New to Pools in New Caney TX

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
Just moved into my first house with a pool. Very excited! However, I mostly have no idea how to take care of a pool. The previous owners appear to have left it in good shape. I used a clorox brand test strip the previous owners left two days ago and the pic is attached. I just need to figure out where to start. How often do I run the pump/jets/waterfall, how often to do run the dolphin cleaning robot and how often do I test the water to know what to do? The owners left me 3" chlorine pucks, jugs of muriatic acid and bags of shock. I haven't read anything here yet so I'm sure most of those answer are out there. I just ordered the Taylor K2006 test kit and I should have it Sunday. Thanks for any help pointing me in the right direction.
 

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Texas Splash

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Jun 22, 2014
30,501
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
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Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
SG, welcome to TFP! :wave: As a new owner you will have lots of questions, but we certainly help. Please start by reading and saving the link below and its sub-articles. Those are key. What is extremely important is that you toss the test strips. They are junk. For accurate at-home testing, you need either a TF-100 (link in my signature) or a Taylor K-2006C test kit. Good water starts with one of those. I recommend the TF-100. Also be sure to update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info so we can see what you have to work with. With just a little reading a questions, you'll have a great pool season.

 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
30,501
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
You might want to look at this page:


Also, be prepared to stop using tabs/pucks as they will increase the CYA much too high and too fast. Same goes for the bags of shock as they will increase CYA or CH depending on the type you have there. Liquid pool chlorine or regular bleach is better to increase the free chlorine level in non-salt pools.
 

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
SG, welcome to TFP! :wave: As a new owner you will have lots of questions, but we certainly help. Please start by reading and saving the link below and its sub-articles. Those are key. What is extremely important is that you toss the test strips. They are junk. For accurate at-home testing, you need either a TF-100 (link in my signature) or a Taylor K-2006C test kit. Good water starts with one of those. I recommend the TF-100. Also be sure to update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info so we can see what you have to work with. With just a little reading a questions, you'll have a great pool season.

Thanks for all the feedback! I'll start digging into all this stuff this weekend.
 

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
Ok, finally dug into my system and updated my signature. Amazon should be bringing my test kit sometime today! Now I need to start figuring out how often to run the pump, run the dolphin, etc. Any advise is much appreciated! I'll post test results as soon as I get my kit.

Edit - Kit didn't come in today, I'll have it tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
To add to the rest of my dumb questions... I'm trying to figure out pump run time. The previous owners had the timer set to run it 10 hours per day. I have changed it to 8 hours. It appears I have a two speed motor. How do I figure out what speed it is running at? I'm thinking 8-10 hours at low speed would be good??
 

bmoreswim

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Pump run time is to do the following:
  1. Skim the surface
  2. Filter the water of suspended debris
  3. Satisfy a SWG’s chlorine production
Skimming is usually handled with a few hours per day, depending on how frequently you want the surface to be totally clear.
Suspended debris can vary depending on your environment. But in season 4 or 5 hours may be a good number. If the water is crystal clear you are filtering enough and can reduce until you see ill effects (within reason).

A SWG running at 100% will need x hours to make your daily FC requirement. That is a fairly simple math equation with a few variables. SWG model for FC daily production, Pool’s FC usage, and pool size in gallons. This can range from a few hours to 24 hours in extreme cases.

In the end, many of us run our pumps longer than needed because we value perfectly skimmed water more often. Some run a variable speed pump 24/7 because they are pretty inexpensive to run depending on local electric rates.

In general, 8-10 hours per day is a reasonable amount of time to run your pump in season. I run ours about that much from 10 A to 8 P. That means it’s running whenever we are swimming and when I get home so I can verify proper daily pump operation visually.

There is another issue with your Nature2 that will come up (it puts copper in your water - bad) but for the pump run time conversation, what model # is it specifically?

For the proper amount of FC production you’ll likely set the SWG to some % of pump run time less that 100% and vary that % to keep your FC in the recommended FC range.

I do realize I basically just re-wrote the article that Texas Splash linked earlier, but I just felt like typing.
 
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sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
Finally got my test kit and tested the water yesterday. Results are pictured. Note that this is the first time I did the testing so I may have some user error. When I tested for CYA it didn't even show on the chart, it was simply way above 100. So I just picked 111 to remind myself that it was 100+. But when I entered that value into pool math it changed my FC goal number up quite a bit. I'm not sure what to do from here. The pool was a little low last night so I added water and I am going to retest the CYA and FC when I get home. We're also getting some rain this week so I hope that will help. All I have for chems on hand is "stabilized" 3" chlorine tablets, refresh+ "multipurpose sanitizer" and 14.5% muriatic acid. These are the things the previous owner left behind. I am going to get to the store today and buy some bleach. Also, I'm sure there's a chlorine table in the chlorinator right now but I just moved in and I haven't even figured out how to open the thing yet.

