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polyvue's Achievements

Spa Savant

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  1. 3 meter diameter by 1 meter depth round? A sheet of plastic of almost any thickness would help retain heat... lost mostly through evaporative cooling and, in most places, at night. There are many sources for inexpensive plastic bubble "solar" covers in the US; I'm sure this also applies to the UK. Most pool owners seem to get the most utility from 12-16 mil blue covers, but clear also works.
  2. Can't address the idea of placing a second o-ring (this doesn't sound like a good idea) ... but you should try a bead of Jack's Forumula 327 or other brand (or generic) pool lube around the threads and existing o-ring. That way, tightening and loosening the pump pot cover should be a lot easier and the lube should protect the o-ring as well as provide a water tight fit.
  3. I'm in agreement with britinusa... the heat output of the electric heater's you've mentioned may not be sufficient. I installed an 18 kW electric heater so that I could heat my 750 gallon in-ground spa in the winter (0 degree Celsius air temperature) from 10 to 38 degrees C. --- it takes hours and hours to accomplish this. If you can install a gas-fired heater or heat pump that would be a better choice, either would provide superior heating.
  4. The powder sold by pool dealers/stores is usually a chlorine compound such as Calcium Hypochlorite (Cal Hypo), Di-chlor or Trichchloro-s-triazinetrione (Trichlor) and adds substantial amounts of either calcium or cyanuric acid (CYA) to the water right along with the chlorine. Excessive calcium or CYA can lead to problems with cloudiness and scaling (cal-hypo) or maintaining sanitation levels (Dichlor, Trichlor). When shocking for algae, it's better to use liquid chlorine (10-12.5%) or 6% bleach because these add only a very small amount of salt in addition to the chlorine. The key to both effective daily sanitation and shocking is to have the right amount of Free Chlorine in the water based on CYA level (aka stabilizer or conditioner level). Refer to this chart for recommended minimum, maximum and shock levels for chlorine. Shocking consists of quickly elevating chlorine to the target (shock) level and KEEPING it at that level by frequent additions of chlorine over several days (testing, adding, testing, adding...) until the pool is clear, combined chlorine (CCs) are <= .5 PPM and there is less than a 1 PPM drop in Free Chlorine (FC) from dusk to dawn. It's much easier to perform shocking with a FAS-DPD chlorine test (part of Taylor's K-2006 kit).
  5. I would encourage you to chlorinate using liquid chlorine or 6% bleach instead of the TriChlor tabs because for every 10 PPM chlorine that is added to the water the tabs are also increasing CYA by roughly 6 PPM. The higher the level of CYA, the more chlorine you need to fight algae and provide adequate sanitation. So, more Trichlor is added to increase chlorine but that in turn elevates CYA and you're back to where you started: insufficient chlorine. Pool chlorine (or bleach) does not increase CYA -- it just adds chlorine, which is what you want.
  6. First, confirm the type of stain. Try positioning a Trichlor (chlorine compound) tablet in the pool so that it comes into contact with the stain. If the stain lifts or fades in a short time, the stain is probably organic. With elevated levels of chlorine and frequent brushing the stains will eventually go away. If you suspect metal staining, apply a vitamin C tablet to the affected area. If the vitamin C works, treat for metal stains (below). For metal stains, consider applying an ascorbic acid treatment --- if the stains cover a wide area, you can perform this procedure pool-wide; or just apply topically for smaller areas. See Stain removal via ascorbic acid treatment for details. Be aware that the process requires reducing chlorine down so that it can no longer be measured. As far as I know, there are only a couple of ways to permanently remove metals (to prevent restaining) from the pool water. A.) Drain / vacuum to waste / backwash to remove the water; or B.) Hire a company that performs reverse osmosis filtering to remove them. (Distillation would work, too, but I've never heard of that being tried for the volume of water typical in a pool.) Refill with water known to be metal-free and subsequently never add copper-based algaecides or minerals disbursed via algae-control systems (Nature 2) etc.
  7. If the tablets appear to have congealed into a single mass or are still wet and emitting fumes, I'd get rid of them -- perhaps through the hazardous materials agency in your area. If they are no longer very wet, appear to be intact, and not letting off a horrible smell, isolate the bucket somewhere for a few days with the lid off and away from paper, cloth, oil, gasoline, people and pets so they can completely dry out.
  8. Sorry, I don't know what exactly what Error 91 means on an Intex SWG. It may be malfunctioning. Perhaps this will ring a bell for PoolClown or one of the other technicians on this site. But you've discovered through trial and error that the salt you put in the pool was not the problem: water softener/solar/pool salt should all work. The Intex manual doesn't explain the error code beyond suggesting Low Salt? Might try searching their web site or call the company for explanation. If you just purchased it, it should be under warranty. Of course, as Deckard indicated, the filter/pump should be running whenever the SWG is operating. I doubt that it will work otherwise.
  9. It's not unheard of to have a pool that is well-behaved for several years or most of a season and then becomes quickly unmanageable. This usually happens because starting off the level of cyanuric acid (CYA) is quite low, but over time chlorine compounds have been added to the pool and the CYA builds up to the point where it's embargoing (combining with) almost all of the chlorine. A little CYA (30-100 ppm) is a good thing, too much means you've disabled your main sanitizer and algea fighter. My understanding is that the minerals you've been adding via the Nature 2 have some impact on sanitation - yet it's the chlorine that's doing all of the heavy lifting. I recommend reading the following articles regarding the Nature 2 system. Bottom line, I think, is that in the concentrations required for good sanitation the minerals cause problems, and in low amounts, don't quickly enough kill pathogens. There is also the issue of increased cost in adding unnecessary chemicals (or minerals) to the pool. Stains & Metal Matters: Iron, Copper, Silver & More Alternative sanitizers and "chemical free" pools Even if you reconnect the cartridge there likely won't be enough sanitizer/oxidizer in the pool to effectively kill the hardier algae species and/or other organics. If draining part of the pool water is impossible I would look into hiring a company that performs reverse osmosis filtering --- available at a reasonable price (from what I've heard) if you live in Arizona or Southern California.
