New Build in Middle Georgia

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
5,168
Central MD
I referred to 40 as an absolute minimum. Which is to say that 50 or 60 is a better minimum. Not that much difference in pH buffering between 40 and 60. It's when you get up to 100 or 120 that the rise is noticeably faster. I don't know the technicals, but there is a point where your TA is too low and can crash your pH.

This thread has some good reading. Specifically note the comments from JoyfulNoise and ChemGeek as they are experts in this area.

Relationship beteen pH and alkalinity
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Oh I didn't realize I should let my pH float that high, I'll change my strategy. I played with some numbers in the pool calculator and the only way I can get my CSI close to 0 or higher (with very minimal FC and CYA for now) is to raise my CH from its current 80 ppm. I asked the question earlier in the thread and didn't receive a response. I tested my fill water CH at 60 ppm, so I guess it's fairly soft. I just got my 25 lb bucket of calcium in from amazon today, should I start slowly adding some?

In other news, the tech hooked up my actuators today, all but the heat pump bypass actuator. We had a slight disagreement about it, but he's going to go back and talk to the expert who's already agreed on it and gave me the price. He says they don't even do bypasses any more because people can't figure them out.

He also put in my iAqualink, so I spent a couple hours figuring it out and messing with settings, until I hit the snag of not being able to set my pump speed. After about an hour, I finally figured out he hasn't run the 485 cable yet, doh. Though I'm not sure how it gets the water temp without that, where's that coming from?

Oh and he set up all these schedules for my lights, bubblers, waterfall. He thought we'd enjoy them coming on at dinner and whatnot. I didn't want to be rude, as he probably spent 10-15 minutes setting all that up, so I was going to just disable those schedules until he came back next time, but the stupid iAqualink software doesn't let you just disable a schedule, only delete it. So I deleted all his schedules. What's the point of having all this capability from your phone if you're just going to treat it like simple timers?
 
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zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Thanks, Kim.

Allen, yeah I've read and agonized over that instruction several times. But I'm walking a fine line between what the PB tells me to do/not do and what I read from this forum and Wet Edge itself. I don't want to screw something up that PB could then use against me to negate a warranty claim, but I also don't want to neglect something which is going to decrease the life of my plaster. I've had that discussion, "Wet Edge says this..." but their reply is their experience and their expertise, so that's a dead end. I envy the owner builders on this forum.

That 3.5 lbs baking soda I added Sunday seems to have a white film floating on the pool. Either that or it's coincidental with something else, can't find any other posts related to it not dissolving all the way, any experience with this? I'll start adding a little bit of calcium this evening, Wet Edge says no more than 10 lbs at a time so I might do 5.
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
3,356
Damascus, MD
I raised my calcium by adding a 25lb bucket all at once I dumped it from the end of the diving board. Also have added baking soda and never had it not mix almost immediately. Do you have anything that could agitate the surface?
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
You can put a skimmer sock or a t-shirt (so long as you make sure the water flows through it) in your skimmer to help filter out whatever that stuff is. Here in FL we are already starting with the blooming so lots of stuff in the air. I wonder if that is what you are seeing?
Kim:kim:
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Well this project is trudging along but we're in the home stretch. Over the past month they finally antiqued and sealed the concrete coping, I put in my aluminum fence over a weekend, just about have the irrigation fixed and am working on tying in a Rainbird valve to run to a spare 24 VAC AUX output of the Jandy RS controller for a timed fill line. The pool guy came out last week to hook up the SWG and dump in 12 bags of salt, 6 lbs CYA, a bag shock (dichlor I think?), half a 26 lb bag of sodium bicarbonate, and a gallon of MA. He had a report printed from the pool store, but it jumped my TA from 40 to 140 and my FC from 0 to 9 the first day, then 12 yesterday. He set my SWG at 65% which is why I expect the FC is still rising, I dropped it to 45% and we'll see how it looks today. My CYA isn't high enough yet, but if I hold off on that will the FC drop faster? Why did they add shock, is this normal?

I'm pretty aggravated with this guy and we have to argue over every little thing. Like how he set my valves so that I can't run both the bubblers and waterfall at the same time, his reasoning was so I could divert full power to the waterfall, though the VSP at full RPMs runs both just fine. I don't think many people do VSPs around here, obvious by the fact that he didn't even know you weren't supposed to have both the JEP controller and RS hooked up to the 485 at the same time. When I first asked about the valve actuators he said he'd show me a trick for that. So he shows me the manual switch to get it to stop where I want. I was a little bewildered why he thought I was spending all this money on a remote-controlled system to then come over and flip a switch on the valve.

