New to inground pools

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
Background: I grew up with an above ground pool. My dad did all maintenance, balancing, vacuuming. He was OCD about it and I enjoyed a beautifully kept pool growing up. It being above ground, and being 24', with a total depth about 4 1/2', he always had the options to drain and fill if things got to out of whack.

Last year my family and I bought a new house and it came with a roman shaped, 19,500 gallon in-ground fiberglass pool. When we moved in the previous owner had it up and running. It has a little high acidity-wise (low PH and low alkalinity), but sparkling blue beautiful water. A few visitors would complain that it burned their skin, but me and my family had no issues at all. But I was constantly trying to get the PH and alkalinity up.

Remember, I am used to a pristine pool! So I maintained through rest of the summer. Towards the end I was having issues keeping in clean (more on that in a moment).

Followed close up procedures last fall. And put it out of my mind. Now this spring (this past Saturday), I removed the safety cover to a green pool. Immediately started adding chlorine and brushing the pool. Got pump going. Water was high so I did drain some water. Now, 4 days later water is clearing up well. However, I am still having the issue of trying to keep the bottom clean. A lot of dead algae, and a lot of cleaning the filter.

However, I believe my cartridge is compromised. I found a receipt for a cartridge from 2012 (it is a sta-rite PLM2 type so it should last a couple of years but probably not 7). So I've ordered a new one and it will be arriving early next week.

I've also been fighting to get the free chlorine up. It is hovering around .5 PPM while total is around 10ppm. I did shock again last night hoping to rectify this.

I'd also like to start a treatment of Jack's Magic Blue Stuff to keep metal staining from occurring, but water temperature is too low for that at the moment.

Two concerns. Since it is a fiberglass pool I cannot just drain and refill. There are multiple warnings from the pool manufacturer about draining the pool without bracing it. Second concern is that in order to refill I would need water delivered (we currently use a water tank for water with no well on the property and no city water). So I am trying to avoid a drain and fill for both reasons.

Any help, tips, thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
One other thing. Pulled my first dead frog of the year out of the skimmer last night. We live rural. Have a river that goes through the property and neighbor has a pond (pond ~1000' from pool). I killed probably a dozen frogs last year, and pulled at least 4 out that were alive). Any thoughts on frog prevention?
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
471
Columbus, Ohio
How are you testing the water? Why do you think you have a metals problem? The first thing most people are going to tell you is to get a good test kit. I'm rural as well so frogs are just something to put up with. Training the chipmunks to stay out of the pool is a whole other problem. ;)
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
Using aquacheck dip sticks.

With fiberglass pools the manufacturer mandates Jack's Magic Blue Stuff maintenance to prevent staining.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
528
New York
Hi. If you have the money at the moment buy a high quality test kit such as the one recommend here: TFTestkits.net You don't need to drain the water...unless your cya (stabilizer) is way too high. Post the results from the strips. It's essential that you are able to test for cya. Many strips don't test for this.

The test kit will pay for itself with the money this site will save you on pool chemicals. I suspect you will find it worthwhile since you are used to a pristine pool (this will get you and keep you there). If you do need to drain i would use a small pump on one end of the pool (like a cover pump) and have the hose replacing the water on the other end. While not perfect, you will be replacing the volume being pumped out so you don't need to worry about bracing it. But cross this bridge when you get to it (it might not even be necessary).

For the frogs, consider this: Amazon.com: FrogLog Animal Saving Escape Ramp for Pool: Toys & Games
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,663
Tallahassee, FL
Hi and welcome to TFP Wolf! We can and will get your pool clean and clear. First thing you need to do is some reading. Here is the first link: TFPC for Beginners This is kind of like Cliff notes.

Now here is a set of links I put together for new pool owners. It is a lot of info so take it slow and ask LOTS of questions!

Print these out:
Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

Pool School - Recommended Levels

Bookmark these:
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

Trouble Free Pool

Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

Now as mentioned above you will NEED a good test kit. Here is a link to some of the better ones:

I will tell you I think the TF-100 is the best bang for the buck as it has more of the regents we use most often. You can find the link to it's site in my siggy below.

Now for your new froggy friends here is a frog log! It also works for mice and chippies!

Now that your brain in on overload I will sit back and wait for your questions!

Kim:kim:
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
Hi. If you have the money at the moment buy a high quality test kit such as the one recommend here: TFTestkits.net You don't need to drain the water...unless your cya (stabilizer) is way too high. Post the results from the strips. It's essential that you are able to test for cya. Many strips don't test for this.

The test kit will pay for itself with the money this site will save you on pool chemicals. I suspect you will find it worthwhile since you are used to a pristine pool (this will get you and keep you there). If you do need to drain i would use a small pump on one end of the pool (like a cover pump) and have the hose replacing the water on the other end. While not perfect, you will be replacing the volume being pumped out so you don't need to worry about bracing it. But cross this bridge when you get to it (it might not even be necessary).

