New to TFP and New to Pool Care!


New member
Nov 21, 2019
San Antonio, TX

We just bought a house back in July with a pool that is relatively new (Built in 2018). A local pool maintenance company came out for a pool school and we learned some basics, but I think between those recommendations and Leslie's, we need to start over. From the start the CYA was high as it was recommended to partially drain and refill, but we were told that we could wait until the swim season is over. My husband was going to be the "pool guy" and do the weekly testing and chemicals, but after he began his new job, I'm afraid he doesn't have the capacity or desire to maintain the pool.

So here I am, trying to figure this out. We could hire a pool company, but I'm reading mixed reviews and I'm not sure I really trust someone else to do a good job. Also, I actually really enjoy sweeping and brushing the pool, so why not just figure out how to keep the chemicals balanced too? I took basic chemistry in college, so surely I can figure this out. Ha!

I just found this website as I was researching exactly how much to drain the pool. A couple weeks ago I drained about 15 inches and brought a sample to Leslie's and was told the CYA is still too high. The test only shows up to 100ppm, so it could be well beyond that. The employee said to drain another foot, and I think that is a complete shot in the dark if she doesn't know the exact level! I have the pool draining now, by sump, and it is about 90% empty (I saw the method for diluting pool water with tap 50/50 and then testing CYA after I had drained a good portion, so whatever, we are going to start from scratch.) Just ordered the TF-100 test kit and it might take a week to arrive. In the meantime, I have a basic water testing kit and I can bring a sample to the pool store to check the CYA. I'm a bit nervous about how to start back up with chemicals once the fresh water is in. Now that I know that the 3" tablets and the powdered shock contain CYA and raise levels in the pool, I am debating if I should even use it? Maybe reserve that method for vacation or summer months? Can I just not put the tablets in the feeder and leave it empty? I'm on the Pool School pages and trying to learn as much as I can...looks like I need to be buying liquid chlorine. Going to start filling the pool up in a couple hours and we expect rainfall today. Just cleaned out the filter cartridges a few days ago as well.

If anyone has helpful input, I will take it!
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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

Welcome to TFP... A great place to learn how to maintain your own pool... :shark:

Ordering your own test kit is 50% of the fix to your problems.. So you already are halfway there... :mrgreen:

All you need to do now is swim on over to one of our subject-orientated sub-forums and start asking questions..

As you have already found by reading Pool School, the 50/50 CYA test will allow you to determine your actual CYA level when above 100 ppm.

Thanks for posting your Intro,

Jim R.
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Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
Katy, Texas
Hi Lauren. I understand hesitation about adding chemicals, however, IMO you can't go wrong adding liquid chlorine. Leslies here in Houston sells 12.5% liquid chlorine in a box of four gallon jugs for $16. Here at least, that is cheaper than Walmart when you compare the amount of chlorine at 10% vs 12.5%, plus using the Leslies, you don't have to go to Walmart. ;) On your tablet chlorinator, be sure it is empty with no residual tabs in it. Your basic water test will tell you the chlorine level. Even if it is a little high, it will go away, and high chorine doesn't hurt--especially with your high CYA. Over here in Houston we've had this week, days with 78 and 79 degrees, and I don't wish to give algae even a little chance.
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Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
Fresno, CA
You have found the right place for everything pool/spa related and all with no advertisments. I am sure after reading your first post that you will have no problem maintaining your pool. A few years ago I was in the nearly the same situation as you (see my first thread in my signature) and the TFP method works. Welcome.
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