What should we do?

jamesey

Member
Apr 27, 2021
13
Maryland
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Hi Everyone!

New pool owner here...

We recently purchased a new home with a pool and I'm diving head first to (hopefully) maintaining it on my own. We had a local pool company come out to do the initial opening and I've been skeptical with the water analysis results I'm getting at the local pool store here (they use Bioguard), so I decided to purchase my own test kit. I noticed that the TF-100 kit is highly recommended here, so I went ahead and purchased the XL version to last me the entire season.

After running my first test yesterday with the new kit I received the following results:

PH: 7.8
FC: 1
CC: 0
CH: 1,250 (I don't think this is right. Are the R-0012 reagent drops supposed to come out rapidly? They shoot out so fast it's hard to keep track of the smaller drops)
TA: 180
CYA: 140

Here's my dilemma... I know the CYA (and CH potentially) is extremely high and the only way to reduce it would be to drain & refill. The previous owners left us several buckets of Clorox 3" pucks (almost 100 lbs total). It seems like a waste to throw them away considering how much they're worth. What should we do?

Our Preference- Get through the season with high CYA and drain/refill at the end only if this won't cause long-term damage to our equipment
Pool Company Recommendation- Go through our stock of chlorine and then switch to SWG. Apparently this won't require a drain/refill?
Other- Just drain/refill now considering the pool season is just kicking off

As far as I know, these are my only options, so I'm curious to know what everyone thinks here.

Here's everything I know about my pool:
- 16,000 gallons
- In-Ground Plaster
- Single-speed Pump (running 12 hours daily from 8a to 8p)
- Cartridge Filter (about 15 PSI)
- Separate booster pump for TR35P Polaris

Thanks in advance!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,615
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Welcome to TFP, and mor importantly good job getting perhaps the best residential test kit available (TF-100). :goodjob: It's my favorite as well. So, what to do now? Here's what I would suggest:
1. No need to go bac to the pool unless you want a brush or something. Avoid the Bioguard products and stick to the basics that are proven to work without up-charging or side effects. Stick to liquid chlorine or regular bleach for your sanitizer.
2. The CH should not squirt out. It should be one drop at a time. If the tip seems deflective, try swapping the tip with another reagent for now and I'll tag @OTPirate to see if she would rather send you a couple replacement tips to be safe.
3. There's no getting around high CYA and CH. You are correct about exchanging water. It's the best way, but you have to be careful. Soggy ground or high water table can cause a pool to float, so you might have to exchange water in stages. But you do want the CYA to be at a minimum 70 or below so that you can maintain a reasonable FC level as noted on the FC/CYA Chart. Exchanging the water will also help to lower the CH if it is indeed high.
4. Please update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info. Try to be somewhat specific like my signature.
5. An SWG would be great to do later, but let's get you through this water exchange and balancing everything first to avoid algae.

Let's start there and with the link below. Let it process and let us know what questions you have.

 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,104
Bedford, TX
James,

You are just trying to put lipstick on a pig... :mrgreen:

You really only have one option, and that is to drain most of the water and start over.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,063
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The previous owners left us several buckets of Clorox 3" pucks (almost 100 lbs total). It seems like a waste to throw them away considering how much they're worth. What should we do?

Welcome to TFP and the joys of pool ownership.

Warning! Warning! Warning!

Do any of your Clorox products say "blu" anywhere on the labels? Blue is a code word for copper in pool products. You do not want to be putting copper in your pool. Copper accumulates in the pool water and can stain the pool surface and turn blonde hair green. Read Copper in Pool Water - Further Reading

You likely want to dump those pucks. And you should examine your pool surface for signs of copper staining. You may want to treat the stains before you drain your water to get all the copper lifted from the treatment out.

High CYA, high CH, possible copper in the water all says you should drain most if not all of your water.

What is your water situation at your house? Municipal? Well?

Test the pH, TA, and CH of your fill water to see what you will start with.

Bringing in water trucks to refill your pool quickly is an option.

 
Last edited:

jamesey

Member
Apr 27, 2021
13
Maryland
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Appreciate everyone's feedback... Draining and refilling just makes me nervous especially since I have no idea what I'm doing.

@Texas Splash - Signature updated! Tried my best to be as detailed as possible with what I can decipher from the equipment labels.
@Jimrahbe - Lol!
@ajw22 - Of course! Not only are they blue, they're xtraBLUE... lol. In all seriousness, we're on a well. I'll test it and post results here once I get back home.

