new pool owner....just getting started....am i missing anything?

Jul 9, 2019
5
oxford, AL
recently put in an 18' round 52" tall AG pool; blindly followed advice of pool place and really didn't like the idea of not fully understanding what i was doing and why.

filled pool w/tap water.....dumped in 4lbs of CYA (as instructed by pool place) and started the routine of weekly shock...constant 3" tabs in skimmer....and was told weekly algeacide. realized very fast this was going to be waaaay more expensive that it surely needed to be.

found TFP.com and started reading. ordered k-2006 kit a few days ago and immed started testing. first few tests i feel were pretty crazy so i watched some youtube clips and practiced and am pretty confident im at least close in reading results now. started in earnest yesterday to convert over to the TFP method of maintaing the pool.

initial test results yesterday were:
FC: .48
CC: 0
PH: 7.8
TA: 110
CYA: > 100

after lots of reading and soul searching, i decided to drain a ton of water and get as close as possible to starting from zero. i drained pool to about 26" (tried to get as close to 50% as possible) and refilled this morning. ran more tests this evening and results now are:

FC: .4
CC: 0
PH: 7.4
TA: 120
CYA: 50-ish...still having issues feeling 100% on when that dot actually "disappears"...but waaaaay lower than when i started yesterday.

per pool math, i added 52oz of 10% chlorine bleach to bring FC up to close to 6....will check tomorrow to see how that worked out for me.

whats next? my TA seems high, should i be overly concerned about that/work to bring that down by adding muriatic acid?
im guessing my focus should be on testing FC and PH very regularly and check CYA often-ish?
do i need to go ahead and plan to drain off more water? i have two kids under 10 chomping at the bit for me to stop "messing w/the pool" so they can swim regularly.

thanks for any info/advice....and just in case:

pool s/b about 7200 gallons
above ground
sand filter
pretty sure the pump is a little pentair dynamo 1.5 HP pump
no SWG or anything fancy like that
k-2006 test kit
water is from tap w have no water restrictions around here and i have septic for sewer...so drain/refill isn't terrible...approx cost to fill poll is only around $25-$30
 

KarenNJ

Well-known member
May 7, 2017
276
Northern NJ
Your CYA should stay pretty stable unless you have a significant water change. I will check mine after a really heavy rain period where I am removing a few inches of water from the pool. If the water level is not changing you shouldn't need to check it that frequently. I really only check mine if I notice my chlorine level is not holding but I am sure in pool school there is a suggested timeline for checking it. Usually I have to add stabilizer at opening and maybe once during the season depending on rain.
It seems the TA will be high with a new fill. Mine was over 200 from the water truck. A higher TA will make the PH rise. I didn't focus on the TA number but did add acid to get the PH down. The TA did lower over the season and settled around 80 which is fine and now my PH is stable. Here is info on lowering TA - Lower Total Alkalinity - Trouble Free Pool
 

KarenNJ

Well-known member
May 7, 2017
276
Northern NJ
aaand, leave it to the pool stores to just instruct you to dump stuff in the pool. Holy high CYA after their advice!
 
Jul 9, 2019
5
oxford, AL
yep....re: those levels...that's what im shooting for.

i guess the plan is to monitor FC and PH for now and see how that goes w/just adding liquid chlorine bleach. ill worry about CYA if FC isn't stable. it sounds like TA will probably normalize "on its' own" assuming i manage PH correctly?
 

KarenNJ

Well-known member
May 7, 2017
276
Northern NJ
If you are adding acid to lower the ph the ta will come down as well. I had to add acid a few times during our first season but once the ta got to 80 the ph stabilized and the second year I never had to mess with it. Apparently tap water here has very high TA.
 
Jul 9, 2019
5
oxford, AL
tested this am....pretty much got results i expected...

FC: 6.2
CC: 0
PH: 7.6 (could be 7.4....those colors...maybe i'm just a little color blind? lol)
TA: 110
CYA: 50

curious to see how FC looks this afternoon....pool only gets a solid 7-8hrs of direct sunlight a day. should i be focused on lowering the TA at all? or will that lower over time thru rain/splashing?
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
21,989
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
Your TA is not a concern. When your pH rises to 8, lower it to 7.4. The TA will come down naturally. It has no other effects to your pool.
Good job on recognizing an issue (pool store) and taking control (test kit and TFP). You will truly enjoy the pool now.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 
Jul 9, 2019
5
oxford, AL
so i've noticed a trend of sorts...w/CYA at 50...i've been targeting my FC at around 6.... i test the water around 7p every evening and my FC is dropping to about 3.5. i add about 2 cu of 10% bleach to bring it back up to 6, rinse repeat. i've noticed the chart says w/CYA at 50, minimum FC should be 4 and target is 6-8; should i be shooting for the high side of that range? seems like that would keep my FC above 4 "all the time"?
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,062
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Yes aim for 8 and it will drop to 4-5, rinse and repeat. When out of town you can use pucks in a floater or have someone add the predetermined amount of bleach each evening. When going out you can also raise your FC to slam levels, that will give you some room to manoeuvre.