New Member in New Jersey

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
Hello everyone!

I am a first time home owner and first time in-ground pool owner at the Jersey Shore. Going from no pool to a massive 32x16 pool that starts at 3 feet and goes up to 9 is a huge change. My house was a foreclosure and the bank wanted nothing to do with the pool so we were super nervous about its condition come this summer. I figured the best course of action would be to hire a company to take care of the initial task. They fixed up my Hayward sand filter, gave me some supplies such as hoses, a vacuum, a skimmer, some testing strips, and got my pool into decent shape. I ended up being super lucky because we found out that our pool was never winterized and had been sitting several years with a ripped mesh safety cover. Thankfully, our pipes were all good! The liner is looking decent except for some staining and a few areas of "drooping". We are considering replacing it next year if we have the money but it would be nice to make it last one more year because we have to pay for a new cover.

The pool company took about 2 weeks and a ton of money to power vac the pool a few times, service the pump, and balance my water. They didn't explain nearly enough to me about water chemistry or how to properly maintain the pool. A week after they serviced it I notice the pool becoming cloudy even though we were vacuuming and backwashing as per their recommendations. We took a water sample to their store and they gave us 3" tablets and 1 bag of shock and said we were good to go. The pool turned bright green within an hour of shocking and stood like that for several days and then miraculously turned crystal clear. It happened a week later again and I went to a different store with a new sample. They sold me 200+ dollars worth of chemicals and a regimen to clear it up but the steep price and fact that I still didn't know enough about what I was doing left me feeling nervous, hopeless, and searching for answers online. I stumbled upon this site last week and learned a TON about pool chemicals and water balancing. I got my pool looking crystal clear again! I am still learning and still need to purchase a new water testing kit (recommendations please!) but I am getting there.

My ph, hardness, alkalinity, and CYA are all in perfect balance however, my chlorine stays low no matter how much shock or bleach I put into the pool (im also using the crappy strips the pool company supplied me with until I purchase a better kit). I know from the pool store that my phosphates are 500ppm which is really high and they gave me something for it but I have yet to use it because I wanted my other levels in check first.

Now, I notice that my water is crystal clear but there is a weird film, on top of the water. It's not a solid film and looks like little pieces of film floating. I also notice that no matter how much I vac the pool (we have an auto vac and a manual one) that this "sand" appears on the bottom the next day or later in the day. I am not sure if it's algae or sand from my pump or what. It tends to be in the creases along the bottom or in "piles" or lines from shallow to the deep end. Any insight into what that could be would be greatly appreciated!

I have attached photos of my pool with the cover on as well as its progression to today. I hope it helps. You can see in the most recent photo that there are piles and lines of that "sand" at the bottom. I just vacuumed it yesterday and it's back again.

Thanks for reading!
 

Attachments

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
10,877
Evans, Georgia
ohhhh Lynette, do you have a great pool! Its nice and HUGE, and deep! Lucky you! And welcome to TFP, we're more than happy to help you learn how to take care of this massive pool :)

First off...if you haven't opened it, please return the PhosFree. You'll never need it once you learn how to keep your FC in balance.
Next take the money you got from returning that potion and go online and order a TF-100 test kit, or the Taylor K-2006C version. I personally prefer the TF-100, it was built based on how we care for and test our water. Much better deal.
Yeah, it costs, but it will save you a TON of cash in the long run.

We need to know:
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA

...and what chemicals you've used so far to open this pool?

Do you fill from city water or a well??

Can you start a signature line (see under "Settings") with a description of your pool, its equipment and such? A pic of your equipment pad would be helpful too.

When you get those test results to us, we'll have a prescription plan for you. And the best part is- it won't break the bank! Everything you need can be obtained at Lowes or Walmart. MUCH cheaper than pool stores.

Ok??
Maddie :flower:
 
  • Like
Reactions: lynettet425

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
10,855
SW PA
Definitely get the TF100. You will thank us later. And as YippySkippy said, if you can take the phosfree back n get some of your money back, do so. You dont need it! You have a beautiful pool. I suspect the dirt you see on the bottom is dead/dying algae. Stock up on liquid chlorine and order the test kit and we can advise you from there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lynettet425

Deb04

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 12, 2008
375
Seacoast, NH
You may have an Ocean State Job Lot near you. If you do, they have “liquid pool shock” (12.5%) for $2.99 a gallon . It’s the best price I’ve seen personally, although I’ve heard of better in special sales. Ocean State is pretty well stocked for pool chemicals. Just stay away from Aqua Mate brand stabilizer. It’s strength is about 25% of what the label says it is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lynettet425

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
ohhhh Lynette, do you have a great pool! Its nice and HUGE, and deep! Lucky you! And welcome to TFP, we're more than happy to help you learn how to take care of this massive pool :)

First off...if you haven't opened it, please return the PhosFree. You'll never need it once you learn how to keep your FC in balance.
Next take the money you got from returning that potion and go online and order a TF-100 test kit, or the Taylor K-2006C version. I personally prefer the TF-100, it was built based on how we care for and test our water. Much better deal.
Yeah, it costs, but it will save you a TON of cash in the long run.

We need to know:
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA

...and what chemicals you've used so far to open this pool?

Do you fill from city water or a well??

Can you start a signature line (see under "Settings") with a description of your pool, its equipment and such? A pic of your equipment pad would be helpful too.

