New pool owner (AUS) - baseline help

vsandz

New member
Sep 5, 2020
4
Sydney
I’ve been reading up.. and am nearly ready to start fixing/maintaining my new pool. It was built 3-4 months ago. Please could help me kick this off confidently?

Did my first test at a pool store and my results (image attached) are:

pH 8.4 (!) – from PoolMath app, add 0.3kg dry acid – should this be the first step?

Sunscreen 1 – (SWG Range CYA 30-50) – from PoolMath add CYA dry 2.2kg? How much time after first step to this one? Will this drop FC? Also, this is very hard to reduce right? So, should I retest to verify actual before buying/adding CYA?

FC 2.58 – seems ok? It will need CYA to stabilise value & Salt to improve production right? Then test everyday to adjust SWG run time?

Salt 3200 (SWG Range 4000-6000) – should I add Mineral or Regular salt? From PoolMath app add 75kg Salt. Seems a lot? Re-test before adding this or sounds about right?

Alkalinity 71 (SWG Range 80-150) – PoolMath app suggests target 50-90? What should I aim for?

Calcium 125 (SWG Range 200-275) – PoolMath app suggests target 350 by adding 7.5kg CaCl. Is this right?

I plan to buy the AussieGold 4in1 test and rely on pool store for CYA Salt reading etc. Yay or nay? Don’t know if Clearchoice $$$ is required. Please advise. (Edit: Tests from USA are hard to come by and expensive here in Australia)

Thanks so much in advance for your help & advice wonderful people!533103E7-C7DE-45E0-B266-989E6CF3F9C3.jpeg
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Hello and welcome to TFP! :wave: First thing I'm going to do is edit your thread title to include your area since you have lots of fellow members down under who know the region and pool care well. We need their eyes on your questions to help you with supply sources and test kits. We know pool store testing is awful, and 4-1 kits aren't much better. In your area, the most reliable should be test kits from ClearChoice Labs. So for now, be very cautious about making too many drastic changes until you can properly test your own water.

The pH tests isn't too difficult, so hopefully that one is fairly accurate. Yes, you'll want to lower that to something under 7.8. You also need "some" stabilizer (CYA). For your indoor salt pool, we recommend a minimum of 20 to help buffer the chlorine. If this a new pool or fresh fill of water?

In any case, welcome to the forum. Lots of folks here who will help. Have a great swim swim season. :swim:

 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,816
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome! Glad you found us. We're all envious here as our pool season is coming to a close just as yours is getting going!

We also understand the challenges of obtaining a proper test kit in other countries. Just suggesting you not be penny-wise dollar-foolish, uh, I mean shrapnel-wise, dollarydoo-foolish (How'd I do? Do you have a similar expression?). Kit's are expensive, here, too. But a proper test kit and regular testing can very easily pay for itself. The fix for a pool with poor chemistry caused by inaccurate testing can cost you far more than the price of the kit.

You want your water to be healthy and safe for your family and friends. And the water balance for a new concrete pool is especially critical for its longevity. Good water quality can extend the life of your pool's finish by many years. How much is that worth to you?

Cheers, mate!
 

skybloke

New member
Apr 25, 2019
4
N. Bucks, UK
Looks like a really nice indoor pool! Indoor pools have additional problems in that you need to control the environment as well. That means air temp and humidity. I'm UK so HVAC warm air and dehumidifier is essential. The problem is keeping the room warm enough and the air dry enough so one of my best purchases was a Chinese digital air temp and RH (relative humidity) meter mounted on the wall. The idea is to try and keep the air temp about 1 degree above water temp to stop evaporation and keep the RH below (say) 75% otherwise the pool room quickly resembles a steaming bathroom! I guess in Aus you'll generally have no problems with regards air temp/humidity but just creating a movement of air through the room will help. I use an Indux extractor with heat recovery for emergencies and rapid air changes. I'd also recommend using a cover when not in use (or at night time if the air temp drops significantly = RH will rise rapidly) not only to keep the heat in the water but to reduce evaporation and keep RH down. When I re-decorated the pool room I made the mistake of using conventional indoor emulsion paints which showed up any water splashes horribly but noticed it early on fortunately. I ended up using microporous external paint which works a real treat and repels condensation just like rain! Ref the CYA I got a separate test kit for that and as CYA level is the bedrock of TFP it is essential that you know the value with some confidence. Finally as Tex says you'll need to get the pH down. Hope some of that helps.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
vsandz, I modified my first post above, not realizing you had an indoor pool. Your avatar should've been a clue :crazy: Still, you might want to add that to your signature as well.

You also need "some" stabilizer (CYA). For your indoor salt pool, we recommend a minimum of 20 to help buffer the chlorine. If this a new pool or fresh fill of water?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,816
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
vsandz, I modified my first post above, not realizing you had an indoor pool. Your avatar should've been a clue :crazy: Still, you might want to add that to your signature as well.
Actually, I don't think the OP has said either way. skybloke did based on the avatar. Which may or may not be the OP's pool, for all we know. (I'm not actually a killer whale, by the way!) Point being: that's why it's so important that we all fill in our signatures with as much info as possible. Though I guess it's natural to assume an outdoor pool unless stated otherwise (most of us don't put that in our sig). Anywho, what say you @vsandz?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,816
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Interesting that the pool store report doesn't indicate indoors, which, if it is, likely means their advice is even less reliable if their software didn't account for that. But it also states the finish is paint/epoxy, which could definitely affect water chemistry advice. Whew. @vsandz, we definitely need to know more about your pool. When we see "IG concrete" in a signature, most of us assume some sort of plaster or pebble finish.
 

