Re: Beginner's Guide to Pool Chemistry Needs
I was asked to make a sticky out of this, but it's really just a re-statement of what I wrote in the post above. However, it may be a little clearer to some people....I suppose it would be best to rewrite them both, but I'm too lazy for that! Anyway, I hope this helps...Carl.
it really isn't that hard. Once everything is in balance, you'll probably need to add some bleach every other day--probably between a quart and a gallon, but how much, I cannot say.
It all seems SO confusing but it's not. There's two things that matter: Chlorine to sanitize your water, and pH to ensure it's neutral and not too acidic and not too basic.
All total alkalinity is for (and the name is misleading to the laity) is it's a buffer for the pH--it keeps pH stable and from bouncing. You need it, but too much is a problem
CYA/Stabilizer's job is similar, but for chlorine. It's a buffer that keeps chlorine from breaking down too fast, especially when exposed to sunshine (without which summer isn't summer). You need CYA, but too much is a problem
Calcium is for concrete pools, not vinyl ones. It saturates the water with enough calcium to prevent it from leeching out of the concrete or plaster. Not an issue with vinyl. It's only a problem if it's too high.
Other stuff: Most if it you should NEVER need if you follow the procedures discussed here.
There's algaecide--most are copper or ammonia-based or foam and we recommend you NEVER use them. The only algaecide we recommend (and only as a preventative) is Polyquat 60%.
There's clarifier and yellow-out and flocculant--(Polyquat
acts like the last but otherwise most of us NEVER use these)--and pool stores push them.
There's sequestering agents--this is only if you have problems with metals--maybe one in 100 of our members EVER need this--if that many.
There's phosphates and phosphate removers. This is the pool store biz's latest scare tactic to sell you very expensive removers. Forget about it! Unless EVERYTHING we suggest here doesn't work, AND you have very high phosphate levels, that may be your answer--I can think of maybe 2 or 3 cases where it WAS necessary in the last 7 years.
Finally, there's the chemicals you use. You can keep your pool indefinitely sweet and clean using the BBB's--Bleach, Borax and Baking Soda. Add to that Muriatic Acid and CYA(stabilizer) and that's IT!!!!!!
But there's a catch--you have to have a good test kit, and use it regularly. We recommend something like a Taylor K-2006 kit as it can handle pretty much all the testing needs. In a pinch, a cheaper 5 or 6-Way test kit from Walmart will do. But, in the long run, investing in a better kit will pay for itself many times over. Regular testing will ensure that your pool has sweet, safe, clean, BEAUTIFUL water.
Go to PoolSolutions.Com and start reading. Read EVERYTHING--then read it again...I went from totally lost 7 years ago to always having a "happy" pool. I was confident enough to go from a 4,000 gallon Intex 15' round donut (which doesn't owe us a dime from all the fun we had in it) to a 20,000 gallon 40x16 custom FantaSea with built-in, "invisible" solar heating. I credit PoolSolutions.com and this forum for my education.
Last edited by Watermom; 05-27-2010 at 10:56 AM.
16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter and 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; Solar heated. Test kit: PS 233; PF:6.3; Autopilot SWCG