Newbie Pool Owner Needs Help

Silva1181

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2019
44
Houston
Hi everyone, and sorry for this long first post!

We recently moved to Houston and purchased our new home in September 2018. The home has an in ground pool, which appears to have been properly maintained by the previous owner. We were able to meet them during the sale and spend a few hours talking about the pool and maintenance.

We are new to having a pool, so we thought we would hire a pool service which lasted about 3 months since we decided we needed to learn about the maintenance ourselves. I reviewed tons of on line information, spent plenty of time with the folks at the local pool supply/maintenance facility and well, did our best to take on the maintenance.

the fall season was tough due to so many trees in the neighborhood. Leaves, pine needles, and many other debris from the neighborhood trees landed in our pool all the time. It was a constant cleaning process every day, multiple times a day, scooping out the debris.

The pump runs 8 hours a day; we use 3" chlorine tablets constantly; perfectly weekly solution, weekly, brush, cleanout the skimmer basket; and have the water tested at the local facility weekly and have been told each time the readings were good, not chemical adjustments needed.

But now we have tiny black bugs in the pool. I only noticed these two weeks ago. they stick to the edge on the tile right above the water line. They float on the water, hop and jump when disturbed. They are tiny so it's hard to tell they're bugs. We first thought they were seeds from the tree flowers. I believe they may be springtail fleas but not sure. I was told to use Black Algaecide which we did it had no effect, the bugs still appeared. I was then advised to give a strong shock to the water which we did and ran the pump for 24 hours. The next day there appeared to dead bugs floating and we scooped them out. This morning, I noticed there were still some bugs in the water.

Any and all advice on how best to handle this is greatly appreciated.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
13,839
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
Under most circumstances, any kind of bugs on your pool water surface are due to the pool not being properly managed and sanitized.
TFPC advocates pool owner testing and only adding to the water what is needed to properly maintain the pool water chemistry. To achieve this, you need a proper test kit. You also do not need Perfect Weekly and the daily use of trichlor tablets do not provide proper sanitation as your CYA rises and the FC is not kept at the proper ratio for that CYA.

Order a TF-100
The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006-C. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want.
I also have the Speedstir. It makes testing much easier.

I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,834
Damascus, MD
Who cares - well, that is the short answer! Long answer is you will get stuff like this in the Spring. I have the exact same bugs, they came, they went. Gone now. I don't think any amount of "balancing" will prevent them. Life goes on.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The pump runs 8 hours a day; we use 3" chlorine tablets constantly; perfectly weekly solution, weekly, brush, cleanout the skimmer basket; and have the water tested at the local facility weekly and have been told each time the readings were good, not chemical adjustments needed.
Hi again. :) So here's what we like to recommend to new TFP members ...... break the chains from the pool store. That's #1. You are using pool store products and chasing an endless problem of chemistry. First & foremost make sure you are testing your own water with either a TF-100 (link below) or Taylor K-2006C. Then post a full set of test results of your own. We need that first. You'll reap the benefits for sure.

Please read our ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and read/save those Vital links below in my signature. Make sure to update your sig as well.

Stop using chlorine tabs as they contain stabilizer as a by-product which will drive your CYA too high. Use liquid chlorine (aka regular bleach) to raise FC each day. Avoid algaecides as many of them add copper which can cause dark staining.

As for bugs, they are common and in many cases unavoidable. Focus on the proper chemistry first with a proper test kit and the rest will fall into place. Make sure you have a skimmer sock in yoru poolside skimmer to help catch smalll bugs and debris as well. Check everything out noted above and let us know what questions you have. Lots of folks here ready to help.
 
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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
519
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Silva...

Google backswimmer and water boatman bugs. compare them to what you see in your pool. If you have either of these types of bugs, it may be an indication you need to increase your FC. You'll have a better idea of your current levels once you get your kit.

BTW...you should order the Taylor Speedstir as well. It will make testing easier and more consistent. If you order from TFTestkits, the cost of the kit and Speedstir will get you into free shipping territory. You can check out the link in my sig.

Best of luck!
 

Silva1181

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2019
44
Houston
Thanks again, all.

I have a couple of other items I need to address as well in the near future. I plan to tackle these after I learn and understand the chemical balances of the water. The Taylor K-2006C kit, Taylor Speedstir, skimmer socks, and Pentair filters have been ordered, should arrive this week.

Pentair filters clean or replace? This will be my first time tackling this. I searched for DIY's on the forum but I must be searching the wrong section since I didn't find anything. The previous owner said they were replaced in 2017 and cleaned during 2018 summer. I think i need to address this soon.

