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Everything posted by Anka

  1. There's not really any need to dissolve sodium bicarb. You can just dump it in dry. Set your pump to recirculate if you have that option. You might have to break up some clumps with a brush—just push them around a little and they'll dissolve. Or dissolve it in a bucket of water and pour it in. Either way, try to broadcast it across the surface; that way it'll get mixed more quickly. That's going to be quite a bit of bicarb—about 10 pounds? I would do this in two steps. Add half the amount, let it mix in for several hours, test. Add more if needed.
  2. Yes, it's okay to vacuum with a skimmer sock inside the skimmer basket. Depending on the amount of debris in your pool you may want to check the sock part-way through the vacuuming and change it or clean it so suction is not impeded by its contents.
  3. Not fatal, no. Anything can be fixed. I would urge you to buy a good test kit, either a Taylor K-2006 or a TF-100. A good test kit will save you big chunks of money and time.
  4. Congratulations on the new house and pool! To give the most effective advice I have some questions for you: 1. Are you able to tell how the water looks right now? 2. What sanitizer do you plan to use, i.e., chlorine (liquid such as household bleach or 10%, pucks, granules) or a Baquacil-type substance? 3. Do you have a test kit? If so, which one? You may wish to do some reading at Pool School which will give you a lot of excellent information. Can't help with the plumbing question, I'm sorry.
  5. Excellent question: Where does the CYA go? We don't know. There have been many reports of CYA having disappeared over winter, especially in closed pools. There are some thoughts that it may be consumed by bacteria or algae but no-one seems to know for sure. I end the season with about 60ppm CYA. When I close I bring the FC level to 20 ppm, shut off the pump and disconnect the plumbing. The pool is not covered over winter. By the end of December it's frozen solid and won't be fully thawed until the end of March/first week of April. At that time there is no measurable amount of chlorine or CY
  6. No. I have a water season which goes from the end of March to the end of December and a swim season from the end of May to the end of September. Between December and March the pool is frozen solid. I test and treat the water from the end of March to the end of November.
  7. new2me, these folks are in the UK being ripped off by a vendor who deals in the UK. They're not looking to save a 'buck'—they work with pounds sterling, and I'm sure when they initiated the purchase they thought they were working with a reputable dealer. We've all been defrauded at some time or other, it happens even in North America.
  8. I use a 25 ml volumetric pipette for dilution tests, i.e., testing the strength of the liquid chlorine I buy. For daily water testing I use the graduated cylinders which came with my test kit. Once you get the hang of placing the meniscus, or at least place it consistently, the accuracy provided is close enough.
  9. Things we learned in kindergarten: * If it sounds too good to be true, it is. * You get what you pay for. It reads chlorine to "above 3 ppm". What kind of chlorine: free? combined? What is your normal chlorine level now? If mine were to test at 0.2 ppm I would scramble for the bleach bottles. I run my pool at between 3 and 5 ppm and have to be able to test for those levels. This device would not be useful to me. Moreover, electronic testers require frequent calibration. Will they include standardizing solutions? Or do you have to make your own? For 20 bucks? Um . . .
  10. I just recently bought a pint of CYA reagent from amatoind.com. The reagent was $6-something and the shipping was $5-something. Those little refills available through the vendor where I bought my TF-100 kit aren't useful to me. Those of us who utilize a combination of pucks and bleach need to test for CYA more frequently and it makes sense to buy in larger quantities. Amatoind is a good company to work with: Personal e-mails from Mary to keep one informed of order status and the shipping slip comes with a handwritten note from her saying thank-you for the order. Prices are reasonable and the s
  11. I would get some stabilizer and add 1/2 the amount recommended by the Pool Calculator for your water volume. Since all of your other chems are balanced I would then put the pucks in the chlorinator and let them maintain the chlorine while adding CYA. Do you have enough CYA testing reagent to keep track of the levels? Conversely, you can add the stabilizer now and just go with bleach, and keep the pucks for when you're out of town and not able to maintain the pool. I use mine at the beginning of the season until I have the CYA level I want and then go with just bleach, holding the pucks until