When you get those test results to us, we'll have a prescription plan for you. And the best part is- it won't break the bank! Everything you need can be obtained at Lowes or Walmart. MUCH cheaper than pool stores.

Ok??
Maddie :flower:
Thank you so much Maddie! It’s quite an intimidating pool but I am up for the challenge! I have updated my signature and also took some photos of my equipment that I will upload shortly as well. I am going to return the Phosfree! I will be ordered the TF-100 test kit that you recommended. I want to follow everyone’s instructions exactly so that I don’t kill my bank account and can enjoy my pool all summer.

So far for chemicals I can only say what I have put in myself, I’m not sure what the pool company did. I have a box of the Clorox shock from Costco that I’ve been using but it hasn’t worked as well as just plain bleach from Walmart. I finally got my FC and CC in check with the bleach. I have put in 25 lbs of hardness up as per the stores recommendations, about 10 bags of shock over the last two weeks, 1 gallon of 6% bleach, 16lbs of alkalinity up, 4lbs of pH up, 25lbs of hardness plus (they recommended 54 but I did 25 and retested and my hardness has been perfect ever since), 11 quarts of stabilizer, and I had initially put in a gallon of algaecide. All of this was based on the pool stores recommendations before I found this website except for the bleach.

I fill from city water when I need to top up. Thank you again!!
FC 1
CC 1
PH 7.2
TA 80
CH 250
CYA 30-50
Just know that these results aren’t based off of the test that I still need to buy! They’re a strip test so I’m unsure of accuracy.
 

Attachments

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
Lets begin with you throwing the test strips into the trash and getting the TF-100 Test Kits and the Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer

Don’t put anything other then chlorine into your water until you get your kit and post your test results.

In the meantime I suggest you review ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
Absolutely! Already on it and purchasing the TF-100 test kit. I’ve never heard of the magnetic stirrer so I will have to look into that as well. I have reviewed the ABC’S of pool chemistry which is what inspired me to post. Thank you so much!
 

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
Definitely get the TF100. You will thank us later. And as YippySkippy said, if you can take the phosfree back n get some of your money back, do so. You dont need it! You have a beautiful pool. I suspect the dirt you see on the bottom is dead/dying algae. Stock up on liquid chlorine and order the test kit and we can advise you from there.
I’m on it! Thank you so much!!!
 

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
You may have an Ocean State Job Lot near you. If you do, they have “liquid pool shock” (12.5%) for $2.99 a gallon . It’s the best price I’ve seen personally, although I’ve heard of better in special sales. Ocean State is pretty well stocked for pool chemicals. Just stay away from Aqua Mate brand stabilizer. It’s strength is about 25% of what the label says it is.

This is super good to know! I’m going to look that up right now! Thank you very much!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
7,789
Northern NJ
Clorox shock from Costco has copper in it that will accumulate in your pool and eventually lead to staining. Copper is very difficult to get out of the water.

Never use any chemical that says “blue”. That is a code word for copper.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lynettet425

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
Oh
Clorox shock from Costco has copper in it that will accumulate in your pool and eventually lead to staining. Copper is very difficult to get out of the water.

Never use any chemical that says “blue”. That is a code word for copper.
oh I had no idea! That’s good to know! I will not be purchasing this product going forward. Thank you for that information!
 

Fast7

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2018
180
Plainfield, IL
Hi Lynette
Trust me, you want the SpeedStir too. It will make your water tests easier, quicker and what's most important, more accurate and consistent.
I'm not a stranger to water tests, I own a saltwater aquarium for over a decade. I can only tell you my life changed once I got one, lol
One of the tests you will be performing most often (Chlorine) involves adding powder to water sample and then adding another reagent drop by drop.
It so much easier to do it while your sample is constantly stirred for you and you can focus on counting drops.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lynettet425

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
I’ve finally gotten my tf 100 test kit and speedstir!

FC .5
CC 0
TC .5
CYA between 40 and 50, closer to 50
PH 7.4
TA 130
CH 250

As per the pool math app I have added the appropriate amount of chlorine. Pool water is still crystal clear but I still get that “sand” at the bottom. I’ve been running my robot several times a week and manual vacuuming at least once a week. Thank you all so much! If it weren’t for this website I would be so overwhelmed!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oly

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
1,028
Milwaukee, WI
You may want to do an overnight chlorine loss test to see if you should do a SLAM to take care of any algae.

I have the same kind of stuff showing up on the bottom of my pool, but only when the pump has been running. So I think it’s from my filter. I need to open it up and take out the sand and replace the laterals and standpipe, I think. :/
 
  • Like
Reactions: lynettet425

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
You may want to do an overnight chlorine loss test to see if you should do a SLAM to take care of any algae.

I have the same kind of stuff showing up on the bottom of my pool, but only when the pump has been running. So I think it’s from my filter. I need to open it up and take out the sand and replace the laterals and standpipe, I think. :/
I’m really, really hoping that it’s not my pump because when I had my pool opened by the pool company they replaced several parts on it and changed the sand. I would hope they made sure all of the parts were good before putting it all back together. I did find some larger pieces of gravel so it’s possible.

I will look into the overnight chlorine test as well. It can never hurt.
 

lynettet425

Member
Jun 4, 2019
10
manahawkin, nj
Yes I did! Of course that night and every day since we got hit with more rain. It’s been raining quite a lot in my area and very heavily. I anticipate having to add more chlorine tomorrow when I test again. Hoping it’s not too out of wack. I will post my results.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fast7