New Pool, new methods, waiting for fix....

rks1789

Active member
Sep 26, 2014
28
Chelmsford, MA
So we installed our new pool at the end of last season, I just did my very first testing with my T100 kit. The water is clear, I can see the leaves I have to pull from the bottom, but while I do that I'd like to get to getting the water right, assuming I did my testing right. Some details, the safety cover was removed yesterday and the salt was brought up to where the controller was not complaining anymore so CL generation should have begun yesterday. I pulled a 5gal bucket of crud from the skimmers last night, and the leaf rake made a dent in the debris, I have to go back to get the rest tonight. I'm told by the pool company my pool is 22,000 gallons.

FC 0 (didn't do the FC test, Total CL levels reading 0 on the "fast" test)
PH 6.8 (IT matched this shade, but could that also indicate it was less?)
CH 650 (I did this test twice as I was shocked, this was when it turned blue, not purple anymore)
TA 30
CYA 0

Pool math says I should add, by weight: (to hit goal of X)
99 oz of Borax (7.5)
258 oz of Baking Soda (80)
220 oz Stabilizer (75)

It also says to reduce the CH to 300 I need to replace half my water. I do still have dirt/sand from construction that sat all winter to pull out along with a few leaves, could that explain the high CH numbers?

I also have yet to see how to SLAM a SWG pool. My unit has a "boost" mode to up the Clorine production, I'll have to test it to see where that brings things when I get the rest dialed in.

Suggestions welcome, I have to get my little guy from the Hospital so I won't be touching anything until much later today.

Rich
 

JohnyGluebag

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 1, 2015
26
Katy, Texas
Have you gone through the SWG manual and identified all the chemistry levels/parameters your salt cell needs to work with?

Do not use the salt cell during the SLAM (actually it is probably fine, but you need to test for salt level first, SWG's only operate within a certain ppm salt range), you need to run the filter though, so you have to figure out how to turn the cell off and still be able to run the pump.

The CH is high and it will have to come down to the levels your SWG needs to operate in. If it were me I would do the drain now and shovel as much debris out of the pool as possible, then start preparing for the SLAM, however I am no expert so wait for some others to reply with advice.

Good luck, it will all come together.
 

poolnoob.ca

Well-known member
May 21, 2014
277
Georgetown, ON, Canada
Hi Rich, welcome and congrats on finding us before you found the pool store! I plugged in your numbers, the borax is correct at 99oz. it will also add 8.8 TA (see "effects of adding chemicals" at the bottom of pool math). if you add that to your TA of 30, to go from 39 to 80 will then only need 212oz baking soda.

as for your calcium hardness, test the water you filled the pool with for CH, and see if its high because of that. if its not, then your level could well be high due to the dirt and sand, and you can lower it by replacing some with your house water to refill.

if your house water is also CH=600 then that's what you will have to use, unless you have a water softener and can fill the pool with softened water
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,026
Tallahassee, FL
A SLAM is a SLAM not matter what kind of system you have.

You really need to get your PH up and fast or do a drain to get the Ch down and then work on the PH.

You need to get as much of the gunk out as you can. The more you get out the faster your chlorine can work to clear up the rest of the pool.

Let us know when you do the drain and we can go from there.

Kim
 

rks1789

Active member
Sep 26, 2014
28
Chelmsford, MA
I just tested my house water, it reads as CH=50, I also read the SWG's manual and the range is CH=400 and below. I could not get to the store today, so I'll be running there in the morning to get Borax and Baking Soda, I want to get the PH in the right direction at least, and then I'll just flush when I'm trying to suck out the sand from the bottom of the pool.

We tried to do that before the end of last season (we installed at the very end of the season after taking down our 30 year old aboveground Gibraltar) but with both skimmers open (valve at the pump side) the suction didn't pick up the sand/dirt, with one closed the vacuum head stuck to the bottom of the pool and I could not move it.... Do we just have a crappy attachment or is there a trick I'm missing?

The good news is besides the last few leaves and the sand at the bottom the water is still clear to the 8' bottom.... Now to keep it that way. :)
<edit>
I just realized the whole "waiting for a fix" part was not addressed, I stopped the pump for the day because the sacrificial anode is leaking, so the pool installer was supposed to come out and fix it, no idea if he came by or not, and since I have to lose some water anyway I'm much less concerned :)
</edit>

Thanks again!

Rich

My build thread
 

poolnoob.ca

Well-known member
May 21, 2014
277
Georgetown, ON, Canada
Sounds like a plan. As the pros here mention, when doing a big pH shift, do it in stages. Put in half the borax, let circulate for 30 to 60 minutes, test again and recalculate, then go from there.


Ps hows the little guy?
 

rks1789

Active member
Sep 26, 2014
28
Chelmsford, MA
I just sucked out as much gunk as I could, when the water line dropped under the skimmer I lost suction so I'm waiting for the Hose to do it's job.... It is daunting to have to empty so much water....

Once I can turn the pump on again I'll try to suck out most of the dirt on the shallow end (deep end is much better) Then I'll re-check the PH and get it to a reasonable level. We have a shiney new Dolphin M5 that wants to go swimming, should I let it try and mop up what I can't get out or should I just keep flushing, or do both at the same time?

My little guy came home last night, he's nearly back to his old self, just tired. Hopefully the Appointment on Tuesday will give us a plan to get him into this pool by the time I get the water right :)

Thanks everyone for the advice!

