New Pool Owner - Educate Me!

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Our liner is about 10 years old.

I'm assuming it's near the end of its life.

How do you determine when it's time for a new one?

How do I go about selecting someone who will replace it and do a good job? What questions do I ask, etc.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
1,612
Milwaukee, WI
It's hard to tell when you need a new liner until it's too late - at least that was my experience. We bought a house with a pool, no idea how old the liner is. We knew it was pretty bleached out based on some extra that was in the pool shed for patching, I assume, but had no idea how gone it was until the plastic edge of a brush ripped a hole in a corner. When we removed it, you could just punch through it like it was made from a large flat potato chip.

We have a 20k gallon pool and the cheapest we could find was about $4k. Called lots of places. You can find out what warranties they offer or service they do, but most places told me that other than stopping by to re-clip it in if it comes out in the first couple of weeks there's not much they offer beyond what the manufacturer does - too much can be caused by people instead of the installer.

Google reviews is probably a pretty good place to check and see people's history. Or word-of-mouth recommendations, I suppose.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,240
Houston, Texas
Does the top of the liner feel brittle, like it would be easy to poke your finger through it? Does it have a multitude of patches? Do you seem to lose water faster than evaporation and splash out would account for? Is the liner super faded? These are some of the signs a liner needs replacing.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
It doesn't have any patches or holes, it doesn't leak. The bottom of the deep end is bleached out though.

I'm not too worried about warranty service, but I do want somebody who can get it in there nice and wrinkle free. There are a lot of wrinkles in it, and apparently he's always had trouble finding someone who can install the liner without having them. He said this last liner was the best anybody had ever done.

It's got two spots that have sagged down an inch or two. He swears I should be able to pull them back up and he has some strips that I can wedge it back into place with. For the life of me I can't seem to grasp it and get enough muscle on it to pull it back up though!

They haven't gotten any worse in the last several years. When I attempt to tug them up it all seems plenty pliable.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Speedstir will make testing easier, more accurate, and more consistent...

That was great advice. I cannot imagine running these tests without the speedstir. Especially since I require more drops of reagent than probably most folks do. The backlight shining into the vial is a huge help also! (Out pool house is dimly lit. One project on the docket is improving that lighting.)

Anyway I was skeptical about the $40 but that thing is WELL worth the money for anyone doing much pool testing at home!
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Saturday was a nice, very well lit sunny day. So, I spent about 5 or 10 minutes with my cya test. Doing it over and over again, turning my back to the sun, turning towards the sun, glancing at it, staring the whole time, one eye, two eyes, you name it.

I feel pretty confident I got my eyeball calibrated. The dot was not completely obscured until I hit the 50 mark, so I believe my cya level is possibly around 50 but I'll call it 60, and I thought I would maintain FC levels as though it's 70.

However, there are a few reasons I question that possibility.

A) At the beginning of the season, the pool store said we were at 78 ppm cya. That said, I have had to drain off anywhere from 6-12 inches of water a few times due to excessive rain, and I've also drained about one "step" level a few times during a backwash and topped it back off. Is it possible that I've dropped the CYA level that much through just those small exchanges?

B) My pool seems to be "using" very little chlorine through the day. For example, Tuesday afternoon I checked it to be 11, Wednesday afternoon it checked to be 10.5. (FC levels)

Is that a sign that the CYA level is higher than I think, that FC is being prevented from being used up by the sun?

Or- there are no swimmers in the pool yet. It's also early in the season. Temps have still been fluctuating between cool and warm at best but not hot. The sun is not all that direct during the day yet. With those points, is it possible for my CYA test to be right, and it's just not using that much FC yet with no swimming and summer isn't in full swing yet?


The pool is in full sun. There is no shade over it.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,214
Spring Valley, NY
It's everything you mentioned. Higher cya (stabilizer) as its called is exactly that. It'll slow the burn off. At some point you will know what it loses every day and how much it'll need to maintain that loss. A heavier bather load will cause somewhat bigger loss too. In those scenarios you'll add more to compensate. No big deal once you get the feel for the pool.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,240
Houston, Texas
You didn't mention one possibility, the pool store test was wrong. If you look at the CYA test cylinder, the marks are not evenly spaced. This means that CYA cannot accurately be measured by ones, or fives. That is why we measure CYA by 10s. Your pool store test was conducted inside under fluorescent lights, with equipment that had not been washed in who know how long. CYA is the most subjective of all tests which adds to the possibility of error. Finally the test has an accuracy tolerance of +/- 10 ppm. Some people also get mixed up reading the tube gradations, since it is counter intuative to have the value rise as you get lower in the tube. The reading on your store test could have been wrong, and actually closer to 60 ppm. Trust your testing. What is important is that you test consisitently each time, and you interpret consistently each time. When you base your chemical dosages on that, you will find your pool will react very predictably when you treat it.
300px-CYA_Viewing_Tube_TF-100.jpg
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I actually meant to list that as a possibility also. I get ahead of myself sometimes 🤦🏼‍♂️.

I do understand that cya helps preserve the FC levels, but I've also been told to expect this pool to use around 3 ppm per day.

So I was wondering if, at the recommended FC levels per pool math at my suspected CYA levels, if I'm NOT seeing 3 ppm burn off or even one ppm right now, if that's a sign that I have, in fact, more cya than I'm thinking.

As long as less than a 1ppm use per day right now is not a sign that my FC level isn't high enough/cya level it's all good in the hood I suppose!
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,240
Houston, Texas
Don't over think it too much, you will make yourself crazy! A lot of factors go into how much FC you go through in a day. Weather, bather load, blown in debris, all affect FC use. You will discover over time what is typical for your pool.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
We got 4" of rain overnight. I came home at lunch to drain some water off the pool. It was nearly to the white coping around the top. While that was happening, I figured I'd run a full panel of tests, haven't in a while.

I didn't test my CYA. Assuming the same 60 I got last time. I'm maintaining chlorine as though it's 70 just in case.

FC 5

CC 0.5

However, the CC are clearly more than they were before. Earlier it was just a faint tint of pink. This time when I dropped in the reagent it immediately turned red. It's clearly red. Still went back clear with one drop though. I'm contemplating a SLAM when all of our rain is over. We have heavy rain predicted for two more days.

PH 7.5

CH 250

TA 90

Seems like everything is trending in the right direction!
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Yessir it's clear. It just concerned me because it seems to have more than it did.🤦🏼‍♂️😂 Lol

I think I will do an OCLT when this rain passes through.

Lately it's hardly been dropping by 1 over the course of a whole day *and* night though.
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
745
San Jose, CA
We treat CC's of 0.5 like it's 0. No need for concern unless you need a second drop to clear it out. By now you should only be using the FAS-DPD chlorine test. That's the one with the powder and drops. The other one is not very accurate. It's really only to see if you have any chlorine in the pool. You can expect to lose 1.5-4 ppm of FC daily once the weather gets hot based on many factors that people have posted above. Just make sure to keep your FC in range and you shouldn't have any issues.

Trouble Free Pool Care (TFPC) is really very easy once you get it dialed in. You probably won't need anything other than liquid chlorine and muriatic acid.
 

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