Starting up with TFP techniques

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
Hi bathers! Is this the first post in the Startup & Closing thread?
Weather has been cool and wet here in Canada's Pacific Southwest, so we've not even removed the winter cover yet.
Once I do, and get the pump started up, what's the next step? I found detailed information on TFP's main page about CLOSING, but nothing there about opening.
Thanks!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Once I do, and get the pump started up, what's the next step?
Let the water mix for at least 30 minutes before grabbing your first water sample. Then run a full series of tests and compare to the TFP recommended levels. You can also post those numbers here if you wish. At opening you can expect to need some liquid chlorine (regular bleach) and your pH might be a little elevated. If the water temp is still below 60 degrees (F), let it warm-up for about 30 minutes before going back outside and doing a good CYA reading. Let us know if you have any other questions.
 
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Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,421
Monmouth County, New Jersey
There is a lot of detailed information on closing, because of how pools operate (Which is all basically the same). Water gets pulled out, filtered and returned to the pool, etc. The opening part is different as some people open up real early, close real late, while others never close their pools. On top of this, some people never know what to expect when they open their pool, or even how long a SLAM can take because of many variables, and underlying reasons.

I can tell you that I have closed my pool as early as the first week of September, until last week of October. Opened up as early as April 1st, until May 1st of each year. The water is crystal clear upon closing, and it only takes about 4-6 hours to have the water crystal clear upon opening. My pool requires no more than 2 gallons of 12.5% upon opening, and then the normal amount daily until I turned on the SWG. The secret with my pool is that the pump/filter, and plumbing combination seems to work great (2" plumbing and everything else in my signature). Another thing I do yearly is add the Poly 60, and most important is the solid tarp over the pool. I never run into a problem. Most of the problems occur with mesh covers, not closing the pool with the proper chemical levels, closing too early and opening up real late (A recipe for disaster).

If you can give us an idea on when you close, open, and what your pool looks like, then we can probably guide you a little better. Testing is also very key, and I know Canada's test kits are not as good as the TF-100. Thank you.
 

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
Thanks, Tex. I guess you're saying that there doesn't need to be a systematic approach to pool opening, so much as a response as needed, according to testing.
I can't help thinking there could be trouble if the chemicals are added "out of order". The old (pool shop) sequence was very specific, in terms of not just order of the steps, but also the interval between steps. Am I making things more complicated than they need to be?
 

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
Catanzaro, thanks for your comments as well. I didn't see your post until after I replied to Texas.
You're right, my system is much different from yours. No SWG, no solid tarp, no opening yet, in mid June... latest ever! I do have the Taylor kit, which I was able to buy in Anaheim. It just doesn't look exactly like a Taylor 2006-C.
I will get back to you all in a few days. Hopefully opening soon!
 

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
Oh drat! We got the cover off yesterday, topped up the pool and then started the pump. Turns out we'll need to pool shop after all: the pressure vale and the pipe that carry water to the pool pipe are both fractured. Old age I suppose.
The pool water is a light green, with debris in the deep end still visible. Can I scatter a half gallon of bleach over the pool surface, while awaiting our repairs, to avoid increasing algae concentration?
 

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
Folks, the pool has been vacuumed and the walls brushed. Chemicals have been added, as per the Pool Math app. The water is colourless but cloudy, improving very slowly (I think) with 24/7 filtration. I plan to vacuum again when I can see the bottom. I have embraced the TFP method and things are coming along nicely, I think.
pH is 7.6, TA 90. FC & TC remain low at 2, while I struggle with the CYA. My initial test showed CYA so low that the black dot in the test tube never did disappear. I decided to guesstimate that my CYA was 20, and added 4 lbs 3 oz of Optimizer, as per the Pool Math app.
Same thing 2 days later, same amount added again. But still the black dot refuses to disappear. In fact, the pool water/reagent combination never really looks cloudy.
Does it seem reasonable to keep adding 4 lbs 3 oz of Optimizer daily, until the test tube finally gives me a number? I don't want to risk that I'm adding too much, and end up with excessive CYA.
Thanks, as always, for any insight.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
I would be careful about the CYA. Not sure about the Optimizer product, but when we add stabilizer to the water via the sock-soaking method, once it's dissolved it registers within 24 hrs. Hopefully your R-0013 reagent is good (should be) and your testing process is done properly (see below). Make sure to keep the FC elevated properly to avoid algae. Always refer to the FC/CYA Chart
.
CYA Testing:
Proper lighting is critical for the CYA test, so you want to test for CYA outside on a bright sunny day. Taylor recommends standing outside with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. If it helps, pour a little, look away, then look back and pour some more. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading. If you are still questioning your own results, have a friend or two do the same test 2-3 times. Share your results only after everyone is done to see if you came up with the same average results.
 