For the frogs, consider this: Amazon.com: FrogLog Animal Saving Escape Ramp for Pool: Toys & Games
Thanks, I am going to get a better test kit. The strips I use do test for CYA. Mine was high at the end of last year since I use 3" dichloro tabs for chlorination. But with draining down for winter and then runoff this spring (lots of rain), I had to drain some off and the CYA is testing around 100PPM.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
471
Columbus, Ohio
CYA at 100 ppm is going to be an ongoing battle to keep the water clean. That's way too high unless you are planning to use a SWG. Once you have a test kit I suggest you test the level again. You may find it is higher than that. You can dilute the sample with tap water and test again. With half sample and half tap water you double the result. You might be way over 100 ppm.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
471
Columbus, Ohio
Probably drain and fill. I did three partial drain and fills the first year I found TFP to get my CYA level down. My well is not up to the task and I was worried about floating the pool so a partial drain and fill with water trucked in was the only way to go. It was a painful lesson. I have not made that kind of mistake since. Six years now following the TFP methods with clear water every year since.
 

Wobblerlorri

Bronze Supporter
Don't forget about drain and replace! This seems a perfect option. I don't really know the intricacies of it, but in essence you drain water from one end and add water at the same time at the other end. Someone with better knowledge of the process is sure to step in. @mknauss? Can you help?
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
Don't forget about drain and replace! This seems a perfect option. I don't really know the intricacies of it, but in essence you drain water from one end and add water at the same time at the other end. Someone with better knowledge of the process is sure to step in. @mknauss? Can you help?
While I like the sound of that, as I stated above, I do not have a water source on site. We have trucked in water for household usage (kept in a holding tank). So my option is to drain to a certain level, then have water delivered and put into the pool all at once.

I will try to get an accurate CYA reading, but assume I am at 100ppm. Could I Drain half of the water, have it replaced and expect a drop to 50ppm? And then change to using non-CYA chlorine (liquid)?
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
471
Columbus, Ohio
You are correct that diluting the water by 50% will half your CYA reading. However, that is assuming your CYA level is only 100ppm. I did a partial drain and replace for the reasons stated above. My CYA level did not drop as much as expected. That's when I realized that my CYA level was probably closer to 200ppm than 100ppm when I started. That's when I learned about the dilution test to get a true value for CYA.

What is the capacity of your holding tank? You might be able to do a drain and replace simultaneously if you are worried about damage to the pool shell. The water gets trucked in either way.

I have a liner pool so I left about 12" in the shallow end. I have no experience with a fiberglass pool so I can't tell you how much you can remove at once. I know it really sucked the first time I exchanged water and still had CYA over 100ppm when I was done.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,663
Tallahassee, FL
Lets not worry to much about your levels yet. I am hoping your CYA will be lower than you think as the "guess" strips are not very accurate. Once you get the test kit we will figure out what to do to get your water balanced. For right now keep your FC levels high rather than lower. Look at the FC/CYA chart in my siggy below. Pretend your CYA is 100 to see how much FC you will need to have to keep your pool clear.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,663
Tallahassee, FL
That is high but not the highest I have seen. Lets get this party started!! Pool Math says to drain and replace 42% of the water. NOW keep in mind you have a fiberglass pool. You MUST keep some water in the shallow end. At least 1' to make sure the pool has little chance of popping.

Now..................you can manage a pool with this CYA. Look at this chart:
Chlorine / CYA Chart - Trouble Free Pool I now it only goes to 100 but you can do the math to know your FC will need to NOT go below 10 with a range of 12-15. To get to your range will take some, okay a lot, of chlorine but it should be easier to keep it where it needs to be on a daily bases. Just make sure you keep up with it so you never get algae as you do NOT want to have to SLAM with CYA this high.

How much rain does your area get? If you could channel the rain to the pool then you could gain some CYA free water that way.

After reading this what are your thoughts? Let us know and we will support you!

Kim:kim:
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
So I'm thinking:


I can get gallon liquid chlorine at Menards for $3.56 and that's shock level strength (I think it's over 13% strength). If I can keep it at 120ppm (and that's down from even higher at the end of last year due to draining some off for closing and getting snow melt runoff and rain) then I can reduce it through the normal closing this fall and reopening next spring.

I'm not sure what draining safely to the appropriate level would entail. But replacing ~9200 gallons of water will cost $200 to have delivered. That's 53 gallons worth of the chlorine (assuming I can get that much).

Of course I'll need chlorine even with the drain and fill. So I guess the question is how much chlorine will I need through say mid September?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,663
Tallahassee, FL
Here is my chlorine math for you to look at. I have a 25,600 gal pool so adjust for your size as needed.

I am in Florida and it is HOT (100 yesterday) and I get sun on my pool from about 10 am until about 7 pm. My water temp is at 82 now and rising.

10 gals of chlorine (11%) lasts me 12 days. I pour 1/3 of a 2.5 gal jug in my pool each day. shhhhh but I stopped measuring it long ago as I learned what my pool needed over time. I run my CYA at 50 but do have to add some over the summer due to our heavy rains so it might get lower at times.

Getting your FC up will use the most chlorine. Keeping it up should be easier. Just make sure you don't let it get too low or you will risk getting algae!

Kim:kim: