Swimming Pool water maintenance tips ? (Beginner)..

We have one of those 900 gallon.. 2.5' deep by 16' wide semi inflatable swimming pools, with an water filter running (8.5 hours a day after 7pm)...
I'm having trouble figuring out the proper chemicals i should be buying.. and what that cost probably is per season.
At this point i've bought the shock granuals that come in a bag for $3 and should be applied weekly. The directions call for an entire bag per 11,000 gallons.. Our pool isnt filled to capacity due to slope.. so say it has 650 gallons.. i guess this would imply that each week i should be putting in about 5.9% of the bags contents.. whatever that is in OZ (probably 5.9 of 16 oz) and then teaspoons i guess?
Also.. the bag mentions following the 4 step guide..
water balancing, chlorinating (or bromine), shock treatments, and then algae treatments..
Other than this shock treatment.. are the other 3 done only in the beginning of the year.. and what does this imply? Do I simply go stock up on ph balancer (or akalinity), bromine or chlorine, and algae chemicals, then apply these once, followed by weekly shock treatments?
At any rate.. so far I've only used the shock treatments.. i had gone like 3 weeks without doing one.. and algae (slimy on the bottom/sides, slightly green) was appearing.. so I used the underwater sucker device and strainer to remove all that i could in general.. then applied the shock.. but even after 20 minutes the water feels very slimy.. i'm worried i may have a mess that cant be fixed... or perhaps i just need the other 3 chemicals..
(I guess if i did bromine i could avoid chlorine.. is chlorine linked to any conditions that should be avoided these days.. seems like you dont see it much, though the shock treatment says it has 45% chlorine in it i think.. i thought the shock was all 4 steps but i'm a bit confused now)..
Thanks for any tips..
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markm75 writes:

The essential water items are chlorination and pH. Get a 2-way test kit and chlorinator and pH-down, and use them.
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-SNIP-

how much water how hot it is how humid it is how much use the pool gets.
No way to tell until the end of the season.

Again- all those variables come into play. Get a $6 test kit- little red and yellow bottles and some sort of 'test tube' with the color scales on them. Test your pool twice a day until you figure out how much chlorine to add. Then once a day.
-snip-

Balance first- [best scenario is take a jar of water to a pool place. They test for free- and they can tell you exactly what you need.] then chlorine and an algae preventer.

Test- test- test. A decent pool place will be happy to help you. [if they aren't helpful, they aren't a "decent pool place"] They know that by taking care of you with your first pool you're more likely to buy a pool from them later.

The chlorine has kind of a slimy feel- But with a pool that size, it might be more efficient to dump and start over. The bigger the pool the easier it is to keep in balance and algae free.

You need them- but don't just start dumping willy-nilly. You really have to test it. You bought a giant science project. It isn't really hard- but you need to make it a religious daily habit. You need to do it every day- and not be able to get to sleep at night if you forget.