The homeowners did leave us a 1/4hp sump pump with the house. I can only imagine how long it will take to drain the pool using it. Additionally, I've already received some quotes from local pool water companies to refill and will charge around ~$500 to completely refill.
 
Last edited:

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
33,615
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
17888
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Nice updates. :goodjob: Now that we know you're on a a well, you might also add that to your signature. Even though you appear to be having water trucked in, you might do well top-offs and the iron could accumulate. You might do some searches here about DIY polyfill filters just in case.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,063
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Do you think you have iron or other metals in your well water? Are there brown rings around drains in your house?

If you do fill from well water you may need...


$500 to fill a 16,000 gallon pool is a good price. But find out where the water is coming from and if it is guaranteed to come from a metal free source.
 

jamesey

Member
Apr 27, 2021
13
Maryland
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
@ajw22 - Tested my well water with the following results:

PH: <6.8 (color was more yellow using K-1000 test)
TA: 30
CH: Did not test. (Left @OTPirate a message today regarding my defective R-0012 tip)

There's slight browning around our bathroom rings in our porcelain sinks, so I'll assume there's iron in the water.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,063
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
With your well water $500 is a good deal for a refill of pool water if it has a pH in the 7's and TA of 80 or above and iron free.
 

jamesey

Member
Apr 27, 2021
13
Maryland
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Sounds good. I'll have to call the companies around here to determine the source of their water and hopefully get an idea of pH and TA.

Should I be looking into a complete refill? Or 50%?
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,063
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Do a complete refill so you get all the possible copper out of the water.

Rent a pump and at least 1" to 2" hose from Home Depot to drain the pool quickly and time the water truck to be there shortly after the pool is empty to dump water in. You will need two to three truckloads of water depending on the size trucks they use.
 

jamesey

Member
Apr 27, 2021
13
Maryland
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Sounds like a plan! I'll need to find a hose long enough to go from my pool to the edge of my driveway to bring the water to our sewage drain.

I'm nervous!!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,063
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Figure out what length hose you need and rent it for the day with your pump.

This all takes some planning and logistics to get it all done in a day with renting the pump, draining the pool, and scheduling the water trucks. And be prepared for stuff happening. When I drianed my pool a few years ago one of the water trucks got stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire. It was a long day and we didn't get the pool filled until around 10 pm by the time the truck got repaired and to me.
 

jamesey

Member
Apr 27, 2021
13
Maryland
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Looks like I have a fun weekend coming up for me..

I called a few places and confirmed my price quotes to refill. Turns out it will be in the $750 range (about $250 per 6,000 gallon truckload). Everyone's water comes from the city, so they told me that it's metal free. I'm not 100% confident in the 16,000 gallon measurement that the previous homeowners left me, so I'm going to try my best and measure it using a few calculators online. I realize I can use the GPM of the pump and calculate the total gallons after it's empty, but then I'd be left with an empty pool for several days until someone can get out and delivery water. Home Depot has a 2" pump I can use which should drain my pool in a few hours, so I'll time it properly before the pool arrives.

Couple more questions-
1. Is there something I should do during the short window that my pool is empty? Wondering if I should take advantage of that while I have the chance. I realize it's only going to be empty for a few hours while I wait for the pool water to be dumped in
2. Any specific chemicals I should have prepared? I'll grab stabilizer and stock up on liquid chlorine (no more pucks! :laughblue:)
 

jamesey

Member
Apr 27, 2021
13
Maryland
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
I just want to say THANK YOU! I invested a few days this week to perform a complete drain and refill and I’m well on my way to taking control of my pool!

I’ve subscribed to the Pool Math app and have been logging my activity as of yesterday.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,063
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
How did renting a pump and the water trucks work out for you?
 

jamesey

Member
Apr 27, 2021
13
Maryland
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
The overall process was super simple and smooth!

A local pool water company offered to squeeze us in this week as long as I coordinated the draining with him. Rented an electric 2” pump from Home Depot and started draining right away which took about 5 hours. I was quite the nervous wreck while draining primarily because my head was filled with all the Google images of “pool popped” that I searched prior. :eek: I took the opportunity to clean our pump filters, skimmer, and pool deck while waiting.

By late afternoon, the company had arrived and started to fill. They had to make 4 total trips with a single truck, so we weren’t finished until late last night.

Got a sock filled with 4 lbs of stabilizer to get CYA up to 30 and hung directly in front of a return jet. Brought FC up to 4 ppm with bleach. Didn’t need to touch pH since it was 7.8 right from the fill.
 
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