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Thread: New to Pools (we have salt water) TC won't drop

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    New to Pools (we have salt water) TC won't drop

    Hi everyone couple of questions (and yes I've read pool school and hundreds of posts already). We bought a house at the start of the year that has a salt water pool and I've been having a hard time of late keeping the pool clean and clear since its started to warm up.

    I only have a cheapo pool test kit (the 100 kit is on its way) and I've been testing TC, Alk and PH. I also have the test kit strips but I know they have issues but the readings are helpful condsidering the alternative (nothing!).

    Anyway I went through a period of milky water which I've managed to clear but running the pump longer and ensuring that the filter was back washed and rinsed.

    The issue that I have now is high levels of TC. As I can't test for FC and TC except for the strips (they both indicate somewhere between 5 and 10). My PH is around 7.2/7.4, Alk at 120ish, CYA (20ish). I know CYA is low but if my TC is high doesn't it make sense until this drops?

    Also this morning I've now noticed some green starting to develop as I turned the SWG down to try help my TC down. With a crappy test kit I feel like I'm chasing my tail but any help or things to check would be a help.

    I run my pump 8 hours a day and live in a heavy leaf area so my jet vac runs about 3 hours a day ( pressure cleaner).


  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Franklin, NC

    Re: New to Pools (we have salt water) TC won't drop

    Welcome to TFP!!

    I think yo already know it, but until you get your test kit you are really just guessing at what is going on.

    If you are seeing green your chlorine is too low, not too high. Algae can't really grow in the presence of adequate amounts of chlorine in proper ratio to CYA.

    I agree with your thought about not adding CYA until you get your algae under control - but, how close do you think that CYA level is? With you being the new owner you probably have no history, but did you add the SWCG or was it there?

    Turn the SWCG back up to the level that it was at before to raise the chlorine level. Brush any algae you see while you brush the pool regularly.
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: New to Pools (we have salt water) TC won't drop

    Hi Tim,

    There is no pool history that I have records of, I know the previous owned used to have a mobile pool guy come and check it out but I'd like to think I can be a pretty smart cookie so I just need to invest in the right tools and I've looked after aquariums etc since I was a kid so I understand "water" its just that I've never had to maintain around 60,000+ liters, pretty big aquarium!

    The SWCG was in when I moved in, its a self cleaning model, fully automated etc, I turned the SWCG down thinking that it was too high causing high chlorine but as I typed the previous post I realised that I am not actually checking the proper chlorine levels as the test kit can't actually provide the answer that I need (CC vs FC).

    I've got the SWCG pumping again, I do remember that when we bought it early in the year it used to run around the 70% mark and I only turned it and the pump down over winter and it maintained pretty good levels in that time. Its only because its on its way to summer here (Aus) and we had a run of days around 93F-95F (converted to make the conversation easier) and now the pool has gone a little haywire. You couldn't even see the bottom of the pool because it got that cloudy.

    Anyway - ill be back once my pool kit arrives.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Buckeye AZ

    Re: New to Pools (we have salt water) TC won't drop

    If your CYA is really 20, then either 5 or 10 FC would be fine. But TC is the sum of FC and CC. What if your FC is 8 and your CC 2? Or your FC 4 and your CC 1? Those would all require different strategies. So TC by itself isn't helpful, and a kit with a range of 5-10 is not helpful. But you knew this already!

    If the pool is green, you'll need to supplement the SWG with manual liquid chlorine additions to outpace algae growth and kill it off. We recommend actually not using the SWG at all during a SLAM procedure, too much wear and tear.

    You can't start any of this until your kit arrives. With the SWG running, if the green is getting worse, start adding a gallon of liquid chlorine/plain bleach every day when the pump is running. At least you might keep it at bay a bit before having to attack it later. Adding 128 oz (~3800 ml) of 6% will raise your FC by about 4. If you're at 5 already, that would still keep you within acceptable limits. However, since your current test is so imprecise, better to add some in the morning and some at night.
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