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Thread: help with test kit and SLAMing

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    help with test kit and SLAMing

    Hi, I'm Debbie in Alabama and I've just started trying to work on my pond-like, frog-infested pool. I bought the FAS-DPD test kit at the end of last year, but I'm still learning what the test results are really telling me. Here are my results so far from a few minutes ago (remember, I just turned on the pump, and its very green, murky water):

    CYA - isn't readable, filled up tube and still could see the black dot pretty clearly
    NO chlorine at all (haven't put any in yet!)
    Ph - at least 9.0 (off scale, very bright pink test result), acid demand test took 10 drops (I don't know how to use that information!)
    TA- 70 ppm
    Calcium Hardness - 170 ppm
    See signature for pool data.

    So, if I don't know my CYA, do I assume it's zero? If so, according to the table, I need 10ppm of free chlorine to reach a shock level. But do I worry about the Ph and Ta before I start shocking? What do I fix first? My understanding is that for whatever my CYA is, I have to keep that free chlorine level up to shock level for a couple of days, right? And when do I worry about Calcium hardness?
    Help!
    Debbie
    Huntsville, Alabama; 23K gal, IG vinyl, sand, Waterco SupaTuf Series Pump model number 241100 (1hp), pool around 25 years old, Taylor Technologies K-2006 Complete Chlorine Pool and Spa Water Test Kit, new sand in filter, city water supply

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    Hi Debbie. Before you start your SLAM, please adjust pH to about 7.2-7.5 using muriatic acid. Once you have that adjust, please perform the following:
    1. Begin a SLAM and dose FC up to SLAM level. If your CYA test is showing as zero (perhaps already converted to ammonia), use a SLAM/Shock FC of 10. Do not add additional CYA at this point.
    2. Retest FC at 10-minute intervals.
    a. If FC loss is greater than 50%, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level and continue retesting FC @ 10-minute intervals.
    b. IF FC loss is 50% or less, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level. Go to Step 3.
    3. If CYA is below 30 ppm, add enough CYA to bring level up to 30 ppm.
    4. Continue SLAM as directed in the SLAM article until the SLAM Criteria of Done are met. Test as directed in the SLAM article - no longer need to test FC at 10 minute increments at this point.

    The SLAM link is below in my sig. But because your FC AND CYA were down to zero, we need to make sure you have no ammonia in the water. Please note that if you DO have ammonia, you will use quite a bit of bleach, so have it handy and ready. Good luck.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Vinyl pool will not require any calcium increasers.
    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.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    Fix PH first. The test reads falsely high if FC is at or over 10. TA and Ch are fine. Dose CYA level to 30. Then follow the SLAM process. Dip everything possible out before you get started.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    OK, thanks for the reply!
    Follow up questions:
    1) Are you saying to maintain the FC level at 10 ppm up until I reach the point where it doesn't drop below 5 ppm ...and at that point I can add some cyanuric acid to bring the CYA up to 30? I was planning on using liquid chlorine bleach from Walmart for the chlorine source, but if I use Dichlor instead, it would raise the CYA by itself while bringing up the FC level...right? But it sound like from reading the SLAM instructions, you guys want to use only liquid chlorine bleach. I have bought 42 jugs...(I think its 12% or so) do you think I should get more?

    BTW...I will say this--last year I went to the local pool company and used their recommendations, did exactly what they said and my pool went from green to thick-looking blue. Couldn't see 1 foot into it. Then I hired another pool company to come out and work on it--they spent 3 weeks putting in all kinds of stuff and they gave up. Never did see the bottom of the pool last year and spent $850 on chemicals alone. Nobody could figure out what was wrong with it. It got to a lovely light color of extremely cloudy blue, and we tried flock--it did nothing that we could see. I got new sand before I the pool season, so that wasn't it. I was never able to get into the pool at all last year because the Loch Ness monster could have been down there (haha).

    2) How do i know if I have ammonia in the water? and how much is "quite a bit of bleach". My pool is a 16 x 32 grecian (sloped sides down to 10' deep in deep end) (36' actually if you include the space taken up by the steps). So...maybe 42 jugs isn't enough? oh what the heck, I will get about 20 more JIC.
    Huntsville, Alabama; 23K gal, IG vinyl, sand, Waterco SupaTuf Series Pump model number 241100 (1hp), pool around 25 years old, Taylor Technologies K-2006 Complete Chlorine Pool and Spa Water Test Kit, new sand in filter, city water supply

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    The lengthy step-by-step is the way you tell if you have Ammonia. If you do, it will destroy the FC almost as fast as you can pour it in the pool. That's steps 1 & 2, As soon as it holds, then you add CYA and continue like a normal SLAM. The reason being that sometimes there is a form of bacteria that feeds on CYA and creates Ammonia. If you start adding dichlor before the stuff is dead (if indeed you have it) you'll just be feeding it and creating more chlorine demand and more work for yourself.

    Once you get to Step 2b, if you want to use dichlor to raise CYA, go ahead. Effects of Adding Chemicals down at the bottom of poolmath will tell you how much that will be. It looks to me like each pound adds 2.6 CYA to a pool your size. So don't use more than 12 pounds altogether. And don't add it all at once, either. Just let poolmath tell you how much to add to reach the target FC and add that each time until you've gone through 12 lbs. Or just buy the granular stabilizer that's pure CYA.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    Hey there Debbie in Alabama - TRUST THE PROCESS and listen to these folks.

    Started with a Very dark green pool similar to yours except my pond had Ducks instead of your Frogs.
    -I am on day 18 of a slam
    -Day 5 I started to see the bottom and progressively became clearer every day
    -Don't have my count with me know but would guess I've used 17-20 gal of Liquid Chlorine (10% stuff bought from Wal mart)
    -I testing FC regularly first few days so had to order the refill
    -Only had to go to the Pool Store for a new Pressure gauge and Net - no plans on returning
    of course length of slam may be different but the end will still be the end = Clear Pool with No frogs !
    14,200 / AG / vinyl /Hayward S108T sand filter/Hayward 1hp sp pump /4 yr old pool / Taylor K-2006c / SWG AquaTrol RJ

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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    OK...I'm on Day 8 of my SLAM. I've used 28 gallons of Liquid Chlorine (the 10% stuff from Walmart). My pool is not getting much clearer though...ever since the first round of shock, it has a milky look but a pretty light blue anyway!! I can see about 10 inches into it, but not clearly. Here are my readings as of today:
    FC =8 (it was 10 yesterday and it was the first day I didn't have to add chlorine) and had drifted down to 8 by the morning.
    CC = 1.5
    Ph = 7.0
    Alk = 80
    CH = 170
    CYA = 40.

    So, according to the SLAM criteria, I keep going because I lost 2 ppm of FC last night, not 1...and my CC is not less than .5.
    I'm keeping it up, but should it still be this cloudy at this point? I'm headed to get Ph increaser, 'cos I know I need that.

    and
    I have another issue that might be affecting the cloudiness--I havent been able to get a good vacuum yet. I've scooped for over two weeks, not getting much out but the scooping brings up small bits of stuff. When I try to vacuum, the pump loses the suction every time. No problem in normal operation, backwashing, etc., and I get full pressure when its on waste but the minute I connect the hose in the skimmer, it loses suction. I got a new hose last year, new vacuum head, and I've checked the cleaned and checked the seal on the pump basket. I turned off the side and main drain, so only the skimmer is pulling. A couple of times, I got a small amount of stuff in the skimmer basket. What does this mean??
    Huntsville, Alabama; 23K gal, IG vinyl, sand, Waterco SupaTuf Series Pump model number 241100 (1hp), pool around 25 years old, Taylor Technologies K-2006 Complete Chlorine Pool and Spa Water Test Kit, new sand in filter, city water supply

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    One thing for sure ... your FC is way too low for your SLAM. That's probably why you're not seeing the results you should. Your FC should be at 16. SO get-out the bleach and pump it up!

    With your vacuum, are you filling the hose completely with water before connecting it to the skimmer?
    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.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    It's critical that you remove debris early on, otherwise it slows down the whole process, as you're experiencing. Do you fill the hose with water before you connect it? If you don;t, the pump will suck air, lose prime, and stop working. And it might not be able to generate enough suction to reprime itself through the hose. Set the vacuum with the hose attached into the pool, leaving as much hose as you can sitting on the deck. Then straighten out the hose so no air can be trapped and slowly feed it in keeping it vertical so any air in the hose gets pushed out the open end as the hose fills with water. Then slide the hose through the skimmer throat, keeping it submerged, and connect it. At that point, the hose should flinch, meaning it's pulling tight. Then you can vacuum.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    TOO LOW? argh!! I looked it up in the beginning when my CYA was around 0 and I didn't realize I needed to adjust when the CYA went up!!!
    ARRRGHHHHHHH..
    OK, I'm on it!

