New here! 👋🏻 Couple o’ questions:

CFWilliams

Member
Jul 13, 2020
22
Charlotte, NC
Hi! New to pool ownership and have found this website so helpful- thanks! I have a few questions:

1. the pool we inherited has a pebbletec surface- does that mean it is fiberglass, vinyl or plaster? Or none of the above?

2. how long does it take for an accurate CYA reading after draining water to lower the levels? We had a pool service managing the pool until Sunday when we discovered algae on the wall and realizes the CYA went from 30ppm at the beginning of May to over 150ppm. Long story but lesson learned to know how to manage your own pool! We’ve drained and refilled about 1ft. It’s probably not enough but not sure how long it takes for all the water to mix in and dilute it. I’ve shocked the pool with 3lbs of shock 2x since last Wed and haven't added any more tablets that have stabilizer. Maintenance was performed on Mondays so not sure if I should also add 2 tablets today?

3. if the CYA HASNT come down to a reasonable range then how much more water should we drain?And is it ok to drain water below the slimmer baskets if I close the slimmer drain?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
30,945
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
1. Plaster.
2. Once full, run the pump for several hours. Brush well. Then test the CYA. It will not have dropped much. You need at least a 75% drain if your CYA is 150. You should use a sump pump to drain, not your pool pump. Draining entails risk. Read Draining - Further Reading
No more tablets or solid chlorine. They have CYA in them. Liquid chlorine.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,701
NY
He CF and Welcome.

1). It’s a plaster like finish that is one of the fancier ones. Instead of just plaster they mix in the pebbles and toss some by hand.

2). Most mixing is finished in 30 mins with the pump running. CYA is added to the skimmer it could get trapped in the filter for up to a week before it fully dissolves. Any of the liquids are quick.

3). CYA needs a 1:1 drain. If you want the level to be half, You need to drain half. 1 ft won’t do much if it’s 150.

So, That being answered, You need a reliable test kit if you want to manage your pool. A TF-100 from tftestkits.com is the gold standard. While you wait for it, read up on ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry to get a feel for what we are about. It’s dirt cheap, and easy. There are a lot of terms at first, but it’s simple stuff.

no more pool store buys unless they are approved here.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,866
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
1) Plaster
2) A couple hours. Brushing helps. Think of stirring cream into coffee but on a gigantic scale.
What kind of "shock" did you add? If it's dichlor or trichlor, you're just adding more CYA. Same with the 2 tablets you added today.
3) CYA isn't present in tap water. So if you replace 25% of your water, you lowered CYA by 25%. It's easy to calculate if your pool is one depth throughout. If the pool is odd shaped and has a sloped floor, it's a bit harder. Also if the pool has a vinyl liner, you need to leave a foot or so in the shallow end to keep the liner from shifting and wrinkling. If you can isolate the drain, then you can use your pump. Be careful if the water is close to the surface where you live. You don't want to float your pool. Check out the pictures And here what happen with and empty pool and lots of rain
 

Msch99

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
835
Verona, MO
Draining for CYA is straight %. Drain 50%, drop CYA by 50%.

Before going hog wild draining, get your own test kit. See TF100 test kits in my signature. Or Taylor K2006C.
Don’t add tablets. They are contributing to CYA issue or adding calcium depend on which you have.
Use liquid chlorine. Pool essentials from Walmart or similar. Plain bleach works too. Not Clorox or any with additives.

When you get a chance, add your pool information to your signature. Settings/signature. Helps the experts help you.

Typing too slow! Others posted too, hope I don’t overwhelm or confuse you!
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,037
OV, CA
Howdy CFWilly! Welcome to the forum...
So do you know that the CYA is coming from the tabs and likely the powdered shock? you need to switch to chlorinating with liquid chlorine. It won't add CYA. And you will need a kit to test your CYA.. NewbDude is recommending a good one there. If your CYA is indeed at 150... and we need to test it to be sure , don't guess... then you are looking at draining down to closer to a quarter before a refill.

Happy Splashing!
 
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CFWilliams

Member
Jul 13, 2020
22
Charlotte, NC
Got it. I’ll add the details in my signature tomorrow (don’t know them all off hand!) It’s about 20k gallons, jandy variable speed pump with a cartridge filter so we can’t backwash. Filter was cleaned in April before we moved in.

I have already ordered the Taylor k2006 but it won’t be here until Wednesday. I’ve been taking it to Leslie’s in the interim- apparently they over estimate (coming from the pool guy who caused this problem) so maybe we’ll get lucky and the actual reading won’t be so bad. I don’t have a lot of confidence in any information I have been given (except from you wonderful humans) and am excited for my own kit.

regarding the tabs and shock- I knew there was cya in the tabs but thought the shock didn’t. I used what we has from previous owner after reading the directions. It’s “cal-shock” and is 68% calcium hypochlorite which I didn’t think had stabilizer in it bc the the only other labeled ingredient was “other ingredients” Woof, so many chemicals.

thoughts on just avoiding this whole mess and converting to a salt chlorinator?? We are saving for it bc we eventually planned to convert it so maybe just get it over with? Aren’t the CYA levels supposed to be higher? We were told the equipment is already set up for it and just need to swap out the chlorinator. Or just throwing more money at an ongoing problem?
So very grateful for your help.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,701
NY
thoughts on just avoiding this whole mess and converting to a salt chlorinator??
Now, I'm always on the vote for salt bus. But it won't solve much of your CYA problem. You still need to drain well over half to get to the preferred salt CYA level around 70. Yes it would be less of a drain, but not by all that much.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,037
OV, CA
well. lets get some test results first and see where we are... K?

