New Pool Owner Wanting to do Own Maintenance

Mar 29, 2017
10
Houston / TX
#1
Hello All
I have visited your site a few times since moving into a house with a pool and learned a few things. Mostly I have learned about pool components and how they function because I had no idea how a pool system worked. Since then I haven't had a chance to take the time to learn about pool treatment, so I've been using a service company for the last 3 months. I've just now tabulated all the activities they do and the levels they maintain in my pool and am posting it to see what you all think and what is recommended for me to do my own activities.

Out of the list of items added (e.g. phosphate remover, muriatic acid, etc.) I would like to know if anyone has a recommended brand or location for purchasing these items. I generally shop online but am open to looking for something local if it's better quality. I also don't have a pool chemical level tester yet, but intend to purchase one soon.

Some of my pool specifications are:
Capacity: 15-20 thousand gallons
Electrical chlorine generator: Aqua rite / Turbo Cell
Pump: WF 24 / WF 28
Filter: FNSP60
Heater: 400 BTU (Gas)
Spa: Yes
Cleaner: Polaris 280
Cleaning tools: hose, extension arm, skimmer net, pool floor traveler (not sure of the name), metallic brush, soft brush (all items left by previous owner)

I know this is my first post, but appreciate anyone's input.

View attachment POOL CLEANING HISTORY.pdf
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#2

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#3
Hello and welcome aboard!

There's a good bit to cover here, so I'll touch lightly on a few items. I would first suggest digging into Pool School and starting with the ABCs. There is a lot inside PS, but take it in bites at a time, working to gain some fundamentals. All we do is based on solid understanding of the basics, testing your own water, and being able to apply those results to the fundmental knowledge. Read along on the threads, and ask questions as they arise. Doing those things will help bring it all together. It may seem like a lot, but many will attest that it really is quite simple. Lots of people, most in fact helping you started just where you are, and have perfect pools they love taking care of.

In the spirit of keeping this somewhat short, there are things the company is selling you that you either don't need, or can very likely do without. I don't know if you have metals, (maybe) but you can certainly do without the phosphate removers, as a couple of examples. Scale inhibitor is another you are just being sold. With proper balance there are few if any instances where they are needed. Other things they are doing like using pucks/tablets as a primary Chlorine source will lead to trouble soon enough. Again, ask questions, and we will gladly help you along.

PS- As for buying the chemicals online or better ones that really isn't key. The ones you need most won't be practical to order online due to shipping costs. Chlorine, and Acid being those. You can get what you need at hardware or grocery stores, treat your pool well (perfectly in fact) and not use anything inferior in any way. Usually cheaper than you can from pool stores, and certainly cheaper than you can from your service company.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,088
Evans, Georgia
#4
Wow. I am sort of stunned. They put stuff in your pool you have no reason for. Phosphate remover isn't ever necessary if you keep your chlorine level appropriate to your cya level.

They were adding metal sequestrants to your pool. Do you *have* metals in your pool? Iron? Copper? Pool stains?? Any blonds with green hair???

Lots of stabilizer added each visit....which means your CYA level goes up and up and up.... not a desired thing.

How does your water look now??

If you want to care for your pool better than they did, and MUCH cheaper, just order up that TF-100 test kit and bring us back the results so we know exactly what your water chemistry looks like. The test kit will save you a fortune because you won't need to add unnecessary chemicals because "the pool guy always did" or the pool store sold you some potion.

The ONLY thing I'm pretty sure you'll need *occasionally* is some plain 8.25% household bleach (for the rare times you need to boost your chlorine up and the Salt Water Generator works too slow) and some Muriatic Acid. That's easily found in the paint section of Lowes. One gallon each is about all to have on hand at this time.

Then we can decide what to suggest to you.
 
Mar 29, 2017
10
Houston / TX
#5
Thank you all for the responses! The pool company comes twice a month and charge me a flat rate for all services listed and chemicals added. I don't know if I have metals, but the pool has orange stones around the edge which are about 11 years old and they look like they are shedding a bit, I'm not sure if they may add metal to the pool (see attached picture).

