No New - Just Starting Over

MisterMister

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 3, 2008
69
0
Pelham Alabama (Birmingham)
#1
Sorry, but I'm going to ramble for a moment about my situation. I'm making changes to my pool setup, and basically looking for comments and suggestions on what I'm doing.

First of all, I don't have a new pool. I've had one for 8 or so years, and love it. My wife and daughter love it more, so even more worth it. Believe it or not, I've just happened across this site a week or so ago and have learned SO MUCH!!. To date, I've spent tons at the pool store our of ignorance. From what I've learned here so far, I'm making a change, through what I feel is a MUCH BETTER (but still learning) proper pool chemistry. THANK YOU EVERYONE!!

Now, part of my changes I decided upon prior to finding this forum, that this forum has further solidified. And with my newly found pool chemistry "knowledge", I'm excited about the upcoming season.

Now for some specifics.

1. Just a couple days ago I removed the sand from my sand filter, as the first step in replacing it. I'm replacing it due to a small amount of sand getting in the pool. I was told it was possibly a faulty lateral, and sure enough it was. One of the laterals was missing just a little piece of plastic, probably just enough to give me the small amount of sand. I figured it was probably time to change the sand anyway, so I proceeded. I am going by my PB this afternoon to get a replacement lateral and replacement sand. I had look/researched the zeo sand stuff, but after reading folk's opinions, both pro and con, I decided to just stick with sand for now.

2. I am switching my "normal" chlorine pool to a SWG pool, mostly for convenience, with the "constant" chlorine flow. Also for the advantages of salt water. NOW, I did read the posting where a couple fellows had a "debate" on SWG systems and convenience, and salt, and BBB, and bleach, and all of that. I understand (I think). But I going with the SWG system. Planning to order the Auto Pilot Digital 50K this afternoon. Looked at the Auto Pilot Total Control, but $$$$.

3. Pool Cleaners - I started years ago with the Polaris 280, good unit. Then I got the Polaris 380, very good unit, but got tired of replacing the belts. Then a couple or three years ago, I got the Hayward Phantom. Personally, I've never liked it. Trouble with the gears, trouble with the connector to the water source, and for me it just didn't seem to clean as well. So, this afternoon, I'm also going to place an order for the Aquabot T2.

4. Also getting a replacement solar cover. Not that important, just finishing the topic.

5. Oh yea, planning to purchase a quality water test kit, maybe a TF100. I haven't really decided on that yet.

Hey, can anyone cut me a loan. :shock:

Anyway, I've been struggling with pool chemistry for a while, basically due to pool chemistry ignorance. I'm going to fix that. Getting some new equipment, to make it easier to maintain the pool properly. Looking forward to that (I hope). And, with all of the money I'm about to spend, I feel I probably come out to the good anyway with the $100s ($1000s) of dollars I've spent at the pool store for chemicals. I was asked once last summer by the pool store dude what property I was from when I was buying two big buckets of chlorine. He thought I was with a commercial pool and needed that quantity for that reason. My reason was because I could not keep the stuff in my pool and dumping it in constantly. I SURE TO POOR POOL CHEMISTRY MAINTENANCE.

Ok, I'm done rambling now, and thanks for your time. Any suggestions or comments on my intended course of action.

Wait, I need to ramble a little more. On chemicals, I understand to lower PH, use muriatic acid, and PH should be ideally between 7.6 and 7.8. To raise TA, baking soda. Addition FC supplement if needed/desired, bleach. I understand CYA needs to be 60-80 ppm for SWG pools. My question, where to get CYA/stablizer. Yes, I've gotten that before from the pool store, is there another place? Or is that the only reason to visit the pool store?

Thanks so much for your time,
Mister Mister
 

JohnT

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TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,446
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SW Indiana
#2
Welcome to the forum!


MisterMister said:
To date, I've spent tons at the pool store our of ignorance. From what I've learned here so far, I'm making a change, through what I feel is a MUCH BETTER (but still learning) proper pool chemistry.
Welcome to the club!

MisterMister said:
5. Oh yea, planning to purchase a quality water test kit, maybe a TF100. I haven't really decided on that yet.
This would be the single best thing you could do to advance your understanding of pool chemistry. It will pay for itself in one season.

MisterMister said:
My question, where to get CYA/stablizer. Yes, I've gotten that before from the pool store, is there another place? Or is that the only reason to visit the pool store?
You can often get CYA at Walmart or Lowes. If you've been using tablets, you probably already have more than enough.
 

waste

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
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52
Coastalish 'down easter'
#3
MrMr, welcome to TFP! :goodjob:

Sounds like you're on the right track. If you're planning on the SWCG be sure to read (reread) the sticky on SWCG chemistry to minimize the pH creep thast many people notice when running a salt pool.

