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seligman's Achievements

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  1. I looked outside today and found my spa water very cloudy. On Saturday, I changed out the water, backwashed the DE filter, added new DE, added muriatic acid, and chlorinated. Today's water test revealed TA = 150, and pH = 7.7. This puzzled me because the TA was 100 on Easter Sunday. Then I discovered a rag at the bottom of the spa. Over the weekend I cleaned the kitchen floors with Pine Sol (1/2 cup in 1 gallon of water). When I was done, I set the rags outside to dry. At some point, the wind blew that rag into the spa. I'm guessing the cloudiness and higher TA is because of the Pine Sol residue on the rag. Question: Does the water need to be changed out again, for health sake?
  2. Thanks... I was the guy who made the claim that reagents can run a person $75 to 100 per year. Let me elaborate on this a bit. I have a spa (no pool) without a permanent cover. It has an automatic fill valve. During the summer, it's extremely difficult to estimate the water loss from evaporation. Between uses, I keep it covered with a pool tarp cut to size, but that's not very effective. Our tap water is pretty nasty...pH averages 8.2 and the TA is usually 230-250. I prefer to keep my TA on the low side. If as little as 3 inches of water is replaced with fresh tap water, the pH and TA are way too high again. Today I manually added water and tested the pH and TA three times until I got it right. I don't usually test three times but sometimes it's necessary. (I don't want to add too much acid at once) Also, because of aeration in the spa, severe (upward) pH fluctuations are common. So that's more testing. People say I need to get a permanent spa cover to stop the evaporation. I agree 100% but the size and location of the deck is a problem. Got a couple estimates but I didn't like the prices or the types they proposed. One guy wanted to drill holes into the brand new Mexican paver tiles I put down to attach hooks of some sort. The other suggested the "mattress" type of cover which I'm not too fond of. Yes I know, excuses, excuses...=D
  3. What bothers me about the weir, is that most of the time, it's useless anyway. Keep in mind I have a spa, which I estimate holds 625 gallons. If I fill the water to the proper level and then 2-3 people use the spa, their body mass displaces the water, causing it to drain through the overflow pipe. As soon as they get out, the water level is too low and the weir is no longer floating - it's fully depressed at its lowest position. Water flows underneath it, not over it. Do I really NEED a weir?
  4. I have a problem with the floating weir that attaches to the skimmer basket. It frequently gets stuck in a certain position, obstructing the flow into skimmer. What happened is that our pool contractor goofed when pouring the deck. They allowed the concrete/gunnite to push the plastic sides together, thereby narrowing the weir opening by 1/8" or so. One thing I've already tried is sanding the edges on the weir. This created some microscopic holes allowing the weir to fill with water. I drained the water and patched these holes with some sealant. Now, the sealant is causing the weir to get stuck again. What should I do? -Keep shaping the weir and seal it up a different way? -Or, should I file the sides of the skimmer basket so the weir fits properly?
  5. Do you think Taylor Test Kits are a bad use of your money and time, compared to an electronic device? If you're good about testing, the cost for new reagents (or a new test kit) could run you $75-100 per year. Consider the time it takes to test your water. For me, it takes about 10 minutes. I *try* to test 2-3 times per week. I don't know about you, but I would rather spend that time with family or friends, or even working. In one year, 20 to 30 minutes per week comes to 17-26 hours! Taylor test kits, while accurate, seem awfully expensive both in time and money. I don't know about their accuracy, but those electronic testers seem like a better deal, despite their price tag. What do you think?
  6. OK, that makes sense. It almost never freezes here, but I'll replace it regardless. Can I use a cheaper (better?) air temp sensor, or am I stuck with Pentair? I know pool equipment is expensive, but $50 for a temp sensor seems kind of steep...especially if they're prone to failure (from what I've heard).
  7. I swapped sensors like you suggested and it works. I didn't need the air temp sensor anyway. Thank you! One little problem. Since I've put everything back together, the outdoor i5s breaker panel is flashing a red light that says "See Indoor Control Panel if Flashing". It's near the Reset button. When I go inside there is nothing on the display. I can't get the red light to go away.
  8. Either the water temperature sensor, or the Pentair Intellitouch i5s system, is giving me bad temperature readings. I have to manually start/stop the heater every time. In the beginning, the temperature reading on the remote was 50-75 degrees hotter than the water actually was. Now, the display shows a constant -186° regardless if the water is hot or cold. Also notice that line to the right of the temperature. Not sure if that's a letter "I" or something else. I always figured the temperature sensor was bad, but now I'm not so sure. I've tried calibrating the system, but no matter what value I specify, the number is never remembered. In other words, the calibration feature doesn't work. I'm wondering if this is consistent with a defective sensor or a defective remote/system? The heater's temp sensor works fine, and so does the air sensor. Before I pay $50 for a new sensor, I thought I'd ask you guys first.
