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Thread: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

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    Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    So in my attempt to keep the hard water here from making the pool more difficult to manage ( scaling and whatnot ) - I swapped over the fill water from the city water tap to the water softener hose bib ( like for the plants and trees ) - That water softener is now running with Potassium Chloride instead of Sodium Chloride to keep the plants that we do water from dieing from the Salt - it's like fertilizer for the plants. did you catch that part - fertilizer? Add in a trip the grand canyon during which there was a wind storm that knocked a bunch of debris ( Leaves ) into the pool. That got me an extended ( 2 day probably ) sunny and warm period with zero FC in my pool. cue bacteria!
    So when the FC is zero upon my return I bleach the pool to shock levels and measure the next morning and have zero FC again. Wow - that's alot of not green algae I think - but I had readings which looked like the chlorine was rising up and then killing stuff and dropping down only it took a lot more bleach than I was expecting for a non-green-pool. Lots more bleach and it held for maybe an hour but was zero again in the morning. Until finally today I am guessing that I have bested the ammonia monster I created as I have zero cc and 1.5FC stable for 12 hours ( adding more bleach now to get up to 4 fc )

    Most recent Readings : two weeks ago readings
    PH 7.8 7.4
    FC 1.5 9
    CC 0 0
    CYA less than 20 72 ( give or take )
    TA 80 60
    CH 800 600

    now for the questions :
    given a CC of zero and 1.5 FC holding as steady as it can given 100% full Arizona July sun and ZERO CYA - I think it's probably time to think about adding in some CYA - yes?
    I still have a box of trichlor tabs from last year when my dad thought I needed them since my floating baskets were empty and out of the pool. I never did explain to him that I didnt need them because I am a good son, and maybe now I can put them to use.
    Would that be an OK source of CYA for my pool for now or do I need to get the CYA up faster than that?

    I take it that the CH increase to 800 from 600 can be attributed to the now using hard fill water instead of potassium based make a bacteria bloom to eat my CYA experiment. if someone would just confirm that this isnt a concern i should be able to take the lessons I have learned and move on with my newly sparkling clean and clear pool now that all the dead bacteria have been swept up by the Polaris.

    And finally - I assume that the PH would be the last thing that I bring down as 7.8 is tolerable but in need of 'drifting' down a little with some acid.

    BTW - the process of discovering that you did not just barely escape an algae bloom returning from your trip, but instead had an ammonia adventure was a very fun one.
    Thanks all again for your wonderful help
    Cardano

    PS - I assume Deep end is where the Ammonia stories go but please feel free to have a mod move this to where it should go if this aint right.
    20k IG PebbleTec w/ STA-RITE PE5E-182L 1HP and Zodiac Polaris PB4 for Polaris 380 vacuum / Hayward ProGrid DE4820 Filter / TF-100 but I havent broken down and gotten a speed stir yet

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    Tabs are going to be too slow to raise the CYA to where you want it to be with the AZ sun.

    But, before you add it, do a 10 minute test. Use Pool Math to calculate how much liquid you need to raise the FC up to 10. Add that amount with the pump running and test the FC at 10 & 30 minutes. This will help identify if you actually have an ammonia issue to deal with.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    do I need to get the CYA up faster than that?
    Absolutely
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    But, before you add it, do a 10 minute test. Use Pool Math to calculate how much liquid you need to raise the FC up to 10. Add that amount with the pump running and test the FC at 10 & 30 minutes.
    Would it be best to do that at dark so I can be sure it's not the full july sun versus zero cya protected FC that I am reading?
    Thanks.
    Cardano
    20k IG PebbleTec w/ STA-RITE PE5E-182L 1HP and Zodiac Polaris PB4 for Polaris 380 vacuum / Hayward ProGrid DE4820 Filter / TF-100 but I havent broken down and gotten a speed stir yet

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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    Either way. The sun will not consume your FC nearly as fast as ammonia will. The test is so short, you can disregard the UV influence of the sun.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    Quote Originally Posted by cardano View Post
    Would it be best to do that at dark so I can be sure it's not the full july sun versus zero cya protected FC that I am reading?
    Thanks.
    Cardano
    Almost anytime will work. If there is ammonia which is actually rare the FC will disappear almost as quickly as you pour the chlorine in the pool.. There won't be time for the sun to work on it.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    I cant think of any other way for the CYA to have gone from more than 70 to basically zero ( when the CYA test dropper was completely full it was still completely clear )
    but I'll let you know when the test is done that the ammonia is gone.
    20k IG PebbleTec w/ STA-RITE PE5E-182L 1HP and Zodiac Polaris PB4 for Polaris 380 vacuum / Hayward ProGrid DE4820 Filter / TF-100 but I havent broken down and gotten a speed stir yet

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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    With no CYA in the water it takes just a few seconds for chlorine to combine with ammonia to make monochloramine which will show up as CC and the used up chlorine will have an FC of 0. With CYA in the water it can take about a minute for this to occur. So it's very fast in either case.

    Sunlight will only knock down FC by half in about an hour -- worst case it would be 20 minutes for high pH chlorine just near the water surface with no circulation. So you can see how the two situations are very distinguishable.

    If you had a bacteria conversion of CYA to get rid of it, it does not have to go to ammonia. If you are lucky, the bacteria could take the ammonia to nitrate or to nitrogen gas in which case you wouldn't have CC or extra chlorine demand. If the bacteria only partially broke down the CYA, then you can get a moderately slow chlorine demand with only a little CC.

    The solution in all cases is to add chlorine and to do so quickly enough to satisfy the demand. Once the FC starts holding some (hence the 10 minute test) you can add back CYA to the water so the chlorine will hold longer in sunlight.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    results of FC tests after targeting 10fc
    10min 10 FC
    30 min 9.5 FC - sun set around this time
    1 hour 9.5 FC
    2 hours 9.5 FC

    so I'm thinking we're ammonia free.

    I'll check in the morning to be sure OCLT is good since CYA zero = slam 10FC and start thinking SLAM test is passed and I can start adding CYA and increasing FC levels.

    concluding my ammonia adventure.
    Thanks all,
    Cardano
    20k IG PebbleTec w/ STA-RITE PE5E-182L 1HP and Zodiac Polaris PB4 for Polaris 380 vacuum / Hayward ProGrid DE4820 Filter / TF-100 but I havent broken down and gotten a speed stir yet

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    Re: Ammonia and Potassium Chloride

    OCLT passed.
    9.5 FC this morning

    no more ammonia
    nothing growing and dieing in my pool

    Thanks again everyone

    Case Closed
    20k IG PebbleTec w/ STA-RITE PE5E-182L 1HP and Zodiac Polaris PB4 for Polaris 380 vacuum / Hayward ProGrid DE4820 Filter / TF-100 but I havent broken down and gotten a speed stir yet

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