I've never used bromine. Too much chlorine is bad. I don't think the right amount will harm anything. The only way to tell how much is right. . . is by testing.
Good luck- Get it in shape now- because August will make the balancing act twice as hard. [at least in my part of the world- upstate NY]
Jim
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by not giving it daily attention and chlorine, your pool got away from you. your pool water goal is for clean sparkling water so clear that you can easily read coins on the bottom of the pool when standing nearby. every day. in buffalo ny: city water arrives with some chlorine in it, from the hose. this dissipates in sunlight and with "bather load". so when it does, the pool tester will show you that you ran out of chlorine. chlorine prevents slippery algae. if your pool is out of control there is always a complete water change and plain liquid regular clorox bleach to get it started again. there are modern water test strips in a small plastic pill bottle, or the old style less expensive liquid testers with red drops and yellow drops. if you smell chloramine [formed when the chlorine can't finish its job properly], you have INSUFFICIENT chlorine. if your water is changing from desirable clear to undesirable partly cloudy, SHOCK DOSE it with chlorine to kill the algae which first appears as cloudiness before it turns the water green [and slippery]. see a large amount of info at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swimming_pool_sanitation and quick info at: http://www.poolinfo.com/Pool-Water-Chemistry.htm or here's my expertise: April 29, 2007: Buffalo NY: Our Pool: Theory and Care and Feeding of our 12,000 gallons of pool water, which is 3-1/2 ft. deep: Above ground 24ft round flat bottom, Hayward sand filter S-144T, New 2007: 2- speed pump has built-in off-low-high speed switch. [Use high during vacuuming and to speed up shock and filtering of problem water. If pool water has no problems and is sparkling clean and you are simply circulating routine chlorine, use low speed.] For removal of leaves and for springtime pool opening always use HAND SKIMMER ON A POLE. Don't clog the vacuum hose with leaves. 1. ADD WATER [hose fills the pool at only one-half inch per hour]. Water level in the skimmer box should be 2/3 full plus whatever you are about to use for vacuuming and backwashing. Skimmer Box Level must not be below 1/2 or the pump will suck air thru the skimmer box, damaging the pump. Skimmer Box Level must not be full, or the skimmer can't skim the floating leaves off. Add water as needed for vacuuming to waste, backwashing, and rinsing, and to replace evaporation and splashed water. Hose water to fill the pool: At 11 Upper kitchen, it takes 30 seconds to fill a one-gallon pitcher with cold water. Hose delivery will be faster at the pool [at ground level without kitchen fixture]. Use 2 hoses without nozzles for refilling in spring. 12,000 gallons at only 2 gpm takes 6000 minutes divided by 60 minutes in an hour = 100 hours, to fill to 42 inches. But that's at a fill rate of only .42" per hour. - Our average water depth is 3.5 feet. Walls are 4 feet tall. The capacity of a Circular shaped pool, which measures 24 feet in diameter with a depth of 3.5 feet of water , is approximately 11894.4 gallons. 2. Manually clean the Pool: Use hand skimmer to remove leaves, etc. 3. In your swimsuit, whirlpool your bottom leaves to the center, use hand skimmer to remove debris and to make vacuuming easy. 4. Pump off, Empty skimmer basket. 5. Pump off, Empty pump basket. 6. Vacuum to Waste never to Filter. Vacuuming requires a higher level of genius intelligence than usual! Find the skimmer box's insert adapter, vacuum hose, and brush head on extension handle. a. Hose dirt off the vacuum hose. Connect 30-foot hose to brush head with extension handle, submerge vacuum brush head with vacuum hose attached. b. Turn pump on in Filter mode. Fill the floating vacuum hose with the fast return hose from filter [or slow garden hose] until air bubbles stop. This will take several minutes. You may encourage the air bubbles to move along by tipping the vacuum hose to allow the air bubbles to get pushed out the submerged brush head. c. Pump off. Quickly attach vacuum hose thru from pool to skimmer box insert adapter while keeping brush submerged. Pump on in WASTE mode. 7. BACKWASHING: Pump's SAND FILTER likes low 10 pounds pressure on the gauge. When pressure reaches over 16 pounds: Pump off. Shift to BACKWASH. Pump on for at least 3 backwash minutes [or even better until waste water discharge hose is clear]. Pump off. Shift to FILTER. Pump on and FILTER. [Watch the clock or you will pump out your water to the bottom of the skimmer box and cause pump damage. The water cools the pump!]
page 2 POOL CHEMICALS: Do not mix chemicals. Choose the most suitable one for the dose.
Leaves, dirt, and sunshine reduce the chlorine level. 1. Avoid skin contact. 2. With filter running, and when swimming is over for the day, add to empty skimmer basket and run pump overnight. 3. Rinse hands, measuring devices, and bottle. Circulate liquid bleach 5 minutes or dissolve 5 oz. granular 10 minutes minimum.
8. Bad Water? If water is cloudy or green algae or "heavy bather load" or chlorine smell is present: a. If going swimming now add big 22 oz. scoop of granular Oxygen [sodium persulfate] to skimmer basket with pump running for 10 minutes or until return hose is clear. b. If after swimming time add shock dose to skimmer with pump running: 22 oz. granular chlorine for our 12,000 gallons. Also use shock dose of 22oz. weekly during 80-degree hot weather, and August algae season. Note August hose water may arrive with higher levels of chlorine, so it's always best to test. 9. Testing. If water is sparkling clear [object on the floor of the pool appears in focus], test the water at 18-inch depth with 5 yellow drops in chlorine tester. TYPES OF CHLORINE we choose from, pick one, depending on temperature and bather loads: Pool "hockey pucks" are EXPENSIVE STABILIZED CHLORINE: maintain 1.0 to 1.5 ppm chlorine. One 3" tablet per week or as needed to maintain proper chlorine levels. Dosage may vary depending upon water condition, bather load, time of day and geographical location.] When tester shows 1.0 ppm or less, just add a chlorine "hockey puck" tablet to an empty skimmer.] GRANULAR CHLORINE: If tester results are clear [with zero ppm], add routine chlorine dose with pump running: 5 oz granular chlorine for our 12,000 gallons. Maintain 0.6 to 1.0 ppm chlorine when using granular chlorine. CLOROX: If you are going swimming now you may use Regular dose of liquid Clorox:    Add One quart (32 ounces) will raise the pool 1.0 ppm. There are 4 quarts in a gallon (128 oz.) CLOROX LIQUID BLEACH (5.25% sodium hypochlorite)    (800) 242-7482 from product bulletin 224-83 FOR OUR 12,000 GALLON POOL Regular dose of Clorox:    One quart (32 ounces) will raise the pool 1.0 ppm. Shock dose of Clorox:     Two quarts (64 ounces) Cloudy Water/Algae dose of Clorox:      One gallon (128 ounces) Bill's Note:     Clorox is more expensive than granular chlorine. It works faster in the pool. It weighs more, so is less convenient. Read % ingredients when using other chlorine liquids.
EXPERT Department: Never let your water be less than crystal clear. If pool is a not crystal clear, algae is beginning to cloud your water. Liquid acts faster than granular. Tester used with proper chlorine added will bring pool water to similar levels required for drinking water. Because of dirt it is not for drinking, of course. Pool chlorine tester may also be used for testing refilled fish tanks when removing chlorine. 11. PH Test [red drops] Skip it unless you have water trouble.    ph range should be 7.2 to 7.6 (It usually stays in this range by itself, due to "acid rain" in our area.
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buffalobill writes:

