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Thread: Chorine level off the charts

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    Chorine level off the charts

    I just purchased the TF-100 Test Kit and did a test. The chlorine color was almost orange, way high, too high to read. FC was 30, CC-2, TC is 32, CH 1,375, TA 800 and CYA 100. I know these are whacky, I have also dumped water 3 times to get the chlorine down. I did add muratic acid to get the PH down. My PH is 7.5 and looks good. I have shut off the in line chlorinator. Now I guess I'll just wait for the chlorine to get to a good level. I am running the pool 10 hours a day. Why is my chlorine so high and CH of 1,375 seems off the charts.

    Any suggestions? Thanks
    Larry Myers

    IG, 10000,Pentair Pump, no spa, no heater, plaster, 2 yrs old, gunite, Texas Coast, sand filter.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    With high CYA it's good that your FC is high. When my CYA was in the 250 range my normal FC was 20. If your CYA is 100 (which is the upper limit of the test) you need to do two things:

    Replace 33% of the water

    Stop using any form of solid chlorine (tabs or granular shock). You want to use liquid chlorine moving forward.

    Once you replace 33% of the water re-test the CYA to see if the water replacement made a dent in the CYA.

    Test your fill water and see what the CH level is. I'm betting its high and as water evaporates you just add more CH with the high CH fill water. The water exchange should bring your CH down also.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    dump over 3,000 gallons of water? Isn't there a way to lower the chlorine level?
    Larry Myers

    IG, 10000,Pentair Pump, no spa, no heater, plaster, 2 yrs old, gunite, Texas Coast, sand filter.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Quote Originally Posted by Larr View Post
    dump over 3,000 gallons of water? Isn't there a way to lower the chlorine level?
    I'm not suggesting you dump water to get the chlorine down. It's the high CYA that you need to get under control. I edited my fist post to add information so re-read it now.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    You have the right kit but I think you are missing some important information: the FC/CYA chart. At a CYA level of 100+ (which it sounds like yours may be even higher) an FC of 30 is frankly perfectly swimmable because the CYA is significantly buffering your FC strength. Bringing that down will allow you to keep your FC at a more reasonable level going forward.

    And as Tim said, the use of pucks is what raised that up to unmanageable levels and continued use will require you to regularly dump water to keep your CYA in check.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    While your FC is high, that is not the problem. The problem is that your stabilizer is too high, and the only way to effectively lower it is by replacing water.

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? I think these may help get you started on the path to enlightenment :
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Just to be sure... you are multiplying things by the correct factor?

    If you're using a 10 ml sample for the chlorine test, each drop is .5 FC. If you're using 25 ml, each drop is .2 FC. You wouldn't be the first person to get confused and use the wrong factor.

    Likewise, with the CH test, 10 ml sample means drops get multiplied by 25. If you're using 25 ml, then use 10.

    It gets confusing because almost everyone uses 25 ml for the TA test.

    Also, when the FC is that high, the TA test colors shift from green>pink to Blue>yellow. So you probably don't have 800 TA. You probably gave up when it never turned pink. And for the final piece of bad news, when FC is above 10, it reacts with the pH indicator and makes it read falsely high. So your pH reading is already suspect, too.

    The high CYA is from that inline chlorinator. For every 10 FC you add via pucks, you also add 6 CYA. Figure the 30+ FC you've added has also added at least 18 CYA to the pool. If you keep using that chlorinator, things are just going to get worse.
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    I checked my fill water CH and it is 250. I had no idea the inline chlorinator was such a bad idea. I have turned it to "off". The Chlorine level is coming down, now almost on the scale. I really appreciate the help, thanks again. I am sure I am doing the math and reading correctly. CYA was still at 100. I guess I wait for the chlorine to come into normal and go from there. The water looks good.
    Larry Myers

    IG, 10000,Pentair Pump, no spa, no heater, plaster, 2 yrs old, gunite, Texas Coast, sand filter.

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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    If your CYA is still registering at 100 (may be more), try the dilution method to see if it's actually much higher as follows:
    Add pool water to bottom of sticker.
    Add tap water to top of sticker.
    Shake.
    Pour out half so mixture is to bottom of sticker.
    Add reagent to top of sticker.
    Shake.
    Test outside with back to sun and tube at waist level.
    Pour back and forth a few times to see if you get the same result.
    Double the result.
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    There is no reason to wait for the FC to drop. If the CYA is 100ppm, then the minimum FC level is 7ppm and likely you need it up around 9-10ppm. Which is why you need to replace water to lower the CYA level, so the FC does not have to be so high.
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    I just checked the chlorine and PH this AM. Chlorine looks like a dark bronze color, PH looks like 7.8. Unless someone tells me different, I am going to dump a lot of water today. I hate doing that, but it does seem like I need to dilute the pool. Here we are on water restrictions I am dumping it into the ocean. Maybe I better be ready for an angry neighbor! Never seen the chlorine so dark bronze color before, not even close to yellow.
    Larry Myers

    IG, 10000,Pentair Pump, no spa, no heater, plaster, 2 yrs old, gunite, Texas Coast, sand filter.

