Old Pool, New to Us

Natrix

Member
Jan 7, 2021
11
Tucson, AZ
Hi everyone, first time posting here and really want to be self sufficient when it comes to pool maintenance. We bought a house that has a chlorine sport pool and this will be the first time that we have a pool and along with that the maintenance of one. The dimensions are 15' by 32', 6' deep in the middle and 3.5' deep on the shallow ends. My math came out to about 17,000 gallons, does that sound right? We took a water sample to Leslie's and they gave us the following results.

Free Chlorine, 2.43
Total Chlorine, 2.56
pH, 8
Total Alkalinity, 112
Calcium Hardness, 463
Cyanuric Acid, 205
Phosphates, 836

The previous home owner had a TF100 test kit so I tried using that to verify some of the results. The kit seems a bit old and some of the tests I couldn't get a conclusive result.

Free Chlorine, 2.5
1.5 CC
Total Alkalinity, 130
Cyanuric Acid, 200

The guy at Leslie's said that I should just drain the pool completely and start over due to the phosphates and cyanuric acid. Is the water recoverable or should I go ahead and follow through with that and drain the pool for a fresh start? I intend to use the TF100 in the future to keep the chemistry balanced myself, but would like some reassurance for my first go around. Thanks!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Your pool volume estimate might be close. You'll see once you add the projected amount of chemicals per the PoolMath APP. As for the pool store, they are almost always wrong with testing and advise. But I suspect one thing is correct, and that is if tabs were used consistently, your CYA is probably way too high and the only remedy is to exchange water. This time of the year for you is the time to do it before the sun gains intensity.

As for water testing, the TF-100 is your premier test kit, but that one may be old. The only other kit that comes close is the Taylor K-2006C. Before you do much of anything else, I would order a fresh TF-100 from TFtestkits.net. I also have the link in my signature. Also be sure to include any other details about your pool in your signature as you see in mine. Include how you chlorinate as well. You could change water now, but you will need that test kit for sure once the new water is in. Until you change the water, I would keep the pH in the mid 7s and increase the FC to about 8 to avoid algae. Don't worry, with all that CYA, the FC of 8 (or even 10) is plenty safe.

Take a look and save the link below as your one-stop resource for all things TFP. Great info there. Let us know if you have more questions.

 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,149
NY
Hey Natrix and Welcome !! How did you get the CYA to be 200 ? If you diluted the sample and then multiplied the reading by the # of parts of the sample then it can be trusted. If you eyeballed the tube with nothing but pool water (trust me, we have all tried at one point :)) it doesn’t work that way and it’s a made up result.
 

Natrix

Member
Jan 7, 2021
11
Tucson, AZ
I decided to go ahead and drain the water from the pool and start over, rented a pump from Home Depot. Should be empty before the end of the day and then I will start the process of refilling and test once it is full so I know what initial chemical treatment it will need.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,474
Evans, Georgia
All you need is CYA and liquid chlorine, and probably some muriatic acid. You can find all at Lowes or Wallmart. Depending on your fill water will tell us if you need calcium.

Is it a salt water chlorine pool? Can you tell us what equipment you have- or better yet show us a pic of the equipment pad.

www.tftestkits.net <--refills for your TF-100

Maddie :flower:
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,343
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Suggest you test your fill water ASAP. This will tell you what you will be dealing with now and also over the longterm. Plus, its good practice using your test kit. You really should order new reagents ASAP because if it is "old" as you state, then the only thing good in it may be the vials and color comparative. As indicated by others any test results from Leslie's can not be trusted as they can be very inconsistent. Also, buy some liquid chlorine (3-4 gallons to start) as it is assumed that the previous owners used pucks full time to get such a high CYA.
Its probably too late now but you could have taken a reading of water meter before you started to refill and then used the ending value to determine a closer approximation of your pool volume.
 

