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Thread: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

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    Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Hello all,
    First of all, thanks in advance for any reply to help me and my issue. We had a gunnite pool installed 5 years ago. The Pool is great and absolutely beautiful. We have had a chlorine demand problem 5 times in 5 years. One of those years with no issues. I've read many articles on chlorine demand so I'm beginning to understand what it is, kind of. I regularly have water tested at the pool company. It Has cost me many, many bags of shock, thousands of dollars fixing the problem and many nights staying up to resolve the demand issue. This year it was recommended by the pool company to do a full drain in the middle of the season and that only has partially solved the problem. As of now, it is maintaining chlorine, after 40 bags of shock over the last 24 hrs., but seriously, am I doing this all wrong.???? 4 other pools on my street and no one else has had this problem. jim brink
    In-ground, Gunnite, 15,300 gal. with attached 900 gallon spa (currently used as just kiddie pool), shared water (water is pumped to the spa-then drained under water to the pool), diamond bright onyx coating, automatic retractable pool cover, manual cover on spa, 2 skimmers, Stay-Rite system 3 filtration, Nature 2 pro G sanitizer, Coates electric heater, pool is in full sunlight all day, We live in ky.----covered and closed from October-April.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Well, yes, you are kind of doing it all wrong
    Mainly by trusting the pool store.

    What is the shock you are adding? If it is Dichlor or Trichlor, that drives up the stabilizer (CYA) level. And the CYA is what determines the chlorine (FC) level you must maintain to prevent algae according to the FC/CYA Chart. This relationship is generally what the pool store does not understand or explain to people if they do. I am guessing your CYA is just WAY WAY too high now.

    If you want to take control, then invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits and stop trusting horrendous pool store testing. Once you have it, post up the test results and we will get you squared away.

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    biogaurd burnout 73 shock 40 bags so far, aqua check test strips

    - - - Updated - - -

    Once I get the chlorine stabilized, I'm sure they will recommend a tom of other chemicals I will have to add to get water to be swim ready again.
    In-ground, Gunnite, 15,300 gal. with attached 900 gallon spa (currently used as just kiddie pool), shared water (water is pumped to the spa-then drained under water to the pool), diamond bright onyx coating, automatic retractable pool cover, manual cover on spa, 2 skimmers, Stay-Rite system 3 filtration, Nature 2 pro G sanitizer, Coates electric heater, pool is in full sunlight all day, We live in ky.----covered and closed from October-April.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Well, all the "shock" is cal-hypo. So it is not adding CYA, but it is adding calcium (CH) which can also cause problems if it gets too high. Which is why we recommend using liquid chlorine / bleach.

    In your pool, that 40 pounds has added 227 ppm of FC and 160ppm of CH and 230ppm of salt ... using PoolMath.

    Test strips are worse than pool store testing ... well that may not be true. They both just are horrible.
    Get a recommended test kit.
    Take control.

    And most important ....
    STOP going to the pool store for advice!!!!!!!!!
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Welcome to TFP!

    One of the cornerstone principles of the TFP method is the Chlorine / CYA Relationship. What I suspect is happening is that you are using chlorinating pucks along with bags of shock that likely contain dichlor or trichlor which will raise CYA levels. Chlorine gets consumed by both sunlight and the ongoing assault of organic matter and bacteria that try to set up shop in your pool. Therefore, chlorine must be constantly replenished and maintained at the appropriate level. CYA, on the other hand, accumulates. The result is that the chlorine/CYA balance gets out of whack. This usually happens around this time of the summer.

    One of the first decisions you will need to make is deciding which pool management method you want to follow...the pool store/company or ours. They are incompatible. I'll speak to our methods. They are based on science and water testing, not marketing. I primarily use only one chemical - plain, unscented, liquid bleach w/o any added thickeners. I occasionally use a second chemical, muriatic acid, to keep pH in check. Prior to using the TFP method, I was spending hundreds of $ a month on all sorts of needless chemicals and my pool water never looked as good as it has under the TFP method.

    You will need one of the Recommended Test Kits to properly manage your pool. I use the TF-100 because it's the best value and they have a freshness guarantee. You can order it here: TFTestkits.net. They ship fast - you should have it in your hands in 2-3 days with normal shipping. If you want to really do the right thing, I would order one of these test kits tonight. Do not rely on pool store testing - it is notably inaccurate and they will use those results to sell you all sorts of chemicals you do not need that will cost you way more than this test kit.