Over the weekend I will take the time to read the postings mentioned by pooldv and also I'll order one of the kits.

Please note that I don't add any chemicals during the time periods that the pool company does not come. I know this may be bad and could be a possibility for all the chemicals.

Additionally only until last weekend did I practice using the pump to get leaves out of the bottom of the pool. One step at a time!

Thanks!

IMG_2029.jpg
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,088
Evans, Georgia
#6
You've got a big pool- I would suggest ordering the TF-100 today and get it in hand.

Tftestkits.net ships from NC or PoolSupplyWorld.com ships from CA Pick which ever one you think will get it there fastest.

Yippee :flower:
 
Mar 29, 2017
10
Houston / TX
#8
Hi All, I received the TF-100 a few days ago and performed my first testing yesterday. Here are my results. I am not sure about CYA. The instructions that came with the test kit slightly differ from those on this website (e.g. website says to let the water get to room temperature). My pool is definitely cold these days and I didn't let the water get to room temperature. The pool guy also came again on 3rd of April so my test was done the day after the chemicals he added. I've updated my pool log and am attaching it. Let me know what you think! Thank you.

[TABLE="width: 246"]
[TR]
[TD]Free Chlorine[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Combined Chloramines[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Calcium Hardness[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]450[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Total Alk[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]100[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]CYA[/TD]
[TD] 33 or 27[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

View attachment POOL CLEANING HISTORY.pdf
 
Last edited:

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#9
Ok,

Let's call your Cya 30 for now. The test isn't accurate or scaled to that level so round up to 40 say if you think it reads 35. The CC indicates you have something organic like Algae putting a demand on your Chlorine and using it up. What does the pool and water look like? Is the water Green, cloudy, or do you have any signs of Algae in the pool?

Lastly, did you get a pH reading, and could you post it please?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,088
Evans, Georgia
#10
Your pool guy put Yellow Out in your water?!?!? That is unfortunate. That's an ammonia type product which will chew up your chlorine and make it disappear quickly. You're going to need to really keep up on the chlorine until that stuff is gone. It also makes your CCs appear higher.

Please consider stopping the use of the pool guy. They're charging you money to put questionable chemicals in to your water. Like-what was in that "Shock" product they also added to your pool? Was it just liquid chlorine or was it granular with either extra CYA or calcium??

Your pool guy added EIGHT ingredients to your pool this last day... 8!! I would venture to say 7 of them were unnecessary and some even at odds with each other in action.
Yippee :flower:
 
Mar 29, 2017
10
Houston / TX
#11
I did take a pH reading it was 7.5 or so. My water looks clear to me, I will take a photo of my pool and post it tonight.

I don't usually do or add any thing to my pool in the two weeks that the pool guy doesn't come (except basket cleaning), so after a recent round of rain and foliage in my pool stains appeared that didn't come off with brushing. The pool guy said he is adding stuff to clear the condition but mentioned it could take a while to clear out.

So I'll do testing again tonight and also take a picture of the pool.
 

Mr Bruce

TFP Guide
Mar 24, 2014
2,091
Greenville, SC
#12
Your pool guy put Yellow Out in your water?!?!? That is unfortunate. That's an ammonia type product which will chew up your chlorine and make it disappear quickly. You're going to need to really keep up on the chlorine until that stuff is gone. It also makes your CCs appear higher.

Please consider stopping the use of the pool guy. They're charging you money to put questionable chemicals in to your water. Like-what was in that "Shock" product they also added to your pool? Was it just liquid chlorine or was it granular with either extra CYA or calcium??

Your pool guy added EIGHT ingredients to your pool this last day... 8!! I would venture to say 7 of them were unnecessary and some even at odds with each other in action.
Yippee :flower:
:goodpost:

I am confused. The subject of the thread is "New Pool Owner Wanting to do Own Maintenance" yet here we are a week later with a good test kit and you mention that "your pool guy" is going to add some more mystery potions to your pool.

