Noob Pool Owner

Mar 31, 2017
14
Austin, TX
#1
Hey everyone! I just recently had a new pool built for me and the wife in Austin. 14.5K gallons with heated spa. All Pentair equipment with screen logic add-on. Been working on chemistry and have everything pretty much in check except phosphates which after reading a few posts here I shouldn't care about as long as my FCL is okay. I've been testing my own water with the Taylor K-2006 kit but have also been taking it to the Lesli's Pool store right down the road because the pool builder told me if there was ever an issue say with the plaster they like to see that my chemistry was in check. This morning my PH was 7.6, FCL 1, Alk 110, Cal 300, CYN 50 and Phosphate 500. I took a sample to Lesi's and it was about the same (not phospates cause I can't check for them at home) and I walked out of store without the phosphate stuff but returned after I talked to a friend with a pool who said he uses chemicals for phospates, but that sounds like it's not needed. I've used a couple things from Lesli's to get calcium and alkalinity in check but I know I can buy those products other places cheaper I assume? Is that an accurate statement? I bought my muriactic acid from Home Depot but it's not quite as strong and a little cheaper than Lesli's. Lastly I haven't been able to get my FCL to hold. I've shocked twice since in the first month to get it right again. I have a variable speed pentair that is on low from 8am-10pm, high 11am-6pm. Being that the chlronitater is only working on high I bumped the schedule to 9am-6pm and twisted the dial on the chlorinater to 4.5/5. Also the pool was a bit cloudy this morning (before I added the phosphate in the skimmer) which is the first time it's been that way. Going to run it on high for 48 hours and see where I stand.

Anyways...lots of info. I'm all about using forums and good communities to help each other out. Any tips/recommendations are appreciated
IMG_20170331_170105.jpg IMG_20170331_170126.jpg .

Thanks
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#2
Welcome!

I mostly wanted to say hello, but you can do without the Phosphate removers. It is exceptionally rare that they are needed and enough so that we discourage them. You can still have Algae food in the pool if they are all removed in the form of nitrates and there is no practical solution to remove those. But no biggie, you're on the right track coming here, and we are glad you joined us. Dont be shy and let us know how we can help.
 

mac4lyfe

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2007
212
Houston, Texas
#3
Welcome Jasonatx,
You have a beautiful pool. I am right down the street from you in Houston. You are in the right place to learn how to properly take care of your pool. One of the first things you want to do is to edit your signature so you can list your pool dimensions, equipment, etc. That will help people see what you're working with. We are big proponents of getting your own test kit so that you empower yourself instead of blindly listening to pool stores out to make a profit. I have a Leslies a few blocks from me and they are good folks. I let them test my water from time to time to get another sample point (trust but verify). I purchase acid and toy items from them from time to time. I'm not liking that your store sold you stuff for Calcium and TA. Maybe you have the nomenclature wrong and maybe they meant Free Chlorine and you thought Calcium? Calcium is measured Calcium hardness (CH). CH of 300 ppm is ideal. You don't need to lower it (only way to lower is to drain the pool) and you definitely do not want to increase it anymore. Your TA (Total Alkalinity) looks a bit high but it's okay as well. I would not do anything to adjust it right now as long as my PH is good. Do you have a SWG? Your CYA looks okay as well. Once your numbers are good, you do not want to add anything but liquid bleach to the pool moving forward (or chlorine generated from a SWG). You will not want to add any hard rock/sand like bleach as chlorine. The pool store will try to sell you hard stuff and they just increase your numbers. Dichlor and trichlor add CYA and lower pH. Cal-hypo adds CH. If your CYA or CH gets too high where it's unmanageable, you will have to drain and replace part of the water.

Since I don't know what equipment you have, let me post a couple of helpful links.

The main thing with a pool is to maintain your FC level. Without FC, your pool can't sanitize the junk that enters it. You should test your PH and CL every day. If your CL is low add more bleach.

Pool School - Recommended Levels

Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

The Pool Calculator
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,530
Bedford, TX
#4
J,

Just wanted to say welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all new pool owners with boxers... :snorkle:

Assuming that you meant your CYA (not CYN) reading was 50 then your FC should be at about 7 ppm, with the very lower limit of 4 ppm. See this Chart.... https://www.troublefreepool.com/content/128-chlorine-cya-chart-slam-shock

The fact that you can't keep FC in your pool, and that it has become cloudy, is a pretty good indication that you might have an algae bloom starting.

Suggest you read this article on how we "shock" a pool. Our process is called "SLAM" and it is a process not just dumping chemicals into the pool and hoping for the best. See this... https://www.troublefreepool.com/content/125-slam-shock-level-and-maintain-shockingl

Unfortunately, you have to give up all your friends, neighbors and Leslie's pool testing. :laughblue:

Well, ok, you just have to give up going to the pool store, and just don't listen to your friends or neighbors... The reason I say this is because you can't do half our way and half the pool store way..

I'm a pretty good example of how the TFP pool maintenance program works. I have never, not once, had to add "shock", clarifier, or any kind of phosphate remover to my pool in over three years. My water is crystal clear, sanitary, and does not smell like a public pool..

Come on over from the dark side and join us..

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

mac4lyfe

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2007
212
Houston, Texas
#5
Oh, I forgot the most important thing. I would stop using the chlorinator immediately. What do you use in the chlorinator? Most likely Dichlor or Trichlor pucks which raises CYA and lowers PH. Your CYA is getting to the high side, especially if you don't have a SWG. Stop using pucks and start using bleach. How much bleach? Look at the Chlorine/CYA chart to see how much you need to maintain, then use the pool calculator to determine how much you have to add.

Looking at the CL/CYA chart at CYA 50 you need to maintain 6 - 8 FC. Yours is at 1. not good. How do you go from 1 to 8 ppm FC? Well use the pool calculator and input your pool size of 14,500 gallons at the top then go to the FC section. Type in now 1 and target 8 and it will tell you to add 210 oz of liquid bleach. If you hover over that number it will tell you above that that is the same as 2.2 jugs of 96 oz bleach. Check your numbers at night and compare it first thing in the morning with no sun. If your FC goes down by more than 1 ppm then that tells you have stuff in the pool eating your FC. You may have to slam your pool in order to stop the nasties from multiplying. If it's 8 at night and stays 8 in the morning, you are good but you will still lose FC during the day from the sun. Check your CL every day and keep it in the 6 - 8 range. Using the calculator, when it goes to 6, you need to add 60 oz to bring it back to 8. You do this over and over and over, ad nauseum as long as you have the pool. Bleach is your friend until you get a SWG that can generate CL for you.

- - - Updated - - -

J,

Unfortunately, you have to give up all your friends, neighbors and Leslie's pool testing. :laughblue:

Well, ok, you just have to give up going to the pool store, and just don't listen to your friends or neighbors... The reason I say this is because you can't do half our way and half the pool store way..
I just spit up my drink laughing...
:D