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Thread: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

  1. #1
    Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    First of all, thanks again to everyone for all of the help you have given me over the last few weeks. I now have a sparkling clear and beautiful pool.

    Turns out my Intellichlor cell has stopped working and can't be re-calibrated. Since I'm still in warranty, Pentair is shipping a new one soon. I'll be back in business and ready for the fine tuning of the water balance then. In the mean time, I'll just use bleach to keep the chlorine up.

    The pool was improperly maintained by the former pool guy and I have to add some large amount of chemicals to get things close to right while I wait on my new SWG cell.

    For reference, here are my latest test results.
    FC - 5
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.5
    TA - 50
    Ch - 80
    CYA - 30
    Salt - 3900

    Based on recommendations I've had from all of you and using The Pool Calculator (thanks Jason) I now know just how much of each item to add in order to balance pool.
    3 lb. 7oz of Baking Soda - Muriatic Acid on hand to reduce PH.
    16 lb. 14 oz of Calcium Chloride
    4 lb 1 oz of CYA
    I think that I'll tackle adding Borax at a later date.

    I presume that I can add these dry chemicals directly through the skimmer.
    Is there any magic in how it's done?
    Should it be done in any particular order?
    I wouldn't just dump everything in at once but should I spread it out over a couple of days?
    By the way, what do you use to weigh things like the Calcium Chloride which comes in 25 lb bags?

    Jim

    Edit -- Am I over-thinking this stuff?
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

  2. #2
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Calcium chloride is best distributed (sprinkled, tossed) across the entire surface of the pool. Calcium chloride can get hot as it dissolves and it is best if that doesn't happen in one concentrated location.

    CYA is best added slowly to the skimmer when you know that you won't have to backwash/clean the filter for at least a week.

    Baking soda and borax can be added in several ways. I pre-dissolve them and then pour that into the skimmer, but you can add them directly to the skimmer if you want.

    It is usually best not to add baking soda, borax, or soda ash on the same day as adding calcium.

    It isn't usually important to get the amount of calcium exactly right, so I just estimate. If you want you can use my Pool Calculator to see what volume of powder you want and then use a large measuring cup.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. #3
    Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Thanks Jason. You and your Pool Calculator make it all easy. I don't know why I never thought about the volume calculation being used for dry items.

    Jim
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

  4. #4
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    dry items should be measured by weight and not volume (an inexpensive kitchen scale will do) because the density of a particular chemical can vary from manufacture to manufacture. If you do measure by volume I would recommend underdosing and testing so you can creep up on your desired level.

  5. #5
    Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Thanks for the tip Waterbear. I had planned to creep up on all of my levels anyway. I've already seen how hard it is to get things out of the pool. In my case it was about 2000 ppm of salt. I don't want to have to go through that again with Calcium or CYA.

    Jim
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

  6. #6
    Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    I went to the hardware store that sells Bioguard products the other day to buy the chemicals that I need for my pool. Just for kicks I thought that I'd let them test my water just to see how it compared. As I expected, most of the numbers differed widely from the tests that I have done with my Taylor K-2006. The one number that was close was what they called "total hardness." I assume that is their term for Calcium Hardness. My test, done several times over a few days has consistently been CH at 80. They had total hardness at 77.

    I want to get CH up to around 260 and the pool calculator says that I need approximately 20 pounds of calcium chloride to accomplish that so I bought their Balance Pak 300 which the MSDS says is in fact calcium chloride with a small amount of sodium chloride and potassium chloride mixed in.

    I was only interested in their test numbers so I had not read the recommendations that their "ALEX" computer offered before today. Their ideal range of total hardness was 175 to 300 and they suggested that I add 1.5 pounds of Balance Pak 300 to get into that range. Frankly that doesn't make any sense to me but on the other hand, I want to err on the side of caution when putting CH into the water.

    Before I put in 15 to 20 pounds of Balance Pak 300, am I missing something here?

    Just for reference, here are my latest test results.
    FC - 4
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.2 Boy! that CYA really made it drop! It is acid after all.
    TA - 70 Baking Soda got the PH back up for me!
    CYA - 50 waiting a few more days to test again headed for 75
    CH - 80 So, what is it 1.5 pounds or 20 pounds?
    Salt - 3600
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

  7. #7
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    I'm not at all convinced that CH level is vital in a Fibreglas pool but others think it's a good idea. In any event, you can use Jason's calculator and assume it's all calcium chloride or you can follow the manufactureres instructions for dosage to get in what you need.

    The reason for my post is your comments about your test results. Baking soda will raise your TA but have very little effect on your pH.....in fact, that's it's advantage for raising TA.

    CYA may be acidic but it has never had a significant influence on the pH in my pool. Perhaps it's because I haven't done a dose as large as yours but, generally, it does not drop pH that much......at least, not enough for me to notice.

    Last, how long has your CYA been in the pool? Usually 3-4 days to get a correct reading and it seems yours has been in longer.......Am I misinterpreting your post?
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
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  8. #8
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    I'm not at all convinced that CH level is vital in a Fibreglas pool but others think it's a good idea.
    Since I live with a fiberglass pool and have had much fewer staining problems since I increased by CH to aroudn 350 ppm I can tell you it's a good idea. I have had customers with similar results, btw! Vinyl liners are less reactive than fiberglass gel coats. Fiberglass is also prone to cobalt spotting (cobalt crystals growing out of the gelcoat) and high calcium levels seem to help prevent that also!

  9. #9
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy
    The one number that was close was what they called "total hardness." I assume that is their term for Calcium Hardness. 0
    Not totally! (pun intended) Total hardness is a combination of calcium AND magnesium hardness and it's the only kind of hardness that strips can measure. Some cheaper drop based kits also test for total hardness instead of calcium hardness since only 2 reagents are needed instead of 3. It's not really a valid measurement for pools. Bioguard testing is done by 'guess strips' and a 'guess strip reader'. It is not terribly accurate (which means consistand repeatable results). The associated software is designed to sell a LOT of chemicals, btw.

  10. #10
    Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Duraleigh:

    I think that I need to raise my CH because Pentair's instruction manual for my replacement Intellichlor SWG says I need it. San Juan, my pool manufacturer says I need it too. As Waterbear says above, it may help with staining as well so I'm willing to give it a try.

    The test results are as Jason's new Pool Calculator Beta predicted, at least for CYA . I added approximately 3 pounds of CYA last Friday about noon. PH went from 7.6 to 7.0 by early evening when I checked it. In the effects area at the bottom of the page, the Pool Calculator predicts that 3 lb. of CYA will reduce PH by 0.55 which is what happened. It also predicts the addition of 4 lb. of Baking Soda will raise PH by 0.05. That, with my returns and spa jets pointed up, brought the PH back to 7.2 by Saturday evening which is the last time that I checked everything and the source of the results in my post.

    If you are looking back at prior tests, the CYA numbers may be misleading. Remember that I'm pretty new at this and may not have interpreted the test correctly earlier. In the CYA test Thursday evening, the black dot disappeared only when the tube was filled to the point where the meniscus was bulging from the top. I'm guessing that CYA was at about 20 then. Still have more CYA to add and I'm waiting for a few more days to check it again to see how much I need to pour in. I certainly don't want to overshoot.

    My comments about PH, CYA and TA were just meant as lighthearted observations of the interrelationship of the things that we put in the pool.

    My reason for the post was to ask about the wildly divergent recommendations between Jason's Pool Calculator and Bioguard's ALEX which, I suppose is their version of a pool calculator. After all, one recommended twenty pounds while the other recommended one and one half pounds. I want to make sure that Balance Pak 300 will not increase my CH more than a generic Calcium Chloride. I know what I saw on the MSDS but I just want a confirmation from someone with a lot of experience. Getting it out would be a pain and expensive. I think that Waterbear answered this question when he said that Bioguard tests with guess strips. By the way Dave, do you have Borate test strips in stock yet?