He's probably spent a total of 3 hours on the phone with Zodiac by now, and he's still not done. At one point they logged into my system to fix things and check out the settings for themselves, which I thought was cool. But they still can't get the AquaPure SWG talking over the 485 bus, may be a board problem.

And for some reason they instructed him to hook up the JE heat pump over low voltage 2-wire instead of the 4-wire 485. So even though it has basic functionality of setting my temp points on and off, I can't switch between heat/cool modes or any of the other features offered through the 485 (app says heat pump not found). So there's another argument because that's how they told him to hook it up and he thinks it works.
 

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,356
Damascus, MD
Interesting. My heater was also not connected with the 485 just the on/off switch. I changed it myself. Super simple.

You can open up the JVA and set the stop points if you want to put them at a specific blend point. You don't have to just use the stop switch on the bottom. But once you set the JVA that is all it will travel and to change it you'd have to open it again. If you need to change that valve a lot, I think I would remove the JVA altogether and just use the manual handle. There is a "smartjva" board that allows the valve to work incrementally but you need the OneTouch controller to get it working.

Did you post a pic of your valves?
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
39,802
Tallahassee, FL
Notes, lots and lots of notes with bullet points so it is easy to read...........going over what you SHOULD be able to do and want to do with your FANCY, big money stuff! At least you are nearing the end!

If he can't help you figure it all out someone here might be able to with lots of pics and back and forth!

Kim:kim:
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
I could change it myself, but I'd need the cable and header, and what am I paying these guys for anyway? They're not getting their final draw until it's done right. I have enough other stuff to take care of that I'm taking on myself.

There are a couple pics with those valves in them, post #28 is probably the clearer one, the previous pic of the equipment pad has everything just not up close. My goal is just to set the valves to on/off and adjust the VSP simultaneously through One Touch buttons. He knows what I want and eventually agreed to change it after a 5 minute argument in which he repeatedly stated what he'd do if it was HIS pool.

I emailed Zodiac about the heat pump 2-wire vs 4-wire, hoping if he reads it straight from them he'll change it. I already texted him a pic of the 485 wiring diagram from the manual, which he's probably never looked at. As if the app error "heat pump not found" isn't good enough.

Any advice on the chemicals and SWG settings? I was wondering if I should just set it to 0% and let it drop, not sure the easiest way in settling in on a good number.
 

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,356
Damascus, MD
I could change it myself, but I'd need the cable and header, and what am I paying these guys for anyway? They're not getting their final draw until it's done right. I have enough other stuff to take care of that I'm taking on myself.

There are a couple pics with those valves in them, post #28 is probably the clearer one, the previous pic of the equipment pad has everything just not up close. My goal is just to set the valves to on/off and adjust the VSP simultaneously through One Touch buttons. He knows what I want and eventually agreed to change it after a 5 minute argument in which he repeatedly stated what he'd do if it was HIS pool.

I emailed Zodiac about the heat pump 2-wire vs 4-wire, hoping if he reads it straight from them he'll change it. I already texted him a pic of the 485 wiring diagram from the manual, which he's probably never looked at. As if the app error "heat pump not found" isn't good enough.

Any advice on the chemicals and SWG settings? I was wondering if I should just set it to 0% and let it drop, not sure the easiest way in settling in on a good number.
What is your CYA level? Do you have the TF-100 test kit yet? This is key to setting everything properly.

For the SWCG you will eventually learn your pool and what percent it needs to be set at to maintain the proper chlorine level. I keep mine at CYA of 70 and Chlorine around 7 (10% of CYA). I run my VSP 24x7. SWCG is usually around 52%. I will adjust up and down when/if needed. This includes turning it off if my chlorine gets too high.

For things like "pool" that is usually set to something like 1000 rpms. Then for things like "rockfall" or "sheer descent" is set for 3000 rpms. When set properly, when you activate you waterfall, the pump will spin up to the proper RPMs and when you turn it off, will reduce back to what it was.

Do you have pics of the valves with the JVA connected?
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
I measured my CYA Saturday using a Taylor K-2006, probably a little less than 24 hours after it was put in. I guessed it was about 41-42, didn't think what they added would be enough to get it up to 60-70 based on the pool calculator. But if CYA helps maintain the FC level, would keeping it low for now drop it faster, or should I just go ahead and get my CYA up and then try to level out my FC?

If I'm understanding you right about the pump speeds, if you just label the VSP speed setting with the Aux name then it changes the speed automatically when you enable that aux? I don't need to do like a One Touch program? What if I enable both my bubblers and waterfall simultaneously, and they each have different speed settings?

