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Thread: New Pool owner with a simple question

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    New Pool owner with a simple question

    We just bought a new house with a pool and spa. Since it is winter here in Idaho the pool is closed so my question is about the spa. I took some water into the pool store to test and it showed the pH is above 8.6 and it did not test chlorine because they said with that high of pH the computer would not test chlorine. He told me to add 1 cup muriatic acid every day until the pH comes down. I have since read a bit on line and from what I see it indicates that I need to get the FC levels down before I worry too much about the pH. I am looking for some direction on what to do.

    If I test using the test strip the FC is a dark purple which indicates at least a FC level > 10 and the pH is a light purple which is not even on the chart.

    So I really need to know should I work on the FC first or the pH?
    27K gal pool, IG Plaster, 1K gal IG plaster spa, Sand filter, Intelliflow VS-3050, Intellichlor IC40 SWG

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner with a simple question

    Hi and welcome to TFP. Well, let me prepare you for what will sound like a broken record - having the proper test kit. The proper test kit (i.e. TF-100 or Taylor K-2006) is the foundation of your pool care. Why these kits? We've learned through personal experience that you cannot reply on pool store testing, test strips, or simple over-the-counter kits. They simply do not read Free Chlorine (FC) or Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels accurately or to the high levels we need. If you do not have a TF-100 or Taylor K2006 test kit, it should be your #1 priority.

    If your pH is truly that high, use muriatic acid to bring it back down to the mid-7s as soon as possible. But first make sure your FC isn't too high (over 10) or it will give a false pH reading. By the way, you don't have to wait a full day between additions. With pump running, add your chemical slowly and wait about 30 minutes, then check/add again as necessary. Same goes for liquid chlorine (regular bleach) if that's how you sanitize your spa. Never add bleach and acid together though - separate by 30 minutes. Since you have a SWG, bleach may be "N/A" most of the time.

    Again, welcome! If you have more questions, please ask. We'll be around.

    Remember, always test FC and CYA and balance them as noted on the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart for your SWG pool. That is very important to prevent algae once the water starts to warm-up.
    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: New Pool owner with a simple question

    Quote Originally Posted by summron View Post
    We just bought a new house with a pool and spa. Since it is winter here in Idaho the pool is closed so my question is about the spa. <snips>
    So I really need to know should I work on the FC first or the pH?
    Without knowing what the chlorine level is, we can't say for sure that your pH comes first, or not. OTOH, I kinda got lost in your plumbing. Can you operate the spa separate and apart from the pool? The water needs to be moving, but I don't want to suggest anything that might de-winterize your pool.......

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    Re: New Pool owner with a simple question

    Yes the spa plumbing is separate from the pool. The spa is continually moving especially at night with the temp drops below 36F.
    27K gal pool, IG Plaster, 1K gal IG plaster spa, Sand filter, Intelliflow VS-3050, Intellichlor IC40 SWG

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner with a simple question

    You'll definitely want the proper test kit to validate all your readings - especially chlorine. The paper strips are really not good to place trust on. Remember, if your FC is really high (over 10) it will give a false (high) pH reading, so you'll want to know your true FC reading first. A local OTO test kit will show you have "some" chlorine available, but nothing will read accurately other than a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006. As for pH tests, in a pinch, some folks get-by with a simple 5-way test kit (drops) like from Wal-Mart of your local store to confirm pH.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    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: New Pool owner with a simple question

    Thanks for all the replies. I look forward to being a member of this site and all the future discussions.
    27K gal pool, IG Plaster, 1K gal IG plaster spa, Sand filter, Intelliflow VS-3050, Intellichlor IC40 SWG

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    Re: New Pool owner with a simple question

    OK, separate..... so...... Test the chlorine. If it is over 10 ppm, reduce that, because if you don't, it will bleach out the pH test. If below 10, test and bring the pH into line, and adjust chlorine, as needed.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner with a simple question

    summron, ewkearns is absolutely correct. Just like when we are doing a "SLAM", if the chlorine is too high (over 10) it sends a false reading of high pH. Sorry I didn't mention or catch that earlier. I guess my head still hurts from the Superbowl. Once you are sure your FC is about 9 ppm or less, you can be confident of your pH test and adjust accordingly. I made a couple updates to my posts earlier to be more clear.
    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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