What we need to know to answer your questions

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TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
If you're about ready to post and ask some questions, you should first help us and yourself by getting some basics out of the way. Following the steps below will help us help you!

Please put the city and state in which you live in your profile. Your climate is important to the advice you receive.

Please put the following information in your signature.

  • The size of your pool in gallons
  • If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
  • If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
  • The type filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge)
  • If you know, tell us the make and model of your pump and filter.
  • List other known details of the pump - Horsepower, Single speed, 2 Speed or Variable Speed
  • List any other equipment you have: SWG, second pump, etc.
  • List what test kit you use to test your water
  • Please mention if you fill the pool from a well or are currently on water restrictions
Information in your signature will show up each time you post. Signatures need to fit on five lines. It is fine to put several bits of information on the same line.

To change your profile or signature, see the Settings link, just below the Pool School button towards the top right of any page. Then select Edit Profile on the left, and you can edit your location. Click on Edit Signature to change your signature.

Asking for Help
When starting a thread asking for help with a specific issue please include the following in your initial post:

Test Results! Test Results! Test Results!

There is nothing more important than current valid test results. Here's what we need.

FC - Free Chlorine
CC or TC - Combined Chlorine or Total Chlorine
pH -
TA - Total Alkalinity
CH - Calcium Hardness
CYA - Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer/conditioner)

Only the better kits have all of these tests, please read this article to understand why we need this information, and this one to see some test kit options. If you don't have a test kit with all of those tests, many pool stores offer water testing.

If you cannot post these results - do not ignore that fact. Tell us you cannot post test numbers. If you can post only some, tell us you cannot post the others or we'll ask if you forgot.

Nothing will help us solve your water chemistry issues quicker than current test results.

Please tell us how your water looks. Is it crystal clear, cloudy, green? Just give us a description. Also, tell us how long it has looked like that - has it been green for 2 days or nine years?......it makes a difference in the advice we give on getting it cleaned up.

To review, add your information to your signature so it always shows up. Post your current water condition and those ever important test results! Failure to do so will only delay a response and hamper our ability to give effective, accurate advice.
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