Overwhelmed new pool mama needs steps.

Sarameow

Member
May 28, 2020
20
Boise, Idaho
Gah. I am so frustrated I feel like burrowing in my bed. I read the ABC's and feel clear on what my goal is but not the order in which to achieve said goal. LIQUID CHLORINE? I have none of that. My concern with the metal and stain preventer is multiple multiple posts on FB I saw about above ground pool owners having issues with metals or scaling and then having to completely drop the cholrine levels to zero to be able to use the product and wishing they had started with it. It seemed like a really common problem?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,582
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Ok I looked at my labels. The pool stabilizer it 100 percent CYA. My chlorine tabs are clorox and have trichloro- s triazinetrione in them. Pool shock is HTH and has Calcium hypochlorite. If I wanted to use the algaecide and metal out is there a reason I couldn't or shouldn't? If I can I am just truly confused on the order of operations. I don't see a clear article on it perhaps I am looking in the wrong place. Does anyone have better eye on that test strip than I do?
Save the tablets for vacation. They'll last for years if they're kept dry. The Cal-hypo can be used to chlorinate.

Cheap algaecides have ammonia in them, which reacts with chlorine and depletes it. Not sure what the metal free stuff is, but it may deplete chlorine, too. And the big rule here for all chemicals is don't add anything unless you know what it is and what it will do to your pool.

You need to decide right away if you're going to follow the pool store method or the TFP way.
 
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carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
Take a breath. Re-read post 10. Richard is telling you what you need to use, what you dont need to use. Once you get your test kit, you will test for your levels. Once you've added to get to those levels, theres little you'll have to add other than liquid chlorine. Stop worrying about metal stains and scaling. You're worrying about a non issue right now.
 

Sarameow

Member
May 28, 2020
20
Boise, Idaho
Is it impossible to work with these test strips until I get my real kit on June 3rd? I am ok with being patient stabilizing the water but don't feel I can wait until June. 3rd to start honestly. Is anyone able to read these? I will reread his post again. Just having a hard time not being stuck on the anti scaling product since it seems like a now or never is all. Honestly never would have gone for a pool despite my love for swimming because this all stresses me out. It just seemed like the best thing to do for my kiddo in the current world with public pools closed for the summer etc.
 

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carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
I think you can assume that your chlorine levels need to be raised pretty quickly, from those test strips. Its pretty important. Can you pick up some liquid chlorine?
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
Worrying about that anti scale stuff is like making chocolate chip cookies, and worrying about the dust bunny in the corner of the kitchen. Its just not something to be concerned with right now.
 

Sarameow

Member
May 28, 2020
20
Boise, Idaho
I can't go to a store today. I haven't added any chlorine or anything yet because I was trying to get my pH in line first. I was planning to use the shock and the tablets to add chlorine. SO... if I skip the metal out then at this phase would you say my pH and alkalinity look ok to proceed or should I try and lower alkalinity more? HTH says I should. Then next I add the CYA? Do I shock it at the same time? I need like a step1 step 2 step 3 with like.. times in between and how to do it. Does that article exist somwhere? I promise I am not trying to be difficult.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,582
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Stop and think. Do you bathe your child in the same water you used to fill the pool? Do you freak out over the pH then?

The test strip looks close enough for now. The longer you wait to add stabilizer and chlorine, the longer the kids have to wait and the more likely you are to develop algae.

You want someone to tell you what to add and I tried. But I can't tell you how much because you still haven't answered one really simple question: how big is the pool? Without knowing the depth, nobody on earth can calculate the volume and tell you how much of anything to add. Not even how much of the magic antiscale stuff you're determined to add.

If you think you're frustrated, I guarantee I've got you beat. I could have had your pool balanced and kids in it in the time since your first post.

I surrender ?️

Maybe someone else has more patience that me.
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
From those test strips, the pH looks okay, so the TA is okay. Move on from them. Your chlorine levels look like zero, thats bad. Im not familiar with those tablets (I dont use them) but if you just filled your pool today, you're levels are probably low. Your CYA looks like maybe 40? If we can get the size of your pool, Im sure someone can tell you how many tablets to add. I think right now thats the most important thing for you to do, is get chlorine levels up. If you dont, you'll have algae starting, and thats no fun to get rid of.
 

Sarameow

Member
May 28, 2020
20
Boise, Idaho
I apologize .. I thought I was supposed to put that in my signature so I did. I didn't see anyone ask. I am not familiar with the forum or navigating the posts. It is 48 inches deep. Yes it would be 6700 gallons but we have Hayward skimmer so we are estimating 6400 gallons. We will skip the metal out. So then we only need to add CYA and shock it? I see in your previous post we add the CYA first but I don't know how long to wait after adding the CYA to add the shock. I am not frustrated with you.. YOu are so helpful. I am frustrated that I cannot wrap my mind around what to do and feel anxious and overwhelemd.
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
Its okay! Its a whole lot of information to have to learn in a short time. I looked up your pool online and it says its 6092 gallons. Does that sound right? Now if you are using the tablets, I think there is CYA in those tablets, which is why they are problematic after using them for a long period of time. I think to get started they are fine to use. You just need to get some chlorine in there pretty darn quick. Maybe someone who understands those tablets will chime in.
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
So heres the CYA/FC chart. Chlorine / CYA Chart - Trouble Free Pool If your CYA is at 40, you'll need at minimum 3 ppm FC from the tablets. Since the tablets will add some CYA, Id wait on adding stabilizer until someone brainier than me can work with you on that. Im sorry, I dont know how to figure that, but Im sure someone will be able to help with that.
 