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
Okay, no more Optimizer, for now. To date, the pool has had 3x 77oz Optimizer added and now has a funky smell. pH dropped to 7.5 and FC to 0.5(!) since the last testing; I missed yesterday's testing. TC is 1.0. Is the funky smell from CC?
CYA still tests less than 30; again, there's no hint of cloudiness in the sample/R-0013 combination. I allowed the sample to come to room temp, and did the gentle mixing described above, as opposed to my previous violent shaking of the vial for 30 seconds.
Please, someone tell me what I'm doing wrong.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Is the funky smell from CC?
That is possible. The challenge as I see it is that you eben able to maintain two of the biggest issues at hand. A good/reliable CYA of at least 30-40, and maintaining the proper FC noted on the FC/CYA Chart. I think we need to back-up and go over a few basics. Let me confirm this. Earlier in this thread you said the test kit you have doesn't quite look like the K-2006C, but your signature does say 2006C. Can you tell us for sure?

Also post a pic of the ingredients of the products you have been using. Primarily the Optimizer I believe and what you are using for chlorine. It would be good to see those ingredients
 

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
Texas, do you mean that I should work on the FC level first, and then start worrying about the CYA?
The chlorine is 3% Sodium Hypochlorite.
"Not exactly the proper Taylor K-2006C" is what I have been trying to convey with my signature. It is the same array of Taylor reagents, R-0001 through R-0016. Plus the titration chamber and the 3 test vials. A subset, perhaps, of the K-2006C.
Optimizer Plus™ is a product by Bioguard, sold to me last year for a high price by the pool shop, to raise CYA, or so I understood. With some difficulty, I just now managed to ascertain that it is Sodium Tetraborate Pentahydrate: 100%. Possibly the wrong product?
Photos attached. I hope they're helpful.
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Okay, big help. So about your two products, let's start with the test kit. It's basically a glorified K-2005 test kit. You need the FAS-DPD powder & drops which will essentially make your K-2005 a K-2006 test kit. You should order that ASAP. Come to think of it, you may not be able to get that shipped to you there. If you can get it, great. If not, look at THIS LINK for possible places to get the equivalent.

As for the Optimizer, stop using it. It's basically Borax which is doing nothing for you.

New path:
- Get that FAS-DPD (or equivalent in BC).
- Get some stabilizer from the pool store or local hardware store with a pool section. Our Walmarts have it too. The major ingredient on the bottle should say "Cyanuric Acid". That is what will raise your CYA like it should. Use the PoolMath APP to increase the CYA to at least 30 once you get some.
- For now, try to maintain an FC of 2-3 ppm to avoid algae.
- You should have no problem with your kit keeping the pH in the 7.5-7.8 range.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Adding CYA:
To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
 

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
I'm sure I'll be able to find the stabilizer. Not so much the FAS/DPD kit.
I have found a supplier, less than 50km from home! The bad news: "the test kit for FAS-DPD is a K-1515C which cost $171.25 plus taxes and shipping". That's about USD125. Probably USD150 with tax & shipping. image001.jpg
Does that seem reasonable?
The agent notes that shelf life of the reagent is 6-12 months. No comment as to how many tests it will do. But since my pool season is over within 3 months, and then the kit needs to be tossed(?) it seems a tad expensive.
Photo attached.
 

Canucklehead

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
35
SW British Columbia
Today's results:
FC & TC about 1.5 using the non-FAS/DPD visual test. Bleach added as per Pool Math recommendation.
TA is up from 90, 2 weeks ago, to 100. pH is 7.4.
Pool Math says to reduce pH and aerate, to lower the TA. But it also says "add pH+" to target of 7.6-7.7. These are inconsistent with each other. Am I wrong? I'm inclined to leave both TA and pH unaltered for now. Does that make sense?
Weather: ugh! Cool and wet still...
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
31,139
Laughlin, NV
pH and TA are fine. Remember, it is suggesting based on mid point of IDEAL. You have to know that the results are acceptable and not act.