vsandz

New member
Sep 5, 2020
4
Sydney
Hey guys, thanks for the detailed messages and warm welcome!
Just woke up and saw all the comments.. sorry @skybloke I should’ve clarified it is an outdoor pool - now added to sig. PS: the avatar is my pool, but perhaps I shouldn’t have trimmed the image so much.
As for paint vs plaster @Dirk , the pool shop put that in I think.. and to be honest I don’t know the difference. Will look up some comparison photos online and add that info to my sig later today as well. Also, thanks to you and @Texas Splash for convincing me re ClearChoice test kit.. I’ll go with penny-wise pound-foolish as I moved here only a few years ago from the UK and have heard the phrase quite a lot around here :). Will order ASAP and update the thread with results in (hopefully) a week's time.
In the meanwhile, should I drop pH with liquid acid and also add 1kg dry CYA in pool sock at outlet - to bring level up to at least 40ish (assuming pool store test is 50% inaccurate)?
 

Costas > DownUnder

Bronze Supporter
Dec 17, 2017
665
Adelaide | Australia
Welcome to TFP....

You will not regret purchasing the Clearchoice Labs test kit - It really is the only option for us to be able to repeatedly test our pool water with a high confidence rating.

All the other options readily available to us such as using your local pool store or those test (guess..!) strips can & will result in wide variations to your results which then plays havok with your pool water management.


In the meanwhile, should I drop pH with liquid acid and also add 1kg dry CYA in pool sock at outlet - to bring level up to at least 40ish (assuming pool store test is 50% inaccurate)?
With acid - I find Bunnings is pretty good price wise - Just purchase any of their Boondal range of hydrochloric acid (can also purchase in 20L qtys) - Bondall 5L Hydrochloric Acid

I also purchase my Salt from Bunnings as well - Nothing fancy required here, just plain old salt - you don't require specific 'Pool Salt' as long as the bag just contains 100% salt your good to go - Under $10 for a 25Kg bag at Bunnings.

I'd probably hold off on adding any extra CYA for the time being until your test kit arrives as CYA can only be removed by exchanging water. As you already have some CYA in the water, that will be fine for now.

You can also grab CYA, Calcium Chloride etc at reasonable prices from Bunnings as well. For TA management you can use cooking baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) available from your local supermarket (cheap) to assist in increasing your TA as required.

Now sit back and read up on TFP Pool School articles to familiarise yourself with some basics - You may wish to also look at the Poolmath calc which assists us when it comes time to figuring out :scratch: how much 'stuff' do we need add to our pool.
 
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vsandz

New member
Sep 5, 2020
4
Sydney
Hey guys, so my ClearChoice Salt Water Test Kit finally arrived! And my test results are as follows:
Pump+Filter+SWG (100%) running 6AM to 8AM & 5PM to 7PM - the only change since test in first post above is SWG changed from 50% to 100% 10 days ago & solar pool cover (bubble type) installed & always on except for cleaning once a week.
Test time: 3:30PM
CYA < 30 (could see logo clearly even in low light)
FC 21ppm (double checked TWENTY ONE = 42 drops!)
CC 0.5ppm (1 drop)
pH > 7.8 (*Test not valid for FC > 10)
TA 30ppm (3 drops High Sensitivity)
CH 125ppm (5 drops Standard)
Salt 3400ppm (17 drops Standard)

Based on PoolMath app, my plan of action is:
Day1,2,3:
CYA: assume currently zero set target 60 = add 1.8kg Stabiliser in sock at outlet jet slowly over 2 days.
TA: target 80 = add 2.6kg Baking Soda
Salt: target 5000 = add 50kg Salt
CH: target 275 (SWG instruction manual) = add 5kg CaCl
Later:
FC: After CYA > 50ish, test FC. If FC high, remove cover & reduce SWG to 50% & filter to 3hours.
pH: After FC < 10, test pH. Add liquid HCl Acid to reduce to 7.4ish if required. Will adding Acid change the TA again and require more Baking Soda?

Oh, and regarding paint vs plaster, please see photo - this is plaster right?

Once again, thanks so much all! There's a slab (of beer!) with your name on it in Sydney. :)
 

Attachments

mgtfp

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2020
602
Melbourne, Australia
Pool Size
66000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Astral VX 7T
Welcome to TFP! Glad to see that another Aussie found us.

CYA: assume currently zero set target 60 = add 1.8kg Stabiliser in sock at outlet jet slowly over 2 days.
From reading the thread it sounds like there is some CYA already in the water, you just don't know how much, because you're under 30.

I would add only 30ppm worth of CYA for now. That will get you into the readable range, but not above 60, even should you be just below 30 now. Test again after a couple of days and then add the rest to get to your target.
 

brendio

Member
May 18, 2020
7
Queensland, Australia
Looks like you are on the right track. I'd decrease your SWCG output sooner rather than later given your high FC. My pool shop told me high chlorine can deteriorate a blanket fast (although they also told me that FC needs to me less than 1 ppm with a blanket, with no mention of CYA; mine is through the roof from previous owner, and I've read here that CYA buffers the chlorine strength, so I take their advice with a grain of salt). The cover will have decreased your FC loss, and along with increasing the output will account for the high reading. I'm currently on 40% output with a similar pump schedule to you and without a cover. I've just bumped it up from 20% over winter. I'm finding it takes a bit to dial it in. I was on the high side of FC when I got my cell replaced and it took a while to come down.

Acid will decrease your TA slightly. Check on your CSI in the PoolMath calculator too. Yours is around close to -1 (I'm only guessing your temperature), and adding acid will decrease that further. So, you are on the right track to increase your TA and CH first. Salt is less urgent so long as your SWCG is not complaining, but if you are putting in chemicals anyway, it won't hurt to add it now.