Too many chemicals...Too much information !!!

The basics of swimming pool maintenance.
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Too many chemicals...Too much information !!!

Postby SteveW1971 » Sun 27 Jul, 2008 11:44

Hello, I have never owned a pool before and don't understand the jargon so when I recently had the pool opened, the pool guys blew through here like a hurricane leaving me with a ton of different chemicals, a multitude of buzz words and pool jargon swimming round my head, and no clear idea of what goes where and when !!
I have a Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter, a pool ( approx 40' x 17' ). They left me with some chlorine tablets, several bottles of algaecide, 2 tubs of EZ Clor PH up, Tub of Shock, huge bag of Diatomite, and 2 boxes of Alkaline up.....and no idea of what to do with it all !!
I need to know how often to administer this stuff, where i put it, and some info of how i backwash , rinse, circulate and filter and in what order i do it all !!
Thanks in advance


Postby Guest » Sun 27 Jul, 2008 21:06


I would go to this site for information and a pool education.

It can be overwhelming at first but gets easier with education.


ps It's a free site
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Postby muss08 » Sun 27 Jul, 2008 21:06

Okay, first thing you need is a good test kit. This is the best investment in your pool you will make. I use the Taylor K 2006- it is very reliable and accurate. First, the Diatomite (DE) is for your filter. Inside your filter are grids. These grids are not meant to filter. What is meant to filter is the DE. You add a couple pounds of DE after each backwash into your skimmer. The DE then coats these grids. When you backwash about 80% of the DE is removed which is why you need to recoat after each backwash.
It sounds like you have a multiport valve. The multiport valve is the black handle that can be moved to filter, backwash, rinse, recirculate and waste. During normal everyday pool operation this should be set to filter. To backwash- turn off the pump, move the handle to backwash, and turn the pump back on. There should be a sight glass on the multiport valve that allows you to see the water that is being discharged as you clean the filter. When the water in the sight glass becomes clear your filter is clean. Turn the pump off and then move the handle to rinse. Turn the pump back on for about 20-30 seconds. This rinses the system of any leftover debris that came out of the filter. Turn the pump back off and turn the handle to filter. Turn the pump back on. The waste option is primarily for vacuuming the pool. This setting bypasses the filter and any water pulled in is discharged. The recirculate setting is used to move the water without filtration. Some chemicals require you to use the recirculate setting but nothing you are dealing with now. NEVER turn the handle while the pump is running.
Add 4-6 chlorine tabs a week to keep the chlorine at a good level. You put these in a floater, chlorine feeder, or the skimmer basket. Follow the directions on the back of your algaecide bottle. Follow them expicitly.
You need to get a test kit. It should test for free chlorine (FC), pH, total alkalinity (TA), calcium hardness (CH), and cyanuric acid (CYA). Test your pH a few times a week. This tells you how basic or acidic the water is. Normal level is 7.2-7.6. Chlorine is very ineffective above 7.6. TA helps prevent large swings up or down in your pH. This should be maintained at 80-120ppm. The two boxes of alkaline up is simply a expensive form of baking soda. Once these are gone you can simply use arm and hammer- much cheaper. Muriatic acid (available is gallon jugs at most hardware stores) is used to lower both pH and TA. CH is how hard or soft your water is. It should be 100-400ppm. If it gets too high scale can form and if it is too low the water can be corrosive. CYA is a chlorine stabalizer. It slows your chlorine form being burnt off by sunlight. Without CYA you can lose all your chlorine in a couple of hours. This should be 30-60ppm.
You use the shock if you get algae. This raises the chlorine in the pool very quickly to kill organic debris. Some people like to shock their pool every week but this is unneccessary if you keep your chlorine at a good level. Chlorine should be kept at 10% of your CYA so it should be kept at 3-6ppm.
The pH up and TA up can be broadcasted around the pool and will dissolve quickly. Acid should be slowly poured over a return so it can mix properly. Shock should be predissolved in a bucket of water and then slowly poured over a return.
Hope this helps!
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Postby SteveW1971 » Mon 28 Jul, 2008 07:28

Thank you so much. That is all i needed, just explained in laymens terms. I shall keep referring to your reply till I get used to doing it myself. Thanks again for such a speedy reply
pool user

Postby pool user » Sun 05 Oct, 2008 07:35

Prepare to go crazy. Guess what? Once you "master" all of the jargon and chemical usage guidelines you will find that your pool is still a royal pita to maintain. Pools suck up your $$$ yearly, and the equipment that is available for the average home owner is of horrible, and I mean HORRIBLE quality. Have fun!

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