approach this more scientifically, using a proper test kit, and the BBB method. I would like to try to get the pool more balanced this weekend, and will need to go to Wally world to stock up. If I could some general shopping list help, that would be great. Assume I am completely clueless. I'm not even totally sure how many gallons my pool is! I've done some searches but honestly don't really know what I am searching for. Here's some info:

In ground kidney shaped pool, about 40' x 14' 6.5' deep in deep end, 4' deep in shallow end.
DTE filter 60 SF, in line tablet (chlorinator?)
Single speed pump, on 24/7
Gunnite (starting to deteriorate, I have what look like golf-ball size "fingerprint" indentations all over it that algae loves to grow in
Green algae sometimes (just brushed a ton of it off today)
Gooey Black algae spots, all over cant seem to scrub them off
Hot, hot Texas location, lots of trees but in sun most of day
monkey kid swimmers all the time, dogs and even a Guinea Pig

help...... :?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,810
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Pool School should be your next stop.

Don't load up on anything until you know what you need, and you won't know that until you test, and you can't test until you have a proper kit. Read the test kits compared in pool school, then go order a TF100 and a speedstir. Best money you'll ever spend on that hole in the ground. hint: Become a site supporter for $30 and you'll save $10 on the kit.

I suppose you could stock up on chlorine at Wally World, you'll be using a lot if you have algae.

Bookmark http://www.poolcalculator.com/ too. Once that kit arrives, you'll be referring to it often.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Well you have come to the right place... :)

Start in Pool School (if you haven't already).
Order yourself a one of the recommended test kits - (order online, trust me)
then post a full set of test results so we can help you begin to balance.

As for the gallons, folks round here are real good at helping newbs figure out the gallonage. Hang tight on that one...

Can you post a pic of the surface (wanna see those indents)... use Photobucket.com and then post the IMG code in your message here.

Hang in there, we'll get you on the road to a trouble-free pool! :)
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Well, the first thing is to read through Pool School. I'll admit it made my head hurt the first few times I went through it, so I'll suggest that you may want to actually print it out to read at your leisure. You may also want to start a Pool Book that records what condition the pool is in now, what tests you run, and what chemicals you add -- it helps to keep it all straight over time.

Then you will need accurate test data. Strips can give you a guesstimate, maybe, depending on how well you can tell one color from the next, but that is not accurate enough for our methods. So, IMO the first item to buy is the test kit. I suggest http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html for the TF100 or whichever size kit seems to make sense for you. I have the TF100 plus the SpeedStir -- which I really love. Service is fast and the prices are fair.

Just for info, what does the strip tester tell you? Don't try to make any exact number out of the strips, just tell us what the indicated range is, like Free Chlorine between this and that value, and so on. We want to know Free Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, Total Chlorine, pH, Calcium Hardness or Total Hardness, Total Alkalinity, Cyanuritic Acid or Stabilizer or Conditioner or CYA.

Meanwhile, you can add that info about your pool to your profile so that it shows with every post, it helps us to know your situation.

Oh, and welcome to the forum, you will be amazed how easy it can be to take care of your pool.
 

Bark3rd

Member
Jun 29, 2010
8
Wow! I am blown away by all the responses already. Went outside and swirled my little swizzle stick around and came up with this: (its drizzling rain right now)
FC: .5 (low)
PH: 6.2
TA: 120

the colors are really hard to match but did the best I could! I really want to get on top of this during the long weekend, I live in a big city- is there anywhere I could just go and buy a decent test kit so I could start the mad scientist bit now??? Leslie's is right down the street! Blasphemy!!
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,691
Sebring, Florida
Welcome to the forum. :lol: You'll find everyone very willing to help you get your pool in tip-top shape.

A ph of 6.2 is much lower than most pool tests measure.....how did you get that result? If it's correct, you will want to move your pH into the mid 7's right away. I would confirm that result, even if it means getting Leslies to test for you.

I have a vested interest in this (I sell the TF-100) but it is very rare to find the Taylor K-2006 in any pool store. Pool stores just don't understand the importance of the tests....the K-2005 is not an adequate substitute.....don't buy it. The TF-100 is only sold online and not found locally anywhere.