Natrix

Member
Jan 7, 2021
11
Tucson, AZ
  1. I did think to take a water meter reading so hopefully I can get a fairly accurate readout of how much water goes in the pool.
  2. I ordered a TF-100 test kit on Friday so that should hopefully arrive this week.
  3. I'll get a picture of the equipment pad tomorrow when it is daylight.
  4. It's a normal chlorine plaster pool, we intend to add a SWCG in the future.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
TFTestkits sells reagent refills.. but if you wanted a whole new test kit, I get it. I hope you ordered a speedstirrer too, they are really helpful. I would have been curious what your CYA readings were with a new test kit. Btw welcome!
 

Natrix

Member
Jan 7, 2021
11
Tucson, AZ
I did order a speed stirrer, it was really annoying trying to swirl around the tiny vials. The old test kit had some rough vials in there and the storage container was pretty beat up as well. Might as well and start fresh with one I will take care of.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,343
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I did order a speed stirrer, it was really annoying trying to swirl around the tiny vials. The old test kit had some rough vials in there and the storage container was pretty beat up as well. Might as well and start fresh with one I will take care of.
Great. How is the fill proceeding? Do you think it be full today?
 

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Natrix

Member
Jan 7, 2021
11
Tucson, AZ

Here's a picture of everything I thought was relevant. It's an older pool as you can probably tell. There is no side port for running a vacuum, you have to do it through the skimmer. There is a second port in there that is plugged, not sure what that is for. The valve on the pump, not sure what that is for either. You can see the fancy refill mechanism for the pool water level, a pipe that points a stream of water into the pool. :poop:
 

Natrix

Member
Jan 7, 2021
11
Tucson, AZ
Great. How is the fill proceeding? Do you think it be full today?

It will probably be full within a couple hours. The local Leslie's sells reagents for the TF-100 test kit so I will get the couple that weren't giving me conclusive results or were empty to take some measurements today until my new test kit arrives.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
I did order a speed stirrer, it was really annoying trying to swirl around the tiny vials. The old test kit had some rough vials in there and the storage container was pretty beat up as well. Might as well and start fresh with one I will take care of.
Not only will it be less annoying, the results will be more consistent.

Your set up looks pretty straight forward. Looking at your pics I see you can use a new pressure gauge. I got the one from TFTestKits.. Its really nice. But before your you order. have you looked at the condition of your filter grids? And I don't know how much of the equipment you are planning to upgrade/replace. It looks like you are using an older DE filter. You should pop that bad boy open check the condition of the grids and put new DE in along with the new water. If the grids are all busted up it might be time for new grids or an upgrade to a cartridge filter. check this out
.

Your pump looks good. I not surprised you have to put the hose in the skimmer intake to vacuum.. that's the old school way to do it. You should look into a robot if you want to give that task to someone else.

I like the cactus in your back yard. soo cool
 

Natrix

Member
Jan 7, 2021
11
Tucson, AZ
I tested today with the TF-100 test kit and got the following results.

0.0 FC
7.8 PH
100 TA
70 CH
0 CYA

I saw mknauss posted once that you should start with chlorine, then the CYA sock, then add acid as needed to get PH into the 7s. Should I follow those steps to do the initial treatment of chemicals and then tweak it from there? Do I really need to correct calcium hardness? We have extremely hard water in the desert.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,937
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I would double check that CH result. Test the water you used to fill the pool. Or did you happen to fill with some softened water?

Do start as you described above. And IF the CH is that low, you will want to add some calcium. At the level you show there it is pretty aggressive on your plaster right now.
 

Natrix

Member
Jan 7, 2021
11
Tucson, AZ
I would double check that CH result. Test the water you used to fill the pool. Or did you happen to fill with some softened water?

Do start as you described above. And IF the CH is that low, you will want to add some calcium. At the level you show there it is pretty aggressive on your plaster right now.

Retested with the revised methodology and it came out to 75. Went out and bought a tub of calcium chloride to adjust. The water is not softened at the house, but my wife did comment when we moved into this house that the water felt much softer.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,937
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Good to know. With that low CH fill water, you should be able to manage CH for a number of years.