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Thread: High CYA in AZ problem

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    High CYA in AZ problem

    Hi all,

    I just bought a 20 year old house that has a 20 year old IG plaster pool. I'm not sure how many gallons it is yet but I plan to call the company who made it to see if they have it on record. Otherwise I'll be guesstimating. It's a standard sized playpool in AZ. I started with test strips and saw it had off the charts CYA. I knew from previous experience that I needed to drain it, and the CYA was so high I figured I'd drain the entire thing and start over. I got the pool about half way drained and then heard that I shouldn't drain a plaster pool in the middle of AZ summer because of how hot it is, so I stopped draining and filled it back up.

    I bought the Taylor K-2006 and ran the whole battery of tests. Here are the results after the half drain:
    • FC - 9 (I put 3/4 a gallon of 10% chlorine in after the refill)
    • CC - .5
    • PH - 7.6
    • TA - 160
    • CH - 750 (not 100% sure I did this test right. Going to try again tomorrow)
    • CYA - still off the charts. Definitely over 200 and probably close to 300 or something. I tried the half normal water/half pool water and it still clouded the dot almost instantly.


    Here are the options I can think of but I would love anyone's input:
    1. Run it as a high chlorine pool for the rest of the summer, then drain it once it cools down. Is this even possible with CYA this high? Can the tests measure it accurate enough? Is it safe to swim in?
    2. Continuously drain while refilling until the CYA comes down. I would imagine this will take forever and waste a bunch of water. I bought the harbor freight pump that uses a garden hose and it works but takes a while.
    3. Drain it as fast a possible at night and pray I can drain and refill a decent amount before the midday heat of the next day. I've heard the Home Depot pump you can rent will drain an average playpool in 6 hours. Not sure if I can refill it fast enough to avoid the heat.


    Couple other somewhat related questions:
    1. Pool store is offered a Hayward SWG for $1350 installed with 5 bags of salt. Is this a good deal or is it fairly standard price?
    2. In AZ I've found I need to drain the pool every year because of hardness anyway. Is there still a benefit to using the TFP way over tablets?


    I'd love your thoughts, ideas, input and tips. Great site and I've learned a ton so far! Thank you!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Wildcat's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    Need to break your concerns into manageable pieces. First, you can live with high CH. Need to address the high CYA first.
    Stop using pucks and shock. Partial drain to lower CYA. I am in Tucson. Lowered my CYA from over 150 to 60 in a year. I anticipated monsoon rains. Would drain a couple of inches and let rain refill it. If rain fell short I would just fill with the hose. Second,here in AZ with all our sun I believe 60-70 CYA is probably better than 30-40 CYA.

    What is your CH? By keeping CSI low you can live with it. My CH is 460,down from 600. By keeping TA at 70 an PH at 7.2 to 7.4 I limit the effects of CH. Limited scaling problems.
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    Thanks Wildcat!

    CH is 750. Agreed that CYA is my greater concern.

    Am I able to drain a plaster pool in AZ summer without hurting it? The TFP calculator is telling me I need to drain 92% of it to get 300ish CYA down to 60

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    Wildcat's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Baznitch View Post
    Thanks Wildcat!

    CH is 750. Agreed that CYA is my greater concern.

    Am I able to drain a plaster pool in AZ summer without hurting it? The TFP calculator is telling me I need to drain 92% of it to get 300ish CYA down to 60
    Not an expert on a complete drain. My pool is Pebbeltec, which I believe is plaster base. I did partial drains to conserve water. If you keep your FC at an appropriate level for your CYA you do not have to get to 60 CYA all at once. I lived with over 100 CYA by keeping my FC at like 18 for a time. As long as you do not get algae and have to do a SLAM where you need massive amounts of bleach you can live with higher CYA.

    Read carefully on how to do a diluted test for CYA. Over 100 CYA the test results are sketchy. You may actually be lower.


    I would try a partial drain.
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    The key to protecting the pool from the heat is keeping it cool or wet. You can drain overnight and you can use a sprinkler to keep the plaster surface cool as you are refilling. I've drained mine a couple of times due to high CH. Mine is at about 650 right now and I don't even consider that high. I spent a whole season with a CH over 1,000. It's not easy, but high levels of calcium can be managed.

    If you balance the water carefully you won't have scale. I had a lot of problems before I found the forum. Lowered my TA to help with pH rise. Now I use the Pool Calculator to keep a very close eye on my CSI.