I don't have any pics with the JVAs added, but I'll put some up when I get home.
 

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,356
Damascus, MD
I measured my CYA Saturday using a Taylor K-2006, probably a little less than 24 hours after it was put in. I guessed it was about 41-42, didn't think what they added would be enough to get it up to 60-70 based on the pool calculator. But if CYA helps maintain the FC level, would keeping it low for now drop it faster, or should I just go ahead and get my CYA up and then try to level out my FC?

If I'm understanding you right about the pump speeds, if you just label the VSP speed setting with the Aux name then it changes the speed automatically when you enable that aux? I don't need to do like a One Touch program? What if I enable both my bubblers and waterfall simultaneously, and they each have different speed settings?

I don't have any pics with the JVAs added, but I'll put some up when I get home.
I would get CYA where it needs to be and then adjust chlorine accordingly. For the iAqualink, the highest speed wins. So 2 (or more) different devices selected with different speeds will go to the highest speed. Once the higher speed device is turned off, it will go to the next highest speed from whatever else is still running. This includes "filter pump". That's why I set my filter pump at the lowest speed I ever want to run (1000rpms) since my "filter pump" is always running. 1000 rpms was the lowest speed I could effectively run my SWCG at.

For setting speeds for features, you go into the feature and specify the speed. You don't change anything in the VSP settings accept what you want your 8 pump preset speeds to actually be. I called mine by the RPMs they were set at. So 3400, 3000, 2700, 2500, etc. The OneTouch buttons are for multi-step programs or quick access (to have on your home screen). Forgive me if I am not exactly correct my system is off for the winter so I am going by memory.

Remember, you can safely swim up to the shock/slam chlorine level.

Trouble Free Pool
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Here's a couple pics after the coping stained and the fence up. Build finally finished. If weather looks fair next week I'll kick on the heat pump and we'll try it out.

0307191312.jpg
0307191312_HDR.jpg

Here are the valves in question:
0311191754.jpg

He currently has it set so that the waterfall valve does a 180 cuts off the bubblers and returns. The bubbler valve also does a 180 and cuts off the returns. I'd leave the bubbler valve alone, but have the waterfall stop at 90. I think I'd still want to do a One Touch program though for bubblers and waterfall simultaneously, as I think running both I'd want a higher pump speed than running either individually.
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
Pool tech left yesterday without changing the valve, and now the heat pump is producing a different error in iAqualink - "Low temp threshold sensor is open or not installed." He told me Jandy had him install some sensor, he must not have put it in correctly. I called Jandy, they won't troubleshoot it with me because I'm not a qualified pool technician. Hard not to laugh at the absurdity of having a masters in electrical engineering but this is the guy who's qualified.

I've said this before but just to emphasize, this is the largest pool builder in the middle Georgia region. They do way more gunnite/shotcrete builds than anyone else within 100 miles. This is their main equipment installer.

He called me after he left and told me PB wouldn't let him change the actuator because it would void the warranty. I smelled BS so called the PB. He said the tech told HIM it would void the warranty and he couldn't do it. He thinks he just doesn't know how to do it, and has never done one before. Tech did tell me he'd done a Hayward one before, and told me I could figure it out myself because I'm a smart guy. I sent PB the section in the manual and said it looks easy. I just don't think the tech wants to do it because he thinks I'll change my mind. He seems to be stuck on the thought that if that waterfall can't see full RPMs I won't be happy.

I just don't want to risk doing something I'm not qualified to do and voiding my warranty.
 

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,356
Damascus, MD
The actuator is simple. Remove the screws holding the top on the JVA and you will see the stops that need to be set to limit travel in each direction. Not sure how that could possibly void the warranty since they are designed to be opened up and specifically to be set to where you need them. I did mine myself it took 5 minutes to figure out how to do it. For the heat pump I suspect he doesn't know how to connect it to iAqualink using the serial connection. It is another set of connectors my heater also was hooked up with just a on/off. I changed it myself to the correct method. PBs know frighteningly little about anything electronic related.
 

zac280

Silver Supporter
May 29, 2018
44
Central Georgia
I'm not against doing things myself, just feel like there's no risk in letting them do it. If they break it, it's on them. If I break it, now I have to deal with it. I still owe them a lot of money so they at least have some motivation to get it done. It's not affecting my swim schedule because I can turn on the heater just fine. He did install the 485 cable yesterday, and I remember reading in the manual that it provides the advanced diagnostics that the 2-wire doesn't, so that must be why I'm seeing this new error now instead of "no heat pump present."