New pool owner. Am I planning my pool strategy right?

karluy

Member
Jun 17, 2013
9
Southside, AL
I bought a house with an in-ground pool that has seen better days. Currently the pool is still green although the previous owner had shocked it with dichlor several days back but was not able to keep with it. The pool has since reverted to looking like a pond. I will take possession of the house in a weeks time.

I have been lurking around the forums and trying to learn as much as I can before posting questions. There has been a lot of very good discussion on pool maintenance that just makes sense. I also talked to some pool supply stores over here that gave conflicting advice.

My plan is to shock the pool and convert it to a SWG. If someone could give their 2cents on my strategy, please do so and help a newbie out

Today I got the following measurements using the TFT test kit

FC 0
CC not tested
pH 6.8
TA 80
CH 260
CYA 80

I used the pool calculator to determine the amount of chemicals I should be putting in

My plan:

Day 1 - Borax to increase pH value to 7.5
Day 2 - measure pH and add more Borax if needed, add liquid bleach to achieve FC 30, dump in salt for SWG (only 75% of calculated- will add more later). Come back later in the day as much as possible to check FC and add more bleach as needed, backwash filter, scrub pool
Day 3 - check FC multiple times and add bleach as needed, backwash filter, scrub pool
Day 4 - start SWG, check FC multiple times and add bleach as needed, backwash filter, scrub pool
Day 5 - check FC multiple times and add bleach as needed, backwash filter, scrub pool
and so forth and so on until the day that the pool is clear then stop adding bleach, start lowering FC to maintenance level (leaving the pool alone aside from the SWG, measure CC

I hope I have not missed anything important. Is the plan good enough?
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,488
Sebring, Florida
Welcome to the forum. :lol: If there4 is any solid debris in the pool, scoop that out first. Then, review the Shock process in pool school. Of, course don't overlook the continual cleaning, vacuuming, brushing cleaning filter while you are holding your chlorine up high.

You can gain a day if you like. When you raise the pH (7.2 is good enough), you can start the rest of the process 30-60 minutes later. pH change is rapid.

You've done your homework well. Having the test kit in advance is a tremendous help.
 

Jenischmeni

LifeTime Supporter
May 21, 2013
91
Indiana
I just wanted to add one thing....

If the water isn't perfect by the time you start up the SWG, don't expect the SWG to take care of it. It may be producing chlorine, but not in the quantities needed to shock a pool.

I didn't want you to think "This SWG isn't doing anything!"
 

karluy

Member
Jun 17, 2013
9
Southside, AL
Well a few updates.

Started everything this morning. Dumped the computed amounts of borax , salt and the bleach. Measured again after 3 hours. pH is now 7.5. Haven't measured salt yet since I did not know if everything would be dissolved by then. I took out all the solids floating around and cleaned out skimmer and filters. I can't see the bottom of the pool right now so I haven't used the vacuum attachment.

My problem is that the FC is 1 and CC 0.75. CYA at 80-90. I dumped all the bleach I had with me which is only about 75% of the computed value to get to shock level. I will have to go to Walmart to get more. probably buy 30 gallons. I'll probably get stared at again.

I know that shocking the pool is a process but how long does it usually take given that I can only go to the pool 3x/day max? Are my figures (FC and CC) normal at this stage?
 

sarahspins

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2013
49
karluy said:
given that I can only go to the pool 3x/day max?
This doesn't really present a problem at all - if you can get your FC up and keep it there, the shock process will be successful. If you were only able to go 3x/week that would be a completely different scenario, but with being able to check several times a day it should be fine.

Be prepared with lots and lots of bleach - any organic matter in your pool will use it up rather quickly at first.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,547
SW PA
Try to hit your target shock level at night before you leave the pool so the chlorine isn't competing with the sun. :goodjob:
 

Spiccolli

LifeTime Supporter
May 23, 2012
65
Gold Canyon, AZ
Just curious here - how come nobody suggested draining to get that CYA down to 40 or 50?
Would make shocking and future maintenance cheaper and easier, wouldn't it?
 

karluy

Member
Jun 17, 2013
9
Southside, AL
Just finished with another round with the pool. FC was 15. Dumped the calculated amount of bleach and rechecked after an hour. Got FC 35. ok I overshot it a little. A little shock and awe is good from time to time. Hopefully it will stay that way until morning but I'm not counting on it.