    Yes, I put the pole with the vacuum head in the water, then shove the hose straight down until there is water coming out of the top of it. But here is where I don't get it...I have to pick it up out of the water to turn it over and push it down into the skimmer basket and that has to introduce air! I watched a video of how to do it and they shoved the hose thru the skimmer side opening, but when I tried that, it still had to come up out of the water to connect to the top of the flat thingy that goes over the skimmer basket! and by then I had lost the pole in the water..cos unfortunately I only have two arms. hahahaah
    Am I doing it wrong?
    Huntsville, Alabama; 23K gal, IG vinyl, sand, Waterco SupaTuf Series Pump model number 241100 (1hp), pool around 25 years old, Taylor Technologies K-2006 Complete Chlorine Pool and Spa Water Test Kit, new sand in filter, city water supply

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    Quote Originally Posted by grahadp View Post
    TOO LOW? argh!! I looked it up in the beginning when my CYA was around 0 and I didn't realize I needed to adjust when the CYA went up!!!
    ARRRGHHHHHHH..
    OK, I'm on it!

    Yes, I put the pole with the vacuum head in the water, then shove the hose straight down until there is water coming out of the top of it. But here is where I don't get it...I have to pick it up out of the water to turn it over and push it down into the skimmer basket and that has to introduce air! I watched a video of how to do it and they shoved the hose thru the skimmer side opening, but when I tried that, it still had to come up out of the water to connect to the top of the flat thingy that goes over the skimmer basket! and by then I had lost the pole in the water..cos unfortunately I only have two arms. hahahaah
    Am I doing it wrong?
    It sounds like you got the wrong vacuum plate.

    Compare:



    The hose connection should be underwater.

    Until you get that sorted out, try this: Slip the hose end on and let it run for just a second, then pull it off before the pump stops, then let the pump recover, then set the plate back down. Do that a few times and hopefully it will purge the air out without ever completely losing prime.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    Yeah I have the thingy at the bottom
    Huntsville, Alabama; 23K gal, IG vinyl, sand, Waterco SupaTuf Series Pump model number 241100 (1hp), pool around 25 years old, Taylor Technologies K-2006 Complete Chlorine Pool and Spa Water Test Kit, new sand in filter, city water supply

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    Quote Originally Posted by grahadp View Post
    Yeah I have the thingy at the bottom
    That's the one you want, the straight one. Slide the full hose in through the mouth and connect it to the plate and then try setting the plate down onto the basket. Or as I said, keep cycling it so you suck some air, but then let it recover and reprime until eventually the hose has no more air in it.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: help with test kit and SLAMing

    HI! I just wanted to say you are doing fine. You are learning and that is awesome! We were all there at one time. Listen to Richard and as many questions as many times as you need to to make sure you understand.

    For the vacuuming.........fill the pool up with as much water it will hold to help you get the hose on the plate in the skimmmer. you will get the hang of it with some playing around to see what works for you.

    we got ya!

    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: help with test kit and SLAMing

    Just want to check in to see if I'm on track!
    Today, I am in day 19 of my SLAM. The water is still light blue (pretty) but very cloudy. I can see the top 2 built-in steps. Yesterday when I was brushing, I could vaguely see the brush scooting along the bottom of the shallow end, so I can say that is progress, but it seems to me like its taking a very long time. Every day I'm keeping the shock level up according to the CYA level. This morning my readings were:
    FC=18 (slightly over-shocked yesterday, in a hurry and CYA reading day before was more like 40)
    CC = 0.5
    CYA = 35
    pH = 7.4
    TA = 90
    Should the combined chlorine be that low?
    Additional questions about how stuff works. I have the skimmer basket, the main drain, and the wall drain all wide open -- is that right?
    One thing I realized I was doing wrong several days ago--when I backwashed, I forgot that I had to rinse! ha, apparently I can't remember stuff from year to year!
    Also, when I vacuum, I turn off everything but skimmer basket drain, right?
    Also, this is something odd--the pump basket almost never has anything in it. I remember in past years that I had to clean that thing out over and over again when I was opening the pool, (its usually full of leaves and small sticks and even dead frogs!), but this year its clean as can be! Could I have something stuck in the line? I mean, the pump primes fine, the pump is operating about 13 psi and that seems to be normal.

    ALSO... hahah sorry, maybe more than one question isn't allowed...but when I feel down under the skimmer basket to see if there is anything stuck in the drain, why are there two drains down there? One has a tiny little screen on it and it was full of grit. Cleaned it out but I have no idea what thats for.
    Sorry there are lots of questions!
    Huntsville, Alabama; 23K gal, IG vinyl, sand, Waterco SupaTuf Series Pump model number 241100 (1hp), pool around 25 years old, Taylor Technologies K-2006 Complete Chlorine Pool and Spa Water Test Kit, new sand in filter, city water supply

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