  12. Oh, come on. Laugh. He works hard to put this forum out there. Indulge him. Her?
  13. That's very hard to estimate because it depends on so many factors: Water temperature—is it steady, i.e., a heated pool which affects the rate of algae growth? Swimmer load? Anticipated maintenance and attention paid to the pool—infrequent pool care will require more chemicals? Type of sanitation system used: Chlorine? Saltwater chlorine generator? Baquacil? Trichlor/dichlor tablets? Type of pool: Vinyl? Fiberglass? Plaster/concrete/other? Environment: Trees? Agricultural dust? Grass clippings? From my own experience with a 13,000 above-ground pool, unheated, used daily by three large d
  14. Hi Michael, Yeah, that was a lot of bleach. According to the Pool Calculator you raised the FC by at least 39 ppm. That'll kill those green buggers, eh? Do you have a test kit? If not, the Taylor K-2006 is excellent, well worth the money, and refills come in a variety of quantities which makes the K-2006 economical in the long run. Another good kit is TF-TestKits which has a slightly lower start-up cost but refills are smaller. A good test kit in combination with the Pool Calculator will take the guess work out of chemical additions and subsequent balancing of the water. Both of these kits
  15. We add salt to our water for the "feel", approximately 1800 ppm. Yes, it does feel silky and smooth. But it's not why I would buy a SWG. To us, adding a cup or two of liquid chlorine each day is no trouble. We're in the pool each day, we test the water each day, we check and empty the skimmer basket each day. Adding chlorine is just part of our five-minutes-a-day pool maintenance routine, it's not a big expense in time or money in any way. We like messing with the pool.
  16. $700 would buy a lot of bleach! I could run my system for about 12 seasons on $700 worth of liquid chlorine. Would a SWG even last that long?
  17. How does your pool look today? If you could post your test results it would help us help you diagnose and treat your pool. We'd need FC, CC, pH, TA, CYA numbers. Also whether you use strips or a reagent test kit, and the volume of water in your pool. What do you currently use to sanitize the water?
  18. I bought the PoolSkim earlier this season and am very satisfied with it. We have an oval AG pool which is used heavily by our dogs. The regular skimmer basket does catck a lot of dog hair but by no means all of it. Now, with the PoolSkim, nearly all the dog hair is collected in its attached net bag. It also catches leaves and bugs which had previously been missed by the regular skimmer. This is a valuable pool maintenance item, IMO.
  19. Quickcrete will probably be our method next season. Our Website "How We Dealt With It" at http://ellerbachxxx/Pool has photos of the step weights. Ummm . . . that's ellerbach dot com. For some odd reason the URL shows up as xxx instead of com.
  20. I leave the skimmer basket in when I vacuum and I have a sock in it. I find that I get enough suction that way and the sock catches all the fine debris. I don't shut the pump off when I remove the hose from the gadget on the skimmer basket; I just break the vacuum, take the hose off and let it float in the pool while I change skimmer socks. Then I dismantle the vac setup.
  21. Have you tried a skimmer sock? They're awesome! I've always had what I call 'algae dust' in the wrinkles of my liner (AG pool) and while that stuff disappears when I vacuum or run the Polaris 65, it comes back to greet me in the mornings. Bought a package of skimmer socks at the pools store, 5 for $6.99, put one over the basket, four hours later it was GAG ME! --- the crud caught in the sock was amazing, and there was NOTHING on the bottom of the pool. Good stuff!
  22. We're not in love with the sand bags, either. Our pool is open very late into the year, last year we closed it at the end of October, and we opened it as soon as the ice was thawed on the cover. Removing/replacing the sand bags is a major PITA when the water is just 50 F or so. Last weekend we came up with step weights which, while they do incorporate sand, are much easier to handle. Using 3" PVC pipe we cut three lengths to fit into the cubby hole made by the bottom step. We capped one end and put a screw top on the other end of the tube. We filled the tubes with sand and packed the sand do
  23. Ditto here. I suspect it's some sort of overheating cut-off device that turns the bulb off to keep the vinyl from being damaged by the heat. Swimming in dark water scares me and when the light goes off I am not a happy swimmer. We bought an underwater flashlight at the diving store and tied it to the pool steps. If it's really dark outside, no moon or stars, I turn on the flashlight and don't freak when the pool light shuts off.
  24. Yep, vacation was really good. I had a chance to swim in a Baquacil pool and I didn't like it. The water felt weirdly oily, hard to describe, and the pool steps were so slick that they were dangerous. This is an inground liner pool with concrete steps. As to the beetles, they're really horrible here in PA as well. Those little suckers are great swimmers and seem to enjoy the ride in the skimmer's vortex Luckily, my dogs leave a fair amount of hair in the pool; the hair seems to trap the beetles in the skimmer basket. Oh, speaking of skimming . . . I found a new net for scooping debris.
  25. I do also use a reagent kit, primarily to make sure of the pH, and the TA levels agree with each other to within 10 point. The strip might read 80 and the titration will read 90. It did occur to me today though that a pool is not a static system. It's essentially a buffer solution and each time I add a chemical I change the balance of the other chemicals. Maybe I just never have added enough sodium bicarbonate. I tend to be on the conservative side with chemical additions.
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