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Thread: Pulling My Hair Out

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    Pulling My Hair Out

    I live in NW Indiana, I am not new to being a pool owner and have been for 12 years now. I grew up with a pool at my parents house. This year has been extremely difficult to keep the water balanced, uncloudy and not feeling like I just jumped into an oil pit. It is clear at the moment, because my husband and I drained the pool 75% down to the deep end this past weekend due to cloudy water for two weeks. My husband will not touch the pool, because he is unfamiliar with chemicals, maintenance, etc. I was using a digital pool water tester and that screwed up our pool even worse and now have switched over to the TF-100 Kit.

    I want to start doing the BBB method and very hesitant to. Love poolcalculator.com and have just recently discovered it. We put a new pool heater in this year and "read" that heaters can cause copper to be distributed into the pool water and will cause the pool water readings to be bad, and to not put Borax into the pool.

    My readings as of this morning: (using the TF-100 kit with Borate Accucheck strips)

    Chlorine FC: 9
    Chlorine CC: 0
    PH: 7.2
    TA: 150
    CYA: 70
    CH: 875
    Borate: Between 0-15

    Scratching my head on what to do....Pool Calculator suggests draining the pool....not doing that again this season...cannot wait for next months water bill! Also, to add 2 boxes of Borax. I am so nervous to add the Borax, because I am afraid it will be cloudy again and I can just hear my husband now about "throwing things into the pool". Not quite sure where to begin with...the PH, TA or CH issues.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated and my sanity thanks you as well!! Gigi
    16x32 Kidney Shaped. In-Ground. 24,700 gallons. Vinyl.
    Deep End 8Ft deep. Shallow 4 ft deep. Built 2003.
    Purex Triton DE FNSP 36 Filter.
    Pentair 1.25 Pump.Hayward Gas Heater.
    Water: Filled by hose, water from town. Test kit: TF-100 and Accucheck Borate Strips.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Welcome to TFP!

    First I would suggest not using PoolCalculator, but use Pool Math (link above). PoolCalculator is not being maintained/updated.

    I Suggest an OCLT to see if something is growing. I'm going to guess yes as a drain/refill doesn't get rid of all the bad stuff.

    Keep your pH 7.2 - 7.5 and ignore the TA for now. Any idea why CH is so high? Have you tested your fill water?
    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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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Have you been using CalHypo to chlorinate your pool?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Go ahead and run an overnight chlorine loss test and see if you need to complete the SLAM process or not. You don't have to add 2 boxes of Borax. Since you have very high CH you want to keep the pH low, in the 7.0-7.2 range to help prevent scale and calcium clouding. Do not use any more calcium hypochlorite based products in your pool as they will raise the CH even higher. The only way to lower CH is to drain and replace water. You don't want to drain right now and that is fine, you don't have to if you keep the pH low.

    Lowering the TA to around 70 using muriatic acid will help keep the pH low. muriatic acid will lower both TA and pH, but you do not want the pH to drop below 7.0 so went you lower the TA point the pool returns up so the water churns and breaks the surface. This aerates the water and raises pH without adding any chemicals. Continue the cycle of lowering TA and aerating to keep pH in 7.0-7.2 range until your TA is 70.

    When you close the pool for the winter you will be draining below the returns which will help with some of the high CH. If you have a nice snowy winter you may get some more water displacement from the snow. In the spring you can test CH again and see if you need to make any adjustments to the CH at that time.

    Feel free to ask any questions you may have, we are here to help.
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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Okay, will use Pool Math. Thank you! Have no idea why the CH is so high, before we drained the pool last week, the CH was over 1,700! The town is drilling near our home, so we are guessing "possibly" there is something going on there. My parents live a mile away and they experienced a blue grit around their bath tub when my Nephew took a bath at their house last week. Yes, I did test the fill water and it was high in PH, but low in Chlorine and CH at 175. I will test for OCLT, I only check the chemicals in the morning, but I will check tonite. Thanks!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have been putting 2 3" chlorine pucks in a floating pool chlorinator. I did use Bleach last week, sparingly.
    16x32 Kidney Shaped. In-Ground. 24,700 gallons. Vinyl.
    Deep End 8Ft deep. Shallow 4 ft deep. Built 2003.
    Purex Triton DE FNSP 36 Filter.
    Pentair 1.25 Pump.Hayward Gas Heater.
    Water: Filled by hose, water from town. Test kit: TF-100 and Accucheck Borate Strips.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Thank you! We will not be draining the pool again this summer, after draining it last week. It has been real dry here and in the 90's and no rain in the forecast at all. I have the returns pointed up and also a fountain in the pool that helps aerate the water. Forgot to mention: we called the town and they came out and cleaned all the hydrants and said nothing unusual...do not know what their test numbers showed for water. I was in the pool yesterday mixing the water up and my husband came home from work and did quite a few cannonballs to really get things stirred up.

    I just tested the chemicals now and they read:

    FC: 9
    CC: 0
    PH 7.2
    TA 110 (down 40 from yesterday)
    CYA: 70
    CH: 750 (down 125 from yesterday)...I did have to add water last night.
    Borate: 15
    16x32 Kidney Shaped. In-Ground. 24,700 gallons. Vinyl.
    Deep End 8Ft deep. Shallow 4 ft deep. Built 2003.
    Purex Triton DE FNSP 36 Filter.
    Pentair 1.25 Pump.Hayward Gas Heater.
    Water: Filled by hose, water from town. Test kit: TF-100 and Accucheck Borate Strips.