You will never regret purchasing either of those kits but you will almost surely have to do it online.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Welcome to TFP :wave:

I think you find that most of us hear use either the TF100 or the Taylor K2006 for testing. There is an article in pool school that compares the test kits we recommend, but I must say most of us think the TF100 is the better value (larger reagent sizes...and oh by the way...psst...they are taylor reagents in a neat little tackle box) and since Duraleigh is the owner of TFtestkits.net as well as TFP...you would be supporting the folks that made this great resource available to us :goodjob:

http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison

Welcome
 

Bark3rd

Member
Jun 29, 2010
8
Ok, I'll order the TF100 tomorrow, I'm sure it will help when you guys need chem data to make reccomendations. Maybe in the meantime I will get the el cheapo Wal- Mart tester so I can get some work done this weekend (anything is better than these silly test strips, the colors don't match).

The 6.2 PH result I got from the results chart on the test strip bottle (match the color and the numerical range is beneath it) totally random as the result color could just as easily been matched to one of the colors a bit higher up on the chart.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
if you are not far from Raleigh, NC, if you order the tf100 today, you could have it easily by Friday. If you do decide to get the walmart kit...you want the $19.97 6 way HTH drop based kit...but you could easily wait for the TF100.
 

Bark3rd

Member
Jun 29, 2010
8
Hey, Im on the site now trying to order the kit. Is there a discount for members of this board? There's a space in the checkout for "discount".
 

Bark3rd

Member
Jun 29, 2010
8
WOHOO! DONE!

Payment Info
---------------------------
Visa



Order Summary
--------------------------
1 - TFTestkits TF-100 @ $68.00

--
1: Total Items


Subtotal: $68.00
Tax: $0.00

Discount: -$0.00
S/H: $14.95
Total: $82.95
Gift Certificate: -$0.00
Grand Total: $82.95
 

rsharp

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2010
129
welcome to the site!! i would start up another topic about your pool size... just ask "how many gallons of water is in my pool" someone will figure it out for you! in the meantime if you scroll down to the bottom of our posts you will notice how we all have our pool info at the bottom. it would help if u did the same.... go back to the home screen........... click on your avatar picture (even if there isnt one)...... next look at the menu buttons going paralell on your screen...... click on the profile button......... next look at the menu going verticle on the left side of the screen.... click on "edit signature".... now u can put your info into your signature!!!! GOOD LUCK!!
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Welcome to TFP!!

You are certainly on the right track :party: You've come here, read some and listened to what's been said :goodjob:

I'll go out on a fairly sturdy limb and guess that your CYA is through the roof, and that's why you've got the algae, it'll also explain the VERY low pH,

Continue to read and learn, ask us any questions you have - once you get the TF100 and can give us good numbers - we'll get you trouble free (you may well have to replace some of the water in your pool to correct the current problems :( ) :cool:
 

Bark3rd

Member
Jun 29, 2010
8
WHOA!! I just got my test kit in, wow this thing is HUGE. What in the heck do I do with this thing?
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Bark3rd said:
What in the heck do I do with this thing?
Just start at the beginning. Get a sample about elbow deep from the deep end of the pool after the filter has been running about an hour or more. Then start with the daily tests using the little blue box. When you get to the other tests where more drops are needed, count out loud so people know why you are not answering them. ("Mom! Can I eat this now??" "16, 17, 18, not now, 19, 20")

I reorganized my box so that the test bottles were arranged in the same order as the instructions, but I had to start at the lower left to make it work well, using some dividers and moving some. Add a pencil with an eraser. Find a nice place to store it, like in the house near a sink, I keep mine in the laundry room. I also suggest that you take notes of what you add based on the tests and what the target was for that addition.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
Also realize that after you get a baseline set of numbers from all tests, you will only be doing the pH and chlorine tests regularly. The other parameters do not change very quickly so will test them far less frequently.
 

Bark3rd

Member
Jun 29, 2010
8
OK, finally whipped out the monster kit and went to work, here are the results-I have guests coming to swim in 2 hours!!! pool is green!!! going to scrub and vacum, any reccomendations on some chems to get me through today would be great. Pool is 16000 gallons. Pool calculator says to add 100oz to get to FC target of 4. This sound right?


FC: 1 PPM
CC: .5 PPM
T/A: 90
CH: 260
PH 7.5
 

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