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Thread: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

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    essjay75's Avatar
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    Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    Hello,

    I'm new here and I'm a new above ground pool owner. I just got home from visiting my local Leslie's Pool Supply to have my water tested. I've attached a picture of their results below. I know I ned to add dry acid but I have kids visiting me right now that want to swim. They leave in the morning so I'm wondering if I can wait to add the dry acid and let them swim this evening? Please help! Thanks in advance!
    14'x42" AG Polygroup Pro-Series, 3300 gal. capacity, SFS1000 filter system, F1000C pump type, Basic vaccum head that came with pool
    AND
    16'x48" AG Intex Round Ultra Frame, 6000 gal. capacity, Krystal Clear Model 635T 1500 gal filter pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    Welcome!

    If you believe those test results (I don't. Pool stores are wrong far more often than right) there's nothing wrong with your pool. If you can see the bottom and it's warm enough, let 'em in.

    The ideal situation would be to have your own proper test kit. After a couple weeks, you'll know your pool's chemistry perfectly and there will never be a doubt about it.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    essjay75's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    Wow! Thanks so much for such a quick reply! I didn't know what to believe. I found it odd that I had tested my pool with 2 other methods and they didn't seem to match the store's results. Then again, I am using 2 different cheap testing strip methods. I am attaching pictures of them for you to see. I would love to hear your feedback. Thanks again!
    14'x42" AG Polygroup Pro-Series, 3300 gal. capacity, SFS1000 filter system, F1000C pump type, Basic vaccum head that came with pool
    AND
    16'x48" AG Intex Round Ultra Frame, 6000 gal. capacity, Krystal Clear Model 635T 1500 gal filter pump

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    Better pool store results (Yick)...........than those strips.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    The only one of those I trust is the pH on the strip. They seem to be pretty accurate.

    It's in range, and all around the FC level is okay for the CYA, so
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    essjay, we don't hold much faith test strips either. Here's a link to some reliable test kits. Most here use the TF-50, TF-100 (XL option if you need to correct a problem pool), or the K-2006.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...its-comparison
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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    This stinks! I'm so embarrassed to say this...but I bought yet ANOTHER test kit while I was at the pool store. Picture attached. I don't know how to read it though. And just now I was using the net to clean of the junk on top of the water before the kids get in, and I noticed some kind of gunk on the bottom of the pool! (Picture also attached.) I never would have thought a pool would cause me such pain. I'm sad.
    Last edited by essjay75; 07-13-2015 at 08:49 PM. Reason: typo
    14'x42" AG Polygroup Pro-Series, 3300 gal. capacity, SFS1000 filter system, F1000C pump type, Basic vaccum head that came with pool
    AND
    16'x48" AG Intex Round Ultra Frame, 6000 gal. capacity, Krystal Clear Model 635T 1500 gal filter pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    That tester is pretty easy. You just fill the tubes up to the mark and add the drops. It doesn't have to be precisely at the mark, within 1/16" either way. Cap it, invert in two or three times to mix, and compare shades. It works best in bright light with a white background and I find colors are easier to match when held at arm's length. The pH test is the same as the TF100 uses.

    The chlorine test stops at 5, I think, which won't do you much good, because that stuff on the floor looks like algae. And to kill algae, you need to raise the chlorine level far above what that tester can read.

    You're not the only one with multiple test blocks laying around. The good news is that once you get the right kit, you'll only need to buy refills for the drops and the powder when they get used up. Clearing a swamp burns through a lot, but otherwise a test kit is good for a whole season, and possibly two.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    You're great, Richard320! I let the kids swim under a few conditions...they were not to open their eyes under water, if their skin felt like it was burning or itching they had to get out, and they had to take a bath immediately after swimming (advice from something I read online). I don't know if it's good advice or not, but I would "rather be safe than sorry". No one looks like The Walking Dead so I'm glad I followed your advice and I appreciate your help! Now that everyone is out of the pool and asleep, I am going to add the dry acid that Leslie's advised me to add. I'm sure you're asleep too so I won't get to hear whether this is a good idea or not. I guess I'll just see what happens...