@sarahspins. I bought the whole stock of bleach at Walmart. 28 gallons. I told anyone who asked why that much bleach that I had 15 kids at home.

@Spicolli. Unfortunately I have been told not to drain the pool if I can avoid it. The water table in this area is high enough to push the walls of the pool inward.
 

MassNerd

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2013
174
Central Massachusetts
Spiccolli said:
Just curious here - how come nobody suggested draining to get that CYA down to 40 or 50?
Would make shocking and future maintenance cheaper and easier, wouldn't it?
He did say he intended to install a SWCG for which a CYA level of 80ppm is acceptable.


karluy, you can still drain your pool, just do it in smaller increments such as 1/8th. I'm no expert, someone here can chime in with the correct safe amount to drain, but it can be done.
 

sarahspins

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2013
49
karluy said:
@sarahspins. I bought the whole stock of bleach at Walmart. 28 gallons. I told anyone who asked why that much bleach that I had 15 kids at home.
That probably worried them less than the 28 gallons of bleach :)
 

karluy

Member
Jun 17, 2013
9
Southside, AL
Well so far so good. The pool does not look like The Swamp Things abode anymore. Water is still murky and its difficult to see the bottom. FC 7.5 this morning, pH went down to 7.2. additional bleach was added. This afternoon FC was 28 (6 hour interval between readings). Additional bleach added. Salt = 3500 so I started the SWG. That might slow down the loss of FC. Its very sunny today and probably will be for the next few days
 

Smykowski

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
It's not the high FC, that's the problem, it's the high demand that's the problem. The cells have a finite life, so the recommendation is to chlorinate with bleach during the shocking process. Once shocking is over (ie, whatever is in the pool causing the high demand is gone), turn the swg back on for maintenance.
 

karluy

Member
Jun 17, 2013
9
Southside, AL
So the concern is that the cell will wear out faster since I am running it at a higher level than usual. I think I will have to live with that since I can only do this a few times a day . The SWG is not the main source of chlorine at this point since I'm using bleach to boost the FC but I can only do it a few times a day and the FC levels keep dropping. The last few reading have definitely showed less of a drop compare to the early ones. I'm hoping that the SWG will mitigate some of the FC level decrease particularly since the next couple of days are going to be sunny. I hope that this will only take a couple of more days before the pool is clear, and other parameters are good (CC and overnight test) and I can wean off the shock process.
 

karluy

Member
Jun 17, 2013
9
Southside, AL
Its been 5 days since I started the shock process. The water is still cloudy but at least its blue and I can see down up to 2 feet. FC has been consistently 25 and up. I measured the other parameters this morning

FC 27
CC not tested
pH 7.5
TA 200
CH 260
CYA 80

I'm still trying to filter out all of the organic material killed off by the chlorine that causes water clouding but I read that high TA could also cause cloudiness. I'm worried about the high TA levels. Should I start correcting it now or wait until the shock process is over?
 

karluy

Member
Jun 17, 2013
9
Southside, AL
I wanted to thank everyone who gave advice. The pool has been clear for nearly a week now and the family has been having a lot of fun with it. There are still some brown particles (dead algae)at the bottom. I'm still trying to vacuum them out but it is slow going and I'm lazy.

FC 11.5
CC 0.25
pH 7.8
TA 160
CH 240
CYA 75

I'm still trying to get a feel on how long the SWCG should be running.

Now I need to focus on the other problem. The pump has a small leak. It looks like its the shaft seal. I've already ordered the parts for it. I'll have an electrician install timers and an outdoor outlet so that it is going to be easier to maintain the pump in the future. Any advice on what timers are good? I was thinking about the intermatic timers

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BQ ... PDKIKX0DER

Since they did not install unions when they install the system I will have to cut through the pvc pipes and replace the ones going into the pum, to the sand filter and the return from the filter. Any advice on a good setup for the pipes?