    While you are waiting for your kit to arrive, here are some resources to give you an overview of managing your pool using our methods:
    1. ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    2. Chlorine CYA Chart
    3. Recommended Pool Chemicals
    4. Recommended Levels
    5. Pool Math

    - - - Updated - - -

    Since I began typing my response, I see you have provided more details on the products you are using. Although that helps, the next step is some reliable test results using one of the Recommended Test Kits. Seconding what jblizzle stated, test strips (a.k.a., "guess strips") will not cut it - they do not have the precision needed to manage your pool and determine how much of what is needed or the action(s) necessary to solve your pool's issue.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Hi Jim, and Welcome to TFP.

    I'm a KY gal here myself, and I promise you that today IS your lucky day. Coming to TFP for help is the best move you could have made. The people here at TFP are friendly, knowledgeable, and know everything there is to know about helping, and teaching, YOU to get your pool back in order, and to be able to easily, and Affordably keep it that way from this day forward.

    All you have to do is to be willing to learn, and follow their suggestions, to become one Very Happy and Non-Stressed Pool Owner. Are you ready? If so order the suggested test kit as jbizzle suggested above, post those results, and lets get this party started.

    Again Welcome, and I promise you, if you follow the advice you'll receive here you will never be sorry.

    Have A Wonderful Night!!!
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    I am very upset with myself for not reaching out and finding you before now. Thanks for your help. I just ordered a tf-100 test kit and will get on it right away. This problem has me so upset, I was seriously going to fill my $60,000 pool with dirt next year. I just want to swim with my wife and kids and didn't think it should be this difficult.
    In-ground, Gunnite, 15,300 gal. with attached 900 gallon spa (currently used as just kiddie pool), shared water (water is pumped to the spa-then drained under water to the pool), diamond bright onyx coating, automatic retractable pool cover, manual cover on spa, 2 skimmers, Stay-Rite system 3 filtration, Nature 2 pro G sanitizer, Coates electric heater, pool is in full sunlight all day, We live in ky.----covered and closed from October-April.

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Jim, I completely understand. TFP was my last hope too because I'd planned to get rid of my pool as well. I hadn't had my pool up and running for 3 years because I felt it was an Expensive and Hopeless cause.

    You are correct, and I am truly sorry. One wouldn't think taking a swim with their family in their own pool should be an issue, but with all the stuff Pool Stores sell you so they can make money, and because they don't know any better themselves, then have you unnecessarily dump it all in there, over the years, it definitely becomes a huge issue.

    I too was so grateful to find this site a little less than 1 month ago. My pool is now crystal clear, all my levels are completely on the mark, I know how to care for My pool, Myself, and the TFP method of caring for my pool allowed me to return $160.00 worth of Pool Store chemicals that I did Not even need to be putting in my pool to start with.

    Like I said, you won't be one bit sorry you came here, and you'll be wishing you found this site 5 years ago when you 1st got your pool. But the important thing is you are here Now, and we all will help you straighten out that mess.

    LOL I'm willing to bet in a couple weeks, you will be right where I am today. You'll be telling new people how wonderful this site, and the members are. I'm not saying this stuff because I Have to, I'm saying it because it is 100%, without a doubt, the truth.

