I need a plan...

We have a new 30' pool up and full of water. We've been using the leftover hth chem from our intex pool from last year but need a new plan as we can't keep up. I ordered the k-2006 test kit which should be here next week. For now here's where I need the help. The hubs went into full argument mode last night when I brought up the chemical talk. He's very anti bleach as chlorine, can't wrap his head around dumping liquid bleach into our pool. I'm all for cost effective easy maintenance. The problem is I'm not sure I could even manage to get 10 gallons of bleach cleaning out every local store, and driving 70+ miles each way every week to buy bleach doesn't make that option much more cost effective than buying chemicals online.

So, we have friends that recommend bio-guard sticks and the rest of the coordinating line. He said his eyes burnt last time we swam in it so I'm not sure that is right for us either. Two of our kids have very sensitive skin and get super dry and can get rashly from our local public pool.

Our leftover dummy sticks tell us everything was in the normal range except

FC 0
CYA 0

Which way would be our best option?

**disclaimer** I stay home with the kiddos and can usually manage to sneak out a few minutes at a time to check on everything but I think I'm busier than the guy that works his tail off for the real dough, so the simpler the better!
 

jmbradwell

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2014
288
Las Vegas
Hopefully hubby understands that you do need to add chlorine. I would suggest getting a couple of gallons of liquid chlorine from a (gasp) pool store and show him the ingredients. Then show him the ingredients listed on a chlorine bottle.

I would guess that his eyes were burning from the water pH and not the chlorine. Mine do burn when a miss adding acid to my pool.

Good luck.
 

PSW

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Feb 13, 2012
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Phoenix, AZ
Like jm said above, the eye burning is probably due to the pH level. Once you get your test kit, you will have a much more accurate way of testing your levels.

If the pool is brand new, and you have not added any CYA (stabilizer) yourself, then that 0 reading is probably correct. And you will need some CYA in the pool (ideally 30-50ppm) or else it will be impossible to keep any FC in there. For that, you can use Trichlor pucks (which hubby might be more comfortable adding?). The pool math calculator shows how much CYA is added when using Dichlor or Trichlor (all the way at the bottom). I just punched in some numbers for a 30K pool, and you could add up to 30 8-oz pucks (over time, of course) and would still be at only 33ppm CYA. Realistically, you will want to boost your CYA up quicker than JUST using pucks. You could add a little stabilizer (either liquid or granular) to get up to 20ish, then use pucks for a few weeks if that idea is going to be easier to "sell"

Anyways, if you think chlorine pucks will go over better with your husband, you can use those for a while. However you don't want to get into that habit forever, because you can't let your CYA get too high. Maybe you could use pucks for now to appease him, and ease him into the idea of liquid chlorine or bleach?
 
So if I go the trichlor route to appease him for what is left of our short swim season is any particular brand or company any better than the rest? All he's added so far is shock and the hth chlorinating tabs but they're gone almost instantly. He's been using the skimmer basket so I understand the water flow will eat them like candy, and I'm hesitant to buy an inline feeder especially if I can talk him into using plain 'ol bleach, assuming I can hoard enough over the winter to make it appropriate for next year. We have a month to a month and a half of swim time left before the night temps will dip too low and the water won't warm back up again.

We haven't had an algae issue so far so we've lucked out there, but we keep on top of adding, dipping the strip and vacuuming to try and keep it at bay. We live on a fairly busy gravel road so I can't say it's all dirt and no algae but the vac seems to take care of it and nothing is slimy feeling.
 

PSW

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So if I go the trichlor route to appease him for what is left of our short swim season is any particular brand or company any better than the rest? All he's added so far is shock and the hth chlorinating tabs but they're gone almost instantly. He's been using the skimmer basket so I understand the water flow will eat them like candy, and I'm hesitant to buy an inline feeder especially if I can talk him into using plain 'ol bleach, assuming I can hoard enough over the winter to make it appropriate for next year. We have a month to a month and a half of swim time left before the night temps will dip too low and the water won't warm back up again.

We haven't had an algae issue so far so we've lucked out there, but we keep on top of adding, dipping the strip and vacuuming to try and keep it at bay. We live on a fairly busy gravel road so I can't say it's all dirt and no algae but the vac seems to take care of it and nothing is slimy feeling.
OK so if you're already using some tabs, then you likely have already added some CYA. Once your Taylor test kit comes, post full results (on this same thread) and we can give you better advice.

You don't need to use an in-line feeder. Especially if you can convince him that liquid chlorine / bleach will work.

As for algae / dust… as long as you keep your FC high enough (relative to your CYA level), algae will not be able to grow. If it drops down too low, you risk an algae bloom (which can be time/money intensive to combat after it happens).

Lastly, I goofed on the last note about tabs…because I was using a 30K gallon pool. I saw 30-feet and just got those mixed up :hammer: …so for a 20K gallon pool like you have, it would actually only take 20 8-oz pucks to get up to CYA of 33ppm.
 

Richard320

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Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Considering Summer is what - two weeks long? - in South Dakota, and then you drain half the water out and then it overflows with eighty feet of snow piled up on the cover :D, Trichlor pucks might be feasible for you.

You'll still need to test things regularly and possibly supplement the FC from time to time since pucks are slow dissolving, but setting a few jugs of bleach on the grocery cart might go unnoticed, especially if you store them in the laundry area.
 

DogsHouse_MyPool

Well-known member
Jun 17, 2014
101
Boca Raton, FL
Chlorine only smells when its oxidizing bad stuff. If you stay ahead of trouble using the TFPC method, the smell should be non-existent and you may win him over. I know I prefer chlorine to the alternatives, but then I'm cheap.
 

carveitup

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2014
59
Burlington, Ontario
I realize it is more expensive than liquid chlorine but would lithium hypochlorite be a good solution for the OP? As I understand it, it is not stabilized and could likely be ordered online. Might be worth the cost for the convenience factor.
 
Ok, test results are,

FC 2ppm
CC 0
ph 7.2 one drop of the reagent had it to 7.5
Alk 180
CH 200
And the CYA test was still visible when the tube was full so it's well below 30 (water was basically clear)

I went with the bioguard sticks to please the Mr. They should be here Monday along with stabilizer and smart shock. No bashing please, I may have him convinced to try the tfp way next summer if I can maintain control with the sticks the rest of this summer (he's normally in control of the pool but hasn't had time this year)

So, until the bioguard stuff is here I'll maintain FC as close as possible with the hth 'pills' we have left. Should I bump the ph up? I believe we have hth stuff to adjust ph from the old intex pool also.

How long should our sand filter be running? It's been on 24/7 to keep the water moving since it was filled, do I need a special timer for it, if so will an outdoor (Christmas light) timer work for the mean time?

K-2006 test kit.