Intro hello in Texas

Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
Hello all! I recently became the proud owner of my first pool. I recently bought a house over 40 years old with a pool that appears to have been there for most of it haha. The pool is an old diving pool that in the next 3-5 years we will be revamping. The pool was maintained fully up to transfer of ownership and a checkup yesterday (by a pool maintenance company) had them happy so i just need to learn to maintain things and not mess it up.

Current setup is single cartridge filter and single 1hp Hayward pump to a ~20,000 gallon pool (guessing from measurement) - a very basic setup. Wanting to control my family's chemical environment and having a tight budget has me on the path to maintain my own pool and i was lucky enough to find you guys!

I have gone through the entire Pool school and read most of the additional articles. I just got my K-2006C kit in the mail today as well as obtained (large arbitrary amounts) of all the outlined chemicals in the TFP guide (liquid chlorine, borax, ph balancer, etc all down the list).

As we are in a rehab process and not living at the house i have the ability to test and get things right over the next 30 days. I guess im apprehensive of 'pulling the trigger' and starting. A couple of questions i have:

1) Are there guides to understand how long my setup is taking to 'cycle' the water given pump hp / piping diameter and pool size?
2) Any advantage to updating to a higher hp pump without changing plumbing?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,612
Evans, Georgia
Howdy! Welcome to TFP :handwave:

Good start getting the test kit!

I would not stock up on Borax, Baking Soda or anything else as they're often unneeded. After running a full set of tests start a new thread in the "Getting Started" forum and we'll help you figure out what you need.....and what you can return. We'll save you gobs of green!

Do not do a thing to the current pump. Wait. IF you need a new pump it will need to be a Variable Speed. Don't rush it yet. Lets see where you are before you jump.

Maddie
 

Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
Thank you for this! I will go by in a day or two and provide the chemical data as you mentioned. Thank you for the pump information! I'll get a picture or two also as that might help.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,310
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum!
Your question #1 above is something that does not effect the chemistry of your pool water. 'Turnover' is a myth. You need to run the pump long enough to mix in your chemicals (normally an hour or so is enough) and then it is how much you wish to skim the surface.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,639
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hello fellow Houstonian. You will find lots of info and help on the forum. Glad that you are getting a proper test kit and you will be a pro soon in testing. Just takes a little practice. Always good to test your tap water and keep a record of that so you know what your fill water is doing to your pool chemistry. Did you have the pool equipment inspected as part of your house inspection for the purchase? Did they denote any issues or things you need to be aware of? Best to try to get as much info from the prior owners on any equipment changed out, repairs, etc. Also, your home warranty should have included pool equipment so keep that handy if you have any issues with the pump, motor or filter. You will be very happy with the assistance and guidance you will receive from this forum. Good luck with TS Beta moving in - hopefully it is only (some) rain without a lot of wind.
 

Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
I see that my original post in "Water Chemistry" was copied here because it was an intro post. I will post my results here as i have probably more questions and eventually migrate over. I ran testing today mostly following the book instructions and this guide with the following results:

1) Free chlorine = 10 drops of R-0871 at the 25ml mark = 2ppm free chlorine
2) Combined chlorine = Added 5 drops of R-0003 and became very faintly light pink indicating combined chlorine (picture attached)
3) pH balance = 10 drops resulted to a 7.6 or slightly higher hue (but below 7.8)
4) Acid demand = 1 drop took it to 7.4-7.6 and a second drop took it to 7.2-7.4 - not done the calcs as have questions about pool sizing
5) Alkalinity = 5 drops took the mixture to clear, and 6 made it pink so alkalinity is 60
6) Calcium Hardness = 25 drops to purple, and 26 to blue so around 250 / 260
7) CYA = started to fade close to 60 but not visible around 52.5 (if the scale was linear which it isn't)

With this i have the following questions:
1) Just for sanity sake - do my numbers make sense above? It's been raining today but i tried to go down about 2 feet for my samples.
2) I am getting a water softener installed in the next two months as we are on city water supply - should i pay to have a separate stub out for unsoftened water for filling the pool or just compensate with additional calcium hardness addition?
3) I have a 70's/80's diving pool as mentioned above with a 3.5-4ft shallow side with the dropoff sharply occuring in the middle (pictures attached) over to a 8.5-9ft deep diving center - any tips on estimating size given how curved it is? Some pool maintenance personnel who have come by have estimated 20,000 gallons but tips are very appreciated if i can get more accurate.
4) Once i get sizing i will be able to run calcs on how much of what to add and am aiming for the TFP guidance - any particular thoughts given my numbers?

