New pool owner, just completed first test. Could use feedback.

lardlad00

New member
Jul 4, 2020
2
Wisconsin
Hi all -

First post here. Happy to have found a community for finding good info on keeping my pool maintained.

I had an 11,200 gallon in-ground fiberglass pool installed late last year. Used it for the end of the season and the installers closed it for us. Opened back up this year and have been enjoying it, but have basically been guessing at care. The pool is covered at all times but my family uses it a lot. An hour or two every day at least, weather permitting.

Initially we requested that the installers come and do weekly maintenance. I'm very busy and haven't cared to add this to my list of things to do, but the company is apparently too busy and declined to provide this service after initially accepting. So, I'm here now after ordering and receiving a TF-100 test kit, hoping to stay on top of it myself from now on.

My installers gave me a very rudimentary instruction on maintenance. Basically add a little stabilizer, clarifier, algicide, and stain-ban every week. Adjust SWG as needed. I have been doing this (minus the stabilizer), and have been in surprisingly good shape. Had a couple bouts of cloudy water but cranking up the SWG took care of that. Now I'm looking to get more accurate.

So I performed my first test with the TF-100 last night. The results:

FC: 2.0
OC: 0.5
pH: 7.8
TA: Off the charts
CH: 300
CYA: 0
Salt: 3050 (per panel)
Temp: 92F
CSI: 0.96

The main issue I had with the test was total alkalinity. I wasn't able to get a result even after adding something like 50 drops to the test. Tried it twice to make sure I was doing it right and same result. Gave up and entered "500" in the calculator.

The zero CYA didn't surprise me as I haven't been adding that. The calculator suggested adding 7 lbs, which I did by dumping it in the skimmer as directed by my installers. I have since seen alternative suggestions on how to do this but too late now.

I have a bunch of dry acid I could add to get the alkalinity in check, but I didn't want to take any action until the CYA was mixed in. When should I address this? Next week?

What is the recommended routine for running the pump? Right now I have it set to 30gpm and it's on 24/7. I'd like to take advantage of my time-of-use electricity setup and do most of my pumping and heating between the hours of 7pm-7am, and keep the electrical load to a minimum during the day. Usually the pump is pretty quiet at 30gpm. When it gets louder I know it's time for a backwashing, so that's how I keep track of that.

Is it normal for the water to be so warm with this type of pool? I like 90-degree water in April or October but in July it's a bit warm . . .

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,408
Evans, Georgia
Hey there Lardlad, welcome to TFP. What horrible advice those installers told you!! Expensive too, I imagine?
I also have a fiberglass pool and SWG, along with a robot, and pool care is less than 10 minutes a week once you learn how to take care of it.

Out of all those results the TA (while odd?) is least important to me. Last thing you need to deal with. I think it was testing error, but we'll figure that out later.

Stop using ALL those pool store products.....dry acid is a *salt cell killer*. Use Muriatic Acid from the hardware store instead. Algaecides, esp the cheaper ones often contain copper which has an affinity to stain pretty fiberglass badly. Clarifiers gum up all filters something horrible.

Why didn't you add stabilizer before? That's what *holds* your chlorine in the pool so it can work for you. How high do you expect the 7# you added to take you?

Order up from www.tftestkits.net the K-1766 Salt Water Test Kit. I never assume the device is right, and only make changes based on testing.

How long are you running your pump, and what % is the SWG? I don't get the 30 gpm?? Is that fast enough to trigger the salt cell on?

Sidenote: Anytime you need a fast infusion of FC, use liquid chlorine instaed. The SWG works too slowly to provide the bump you need if you want to avoid algae or kill off some cooties.

How does your water look now? Can you see the bottom clearly?

Maddie

ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
FC/CYA Chart

Go thru some of these quick lesson videos --> Trouble Free Pool
 
Last edited:

lardlad00

New member
Jul 4, 2020
2
Wisconsin
Hey there Lardlad, welcome to TFP. What horrible advice those installers told you!! Expensive too, I imagine?
I also have a fiberglass pool and SWG, along with a robot, and pool care is less than 10 minutes a week once you learn how to take care of it.

Out of all those results the TA (while odd?) is least important to me. Last thing you need to deal with. I think it was testing error, but we'll figure that out later.
Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I figured their regimen wasn't great. Looking forward to a more efficient process.

Stop using ALL those pool store products.....dry acid is a *salt cell killer*. Use Muriatic Acid from the hardware store instead. Algaecides, esp the cheaper ones often contain copper which has an affinity to stain pretty fiberglass badly. Clarifiers gum up all filters something horrible.
Can do!

Why didn't you add stabilizer before? That's what *holds* your chlorine in the pool so it can work for you. How high do you expect the 7# you added to take you?
I guess I wasn't sure what it was doing so I just skipped it. I get the point now, but glad I wasn't adding it without measuring the effect. The calculator said that 7 lbs would get to a level of 75.

Order up from www.tftestkits.net the K-1766 Salt Water Test Kit. I never assume the device is right, and only make changes based on testing.
Will do.

How long are you running your pump, and what % is the SWG? I don't get the 30 gpm?? Is that fast enough to trigger the salt cell on?
The pump runs all the time. 30gpm is the limit to keep the swg running. I vary the % based on chlorine levels, anywhere from 25% to 60%. Hoping to find a more stable number with proper CYA. Honestly would like to run it less. Preferably just at night when electricity is cheap.

Sidenote: Anytime you need a fast infusion of FC, use liquid chlorine instaed. The SWG works too slowly to provide the bump you need if you want to avoid algae or kill off some cooties.
Noted!

How does your water look now? Can you see the bottom clearly?
Yes, the water looks great right now. I'll attach a pic.

Thanks!
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,408
Evans, Georgia
Nice looking pool and view! Pool water looks great!
Please add that autocover to your signature line. Did anyone tell you its agood idea to open them up every few days (assuming you aren't swimming) to allow the water to breath? It lets the sun burn off any CCs too.

Maddie
 

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