New Home - First Pool - Where do I start?

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
The sun has set, steak is going on the grill, and liquids (one way or another) will be consumed. All told I have 34 gallons of 10% bleach on hand (after having sunk 8 gallons in yesterday in my first failed attempt).

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Picked up a new ammonia test kit, just to do a sanity check and to baseline where I think I actually am. Hopefully this thread helps some other poor soul at some point in the future. Recent ammonia test reading shows the water around 2-4ppm, so that's my assumed starting point.
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Off to start the 10ppm FC boost and test every 10 mins... updates to follow! :cool:
 

Texas Splash

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Lion, hopefully you're doing this as well, but figured I'd make sure. Just because your 20K pool may take 2 gallons of 10% to go from an FC of zero to 10, don't make the mistake of just adding that and waiting. In the very early (initial) part of this battle, you MUST get the FC to 10. The ammonia will eat it rapidly. So in the early part, re-test FC quickly to ensure you made it to 10, THEN re-test in 10 minutes to boost it back to 10. It's going to be a quick fight. Good luck!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
17,599
Laughlin, NV
For another sanity check, it will take about 10 ppm of chlorine to consume 1 ppm of ammonia. So if your tester says you have 4 ppm of ammonia, it should take about 40 ppm of chlorine added before you start to see your FC hold. So not too bad.
 

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
Still going... will add details later but first test i went from FC 10 to 5 after first 10 mins. Added 1 gallon and 10 mins later FC read 9.5. Added 13oz based on Pool Math and next test in 4 minutes. Seems to be holding quicker than expected. What happens when it basically starts holding at FC 10? Wait 5 mins and test again, then boost and wait a little longer and test, etc.?
 

Texas Splash

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What happens when it basically starts holding at FC 10?
Then you've broken through the ammonia wall. Once you know for sure the FC is holding, then you can add the stabilizer for a CYA goal of 30, and increase the FC to 12. At that point, you are in official SLAM mode and maintain that FC of 12 as best as you can. Read all the instructions on the SLAM page for best success.
 

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
Updates will continue to post...

Test TimeFCBleach Added (@Time)Ammonia Test
8:20p12 gal2 ppm
8:3251 galNo test
8:429.513 oz (8:45)No test
8:556.590 oz (9:00)0.5 ppm
9:109.513 oz (9:13)No test
9:239.513 oz (9:27)TEST TUBE DROPPED! SHATTERED! NO TEST!
9:378.538 oz (9:40)Kids science kit to the rescue! TEST COMPLETE! 0.50 ppm
9:5011 (!!!)NoneNo test
9:55851 oz (10:00)0.5 ppm
10:1012NoneNo test
10:159 (test seemed off)77 oz (10:22)No test
10:3217 (I knew the test was wonky)NoneNo test
10:40No test - Added 27 oz CYA to raise by 10
11:1012.5NoneNo test
12:00am8.590 oz (12:03am)No test
12:45am12NoneNo test
1:45am977 oz (1:51am)No test
2:50am8.590 oz (3:00am)No test
7:22am71 gal (7:25am)No test
 
Last edited:

Texas Splash

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TFP Expert
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Those numbers look good. As far as I'm concerned, you can transition into the regular SLAM mode. That means you can add stabilizer for a CYA of 30 (5lbs I believe according to PoolMath) and increase the FC to "12".

Congratulations! You conquered the ammonia beast. Now don't get too relaxed. The SLAM will stay take several days, but at least it's a simple matter of maintaining the new FC of 12 as best as you can between soccer, groceries, and everything else in life. Read that SLAM once a day and maintain the FC. Take at least one pic a day to visually monitor your progress.

Congrats again! :goodjob:
 

Texas Splash

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Also, it's good that you made it to this point in the evening since there will be no FC loss from the sun. That allows the bleach to work more in your favor (algae). Tomorrow, the stabilizer will help protect the FC from the sun, however you can still expect normal FC drops to occur as the chlorine works on the algae. Continue to test FC fairly regularly. You'll see a pattern of how well it holds.
Adding CYA:
To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
 

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
Things seem to be holding pretty well. Stayed up really late (3am) to test and boost FC as I wasn't sure how volatile things would be, but upon waking and testing this morning the water only dropped about 5 FC (12 to 7) over 4.5 hours. Cloudy and some rain here today so hopefully the fight is minimized. Noticeable difference in the water though - definitely a lighter green and it's looking cloudy. I can see small bits of debris in the samples when testing the FC, and the surface shows where the bleach is attacking the junk in the water.

IMG_5104.JPG IMG_5105.JPG

A few questions as we start our day here --
  1. With the Pool Math app, do I need to subscribe in order to be able to log multiple test times like I was tracking above? It says I need to subscribe to keep multiple logs, but is one pool with recurring tests considered multiple logs?
  2. What's recommended from a filter cleaning perspective at this point? I added the CYA last night and assume i'm somewhere in the 20-30 range (test had me somewhere <20) so I only added 10ppm. My understanding is I can't get an accurate reading on this until a few days from now, and instructions say not to backwash for 48hrs after adding. However, filter pressure was pushing 25psi, which is about 10psi over my clean pressure. We will continue to skim debris from the surface, will scrub and use leave net to try and fish out from the bottom. Will also vac again, but unclear if I should vac to the filter, vac to waste, do I turn the main drain and one skimmer off when vacuuming into the other skimmer?
Thanks again... very helpful and educational for me and my wife.
 

