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Thread: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

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    High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    Hi,

    I am hoping to get some sage advice as I begin to better understand my pool chemistry. I am looking to break my dependency on the local pool store and begin a proper education in these forums. They say that admitting that you have a problem is the first step…so here is mine…chlorine.

    We had some great weather, hot days and warm evenings. We had few cool evenings and i had the solar cover on for a few days. Little did I know that my chlorine levels were steadily climbing. I had some algae growth and shocked the pool three days ago. Now I find myself with elevated chlorine levels and I don't know what to do to bring them down. I know that the sun will begin burning off the chlorine but not enough in time for my planned BBQ today.

    The current readings are:
    • Total Chlorine: 10.3
    • Free Chlorine: 9.6


    I am considering using some BioGuard Chem Out to reduce the levels in order to swim this afternoon? Does anyone have some advice with this product or other recommendations?

    Is my pool un-swimmable in its current state?

    Thanks,
    DT

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    Welcome. It may not matter at all if your FC is 10 depending on what your CYA level is. See the chlorine/CYA chart in Pool School. Also, do you and your pool a favor by checking into our recommended test kits there. Sun should burn off any "excess" you think you may have very quickly. Most folks here jack that Fc level up before a party any way. Sounds like you may be a candidate for the SLAM process as well. Yep--------article in Pool School.
    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
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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    Welcome to TFP! First off I would hold off on the Bioguard stuff. We really need to know an accurate CYA and pH level to determine if the pool is safe. What kind of test kit are you using and what does your water look like, crystal clear, a swamp, etc ?
    39YO 13K gallon former SWAMP/MONEY PIT, concrete bottom/Fiberglass Walls, Ecotech VS pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Dolphin DX5 Plus, Loop-Loc safety cover and YES, I have a TFT-100 test kit!

    Shock Level and Maintain - CL/CYA Chart

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    Skitch's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    You've come to the right place!

    Get a test kit, either a TF-100 or a Taylor K-2006.

    I spent a fraction of what I did last summer and my pool has been crystal clear!
    18k gal AG Sand Filter K-2006

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    HI! Take a look at this chart. You are safe to swim at just a tiny bit under SLAM level. If you do not know your CYA level....

    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    I will tell you that the pool stores get the CYA levels wrong the most out of all of the tests.

    Yeah they will test for free BUT it is really free when you walk out with $$ worth of stuff.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    Thanks for the table link. My CYA is 93, way too high and by looking at the table I will never be able to get a free chlorine of 35. It looks like I will have to lower my levels and add water…gutted, feel very foolish. Granted, the CYA measurement is from the local pool store. I have a test kit but it is not the recommended one and comparing the two I clearly need an upgrade. My PH is 7.3, just tested it.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    That they tell you that the CYA looks precise and scientific, but the test just isn't that precise. Figure anywhere from a 5-10% error rate, so you could really be anywhere from about 85 to over a hundred. Partial drain and refill is in your future.

    How do you chlorinate? If you have a salt water chlorine generator the recommended CYA levels are 70ish, so you wouldn't be too high.

    How does the water look? If it's clear, keep that chlorine above 7 and I would target 12 or so to keep it above the minimum. Perfectly safe to swim at those levels with high CYA. My CYA was over 200 for a while and I swam regularly with FC in the 18 range.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    The question is how does the water look? Is it clear? Is all the algae gone?

    If the CYA is in the 90s, 10 FC is nothing to worry about. TC-FC = CC. Yours is .7. That's high. The high CC could be due to the cover being on not allowing the sunlight to destroy the CC and also not letting the pool "breathe"

    Certainly a proper test kit is a necessary first step. But if the pH is in range (7.3 is) and the water isn't green and disgusting, there's no reason not to let people in the pool. It's not ideal, but lots of people swim in worse stuff in rivers and lakes, and you haven;t been at this long enough to become a pool snob. Go for 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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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    Wow…thank you all for the timely responses and great advice. I really appreciate it.

    The pool is clear and the algae appears gone. The pool has been breathing since 5ish yesterday afternoon. I receive great sun on the pool, this time I generally get 10 hours of sun light.

    Today I chlorinate the pool with an inline chlorinator and chlorine pucks. I now know that by using them I am just increasing my CYA and increasing my need with every application. I have a vinyl pool and was told chlorine bleach would ruin my liner and pucks were the way to go. I am still educating myself in pool school but I am thinking it could be a pool store lie. The chlorinator is now switched off.

    I just ordered a k-2006, thanks for the tip.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    CANNON BALL! If your water is clear enjoy your pool and party. Once you are done for the night log on here and order a test kit. You can look in my siggy to find the link to where to order it from.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    I second (I guess really third) the suggestion to get your own accurate test kit. We have just seen too many instances of wildly inaccurate,pool,store testing. I have experienced it myself.

    Once you get a kit, if not by else conduct and OLCT. You water may be clear, but you may have a hidden amount of algae left over just waiting to explode. The OCLT will proce/disprove if this is the case.

    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)
    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: High Chlorine…safe to swim..options?

    Thanks all! My test kit has been ordered and will be here Monday, it will start a new chapter in pool ownership for me. I will do the OCLT test and let you know how it comes back!
    Pool installed in 1996
    22,000 gallons, IG vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Pump: Hayward Super Pump
    Just ordered a K-2006, Aquabot Turbo-T R2 Unit, Filled with town well water

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