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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Dark chlorine? Humm. Is it fresh? Do you see a Julian date on the bottle? The active ingredient on the bleach should be Sodium Hypochlorite, perhaps 8.25% or so. But say Larry, since you may need to drain some to lower CYA, don't bother adjusting any chemicals just yet. Do the drain first, refill, then check CYA first to make sure it's reasonable for our TX sun (50-70), then you can adjust the other levels.
    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: Chorine level off the charts

    My TF-100 Test Kit came two days ago. I now have three test kits!

    So everything is fresh. I am going to drain some water and see what happens. I just don't like the color being SO DARK, not even close to a yellow color. Funny, the pool looks great though. Heading down to drain some water. Thanks for the advise. I have an inline chlorinator which is set to the "off" position, I guess never to be turned on again. Can you buy liquid chlorine at Lowes? Walmart, etc?
    Larry Myers

    IG, 10000,Pentair Pump, no spa, no heater, plaster, 2 yrs old, gunite, Texas Coast, sand filter.

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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Quote Originally Posted by Larr View Post
    My TF-100 Test Kit came two days ago. I now have three test kits!

    So everything is fresh. I am going to drain some water and see what happens. I just don't like the color being SO DARK, not even close to a yellow color. Funny, the pool looks great though. Heading down to drain some water. Thanks for the advise. I have an inline chlorinator which is set to the "off" position, I guess never to be turned on again. Can you buy liquid chlorine at Lowes? Walmart, etc?
    When you say "dark", are you talking about the OTO chlorine tester, with the shades of yellow as the indicator?
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    It does not matter that the FC is high. The need for water replacement is due to your high CYA. That is what must be brought down.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    When you say "dark", are you talking about the OTO chlorine tester, with the shades of yellow as the indicator?
    Yes, I believe he is.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Larr View Post
    My TF-100 Test Kit came two days ago. I now have three test kits!

    Can you buy liquid chlorine at Lowes? Walmart, etc?
    oh heck yeah- its called bleach from Wallyworld or H.E.B. It is usually 8.25% there. If you go to some pool stores they sell liquid chlorine that is 10% or maybe more. You can use either, which ever is the least costly for you. Just remember if you use PoolMath you need to plug in the proper percentage of liquid chlorine to get your suggested amount.

    addendum: avoid Lowes/Home Depot and the like. I just don't think they sell it fast enough to be fresh. And often they store it in the hot sunny garden center which means it gets weaker by the hour.....
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Many people are reporting that Walmart has "pool shock" in the pool area for cheaper than the Greater Value bleach. Check out your Walmart. Look at the % strength of both and compare the prices in your area.

    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: Chorine level off the charts

    Yes, I am talking about that tester. My color is a bronze, not even close to the "yellows" on the side of the tester. It seems when I put the drops in PH side, it read ok. Just the chlorine is dark. I am draining the pool again, twice now. We'll see what I have later today, thanks all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So the real number I need to get right is CYA, first? My pool is draining now, I'll check all the tests and report.
    Larry Myers

    IG, 10000,Pentair Pump, no spa, no heater, plaster, 2 yrs old, gunite, Texas Coast, sand filter.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Yes, you need a good CYA number to determine how high the FC needs to be. Use the FAS/DPD chlorine test rather than the OTO color match test. The FAS/DPD test is accurate to 50ppm chlorine and there is no guessing the color.

    With high CYA you must keep the FC higher to avoid algae.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Chorine level off the charts

    Since you have the TF kit you can use the FAS/DPD test to get an actual value for your FC. If you suspect it to be VERY high you can do a slightly modified version of the test. The test normally is done with a 25 mL sample or a 10 mL sample. You can do it with a 5mL sample also. This would allow you to use fewer drops to get a value if the FC is VERY high.

    With the 25mL sample, each drop is 0.2ppm
    With the 10mL sample, each drop is 0.5ppm
    With the 5mL sample, each drop is 1ppm
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