tillmac62

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2019
72
Gaffney, SC, United States
Since you have no liquid chlorine, you need to use your cal-hypo to get chlorine in there to prevent algae pronto. Assuming 6400 galllons, 1ppm FC fill water and 55% cal-hypo add 3 oz cal-hypo by volume. This will give you 3ppm FC with 0 CYA. Get your CYA to target and raise FC to the corresponding level with liquid chlorine.
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
560
Ocala, FL
@tillmac62, if you go by her test strips (I know I know) it looks like she has 40 CYA. I dont want her to run too high on the CYA before we can get a proper test done. What do you think?
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
796
San Jose, CA
Tablets are slow dissolving and add CYA, so stick with liquid chlorine if you can. It will get your FC levels up right away. Save those tablets for when you go on vacation. Get that CYA dissolving in a sock and then just go ahead and add chlorine. You don't have to wait. Put in around 32 ounces of 10% liquid chlorine and it should put your FC around 4 PPM. Once you get your CYA up to where you want it (generally (40-50), don't add anything to the pool that has stabilizer in it. That includes, tablets, powdered shock, powdered granules. Stick to liquid chlorine only. It has no stabilizer so you just have to maintain your current FC levels based on your CYA reading to keep the pool clean and sanitary.
 
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tillmac62

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2019
72
Gaffney, SC, United States
@tillmac62, if you go by her test strips (I know I know) it looks like she has 40 CYA. I dont want her to run too high on the CYA before we can get a proper test done. What do you think?
Since she said "finished filling this morning", I assume it's a new fill. In any event, cal-hypo doesn't add CYA, it adds calcium. Her test strips indicate 200ppm hardness, so calcium isn't a problem. She has tricolor pucks, but it's dissolution rate is too slow. Her cal-hypo is granular and gets her FC level up quickly.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,487
Tallahassee, FL
We got ya! Lets take this one thing at a time.............first tell your kids to go put their suits on then throw them into the pool!!!

Next do NOT worry about the pH or TA for right now.

Do you have a floater or tube to put the tablets in? You can use those for a short period of time until you are able to get some liquid chlorine (will talk about that in a min.)

You can put the CYA in the sock and it be in the pool while the kids have fun. If they are above 7 or so (kind of mature and can follow directions) they can help by squeezing the socks it is in. Have a contest.........who can squeeze the stuff out the fastest BUT NOT untie the sock! If they are not old enough then wait until they get out and and hang it in front of the return with the pump on to help it dissolve.

Liquid chlorine- some Pool stores have liquid chlorine you can get in their jugs (might have to put a deposit down on them) If you don't have a local pool store with it then Walmart or Lowes are you next best bet. Walmart has it in the pool area. It is in a white jug and called "Pool Shock" (we don't "shock" our pools but that is a lesson for another time), Lowes has it in their pool area also BUT make sure to check the date code before you buy it. You don't want it to be older than 3 months as it degrades over time.

I am also going to share a set of links I put together for new pool owners:

Print these out:
Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule
Pool School - Recommended Levels

Bookmark these:
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
Trouble Free Pool
Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

Now lets talk about the metal out.............do you have well water or city water? Once I get this answer we will go from there!

You got this! We are here to help you!!!! :hug: Now go throw those kids in NOW!!!!!!

Kim:kim:
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,487
Tallahassee, FL
I'm back! Lets talk about something that Kathy as brought up that is VERY important. Your "guess" strips are saying a CYA of 30........Had you added any CYA before now? How many bags of powder did you put in before that test?
 

Sarameow

Member
May 28, 2020
20
Boise, Idaho
I think it's actually zero for CYA. We hadn't added anything yet when we tested but I think the color from the TH test above leaked a little on it. We retested our tap water 3 times and it was zero for CYA. We believe we need 1.5 lbs of clorox CYA product and 8 ounces of the shock to start. We believe based on what we are reading here we can add the CYA to a sock in front of the output and then slowly pour the powdered shock into the skimmer a few granules at a time. Does that all sound correct? Then tomorrow I can test it and if the chlorine and CYA are in safe ranges we can technically swim? You do NOT think we should use these prepurchased chlorine tabs in a floater at this point? Would that be an ok temporary solution. I should clarify something that may be causing some confusion. Our family cannot go into stores at this time. If something is not available for delivery or as a last resort curbside pickup we have to wait. I know it may not be optimal but I am looking for solutions with what I have on hand if possible. In the future I can get some liquid chlorine but don't know how to use it compared to a puck in a floater.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,424
Evans, Georgia
I couldn't see any matching colors from the strip results to the legend. :laughblue: I think that's a good reason to not use them!

That PoolMaster test kit is missing an important element, the FAS-DPD tester. That will be needed if you have any algae outbreaks. Consider ordering one here: FAS/DPD Chlorine & CC's test

Don't put any chemical in your pool that you don't know why its needed, what it will do, and how to monitor its actions.

Don't use any product called Clorox XtraBlue. It contains copper which is unwanted and does not sanitize bacteria, viruses but does help avoid algae. Just use liquid chlorine in the right amounts and never let your FC level too low and you won't have algae!

If you have some plain bleach in the laundry room use that.

Look at the bottom of this page and the web version of PoolMath can be helpful. Just make sure to fillk out the top and bottom before entering your test results.

Maddie