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Thread: No Chlorine Reading

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    No Chlorine Reading

    Hello,

    So, I have done a lot of research and there seems to be too many possible causes to the problem I am having. Like many others I am getting a 0 FAC reading, yet almost all of my others #'s are close to great. I cannot nail down an exact time at which this began to occur. My pool was installed 2 months ago. It's saltwater and I have the purechlor generator. Here are my #'s:
    FAC - 0
    TAC - .5
    Salt - 3800
    Hardness - 220
    CYA - 70
    Alk - 120
    pH - 7.6
    Copper - 0
    Iron - 0
    Phosphates - 500

    Now, I realize that the PHO level is a bit high; but there is no visible algae and the pool is crystal. I just had these readings done today at the pool store , and was planning on going back tomorrow to buy some phosfree(I didn't buy it today because I thought I was given it with the other chemicals that came with the pool). I have shocked the pool twice in the last week with 1 gallon (each time) of star shock, which has 12.5% chlorine available. My filter runs 9 hours a day, and for about 7-10 days I have increased the chlorine output on the generator to level 6 (out of 8). About 4 weeks ago (July 12th) I bought a solar cover which has maintained a pool temp of around 88-92...............however on one occasion (around July 21st) the temp actually reached 100. As soon as I noticed that, I left the cover off of the pool for a few days. I feel that the chlorine problem has been going on since around a few days after the solar cover really started to work. Since that time I have also noticed on a couple of occasions that the pool felt a bit "slimy". I brushed it down with a good scrubbing and its been fine now for about a week. I vacuum the pool a few times a week with an automatic vacuum. I get little to no debris in the pool other than dirt as a result of the construction and wind. This is driving me nuts. I do not want to drain and restart anything because there are only about 4-5 weeks left in the season ( I live in NY with no pool heater).

    I tried to be as thorough as possible. While there does not seem to be any current effect of the low chlorine, I know very little about pools and obviously want to get this solved. I also want to make sure that it is still safe to swim as I have young children. From what I understand, low chlorine is better than high chlorine; but I doubt that applies to NO chlorine.

    Thank you and PLEASE advise
    Jason
    13,600gal radiant Metric Free Form In-Ground Salt pool, vinyl-June 2015
    Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter model S244T, Hayward Vari-Flo XL valve model SP0714T1, Hayward Self Priming Super Pump, purechlor SWG
    full sun and no debris

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    You have no sanitation protection in your pool. Chlorine is the only thing that provides that and it is imperative you get some chlorine in your pool. Put two large jugs of Clorox in their sooner rather than later.

    I suggest you read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School and get the basics and then ask questions. We'll all help.

    Forget phosphates and don't waste money on phosphate remover.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    Dave - Those are pool $tore readings. You know what that means...


    ap - You need to get a test kit of your very own. One of the recommend ones listed here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...its-comparison

    Use it to find out what is really going on in your pool. Then we can be much more help.
    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: No Chlorine Reading

    But does anyone have any idea why this happened? That's my main question? Did I do something wrong? Is the solar cover somehow to blame? What can buying a test kit provide that I havent already stated? (I will buy a test kit however, as ive been using the strips). I've provided what I thought to be a lot of info and am not really sure what else I can say. Why isn't my salt water generator providing enough chlorine?

    And I know almost all of the workers at the pool store personally. I'm a teacher and have had practically all of them in class and have very good relationships with them. I trust them. Are you saying that pool stores cannot take accurate readings with water that I provide? They did not tell me to buy anything and as I was walking out I said "how can I lower the phosphates". They then replied "I wouldn't worry too much, but you can use phosfree".

    I appreciate both your help. I will read up on the chemistry of a pool; but my situation couldn't get any more specific in my opinion. If you could tell me what other info you need I will most definitely provide it. I stated the readings and literally a play by play of the last 30 days. I'll add the bleach; but that doesn't help me with how to prevent this from happening again.

    Thanks for replying

    Jay
    Jason
    13,600gal radiant Metric Free Form In-Ground Salt pool, vinyl-June 2015
    Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter model S244T, Hayward Vari-Flo XL valve model SP0714T1, Hayward Self Priming Super Pump, purechlor SWG
    full sun and no debris

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    poolnoob.ca's Avatar
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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    Hi Jay, the first thing i would try to check is if the chlorine generator actually is working. To do that take a water sample straight from where it shoots back into the pool, and compare it to a sample taken on the opposite side. It should have higher chlorine in the return jet as it is coming straight from the generator. A recommended test kit would give you more precise readings, but even the cheap chlorine/pH color comparator should work, strips probably not. It looks like your salt is in the mfr recommendation of 3500-4500ppm, and your CYA at 70 is good for a SWG. Both the CYA and your cover should be preventing chlorine burnoff from the sun.

    I think likely the SWG is struggling to keep ahead of algae and the pool is in a slow downward spiral. Maybe the solar cover heating the water triggered it? I think supplementing with daily liquid chlorine or bleach would be a good idea to give the SWG a chance to start maintaining the chlorine. If that doesnt help will need to do a TFP-style SLAM, which is a daily process of maintaining high chlorine, not just a couple of "shocks" here and there.

