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Thread: PH stuck, CYA and ALK thru the roof. Algae

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    PH stuck, CYA and ALK thru the roof. Algae

    So here we go. I think think think the first and probably best answer is a partial drain but gonna ask just in case I can delay that process since its summer and hot here in Phoenix.

    I did a full drain last winter. Got the supplies the pool store said to put in and put in. Floating tabs bought at Costco (Clorox), using normal dose PhosFree and Bio-Dex Skill-it. Skill-it mostly for wasps (which worked really well). About a month into summer here come the algae. Shock comes back chock comes back ect... Worst algae I ever dealt with including black. Would always come back and fast.

    After reading this site I have stopped with the tabs and moved to liquid chlorine. Cheaper than bleach. Problem is during the beginning fighting of the algae i nuked the heck out of the pool with shock and my CYA is through the roof. While trying to get my PH above 6.8 I managed to put the ALK through the roof by dumping baking soda instead of Borax. Now I cannot get over 7.2 PH. Even with just Borax. It just doesn't move. Im putting literally a gallon of chlorine a day in the pool to just keep the chlorine level up or the algae starts to come back withing a day or 2. Anyways here are my readings. I'm skipping chlorine and free chlorine as I can get them off the charts and in 2 days it drops to nothing.

    PH - 7-7.2
    Alk - 250
    CYA - 180

    Im assuming my high CYA and low ph is making the chlorine weak and the high Alk is not allowing my ph to get past 7ish. Any temp solution just to get to some cooler weather to drain or just keep dumping chlorine to get through summer?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: PH stuck, CYA and ALK thru the roof. Algae

    Welcome to TFP! Well, you nailed it - high CYA is a monster. The pool store did you no favors. A few things to "try" and get you on the straight path again:
    - What test kit are you using? Is it a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006?
    - What method of testing did you use to obtain a CYA of 180?
    - pH can also be raised simply with aeration. Do you have a waterfall, fountain, or way to generate bubbles? Even pointing some returns upwards?
    - We need to know your pool info. Please add your pool info to your signature by going to the top of the TFP web page (just under the Pool School button) and select "SETTINGS". On the next page look to the left for a menu bar that says, “MY SETTINGS” and go to "EDIT SIGNATURE" to enter your pool and equipment info there. It will help us later.

    I can just about bet your priorities will be as follows:
    1. Confirm CYA and ensure it is at a manageable level
    2. Adjust pH to 7.2-ish
    3. Perform a SLAM via Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    We'll do all we can to advise you. Please shoot us some replies to help give us some more info to go on and we'll go from there. Welcome to TFP!
    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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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: PH stuck, CYA and ALK thru the roof. Algae

    Quote Originally Posted by bragz View Post
    Im assuming my high CYA and low ph is making the chlorine weak and the high Alk is not allowing my ph to get past 7ish. Any temp solution just to get to some cooler weather to drain or just keep dumping chlorine to get through summer?
    your rapid chlorine loss is due to algae, and with your most likely high CYA, the required chlorine level is so high that even dumping a gallon a day is not reaching the required level to overcome and defeat algae. you need to do 3 things, in order. 1) order one of the recommended test kits so you can confirm your CYA (unless you already have one?). 2) drain your pool to get your CYA under control, this will also help reduce your alkalinity as well which is a double bonus; and then 3) SLAM your pool per the TFP instructions. the SLAM is not just dumping shock into your pool.

    once you are done with this, you will have an algae free pool guaranteed, and then you will be able to manage your pool with bleach/liquid chlorine only and never have to shock again.

    if your CYA is really 180, you are going to have to drain/refill at least 2/3 of your pool

    as far as your pH problem...well that's the least of your concerns right now honestly. also, your very high alkalinity should be pushing your pH up very high. have you been using trichlor pucks by any chance? if so they are VERY acidic and will lower you pH very low.

    and welcome to TFP!
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Re: PH stuck, CYA and ALK thru the roof. Algae

    Thanks for the suggestions. Both very helpful. For the CYA Im using strips and the rest I'm using Poolmaster 22270 5 way. I will be investing in a better test kit soon. I have aerator and waterfall but they are not independent of each other so I'm running aerator. I plan on doing a patial drain when it gets a little cooler. Its just been 100+ here and don't want to damage pool. I will try the SLAM as suggested. Thanks again.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: PH stuck, CYA and ALK thru the roof. Algae

    Well, just one word of caution before you start bragz, .... just about everything you need to do now (CYA adjustment and SLAM) hinges on an accurate CYA reading. I won't be the only one to tell you test strips just aren't worth the paper they're printed on. So my concern would be that if you place your trust in a test strip reading, you could be going in the wrong direction with a chemical or two when you try to adjust CYA or FC. I have no experience with the Poolmaster 22270 5-Way, but I would highly recommend you get something better to test the CYA. If your Poolmaster doesn't record FC readings above 5 (i.e. 10-30), you'll definitely need the FAS-DPD portion to test as well. If you change your mind, you can order any/all of those items from the TF-100 link below. Let us know if you have any questions. Have a great 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: PH stuck, CYA and ALK thru the roof. Algae

    bragz,

    I make the TF-100 so take that into consideration. Your current pool test (and lack thereof) has got you in the mess you are in. The way out that we teach involves precision testing and reliable testing.....you don't have that.

    Time and Time again, we hear "I'll look into that" or "I'm gonna' get that kit but not right now".

    You cannot perform a correct SLAM with the testing that you have.....you cannot perform a correct SLAM with the testing you have, You cannot perform a correct SLAM with the testing that you have.

    Sorry to be a bore but what we teach begins and ends with precise testing.
    I will be investing in a better test kit soon.
    I hear you, but until you make that commitment, we'll all be simply stabbing guesses about your pool.

    Keep reading this forum and see the testimonials scattered throughout. You will be free from the pool store for the rest of your life and your pool will sparkle.

    While you are mulling that over, read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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