New to forum - let's get this pool back in shape

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#1
Hi all,

We bought our new home last year in Austin, TX, with an approx 18,000 gallon pool (plaster).
I "took care" of the pool my self last season and it went kind if ok while only checking the chlorine and PH and shocking the pool from time to time.
I did not now much about CYA, TA and other parameters at that time. I guess I got lucky it did not turn out bad.

Intelliflo Variable pump, Pentair 420 Cartridge filters, inline Chlorine feeder and also a flow meter that I installed last year when I was trying to set up the pump properly. I have it running ~15/16 hrs a day with a flow at 30/40 gpm, around 1400 RPM

I did not take care of the pool properly this winter and discovered a nice murky water when i removed the leaf net two weeks ago.
The cartridges and the filer were also super dirty and were never changed since the pool was built in 2013, so I cleaned everything, got new cartridges and shocked the pool with a lot of chlorine powder.
The water went back to normal within a couple of days (still have algaes here and there though), however FAC and TAC are now at zero despite chlorine feeder running at max and 2 pucks in the pool.

Went to Leslie yesterday to have the water tested :

FAC : 0
TAC : 0
Calcium Hardness : 530
CYA : 120 (that's gonna be worse because I shocked the pool again just after I got back from the store...)
TA : 100
PH : 7.4
Copper : 0
Iron : 0
TDS : 1000
Phosphates : 0

So today after I learned about CYA and calcium hardness I started to drain the pool and ordered a TFT100 to have this pool back in control.

I have attached a picture of the algaes, not sure if they are black or mustard, but I need them gone as well.

IMG_20180411_182648908.jpg - Google Диск
IMG_20180411_182715772.jpg - Google Диск

Can you guys help me on the next steps here :

1 - Drain ~70/75% of the pool, skimmers are off, the filter is set on main drain only
2 - Brush those algaes every day
3 - Refill and test the water, then Slam using Poolmath. Hopefully CYA level will go back to the ~40ppm range.. I will use liquid chlorine for the Slam, however when everything will be up and running properly I am curious about the impact of using the pucks in the chlorine feeder again through the whole season. I might try and monitor the impact on the CYA and stop if it rises to high.

Am I missing something here ?


Thanks in advance for your inputs !

I will update my signature soon.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
8,968
0
Evans, Georgia
#2
Your plan sounds fine *up to the point where you continue to use those pucks* as they're going to put you in the same place you are now again.

Stop with the granular or solid products. They all contain either extra CYA or extra calcium, none of which you need now.

You need to learn to use plain unscented bleach, or pool type liquid chlorine. And brush often.

Use that test kit you ordered and perform a SLAM

Take control of your pool and stop neglecting it.

Our method of pool care is no harder than putting those sinister pucks in the tube, but we don't have all the problems from the byproducts like you're having.

Have you read Pool School yet about how to Chlorinate your Pool? --> Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool

Maddie :flower:
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#3
Thanks for your answer !
Yep I read all that. I'll stop using pucks and move on to Liquid chlorine, just curious to see the impact of pucks on the CYA once everything is running properly. I might do it or not, not sure yet.

But first things first : the pool will be 75% empty tonight, I will start the refill ASAP and SLAM this. I will only get the TF100 on Monday.
I will rely on Leslie's CYA test to determine the amount of FC needed for the SLAM.

I understand I would then need to test the FC level several times a day. I currently own a K-1005 kit (K-1005, Taylor Residential i-CARE (classic case) Test Kit, Alkalinity, Bromine & Chlorine (high range), Cyanuric Acid, Hardness, pH), which only goes up to 3 ppm for FC testing.
Is there a way to Test the FC level with this or shall I go to Leslie 4 times a day ?
 
Apr 10, 2018
308
0
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
#4
I'm a new to this, but one thing I know is not to rely on pool store testing. I had my water tested at three different stores and got readings of 60, 95, and 150 for CYA levels. Two of those tests were are Leslie's.

Just sayin'
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#5
Ok I ordered the Pentair CYA test kit on Amazon (thank you one day free shipping) so I can test my CYA tomorrow after refill.
I'll run a diluted (1-4 distilled water) FC test with my current kit during the first two days of the SLAM, I guess a ball park will be sufficient at the beginning of the process.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
8,968
0
Evans, Georgia
#7
Oddly enough, I too went to Leslie's yesterday to see if they had a new Taylor Salt Test Kit. Mine somehow disappeared over the winter? So I always bring a water sample in for grins and giggles. Here are the results and mine in red

FC 4 FC12
? CC 0
TA 60 TA 80
CYA 71 CYA 50

The manager ran my tests and mumbled non stop about my need for PhosFree (my phosphates were <gasp!>1,000) and then add some other potion weekly...blah blah blah.

Then he told me salt strips were just as accurate as my preferred salt drop test. I tend to differ on that opinion <shrug>. He also told me my salt cell was going to die any minutes as Compupool systems only last about 3 years and they have to be cleaned every 3 months. I then told him mine was 7 years on and we've never cleaned it yet!

<sigh>

Maddie :flower:
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#8
I really don't get how those guys can give inacurate test results. This is there job and we are taking about counting drops basically... I'll also challenge their test next time I go there.