    We have very hard water and extreme evaporation rates. The calcium level in my pool has been well over 1,000, yet I have no scale at all. That is too high but, it shows with diligence you can manage very high CH levels with no scale. The most important thing is the CSI. The CH only tells you how much calcium is in the water, the CSI tells you if it will stay in the water or perciptate as scale on the pool surface.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    I live in AZ as well and had nearly identical issues (CYA 160+). I did an ~80% drain and dropped my CYA down to 30 in one fell swoop. I started it at dusk and it was nearly refilled by noon the next day. This was in September, I think, so it was 'only' in the 90s.

    I'm curious to get more input on the keeping CYA at 60-70 versus 30-40 for AZ. I lose about 4FC per day, so I drop near the minimum of 2FC practically every day (I raise it to 6FC at night, and it is 2-2.5 the next evening). Would it benefit me to raise CYA so I have a bit more breathing room due to the massive loss from AZ sun?
    ~10K Gallon IG Plaster Pool built in 1996
    AO Smith SQ1152 1.5HP Pump
    Sta-Rite T-240BP-1 Sand Filter (62 GPM)

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    Wildcat's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Sansfear View Post
    I live in AZ as well and had nearly identical issues (CYA 160+). I did an ~80% drain and dropped my CYA down to 30 in one fell swoop. I started it at dusk and it was nearly refilled by noon the next day. This was in September, I think, so it was 'only' in the 90s.

    I'm curious to get more input on the keeping CYA at 60-70 versus 30-40 for AZ. I lose about 4FC per day, so I drop near the minimum of 2FC practically every day (I raise it to 6FC at night, and it is 2-2.5 the next evening). Would it benefit me to raise CYA so I have a bit more breathing room due to the massive loss from AZ sun?
    I am happy with CYA at 60 inTucson. With all our sunny days, 330 per year, it seems to work better.
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    My CYA is still well over 200 as I tried the diluted test and it still failed to give measurable results.

    I just used the calculator to determine I would need insane amounts of chlorine to keep the pool in check as is.

    Seems like my options are gonna be limited to trying for a quick drain/refill over night if possible.

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    Nighthawk224's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    I was in almost the same boat as you with new house, new-to-us pool, no idea about pool care and I'm in Gilbert. Howdy neighbor!! My pool was about 220-240 CYA and I was going to leave it alone and use higher chlorine until the fall, but I just couldn't stay out of it and something about the chemical soup was irritating my skin something awful. Itchy rash/hives from scalp to toe. I got a little 1 HP pump and garden hose to restrict the flow to keep it within the advised rate by the city and drained it about halfway over the course of two days early last month. Fiance and I kept the walls wet the whole time the sun was up. The walls stayed cool even when it dried out a little in between bucket sloshes. The only part of the pool that got warm while out of the water was the stairs. We kept those wet religiously. I won't say we didn't take a risk, but filled up the pool in the wee morning hours. My CYA is now at 120, which is still high, but manageable until fall when we can do another half drain (and not have to babysit it all day in the 100+ degree heat). The pool LOOKS way better, smells better, and best of all, FEELS better! No more itchy-bad-poolwater skin! My goal is to get the CYA down to 60, but as I said it is completely manageable at this point. I usually put 20-50 ounces of bleach in daily and try to keep the FC around 13. If the FC is less than 10, I test the pH too... So it CAN be done, although again, we did take a risk doing it in the depths of summer.
    ~11,250 gallon, in ground, Pebble-Tec finish, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter, Hayward Super II pump, Hayward bottom vacuum NaviGator (I call him Fred), waterfall feature, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    Thanks Nighthawk! Looks like I'll be trying to drain it half way twice. If it's got 300 CYA that'll hopefully get me down to 75. Just need to be extra cautious with wetting the plaster with the hose and that sprinkler idea earlier wasn't too bad!

    I found out my pool is 10,350 gallons. Look's really pretty today but it's secretly got a ton of CYA in it!

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    The key to protecting the pool from the heat is keeping it cool or wet. You can drain overnight and you can use a sprinkler to keep the plaster surface cool as you are refilling. I've drained mine a couple of times due to high CH. Mine is at about 650 right now and I don't even consider that high. I spent a whole season with a CH over 1,000. It's not easy, but high levels of calcium can be managed.

    If you balance the water carefully you won't have scale. I had a lot of problems before I found the forum. Lowered my TA to help with pH rise. Now I use the Pool Calculator to keep a very close eye on my CSI.