The only other thing is reguarding the sand replacement. I recommend substituting 25% of the sand with pea gravel (enough to cover the laterals ~ 1") - there are a couple of negligible benefits to doing this and 1 BIG one: if one of the laterals breaks again, the gravel will keep the sand from getting back into the pool. While I'm on the subject, be sure the laterals are all in good shape, the assembly is positioned properly (they're very hard to move once 200 lbs of sand are surrounding them :wink: ) the 'stand pipe' is covered to prevent sand/ gravel from entering it while you fill thew tank and fill the tank ~ 1/2 way with water before adding the filter material to reduce stress on the laterals while you pour. Fill the tank with water once all the sand is in and smooth it out with your hand - then do a ~ 1 min backwash when you first fire up the system. Make sure the gasket is in good shape and properly lubed with a silicone or teflon based lubricant and that there is no debris where it seals.

I've never played with Zeo - so I'll leave that for someone else to address. :-D

Again, welcome here, if you have more questions - we'll be here for you
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
31,263
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Sebring, Florida
tftestkits.net
#6
MrMr, (Say, isn't that an 80's pop group? not to be confused with heavy metal Twisted Sister)

Welcome! John and Ted have got you started right. Ted, that's really a great post on how to load a sand filter....that one outa' be stickied somewhere.

It would help you get started if you took a sample of your pool water to the pool store and post the results. It'll help us get you where you need to be....and you're right....you will save a ton of money!
 

MisterMister

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 3, 2008
69
0
Pelham Alabama (Birmingham)
#8
Hello, and thanks to all again,

Hey duraleigh,

No need for a sample now, I know it's a mess. Green when I covered it last fall, and have not yet uncovered. BTW, I have to cover it due to the abundance of trees and leaves. But I plan to uncover in a week or few.

But I'm sure I may be asking for assistance once the time comes.
 

MisterMister

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 3, 2008
69
0
Pelham Alabama (Birmingham)
#9
Hey duraleigh,

I just ordered your test kit TF100. Seems to the one (of a couple) of choice around these parts. I'm sure it will be tremendous.

I'll be ordering my AutoPilot 50K and Aquabot T2 in a few minutes.

You know, I've had this pool for years. But I don't believe any were more exciting than this year. This is the year I keep most of my pool chemical money, the year I have a basic (and growing) understanding of pool chemistry, and much better pool balance.

Duraleigh, if I may ask, what is your business. I see you sell test kits. Do you offer other pool products?

Thanks,
Mister Mister
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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tftestkits.net
#10
Duraleigh, if I may ask, what is your business. I see you sell test kits. Do you offer other pool products?
This is not a full-time occupation. The need was created a year and a half ago from another site...long story. Anyway, for now, the test kit is all I do. My "day job" is completely unrelated.

Having the knowledge to understand what's going on in your pool will be every bit as rewarding as you anticipate. I would feel comfortable saying this is the premier site on the web for residential pool owners.

Your Test kit will ship this afternoon via DHL ground. You should get an email directly from them with a tracking number. We are very appreciative of your business. Thanks!!
 
G
#11
Welcome to the site! I have to second waste on using the pea gravel!
As far as zeolite goes, not worth the money IMHO. (I've written enough rants about this on differenit boards on the net before and just don't have the energy anymore!) Stick with the sand and you can use a bit of DE powder as a filter aid if you want to. It really increases your filtering abiltiy! It's a subject ofr a different thread so if you want to knowhow just start a thread and ask!
The TF1-00 is probably the MOST important piece of eqipment you have! IMHO, the top kiit for residential use. Be sure to get the salt test strips also.

The autopilot is an excellent choice. As an added plus, Poolsean works for them and is one of our regulars on here so if you have any questions or problems with it you have an additional source of help (although that company has an EXCELLENT support department!)

Once again, welcome to TFP and have a great swim season!
 

MisterMister

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 3, 2008
69
0
Pelham Alabama (Birmingham)
#13
Hello Folks, Me again,

Question. With me going from my "normal" chlorine pool to a SWG, I have two questions.

1. Where is the best place to get the salt. I see my local Lowe's has the "Solar Salt" in the blue bag. Go with that? I believe I've read some where in the 100s of postings that is one works well.. ??
2. With my 29000 gallon pool, how many of the 40lb bags would I need? What is that calculation.