Can you post a pic of your equipment pad? then we can see what exactly you are stubbed for in the way of an SWG. Before you fire up your SWG you are going to need to get balanced anyway. So lets get that done.. then we can go shopping!
 

JimMarshall

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 5, 2017
977
Oil City PA
Got it. I’ll add the details in my signature tomorrow (don’t know them all off hand!) It’s about 20k gallons, jandy variable speed pump with a cartridge filter so we can’t backwash. Filter was cleaned in April before we moved in.

I have already ordered the Taylor k2006 but it won’t be here until Wednesday. I’ve been taking it to Leslie’s in the interim- apparently they over estimate (coming from the pool guy who caused this problem) so maybe we’ll get lucky and the actual reading won’t be so bad. I don’t have a lot of confidence in any information I have been given (except from you wonderful humans) and am excited for my own kit.

regarding the tabs and shock- I knew there was cya in the tabs but thought the shock didn’t. I used what we has from previous owner after reading the directions. It’s “cal-shock” and is 68% calcium hypochlorite which I didn’t think had stabilizer in it bc the the only other labeled ingredient was “other ingredients” Woof, so many chemicals.

thoughts on just avoiding this whole mess and converting to a salt chlorinator?? We are saving for it bc we eventually planned to convert it so maybe just get it over with? Aren’t the CYA levels supposed to be higher? We were told the equipment is already set up for it and just need to swap out the chlorinator. Or just throwing more money at an ongoing problem?
So very grateful for your help.
How does your water look?
 

CFWilliams

Member
Jul 13, 2020
22
Charlotte, NC
Water actually pretty clear! I brushed it again today and no algae. Not cloudy and can see to the bottom. There is a sewer pipe near the decking that I’m 99% sure is a sanitary line to drain it. Any way to be sure of that? I looked at the drawings of the pool construction and there’s a little circle that says “sewer” on it in the same spot. Here’s the pad:
 

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CFWilliams

Member
Jul 13, 2020
22
Charlotte, NC
Hi all! My Taylor kit came today. I did the CYA test and it’s waaay above 100 😫 I’ve attached the pictures of the test. Now what? I can run a hose from the pump spigot to the sewer and start draining but I believe somewhere here warned against that. Wonder if I should call the pool company who installed the pool (and with whom we have a warranty on the shell) to help us drain it? I’m terrified of floating it.
 

Attachments

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,866
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Repeat the CYA test using Step 8 here

That will give you some idea of how much needs to go. It;s better to find out you're at 140 before you drain half thinking it's 100.
The risk of floating is generally low, but you know your area, not me. You know if there;s a pond nearby, or a lake, or a year-round creek at the end of the block. You can always ask the installers if they had to pump out ground water when they installed it.
 

CFWilliams

Member
Jul 13, 2020
22
Charlotte, NC
Ok diluted test and got ab 75 reading. So we’re talking 150. Does that mean I need to drain 80%?
Thanks for the water resources link, Oly. I’ll check...I do know that whenever we get a lot of rain our yard is very soupy and we have a least two French drains in the backyard...
Losing confidence this is going to be an easy endeavor.
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
1,552
Fresno, CA
There are options of replacing (or filtering) water so you can achieve your goals safely. What is your water source and how much will it cost to replace your water?
After looking at that site much of the data is old but depths to groundwater were shallow.
There are reports of pool owners using a large tarp to isolate the old from the new water while you pump out and fill at the same time keeping the total water volume nearly constant during the exchange. Pull the tarp out when the exchange is complete and you are ready to balance your system.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,037
OV, CA
hey there CF.. can you put your equipment in your signature. It makes it easier to reference your setup when making recommendations. ..

So with a CYA of 150 you want to drain down to about 1/5th of you pools volume to get to 30.. I don't remember if you have a SWG. If you did you could shoot for 1/3 and a CYA of 50. .. but either way its a significant drain and replace. If you are worried about floating the pool you can perform a No Drain Water Exchange.. here is some info on all the options from the wiki:

 

CFWilliams

Member
Jul 13, 2020
22
Charlotte, NC
Ok. Yes I read about the tarp. should I be putting stuff in it to keep the ph and calcium levels in range so we don’t damage the plumbing or equipment while we figure this out?
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,037
OV, CA
You need to continue adding CL or you will end up with a green monster. what are your other levels? Can you post the results of all your test?
FC
pH
CC
Alk
CH
CYA: 150

I added the one we know about. We probably won't adjust anything considering there is a drain in your future