New member - johntniman

johntniman

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
130
Las Vegas
Hi All!

Just a quick intro, planning to open my pool in a week or two. Just ordered the test kit in my signature today - will post results once I get it. I'm happy to post any other details not included in my signature.

I actually joined this forum last year and mostly lurked. I'm going to try to take a more active approach this year. My pool seems to love to grow algae when it's even remotely warm out, so I'll be going through the SLAM process soon. Last year I primarily used liquid chlorine and muriatic acid (both Kem-Tek, from Lowe's) with some pucks as a back-up but had a bear of a time trying to keep the pool clear. This year I'm going to try working with Cal-Hypo shock primarily, and whatever else I need to get things sorted. Last year was the first year I owned my house with the pool, and given the maintenance on the rest of the place I have some significant doubts as to how well it was kept up. The VSP and ZeoSand in my signature are about a year old at this point, and the Ionizer is brand new. No telling how old the water is.

Pics/Test Results/More Info coming as needed :)
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
16,009
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!

Selling cal hypo in the desert Southwest should be illegal. Your CH will more than double just from evaporation in a year or less.
Your only option is to use liquid chlorine or install a SWCG.

Take care.
 
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johntniman

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
130
Las Vegas
I didn't even think about CH, I was so worried about CYA. Eventually I'll have a water softening system to get the natural hardness out of the water I replace, but not this season.

My understanding is a flocculant might counteract the calcium. Assuming my CH is already pretty high, is it worth using a flocculant to balance for the season? I'll switch back to liquid next season, i suppose, but I have ~50lbs of Cal-Hypo to get through first.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
16,009
Laughlin, NV
Calcium is removed by exchanging your pool water with fresh water that has less calcium or through a reverse osmosis service.

Floc does nothing.
 
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duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,713
Sebring, Florida
+1 what mknauss said.....floc is not related in any way to CH but it will mess up your pool water otherwise.

Using Cal Hypo is seldom a really good plan but using it in the Southwest is a potential disaster looking for a home.
 
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Mendy48

Bronze Supporter
Apr 27, 2018
638
Midland, MI
Updated sig to include approximate pool volume (12,300 gal) and added some pics for a later comeback story.
That's a nice pool. Wow... I like it. Since you already ordered the TF-100, you can go ahead and start clearing your pool of debris using pool tools such as a brush, vacuum, pool net, etc. I see you have the same filter as mine, so if your pool is REALLY dirty, you could vacuum to waste to avoid clogging up your filter. Regardless, scoop out as much junk on the surface as well as on the bottom of your pool. By doing all of this, you're allowing your chlorine (that you'll be adding next) to do its job on the algae. Go ahead and add about a half gallon of 10% liquid chlorine until you get your kit. That will add close to 5ppm of FC per day.

Once you get your kit, post your results here so we can take a look at it: FC, CC, pH, TA, CH and CYA
 
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johntniman

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
130
Las Vegas
Did some basic prep today. Hooked up a pool-filler so I don't have to keep dragging the hose out. Backwashed and rinsed the filter. Gave the whole pool a good brushing - the pics are from right after. Manually vacuumed the pool (to waste), and it's refilling now. I have a robot, but it doesn't always get everything so I wanted to try this for now. Also reset the timers so it runs 24/7 at 2150RPM, rather than cycle high/low for about 6 hours. The low run speed put my filter PSI around 10.

Have a cheapo poolmaster kit from last season, so I did a couple readings.

CC/FC: It only kind of does this, but both appeared to be <1ppm.
PH: 8.2

It doesn't have a CH or CYA test, so I'm using these numbers as very approximate. I added about half a gallon of muriatic acid (14.5) to bring the PH down and an hour later I gave it 2 gallons of 10% chlorine. I'll measure it in the morning to get a guesstimate about how much chlorine I'm losing, but I'm not starting anything in earnest until the TF-100 comes. This is mostly just to get it to some reasonable level.

Edit: Quick sanity check re-test of chlorine an hour after putting it in. FC is 5.0ppm+, CC still indecipherable. All that is to be expected, but at least my reagents aren't completely shot and the chlorine registered.
 

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johntniman

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
130
Las Vegas
Tested this morning ~12 hours from when I put the chlorine in.

FC looks to be between 3 & 5ppm. This test only goes up to 5 ppm, so it's a bit difficult to distinguish, but there was a significant amount of chlorine left. Not shocking since I added two gallons, but half of me thought it'd get consumed almost immediately. Since the FC/CC test is mostly useless tho, maybe it's all bound up? It's also possible all the movement happened at the high end of the chlorine test, as this test couldn't distinguish between 10ppm and 5ppm since it caps at 5.

Color hasn't really changed. Maybe a touch clearer, but that could be from everything settling as well.

PH was a more reasonable 7.6. That seems roughly right.

Filter PSI is actually down about 10% to 9PSI, so it's not clogged with gunk yet.

I'll keep putting about half a gallon of chlorine in at sunset everyday like, @Mendy48 suggested until I get the test and can post more specific numbers. I'll update if anything significant changes.
 
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johntniman

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2018
130
Las Vegas
TF-100 came today! Wow does this dwarf my other test kit.

Some pics of the pool as it stands are attached, as well as my equipment pad. I have a heater, but it's not connected.

PH: ~7.5. I also got the electronic tester, but used the drops for this measurement. Is the electronic tester preferred / as good? 20190424_174840.jpg
FC: 4ppm
CC: 0.5 ppm - This seems somewhat low because there is a bit of "chlorine" smell, but it was only one drop back to clear.
TC: 4.5 (For reference, I added a gallon of 10% liquid chlorine last night)
TA: 90-100
CYA: ~80. I couldn't see the black dot at all at 70, it was murky at 90.
CH: ~500? 20 drops was fairly blue. 17 drops was about violet.
CH (Tap water): ~250. 10 drops to approximately the same blue color.

I think that's all the tests!

Some questions based on that, and that I thought up throughout the last few days:

1) General recommendations?
2) The SLAM process says to test and add chlorine throughout the day, at least twice per day but no more than once an hour. This weekend it's supposed to be about 95 degrees. Should I be adding liquid chlorine during the day for that, or is it just going to burn off right away?
3) I have a VSP. Any recommendations for RPM when running it 24/7?
4) Related, is there a minimum PSI I need for my sand filter? It's at 9 PSI and holding over the last three days, but if it needs to be higher (and, thus, more RPM) or if lower is fine, that'd be good to know.

I plan to start SLAMing this weekend, or maybe Friday night, when I can babysit it for 48-60 hours. Anything else that needs to get prepped before then?

Thanks again for all your help!
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
16,009
Laughlin, NV
Your CYA is pretty high to attempt to SLAM. You said you could not see the dot at 70 but could at 90? That is odd.
When you do the CYA test, try this next time.

Once you have your solution ready, back to the sun, etc. Fill the vial to a line, say 80, lower the vial to your waist level and glance for the dot, you see it, add solution to the 70 line, glance, see it, repeat until you no longer see it with a glance. Then use the CYA value one step above the line you read. So if you stopped at 50, use 60 ppm CYA.

The vial is in logarithmic scale. So it is not viable to interpolate between the lines. Just use the whole numbers, such as 50, 40, 30, ....

Once you get your CYA sorted (50 ppm is a good place to get it to) and lower your pH to 7.2, start your SLAM. Test FC and add liquid chlorine back to SLAM FC every couple hours. All day into the evening. Brush the pool a lot. Run your pump at 1500 rpm or so. Watch your filter pressure as it will rise quickly. No minimum psi for your filter. Backwash it when your psi rises by 25% over clean pressure.
 
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