New pool owner in Miami


New member
Apr 12, 2017
Miami, FL
Greetings everyone! First post, just joined the forum. I have to first commend everyone for participating in such a vibrant community. The wealth of knowledge I've gained in the last few weeks of reading articles and posts will certainly make me a better pool owner.

So, story of my pool. Bought a house late last year with an existing pool. Water was clear, but temperature was too cold for swimming (even in Miami), so just bought a few pucks, dropped them in the floater, and let the vacuum do the cleaning. Happy pool owner for a few months. As temperatures started to climb, I started noticing algae show up in the places the vacuum didn't reach. After a one week trip where I forgot to set the vacuum, I returned to green walls. That's when I started researching and found this forum.

I ordered a K-2006, and first ran a CYA test. Results were on the 100+ (the dot disappeared rather quickly). I am sure between the pucks and the amount of shocks they probably added to keep the pool clear while selling the house, the CYA was out of control. So instead of fighting, I just decided to start from scratch, complete drain and refill.

After the water reached the appropriate level, I added stabilizer (sock in skimmer method), liquid chlorine (high concentration from pool store), and muriatic acid to bring pH down (which I overshoot). Ran the pump for 24 hours to get everything well mixed, and here are my first "official" results:

FC: 8.5
CC: 0.5
pH: 7.2
TA: 80
CH: 80
CYA: 40
Water temp: 77

Decent start. Just gotta raise the pH a bit, get calcium up to level, and keep an eye on FC and pH with daily tests.

I do have a few questions, which I hope you can help me with:

1- What is the expected rate I'll have to add chlorine daily? I know it'll depend on a bunch of factors, but can someone in warm climates give me a ballpark​? I want to know how much to stock up.
2- Should I SLAM due to the presence of algae prior to refilling? Or the fact that it got fully drained was enough to expose algae to air and kill it off?
3- I travel for a week once a month. I may have to rely on pucks to keep FC up. How quickly will it start messing up my CYA? They'll be in the water 4-5 days a month tops.
4- Eventually I'll have to resurface the pool, as the plaster wore off in a few places. Any recommendations for high durability surfaces I should be looking at?

Again, thanks everyone for the support. I look forward to participating in the community.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
Hi, welcome to TFP! I'll answer your questions as best I can.
1. There are a lot of factors that affect chlorine consumption. Most people can add chlorine manually every couple of days and be just fine. The key is to keep the FC at the top of the recommended range for your CYA. You can look at the [FC/CYA]FC/CYA chart[/FC/CYA] for more information. Once you have been dosing the pool for a few weeks you will have a better idea of how much chlorine it consumes on average.

2. You may not need to slam, but I would check by conducting anOvernight Chlorine Loss Test. If you pass the test and have no visible algae then you do not need to slam.

3. Going back to the FC/CYA chart you will see the recommended FC level goes up as the CYA level goes up. You can use PoolMath to check the effects of adding different chemicals. Since you will be away from your pool fairly often you may want to look into automation such as adding a saltwater chlorine generator, which generates its own chlorine and can be set to run while you are away. You may want to check out a Liquidator or a Stenner pump to add liquid chlorine to the pool automatically. You could bump the FC up to slam level before you leave town and use a floating chlorinator with a single puck in it to try and keep chlorine levels up while you are away, but eventually you would have to do a partial drain to remove excess CYA. If it is only once a month then you probably would not see a problem arise until next year, if you really stay on top of the puck usage.

4. It depends on your preferences and your budget. A plain plaster finish will be less expensive and smoother underfoot than pebble, but it won't give you much wow factor as far as style goes. As far as which pebble finish is best, check what is available in your area and look for an authorized installer. Get some references and seek out friends with pools to see what they like. People here will be happy to offer opinions as well when the time comes. There is also a heat set polymer finish but I don't know if it is widely available throughout the country.

I hope this information helps!


New member
Apr 12, 2017
Miami, FL
zea3, thanks for the advise! The information is really helpful.

1 - I'll keep targeting the high end of the chart and record test results to understand better the average consumption.
2 - I tested FC this morning and it was 8-8.5 (still learning to interpret the result, it was very faint pink on 8, definitely clear at 8.5). Comparing to last night, definitely less than 1ppm loss, so I'll hold off on SLAMing for now.
3 - Automation is the goal, but budget is the challenge (a lot of things to do to the house besides the pool). Once I understand average consumption better, I'll have a better idea on daily need, so I can have pre-measured doses for my wife to add. I'll try to stay away from the pucks.
4 - It all always comes down to budget :D . But points noted, I'll start paying more attention to what others have. Funny how I've been using pools for all my life, but only cared about the finish when I got one myself.

Another question: I plan to do my tests late evening, and adjust chemicals then. I read in another post that pump running for 4 hours should be enough to circulate everything, so I plan to schedule to start 30 minutes before testing, and running for 4 hours after. Does that sound about right?


By the way, picture of the pool, in all it's morning glory:



Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 24, 2015
Central Valley CA
4 hours pump run time is a good starting point especially since your pool is screened and not likely to see leaf debris. You can play with the run time in 30 min increments up or down from there based on the look of the water. Since you have a single speed pump you may be able to get away with less than 4 hours. I run my VS pump at about 1/3 the speed of what your pump will run at for 5 to 6 hours during the summer and the water looks great I suspect I could go a bit less just have not bothered since the savings for me would be negligible.


New member
Apr 12, 2017
Miami, FL
atttech-2, thank you! Believe or not, the old owner had a small ficus tree inside(!) the screen, so I manage to get some leaves in the pool (not a lot). That tree will go away soon, so the debris in the water will be minimal.

Once I get enough data and understand chemical consumption, I'll start playing with the pump. It's old, so any decrease in running time will save some $$. Eventually I will replace it to a more energy efficient setup (and get the SWG), but that's another project to add to the list.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
I LOVE that pool! Are those tiles on the bottom? PRETTY!

WHY would anyone put a tree INSIDE a pool cage??? That whole idea is to keep that stuff OUT! :roll: That will be a cheap fix!

I have a link for you:

Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

I keep a log of my test results. I found it really helped me learn my pool and it's needs. I make note of big weather-full sun, no sun, big rain, etc. After a while you will start to see the patterns.



New member
Apr 12, 2017
Miami, FL
Thanks Kim! Those are tile dolphins indeed. There are some turtles and fishes by the steps. My 3yo daughter loves them. Let's see if they survive the resurfacing.

Thanks for the link. I may run a few of the weekly test more often at the beginning, while I understand the chemistry and set a baseline. Temperature is rising, rains will start soon, so better keep on top of it while I learn the effect these events have on the chemical balance.

For logging the results, I am using the developed by another member of the forum. So far, impressed by the simplicity and features.