Chlorine, or chloramine?
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I think you can get by with a floater using tablets and shocking once a week. You may find liquid bleach is a better "shocker". I use about 200 oz of 10% pool bleach to shock 15,000 gallons so I bet you could get by with a half pint of regular laundry bleach (5%) . Watch the pH. In a plastic pool like this it will drop and the acid will eat up your equipment. In a concrete pool you have the opposite problem and I end up adding acid. You want it to be the off color orangy look with the tester, not yellow or pink. Take your water to a pool store once a month or so and have them test it, more often if you are having bad results. Just be careful and "fix" it a little bit at a time. Most people get in trouble by adding too many chemicals and try to see a change too fast. Less is more. You can always put more in but you can't get it back once you put it in.
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On Jun 25, 12:27 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thanks for all the tips..
Still one question..
So this bag of Shock granuals.. I do this in addition to the other chemicals correct? (Even though it appears to have some of the necessary components already in it).. and do so about once a week.. Am I about right in assuming I need to use about 5% of the bag each week (for 650 gallons or so, guessing).
I will also have to check out the local pool store to see if they are indeed helpful in getting the right things, without highway robbing me :)
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wrote:

method(S.I.)=ph+TF+CF+AF-12.1. phtual test result. TF=temperature factor CFlcium hardness factor AF=total alkalinity factor
0lanced minus value = corrosive tendencies plus value=scale forming tendecies http://www.rhtubs.com/langlier.htm have fun.
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I wouldn't even use the bags of shock on a pool that small. You can do it with plain unscented bleach (sodium hypochlorate only). Money wise no name laundry bleach costs about the same as real pool bleach once you extrapolate out the concentration. I think about 8oz will shock your pool if your 600-700 gallons is right. I imagine there is a chart somewhere here on the net, maybe even on the Chlorox web site but if you are guessing on the capacity you are guessing on the amount anyway. This is not really that hard, just don't go crazy on chemicals. I have a 12 mnonth pool in Florida and all I do is keep a floater in it, shock it once a week and manage the pH. You may also need to deal with total alkalinity by adding some baking soda occasionally.(Arm and Hammer has that chart) You want it around 110-130 using the 5 bottle pool test kit. Adding well water here in Florida will do that all winter but rain water dilutes it out in the summer.
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On Jun 25, 2:30 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I went to the local shop.. they recommended the liquid shock approach (chlorine).. as the particles in my small type pool dont always disolve, as i've found.
Basically they said to worry about the PH and Chlorine levels (Alkaline as a buffer if i wish too). I already have PH and Alkaline so I'm good for a while there.
They didnt recommend the store bought bleach as with this type of pool they said it would "bleach" it out in about 2 weeks time (the liner?), though I'm not sure how their $6 chlorox style bottle of liquid shock differs. They recommended putting a few ounces in each day, rather than each week, though right now I'm not adding any as my chlorine went to a 10, after too much granual schock.
Can anyone comment on how long to run the pump/filter? IE: On 900 gallons is 8 hours a day enough?
Thanks
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Should be plenty.
Unlike some of the other posters I DON'T recommend going to a store and getting a water test. Invariably they will find 3 things wrong with your water and recommend a 100 bucks worth of chemicals to fix it.
With your small pool that makes no sense at all.
Monitor the chlorine level and PH. You should be fine. Enjoy.
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On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 21:04:46 -0400, Dan Espen

