New Home - First Pool - Where do I start?

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
No need for a new test kit. We know what it is. As for the water exchange, it's really your call based on water cost in your area and what you've done so far. Lots of folks get ammonia each year and make it through, but early intervention and 10-min testing is critical. Yes, you'll use some bleach, but once you break through you'll know it because the FC will hold.
Got it, thanks. Would being more aggressive with the bleach be a strategy, e.g. if 2gals is to get me to 10 FC, would putting 3 or 4 gals at a time give me a better chance of breaking the ammonia?
 

Texas Splash

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Would being more aggressive with the bleach be a strategy, e.g. if 2gals is to get me to 10 FC, would putting 3 or 4 gals at a time give me a better chance of breaking the ammonia?
Not at all. The last thing we want to do is compromise your liner. Do not go over an FC of 10 at this point, just be patient and consistent every 10 minutes. You'll get it.
 

Texas Splash

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Also understand that the ammonia consumed your stabilizer (CYA), so you have a zero CYA right now. That allows chlorine to be a bit more harsh in the water. Our experts have developed a baseline FC of "10" that is safe to eliminate ammonia and not damage a liner. So please stick to that FC of 10 and test frequently. You'll be surprised at some point when all of a sudden it holds. Then you can breath normally again. :)
 
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PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
Alright now Lion, don't keep me hanging ... how's the 10-min drill going? BY now you've probably done what, about 6-8 of those 10 min FC tests and additions? Seeing any progress?
Oh man, I only had 4 gallons of bleach left on hand so I had to stop progress. Took me trips to three stores before I found one with a supply of bleach (Walmart). Bought 15 gallons and the manager threw in three extra for nothing, so 18 plus my 4 now in my possession.

Question now is... Do I start the process now at what will end up being 10pm? I don't want to start and run out of time (how long should this take...a few hours, or like 8 hours?). Also, what happens if I make some progress but end up stopping and restarting tomorrow, like if I ran out of bleach tonight? Would I be stuck and back to square one, or would I have remediated some of the ammonia?

Thanks again... will post an update once I hear back on a go-no on doing this tonight.
 

Texas Splash

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Oh, last note, .......... since you had to stock-up at Walmart, remember if it's their Pool Essentials, it should be 10%. But if you had to get their Great Value laundry stuff, it's probably only 6% strength. Keep that in mind when dosing to reach an FC of 10.
 

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
Oh, last note, .......... since you had to stock-up at Walmart, remember if it's their Pool Essentials, it should be 10%. But if you had to get their Great Value laundry stuff, it's probably only 6% strength. Keep that in mind when dosing to reach an FC of 10.
Got the 10% pool essentials. Ok to do this tomorrow with the sun out, or should I be doing it once sun is going down? How will I know when the barrier is broken? Will the FC hold between 5 and 10, and the time between re-upping to 10 will eventually get longer?

Once I (hopefully) break the ammonia, will I then be in SLAM mode and can just follow those instructions? Is this ammonia thing a common problem, or likely a function of the previous homeowner closing the pool early (we think August) and possibly not having proper water chemistry at that time?
 

Texas Splash

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I would start early after you get the sleep out of your eyes and before much sunlight hits the water. Less (FC) competition from the sun. With each 10-min test and FC recharge, you'll be closer to breaking the ammonia wall. Once you do, you'll know it. The FC, which may have normally been dropping to about 2, will all of a sudden be up around 7-8. Then you know you're getting the upper hand. Like I said a few posts back though, make sure. Once the FC does hold closer to 10, THEN you can add stabilizer for a CYA goal of 30 via the sock method and increase the FC to 12. At that point you are in true SLAM mode. Follow that SLAM page and you'll do well from there. What you're going through right now is not rare, but it's not common either. You just got some bad luck dealt to you at opening. Chlorine, properly tested and monitored, will make it right again.
 

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
I would start early after you get the sleep out of your eyes and before much sunlight hits the water. Less (FC) competition from the sun. With each 10-min test and FC recharge, you'll be closer to breaking the ammonia wall. Once you do, you'll know it. The FC, which may have normally been dropping to about 2, will all of a sudden be up around 7-8. Then you know you're getting the upper hand. Like I said a few posts back though, make sure. Once the FC does hold closer to 10, THEN you can add stabilizer for a CYA goal of 30 via the sock method and increase the FC to 12. At that point you are in true SLAM mode. Follow that SLAM page and you'll do well from there. What you're going through right now is not rare, but it's not common either. You just got some bad luck dealt to you at opening. Chlorine, properly tested and monitored, will make it right again.
Wondering if i should have more bleach on hand before starting this again today. Have 22 gallons right now. Thoughts?
 

Texas Splash

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TFP Expert
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I would start now before you get much more sunlight. The first 5-8 gallons will probably get gobbled-up quickly, but hopefully you'll crack that ammonia barrier before you get to 20 gallons. But set a stopwatch and make sure to re-test no later than every 10 minutes. And not sure if you have a Home Depot or Lowe's nearby, but they usually have bleach as well.
 

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
I would start with what you got, see if you can beat it today
Morning consumed with soccer for the kids, so planning on getting some more bleach to have in reserves and will make my attempt later today when the sun is setting. Hoping this works and isn’t just going to be $100 down the drain (literally). Next option is a drain and refill I think, and with an aging liner that would likely turn into a new liner and hefty price tag. Updates to follow later today.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Morning consumed with soccer for the kids,
Life happens, we understand. More bleach is always good. Certainly the big unknown variable is the amount of ammonia and how much stabilizer fed that monster. You inherited this pool with an unknown amount (or anything really) that was barely registering any CYA, then you added a relatively small amount on your own. I'm hoping the ammonia level isn't so much that you can't overcome it with the bleach you have on-hand now. If I was convinced there was a very large amount of stabilizer added, I might recommend a partial water exchange to help lower the ammonia content, but at this point I just don't see that. So when you join us later this evening. set that stopwatch and top-off the FC at 10 every 10 minutes until it holds. We'll be watching.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,288
Laughlin, NV
If you get to the point of wanting to exchange your pool water to fresh, we can provide a method to do that without draining.
 
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nick.simpson19

Active member
Apr 15, 2018
44
Daphne Alabama
Morning consumed with soccer for the kids, so planning on getting some more bleach to have in reserves and will make my attempt later today when the sun is setting. Hoping this works and isn’t just going to be $100 down the drain (literally). Next option is a drain and refill I think, and with an aging liner that would likely turn into a new liner and hefty price tag. Updates to follow later today.
MkNauss and Texas splash have got your back! Your going to win and once you get your pool under control this pool thing becomes very very very easy! Soon your pool will be crystal clear!



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