    Waterbear:

    To the best of your knowledge, will adding 20 lbs. of Balance Pak 300 be equal to adding 20 lbs. of generic Calcium Chloride? Keep in mind that it will not go in all at once. Probably 15 pounds in one go and the rest as needed by testing. I won't ask you to come up here and fix my pool if you guess wrong. I did buy a lot of chemicals from the Bioguard store but only what Jason said that I needed not the other stuff that ALEX recommended whatever that may have been. By the way, I've noticed in other posts that you too have a San Juan pool and keep a sequestrant in for metals. What is your favorite for keeping metals at bay?
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

  11. #11
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Grumpy,
    the Pool Calculator predicts that 3 lb. of CYA will reduce PH by 0.55 which is what happened.
    Well, I should've been more diligent and looked at that. I have only casually observed the results in my pool and wasn't as careful as you have been.

    Waterbear makes a point about CH and fibreglas. It can certainly do no harm at that level. I have no "hands on" experience with fibreglas so must defer to his experience.

    In my attempt to clarify, it seems I corrected what didn't really need correcting! My intentions were quite good but we all know about intentions and the path they pave........
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  12. #12
    Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Dave:
    I'm know that you have forgotten more about pool care than I will probably ever know. I, for one, am grateful for everything that you do and hope that you will continue to correct me whenever you see me going astray.

    I expect that having to bail an elf out of jail and break up fights between them every day or so keeps your mind occupied enough for you to have missed that small detail on Jason's calculator.

    Thanks again for this site and for your supplies. You and the others here have made caring for my pool satisfying and, believe it or not, fun.

    Jim
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

  13. #13
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy
    To the best of your knowledge, will adding 20 lbs. of Balance Pak 300 be equal to adding 20 lbs. of generic Calcium Chloride?
    According to the Balance Pak 300 MSDS, this looks like Calcium Chloride Anhydrous which is similar to Peladow though the Balance Pak 300 has a range of Calcium Chloride from 75-97% while Peladow is around 90%. If you use 90% as the purity, then 148 ounces weight will raise the Calcium Hardness (CH) by 100 ppm in 10,000 gallons.

    Richard
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  14. #14
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    1.5 lbs of BioGuardĀ® Balance Pak 300 isn't going to do much of anything. I have no idea where they came up with that number. Perhaps they entered the wrong number into the software? 15 to 20 lbs is much more realistic given the test numbers you reported and your pool size.

    If you want to be super cautious, you could go ahead and add 1.5 lbs, let things circulate for an hour or two and measure the CH level to see if it changed much. But I would just go ahead and add the 15 to 20 lbs.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  15. #15
    Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Thanks Richard, looks like 20 pounds of Balance Pak 300 in a 12 gallon pool will be just about right for me.

    This new guy just needs someone to lead him by the hand every now and then. I don't want to have to end up applying to the Superfund for a toxic waste sight cleanup.

    Jim
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

  16. #16
    Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Thanks Jason. I can't imagine where their number came from either. I'm going to creep up on my goal of 260 even though a bit higher probably won't hurt. I'll add the first 15 pounds tomorrow followed by the last 5 pounds tomorrow night and hopefully in a few days the rest of my CYA. Fine tuning will be all that's left before installing the new Intellichlor and trying to adjust it to get FC right.

    As I've said, this has been fun and I'm kind of sorry that reclaiming the pool is almost over. At least I'll get to maintain it on an ongoing basis.
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

  17. #17
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    Re: Best method to add the needed chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy
    I think that Waterbear answered this question when he said that Bioguard tests with guess strips.

    Yep, that's why I called them guess strips!
    Waterbear:

    To the best of your knowledge, will adding 20 lbs. of Balance Pak 300 be equal to adding 20 lbs. of generic Calcium Chloride?
    basically, yes! Balance pak 300 is just Bioguard's brand name for their anhydrous calcium chloride.
    By the way, I've noticed in other posts that you too have a San Juan pool and keep a sequestrant in for metals. What is your favorite for keeping metals at bay?
    I recommend a HEDP (phosphonic acid derivative) based sequesterant and not an EDTA based one. I like Proteam Metal Magic and the Jack's Magic products but there are a lot of other good ones also.

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