Pool newbie trying not to get swindled by crooks in Northern Illinois :D

matmo

Member
Jul 27, 2020
7
Northern IL
Hi all,

We just completed construction of a pool in Northern Illinois :). I've gone through the various pool school pages here and the youtube channel and feel somewhat confident (however scared I am at admitting that..ha!) in maintaining levels. I'm so impressed by the clarity and simple-way of explaining these concepts. Nice work!

My biggest concern is my tap water might be a little iron rich. I'm headed to the pool store for an analysis on my water. I plan on learning and trying to get into a cadence of maintaining my pool. Very much looking forward to diving in ;)
  • Pool: 22,000 gall IG Vinyl (18x36). Sand Filter.
  • Variable Speed Pentair SuperFlow 1.5HP
  • Test Kit: Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD
  • Water: 18k Gallons from City Water, the remaining was filled with well water.
 

AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
288
Memphis
Get the test done but go ahead and get some polyfill to proactively start filtering out iron. You will have to allow the iron to precipitate to be able to filter it out this way so you also risk iron staining. This is one of two approaches you can take. Second, since you don't yet have any staining, you could also use metal sequestrant but this traps the metal in the water and doesn't actually remove it. The sequestrant also wears off after a few weeks and you will need to be adding it with frequency which can get expensive.

Good that you are recognizing the iron and potential for stains proactively. Unfortunately, many of us learn about iron the water after their pool is covered in stains. That's is how I became knowledgeable on the topic.

 
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matmo

Member
Jul 27, 2020
7
Northern IL
Welcome to TFP.

I hope you have downloaded PoolMath.

Post a complete set of test results from your K-2006C and we will help you understand your water chemistry.

Read Iron Fill Water Filter - Further Reading on how others manage with iron in their fill water.

Read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
thanks, ajw22! I'm very much enjoying this community and learning tons and tons every day. Thankfully, I can report a clean pool...so far. ha!

Day 1 (test from pool store):
TA - 128
pH - 8

They tried to sell me all sorts of garbage, and I politely pushed back on some...but relented on others I think I'd use (lo-n-slow), despite having all of the TPFC recommended chemicals at home. I was under the impression they would ding me on my warranty if I didn't follow their regimen.

They recommended I shock with dichlor. I have not done that.
They recommended I dissolve and apply 4.75lbs of Lo-n-slow (which they sold me, even though I have gallons of muriatic at home), which I did to lower the TA.
The installer still has some other aspects of the pool to complete, so I'm still willing to play nice until I can get my pool fully completed (cover, spa, etc.).


They told me to hold off on putting in CYA (which they were selling at some exorbitant rate..I politely declined, since I had some at home) and wait for the maintenance crew to show up to show me how to properly apply CYA (I have my socks ready ;) ). They'll come by soon to show me the ropes.

Anyways, I retested pH today and the FC.
FC - 1.4
pH - 7.2
CYA - 0

The FC is due to the tablets. I am thinking of blowing through all the tablets before I start using my 12.5% LC, but those Dang tablets take forever to dissolve.
I haven't put in any CYA just yet, so it's still zero. I'm expecting to dissolve and apply the CYA tomorrow and will test for its it in a couple of days. Pool Math recommends I put in 132oz of CYA! Thankfully, I have 4 socks that I'll be putting 8lbs of this stuff in. How long can I expect it to take to dissolve all that CYA? I have two skimmers and was thinking of putting in 2 socks w/ 2 lbs each in each skimmer and running the pump on high for a few hours....squeezing each sock to ensure dissolution.

Also quick question, can we swim while the CYA dissolves? I read that we should wait 10 minutes here after any chemical application, but I wasn't sure about CYA since it'll be releasing into the pool-water supply over several hours.

edit: They did sell me these trichlor tablets that I put in. :confused: I just realized they were trichlor and not straight chlorine...so I'll lower the amount of CYA I put in due to the CYA content of the tablets.
 
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matmo

Member
Jul 27, 2020
7
Northern IL
Get the test done but go ahead and get some polyfill to proactively start filtering out iron. You will have to allow the iron to precipitate to be able to filter it out this way so you also risk iron staining. This is one of two approaches you can take. Second, since you don't yet have any staining, you could also use metal sequestrant but this traps the metal in the water and doesn't actually remove it. The sequestrant also wears off after a few weeks and you will need to be adding it with frequency which can get expensive.

Good that you are recognizing the iron and potential for stains proactively. Unfortunately, many of us learn about iron the water after their pool is covered in stains. That's is how I became knowledgeable on the topic.

thanks, AndyTN. I'm trying my bestest. ;)

The pool store said I had trace amounts of iron in my well water, but I am not sure I trust them or their reading. They said I should not worry about the metals and that it isn't a notable amount.
I plan on getting my own reading. The water is clean and looks clear, but I do know iron could be microscopic and can pass through my sand filter.

This polyfill filter idea is interesting; thanks for the link. basically this would filter out the iron from my hose-water before going into filling my pool. correct? I think i can rig something like that up. Seems like this gentleman used the 5-gallon as an extra final filter during water recirculation.
 

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
504
Martinez, CA
Usually you’ll know you have significant iron in the water when you add chlorine as it will turn the water lt. brown/yellow overnight. Since that hasn’t happened you’re likely OK. As others said get a good test kit and post numbers so folks can give any advice to ensure You have a beautiful, crystal clear pool going forward.
 
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matmo

Member
Jul 27, 2020
7
Northern IL
Welcome to TFP.

I hope you have downloaded PoolMath.

Post a complete set of test results from your K-2006C and we will help you understand your water chemistry.

Read Iron Fill Water Filter - Further Reading on how others manage with iron in their fill water.

Read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
Put in 7lbs of CYA on 7/29. The pool guy dropped the whole bag of granules slowly through the skimmer...o_O even though I had socks ready...smh.
Needless to say, I was nervous about my test results. I had trichlor pucks in and 7lbs of CYA. I ran test this morning, 48 hours after the CYA pour. The pump has been running non-stop since:

FC = 6
CC = 0
CYA = 40
pH = 7.0
TA = 220

Questions to the TFP wizards:
  1. Why do we have CYA dissolve in the water first through socks rather than having it all sucked into the filter and have water run through the sand+CYA filter, and have the water pressure dissolve the CYA? I intend to use the sock method every spring, but was curious as to the reason.
  2. I'm assuming there's still a fair amount of undissolved CYA in my filter since I haven't backwashed/rinsed. I'm thinking of not backwashing just yet and letting the CYA saturate into the water a bit more to increase levels. My pumps are still running. I'll retest CYA tonight. Hopefully I'm closer to 50 and will then backwash.
  3. How is it my TA is high and my pH is low? I get that TA is related to the pH variability rate. I tested both values twice and got these numbers. (pH: 7, TA: 220)
  4. How can I increase my pH and lower my TA?
    • Reading the pool math app, it seems like what I should do is aerate the pool for a couple of days, retest TA, and then raise pH with soda ash when TA reaches around 70. Does that sound like a reasonable plan?
    • We have a party this weekend, so I'm expecting a lot of splashing over the weekend. Think TA might lower by Monday?
  5. How fast does TA move down with 2-3 hours of kids swimming per day?
  6. If I'm not putting any acid in, then pH should slowly naturally creep up, correct?

Regardless, now that the CYA is in, I plan to test daily to understand my pool's consumption rates.

I have to give a shot-out to the pool math app. What a great resource and well worth the subscription!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,452
Northern NJ
The answer to #1 is because of #2.

Your pH is low due to the acid in the tablets you are using. You have to stop using Trichlor and use liquid chlorine before you can get control of your water chemistry.

High TA alone is not a problem. It is least important test. For your pool and equipment your TA does not matter.
 
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matmo

Member
Jul 27, 2020
7
Northern IL
The answer to #1 is because of #2.

Your pH is low due to the acid in the tablets you are using. You have to stop using Trichlor and use liquid chlorine before you can get control of your water chemistry.

High TA alone is not a problem. It is least important test. For your pool and equipment your TA does not matter.
Thanks! I just ran out and took all my pucks out. Quick googling: Trichlor has a pH of 3 and LC has a pH of 13!
I'll retest my FC tomorrow and determine how much to pour. We're expecting a sunny day today. Or do you suggest putting in 3ppm worth of LC in preemptively?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,452
Northern NJ
With a CYA of 40 your FC should be 5-7 and a minimum of 3. See FC/CYA Chart

You need to test daily and add LC as necessary to maintain FC of at least 5-7.

Have you downlaoded PoolMath? See PM Effects of Adding feature to know exactly what LC or Trichlor adds to your pool.

LC is actually pH neutral over the chlorine cycle.

PH - What_is_the_Effect_of_Adding_Liquid_Chlorine_on_pH?

With a high TA your pH will rapidly rise. You don't need to do anything to raise it. You will now need to lower your pH using Muriatic Acid. As you lower your pH it will bring down your TA over time.

What is the pH and TA of your fill water?
 

matmo

Member
Jul 27, 2020
7
Northern IL
With a CYA of 40 your FC should be 5-7 and a minimum of 3. See FC/CYA Chart

You need to test daily and add LC as necessary to maintain FC of at least 5-7.

Have you downlaoded PoolMath? See PM Effects of Adding feature to know exactly what LC or Trichlor adds to your pool.

LC is actually pH neutral over the chlorine cycle.

PH - What_is_the_Effect_of_Adding_Liquid_Chlorine_on_pH?

With a high TA your pH will rapidly rise. You don't need to do anything to raise it. You will now need to lower your pH using Muriatic Acid. As you lower your pH it will bring down your TA over time.

What is the pH and TA of your fill water?
This all makes sense. Thank you. It's so fascinating to me.
It's like pieces of a puzzle coming together and I can faintly see an image forming. Thanks for giving me the pieces in an order.
Sadly, I did not check the pH and TA of the trucked in city water. I do need to check the properties of my well-hose water, which I will also do tonight and report back.
 

DorsalSpine

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
675
Columbus, Ohio
Checking your fill water and your trucked in water is to you give you an idea of what to expect when adding either. It may help you decide between the two as well. You can more easily adjust for either one if you know what you are starting with. I know my well water is going to mess with my PH so I check the pool right after any significant additions of water.
 
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matmo

Member
Jul 27, 2020
7
Northern IL
Checking your fill water and your trucked in water is to you give you an idea of what to expect when adding either. It may help you decide between the two as well. You can more easily adjust for either one if you know what you are starting with. I know my well water is going to mess with my PH so I check the pool right after any significant additions of water.
Agreed. My fill water's pH is 7.8 (just checked it in the AM). I'll keep that in mind when I fill with the hose.