    We have very hard water and extreme evaporation rates. The calcium level in my pool has been well over 1,000, yet I have no scale at all. That is too high but, it shows with diligence you can manage very high CH levels with no scale. The most important thing is the CSI. The CH only tells you how much calcium is in the water, the CSI tells you if it will stay in the water or perciptate as scale on the pool surface.
    I agree completely with the advise regarding the high CH. Since monitoring the TA and PH closely, I also havent had any scaling issues after draining our pool last fall because of CYA issues.....and being in Phoenix as well as the entire valley, we have very hard water which left unchecked can cause scaling. Stick with the advise from the guys on this forum and you will be in good shape.
    Phoenix, AZ USA 12k gal, IG pebble, Pentair TR-100 sand filter, Jandy/Zodiac ePump series-variable speed, builit 1991 (re-plastered with pebble 2013-new pump 2011), Taylor 2006 test kit with (FAS-DPD) chlorine test w/speedstir, Spa attached

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    Nighthawk224's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    My pool water looked great, too. However, even after one half drain and TFP method maintenance, it looks FANTASTIC. You will LOVE the difference. We did take turns wading around pouring water on the walls or splashing them with a bucket.

    I had to shut off backyard water because the auto-refilling kicked in or else a sprinkler would have been a great idea. I'm sure there's a way to turn the auto-refilling gizmo off, I just went the easy route. We haven't gotten the water bill from this yet, so I'm a little scared...
    ~11,250 gallon, in ground, Pebble-Tec finish, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter, Hayward Super II pump, Hayward bottom vacuum NaviGator (I call him Fred), waterfall feature, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    Relax, it won't require a second mortgage. If your rates are close to ours it will cost about $100. Well worth it to get the pool balanced.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    This is a great thread, as a Gilbert resident and getting our first pool - PebbleSheen in the next couple of weeks!

    How did all your CYA get that high? Is it just by using the pucks?

    I am going to be using TFP from day one... already have my TF-100 kit.

    For SWG pools, CYA of 70 recommended in this site.. So, should I shoot for 70 CYA and 5 FC during startup, considering AZ conditions?

    CYA (Stabilizer) Minimum FC Target FC Shock FC
    60*
    3
    4
    24
    70
    3
    5
    28
    80
    4
    6
    31
    2015 build (link)| 16.5 K gal | Salt Water | IG rect | 35'x16' | 568 sf | 105 ft peri | depth 3'-5' | PV3 in-floor | 2 Venturi skimmers | MDX+SDX drains | T-CELL-15 SWG | Hayward Ecostar VS pump | Hayward 7220 DE Filter | Aqua Cal Icebreaker Heat / Cool pump SQ166 | Hayward Sense & Dispense PH Controller| Omnilogic | Pebble Sheen Blue Surf | Ultra UV | Stenner acid pump | Coverstar Automatic | TF-100

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    Nighthawk224's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    I'm assuming pucks. The previous owner left a puck floater and when we first moved it, we were so overwhelmed, we got a friend's pool business to handle the chemicals for us. I always wanted to eventually take over, but he had to stop serving us a month ago because we were his only Gilbert client and it was just too far for him to go. To me, it was worth it to have him come out, especially at the very beginning just to show us what lever did what and what to clean when. However, I have learned a ton since then and feel totally confident in handling this pool myself. Heck, even my soon-to-be mother-in-law is suitably impressed...

    My eventual goal this fall is to get the CYA down to 55 to 60 for chlorine. I have no experience with salt.
    ~11,250 gallon, in ground, Pebble-Tec finish, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter, Hayward Super II pump, Hayward bottom vacuum NaviGator (I call him Fred), waterfall feature, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: High CYA in AZ problem

    Quote Originally Posted by trbvm View Post
    This is a great thread, as a Gilbert resident and getting our first pool - PebbleSheen in the next couple of weeks!

    How did all your CYA get that high? Is it just by using the pucks?

    I am going to be using TFP from day one... already have my TF-100 kit.

    For SWG pools, CYA of 70 recommended in this site.. So, should I shoot for 70 CYA and 5 FC during startup, considering AZ conditions?

    CYA (Stabilizer) Minimum FC Target FC Shock FC
    60*
    3
    4
    24
    70
    3
    5
    28
    80
    4
    6
    31
    70 is a good CYA target for a SWG pool. But, be careful to not overshoot. The CYA should be added in a sock either in a skimmer of hung in front of a return. Add your salt, and then get the pH right. Then bring the FC up with bleach. After the salt is completely dissolved and mixed in (24 hrs) turn on the SWG. Don't bother to test CYA level for a week. Then you can test and do fine adjustment.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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