What am I missing?
 
Mar 29, 2017
10
Houston / TX
#14
Hi MrBruce, yes if you read my original post it says that I've had the pool company coming and have recorded the information for what they've done over the last 3 months. I am now wanting to start taking care of it on my own but until I get to such point I'll continue using the pool guy. Is that an issue?

Unfortunately I got home late from work and am unable to do more testing today.

So I hope to post tomorrow with the information.

I know there are numerous other posts that cover the same things, but I understood that this forum was open to repeat questions.
 

Analogbytes

Bronze Supporter
Dec 22, 2016
291
Arlington, Texas
#15
Repeat questions are fine. However, you can't do the TFP method and have a pool guy come. You have to choose one or the other because they will conflict with each other, well, the stuff that the pool person adds will conflict with TFP method. You have a great test kit, trust in yourself and give the pool person the boot.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#16
Ask all the questions you like, that's why we are here. Just be aware there will most likely be conflicts if you start mixing his advice with ours. What you feel is right for your pool, only you can decide.
 

kcindc

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 2, 2011
1,282
Fairfax, VA
#17
Learning to care for you pool is scary at first. There is a learning curve, but once it sinks in you will be a better pool chemical person than your current pool guy. Trust us. We are all owners of our own pools and we just want to help others achieve control over their own pool.

Once you get your pool in shape, the daily work to keep it clean are minimal... you have SWG so, your pool will need very little chemical needs once you get set.

The only time, and we mean the only time to take your water for testing at a pool store, is to test for metals. It would be great to know now if you have metal in your pool. It wouldn't hurt to take along some tap water to make sure it doesn't have metals. Post your metal results here before you guy anything from the pool store. Some metal products are better than others and sometimes high levels means replacing water.
 
#18
Said, Welcome to TFP.
I was in a similar state of confusion when I first started learning the TFP method. I think I should point out a few things.

1. There is no need to track what the Pool Guy did previously. It has absolutely no indication on how you would care for your pool with the TFP method. Everything that that Pool Guy did can be tossed out the window and will have no bearing on how you will care for your pool going forward. Stop looking at it as it will just confuse you. That leads me to my second point.

2. The only thing that you need to look at is the pool test results from the latest recent test. Only that one specific test will determine what you add to your pool to get it to where it needs to be. That's it!

3. The links provide above from pooldv on 3/30 will provide some great information. Read them a bit at a time, especially the Basics and Getting Started sections.

You only need to do a test using your great test kit. Trust your results. If you are unsure, post your results here (not in a new post) before you actually make the additions to the pool. You will get some great advice on what to do next. Don't be afraid to make a mistake because you will not be any worse than that Pool Guy.

Water testing should be done daily at least for pH, FC and CC until you get to know your pool.

Dave
 
Mar 29, 2017
10
Houston / TX
#19
Thank you all for responses, yes, I am scared! I have done a new test with the kit today to see how my pool is doing after being under the sun.

Today my results were
pH= 7.8
FC= 1 ppm
CC=1.5
TA=70
CYA=30

I am also posting pics of my pool. See one photo where the tree leaf's I left in the pool for two weeks formed a hard stain that didn't come off after brushing. I think that is why the pool guy added chemicals. I'm sure if I did some regular cleaning the stains wouldn't happen (I'm slowly working into it).

I will buy some chlorine as it looks too low based on what I've read.

IMG_2061.jpg IMG_2049.JPG
 

Mr Bruce

TFP Guide
Mar 24, 2014
2,091
Greenville, SC
#20
You are doing great. Yes, your FC is low, see the CYA/FC chart in my signature. That CC is a little bit too much, but I wouldn't necessarily do a full SLAM, I would raise the FC to a little above target and monitor (mostly because that is pretty clear water)

Your pH is fine, but that spillover and robot (?) will continuously raise it, so next time you might need a little acid.

:thumleft: