Pool Owner Still in Training!

Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
Hi Folks! Wish I'd found this forum much earlier! Our pool is 2 1/2 years old and this year has been a nightmare! Last summer season we kept going into chlorine lock. I deal with a local pool store for water testing and solutions. I was told this start up season we would need to drain or pool by about 1/3 and freshen the water again. (I was shocking twice a week, was having metal build up etc. ) Was becoming very chemical expensive. So... we drained the pool by about 3/4 and refilled. Took in samples and the CYA was way to high. Pool guy said run it for a week and bring in another sample. I did that yesterday and the franchise owner was working the shop. He tested... crazy high 160 cya levels. He says the employee that told me to partially drain is wrong! I should fully drain and refill to get it out of the pool and he will comp me the stabilizer to do this now. Now I'm currently completely draining and refilling. Ugh! I am using Bio guard tabs and it's easier on my husband's skin ( tends to have eczema). Wondering if I need to switch to the liquid chlorine instead. Feeling like I'm really over complicating the pool care. I have neighbors who have never changed their pool water...
 

redjeep

Member
Mar 31, 2020
7
Raleigh, NC
You should start by reading through some of the pool school articles. Pool School - Trouble Free Pool

Pretty much you've been sold the wrong chemicals. Those Bio Guard tabs still have chlorine in them. There's really no sense in adding extra chemicals because you're still getting the chlorine. What's worse, if your CYA levels were that high AFTER replacing that much water, then your CYA levels were extreme before. That means your chlorine was probably having zero effect and your water was unsanitary. Those tabs also appear to have copper in them, another thing you don't want in your pool.

First things first. You need to get a reliable test kit. The pool store is worse than useless, you may be making things worse following their instructions. Evidence #1 is never full drain your in ground swimming pool. A concrete pool can be floated by ground water if it's empty. It relies on the weight of the water to keep it in the ground. More so with fiberglass pools. Additionally, draining the water can affect your pool's finish. Don't drain more than 1/4 of your water out at a time. It will be a slower process, but it will save you from the nightmare of draining it completely. Note, not all people have these problems draining their pool, but you certainly might, it's 100% not worth the risk.

After you get a reliable test kit, follow the instructions in pool school, or come back here and ask for help if things don't make much sense. For right now, I would advise you not going into the pool at this time. Since you already drained 3/4 of your water, it's unlikely you need a 100% replacement. So, like I said, just get your test results and refer to the articles are come back for more advise.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
27,026
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
I echo your need to get a proper test kit. See Test Kits Compared. I recommend the TF100 from TFTestkits.net.
The issue of floating the pool shell out of the ground in Sun City, AZ I would not worry about. It is true you want to be careful to not let the plaster dry out as it can crack and fail. We have an exchange process that is much safer versus the drain and refill process.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
You should start by reading through some of the pool school articles. Pool School - Trouble Free Pool

Pretty much you've been sold the wrong chemicals. Those Bio Guard tabs still have chlorine in them. There's really no sense in adding extra chemicals because you're still getting the chlorine. What's worse, if your CYA levels were that high AFTER replacing that much water, then your CYA levels were extreme before. That means your chlorine was probably having zero effect and your water was unsanitary. Those tabs also appear to have copper in them, another thing you don't want in your pool.

First things first. You need to get a reliable test kit. The pool store is worse than useless, you may be making things worse following their instructions. Evidence #1 is never full drain your in ground swimming pool. A concrete pool can be floated by ground water if it's empty. It relies on the weight of the water to keep it in the ground. More so with fiberglass pools. Additionally, draining the water can affect your pool's finish. Don't drain more than 1/4 of your water out at a time. It will be a slower process, but it will save you from the nightmare of draining it completely. Note, not all people have these problems draining their pool, but you certainly might, it's 100% not worth the risk.

After you get a reliable test kit, follow the instructions in pool school, or come back here and ask for help if things don't make much sense. For right now, I would advise you not going into the pool at this time. Since you already drained 3/4 of your water, it's unlikely you need a 100% replacement. So, like I said, just get your test results and refer to the articles are come back for more advise.
Thanks for the advice. If you read my post, we are already in full drain mode. Only another foot to go. Praying it doesn't pop! Will rinse and refil immediately. I did have copper in the water sample also. Thinking will just add the liquid chlorine back in when we refill. I can use the pool store for the detailed testing and just come back to the forum for input, right?
 

Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
Welcome to the forum!
I echo your need to get a proper test kit. See Test Kits Compared. I recommend the TF100 from TFTestkits.net.
The issue of floating the pool shell out of the ground in Sun City, AZ I would not worry about. It is true you want to be careful to not let the plaster dry out as it can crack and fail. We have an exchange process that is much safer versus the drain and refill process.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
Thank you! I am in the process of reading it. What's your input on the tabs vs liquid chlorine?
 

redjeep

Member
Mar 31, 2020
7
Raleigh, NC
Thanks for the advice. If you read my post, we are already in full drain mode. Only another foot to go. Praying it doesn't pop! Will rinse and refil immediately. I did have copper in the water sample also. Thinking will just add the liquid chlorine back in when we refill. I can use the pool store for the detailed testing and just come back to the forum for input, right?

Stop draining immediately! Don't completely empty your pool!
 
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proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,794
Chandler AZ
Stop draining immediately! Don't completely empty your pool!
While fully draining any pool does have some risk, the water table in Sun City, AZ is much different than in Raleigh, NC. Pools in the desert southwest are drained on regular occassion. The OP should use caution and not leave the pool drained/empty for any length of time.

To the OP, don't waste your time having the pool test your water. If you want to take control of your pool, order your own test kit. Get one of the ones we recommend - either the TF-100 (best value) or the K2006C (the 'C' is important).

The most probable reason the OP may have metals in their water is because of the potions their pool store is having them use. The OP should look thru Pool School and learn about the simple products we use.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
27,026
Laughlin, NV
What's your input on the tabs vs liquid chlorine?

In the desert, a SWCG is the best and easiest method to chlorinate your pool. Next is liquid chlorine, but you have to commit to adding it EVERY DAY. Or install a dosing pump and tank to add it.
 
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Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
While fully draining any pool does have some risk, the water table in Sun City, AZ is much different than in Raleigh, NC. Pools in the desert southwest are drained on regular occassion. The OP should use caution and not leave the pool drained/empty for any length of time.

To the OP, don't waste your time having the pool test your water. If you want to take control of your pool, order your own test kit. Get one of the ones we recommend - either the TF-100 (best value) or the K2006C (the 'C' is important).

The most probable reason the OP may have metals in their water is because of the potions their pool store is having them use. The OP should look thru Pool School and learn about the simple products we use.
Just ordered the kit! Thank you.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,794
Chandler AZ
I suggest you order the SpeedStir too if you can. It makes testing all the more accurate and easy. If you ordered from TF Testkits, give them a call and have them add it in. I think a TF-100 and SpeedStir combo will qualify you for free shipping too.
 
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Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
Welcome to the forum!
I echo your need to get a proper test kit. See Test Kits Compared. I recommend the TF100 from TFTestkits.net.
The issue of floating the pool shell out of the ground in Sun City, AZ I would not worry about. It is true you want to be careful to not let the plaster dry out as it can crack and fail. We have an exchange process that is much safer versus the drain and refill process.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
I ordered the test kit but it will take a couple days to get here. We will begin refilling tomorrow. I have been using Bioguard 3" tabs but would like to try the liquid chlorine as the other has the trichlor which I suspect may have elevated the copper and cya levels. I'm uncertain how much bleach to add until my test get here. I downloaded the pool math app but have no initial readings and am not familiar with how it works.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
27,026
Laughlin, NV
Add 3 ppm worth of Liquid Chlorine each day until you get your kit. If you get 10%, that would be about 1/2 gallon each day.
In the Phoenix area I believe they have HASA dealers. They have bulk 12.5% liquid chlorine. Look into that.

Trichlor add CYA and chlorine. The tabs you used also had a copper additive in them. That is what added the copper.
 
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Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
Add 3 ppm worth of Liquid Chlorine each day until you get your kit. If you get 10%, that would be about 1/2 gallon each day.
In the Phoenix area I believe they have HASA dealers. They have bulk 12.5% liquid chlorine. Look into that.

Trichlor add CYA and chlorine. The tabs you used also had a copper additive in them. That is what added the copper.
I'm not understanding the ppm. Can you explain? I will look for a HASA dealer also. Thanks!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
27,026
Laughlin, NV
In pool water chemistry we speak in ppm. Parts per million. When you test FC, CYA, TA, CH it will be in ppm.

In your app, touch the hamburger menu in the upper left. Select Effects of Adding Chemicals. Your pool volume should be there if you have set up your pool. If not, enter the volume. Then select bleach, what %, and how much you are going to add. What ppm FC and how much salt will be added will be shown.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
27,026
Laughlin, NV
Also, did you do a complete drain? If so, you will need to add CYA. So find some granular CYA. Walmart or Home Depot should have it. You will also need muriatic acid. Home Depot will have that. In the garden section.
 

Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
In pool water chemistry we speak in ppm. Parts per million. When you test FC, CYA, TA, CH it will be in ppm.

In your app, touch the hamburger menu in the upper left. Select Effects of Adding Chemicals. Your pool volume should be there if you have set up your pool. If not, enter the volume. Then select bleach, what %, and how much you are going to add. What ppm FC and how much salt will be added will be shown.
Found it! Thanks! I am learning a ton!
 
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Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
Also, did you do a complete drain? If so, you will need to add CYA. So find some granular CYA. Walmart or Home Depot should have it. You will also need muriatic acid. Home Depot will have that. In the garden section.
Yes, we did a complete drain, cleaned everything up and will start refilling in the morning. I found the liquid chlorine Sodium Hydrochlorite 10%. I saw the muriatic acid and Cya. Will go grab that tomorrow. Thank you for all the information. I am excited to learn more about my pool care and understand it better. Wish I'd of found this site in the beginning.
 
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Weightsnut

Active member
Apr 1, 2020
33
Sun City, AZ
Yes, we did a complete drain, cleaned everything up and will start refilling in the morning. I found the liquid chlorine Sodium Hydrochlorite 10%. I saw the muriatic acid and Cya. Will go grab that tomorrow. Thank you for all the information. I am excited to learn more about my pool care and understand it better. Wish I'd of found this site in the beginning.
Also, did you do a complete drain? If so, you will need to add CYA. So find some granular CYA. Walmart or Home Depot should have it. You will also need muriatic acid. Home Depot will have that. In the garden section.
Pool all freshly filled! Started chemical add yesterday.. Added 1 gal Muratic acid split in 1/2 - 4 hours apart per directions. Calcium was low so added 25lbs Calcium Hardness split between 2 doses, 4 hours apart. This morning added 46oz of Sodium Hydroclorite. 4 hours from now, will add 3lbs 13oz Cyanuric Acid in split doses 4 hours apart per directions. Plan on waiting 24 hours before retesting. Does this sound about right? Will then start testing CH & PH daily and full kit weekly.