New pool owner, have some questions

Jul 31, 2022
9
USA
Hey everyone! So I bought a house with a pool this year, and being a complete rookie, I already made some mistakes (hopefully nothing too damaging). This is the first season I've ever operated/maintained/owned a pool, so be gentle.

Pool info:
24' above ground
Sand filter

Anyway, at the beginning of the season, my pool was green. I poured 4 gallons of liquid shock in one morning, and tossed in 3-5 chlorine tablets (I know now this is a very terrible idea). Later that evening, I tested the chemicals, and everything appeared good besides the lack of chlorine. The water was still green at this point, I added 2 bags of powder shock and let the pump run all night.

In the morning, the pool wasn't green, but was instead cloudy. I tested the chemical levels again, and same as the previous time - no chlorine. Add in a few more gallons of liquid and powder chlorine, test again later in the evening, and again, no chlorine and the water is still cloudy. I shut the filter off for the night, do some googling and learn about algae particles being too small to filter out. That explains why the return jet was cloudy as all could be after coming from the filter.

I get some H2H Green to Blue and follow the steps. Morning comes and as expected, everything is orange and clumped to the bottom of the pool. Water is still a smidge cloudy, but I manage to vacuum to waste the gunk. Add some liquid chlorine (1 gallon) and went about the day. Tested in the evening, and there was chlorine present finally, albeit low. I add another gallon and let the filter run all night again. When I checked it this morning, all chemical levels looked good. I look in the water, and at first I thought it was still cloudy, but it turns out the pool liner seems to have a lost a lot of the blueness to it, which makes the water looks a little cloudy from certain angles.

Okay, so now that's out of the way, I have some questions:

First question - did I royally F up with throwing the chlorine tablets into the pool (without a skimmer)? Like I mentioned, the liner on the bottom looks much more pale than the walls (though, where the mat for the stairs sits is still a dark blue, even though the mat was in the middle of the pool) - is that from the tablets, or just sun fade? The fade appears to be even across the bottom, except for where the stairs land. I did try to brush the liner floor, but nothing comes up, plus you can see the pattern still, just very light. I don't see any chemical burns or wrinkles anywhere - and it's entirely possible they landed on the mat, as there seems to be a few areas of discoloration on it. I did see the pool last year, but I don't recall it being this light. The pool does sit in the sun all day as there's no trees around it.

Second question - on top of my sand filter is the multi port valve. I'm assuming you shouldn't leave that on all winter, but I don't have a cover for it otherwise. Do they make a solid cap that goes on where the multi port value sits?

Third question - can you leave the stairs in the pool during the winter, or is this generally a bad idea?

Fourth question - the mat for the stairs necessary, or is that just extra precaution to not damage the liner?

Thanks!
 

Texas Splash

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Jun 22, 2014
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Welcome to TFP! :wave: About your questions:
1 - Pretty much. Tabs never go in the skimmer and the fading overall could be from years of poor management.
2 - Where do you live? Your profile only says USA, so if you enter a state/City it will help with replies. If you're up north and need to close the pool, you'll drain the filter as part of the winterizing process. The MPV stays on the filter, but you might remove the pressure gauge.
3 - Yes
4 - Probably to protect the liner.

We can help you with all kinds of stuff, but it all starts with proper water testing. Be sure to have a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C test kit and also update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info. Bookmark our Pool Care Basics page and let us know how else we can help.
 
Jul 31, 2022
9
USA
I live in New England so I’ll have to close for sure.

I just got out of the pool so I could install the stairs and clean up the remaining debris. The water actually is still a little cloudy.

I brushed the floor again and I didn’t see much of anything fly up, but I could see some (a lot) of dust/particles in the water.

Should I floc again, or should I add some more chlorine/shock? I have 3 gallons of liquid and 12 bags of powder.

I’ll order one of those test kits tonight for sure.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2014
40,609
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
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Chlorine
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Should I floc again, or should I add some more chlorine/shock? I have 3 gallons of liquid and 12 bags of powder.
We almost never recommend floc except under very unusual circumstances due to side effects. To kill & remove algae we use the SLAM Process using liquid chlorine as the primary agent. We balance the FC to an elevated FC "SLAM" level as noted on the FC/CYA Chart. Once you get your test kit, you can validate the current CYA then go to that chart to determine what your SLAM FC level should be. Until them, just add about 1 gallon of chlorine per day, that's it. Don't try to do much of anything else except brushing and scooping any residual junk to help the SLAM Process go better once you get your test kit. We'll be around to help.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
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LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,609
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
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How much stabilizer should I add? It’s a 24’ above ground, 13500 gallons. Reading online looks like 7.5 lbs / 2 bags.
I'm coming up with 54 ounces of granular stabilizer to increase your CYA from zero to 30. A CYA of 30 is a good place to start the SLAM Process so that you only need to maintain a SLAM FC level of "12" as noted on the FC/CYA Chart.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
40,609
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
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Chlorine
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Below in case you need it.

Adding CYA:
To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. After soaking for about 20-30 minutes, squeeze the sock often to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
 
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Kiss4aFrog

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May 22, 2013
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Cape Coral, FL
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Below in case you need it.

Adding CYA:
To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. After soaking for about 20-30 minutes, squeeze the sock often to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
I use an old long sock over the return jet and knead it often. Doesn't take long for it to dissolve if you're helping it.
 

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Jul 31, 2022
9
USA
Tested this morning, and my CYA is at 30 using the new test kit, water is nice a clear, and all is good. Again, thank you for the help!

I didn't see the sock post before I added the stabilizer - I added it right to the skimmer basket (slowly as the directions stated) and it seemed to work okay. I'll give the sock method a try next time I have to add it :)

Quick question: with this test kit, it seems you could quickly run out of some of the solutions (the CYA test requires 7ml of the solution, which feels like half of the bottle, and the chlorine test seems like it can use a lot of that solution as well, so daily testing seems like it would last maybe 2 weeks). Would it be a bad idea to use the test (guess) strips, and if something is off/can't easily identify where an issue is, then use this kit to really troubleshoot?

ETA: I've had the pool pump/filter running the last 2 days straight, and I added the stabilizer yesterday early afternoon. How long should I keep the pump running for? Should I let it fall back to its normal range now (8 AM to 4 PM)?
 

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mknauss

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