Want to take over my pool maintenance

crisnpete

Member
Apr 16, 2018
9
Oracle AZ
First post so apologize if it is lengthy. Hello everyone!
First time pool owner. Quick set up.....
New pool completed in Sept 2018 with new house build. Still living in Seattle at time so hired pool builder to also maintain it until we moved in. Finally moved in Mid July 2019 when my husband and I retired. The pool looked clear but we did noticed a lot of scaling on the spillover from spa and around the waterline. Both circulate together until the spa is in use.

Not knowing much about pools and relying on the pool maintenance service we just used the pool until it was too cold to. We left the pool open over the winter to use the spa. In March I tackled the scale on the spillover. On recommendation of pool store supply store and our pool service, I added Scaletec. Initial 64oz dose then 4 weeks later another 32 oz. Have not foloowed up with the monthly dose. Not sure if it worked or not. I still had to scrub the Darn out of the scale to put a dent in it. It looks good now. The only other thing I have put in the pool is Skill-It for the wasps. For the year the pool was open but unused they used it as their personal drinking fountain. They were horrible when we moved in. Skill-It worked great and this season so far there have only been a few. We also added fake nests.

I decided I would first start doing my own testing to see if pool service was worth it. I bought TF-100 test kit and was shocked at the results. Last months results were a little lower in CH and CYA but not much. Todays results.
PH-7.6
FC-7
CC- .5
CH-925
TA- 130
CYA-180 done 50/50 with tap water

ALSO after the second dose of Scaletec when we went to use the Spa, as the water heated up it created this nasty green slime around the water line. After we turned off spa and ran a cleaning cycle it went away. Only to come back again when the spa water was hot. ?????
Pool guy did know what it was and I could not find anything about it online. Pool guy suggested new filters.

So after reading through as much as I could I've concluded my only option for the extremely high CH and CYA are to drain 3/4 of the pool. Regular tap water here tested with a CH of 100. I am a little ****** the pool service let the CH and CYA get so high. I bought new filters too but don't want to install them until the water is refilled.
The pool guy was nice enough to drop off his pump so I could drain the pool. :( With what I pay them monthly they should do more and taken better care of the levels. I have never seen him add anything other than acid and the tabs to the floater. He olny uses the Chlorine and PH test kit. Never seem him clean the filters.

I am a little intimidated by the required maintenance, hence the pool service, but I know I could do a better job. My hubby doesn't ready directions or measure so I have him do the skimming and brushing of the pool. I am ready to take over the maintenance. I have the test kit, Muriatic acid and the Cyanuric Acid(dry). Still need to get my own bleach. Should I get anything else? Still a little unclear about adding salt. My pool is a non SWG. Don't want Borates as I have dogs.

Once the drain and fill is completed is there a step by step guide on the site for me to follow? I want to get everything set before the pool guys comes to Heck it up. I want him to do one more test before I tell the service to pound sand. We will eventually have an SWG added but until then I will be adding the chlorine.

Really appreciate any advice I can get.
Thanks!
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
No need for salt if no SWG so don’t worry about that.

Definitely need to bring the CYA down. A water exchange is the safest way to do that. Have you exchanged the water yet? If not we can give advice on how to do it without draining, which could damage the pool. (Perhaps not as much of an issue with your pool finish and area you live in.)

Higher CH can be managed but CYA needs to be down or your chlorine won't stand a chance to keep things sanitized.
 

crisnpete

Member
Apr 16, 2018
9
Oracle AZ
Have not drained the pool yet. Figured I’d give this post enough time for some input. My plan was to drain with a pump and refill with 2 standard garden hoses with attached filters. Just as an added measure. Already had them so why not use them. With how high the CH and CYA are, a 50-75% drain was needed.
I will read the suggested articles before I begin. Thanks!
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
A pump in the deep end and putting the hoses in a bucket on the steps to add water as you remove it while disturbing the water as little as possible is definitely the safest way to exchange. Tweak the input of the water to match the output. Measure how much the pump is removing per minute and you can math out how long to exchange. A 75% exchange should bring CYA down to 40-50 which is a good spot for it. Once CYA is at the right place we can re-test and address the rest of the levels. :)
 

crisnpete

Member
Apr 16, 2018
9
Oracle AZ
While searching the risks of draining a pool we came across water recycling. We are going to check into recycling the pool water instead of a drain and fill. The cost of a recycle is a little more than the cost of the water for a refill but not by much. My time is money too so actually it will be a wash. I’ll let you know if we end up with a drain and fill or the recycle.
 

LFrankow

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2012
607
Medicine Hat, Alberta
It looks to me like you have a good handle on it. Reading and re-reading is key.
Reverse Osmosis/water recycling is a pay versus time equation best decided by the consumer, both work.
You will end up setting up a routine that works for your time schedule.
Some people say it is a lot of work, money etc... I just smile and say I am in my happy place, and when using the TFP system it is very cost effective.
 

crisnpete

Member
Apr 16, 2018
9
Oracle AZ
We decided to go with the water recycle. They have a flat rate for pools 15000 or less, of $795, additional for larger pools. It includes balancing the water afterwards. Their recommendation is to do a pipe purge prior to the recycle. This is a busy time of the year so we are a month out. Will be back after the recycle with questions about installing a SWG system. After talking with my pool guy he said it is not worth it and they too have problems especially here in AZ. Most of what I read on TFP many are very happy with their SWG so not sure where my pool guy is coming from.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,680
Laughlin, NV
Pool guys do not like a SWCG because to be honest, you can eliminate them when you install one. You have an infloor cleaning system. What will that person now do?
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,680
Laughlin, NV
Then ----- why are you paying him?

Putting pucks in the skimmer will destroy the skimmer basket, skimmer, harm your heater, and attack the seals in your pump.
 

crisnpete

Member
Apr 16, 2018
9
Oracle AZ
I ask myself that question every time he shows up. We got the pool service at first because we did not live in the home for over a year Pool was unused but up and running. Once we moved in, started reading through TFP forums and doing my own testing did I realized, not only can I do it but how bad a job they were doing. As far as I can tell they never test the CH and CYA which both are off the charts. Everything would have been fine had they just done a little water replacement every now and then to keep both in check. Now I have the expense of a water recycle. Once this is done we will be converting to a SWG system and only hire someone when on vacation for an extended time.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,680
Laughlin, NV
Not sure what you call an extended vacation, but we go for up to a couple months occassionally and do not have a pool service. I do mix up a dilute muriatic acid solution in a marked container and my brother adds so much every so many days if we are gone that long. From record keeping I know what the pool consumes depending on time of year.
If we are only gone for 3 or 4 weeks, I just put a couple pucks in a floater. The are acidic enough to keep the pH in check.
 

Msch99

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
669
Verona, MO
Once you get a routine and know your pool, a friend or neighbor can easily do a quick check of FC or just add a set amount of bleach for a week or two.
 

crisnpete

Member
Apr 16, 2018
9
Oracle AZ
That is great to hear I can eventually get my pool stable enough to go on vacation without constant monitoring. Our intent in retirement was to travel. Travel plans on hold until the world opens back up so plenty of time to get to know my pool.
With all the great advice I have been getting on TFP I am confident I can do my own pool care.
I think I upset the sales guy today when I went looking for bids on SWG install. I knew more about his product than he did.
 
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