AGAIN!! Thanks for you help

Mister Mister
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#14
Yes, water softener salt in the blue bags is fine for a pool. There is special pool salt but the only difference is that it is ground finer. The larger crystals dissolve quickly enough, so the pool salt isn't really worth it.

You should get some test strips and test your current salt level before adding salt. The current level could be anywhere from nearly zero to over 2,000, so it is worth checking. My Pool Calculator has a section for calculating the amount of salt you will need, see the link in my signature. Assuming your current salt level is 500 and aiming for 3000 you would need about 600 lbs of salt in 29,000 gallons.
 

waste

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
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52
Coastalish 'down easter'
#15
Salt is available in a number of places, I used to get it from 'Seed and Feed' places where it was sold for farm animals, many other places sell the salt, some for home water softening systems - those are usually pellets which dissolve more slowly. The key is to get salt that is ~ 99% pure, you want to avoid 'anti-caking' agents, like 'yellow puricite' (not sure I got the name right).
I recently heard that the 'pure' salt sold at Home Depot has the 'anti-caking' additive -WITHOUT IT BEING LISTED ON THE BAG!!, if other 'big box stores' are also doing this, I don't know :( You also can't use bulk table salt because it contains iodine)

As for the calculation, you would use 800 lbs for a 30,000 gal. pool to get to 3200 ppm.
HOWEVER (!!!!!!!), you should get the water tested for salt before adding any to the pool water!!! By it's nature, any chlorine source you've used in the past will add salt to the pool, you NEED to know where your salt level is before adding salt to the pool!!

Whether your pool already has an existing salt level, you would want to add LESS salt than the tables tell you to to begin, gallonage numbers are ~ fairly rough estimates and you don't want to 'overdose' the pool - it's easier to add the salt in 2 or 3 additions than over doing it on the first and replace the water to get rid of the extra salt. (NOTE - this is also applicable to almost anything you add to the pool water, until you 'know' exactly what 'X amount' of any chemical will change the numbers, make any changes slowly, adding, waiting and testing before you add more :wink: )

You've done the BEST thing for your pool (and wallet) by coming here, keep the questions coming, as needed and we'll help you make this the easiest season you've had the pool :thumleft:
 

MisterMister

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 3, 2008
69
0
Pelham Alabama (Birmingham)
#16
Thanks guys, I greatly appreciate it. I really do.

I only wish I had found this site years ago, or at least put forth the effort to better understand pool chemistry. With the knowledge found on this site, and folks like those in this topic being super friendly and readily available, I'm ready to face this pool season with confidence.
 

MisterMister

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 3, 2008
69
0
Pelham Alabama (Birmingham)
#17
OK, yes, me again. I did remember a question I had on the Auto Pilot. The manifold part of the system, does it matter the direction that it is mounted? Not necessarily water direction, I realize the correct water flow direction is a must. I having some trouble asking my question. I guess my basic question is can the manifold be mounted sideways? Every picture I've seen of it show the manifold "up right", like an upside down horseshoe. The manifold would mount better in my system if I mounted it sideways, like the letter C. So, the question is, can I mount the Auto Pilot manifold sideways??

Thanks again.

Sorry for the continual flow of questions. :?
 

vincent

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2008
109
0
Malaysia
#19
Hey MisterMister,

Interesting topic you have on the cell mounting. I am very new to pool stuffs and had been more concerned about my pool chemistry than my letter "n" mounted cell. But now that you started this, please share what you got. I do notice substantial air trap on the top corner above the discharge even though all the cells are submerged. Keep going mate, I'll be following this topic instead of hijacking your topic.

Cheers.

Vincent
 

MisterMister

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 3, 2008
69
0
Pelham Alabama (Birmingham)
#20
Hello Vincent,

Man, is this a great site or what. On the "n" mounting of the cell (AutoPilot manifold), I really don't have anything yet. I just ordered the thing yesterday, but anxious to get it and get it started correctly. With my current pump/filter plumbing setup, it would be easier/better to install the manifold where it would be a "c", so I thought I'd ask the question if there would a possible issue with that. And as I understand it, the maybe/is an issue. So, I will mount the unit as instructed, as a "n", once it arrives. That's the magic of PVC piping, any thing is possible.

I was looking at my setup a little yesterday, trying to picture the final installation in my head. Then I realized that I really don't know the physical size of the manifold, or the control unit for that matter. So, I guess I'll have to "patiently" wait..... .. ...