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Thread: Help with extremely high cya

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    Help with extremely high cya

    I finally got tired of relying on the guys at the pool store advising me on how to treat my pool. I've been fighting to keep FC levels up for two years and they never told me my cya levels were off the charts and a cause of my problems. They just kept selling me stabilized chlorine. I've been adding more and more chlorine (now using cal chlor) to keep the levels at barely readable levels. So far, the pool looks great, but at a heck of a cost. This summer I found this site and I'm learning. A lot. I got my TF 100 test kit a couple of weeks ago and am learning how to use it.

    When I test for cya, I only know that my levels are way over 100, but is there a way to know the exact number? The liquid in the test tube is about half way between the bottom and the 100. I'm planning to drain water off the pool to get the cya level down. Any suggestions on how much I should drain? Also, what are my next steps after I drain and refill?

    Thank you all for the help you provide.
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    There is a diluted test method described in the Extended Test Instructions to give you a little better feel for how high the CYA is.

    Regardless, you need to replace water. Depending on you ground water level, you should not drain more than about half the pool at a time.

    After you fill, circulate for an hour and retest everything ... post up and we can help with the next step.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Thanks, I didn't know about the extended test instructions. I'll try that tomorrow.

    My pool is irregular in shape, 8' in the deep end, 3' in the shallow. The deep, shallow, and slope are about equal in area. If I leave about a foot in the shallow end, will that be about 50%? BTW, I don't think the ground water level will be a problem (though I wouldn't drain more than half, anyway). Thanks, again!
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    I conducted the 'extended' cya test and the reading was just below the 100 mark on the tube, so it looks like my cya is above 200, maybe above 225. Ugh. Tomorrow I'll drain 50% of the water and refill. According to the calculator, that won't be nearly enough. I'll post again after the first refill. When I post again, should I continue on this thread?
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Yes. Keep all your info under one thread so we all see your "story"
    Dave S.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Yup, sounds like you may have to drain 50% twice to get to a reasonable CYA level.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    So far... I drained what I thought was about 50% but now I think was closer to 40. CYA was still off the chart. Drained about 30%, still well above 100. Took out another 30% yesterday and FINALLY was able to get a reading of about 90. Drained another 35% today and I am refilling it tonight. I hope to test in the morning to find a reasonable level. FYI, the reason we drained in relatively small increments is that we were paranoid to drain too much for fear of damaging the pool ( first timers fears).
    Unsurprisingly, it looks like we have algae growing, maybe pink.
    I have about 50# of cal hypo. Once my cya is down, can I use this to shock (until I use it up) before switching to liquid?
    Thank you all for your help. I really appreciate how you share your knowledge.
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    If your CH isn't already too high, then yes you can use Cal-Hypo as your source of chlorine until you use it up and switch to bleach. If you post your results from the TF-100, then we can better answer your question.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Thanks. Will do.
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    My test results:

    CYA: 62 (low 60s)
    FC: 2.0
    CC: 1.5
    TC: 3.5 (Adding FC and CC. Is this correct?)
    CH: 350
    TA: 70

    Results from the K-1000 (daily test):
    pH: 7.5
    Cl: 0.5
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Looks like you need to get that FC up ASAP to at least the target of 7 based on your CYA of 60. With a CC reading of 1.5, something is getting eaten-up and in the transition phase of oxidation, so keep that FC healthy to avoid a SLAM. You might squeak though it.
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    With a CH of 350, will it be okay to use the cal hypo I have on hand?
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Quote Originally Posted by chrismichaelson View Post
    With a CH of 350, will it be okay to use the cal hypo I have on hand?
    I would not. Stick with bleach.

    Also I think you should follow the SLAM process based on the high CC.
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    +1 what Jblizzle says.
    At CH of 350, your are already treading on the high side of the recommended range. No need to increase that if you dont have to.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Thanks to all. I'm going to raise the FC but, due to work, probably can't start the SLAM until Wednesday. I'll stock up on bleach. I've never used bleach for chlorination. Any guesstimate as to how much I'll need for the SLAM?
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Quote Originally Posted by chrismichaelson View Post
    Thanks to all. I'm going to raise the FC but, due to work, probably can't start the SLAM until Wednesday. I'll stock up on bleach. I've never used bleach for chlorination. Any guesstimate as to how much I'll need for the SLAM?
    Use Pool Math. Check for your SLAM level and it will tell you how much of a certain % of bleach/liquid chlorinator you need to add to your size/gallons of pool
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    Good job getting that CYA number under control. At the bottom of Poolmath there is a tool called effects of adding chemicals. Enter your gallons at the top and select the chemical and weight and it will tell what the result will be in your pool. The 50# of cal hypo will add 100 to 150 ppm of CH to your pool depending on the percentage.
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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    As usual, thanks for the quick and informative responses. I've played with the Poolmath calculator, so I can see how much bleach I'll need to start the SLAM. I don't know how much bleach I might need to maintain the shock level for the necessary time (I know this would only be a best guess).
    I hadn't noticed the effects of chemicals tool at the bottom of the Poolmath page. Thanks for pointing that out, pooldv.
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    I brought my FC up to 24 on Monday, but for Monday and Tuesday could only add bleach twice a day. Beginning Wednesday, I started the full SLAM process, checking the FC and adding bleach hourly, as much as possible, keeping the FC at 24. Have been maintaining that routine since then. Yesterday I also backwashed the filter and in the process drained and replaced about 1000 gallons of water. On Thursday morning, the OCLT was 4.5 (CC was 1.5), this morning it was 3.0 (CC was 1.0), so I guess we're making progress. The water has never looked better. When I tested yesterday, my other levels were:
    CYA: 60
    CH: 325
    TA: 70
    Unfortunately, we seem to have a residual problem from our high CYA times: We always seemed to have some growth inside the skimmer, just above the waterline. I scrubbed the skimmers clean when I was draining water last week, but noticed the growth had returned yesterday, growing just above the waterline. I'm attaching pictures in the hopes someone can ID the problem (PLEASE don't say black algae!). I don't see anything in the pool and don't notice anything coming up when I brush.
    Is there anything else I should be doing?
    Thanks!

    IMG_0633_small.jpgIMG_0635_small.jpg
    18.5K IG, concrete w/pebbletec surface, manual chlorine, DE filter, full sun location, TF 100 test kit, Polaris cleaning robot.

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    Re: Help with extremely high cya

    That almost looks like mold??
    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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