    As far as low chlorine being better than high, i think we would all disagree here at this forum. With your CYA of 70, safe is 3ppm to 28 ppm. Unsafe is less than 3ppm.
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
    Filter: AstralPools ZX-310 SWCG: AstralPools VX7T
    Heater: Hayward H250FDN Test Kit: TF-100

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    Jay, besides the advice Dave and pabeader already gave, I thought I'd try something based on your original concern - "How could this have happened (no FC)?" There's a couple things that are "possible" in my mind:
    - Either the FC and or CYA readings at the pool store could be inaccurate I suppose. Our experience certainly shows it's a string possibility.
    - There could also be something wrong with your SWG, so even though you have it set higher, perhaps it's not generating the FC output you think?

    But going back to the CYA and the pool store ... we've seem time & time again where the results will return high, then low the next day at the same location. We know CYA doesn't change like that. So, "what if" your CYA was actually lower than 70? That would mean inadequate protection for your FC, therefore the FC would get eliminated by the sun very quickly. We also have validated instructions stating that of all the tests performed, the CYA test is one that should be done outdoors in natural lighting, with the sun at your back for best (visible) results when trying to look at the CYA test tube and black dot. So it's easy for the CYA test to come-back incorrect when performed indoors.

    Also, the fact that you have (according to them) zero FC, but you DO have .5 CC (combined/trash chlorine) tells me that even though your water is clear right now, you may have something going on in the water (transition stage); another reason why FC might have been expended so quickly - it's fighting something more besides the sun.

    Of course these are just experienced guesses since you don't have a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 at this time. But many times over, (myself included at one point), folks come back and say, "I can't believe how different my own test results were from my pool store or builder." Only then are they able to adjust chemicals accordingly and make the progress they expect. I hope perhaps this gives you a few other things to consider while evaluating your way forward. Good luck, and have a nice evening.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    Wow, thanks so much poolnoob and Pat. I am going to purchase the suggested test kits and take my own readings going forward. Those replies were very helpful and I totally see what you're talking about. I'm currently adding bleach...............I added 4 quarts and went out and bought 4 more quarts. I suppose if tomorrow I get a chlorine reading that means that it's not the generator? I only have strips right now so I cannot do the two separate tests that you recommended until I buy the test kit. Should I run the filter overnight?
    Jason
    13,600gal radiant Metric Free Form In-Ground Salt pool, vinyl-June 2015
    Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter model S244T, Hayward Vari-Flo XL valve model SP0714T1, Hayward Self Priming Super Pump, purechlor SWG
    full sun and no debris

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    Is there a test kit thats better to buy for saltwater? Im about to purchase the Taylor 2006 through amazon as we speak.
    Jason
    13,600gal radiant Metric Free Form In-Ground Salt pool, vinyl-June 2015
    Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter model S244T, Hayward Vari-Flo XL valve model SP0714T1, Hayward Self Priming Super Pump, purechlor SWG
    full sun and no debris

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    Glad to hear you are ordering the K-2006. You'll be glad you did. There are a couple options for testing specifically the salt, but I'm a manual chlorine jockey so I don't recall what those are. Someone else will chime-in shortly with a good salt test recommendation for you. Keep us posted and let us know if you have any more questions now or once your kit arrives.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    If you are for sure going to buy the 2006 make sure you buy the C option. The plain or A version doesn't have enough reagents for the stuff you need.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    I saw the difference but amazon only had the A which has smaller bottles I know. Cant I just buy more bottles? I realize that will be more costly; but I was in a rush and did not feel like searching all over the internet. Thanks for the heads up though
    Jason
    13,600gal radiant Metric Free Form In-Ground Salt pool, vinyl-June 2015
    Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter model S244T, Hayward Vari-Flo XL valve model SP0714T1, Hayward Self Priming Super Pump, purechlor SWG
    full sun and no debris

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    So adding the bleach as I did acts as a sort of "primer" for the swg to start spitting out chlorine again? Along with killing algae?
    Jason
    13,600gal radiant Metric Free Form In-Ground Salt pool, vinyl-June 2015
    Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter model S244T, Hayward Vari-Flo XL valve model SP0714T1, Hayward Self Priming Super Pump, purechlor SWG
    full sun and no debris

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    Not really. Sometimes SWGs can't keep up if there is significant algae present. The chlorine takes care of the abnormal situation. Once that's corrected the SWG should be more than capable of keeping things in check.

    In reality, you could probably do it with the SWG but it would dramatically shorten the life of the cell and they are much more expensive than bleach.
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    How long after adding bleach would be an appropriate time to get an accurate FC reading?

    And thanks for all your help pabeader. I am ridiculously green when it comes to owning a pool; but hope to learn a lot through this site.
    Jason
    13,600gal radiant Metric Free Form In-Ground Salt pool, vinyl-June 2015
    Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter model S244T, Hayward Vari-Flo XL valve model SP0714T1, Hayward Self Priming Super Pump, purechlor SWG
    full sun and no debris

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    Re: No Chlorine Reading

    Heck, I never had a pool 'til late last year. Now look at me! :P

    Usually 30 mins is considered good enough. As long as your pump is running of course.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just went back through this thread and I notice you asked about the solar cover? Usually, they are fine. It might be harboring some algae on it though. You might want to think about giving it a close look for anything that doesn't seem normal.
    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: No Chlorine Reading

    The Taylor salt level test is a KC-1766.
    For normal summer operations, it matters mostly what your salt cell says... ( think gotta keep momma happy and the salt cell is momma).

    Also realize that your salt cell will not read levels accurately outside of a fairly narrow temp range and that's the value of the salt test kit so that you know what your levels are outside of the temp range.

    Also, your salt cell will shut down below 50 degrees or so water temp (as least, that's the pentair value), so you'll have to hel it along by adding bleach in cold weather.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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