  9. I haven't replaced the broken plug yet, but... The *other* plug which didn't break is now leaking. Am I supposed to use plumber's putty (or some sealer) on the threads?
  10. I used a small trash can to soak my DE filter elements. The muriatic acid I used was 15-16% and I diluted it one part to 6 parts water. I have between 15 and 20 gallons. Normally, I don't keep soda ash on hand. Never used it in the spa because our tap water always has a pH above 8.0. I did have a lot of borax and baking soda. I added 8 pounds of borax and 1 pound of baking soda, but that didn't make much difference. Several hours later, baking soda sprinkled onto the surface still causes foaming like the vinegar experiment would in science class. The borax is helping, but very slowly. I presume this means the pH is still below 7.0. The gardeners will be here today and I need to get that trash can emptied ASAP!!! What can I do to safely dispose of the water? Could I dump some of it into an empty flowerbed that I know has alkaline soil? If not, I'm worried about plumbing damage until the pH comes down.
  11. While cleaning my DE filter, I drained the water from my Pentair Whisperflo pumps. One of the drain plugs snapped when I put it back on. It just kept turning and turning...so I continued to tighten - until it snapped off. I sure feel like an idiot now. I thought the plastic was higher quality than that. How should I remove the broken piece? It's all plastic. I have one foot of access on that side, although it's kind of awkward. I don't like the idea of drilling into plastic threads, but I might not have a choice?
  12. One of my neighbors has an inground plaster pool that went unmaintained for 2 months. He had surgery in March and hasn't been well enough to maintain it. This past week, it turned into a swamp. He cleaned it all out and refilled the pool. The water is crystal clear now. I confirmed that the water is now balanced, pH around 7.4, TA 80, Calcium Hardness around 300, and the Chlorine is approximately 3 ppm (he says he shocked it 2-3 days ago). But now he has stains on the bottom of the pool only. I brought over my stainless steel algae brush and we tried brushing them for over an hour with no success. The vertical surfaces look great, they cleaned up easily when brushed the other day. These stains have also accumulated on the plastic surfaces, such as the skimmer, float, and the return ports. I tried scraping at the plastic with my fingernail and was surprised how tough the stain was to remove. It wasn't slimy at all. The stains are the worst on the shady parts of the pool. Areas that were exposed to the most sunlight have little to no staining. The stains *look* like mustard algae to me. But I've never had mustard algae that couldn't be brushed away. I'm nearly certain his pH and TA were very high when the swamp conditions developed. Is this Mustard Algae or something else?
  13. When you say air control knobs on the top, on the top of what? This is an inground gunnite spa. There are no knobs whatsoever in the spa, or near it. The heater/pumps/filter are a good 20 feet away. If the knobs are located there, I have never seen them before. The jets/returns on the walls of the spa have a plastic retainer ring that is very difficult to remove. Each retainer ring has two square grips about 0.25" by 0.25" that allow you to unscrew it. I wouldn't call these grips sharp, but if you try unscrewing them with your hand, it is very painful. The last time I did it, there were bruise marks on my fingers that lasted a few hours. Once the retainer ring is loose, you can point the jets in whatever direction you want and then re-tighten the retainer. Especially when the booster pump is on, I can see a tremendous amount of air being pumped through the system. Thousands of tiny bubbles are visible on the surface at any one time although I don't have any foaming problems. Imagine the sight of a sheared off fire hydrant, but under water. Obviously, it's on a much smaller scale, but visibly, it looks looks very similar.
  14. I've always used Dichlor. One thing I should mention is that the pH rises quickly with just the filter pump running (lowest setting). If there is a way to shut off individual jets, I have no idea how or where. The only thing I can adjust is the direction of the jets. Would this make a difference with the aeration? I'm not sure what it's called, but there is a pipe near the pumps with holes drilled in the top. I presume this is where the air is sucked in by the pumps because I can hear whistling or howling noises. There are 3-4 holes drilled, each about 1/2" in diameter.
  15. I am finding it impossible to maintain a proper pH level in my spa. On many occasions, I've gone into the spa with the pH around 7.4 and the TA around 100. Within 2 hours of using the spa, the pH will be over 8.0 again, with the TA relatively constant. Our tap water usually has a pH over 8.0 and a TA in the 200's. What can I do?
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