New pool owner, old pool.. learning on the fly - Am I doing it right?


New member
Sep 10, 2018
Martinez, CA
First, thanks for any advice you can offer. Another member turned me to this site when he heard I was buying a home with a pool, and it's been invaluable.
First the basic:
32k gallon free form, mostly rectangle
Pentair IF VS pump
Crystal Water 4 cartridge filter
Blue Haven SmartPure oxidizer - Not sure what this does.
Pentair 320 puck feeder - - more on this, im getting it out of there.

After poring over this page, I ran to Leslies for a test kit.. already bought the wrong one.. Taylor K-2005. I'll upgrade to the 2006 very soon.
While there I had them test my water.

Location: I'm northern CA - running around 80degrees daily right now. rainy season coming in a couple months.

FC: 6 (I think much higher, his scale only went to 5, so he "estimated"
TAC: 6 see above
CH: 230
CYA 110 - ouch
TA 90
PH 7.6
Copper 0
Iron 0
TDS 1100
Pho 0

Based on the CYA count, I decided to go ahead and start a partial drain. I plan on draining about 8k gallons (25%) refill, test repeat if needed.

1. I'm only about 1500 gallons into my drain. Am I on the right track with the partial refill?
2. I'm removing any pucks from the Pentair puck feeder, and have purchased gallons of chlorox - plain chlorox, no additives, no max guard or whatever.
3. Am I correct that these Trichlor pucks are the reason my cya is so high, and thusly why the previous owner was running chlorine so high?

Regarding the drain refill process: When I refill the first time, after draining about 25%, should I bring all the chemistry in line, then do another partial drain refill? I'm expecting CYA to drop to about 80 after a 25% d/r.

Also: I'm having a pool company come out and do an orientation with me on all the equipment. This is new to me, so I'm still not sure how the various valves relate to water flow. So if I answer questions like an amateur, well, I am :)

I'm determined to get off the Trichlor and go liquid bleach for now, and add an SWG before wintertime. For a 32k gallon pool, will an SWG be enough, or should I plan on having to supplement often with bleach?

Also, any idea what this SmartPure Oxidizer does?

I think these are my first questions, but I'm open to any all guidance.


Grape Ape

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 12, 2009
Seattle, WA
I wouldn't replace too much water without a reliable test (i.e. not from the pool store). If your reading is that close too 100 you'll need to do a diluted test (replace half the sample with tap water and double the reading) to be sure it isn't over 100.

And speaking of your kit, you can save a few bucks on the upgrade by just buying the missing test: You'll save enough to buy a speed stir which makes testing a lot quicker.

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Use this link to do the diluted CYA test, starting at Step #8: Pool School - CYA.

As for your Smart-Pure, looks like something sold to the original owners not needed as the chlorine will do the oxidation for you. You might take a look at these discussions just in case:
What's an Oxidizer do?
Sanitize vs. oxidize?

Definitely get the CYA under control so you don't waste chemicals and $$ on the lawn draining. Once lowered, balance from there and things should go much better.


New member
Sep 10, 2018
Martinez, CA
Thanks much, hugely appreciated. I’ll have my water level back up to normal today, and Hopefully get everything back in line. I’ll get this all figured out :)