Ok so the pool should be full tomorrow morning. I have received my tft100 and have 12 jugs of 8.25pct bleach ready.

Can you confirm I have to make sure that PH is in the 7.2-7.5 range before I start the SLAM process ?

Curious about that CYA level tomorrow morning, I drained ~50/60pct of the pool only.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
8,968
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Evans, Georgia
#9
:laughblue: :laughblue: :laughblue: Oh the stories we hear and have experienced with pool store test results. Trust me, they get it wrong most of the time. Keep in mind that they're in a business to sell. Yesterday I watched him squirt, not add drops, and call each squirt a number. Then he never rinses the vials between tests.His chlorine tester only went up to 5ppm (lame block test) and my FC was 12 by my drop testing. He mumble talked "educating me" with incorrect information the entire time and finished the tests (8!) faster than I can do 2 or 3. Sometimes you get summer help who have no clue about chemistry and the effects each item they're trying to sell has on another. Stick around and you'll see folks share their horror stories. :laughblue:

Yes, the water should be about 7.2 in pH because once you add enough bleach to take your FC over 10ppm, your pH test won't be accurate. This helps you avoid having a too high pH but not being able to know.

Assuming your drained 50% of the pool your CYA test should come out to be about 70. Still high but certainly more manageable. You can drain/refill again to bring it further down, or commit to monitoring it thru the season and grab any rain water you can and hope that you can dilute and replace some CYA-laden water that way. You bleach requirements are just higher for a higher CYA.

Maddie :flower:
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#10
Thabk you for the answer.Ol
I went ahead today with a PH at ~7.5 and TA at 100. I did throw a little bit of acid again after the first 7 jugs of bleach to make sure I was below 7.5 (less than a cup)

It was my first CYA test, I did read 90 first but tried again with my wife and we did read 80/70. Will retest tomorrow morning.

I will not drain again as we will only use the pool until mid July before closing it for house remodelling, so the season will be short. I will try to start the next one with a lower CYA (and might move to SWG).

I took 80/90 to be conservative, so that's a FC level between 31 and 35 for a SLAM. Took me 13 jugs (8.25pct) to read a test at 31 this evening, I added an extra jug for the night.

Water is cloudy. I'll update tomorrow.
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#11
Just ran a full set of tests (excluding PH) :

FC : 15 (huge drop overnight )

CC : 0.5 (is that possible with such a huge FC drop ?)

TA : 100

CH : 450 (! Super high no ? I don't get that one as I just emptied half the pool ?)

CYA : 85

Just brushed the pool, a lot of white dust coming of the wall and some brown dust on the stairs.


Some other issues to be fixed :

- I have air in the pump basket, I just opened it and check the Oring which looks fine, I need to investigate further

- gauge pressure showing 0 psi despite decent flow (more than 40 according to flow meter and good flow.on return jets / robot). It has been doing that since I changed the cartridges. I already changed the gauge pressure once. Pump is below pool water level.

-it don't get enough suction from the sooner to vacuum, even with the pump at 3450 rpm. I feel a enough suction to connect the pipe in the skimmer but nothing on the other side. I guess it's linked to the two a above...

Water is still cloudy
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
8,968
0
Evans, Georgia
#12
That *is* a huge drop overnight, but that's what algae and pool "cooties" will do to FC! Keep at it throughout the day, testing and re-dosing with bleach as often as you can, even hourly at first is ideal. Just test the FC at this point as thats what you're working with. The FC will be consumed quickly at first and then as you start to see the FC linger longer that's when you're assured that you are killing off the "cooties".

Nothing needs to be done to your TA, CH, or CYA so deal with them after the SLAM is over.

Maddie :flower:
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#13
Thank you Maddie for the follow-up!

Is it an issue if I can not vacuum ? I guess there is a lot of "dust" at the bottom of the pool, not sure how much time it will need for this go go away without vacuuming ?
I did set the filter on main drain, hopefully this helps....

I guess it won't be nice to swim with a FC around 30 ?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
8,968
0
Evans, Georgia
#14
Actually you can swim in pools with FC *up to your SLAM level*.... [FC/CYA][/FC/CYA] and you have to be able to see the bottom clearly for safety.

Remind me as to why you can't vacuum?

Maddie :flower:
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#15
Don't have enough suction comming from the skimmer. I have enough to have the pipe connected to the hole in the skimmer but I can't feel anything on the other side. I did prime the pipe with putting it against a jet return.

I guess it it linked to the other issues described above.

Is it a big issue if I can not vacuum ?
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#16
I just emptied the Polaris net, there was a lot of white "grain of sand". It guess the bottom of the pool is covered of that, not sure what it is and if this can dispear by itself ?
 

skoum

Well-known member
May 26, 2017
47
0
TX
#18
False alert, not sure what it was, but I can't see any of those anymore.
I am now 5 days in to the SLAM, the water has been crystal clear for more than 48hrs now but I still can't pass the OCLT.

Went from 35 to 31 last night, hopefully I can pass it tonight...
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
8,968
0
Evans, Georgia
#19
Have you checked behind lights or under ladders and such? Algae hiding in those places can cause this problem. We've seen where folks pull out the light and find a regular algae garden behind in the niche. Ugh.

Maddie :flower: