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Thread: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of questions

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    Question Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of questions

    Hey gang! I have a couple of questions. Here is a little backstory in case it is relevant. My pool was built last summer and I used pucks until my pool builder gave me pool school and "released" me. I switched to bleach and never looked back. I have maintained my pool with no issues using the TF-100 and the PoolMath Calculator. We don't "close" the pool - but during the winter - so I have been testing just like normal. Adding bleach daily or sometimes every other day - and there were a couple of weeks during Dec/Jan that my pool needed no chlorine for a LONG time. After the initial build time (where we had to add MA often) - I have only had to add it a few ounces at a time, maybe once a month to keep my PH below 7.9.

    We have very hard water and my pool started off at about 300 CH and then crept up to 350 where it stayed since September. When I tested yesterday it was 400. A 50 point raise in less than a week - during rains? I am going to retest today- but I kind of believe it since in the past few weeks I have started getting calcium deposits on my rocks.

    So that is the back story. Now to today . . . I have been using the "Traditional Pool" with Bleach settings on PoolMath to determine where I need to be numbers wise - but I would like to start this season by changing over and using the "Trouble Free" setting.

    Here are my numbers (after adjusting yesterday)
    FC 7
    PH 7.7
    TA 110
    CH 400
    CYA - don't ask - I will explain this below.
    CSI - I have never used this - or really understood it - but I did some reading on here last night trying to see how best to switch over and realize this is important - especially since I am having calcium issues.
    Pool Temp 64

    I keep my numbers within the ranges - but the ranges for Trouble Free are different. AND since my CH is on the high side I have read that I need to keep things even lower.

    I am not draining my pool - so from what I read on here from you chemical geniuses I need to keep my numbers a little different - can anyone help me figure that out? I am not good with math - I am good with testing and following the directions on PoolMath - but I am not confident on determining what my numbers should be based on the CSI reading and how to manage with a higher CH

    *I have been reading my CYA as 100 pretty much from day 1. I ordered the CYA Standard Solution which should read at 50. Yeah - I read it at 100 too. I have tried over and over and I just can't get it right. Of course I can take it to 10 pool stores and get 10 vastly different answers. So I just don't know what to do with it. I assume it is somewhere around 50 since I can't tell a difference but seriously - I am not confident in anything CYA related right now.

    Thanks in advance!
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    image.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    image.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    image.jpg
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    You need to change your lighting conditions in your test area so that you read the CYA sample as 50. If you think the dot disappears at 100, then you need more indirect light around you to light up the solution so you still see the dot. Figure out what conditions make the dot just disappear at 50 (look away, then look back) and then use those same conditions for your own pool's test.

    As far as Calcium, I am at 800, so is Joyful noise and others, and we maintain ok. I did start getting some tile line scale this winter as I left my pH higher, even though my csi was the same as the summer, but otherwise I have had no issues in two years. Water temperature has a big effect on the pH/CSI calculation.

    To combat higher calcium, you'll want to keep a lower pH, 7.5 probably, maybe a touch lower. If your pH keeps wanting to hover near 8.0, that is likely because your TA reading is very high. I got my TA down to 50 before the pH stopped raising every single week.

    Put in different "NOW" settings in pool math. Try a TA of 60 and pH of 7.5, calcium of 600, see where the CSI is at different water temps. Adjust those four variables to find a scenario that is achievable with your pool, and will keep the CSI close to 0 or slightly negative.


    OH! Also, liquid chlorine will add salt to the pool, and this actually will help you reduce scale (all other variables staying the same). So even though you are adding calcium with every top off, you are also adding salt with every cup of bleach. After two years of TFP my salt level is near 4500. Might be worth getting some test strips to add this to your calculation.
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    Wendy I am going to work on the CYA test with you. Get your 50 CYA test stuff for me. Find your brightest light in the house. Hold the test tube at your belly button facing the light with the tube under the light. Pour the test water in to the tube a little bit at a time.

    NOW while you are pouring just GLANCE in the tube THEN glance away. Do NOT stare! If you stare long enough you WILL see the dot!

    I let you do this and see what happens with this "experiment".

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    When using the CYA vial, hold it at waist height with the sun to your back. Look straight down into the vial.

    My thoughts:
    It may help to fill the vial up to about 30 ppm, before looking. Don't "stare" at the dot. Personally, I wonder how much this test is affected by "after image." IMHO, this is the most subjective test in the whole repertoire of tests....

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    OK making sure I understand. I should try to get my TA much lower - should I set my goal at 70 (pool math) or shoot for 50?
    When I put this goal into PoolMath it doesn't give me a Baking Soda amount to add (zero) - just says reduce PH to 7-7.2 then aerate to increase PH. Will it naturally drop if I lower my PH?

