New pool owner starting up

coldclear

Member
Jul 24, 2010
6
Hello,

I have come across this website after becoming dissatisfied with local pool store advice. What I remember from chemistry classes really didn't match with anything they were saying. I like the water chemistry based information on this website and just need a little advice starting up. I have a 18,000 in ground vinyl salt water pool with an Aqua Brite cell. I have purchased a TF100 test kit and show these readings:

Chlorine 0
CYA 0
pH 7.8
TA 60
CH 360

The last pool store salt reading said 3,000 ppm. They wanted me wait until I had a free chlorine reading before adding stabilizer and said I needed to remove my phosphates because they were "eating the chlorine" and preventing a chlorine reading. I knew that was a load of junk and saw on the salt tips here that I am probably not showing a chlorine reading precisely because of the lack of stabilizer. The generator is working, I can smell the chlorine smell at night. It has been running 24/7 on the pool store's advice to get a chlorine reading. I had a green algae bloom last week but it cleared up in two days. I feel I should add stabilizer and shock the pool to let the salt water cell take over but I'm not sure how much stabilizer I should use before/after I shock and the order to add things. I would greatly appreciate advice from the members of the board.

Thanks
 

Richard320

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Jan 6, 2010
20,406
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
You're going the right way - test kit ordered and running away from the pool store!

There's plenty of reading in Pool School to flesh out this brief explanation. Here goes the abbreviated version.

1)pH to 7.0-7.2 with muriatic acid. Pool Calculator will do the math for you.

2)Add enough stabilizer/CYA to get you to about 30 ppm. It won't register for a week or so, just assume it's there.

3)Add liquid chlorine to shock level and keep it there, according to the article in Pool School.

4) Once it's cleared up, no CC, FC doesn't drop overnight, all that stuff in the article, then you can worry about raising CYA some more, fine-tuning pH/TA/CH and start fussing with the SWG to get it producing enough to maintain FC above minimum for your CYA level.
 

coldclear

Member
Jul 24, 2010
6
Why do you suggest lowing the pH so much? The water balance for SWGs page suggests 7.5-7.8. Thank you for your speedy reply
 

duraleigh

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Coldclear,

Welcome to the forum. :lol: What does your water look like now? Is it crystal clear?
 

waste

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Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Welcome to TFP!!

Dave asks a pertinent question!

I think we're all a little worried about the lack of chlorine in the water, save some cell life and supplement the SWCG with liquid chlorine (bleach is cheep, cells are expensive :) )

Do as Richard suggested and get some cya in there asap! 30 ppm is a good starting point but, SWCGs like 60 - 80 ppm - if you hit 30 on the initial dose, add a the same amount again.

How many returns do you have - I'm trying to see if that's the reason your pH is on the high side :)

You've done the right thing coming here ans turning your back on the pool store wanks :goodjob: Read through Pool School for the basics of what we suggest here and keep asking your questions (and answering ours) and we'll have you trouble free in no time :-D
 

coldclear

Member
Jul 24, 2010
6
Hey there,

My water is crystal clear right now. You wouldn't know from just looking at it that there is anything wrong with it. The pool has two mains, two skimmers and three returns. I think that the two mains are on the same pipe and two of the returns are on one pipe as well. The previous pool store readings of the pH said 7.6 but that was before a big storm recently. I have vacuumed and backwashed recently but there was some plant matter in the pool after the storm that sat there for few days while I was out of town.

I read through pool school before ordering the test kit. The water chemistry information there steered me clear away from the pool stores.

Thanks
 

duraleigh

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Coldclear,

Ok, Like Richard and waste and you, I am also in agreement you need CYA and chlorine. I would proceed like this....

1. Calculate enough CYA dosage to bring your pool to 60ppm and put it in. (are you familiar w/pool calculator in my sig?)

2. At the same time you dose the CYA, also dose with bleach to get your FC up to around 6ppm.

3. Turn on your SWG. YOu can do all three of these one after another.

4. Wait about two days and post another set of test results but don't test for CYA, it won't register yet.

We'll all have a good picture of your pool and how it's doing by that set of test results.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
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Jan 6, 2010
20,406
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
coldclear said:
Why do you suggest lowing the pH so much? The water balance for SWGs page suggests 7.5-7.8. Thank you for your speedy reply
Chlorine works better at lower pH. Plus, you won't be able to test pH while shocking. Well, you can, but it probably won't be right; the chlorine tends to bleach out and distort the color. Set it low then worry about fixing it later. From what I understand, SWG tends to push pH up, so it'll be fixed soon enough.
 

frustratedpoolmom

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May 20, 2007
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A few points stick out at me - with TA that low it's likely you won't see the PH drift up as rapidly as you normally would. CYA will lower BOTH PH and TA, but slightly. I would raise the CYA as Richard suggested - to 30-40 and then do an Overnight FC loss test to ensure your FC is actually holding and that you don't need to shock the pool. (the SWG must be off when conducting the Overnight Loss test.) If you confirm the FC is holding you can finish increasing the CYA level up to 60. If you have to shock, shocking with a CYA of 30 means less bleach is required. Then once you have finished shocking you can raise the CYA. Hope that makes sense.

I would see where your PH and TA end up after adding the CYA... then you can tweak them.

Did your kit arrive yet? Are those test results from the TF100?
 

coldclear

Member
Jul 24, 2010
6
Last night I added 182 oz of bleach which should have increased my TC by 4.9. I added about 4 pounds of stabilizer to add ~ 27 ppm CYA. The stabilizer is split between socks in my skimmers and hasn't finished dissolving. I turned my SWG to 50% last night and left the pump on. It has been running now for about 14 hours and shows these readings:

7.5 pH
6.5 FC
0 CC

This is using the TF Test kit. The FC is encouraging, I thought for sure it would be all gone. I'll do an overnight FC loss test tonight with the SWG off.
 

coldclear

Member
Jul 24, 2010
6
Update on my progress:

I added 9 lb of stabilizer to bring the CYA to 60. I did an overnight FC loss test with a loss of 0.5 ppm. The next day's sun used 1.5 ppm. We had a heavy rain recently and my TA now shows 50 with a pH of 7.6-7.8. I tested my CYA and it shows only 20 as well. I added the stabilizer in 3 days ago in socks in the skimmers and it has all dissolved. I expected the CYA to be higher than 20. I'm hoping it shows up in a few days. The rain was heavy but it couldn't have diluted my pool that much!
 

duraleigh

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Yeah, give your CYA about 5-7 days from when it was introduced, then test. It'll be there.
 
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