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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    So how does the water look? Can you see bottom? Can you see a quarter on the bottom of the deep end? Can you read the date on the quarter?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    The pool water is crystal clear and you can see the bottom of the pool perfectly. Yes, you can see a quarter on the bottom. I would not be able to read the date on the quarter without my glasses on, that is kind of hard to do that in the pool LOL...a kid probably could read it!
    16x32 Kidney Shaped. In-Ground. 24,700 gallons. Vinyl.
    Deep End 8Ft deep. Shallow 4 ft deep. Built 2003.
    Purex Triton DE FNSP 36 Filter.
    Pentair 1.25 Pump.Hayward Gas Heater.
    Water: Filled by hose, water from town. Test kit: TF-100 and Accucheck Borate Strips.

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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Great to hear it. Is there anything we need to address that you can think of? Sorry if missed something. Since your pool is vinyl CH really isn't a concern.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    I just went out to check the chemicals, it is now 9:15pm. Here are the readings that I got:

    FC: 5 (this morning it was 9)
    CC: 0.5 (and has been 0 every morning when I have checked it)
    TA: 120 (this morning it was 110)
    CYA: 60 (this morning it was 70)
    CH: 1,100 (this morning it was 750)
    PH: between 7.2 and 7.5

    I have not added anything to the water since the re-fill last weekend. I am totally stumped on this and have never had a problem with the water until this summer. I have been cleaning the DE filter twice a day and it has bright blue grit on it. It is not slimy and I feel nothing on the pool bottom or sides. The pool still looks clear. One thing I forgot to mention...my blonde hair turned green over the weekend after the re-fill, and also today. My friend's daughter was swimming Sunday and I had asked her about her daughter's hair, it is blonde and she said it was bright green. I always thought that was high chlorine, but maybe not now!
    16x32 Kidney Shaped. In-Ground. 24,700 gallons. Vinyl.
    Deep End 8Ft deep. Shallow 4 ft deep. Built 2003.
    Purex Triton DE FNSP 36 Filter.
    Pentair 1.25 Pump.Hayward Gas Heater.
    Water: Filled by hose, water from town. Test kit: TF-100 and Accucheck Borate Strips.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Green hair is usually copper. Plus, CYA will not go down 10 unless you replaced a lot of water.

    Have you tested for metals?
    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: Pulling My Hair Out

    I hate to say it, but you have copper in your water. probably from the algecides from before. Going to have to get some metal sequestrant in there. look for a products line called Jack's. http://www.jacksmagic.com/
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Thanks, I will look into Jack's! Which Jack's product would I look into? I was wondering if it was copper. Could a new pool heater cause copper in the water? I bought some metal test strips and did not know if it was accurate or not, but the color would not register on the strip (high end).

    Here are my readings from this morning at 6:30am, before sunlight hit the pool water:

    FC: 5.5
    CC: 0.5
    TA: 120
    CYA: 70
    CH: 875
    PH: 7.5
    Borate: 15
    16x32 Kidney Shaped. In-Ground. 24,700 gallons. Vinyl.
    Deep End 8Ft deep. Shallow 4 ft deep. Built 2003.
    Purex Triton DE FNSP 36 Filter.
    Pentair 1.25 Pump.Hayward Gas Heater.
    Water: Filled by hose, water from town. Test kit: TF-100 and Accucheck Borate Strips.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    First, FC can't go up unless you added chlorine to the pool or you have one other source like a tab in the floater. That, plus other numbers changing so radically indicate testing error.

    Are you using a SpeedStir? Many times testing error is due to not swirling properly while adding drops or miscounting while swirling. If you don't have one, check it out. SpeedStir
    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: Pulling My Hair Out

    No chlorine is being added. Not using a speed stir and my husband is doing the test after I get done doing it and we come up with the same numbers. I will get one though. I bought some Jack's Blue Stuff this morning. Do I put it in all at once? Little bit at a time? Will it make my pool cloudy? I had some metal testing strips left and the copper is super high, so the overage of copper is correct. Thanks!!
    16x32 Kidney Shaped. In-Ground. 24,700 gallons. Vinyl.
    Deep End 8Ft deep. Shallow 4 ft deep. Built 2003.
    Purex Triton DE FNSP 36 Filter.
    Pentair 1.25 Pump.Hayward Gas Heater.
    Water: Filled by hose, water from town. Test kit: TF-100 and Accucheck Borate Strips.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    You said you were using pucks. Those will raise your CYA over time so you should avoid them. Use liquid chlorine or bleach.
    Intex 12'x24'x52"
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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Gigi613 View Post
    Okay, will use Pool Math. Thank you! Have no idea why the CH is so high, before we drained the pool last week, the CH was over 1,700! The town is drilling near our home, so we are guessing "possibly" there is something going on there. My parents live a mile away and they experienced a blue grit around their bath tub when my Nephew took a bath at their house last week. Yes, I did test the fill water and it was high in PH, but low in Chlorine and CH at 175. I will test for OCLT, I only check the chemicals in the morning, but I will check tonite. Thanks!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have been putting 2 3" chlorine pucks in a floating pool chlorinator. I did use Bleach last week, sparingly.


    Are these still in?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Pulling My Hair Out

    I was using pucks, but have not since we refilled the pool. I usually use Clorox bleach to shock the pool, but have not since we re-filled the water.
    16x32 Kidney Shaped. In-Ground. 24,700 gallons. Vinyl.
    Deep End 8Ft deep. Shallow 4 ft deep. Built 2003.
    Purex Triton DE FNSP 36 Filter.
    Pentair 1.25 Pump.Hayward Gas Heater.
    Water: Filled by hose, water from town. Test kit: TF-100 and Accucheck Borate Strips.

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