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeChris View Post
    You need to change your lighting conditions in your test area so that you read the CYA sample as 50. If you think the dot disappears at 100, then you need more indirect light around you to light up the solution so you still see the dot. Figure out what conditions make the dot just disappear at 50 (look away, then look back) and then use those same conditions for your own pool's test.

    As far as Calcium, I am at 800, so is Joyful noise and others, and we maintain ok. I did start getting some tile line scale this winter as I left my pH higher, even though my csi was the same as the summer, but otherwise I have had no issues in two years. Water temperature has a big effect on the pH/CSI calculation.

    To combat higher calcium, you'll want to keep a lower pH, 7.5 probably, maybe a touch lower. If your pH keeps wanting to hover near 8.0, that is likely because your TA reading is very high. I got my TA down to 50 before the pH stopped raising every single week.

    Put in different "NOW" settings in pool math. Try a TA of 60 and pH of 7.5, calcium of 600, see where the CSI is at different water temps. Adjust those four variables to find a scenario that is achievable with your pool, and will keep the CSI close to 0 or slightly negative.


    OH! Also, liquid chlorine will add salt to the pool, and this actually will help you reduce scale (all other variables staying the same). So even though you are adding calcium with every top off, you are also adding salt with every cup of bleach. After two years of TFP my salt level is near 4500. Might be worth getting some test strips to add this to your calculation.
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    Girl - my husband thinks I am crazy! I have been playing with this test so much - he kept watching me and saying WHAT are you doing? I tried to explain it to him and his response is - if you can't do it take it to the pool store! GAH! It's like he doesn't know me at ALL!!!! I have been doing the test outside with the sun to my back - and keeping the tube in the shadow of my body. I have also tried, same scenario, but with the vial in the light. I will try it in the house and see what I can come up with. It's like I am not meant to get this one!

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Wendy I am going to work on the CYA test with you. Get your 50 CYA test stuff for me. Find your brightest light in the house. Hold the test tube at your belly button facing the light with the tube under the light. Pour the test water in to the tube a little bit at a time.

    NOW while you are pouring just GLANCE in the tube THEN glance away. Do NOT stare! If you stare long enough you WILL see the dot!

    I let you do this and see what happens with this "experiment".

    Kim
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    I found the pics at the bottom of this page to be helpful.
    https://www.taylortechnologies.com/C...P?ContentID=36
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    You use baking soda to increase TA, so if you are lowering TA, you sure wouldn't want to add baking soda. Adding Acid will lower TA gradually. If you add acid to get down to 7.2, then run your water features or anything to stir up the water, the pH will rise faster so you can add acid again sooner, and bring TA down quicker.

    But don't just target a number for the sake of a number. Use the variables in pool math. put in what your summer water temp is. Put in a CH 50 more than your current level. See where the CSI is. If the CSI is too far off from 0, see what changing the pH or TA would do to correct it, and pick a gradual plan of attack that makes sense for your pool.

    GENERALLY, as your CH is going to keep rising, you will probably need to target lower pH levels, and having a lower TA would mean you have to add acid less often (higher TA will cause pH to rise faster)
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    Wendy, maybe these will help you: Testing Cyanuric Acid with the TF-100 - YouTube And as stated:
    Proper lighting is important for the CYA test. You want to test for CYA outside on a sunny day, but keep the skinny view tube in the shade. Taylor recommends standing in the sun with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading.
    For the TA ... acid will lower it (along with pH). So by using the Poolmath Calculator, or after each addition of acid, you should start to see those two (pH and TA) come down. Let TA stay at 80 or so, and if you need to let TA go down to 70 try that as well. Eventually you hope to find a good TA number that will keep pH from rising. Every pool is different. Just go lower in stages as needed.
    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
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    GAH! i knew that! (about baking soda to increase TA) OK - so I have lots of water features - I will start running them a LOT and add MA to target a 7.2 PH daily.

    I get not trying to just target a number - but seriously I am not comfortable with playing with the numbers on the pool math to try to figure out what is best - I have tried to play with it - and it takes more than I have to offer to figure it out. It takes me days of reading this over and over to even get the nerve to make a small change for fear of screwing my pool up. I follow directions great - but I am not great at a truly understanding the relationship between all the numbers. If that makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeChris View Post
    You use baking soda to increase TA, so if you are lowering TA, you sure wouldn't want to add baking soda. Adding Acid will lower TA gradually. If you add acid to get down to 7.2, then run your water features or anything to stir up the water, the pH will rise faster so you can add acid again sooner, and bring TA down quicker.

    But don't just target a number for the sake of a number. Use the variables in pool math. put in what your summer water temp is. Put in a CH 50 more than your current level. See where the CSI is. If the CSI is too far off from 0, see what changing the pH or TA would do to correct it, and pick a gradual plan of attack that makes sense for your pool.

    GENERALLY, as your CH is going to keep rising, you will probably need to target lower pH levels, and having a lower TA would mean you have to add acid less often (higher TA will cause pH to rise faster)
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    You should be at the point where you can put all your current results in the left side fields, correct? Then you will see the CSI at the bottom will say -0.3 or 0.1, etc.