FC is 5.5
Combined Chlorine is 0.5
Bromine 10?
TA 120
Calcium hardness 240
CYA well over 100
Water temp was about 80 at the time.

Any direction is much appreciated.
 

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sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
Pump run time is to do the following:
  1. Skim the surface
  2. Filter the water of suspended debris
  3. Satisfy a SWG’s chlorine production
Skimming is usually handled with a few hours per day, depending on how frequently you want the surface to be totally clear.
Suspended debris can vary depending on your environment. But in season 4 or 5 hours may be a good number. If the water is crystal clear you are filtering enough and can reduce until you see ill effects (within reason).

A SWG running at 100% will need x hours to make your daily FC requirement. That is a fairly simple math equation with a few variables. SWG model for FC daily production, Pool’s FC usage, and pool size in gallons. This can range from a few hours to 24 hours in extreme cases.

In the end, many of us run our pumps longer than needed because we value perfectly skimmed water more often. Some run a variable speed pump 24/7 because they are pretty inexpensive to run depending on local electric rates.

In general, 8-10 hours per day is a reasonable amount of time to run your pump in season. I run ours about that much from 10 A to 8 P. That means it’s running whenever we are swimming and when I get home so I can verify proper daily pump operation visually.

There is another issue with your Nature2 that will come up (it puts copper in your water - bad) but for the pump run time conversation, what model # is it specifically?

For the proper amount of FC production you’ll likely set the SWG to some % of pump run time less that 100% and vary that % to keep your FC in the recommended FC range.

I do realize I basically just re-wrote the article that Texas Splash linked earlier, but I just felt like typing.
It's a jandy model #FHPM1.5, 1.5hp, self priming, max lift 10ft. Thank you.
 

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
Here's a pic of my set up. What is the "cleaner" pipe for? Is that where I introduce chems? Is that also where I should add water? Is there a better or good place to put the hose when adding water?IMG_0945c.jpeg
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
30,501
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Glad to see good reliable test numbers. :goodjob: The unfortunate issue is the CYA. A CYA of 100+ is a result of excessive use of stabilized chlorine (i.e. tabs/pucks, bags of shock, etc). That's why tabs are no good for long-term use. The only way to lower CYA is by a water exchange. Simply put, if your CYA was 100, a 50% water exchange is expected to cut the CYA in half. So your first task would be to get the CYA down. You must be careful to not float the pool, so do not empty all of your pool water. You should be safe by exchanging about half of it though. If you can get the CYA down to at least 60-70, it will be easier to manage the proper FC level on the FC/CYA Chart and will leave you in good shape for the TX summer. After the wafer exchange, run a full set of new tests and adjust from there. Remove any tabs/pucks from use and only use liquid chlorine or regular bleach which contains no stabilizer (CYA). As noted above, the Fusiion is "no bueno" (copper), so remove any mineral packs now if you can. Let us know if you have any questions.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
30,501
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
I'm not sure what that cleaner tube is for. It's not where you add chemicals. It's not plumbed into anything so it's not for a vacuum. Maybe it was a concept to be plumbed later? Let's see if anyone else has a thought.
 

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
Glad to see good reliable test numbers. :goodjob: The unfortunate issue is the CYA. A CYA of 100+ is a result of excessive use of stabilized chlorine (i.e. tabs/pucks, bags of shock, etc). That's why tabs are no good for long-term use. The only way to lower CYA is by a water exchange. Simply put, if your CYA was 100, a 50% water exchange is expected to cut the CYA in half. So your first task would be to get the CYA down. You must be careful to not float the pool, so do not empty all of your pool water. You should be safe by exchanging about half of it though. If you can get the CYA down to at least 60-70, it will be easier to manage the proper FC level on the FC/CYA Chart and will leave you in good shape for the TX summer. After the wafer exchange, run a full set of new tests and adjust from there. Remove any tabs/pucks from use and only use liquid chlorine or regular bleach which contains no stabilizer (CYA). As noted above, the Fusiion is "no bueno" (copper), so remove any mineral packs now if you can. Let us know if you have any questions.
So I just got some 10% chlorinating liquid. I won't have time to do any drain and refill until this weekend. Either way it should be raining most of this week.

Now that I have the stabilizer free liquid chlorine, should I remove all of the pucks in the chlorinator? Until I am able to do some drain and refill, what chlorine level should I try to maintain?

