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Thread: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

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    Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    I have been lurking and reading all I can on how to maintain my pool. We recently bought this house with a pool and I have never had one to take care of. I have been taking a sample to the pool store and they test the water for free. Note that I always leave with instructions to buy this or that and add it to the water.

    I found this site and started to educate myself and would like to use the BBB method. The pool water is clear and does not have any odor nor does it burn my eyes. I have a rainbow 320 using trichlor tablets. I just replace the original 320 since the metal check valve rotted out and the plastic was brittle. I set the control to 1 and the pump runs about 8 hours daily. I also plan to replace the pump with a variable speed unit since it appears the payout is less than a year in the Houston area.

    I received my TF-100 today and tested the water.

    FC=6.5
    CC=0
    TC=6.5
    pH=7.3
    TA=150
    CH=375
    CYA=100
    Borate=50
    Water Temp 78F

    The CL/CYA chart says my CL at 6.5 is to low, target should be 12.

    PoolMath tells me to add Borax 79 oz to increase the pH from 7.3 to 7.5

    To lower the TA, PoolMath says to decrease pH to 7 and aerate.

    To lower CH from 375, it recommends replace 30% of the water.

    To lower CYA from 100 to 40, it recommends that I replace 60% of the water.

    And the kicker is that it wants me to lower Borate by replacing 20% of the water.

    So, I'm confused. Where do I start? Do I need to drain 12,000 gallons of water and replace it?

    I'm a M.E., not a Chem. E.

    Thanks,

    Sam
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Hi Sam and welcome. As a fellow Texas resident, I can confirm you can have a slightly elevated CYA, but at 100 you're just too high. You can thank the pool store tablets for that. The only way to reduce CYA is by water exchange, which will also help to lower hardness (CH) as well. I wouldn't bother trying to adjust any other items until you adjust the CYA first. The good thing is you have the best test kit out there. . SO now there's no guesswork.

    I wouldn't say you need to drain a whole lot right now. We're starting to cool off a bit, and you may get some water exchange with the winter rains and "Patricia" that's about to dump on us. My pool is in full sun all year, so I keep my CYA at 60-70. SO if you can get your CYA down to that area you're in a good position for now. So perhaps consider draining about 30% for now and see how much rain you get. Just make sure you keep the FC high enough to fight-off any algae. Always refer to that Chlorine/CYA chart. After you've adjusted the CYA, then adjust pH to about 7.5 and you should be in good shape. Make sense?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and just to be clear, remove the tablets from your in-line chlorinator. Those tabs add stabilizer more than you need. Stick solely to regular liquid bleach as your sanitizer - generic from HEB (Bravo) or Wal-Mart (Great Value) is just fine.
    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: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Your CYA may be higher than 100. See post #8 in the following thread for information on how to retest it.
    Extended Test Kit Directions

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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Thanks for the feedback. There are 3 storms converging on the Houston area this weekend and they are predicting 4-12" of rain. I pumped out 12" of water from the pool with the hope that it might get refilled by the rain. Last night I cranked up the CL in an attempt to get it to 12 since my CYA was 100. I will do the extended CYA test to verify the high level.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and just to be clear, remove the tablets from your in-line chlorinator. Those tabs add stabilizer more than you need. Stick solely to regular liquid bleach as your sanitizer - generic from HEB (Bravo) or Wal-Mart (Great Value) is just fine.
    I was not able to find the CL% on the Great Value bleach. What is it?
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    8.25% here in NC
    Steve- 19K IG PebbleTec (sandy beach color pebble) final plaster/pebble August 2015
    Jandy pro cartridge filter
    Jandy pro series Plus HP PHPF pump w/waterfall
    Polaris 360 pressure cleaner- TF-100 w/SpeedStir
    50ppm Borates

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Yeah, mine is 8.25% in San Antonio as well.
    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: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Followed the extended CYA test instructIons and measured 140.

    I will ill drain more water in the morning.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Sounds like a plan. Perhaps you already know, but be cautious as to not drain so much at any one time that you could have pool shell problems related to the water table in your area. Not sure about your area, but the rains have sure made a mess of things down here. Very saturated.
    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: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    We received about 6" of rain last night. Retested this morning and CYA is now 120, down from 140. I'm draining more and will start refilling to avoid she'll problems. I do not know what the water table depth is in this area. Thanks for brining this issue up.

    i just found a report that indicates that the water table depth is 30-70 feet in my area.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Yeah, with our weird weather lately, better to be safe than sorry.
    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: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    image.jpgI drained the pool some more and have started refilling it. What is the port in the wall below the surface skimmer for? Should it be left open or should it be plugged?
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Humm. Good question. I wonder if it's for vacuum assist perhaps?
    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: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    It's probably an equalizer line going into the skimmer. Are there two open holes at the bottom of the skimmer?

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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    There are two holes in the bottom of the skimmer.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Check out this thread: Why are there two holes at the bottom of my skimmer?.

    Good reading.
    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: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    The pool is almost full again and my numbers are looking good.
    FC 5.5
    pH 7.5
    CH 250
    TA 120
    CYA 60
    Borate 30-50

    I will stock up on Bleach tomorrow
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Yay! Did you add any chlorine?

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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Check out this thread: Why are there two holes at the bottom of my skimmer?.

    Good reading.
    Clear as mud ��
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Re: Newbie Chemical Balance Question

    Curious.... I see your water level well below your skimmers and the pump is obviously on since water is pouring out of the return jets.

    Is that okay to do? I'd really like to know because all I've read is to not let the water level below the skimmers.

    I'm a newbie to pools too; well I've got 2 months under my belt. I'm in the same boat as you were with high CYA and the need to drain my pool. I'd love to do what you did but I'm afraid I'll burn my pump up if it runs when the water level drops below the skimmer. I've been thinking about using a sump pump while the pool pump is off and then refilling.

    Just curious as I said, your pic caught my eye and prompted my post...

    (And to the moderators.... I'm happy to post my question as a new thread but it seems relevant to the topic and pic in this thread!)
    My Pool: In-ground, ~15,000 Gallons, Fresh Water, Plaster/Gunnite or what ever..
    Shape - Roughly like an oblong figure 8 / somewhat oval
    Depth - ~4.5-5 ft

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