Trying to get started . . .

derekpnp

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
Shreveport, Louisiana
Hi . . . . I am new to pool care and maintenance :hammer:. I have ordered and am waiting on the arrival of my TF 100 testing kit. In the mean time, is there anything I can be doing to get the pool clear? I have a new pump, have changed the sand in the filter, and began running the pump. I have scooped tons of sludge from the bottom of the pool. The pool had been sitting for about 1 1/2 years before I got it and started working on it. All I have to test the water with is strips (please for give me). I got them with a pool maintenance kit. They test pH, TA, and FC. TA seems to be within normal range, but the others are low. I know probably inaccurate . . . but it is all I have. I have been adding about 1 1/2 gallons of bleach daily to get the process started of clearing the water. . . I figured that's all I could safely get away with. The water is murky, gray at this point. A true improvement from the green tadpole infested, swamp I stated with.

I plan to shock it as soon as I get my test kit in. . . . but . . . how do I correct all the levels at the same time. Do I start with the shock process . . . chlorine only . . . and then correct everything else later? I truly do not know where to start. I have bleach and borax. I have been looking around and do not know where to buy CYA. Is the HTH "stabilizer" from Wal-Mart acceptable for the CYA? Do I need to get pH adjuster also? Is the HTH pH plus and minus acceptable from Wal-mart?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,471
SW Indiana
Welcome to TFP.

The HTH stabilizer is fine.

pH and chlorine are your two main concerns, and you want to know what your pH is before you start to shock, as the high chlorine can interfere with the pH test. All the rest of the stuff can wait until the water starts clearing.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Welcome to TFP.

Wait for your kit. 1st test PH. If low PH, raise it to 7.4 with Borax (20 mule team, laundry booster). If PH is high, reduce it to 7.6 with Muratic Acid (paint/masonary aisle at your local HW store). Once your PH is adjusted and you know your CYA level, start shocking. :goodjob:
 

derekpnp

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
Shreveport, Louisiana
Hi . . . I'm back.

Just got my test kit in . . here are the results. Needless to say . . . I'm a little overwhelmed. They look really bad!!!!!!

pH 7.2
TC 0
FC 0
CYA 0
TA 120
CH 80

Where do I go from here? I know I need to shock it. Please help!!!!
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
they are actually not that bad...TA is slightly high but nothing to worry about. PH at 7.2 is OK as well given you will need to shock.

You want to add about 3.5 lbs of CYA...put it in an old sock and let it disolve in front of your return, while to pump is running. This will raise your CYA to around 30ppm.

Next..each gallon of 6% bleach will raise the FC in your pool by 4ppm. With CYA at 30, target an FC of 10-12ppm (3gals is initial dosage) and hold it there (test hourly if you can and keep adding bleach to keep your FC up)...you'll continue down this path until you are done shocking as described in pool school.
 

derekpnp

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
Shreveport, Louisiana
Here are my updated results . .. I was at work all day so I have to catch up on the shock process.

pH 6.8
CYA 55
FC 1.5
TC totally forgot to check this one . . . will check it in a hour
TA 170
CH 60

I added ~ 70 oz of bleach to get the FC up to 12 (according to the pool calculator).

My question is . . . do I need to adjust the pH by adding ~58 oz of borax (by weight) to get the pH up?
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
Have you added anything other than bleach and CYA? You overshot your mark on CYA which makes me think your volume estimate may be off.

Also, your TA went up significantly and I wonder why. I am guessing it is either something you added or testing error.

Yes, you can add borax to get your pH up to 7.2. Don't overshoot on the borax because your TA is already high and your pH will tend to drift up anyway.
 

derekpnp

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
Shreveport, Louisiana
I haven't added anything else . . . just bleach and CYA.

Not sure about the TA . . . very well could be testing error. I am about to recheck everything this morning to see where I am.

I'll post the results in a little while.

Thanks!
 

derekpnp

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
Shreveport, Louisiana
Here's the new results . . . I think the TA was a testing error.

pH 6.8 (didn't add anything last night)
CYA 55
FC 2
CC 1.5
TC 3.5
TA 130
CH 60

My initial estimate for my pool volume was 12, 500 gallons . . . all the pool calculators I use say 13,500 gallons. Which should I use? Let me know what you think.

Right now I am going to use 12,500 gallons . . . I'm going to add 2 gallons bleach to get my FC up to 12 and 1 box of borax (1/2 the amount) and recheck in a couple of hours.

Am I on the right track?
 

derekpnp

Member
Jun 13, 2010
7
Shreveport, Louisiana
Thanks!

I have been testing the pool about every 1 - 2 hours. The pH has leveled out. Keeping the FC between 20-24. The pool water is still murky green. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to do anything else?
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Just keep filtering 24/7 and testing as often as hourly and adjusting as necessary. Hang in there, have some POP. I expect you will see noticible improvment within another 14 hrs.
 

cna91

Active member
Jul 12, 2010
26
Layton, Ut
so, what is the proper method the prefered method to apply HTH Stabilzer. Dissolve in bucket? Put in skimmer? If it is in skimmer, do I put it in a sock, or stockings or something? Or put it in a sock by the return?

I have seen other posts where people are trying to vacuum up the un disolved granuals off the bottom of the pool.

My skimmer is the type that hangs on the side of the Intex and the rest is in the sig block. The pool will be up on Monday and since I will be starting from scratch and HTH is easier for me to get to than Dichlor, that is probably what I will be using.
 

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