Rich
 

rks1789

Active member
Sep 26, 2014
28
Chelmsford, MA
What the ****! So the last few days when I wasn't in Boston I ran the waste output while sucking out the sand 3x (until the bottom of the skimmer), the hose can't keep up so hours went into dumping "clean" water into the pool, here's my numbers:

TC: 0
PH: 7.1
CH: 725!
TA: 20

The PH and TA don't surprise me, putting in "clean" hose water I would assume it would drift in those directions a bit, but why did my CH go UP. As I said before I tested my faucet water and got a CH of 25-50.

I also used the strips I ordered with my kit to check the salt levels, (aquacheck strips) they read 4.8 which the translation was 1680ppm salt... Previously the AutoPilot display read we needed 148lbs of salt so the pool company added 160lbs (from what I'm told). Can the system be that far off? Or are the strips ruined? Is this why I have a FC of 0 but in theory my generator has been running all day?

I'm confused as to what to do about the CH, am I missing something?

In any case I'm going to add 33 oz of Borax to get the PH to 7.5 overnight. In the morning I'll add 200 (of the 238oz) of baking soda which should get those squared away.
 

Noreaster

Member
Jul 20, 2007
7
Sudbury, Ma
Just throwing out odd ideas, but any chance your pool fill water is from a well and your faucet water is from the town municipal supply?

Just for sanity, test the water that is coming from the hose you are filling with.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
You need to keep chlorine in the pool using bleach until the SWG is up and running or algae will grow. Maintain chlorine above the minimum level for your CYA on the Chlorine CYA Chart at all times.

Salt tests are usually about +/- 400ppm. The most important reading is what the SWG says. If it is happy and making chlorine life is good. But, as SWG get old and start to fail the reading gets farther and farther off, which is why you need to test salt for a sanity check every few months or so.

There are others here who have to manage high CH water who can offer more advice about that.

Have you seen this article in Pool School? Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs
 

lefty51

Platinum Supporter
just a thought. If you haven't seen the extended test instructions on using the TF100, you might give that a look see. I haven't done a lot of CH tests yet myself, but the "fading endpoint" confused me at first throwing off my reading till I understood it a little better
 

rks1789

Active member
Sep 26, 2014
28
Chelmsford, MA
AHA! So turning purple THEN blue is bad and indicates some sort of metal in the water, the pool company added a bunch of stuff when they opened the pool for me (part of the package...) they must have added something with Metals in it, Algaecide or some such, which would explain why the CH test goes purple.

Doing the 5 drops of R12 first then 10 R10 and finally 3 of R11L It is blue before I start, which means my CH is under 125, which is just fine for my pool. Walking back the color has turned purple after, I assume that is irrelevant, it was solid blue when I put the drop in and mixed for a bit....

Today's test readings:

FC: .5 (working on pump issues to get this working...)
TA: 50 (Only had 128oz, needed 200-230 oz before)
PH: 7.6
CH: < 125

Thanks lefty51 for pointing me back to the extended test instructions (http://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/24188-Extended-Test-Kit-Directions

I just re-read the link pooldv, it aligns with my expectations and reinforces the thoughts I had.

So today my plan (around picking up my little one from the hospital) is to let the robot do it's cleaning job once with the "spring" filters, and again later with the "normal" filters, that should get the little bit of dirt out of the pool.
Get some nylons for adding the CYA I need, which might help the FC, get some bleach to kick the FC up a bit in the meantime, get the baking soda to get the TA the rest of the way up.

The good news is the water continues to be clear.
 

rks1789

Active member
Sep 26, 2014
28
Chelmsford, MA
The video about CH testing does not go into the fading endpoint, and the volumes and number of drops is different than the current instructions :) But seeing it in action might be nice.

This morning's numbers:

PH 7.8
CH < 75 (added 3 drops before this time....)
TA 60
FC .5
CC .5
TC 1 (?)
CYA 0

Today I plan on adding Baking Soda to bump the TA a little more, Muriatic Acid to keep the PH down a tiny bit and finally get the CYA into the water. Hopefully that will allow the FC to come up a bit.

I've been running the pump on "boost" mode for the last 36 hours hoping that would kill off whatever I can't see and have run the Dolphin for somewhere around 6-9 hours, still pulling filters full of silt out....

Rich
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Is that silt or is it algae? With chlorine levels that low algae is going to grow. Use bleach to maintain chlorine above the minimum level to stop algae from growing, Chlorine CYA Chart
 

rks1789

Active member
Sep 26, 2014
28
Chelmsford, MA
I looked closer, it is sandy material, finally the dolphin swam for it's 3 hour cycle without letting me know to change the filter before it was done.

I added bleach, I'll do some testing in the morning (should have raised the FC levels to 6-7 from the 0 I measured just before adding).

The Stabilizer is in socks hanging by 2 of the returns, that is about half of it, tomorrow I'll add the other half while I can babysit it....

Hopefully by tomorrow evening all the parameters should be set, the water was clear enough to easily see the screws on the bottom drains....

Next up is figuring out where I can acquire Borax....

Thanks everyone!
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
I found Boric Acid at Dollar General. It's also at Walmart. Goes by the name of Zap-a-Roach or Roach and Ant dust. Just be sure it's listed as 99% or 100% Boric acid.