    You back up, change your NOW/CURRENT reading for, CH let's say, then click back down to see how the CSI changed.

    If you are too afraid to make any changes to your pool, existing problems could get worse, and if you're not comfortable working around in pool math, potential problems could go unnoticed. If you can test your pool, and can type the numbers into pool math, you won't mess up the pool.
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    for example, this is how I've been running my pool this winter. When the water temperature was 60, the CSI went more negative. So I adjusted the pH to 7.8 or 7.9. When the temp gets up to 90, I'll have to lower pH to like 7.5

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    Ahh but Chris - that is why I am so lucky to have such amazing and SMART friends here in TFP!!!!! You guys help guide me when I am clueless!

    I am really good at the testing and typing in numbers part - and even doing exactly what pool math says. (EXT for CYA)

    But understanding the relationship of the numbers for changes is the part I don't understand - that is where i get lost. For example - I have no idea why I should change the CH to 450 (as suggested above) and see what that does - I don't understand enough of the relationships between the numbers to get that far. I understand I don't want my CH to raise. I also understand that I need to lower my TA and to do that I need to lower my PH with MA gradually and use my water features to naturally raise the PH back up (so that I can keep using the MA without getting my PH too low). But the rest - it is beyond my comprehension. I am just not smart enough to figure it out. Really I need to take it one step at a time.
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    That's why we're here.

    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
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    BAHAHAHA That is awesome! I do LOVE me some TFP!!!!!
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    It's not like I know WHY anything affects anything else.

    Assuming you are continuing to add hard water to your pool to keep the water level up, you can take your current test result of 400 and project out a bit. "What will happen if my CH hits 450 this summer? What happens if it gets up to 500, how would I need to compensate?" You can always put everything back to your actual current test results. But this allows you to plan ahead a bit.

    If you only work on getting all the levels to match the tfp.com recommended settings, you'll still be fine. But if your pool keeps wanting to trend in certain directions (the CH keeps getting higher, the pH keeps rising quickly" it is helpful. You say "I want my CH to stay where it is" which is very noble goal certainly, but perhaps that's not a possibility where you live; and there might be a fairly easy way to compensate for that factor instead of draining part of your pool every year.

    And some things like water temp and salt level don't have a recommended level per se, but they can still affect other parameters.

    edit: oh, and at least from my pc I can't make out your readings at all in those screenshots.
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    Wendy,

    Let me simplify this for you - forget about CH for now, it's not important. Your CH is still low enough where you can adjust other parameters to compensate. You need to seriously worry about CH when you start getting up around 1000ppm. You are far short of that. So for now, while you're trying to learn about the chemistry of your pool, just forget about trying to manipulate the CH. Measure it and enter it into Pool Math, but don't fixate on it.

    Your most important task right now is to figure out how you can teach yourself the CYA test so that you can do it reliably on your own. This isn't about "smarts" or knowing how the CYA test works from a chemistry perspective. It's simple mechanics of doing the test and adjusting your eyes and environment to be able to do it accurately.

    Why is this Job #1? Because knowing your CYA level is CRITICAL to using the TFPC Method. You MUST be able to determine your CYA in order to target your FC properly otherwise the result will be water that is either over-chlorinated (not a big deal, just a waste of money) or under-chlorinated (a REALLY big deal because algae will grow and then you will REALLY spend money to fix it).

    So what we all need to do is to stop yammering about Pool Math and chemistry and TA and CH and all the rest and focus on getting you comfortable with the CYA test. That is absolutely, hands-down Job #1 right now.

    Let us know how we can help with the CYA test.

    Good luck,

    Matt
    Matt
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    Matt. Remember Wendy, CYA instructions and video above in post #10. Just practice that.
    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
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    Re: Ready to change from Traditional to Trouble Free on PoolMath - couple of question

    Gah, can't you give me something easy? I have read and watched you tube videos - last year I even posted my pics and from my pics alone you people and your "special eyes" suggested it was at 70 - when I SWORE it was 100. I think I am dot blind :cyclopean:

    OK - so I will practice more on my CYA - I have lots of solution - I stocked up when I was trying to "see" it last summer and gave up.

    One of you geniuses HAS to be close to me . . . did I mention I love to cook????? Kidding. Kinda.

    Thank you guys for all your help!
    ~Wendy
    33'X17' Sports Pool (3'6"-5'-4'6") 7' flush Spa, Blue Granite PT, Waterfalls, Weeping Wall, Baja Ledge and Doggie Beach Entry! Pentair Clean and Clear 420, IntelliFlo XF Pump, SuperFlo 1.5 HP Feature Pump, MasterTemp Heater, Pal-Treo LEDs, Dolphin M4, Liquid Chlorine & TF-100 - My Build Thread

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