Other item on the to do list is the expansion joint (I believe this is the correct term). It's the joint between the coping and the pool area. there is nothing in the joint and it fills with dirt and debris from trees. I vacuumed it out a few times. I was told it needs to be filled in with sand, or some other joint filler. I would like to tackle this before summer.

Again thank you and I am glad i found this forum.
 
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PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,834
Damascus, MD
Thanks again, all.

I have a couple of other items I need to address as well in the near future. I plan to tackle these after I learn and understand the chemical balances of the water. The Taylor K-2006C kit, Taylor Speedstir, skimmer socks, and Pentair filters have been ordered, should arrive this week.

Pentair filters clean or replace? This will be my first time tackling this. I searched for DIY's on the forum but I must be searching the wrong section since I didn't find anything. The previous owner said they were replaced in 2017 and cleaned during 2018 summer. I think i need to address this soon.

Other item on the to do list is the expansion joint (I believe this is the correct term). It's the joint between the coping and the pool area. there is nothing in the joint and it fills with dirt and debris from trees. I vacuumed it out a few times. I was told it needs to be filled in with sand, or some other joint filler. I would like to tackle this before summer.

Again thank you and I am glad i found this forum.
Filters are usually good for 3-4 seasons. You can get specialized hose adapters (see below) to clean them off. The expansion joint is typically $5-$10/linear foot to have done. I never did mine it has a foam seal but it does collect junk and I have considered it. You can do this yourself as well.

Amazon.com : Filter Flosser-The Most Powerful Filter Cleaning Tool : Swimming Pool Cartridge Filters : Garden & Outdoor
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Pentair filters clean or replace?
By that question I'm assuming you have cartridge filters, but to help us later make sure to be a bit more specific in your signature with all of your equipment items, to include the pol itself (type shell). If those are cartridge flters, you should be able to pull them out and rinse them. I use a typical fireman's-type nozzle with my garden hose to rinse mine.

For your expansion joints, polyuerethane caulking has been popular, but take a look at these other discussions and what they used:
Replacing caulk in expansion joints
Expansion joint between deck and coping?
Deck to coping expansion joint sealing
Filling the crack - what to use silicone or?
 

Silva1181

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2019
44
Houston
Thanks again. Texas Splash, I will do my best updating my signature with more details as I find them/figure them out. I have limited info with some equipment since labels are hard to read, however, I thought I'd provide some photos for reference.

I know this much:
In-ground
plaster
estimated at 30k gallons, but i think it may be a bit less, since the calculator system did not offer the exact shape of my pool. Shallow ends are about 3.5 ft and deepest part in the center is 6ft.
 

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Silva1181

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2019
44
Houston
Good morning TFP members. Well, I received the Taylor K-2006C kit and took on the challenge of testing the water for the first time myself. I took my time and am confident I did the 5 most important tests correct and here are my results. It appears I am off with some results and would appreciate your recommendations on what steps I need to take to make corrections. Thank you in advance!!!

FC - 2.6
PH - 7.4
TA - 100
CH - 450
CYA - 90
CSI - -0.14%
TEMP - 71
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Good job! :goodjob: So here are the concerns:
1. Your CYA (stabilizer) is extremely high. You are susceptible to algae if you don't increase the FC right away. Refer to the FC/CYA Chart to see where yo should be for a non-salt pool with a CYA of 90. Use PoolMath to determine teh dosage and never let the FC drop below the minimum.
2. For scale/erosion control, your TA, pH, and CH (which determine your CSI) are in good shape. As our water temps increase, the CSI will rise, so just keep an eye on that as the season progresses.

Overall good, but increase the FC right away.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Also, for FC testing, you can use the 10 ml water sample versus the Taylor 25 ml. With a 10 ml water sample, you only need one heaping scoop of powder. Once your sample goes from pink to clear, divide by 2 and that's your FC. Example - 20 drops = FC of 10.
 

Silva1181

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2019
44
Houston
Great!!! thanks Texas Splash. I was going to clean my filters now, but based on this should I wait and instead add the stabilizer in solid form now instead and run pump?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
13,839
Laughlin, NV
As Pat stated, your CYA is too high. DO NOT add any.
Add liquid chlorine to raise your FC to the target level shown in FC/CYA Chart.

It would be best to determine how you can exchange about 35-50% of your pool volume and add fresh.
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
567
Fresno, CA
Raise your FC asap, do not add stabilizer. Make a plan to exchange some of your water. Use pool math.
 
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