    We're ALL very glad you're here, and I know you will be too. Soon you, and your family will be able to swim as often as you want. Have a wonderful night!!
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Thanks for the advice and help. I will read these articles over and over again until I understand completely . I am feeling comfortable that I'm in the right place and am gonna work this out. One question, What do I do in the meantime? I think I have chlorine level stabilized at a very high level right now. In the past, I've just gone to the pool company and they have given me the chems needed to swim. Until I get my test kit and beginning moving forward with this new founds info, what do we do?
    In-ground, Gunnite, 15,300 gal. with attached 900 gallon spa (currently used as just kiddie pool), shared water (water is pumped to the spa-then drained under water to the pool), diamond bright onyx coating, automatic retractable pool cover, manual cover on spa, 2 skimmers, Stay-Rite system 3 filtration, Nature 2 pro G sanitizer, Coates electric heater, pool is in full sunlight all day, We live in ky.----covered and closed from October-April.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    I would not do anything more than add a bottle of bleach to the pool every day until you have a test kit.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    I just had another thought. If the pool stores using the wrong kind of chlorine test they could be reporting low chlorine levels when in fact the chlorine levels are very high because the color gets bleached out of the test.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Even with the chlorine level high, add a bottle of bleach every day, and absolutley no swimming?
    In-ground, Gunnite, 15,300 gal. with attached 900 gallon spa (currently used as just kiddie pool), shared water (water is pumped to the spa-then drained under water to the pool), diamond bright onyx coating, automatic retractable pool cover, manual cover on spa, 2 skimmers, Stay-Rite system 3 filtration, Nature 2 pro G sanitizer, Coates electric heater, pool is in full sunlight all day, We live in ky.----covered and closed from October-April.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    What is your chlorine level? What is your CYA level? A high-level of chlorine is very subjective.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    It might be best to just wait for the test kit and not add anything at this point.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    I am so glad you found the forum. There is nothing better than being a pool owner and OPERATOR!!! We will be there for you every step of the way. Hurry up, kit!!!!!

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    I just have test strips. Chlorine is a very dark purple. I have trusted my pool company to manage this for me until now. I normally have taken samples to them weekly.
    In-ground, Gunnite, 15,300 gal. with attached 900 gallon spa (currently used as just kiddie pool), shared water (water is pumped to the spa-then drained under water to the pool), diamond bright onyx coating, automatic retractable pool cover, manual cover on spa, 2 skimmers, Stay-Rite system 3 filtration, Nature 2 pro G sanitizer, Coates electric heater, pool is in full sunlight all day, We live in ky.----covered and closed from October-April.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    And they have failed you every year even though you've paid them thousands of dollars .
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    ph 6.8, free chlorine 10, total alkalinity100, stabilizer 0

    - - - Updated - - -

    closest readings i can come up with

    - - - Updated - - -

    water is murky

    - - - Updated - - -

    can barely see bottom 5' 5" center depth
    In-ground, Gunnite, 15,300 gal. with attached 900 gallon spa (currently used as just kiddie pool), shared water (water is pumped to the spa-then drained under water to the pool), diamond bright onyx coating, automatic retractable pool cover, manual cover on spa, 2 skimmers, Stay-Rite system 3 filtration, Nature 2 pro G sanitizer, Coates electric heater, pool is in full sunlight all day, We live in ky.----covered and closed from October-April.

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Wow they have you all messed up don't they.

    You will have to raise your pH to at least 7.2 when your kit arrives.

    If your stabilizer is in fact 0 that is why your burning through chlorine the way you are there is nothing in there to protect it and help it hold. I personally figured the CYA would be on the high end of the spectrum instead of the low end but hey it's easier to fix on the low end .

    Once your test kit comes in you can test them all again and will know for sure. ALSO be sure and use the 10ml mark for test on the ones you can because that will save you from using as much reagents. PLUS using the 10ml mark for testing your chlorine levels, you can use only 1 scoop of powder for your check, instead of 2 scoops.

    Also, TFtestkits ships really quickly, so you'll have your kit early next week possibly even Monday.

    LOL With all the powdery chlorine they've had you put in the past 24hours, I believe I'd be a little murky too. The water is probably trying to run and hid from all the powder. We will get it all taken care of. Make sure you run your filter and brush a couple times over the weekend so everything is mixed in well so your reading will be accurate when you check it.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

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    Re: Chlorine demand---in Kentucky---5 times in 4.5 years

    Jim, it is really hard for anyone to recommend your next step without accurate test results. If we say, wow, raise that "x" based on guess-strips, and the REAL numbers are different, we could just be creating more problems.

    That being said, you MIGHT want to go to Walmart, Target, pool store, etc., and get a simple OTO kit until your test kit arrives on Tuesday. Only you can decide if the expense is worth it as your new kit will have an OTO. However, for less than $10, you can reliably test that pH with the OTO. If it is really <6.9, you need to at least throw a little 20 Mule Team borax in there. Low pH is one of (my) fix it now issues.

    If you buy the OTO, we can walk you through how to adjust pH until your kit arrives. Just let us know.

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