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Thread: No FC

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    No FC

    Second year owning pool. Last year was rough but only because home was foreclosure and sat for over an year with no maintenance. This year after uncovering dark green full of algae (figured it would be). No matter how much chlorine is added FC still 0.

    10 gallons of 8.25% bleach, 15 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine. And approximately 10 lbs+ di-Chlor shock all in the last week. Backwash twice a day and vacuumed about 3 times. Pool now a lighter green but still no FC.

    Not sure of CYA, better test kit on the way. But would a high CYA keep FC from showing? I know if you have a high CYA then a higher FC is required for shocking. But if I can't get an FC then I just keep adding CHlorine correct?

    Any help...
    30,000 gallons. Tagelus Sand Filter (replaced sand last year). Do not know what CC or TC is (waiting on test kit).

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: No FC

    No, high CYA will not prevent FC from showing on the test. It is possible that you had bacteria in the pool consuming CYA and converting it to ammonia. Ammonia consume FC within minutes, like 10. The answer is more chlorine more often until you get rid of the ammonia or whatever is consuming the chlorine. Keep at it! And test your CYA it might be a lot lower or gone.
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    Re: No FC

    Without reliable test results this is all just guesses based on what you shared. It sounds like your CYA was probably converted to ammonia by a bacteria. You add chlorine and it reacts nearly instantly. So I doubt you even have CYA because of that.

    In this situation dichlor is one of the worse thing you could add. When you do the chlorine is eliminated quickly and you are left with the CYA. If the bacteria is still present then it will consume the CYA and create more ammonia.

    You are going to need a way to measure FC and CC as well as unstabilized chlorine to rid your pool of it. A TF-100 or k-2006 and a bunch of liquid chlorine can get this cleared up for you.

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    Re: No FC

    I am only sticking to liquid chlorine, now that I know what di and tri-Chlor add. Will keep at the liquid chlorine and brushing, vacuuming, and back washing until I get some sort of FC to register.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: No FC

    Welcome to TFP!

    When is your kit due?

    You might find it easiest, and safest in terms of using just the right amount, to wait until your kit comes so that you have accurate means to retest cya and FC.

    In that case, this is how you beat ammonia to get on with the Slam...
    (Been there, done that, btw )

    Diagnosing:
    1. Test CYA level and record result
    2. With pump running, dose FC to Shock (SLAM) per level per Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart, then retest FC after 10 minutes. If FC level drops by more than 50%, then proceed with treatment for ammonia.

    Treatment for Ammonia:
    1. Begin a SLAM and dose FC up to SLAM level. 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.
    In the mean time, you could try to net out any debris that got into the pool and ensure your filter is in good working order so that when you DO slam, it will be effective and quicker.

    After you read through SLAM you might also wan to read up on Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter

    Lastly, when you're able to accurately test and get your slam going on, be sure to use this chart to guide your levels: FC/CYA Chart

    Cheers to clear!
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    Re: No FC

    Ok I will keep cleaning out pool. (Not much left to get out but then again I can't see). Will wait for test kit to come. I still would have thought that if my CYA isn't above like 100 then I would have at some point started seeing some FC register.

    What happens if after I put the required amount chlorine to get to shock level based on CYA and still no FC register?

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    Re: No FC

    Your CYA level has nothing to do with FC measurements, if your FC is 1 it will show as 1 whether your CYA is zero or a thousand. The CYA buffers the ability of FC to do its job, not the measurement itself. If your test shows zero, you have zero.

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    Re: No FC

    What happens if after I put the required amount chlorine to get to shock level based on CYA and still no FC register?
    It usually means that the combo of zero chlorine and zero cya has led to a bacterial condition that consumed the cya and turned it into ammonia as a byproduct.

    If this is the case, you follow the steps (once you have a good test kit) to break down the ammonia until the water holds FC, THEN you add your cya and start your normal slam. Its just better to do this with the proper test kit so that you don't accidentally nuke the pool

    You need to break down (oxidize) the ammonia before you can conduct a slam that works.

    If you're asking because you ALREADY added more cya, then it will be important when you get your kit to test the cya and see if any of it is still left/if you need to replenish after you've broken down the ammonia -- if you had the ammonia. Make sense?

    I should add that the reason I posted the steps to test for ammonia is only because your FC keeps zeroing out after additions. But you'll need to follow the steps of the test to really know for sure if that was the culprit

    It could also be a matter where whatever you're using to test is bleaching out -- again, the test kit will clear up what's really going on because it can also read really high levels of FC too!
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    Re: No FC

    From all the chlorine I've added(added 8 more gallons of 10% still no FC), I don't know how I would ever be able to reach shock level to even destroy the ammonia? Sounds like another $100 bucks going down the drain.

    Would a partial drain and refill help with the situation??

    I just don't understand how to reach shock level or even see if FC decreases for ammonia test if I can never get any FC to register.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: No FC

    FC will decrease ammonia ...

    Keep the faith and keep adding bleach every 10 minutes or so and eventually the FC will hold and the CC will drop (you are testing for both right?)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually, how are you testing? You may just want to wait for the test kit because there is a chance whatever you are using is saying 0 FC and in fact it is really high.
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: No FC

    Just testing with some of last years strips. But I did a check with a strip and poured half bleach and half water in a cup and the strip for FC turned to the darkest color purple it could. So I don't think my strips are unable to detect FC if it is really high.

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    Re: No FC

    That's why I believe it can't hurt too keep adding chlorine. I have been adding bleach/pool chlorine like 5-6 gallons at one time per day for the last 5 days and put 8 gallons in last night all at once. There has been a change to light green now since the begging but never had any FC register.

    When you say add chlorine every 10 mins how much at each interval, enough for shock level? But I'm certain even if I added like 30 gallons at once nothing would change. I don't want to waste money. I am thinking the most efficient way may be a partial drain and refill. I am on well so no cost there just slow to fill back up.

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    Re: No FC

    Do you have your kit yet? Seems like you need a test kit, the guessing would cease with reliable test data, the help here would be exact and correct. I opened a pool two weeks ago that hasn't been touched in a few years. It's almost clear, without a kit this TFP method can't work. They base everything on the test data generated from the approved kits.

    Jared
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: No FC

    Poolnewb, the process of getting chlorine to hold in an ammonia condition is a bit precise in that you add, time, add, time in a rapid sequence until you've added enough to break the ammonia. When you just add now and then as you have been, you're leaving the FC for immediate consumption and then allowing the conversion to ammonia to continue relatively unchecked.

    For example, in my swamp recovery, the original pool techs hired put in 6 bags of shock and 5 gallons of liquid and it zeroed out because they didn't sustain the addition. But when I took over and did it the way described, it took 10 gallons and less than 2 hours on a weekend morning to get FC to hold. Then the slam worked like a charm.

    With that said, the higher the ammonia level, the more chlorine it takes to break. Dilution is an option if it won't strain your well and if your well water doesn't have a high metal level, eg, iron. I know with my well I was advised not to risk taxing it with a full replacement, but my well also has a high iron load so I didn't need much convincing

    But if the condition of your water is such that there is still any cya (from prior addition of stabilized products) to be converted, and if there is still the bacteria to convert it, you could theoretically produce more ammonia while awaiting your partial refill -- and still would have to break down whatever ammonia is left. See my note below for a partial drain scheme that overall would I think help on both the ammonia and swamp fronts.

    If you want to try to assess how much ammonia you might have, there are ammonia strip tests available at aquarium stores. But usually this is not necessary unless a complete water change is a viable option, which with a liner on well, it really isn't short of trucking in water.

    To my mind, the simplest approach is to wait for your test kit, stock up on bleach, and follow the ammonia test instructions in a dedicated session. Ultimately, that should be less hassle. If you do change out some of the water, try the free trick below or rent a trash pump so that you get some of the crud out while you're at it

    Here's the siphon trick that Yakima recently reported...watch the video, its cool

    Trash pump is the super powerful, super fast way!

    I was cheap and didn't want to rent one, so I did a siphon vacuum. Attach the vac hose to the vac head and either hold the other end to the return to flush the air out, or just slowly push the hose underwater a foot at a time with a light shake to get the air out of the ridges too. Once it is full, keep both ends under water, pull the middle of the hose to wall and pull a loop out over the wall and let it hang/sit on the ground, then pull the non-vac head attached end to the wall, cover it with your hand, and swiftly, with eyes closed or wearing glasses, raise the end (covered with hand) over wall and back down under the waterline, uncovering your hand. The water should gush out fast! Keep that end under the waterline, push the loop back into the pool, and then vaccum as usual! It will pump all the nasty from the bottom of the pool straight to your lawn (which loves all that stuff! Here is a video of me doing my very last siphon vac. Sorry I didn't shoot video of the first three. I waited 2 hours between sessions so it could resettle. My first three had lots of brown and super dark green sludge water, and infinite leaves and pine needles. As you move the head, when it comes out dark, stay there until it runs clear or nearly clear, then move a bit. You'll figure out what works best for you, especially if you can see the water coming out of the hose as you vac. In my case only the bottom inches were gross, and all the rest of the water was really pretty clear in comparison. I'm glad I did this. I ended up pumping out about 2 feet of water and it went from brown to dark green to green, then I refilled with water and SLAMed and now I'm blue and only a little murky after 4 days! Used less than 10 gallons of 10% shock/bleach total so far! Saved a fortune! Glad my water prices are cheap here!
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    Re: No FC

    Ok so I finally got around to attacking the ammonia problem or so I thought. Only had 2 test strips left (still waiting on test kit). After pouring a gallon of 10% sodium hypochlorite every 15 mins for 2 hours I tested with my first strip and my FC is now well above 10 (not sure exactly because 10 is the highest reading it will show). 4 hours later FC is still holding at or above 10. Now I really hate I don't know my CYA level yet so I know what my shock level needs to be but either way I'm moving in the right direction.

    Will prob run to pool store in the morning for a quick water analysis so I know all my other levels as well. Hoping test kit will get here soon. Thanks for the help with the ammonia problem.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: No FC

    Where did the idea of putting a gallon of bleach in every 15 minutes for 2 hours with no testing in between come from? That must have been a misunderstanding. I hope it is not now very high and causing damage.

    I would not even bother with the pool store testing. Wait for your kit.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: No FC

    Add your pool info to your signature as shown here, Pool School - Read This Before You Post
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    Re: No FC

    Won't let me add info to my signature when on mobile device and a phone is all I got.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: No FC

    Open a browser and check desktop view in settings. Then you will be on the regular website and can add sig.
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