  10. I'm a bit late to this conversation... Your report that the chlorine is holding overnight is good news but since the measured CYA is > 100 PPM you must endeavor to maintain a much higher Free Chlorine (FC) level on a daily basis. The FC/CYA ratio that Gavin refers to can be found in the Best Guess CYA chart. You should target a FC concentration that is comfortably above the minimum (5% of CYA for a SWG pool, 8% of CYA for a non-salt pool). If the black dot disappeared "long before the water level got to 100" there is too much CYA in the water. You can determine the level of CYA by diluting the sample water with tap water (50:50) and doubling the result. If the CYA is much more than 100 PPM I would drain off some of the pool water to reduce it to a maxium of 80 PPM (Salt Water Chlorine Generator SWG) or 50 PPM (no SWG). Finally, TC 5.2 minus FC 4.6 = Combined Chlorine .6 PPM; this is a bit high and shows the need for elevated levels of chorine for a while until it gets down to around .2 PPM. If the CYA is very high (and seems to be) you may be better off draining some water and refilling before you add more chlorine. Sorry to be the skunk at the dinner party... Throw me out if you find my dour message discomforting!
  11. It sounds like you need a reliable, inexpensive test kit so you can know exactly what's in your pool... add just the right amount of bleach to kill off the algae and keep it gone. I'd recommend a one-time investment of $50 - $60 to purchase a Taylor K-2006A FAS-DPD Chlorine test kit (it's listed at the top of the linked page). You'll save this much in unneeded chemicals during the swim season but the kit will serve you well for several years. If you already have a test kit you like but don't have the FAS-DPD chlorine test (starts off pink and turns clear) consider purchasing just this test. The Taylor K-1515-A is about $21 from this supplier, excluding shipping. Want to save money on pool chemicals by purchasing most of them at the grocery store instead of a pool store? See this link and this one for a discussion about this approach. The basic idea behind successfully defeating algae in your pool is described here. If you need more specific answers regarding how to clear algae, please post current test results (indicate if the tests were run at a pool store).
  12. You've probably read here that liquid ("pool") chlorine or 6% bleach is a better way to chlorinate and/or shock pool water. The "other ingredients" in the products you cite are often unnecessary or even counterproductive. If you find a recurrence of algae in your pool, please consider buying a good test kit and read this article, which outlines a very effective procedure for defeating algae. Here's another article that may be helpful. The process involves shocking the pool with liquid chlorine according to the concentration of Cyanuric Acid (CYA) that is in the pool. Rely on the Best Guess CYA chart to determine the amount of chlorine to shock with. The prospects for a first-time success is improved by the use of a good test kit (the Taylor K-2006 is discounted by various on-line sources, including that linked by chem geek, above). Welcome to the forum. Feel free to post back with any questions you may have.
  13. Over time will it dissolve completely? What are you supposed to do with the test water in tube. Dump it in your grass? Down the drain? Taylor discourages dumping samples back into the pool but I've observed that pool service company employees do this routinely. As chem geek stated, the quantity is so minute that it really shouldn't affect the water. The contents of most common tests (used samples) will likely dissolve instantly. Since I started testing inside I empty the used samples down the kitchen drain. If you use a salt test that involves silver nitrate, do be careful during titration, "full strength" silver nitrate stains hands and countertops (and probably other surfaces) rather quickly. Highly concentrated acids and bases used in a few tests can irritate or burn skin and I usually flush testing surfaces and drains with plenty of water if spilled.
  14. Welcome to the forum. A few questions: What is the current pressure at the filter in PSI (or bars)? What product are you using to shock with (brand name, ingredients)? What do you normally use to sanitize (chlorinate) your pool? You said that you weren't able to get a CYA reading but you didn't say why. Best (most accurate) results would come from a test kit but if you have to, take a water sample to a nearby pool store and have them provide a full set of test results, including CYA: pH Free Chlorine (FC) Combined Chlorine (CC) Total Chlorine (TC) Total Alkallinity (TA) Calcium Hardness (CH) Cyanuric Acid (CYA) Salt PPM (if this is a salt water pool) Knowing the level of CYA is critical because of its relationship to the right level of chlorine needed to shock and kill algae. It's quite common after shocking at inadequate levels for algae to keep coming back. But this problem can be addressed.
  15. Even the ugliest water can usually be rescued... with enough chlorine, filtering and attention. It would be helpful (in addition to information already requested) to post a full set of test results. If you don't have a test kit, take a sample to the pool store and request a print-out: pH Free Chlorine (FC) Combined Chlorine (CC) Total Chlorine (TC) Total Alkallinity (TA) Calcium Hardness (CH) Cyanuric Acid (CYA) Salt PPM (if this is a salt water pool) Is the water cloudy or clear? What type of filter (sand, DE, cartridge)? Has it been backwashed or cleaned lately? The most common reason for a green pool is algae growth but there are other reasons, as well.
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