    Thanks to everyone who offered their advice and suggestions (I'm not through yet though since now I must ask you all how to get rid of the algae). This is such a great site!
    14'x42" AG Polygroup Pro-Series, 3300 gal. capacity, SFS1000 filter system, F1000C pump type, Basic vaccum head that came with pool
    AND
    16'x48" AG Intex Round Ultra Frame, 6000 gal. capacity, Krystal Clear Model 635T 1500 gal filter pump

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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    Once you get your proper test kit, you will need to SLAM that pool to kill the algae.

    You have not mentioned how you currently chlorinate your pool, are you using pucks in a floater?

    Be sure to take a trip to POOL SCHOOL, the "ABC's of water chemistry" is very helpful as a beginner.

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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    I'm currently using one of those Flip Plop things but I think it's going to end up costing me more in the long run.

    Update: My ALK level is still high around 190 according to my crappy tests. BUT my chlorine is 0 to 1. My pH on all three of the testers appears to be the same, which is 7.2. The pool is in full sunlight all day long. I'm in Houston, TX and the temperature has not been below 90 degrees since July 2nd (today was 95 degrees). Also the water has become too hot to enjoy so now no one wants to swim in it. I shopped yesterday for a floating fountain or something like it as I read they may help cool the water, but I couldn't find one anywhere besides Leslie's (and it was just too expensive). I can order a simple little flower fountain from Amazon but I'm just wondering if you think it's going to help or if it's worth it?

    I was just about to go to Wal-Mart to purchase some bleach to bring up the chlorine level, but I'm going to wait until I hear something back from someone here. I'm not even sure how much to add.

    Lastly, what do you all recommend moving forward as my main source for chlorine? I've read SO many mixed opinions.

    As always, thanks in advance for your help.
    14'x42" AG Polygroup Pro-Series, 3300 gal. capacity, SFS1000 filter system, F1000C pump type, Basic vaccum head that came with pool
    AND
    16'x48" AG Intex Round Ultra Frame, 6000 gal. capacity, Krystal Clear Model 635T 1500 gal filter pump

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    Just ran my flower head aerator all night and dropped my pool temp by 6 degrees. Of course..it didn't stay there too long the next day in 97 degree temps, but an absolute delightful far cry from the day before. Also cost me 24 ounces of MA to lower the PH down that morning as well.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    Well here's what I did overnight...I connected my little submersible pond pump to a sprinkler head. I then attached that to the ladder so that the pump was under water just enough that the sprinkler head stuck out of the water. i plugged the pump in and let it aerate all night. I also left the pool pump running although it is only supposed to run for 4 hours per day (per the instructions). I just felt the water and it is much cooler. However it is still early so I know it will get hotter as the day goes by. I turned off the main pump and tested my water again. My digital reader said:

    CL: 1.2
    pH: 7.9
    ALK: 210

    I added what I had left of dry acid, which was about 3/4 cup. My chlorine floater is refilled and floating around now. I would like to add some bleach but I'm not sure when its safe to do that since I just added the dry acid. I also have some liquid conditioner but not sure if I should use it.

    Regarding the Pool School, I have spent a lot of time reading through it and there's no doubt it has a great deal of information. I find a lot of it difficult to understand, but that could be because I'm trying to process so much information at one time. I've printed a lot of it out and created a binder as well. Regardless I find myself still asking questions.
    14'x42" AG Polygroup Pro-Series, 3300 gal. capacity, SFS1000 filter system, F1000C pump type, Basic vaccum head that came with pool
    AND
    16'x48" AG Intex Round Ultra Frame, 6000 gal. capacity, Krystal Clear Model 635T 1500 gal filter pump

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    Re: Is it okay to swim if chlorine and TA are high?

    Take the AquaCheck back to the pool store and get a refund. Tell them it's not working correctly. Don't let them sell you more junk. With refunded money, buy a recommended test kit: Pool School - Test Kits Compared

    - - - Updated - - -

    Your reason it's "not working correctly" is because it is giving readings that are not matching their tests.
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