New Pool Owner - Educate Me!

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I'll check my calcium hardness levels tonight and see how close I am and go from there. At least until this shortage of bleach is overish 🤦🏼‍♂️.

I think at least a partial drain is in our future anyway with our CYA levels being borderline. Maybe I can put it off until the end of the season when we're not also running irrigation. Perhaps the natural water loss and refilling over the summer will help bring it down. I'll be sure to do some extra splashing when we start playing in it. 😂
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Well, now we have chlorine!

Also, my calcium hardness test came out to 325 ppm @ 13 drops.

I can definitely see the value of the mag stirrer on that test.

Overall, I'm in decent shape right now, right ladies and gents? CYA a little high but not so high as to make 1.5 ppm free chlorine impossible or overly expensive to keep up with. Calcium hardness is not out of range. Now I can proceed to get CC levels and an ONCLT? The water is not cloudy or unpleasant right now.
 

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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Yesterday when I tested it, it did not register chlorine being present at all on either test, so I did not proceed.

I just got home from work, and performed the quick chlorine test. I also tested it with one of my strips. The color shown in the vial above to my eye seems to say 2-4 ppm FC. My test strips said 3.

I really expected it to be near 0 still today, so I was planning to just do the quick test to confirm that. I have not done the fill test yet today.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I'll work on getting the chlorine up. Right now I'm putting all the chlorine in I can find 🤦🏼‍♂️. I was happy that it's considerably better than yesterday.

I don't know if I can fully explain the error in my thinking on free chlorine. I guess I was under the impression that a certain ppm free chlorine would be the same and the same requirement, but that it would take more chlorine additive to achieve it because some of it would be "consumed" and show up as CC due to the CYA levels.

I've gotcha, and I *think* I'm on the same page.

Honestly this pool has always tested in these chlorine ranges and I'm sure the cya has always been high. According to the test strips our cya is terribly low and we'd be adding more stabilizer as we speak. That's how it's always been done here. PLUS the pucks adding cya PLUS whatever the frog system adds. But we've never had an algae issue. I need to thank my lucky stars! 😊

Perhaps the mineral pack really does help keep the algae away? Just at the expense of adding metals to the water. Note that there was NOT a fresh mineral pack added this season at startup (nor at the end of last when we closed the pool).

I hope to get to Walmart this weekend and find some liquid chlorine of one type or another. At this point I'm just shooting to all the places in town after work. Dollar general, bi lol, and Food Lion. I've bought all the bleach I can find locally.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
971
Prosper, TX (DFW)
By my math, 1lb of 53% Cal-Hypo will add FC of 2.1 and raise CH by 1.5 to a 30k gallon pool.

Just looking at calcium, 115 lbs of Cal-hypo would get you to 500 from 325. That just the simple math and doesnt include any calcium from your fill water or other sources.

To get the full picture enter your full test results into Pool Math and see how your CSI does. It will calculate your CSI. Too high and you will get scaling, which you dont want. Too low is bad for plaster pools, so that doesnt apply to you.

Hopefully that gives you more info to make decisions on how to chlorinate short term and long term.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I just did that, and it gave me a value of .46. I just guessed at temperature though. It has been in the 70s lately but dipping at night. I entered 60.

That said, sounds like I AM in danger or scaling and need to refrain from cal hypo if at all possible.

Until those 30 seconds ago I had no idea what the csi tab was for. Lol
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,409
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
CSI can most easily be brought into range by adjusting pH (MA additions). In your case, lowering pH will help you out. Go back to pool math and change your pH to 7.5 and see the result (near 0.0). With a TA of 160, your pH will continue to rise. Every time you add pH, your TA will drop a little. This cycle will eventually bring your TA into range. Don't sweat your CH level. You can go up the high recommended level of 650 and still be good once your TA drops a bit.
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I actually just figured that out before I read your post. I was coming here to say that it looks like if I lower my PH just a small amount, it changes that CSI level drastically. I'm still going to try to make it a goal to maintain this pool with liquid chlorine, but I'm also going to order a bucket of cal hypo now that we've had this conversation. Until Covid has passed, when I need to I think I'll use cal hypo, when I find bleach I'll use that. I am surprised at how much difference one bottle yesterday made!

I'll make efforts to get ALL of my levels within the recommended ranges, and I think this should be fairly eash-ish once I have everything at a decent starting point.




The reason I'm hesitant to drain/refill is this pool is still plumbed to my wife's granddad's water source. If I use the water that is plumbed for the purpose of filling the pool HE is paying for it. If I run a hose from my house to fill it then I pay for the water AND for the estimated sewer as though it was used in the house. They are terribly hard to deal with when asking for a break on that.

I have another water meter on my property that is currently inactive. My goal is to have it activated, and plumb it to our pool, pool house, and irrigation system and have it billed such that it's for irritation only with no sewer charges.

Once I get to that point so that I'm paying for it, I'll drain this darn thing if and when it seems necessary! I think I can squeak by this season with the current CYA levels.

I'm working on getting the other water meter turned on and figuring out how I'm going to trench the line for the water line and pay for it all. Lol
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I'm also fighting my wife AND her grand dad (who gave is our land and the pool) disagreeing with me all of a sudden saying " Hey, we've been doing this wrong all along". The way they see it it has been working just fine, leave it alone, and this is what the "experts" at the pool store have told us to do. In their defense the pool has really been pretty easy to maintain.

So I'm having to sort of slowly and discreetly change the way we've been doing things here.

The only times we've had algae are upon opening, and not always then. We've always covered it in the past with a heavy green canvas cover. We want to try not covering it this year. When closed we'd throw a puck in it here and there and run the pump 4 or 6 hours a day. I forget.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,409
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Check the CH of your fill water. Calcium does not leave your pool through evaporation. Each time you top-off, you're adding CH at the rate of your fill water, stacking it on top of what's already there. CH will continue to rise without water exchange. Knowing the CH of your fill water give you an idea of what your up against. Checking the TA of fill water will give you an idea of how top-offs will effect TA.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
We have a PH Down product in the pool house that looks to be sodium bisulfate.

Can I use this for my high PH levels until I use it up? Are there any bad side effects with this product?
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
971
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Search up there on the blue bar. I believe pH Down is Dry Acid, which is not typically recommended since it leaves behind sulfides.

Do your research, but my gut says you are fine to use up what you already have. Then when you run out, switch to MA for lowering your pH.
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I again just performed the quick test for chlorine this morning. It looked to be in the 7-10 block. I added half a gallon and left the pump on. I will perform the drop test this afternoon when I get off work, a d perform another full panel of tests.

When I do, I'll start another thread in the appropriate section. Thank you all.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Will do. That's how many of the forums I participate in want us to do it. I was afraid here you guys wanted me to transfer this topic to a different subforum, since this is for introductions. I'll continue here!
 

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