Again - I am super grateful for finding yall and looking forward to getting fluent in the TFP mindset!
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,639
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Overall this looks good and for being about 30years old, the pool looks in great shape. You need to add how you chlorinate your pool to your signature. Do you have a SWG, using pucks, or liquid chlorine? That will help guidance.

2) I am getting a water softener installed in the next two months as we are on city water supply - should i pay to have a separate stub out for unsoftened water for filling the pool or just compensate with additional calcium hardness addition?
I have a water softener but it only affects the water into the house. both of my external taps are city water. You may want to discuss that with the installer and where it will connect to. Also, my inlet to the water softener (it is all located outside of my house) has a valve on it. If I close the valve, all water to the inside of the house stops but my external taps still can flow. Regardless of how it hooks up, just measure the tap where you fill the pool and you can adjust how your pool is affected.

I have a 70's/80's diving pool as mentioned above with a 3.5-4ft shallow side with the dropoff sharply occuring in the middle (pictures attached) over to a 8.5-9ft deep diving center - any tips on estimating size given how curved it is? Some pool maintenance personnel who have come by have estimated 20,000 gallons but tips are very appreciated if i can get more accurate.
You have a kidney shaped pool. Are 1 of the ends deep and the other shallow or is it shallow on both ends with deep section in the middle? it was not clear on you wording above. I suggest you section the pool. Take measurements (create either a circle or a square depending on the section) for each section and use the maximum depth for each to calculate volume. I did mine by taking my brush pole, measuring and taping 1 ft sections then walked the pool to get proper depths. I also sectioned off the steps separately. Hope this helps.
 

Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
Overall this looks good and for being about 30years old, the pool looks in great shape. You need to add how you chlorinate your pool to your signature. Do you have a SWG, using pucks, or liquid chlorine? That will help guidance.

I apologize i will add that - it was pucks based on past management but i plan to move to liquid chlorine as that seems recommended for control.

I have a water softener but it only affects the water into the house. both of my external taps are city water. You may want to discuss that with the installer and where it will connect to. Also, my inlet to the water softener (it is all located outside of my house) has a valve on it. If I close the valve, all water to the inside of the house stops but my external taps still can flow. Regardless of how it hooks up, just measure the tap where you fill the pool and you can adjust how your pool is affected.

Got it - i will give myself the option and some valves to decide if i want softened or not into the pool as i have that option at this point.

You have a kidney shaped pool. Are 1 of the ends deep and the other shallow or is it shallow on both ends with deep section in the middle? it was not clear on you wording above. I suggest you section the pool. Take measurements (create either a circle or a square depending on the section) for each section and use the maximum depth for each to calculate volume. I did mine by taking my brush pole, measuring and taping 1 ft sections then walked the pool to get proper depths. I also sectioned off the steps separately. Hope this helps.

It does - one end is shallow and the other end deep where the diving board must have been in the past. I understand what you mean by sectioning - i will work on that!
 

Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
Ok so using online calculators and some geometry i get 19-20k US gallons.

Taking that and using the Pool Math app it looks like due to my CYA my FC is too low by quite a bit (app suggests 4-8 ppm and i am at 2). Additionally calcium hardness looks low as well so will add for that as per the app. Any other items that anyone thinks i should be looking into?
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,639
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
It is best to follow the Pool Math app for Chlorine additions. It uses the FC/CYA Chart but you can print it for easy reference as part of your test kit.

The main item is to add Chlorine to prevent algae. As you start to test more, you will get a feel for how your pool reacts and what levers you need to pull. But continue to post questions if you have any questions. Testing CL and pH are probably the most important to do daily for a while (if that is feasible - I think you said you have not moved in yet). Also with this rain we are having, you want to ensure you have sufficient CL on hand and able to add to pool to keep your FC level up. Note; I purchased an extra 4 gals of liquid chlorine on the weekend to have on hand for TS Beta.

With regard to CH value, it is best to step up to your desired level rather than go all at once as you do not want to overshoot it. High CH levels require water to be drained (just like high CYA levels). So if it requires 4lbs, (just guessing, as not sure as you did not post the value), then add 2 lbs. wait a couple of hours and test again. Then add the rest if needed.

Something that would be helpful to the TFP Guides - on your app, click on the Gear Icon (upper right). this is where you entered your pool info and denote what you wish to track and also what reminders you wish to see. Scroll to almost to the bottom, where it says "Sharing". If you activate the button for "Link from TroubleFreePool.com user profile" - then your test data that you input to the app will be available when someone clicks on your avatar name. This will assist in looking at all your data. This is not mandatory but it does help the TFP Guides to be able see all test info if you have a question.
 

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Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
Thanks for your advice! I indeed have the poolmath app and added its recommendation of CL. I got lucky as I didn't see your comment yet but i did exactly that for CH - it asked for almost 30lbs for CH but i added about 12.5 for now to see how it responds.

I found the link to my pool, i have testing from today to put in (prior to the chemical add): PoolMath Logs

I went ahead and bought 4 gal of liquid chlorine as well as some tabs (there are some days that i have to be away from the pool)and calcium carbonate for now as those seem the areas needing work while watching pH.
 
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Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
It is best to follow the Pool Math app for Chlorine additions. It uses the FC/CYA Chart but you can print it for easy reference as part of your test kit.

The main item is to add Chlorine to prevent algae. As you start to test more, you will get a feel for how your pool reacts and what levers you need to pull. But continue to post questions if you have any questions. Testing CL and pH are probably the most important to do daily for a while (if that is feasible - I think you said you have not moved in yet). Also with this rain we are having, you want to ensure you have sufficient CL on hand and able to add to pool to keep your FC level up. Note; I purchased an extra 4 gals of liquid chlorine on the weekend to have on hand for TS Beta.

With regard to CH value, it is best to step up to your desired level rather than go all at once as you do not want to overshoot it. High CH levels require water to be drained (just like high CYA levels). So if it requires 4lbs, (just guessing, as not sure as you did not post the value), then add 2 lbs. wait a couple of hours and test again. Then add the rest if needed.

Something that would be helpful to the TFP Guides - on your app, click on the Gear Icon (upper right). this is where you entered your pool info and denote what you wish to track and also what reminders you wish to see. Scroll to almost to the bottom, where it says "Sharing". If you activate the button for "Link from TroubleFreePool.com user profile" - then your test data that you input to the app will be available when someone clicks on your avatar name. This will assist in looking at all your data. This is not mandatory but it does help the TFP Guides to be able see all test info if you have a question.

As you mentioned, i went back today and after the days of heavy rain that we had through here, my FC has dropped to basically 1ppm.

I dropped in what my log mentions (chlorine and baking soda to raise FC and TA) for the moment but did not perform a SLAM / shock. According to the guide i was planning on going back tomorrow, testing, and adding as needed (and daily from there on until stable) but wanted to know if taking more extreme action is warranted given the storm? I want to work smart and not hard and understand if this is the most efficient way to get it back into balance.

Thanks!!!!
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,639
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I am cognizant that you are not at the house full time, however, one idea, if you schedule permits, is to add LC in the morning then go back in afternoon and add a second dose. You do not have to get to SLAM level but you want to be on high side of your range. Your CYA is 50-60 so you need to maintain at about 6-9ppm FC. It does not harm it to go over that (but stay under SLAM level) to ensure you have no algae. My thought is rather than adding a lot of LC in one dose then letting it drift down for 24 -48 hrs (until your next visit) - try to get it up to min. 6-9 and try to hold it there by adding LC twice a day. Remember that your pump needs to run at least 30-60 mins after adding LC. The weather in Houston looks dry for next 5-7days and sun returning so need to keep the FC levels up.
 

Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
Thank you for this! I do have the ability to drop by multiple times a day (especially if im just pouring LC). I appreciate this advice and will check in after a couple of more tests getting FC up to the 6+ range.

In fact - im gonna go there now.
 

Desibabu345

Member
Sep 10, 2020
14
Houston, Texas
Excellent news! Looks like FC is past 8 atm. Alkalinity is also up. I might have the gallon size estimated too high as i've overshot both the targets i had set in the poolmath app to calculate quantities haha.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,639
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Excellent news! Looks like FC is past 8 atm. Alkalinity is also up. I might have the gallon size estimated too high as i've overshot both the targets i had set in the poolmath app to calculate quantities haha.
All your numbers look good. The priority is chlorine ppm so keep that going on a daily basis. Test pH and FC daily if possible for near term. Wait several days to test CH and TA again.
You may want to test your fill water - it is good to know what that is so if you have to add water then you can anticipate changes. I have high alkalinity in mine.
When you get settled, you can measure your pool properly. There are 2 main factors to using the app to get proper dosage recommendations - one is pool size as you noted and the other is the true actual strength of the LC. All you can do is use what they tell you i.e. 10% or whatever you are using but it does degrade over time so that is always a small variable.