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Thread: Was I just that lucky for all those years?

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    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Beloeil PQ Canada

    Was I just that lucky for all those years?

    Hi! I have had a pool since 2003, and have been taking care of my parents' pool since the late 80's, and for all those years, I have been using the same "tried, tested and true" method to open and maintain my pool, as thought by my uncle, who has a pool since the late 60's, which seems to go roughly along your guidelines, except that I use a cheap OTO/PH test kit that came with the pool. The only products going in my pool since the early 90's are HTH calcium hypochlorite, CYA, baking soda and PH- powder.

    At the start of the season, I would dump 4 pounds of calcium hypochlorite that I have pre-mixed with hot water in a bucket, and maintain the chlorine in the "orange" range until water clears, which I assume is roughly what you call SLAMing the pool.

    After 2-3 days, when the water is clear, I would let the chlorine drop to 3 ppm, maintain that level and adjust my pH between 7.4 and 7.8. After a week or so, I would add 3.5 pounds of CYA, and I usually would add another pound by late July to mid-august and my water would stay clear for the whole summer, even in the warmest days of July and August. I check daily my pH and chlorine with an OTO kit, but once a week or so, I use sticks to check for FC.

    But for the last 3-4 years, it's taking longer and longer after the initial shock to get sparkling clear water, especially this season. After 4 days, my water was still very milky and I couldn't see more than about 2 feet deep, and after a full week it was still cloudy. I got the problem "solved by using alum, but I feel I shouldn't have had to.

    I have been busier than usual the last 2 weeks so I forgot to add more CYA, and earlier this week I noticed that the usual half cup a day wasn't enough anymore to keep my TC at 3 ppm, even though it was still sparkling clear, with no visible algae, not even behind the ladder. So I checked my CC with a stick and it showed 0, so I dumped a full 2 cups of calcium hypochlorite in the skimmer to boost it up and on my way to work I bought some CYA, but when I came home that night my sparkling clear pool turned from crystal clear to a pool of milk.

    Obviously I am doing something wrong, but could someone please tell me what it is, and why did it work for 20+ years without any issue? My pump runs 24/7 from the moment the pipes are connected and my pool is filled all the way until closing time.

    Thanks for reading,
    21 ft above ground pool w/vinyl liner
    Hayward sand filter
    Jacuzzi 1hp pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: Was I just that lucky for all those years?

    Welcome to TFP!

    To answer, I'll be very blunt, but don't mistake it for being short or rude. The short answer is that your methods have finally caught up with you. You really don't know what the Free Chlorine or other parameters are if you are using "sticks" to check it, which I assume are test strips? To really know, and get good control of your pool, I suggest getting a good and proper test kit.
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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Hudson, WI

    Re: Was I just that lucky for all those years?

    Welcome to the forum W0lley

    The short answer is YES, you were lucky. I say that as I used to be "pool stored" year after year as that is what my GF (owner of pool) knew and it worked. It worked to keep the pool looking clean and empty her purse. After coming across this site I now wonder how sanitary that clear blue water was That and tossing in algacide, flocking agent, BioGuard this and that. Also being sold expensive ioGuard sanitizer with calcium when we have a vinyl pool.

    Why did it work for 20+ years ??, luck. Until you get past a certain point that big blue pool will stay blue. The unfortunate thing is sooner or later you usually do turn green.
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    jeffchap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Edmond OK

    Re: Was I just that lucky for all those years?

    Since CYA never goes away without a water change, I suspect your CYA levels have crept up over the years, which would require you to add more and more chlorine daily to keep a proportionate level of FC. Without increasing your chlorine input, the FC is now too low to prevent algae from growing.

    You need to get a test kit capable of measuring CYA accurately to within 10 ppm. Test strips will NOT cut it.

    Without knowing your current CYA levels we are flying blind.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
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    domct203's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Re: Was I just that lucky for all those years?


    To add to all the above, if all you use to chlorinate the pool is Cal-Hypo, your CH level is probably through the roof, something that can lead to cloudy water.

    It would be in your best interest to get a proper test kit.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Was I just that lucky for all those years?

    I suspect a combination of factors apply, your short Canadian swim season, and the fact you have a vinyl pool are likely also factors, I also suspect you have fairly low CH fill water all go together to making your method work for you, along with a bit of luck. I also strongly suspect that your water is often far from optimally balanced. I also suspect someone trying this method in California or Arizona would be in for a disaster within the first year due to their regionally high CH, longer swim season, ....
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