Jumped in head first into the deep end with our first pool, thank God I found TFP! (Things I learned about SLAM and Pool Stores)

Michmatt248

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2022
7
Milford, mi
Quick background:
After purchasing a new home that came with a pool, I knew my knowledge was at a solid zero and that I'd need some major help.
We turned to the company that the home's previous owners used to open/close the pool which informed us they no longer serviced our area. So I did some googling and found a highly rated pool store that also offered 'pool school' & on-site walk throughs so they could teach us about our equipment. The guy came out and showed us what everything was equipment wise and how to do the basics of hooking up the vacuum to start the daunting task of clearing the pool floor of the disgusting layer of decaying leaves and worms from the previous Fall (The pool cover had a tear in it).

First red flags:
So now that the pool was 'opened', and we began asking what to do next , we started taking our water samples in every couple days (super inpatient to start using this thing!) After the initial shock at open, the water began to cloud up and turn a teal green, then a darker more algae like green.
This is when the confusion started. The store would test the water and first guy said we couldn't do anything until we get the metal out ( test showed 0.4 of copper). Sold us a bag of CuLater and we were on our way. A couple days later our next test showed the copper now at 0.6 but they didn't even mention that this time and said we had to get our ph up before anything else as their test showed 7.0. I was confused as my home test showed 7.3 and so did our Intellichem system. We took their word for it and bought some Pak 200 PH increaser. The water was really getting ugly at this point and now we had a bio-film covering the surface. That's when I found TFP!

TFP Awakening:
First two things that hit me like a ton of bricks, #1) trust your own tests and not the pool stores, and #2 never let your FC hit 0.0. We'll our FC had been sitting at 0.0 for weeks and our pool store tests showed that. I just figured they knew best and we shouldn't be adding chlorine until the ph was right and all the metals were out. Now that had my trusty TF-Pro test kit (and confirmed my methods with the standard solutions), I was able to confirm their tests were wildly different compared to the TF-Pros, and confirming my PH was indeed 7.3 from several different methods (Strips, Intellichem, TF-Pro & finally a digital meter I purchased separately) I began my SLAM.

My First SLAM:
For anyone doing their first SLAM, the 3 things I'd stress are...
1) Test Often
2) Be Thorough (When brushing, don't forget those ladders, skimmer housings & light niches!)
3) Be Patient
#2 was probably the thing that caused my SLAM to last 3 weeks. The water was clear for a week but I kept failing the OCLT. The pool had been scrubbed top to bottom and I was at my wits end, until TFP came to the rescue again and I found some articles on never-ending SLAMs and how they had some nasties hiding in light niches. Well at night I found that my lights looked like they were 'vaping' into the water (video clips below) and that pretty much confirmed I would have to brave the 60 degree water and pull them out. 3 in the pool & 1 in the attached spa.

Video of my LED light puffing little vape clouds (Change quality to 4k to see the vape puffs) New video by Matthew Malkowski
Video of me taking the light out to clean (Gross!) New video by Matthew Malkowski

Happy Ending!
So after cleaning out my lights, I lost pretty much 0 FC on my next OCLT the night after. I'm now sitting at numbers I'm very happy with (other than TA but I'm OCD) and we've began enjoying the pool every chance we get! The water is CRYSTAL clear (switched from sand to glass fill and it seemed to get my night clarity where I wanted it) I still get my chemicals from the local pool store as I prefer to support local small businesses, but I'll leave the testing up to myself.

Thanks to this website and the whole community on here. I look forward to sharing my pool experiences and questions with you all :)

FC: 5.5
pH: 7.4
TA: 100
CH: 350
CYA: 70
SALT: 3400
 

Deb04

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 12, 2008
574
Seacoast, NH
Pool Size
19000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Congrats on finding us so early. I found TFP while we were building our pool and I am so thankful. I'd read lots of websites and this was the only one that explained why I was doing things.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AK-

Michmatt248

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2022
7
Milford, mi
Your TA is fine. What are you concerned about there?
I know I'm not supposed to "chase a number" but that's just my nature. Half OCD half perfectionist! As long as it doesn't hurt anything but I haven't seen on here any negatives of using muriatic acid + aeration to get TA down other than it being a waste of time & money. But there's plenty more things I could waste more time & money on that's just as useless lol
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
51,851
Tallahassee, FL
Love your write up!! Very well done!!! Love, Love, LOVE the pool and area!!! WOWZER!!

Have you found Pool Math yet? If not here is the link: PoolMath

Now I want you to look for the CSI part of it. Play with your numbers to see what your pool needs as far a levels to get a CSI. Make sure to use the pool temp as that is a big factor in it.

THANKS for the video of behind the light! I know it was burrrrrrrrrr BUT look at what you found. Well done!

Kim:kim:
 

Michmatt248

Gold Supporter
May 12, 2022
7
Milford, mi
Love your write up!! Very well done!!! Love, Love, LOVE the pool and area!!! WOWZER!!

Have you found Pool Math yet? If not here is the link: PoolMath

Now I want you to look for the CSI part of it. Play with your numbers to see what your pool needs as far a levels to get a CSI. Make sure to use the pool temp as that is a big factor in it.

THANKS for the video of behind the light! I know it was burrrrrrrrrr BUT look at what you found. Well done!

Kim:kim:
Thank you! Yes pool math was a vital part of me getting everything in order 😃. CSI is part of my current obsession :). But apparently it's not displayed in the app? My intellichem seems to allow me to track
 

SurfRat

Silver Supporter
May 11, 2021
2
Acampo, California
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Great to hear another TFP success story! I started pool school and pool math before my new pool was even built! I researched every purchase and option on tfp while designing and building my pool.
A full year into it I can say that TFP has been incredible! Beatiful pool by the way!
 
  • Like
Reactions: kimkats