Big picture, does anyone see any critical issues that I need to be handling RIGHT NOW? Time wise I am having a hard time spending more that 10-15 minutes a day on the pool until I get to the weekend. Thanks for all the help.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
30,501
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Definitely remove the pucks. Stick to just the liquid chlorine. It may seem odd, but as noted on the FC/CYA Chart you can easily take the FC up to 10-12 in an effort to keep algae away. While the water exchange may not seem critical at this very second, it is something you should try to do this weekend if you can. Remember that CYA doesn't dilute, so with rain, it's best to lower the water level in advance (if you trust the weather predictions) and let the fresh rain fill it back up. But more than likely, you'll need to exchange some on your own. Don't lower any more than half the pool though to prevent floating.
 
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bmoreswim

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Pool Size
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SWG Type
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Just to clear up some not applicable information I included before. I was thinking the Nature2 fusion was a SWG and Mineral system, but that's the Nature2 Fusion Soft. So the SWG commentary about pump runtime is N/A. So pump run time is just skimming and water clarity for you. 8-10 hours is fine, and adjust for skimming and water clarity needs.

This does bring up your future chlorination approach. Liquid chlorine is great, if don't mind the effort (buying, lugging, pouring - daily). Or you take out the Nature2 that is of no use now and plumb in a SWG. Highly recommend this option. Maybe go a year (or less) learning your pool's chemistry, then consider adding one. Just remember if you do, they should have a straight run of pipe in front of it something like 12-18". So you'd want to re-route the return line just a little before the SWG to obtain that - to allow for proper flow readings by the SWG.

For the cleaner line, I agree with Pat that it was likely installed in case the owner wanted to use a pressure side or suction side cleaner, depending on how the pad side was plumbed out for use. As it is now, if the other end does enter the pool as either a dead return, or a plugged return, you could use it to add water to your pool by removing any plug. This would be a convenient way to add water via a hose, not having to snake it over the deck. Assuming you don't have an autofill line separately, which would be a device with a skimmer type lid near the edge of the pool.
 

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
Thanks guys. I appreciate the advice. My current plan is to get the pucks out tonight and top the pool off because it's an inch or two low. Hoping that little bit of water will help. Then I am going to retest FC and CYA tomorrow night and go from there. Maybe add a little liquid chlorine tomorrow based on the tests to get me to the weekend and then this weekend drain down about 30% and then refill, circulate and then retest and see where that puts me on FC, CYA and PH.
 

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
I was only able to drain the pool down about 7". After the refill it had almost no affect on CYA levels. I just don't have the time right now to babysit the pool while it's draining for an extended period of time. Anyway, I'm keeping the FC at about 5ppm using liquid chlorine. Pool math says I should be at 9-12ppm with CYA levels in the 100s. I'm not doing that. The water is staying crystal clear and the PH levels are staying in the upper 7s. I'm running the pump for 4 hours twice a day and the water is staying nice and clear. What am I really risking here? Most pool owners I talk to don't even know what CYA is and they have no issues. I will continue to do small drain and refills as I have time but I'm hoping ya'll can give me a feel for how critical this really is? Thanks!
 

red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
1,099
Houston, TX
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
The CYA ties up the Chlorine. It makes it harder for UV in sunlight to degrade it. The problem is, too much of a good thing means that less FC (Free Chlorine) is available to attack organics like bacteria, algae, etc.

You can rent a submersible pump from Home Depot that can drain a 20K gallon pool in a few hours. I have 2 smaller pumps that allow me to drain mine (hopefully not again!) in about 12 hours. With my refill line and 2 hoses, I can refill my pool fully in 12 hours. So drain and refill may only be a day.

I installed my pool in 2007. I fought mustard algae for YEARS. I finally drained my pool and kept to the TFP methods and first time, no pool issues. At the end of August, after 4 months of TFP, I switched to a salt water pool and SWG generator.
 

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
The CYA ties up the Chlorine. It makes it harder for UV in sunlight to degrade it. The problem is, too much of a good thing means that less FC (Free Chlorine) is available to attack organics like bacteria, algae, etc.

You can rent a submersible pump from Home Depot that can drain a 20K gallon pool in a few hours. I have 2 smaller pumps that allow me to drain mine (hopefully not again!) in about 12 hours. With my refill line and 2 hoses, I can refill my pool fully in 12 hours. So drain and refill may only be a day.

I installed my pool in 2007. I fought mustard algae for YEARS. I finally drained my pool and kept to the TFP methods and first time, no pool issues. At the end of August, after 4 months of TFP, I switched to a salt water pool and SWG generator.
Thanks. I am going to do another partial drain down and refill this weekend. I did not think about using a submersible pump to speed things up, that's a great idea.
 

sgibson2001

Member
Apr 9, 2021
18
New Caney, TX
What level am I 100% safe to drain the pool without any risk of popping or cracking? It's a rainy time of year here so the ground is somewhat soaked but we haven't had any rain this week but we have some coming tonight. I may rent a submersible today and get it drained before the rain and then start refilling as the rain rolls in so that it can help...

Thoughts? Would really appreciate some feedback on safe depth to drain?
 

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