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Thread: Do I throw in the towel?

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    IowanPool's Avatar
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    Do I throw in the towel?

    Okay... I'm opening my pool for the year. It has a solid cover, but critters chewed my cable and we were slow getting it open. The pool is very murky. I am on day 5 and I have spent over $200 on chlorine and I have run myself out of test drops. Just to check the level this morning I used my old Wal-Mart test kit and it showed that I didn't even have 1ppm of FC.

    Is there a time when you throw in the towel and say it would be faster and cheaper to drain the pool and start over?

    I have been using my pool brush as a measuring stick. I can't see past my 2nd step into the pool and it hasn't improved a bit. In fact it might have gotten worse!

    Thanks in advance!
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Don't give up quite yet. How about this ..... your sig shows you have a Taylor K-2006 test kit. Do you still have it? Use that to post a full set of numbers for us (FC, CC, CYA, pH, TA, and CH). Then we can better advise you.
    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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    IowanPool's Avatar
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    I have the kit, but I'm out of the R-0871 and R-0013. I'm in the process of ordering more. I have just been using the last CYA number I had from last fall (CYA=40) and PoolMath to add chlorine to bring it up to 16ppm morning and night (3 gallons). Last night I put in 4 gallons because it wasn't making progress. That is when I used the old OTO kit and saw that it had maybe 1ppm in this morning. I put in 8 gallons this morning before work. It smells like Chlorine...

    I'll test the numbers I can and post them soon.
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    That would be best. Those numbers may look completely different from last fall when you closed. We'll watch for any updates once your receive your new reagents. Have a nice day.
    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: Do I throw in the towel?

    You've used an awful lot of chlorine - more than we've ever been close to ! Are you talking of regular liquid chlorine ? With our pool that what you've added just this morning lasts us for maybe three months... Even with murky water I can't imagine using such amounts. Could anything else be wrong ? Is the filter working properly ? Is your pH value at least resonably ok ?
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Get your new reagents, test the water and post the results. We're gonna' suggest a SLAM to you but you will need to get your testing stuff up to speed so you can be more precise with your dosages.

    EDIT: Linn,

    This poster has an outdoor pool. They consume more chlorine than you ever will even when they are healthy. You cannot compare consumption from indoor pools to outdoor pools
    Dave S.
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    IowanPool's Avatar
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Okay... update on what I can test: FC=1ppm, pH=6.7 (It was so low I couldn't read it on my test kit), TA=50, CH=200. I couldn't test CC or CYA.

    I ordered replacement reagents from TFTestKits.

    Should I do nothing until I can use those tests?
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Quote Originally Posted by IowanPool View Post
    Okay... update on what I can test: FC=1ppm, pH=6.7 (It was so low I couldn't read it on my test kit), TA=50, CH=200. I couldn't test CC or CYA.

    I ordered replacement reagents from TFTestKits.

    Should I do nothing until I can use those tests?
    Why couldn't you do a CYA test?

    That number will be key here - it could very well be why you are not making progress on your SLAM.
    Helpful Links: Pool Chemistry 101 - Recommended Levels - Recommended Chemicals - FC/CYA Chart - SLAM Instructions - Pool Math
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    You can raise pH to the low 7s for now. FC is a toss-up without knowing the actual CYA. I doubt it's 40 anymore, perhaps not even 30. But you could try to keep FC at about 5 ppm with bleach in there for now. If it disappears/drops real fast, then just leave it until the reagents arrive.
    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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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Okay... Picking this back up! I ordered some new supplies from TFTestKits. I performed all of the tests and here is what I got:

    Pool Temp=52F
    FC=.4
    CC=1.8
    TA=50
    CH=180
    pH=6.7 (it was below the chart)

    My CYA test was odd. I used my new chemicals and the mixture was never cloudy. I shook it vigorously for 30 seconds as described, but when I put it in the test it never got to the point that it made the black dot disappear. I didn't know how to record that since the test was out of range for my kit.

    I stopped putting chlorine in the pool after adding a signficant amount and it was gone before morning (I.e. 30 gallons was at 1ppm in the morning).

    I haven't added anything to Change the numbers since I last posted.

    Thanks in advance for taking a look!

    - - - Updated - - -

    One more note... I've been running the pump and cleaning it out with my robot. The was is cloudy, but seems very clean otherwise right now. My best indicator is that when my pool is clean there is no dirt stirred up when brushing the steps and walls.
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Quote Originally Posted by IowanPool View Post
    Okay... Picking this back up! I ordered some new supplies from TFTestKits. I performed all of the tests and here is what I got:

    Pool Temp=52F
    FC=.4
    CC=1.8
    TA=50
    CH=180
    pH=6.7 (it was below the chart)

    My CYA test was odd. I used my new chemicals and the mixture was never cloudy. I shook it vigorously for 30 seconds as described, but when I put it in the test it never got to the point that it made the black dot disappear. I didn't know how to record that since the test was out of range for my kit.