Texas Splash

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You're doing great! Still maintaining FC overnight is a BIG plus. For your questions ..
1 - I do believe you need to be registered with the app to save multiple logs. @mknauss (Marty) will confirm. I'm bad about that. :)
2 - Clean (backwash) your filter once the pressure increases by 25% from the clean pressure. Hopefully you used the CYA instructions I posted above (sock method). If you did it that way, the stabilizer is completely dissolved and backwashing is not a problem. If you made the mistake of dumping the granules into the skimmer, they are sitting in the sand and will get backwashed. Hopefully that's not the case so that you didn't waste money.

Now you are in full-blown (regular) SLAM mode, The volatile FC drops should be a thing of the past. Now you focus on daily scrubbing, brushing, scooping, and of course maintaining that FC of 12. Then there's the occasional backwash when the pressure goes up by 25%. Your pool is on the road to recovery. Be consistent and give it time, Each day you'll see the transitions from green, to gray, to hazy blue, and ultimately crystal clear. Focus on FC testing mostly. No need to test CC each time unless you're just curious, or towards the end of the SLAM when it's more critical. The other testings won't matter right now either.
 

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
You're doing great! Still maintaining FC overnight is a BIG plus. For your questions ..
1 - I do believe you need to be registered with the app to save multiple logs. @mknauss (Marty) will confirm. I'm bad about that. :)
2 - Clean (backwash) your filter once the pressure increases by 25% from the clean pressure. Hopefully you used the CYA instructions I posted above (sock method). If you did it that way, the stabilizer is completely dissolved and backwashing is not a problem. If you made the mistake of dumping the granules into the skimmer, they are sitting in the sand and will get backwashed. Hopefully that's not the case so that you didn't waste money.

Now you are in full-blown (regular) SLAM mode, The volatile FC drops should be a thing of the past. Now you focus on daily scrubbing, brushing, scooping, and of course maintaining that FC of 12. Then there's the occasional backwash when the pressure goes up by 25%. Your pool is on the road to recovery. Be consistent and give it time, Each day you'll see the transitions from green, to gray, to hazy blue, and ultimately crystal clear. Focus on FC testing mostly. No need to test CC each time unless you're just curious, or towards the end of the SLAM when it's more critical. The other testings won't matter right now either.
Unfortunately the pool store closed before I got there yesterday so I didn't have a sock for the skimmer. CYA had to be placed in the skimmers and deep end -- this was one around 10:40 last night. Planning on getting the socks today.

Regarding filter pressure, my clean pressure is around 13psi. You say to backwash when it goes up 25%, but that would only be at a total pressure of 16psi or so. Did you mean to backwash when it gets to up to 25psi (roughly a 10psi increase, which I had read elsewhere)?

If I do need to backwash, what's the best way to estimate how much CYA was lost and should be re-added? I'm not too concerned about the lost $, as the pool guys wanted anywhere from $300-500 plus chemicals to open me up for the season, so I'm ahead with or without my mistakes.

Re: Vacuuming, any advice there?


Thanks!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
You say to backwash when it goes up 25%, but that would only be at a total pressure of 16psi or so.
Nope, actually 25% - not 25 psi. I know why you ask. My gauge is the same way with large increments. My clean and dirty pressure are only about 4-5 points apart. But it IS 25% increase.

If I do need to backwash, what's the best way to estimate how much CYA was lost and should be re-added?
That will be next to impossible to know. Only time and re-testing will tell you for sure I'm afraid. Give it a couple days and test the CYA again. If it's definitely below 30, only add enough stabilizer to increase the CYA by 10 ppm. That way you don't go too high right now. For the sock method, it's just an old white sock you have laying around the house - without a hole in it. :) Once you drop that sock in the water, squeeze often and it should be gone in 30-60 minutes.

For vacuuming, just the good old manual vacuuming will work. That's what I have. Long hose that goes into the skimmer hole and connect to a vacuum head & pole? Easy stuff and relatively cheap if you don't already have one.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
17,599
Laughlin, NV
With the Pool Math app, do I need to subscribe in order to be able to log multiple test times like I was tracking above?
You do need to subscribe and log in to the app with your TFP username and password to keep your historical data and share your data on the forum. The subscription pays for the server space and development of the app.
 

PSUlion01

Well-known member
May 30, 2018
56
Northern NJ
You do need to subscribe and log in to the app with your TFP username and password to keep your historical data and share your data on the forum. The subscription pays for the server space and development of the app.
Cool thanks. Will try to get around to that later and load all of my recent test results.
 

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