I guerss I should have said that too. I do go have them check the water but I do not buy everything they try to sell. It is just a good sanity check. My store has actually been pretty straight with me but they did try to sell be 4 pounds of baking soda for 12 bucks (to raise total alkalinity) when I know I can get 10 pounds for about 7 bucks at Sams. The other magic chemicals behnd the counter in those expensive bottles are just not necessary unless you have terrible water. (metals and such) All I ever buy is TriChlor tabs, liquid chlorine for shock, acid (a concrete pool thing) and baking soda. I bought a bottle of flocculant to clean up the pool after Hurricane Charlie but it will probably be a lifetime supply. I haven't used it since.
As for run time. I try to turn mine over 1.5 to twice a day. Look at the flow rate and pool size. If you have a vacuum guage going into the pump and a pressure guage you can compute the flow with the pump performance tables on the manufacturer's web site. When I was turning it over once a day it didn't end up looking as good.
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Or just fill something of known volume and time it.
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markm75 writes:

Bunk. Typical pool store ignorant profit-padding lore. They and their grubby advice should be thrown in the deep end.
The pool store's chlorine is sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide just like plain Clorox. Clorox claims 6.15 percent, and the pool store about 10 percent. Just proportion your local prices to see which is cheaper.
Ask them for an MSDS and compare it to this:
www.thecloroxcompany.com/products/msds/bleach/cloroxregularbleach0505_.pdf
Beware. My local pool store, one of the largest and well-known franchise chains, where they refill the 2.5 gallon chlorine jugs themselves in the back from a big tank, are as crooked as a butcher with his thumb on the scale. They adulterate their bulk chlorine and acid. The acid is watered down to about 4/5 of what they claim on the label, according to several samples I checked in my laboratory. The slightly higher priced jugs at the local Home Depot have always been full strength.
The "computerized water test" at this pool store is a phony sales trick. A public-schooled kid who flunked chemistry performs the same colorimetry you do with the test kits from Walmart. Pimples then types in the results (right or wrong) to a computer program design chiefly to get you to buy overpriced stuff at the store. This is supposed to "pinch pennies", when in fact their products are mislabeled (as to strength), misrepresented (as to contents, such as labeling baking soda as "sodium hydrogen carbonate" and telling you it is different from baking soda), and misapplied (telling you to use stuff that won't do you any lasting good, overusing cyanurics, absolutely unneeded algaecides at $100/gallon). The pool store biz tends towards hustling, because it fleeces the foot traffic who just wants to believe pool-owner ignorance plus pouring something in can fix anything.
http://www.truetex.com/pool.htm http://www.truetex.com/poolcontrol.htm
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-snip-

That's a point worth making. I probably have a dozen 'local stores'. I trust 2 of them. I avoid the huge store like the plague.
I am one of the folks that recommended going to 'your local store'. The one I go to now has saved me money & time by making complete tests and recommending the right chemicals. I've been going there for 5 years & spend less than $200 a year maintaining a 24' round AG pool. I buy tools there that are more expensive than the Walmart down the street because I appreciate the time these guys have taken over the years to solve 'mystery problems' with my water or equipment. Someday I'll probably buy a pool or spa from them.
For 15 years prior to this pool place I used another similar outfit who had some family sickness and had to close. I used 4 other shops one time each in between the two. There are crooks & idiots out there. There are also shops that can save you money & time-- and more important, when it is 95 degrees- can get your pool usable again in a hurry.
Find one before you need it. Jim
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