    I stopped putting chlorine in the pool after adding a signficant amount and it was gone before morning (I.e. 30 gallons was at 1ppm in the morning).

    I haven't added anything to Change the numbers since I last posted.

    Thanks in advance for taking a look!
    Wondering if you have ammonia..... That would explain why your FC wasn't holding AND why there is no CYA.

    The experts will be along to better explain..... I believe you have to add chlorine and check in 10 minutes to see if it held, then go from there.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    When the black dot never disappears, that means there is no CYA ... or it is very low. But using that much bleach shows a potential problem - ammonia. So here's what I would ask you to do first:
    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. Adjust FC to 10.
    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.

    It is very important to work closely on that 10 min drill until the FC hold to between 5-10 every 10 minutes. Let us know if you have any questions. Keep in mind you also need to increase pH right away. It's very corrosive at that low level.
    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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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    You have no CYA (test was clear), so all your FC is being burned off by sunlight. Grab some CYA aka Stabilizer aka Conditioner and use pool math to calculate the amount to add - around 30ppm. Your SLAM should go much better after that

    edit: Confirm you have no ammonia like Texas Spash outlined before adding CYA
    Helpful Links: Pool Chemistry 101 - Recommended Levels - Recommended Chemicals - FC/CYA Chart - SLAM Instructions - Pool Math
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Just curious, given the issues the OP is having, why not just drain the pool and start fresh? Not trying to contradict anyone or derail the thread, but just trying to understand the reluctance to drain/refill.
    Jay--Metro NYC
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Quote Originally Posted by fauxQ View Post
    Just curious, given the issues the OP is having, why not just drain the pool and start fresh? Not trying to contradict anyone or derail the thread, but just trying to understand the reluctance to drain/refill.

    Sometimes that can be recommended for a smaller pool, but generally they recommend the SLAM process.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Last year I opened and had to add about 50 gallons of bleach. I suspect my CYA was consumed and turned to ammonia....
    20000 gallon vinyl liner in ground pool
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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Quote Originally Posted by fauxQ View Post
    Just curious, given the issues the OP is having, why not just drain the pool and start fresh? Not trying to contradict anyone or derail the thread, but just trying to understand the reluctance to drain/refill.
    OP may not have Ammonia at all, but opening with a CYA of 0 and large FC demand are the symptoms. If it is Ammonia, it can be beat in a short amount of time by SLAMing with frequent (10 min) testing and chlorine additions.

    Even if took 50 gallons like dodge mentioned, ~$100 in bleach is a more economical and faster solution for most people than a refill.

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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Also, it's not always possible to drain due to water table issues or liner age... Bleach is cheap and the practice with testing and dosing is a good way to learn.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    Okay... Looking for more thoughts. Chlorine costs me about $4/Gallon. Water costs me $3/1000gal. I'm already deep in cost on chlorine ($150-$200). The more chlorine I put in the more I'm committed to following that plan! But it is also the reason I started this thread to determine if I would be better off giving up and starting over.

    The articles I've found about ammonia sound like it could be my problem. Whether it is ammonia or not I'm worried about how long the 10min testing SLAM can last? Id like to get rolling ASAP so I can start getting this under control. I have to work during the day. would 3-6 hour in the evening be enough, or do I need to be ready for more hours of staying on top of this to get me under control???

    I've started working on the Alkalinity and pH to help too.

    I'll have to get some CYA and more chlorine to be ready.

    Also, since we are back to ground zero did any of the chlorine I put in the pool help me make progress, or am I starting from scratch?
    20x36' in-ground vinyl pool. 25.5K Gallons. Sta-Rite Sand Filter. Pentair Ultratemp Heat Pump. Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump. Tri-Chlor Feeder. Automatic Cover. Taylor K-2600 test kit. Pool owner since 2013.

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    Re: Do I throw in the towel?

    If you have/had ammonia, it was a by product of a bacterial conversion that consumes CYA. It takes a lot of bleach to get rid of the ammonia, but the good news is the ammonia will not increase unless you feed it by adding CYA too soon. All the bleach you have added so far has been knocking back the ammonia. We recommend adding the bleach every 10 minutes to clear the ammonia so you can knock it back quickly and start making headway on the algae. Ammonia consumes bleach very quickly, so if you add enough to reach shock level then loose most of it in 10 minutes you probably have ammonia. You repeat the every 10 minute bleach additions until the FC starts to hold. Then you can drop to the slam recommendations of testing every 2 hours. Once the FC starts to hold you can raise the CYA to 20ppm.
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