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Thread: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

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    Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Hi Everyone,

    I had the pool opened Saturday and have been cleaning it and trying to gt it ready. However, I can't seem to get a chlorine reading at all even after adding the amount of bleach pool math told me.

    My results were:
    fc: 0
    PH: around 6.8
    TA: 30
    CH: 185

    Do I just keep adding bleach, do I need the ph higher first, I am trying to do both but appreciate any advice. As always thank you!!
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    If you have ammonia in the water it will consume the chlorine in minutes keep adding till you get a reading. Could take several gallons before you burn up all the ammonia.

    - - - Updated - - -

    add it in 4 or 5 ppm increments with the pump running and test after 10 min (lather, rinse, repeat) until you get a reading.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    I don't see a CYA reading. If it was 50 last year and zero this year, that would also be a clue it might have degraded into ammonia. You have to know the CYA to set a target for FC anyway. High CC could also point to ammonia, and I don;t see that number, either.

    If it is ammonia, you either need a whole bunch of bleach -- more than you can imagine -- or some water replacement.
    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: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    I have been vacuuming on waste part of the time to clean the pool with hose on replacing some water. Didn't test CYA yet, will go and post when I have results. Thank you.
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    What is your CYA?

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Ok my CYA is super low, my kit doesnt even go below 30 and I can still see the black dot.Does this mean ammonia?? What should I do? Thanks for your help!
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Whoops. That was in auto-save and never sent...
    What testkit are you using? Would you add that to your signature, please.

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Taylor k-2006
    eidted signature., thanks.
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Looking at other posts, what am I doing here? Do I need to get my pool to shock levels???
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamS View Post
    Looking at other posts, what am I doing here? Do I need to get my pool to shock levels???
    Yes, you do. But you won't be able to until you break down all the ammonia with bleach. That happens about as fast as you can pour it in, which is why you're unable to get a reading. It takes something like 10 times as many ppm of chlorine as you have ammonia, so it could take cases and cases of bleach to neutralize the ammonia and start to see the bleach hold.

    The problem is threefold: 1) it takes massive amounts of bleach to neutralize the ammonia
    2) The bleach also gets destroyed by sunlight without CYA to protect it
    3) Until whatever bacteria or enzyme that causes the CYA to breakdown into ammonia is killed with bleach, any CYA you add will just act as food for it and create more ammonia.

    So you're kind of stuck. The choices are replace a bunch of water to reduce the amount of bleach you'll need to buy or buy a bunch of bleach and keep pouring it in at ten minute intervals until you see it start to hold. At that point you can add some CYA and proceed with a normal SLAM.
    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: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Oh man, was not expecting this! This is only my second summer and did not have to SLAM at all last year.
    How do you add CYA?
    How much water would I replace?
    How many gallons of bleach are you talking if I go that way?
    What about adding a Schock" packet, I know thats not BBB, but can't that work here?
    Sorry for so many questions, want to get it right and trying not to panic, I have bday party for son Memorial Weekend in the pool.
    Thanks for your help!
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamS View Post
    Oh man, was not expecting this! This is only my second summer and did not have to SLAM at all last year.
    How do you add CYA?
    It's in Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How much water would I replace?
    If it was me, the max I could, which means leaving a foot or so in the shallow end.
    How many gallons of bleach are you talking if I go that way?
    No way to predict. At the low end, maybe 30 gallons. You'll still need a bunch to SLAM, too. New water may be cheaper, especially if you call the water company and tell them so they'll waive sewer fees.
    What about adding a Schock" packet, I know thats not BBB, but can't that work here?
    Depends on what kind of "shock" it is. There are at least three different chlorine powders commonly available, another less common, and one non-chlorine shock. They all have their down sides, which is why we recommend bleach. Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Sorry for so many questions, want to get it right and trying not to panic, I have bday party for son Memorial Weekend in the pool.
    Thanks for your help!
    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: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    I don't know much about ammonia. But don't add any CYA until you hear from someone who does. Do you have any chlorine/bleach that you can add tonight?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Cross-post.

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    I have a little left but sounds like that is pointless until I can do every 10 minutes, or should I add what I have? How much do I add every 10 minutes? A gallon at a time? Anyone know how many around we are talking?
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Wow thanks for your response. Let me ask you this:

    I understand regularly using shock, or from Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool or dichlor is not recommended, but this one time wouldn't it serve my purpose and save me money and time by not having to empty and fill my pool (or use tons of bleach?)
    Also if I do take the water out, can I really go that low in a vinyl pool? Isn't it bad for the lining?


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    It's in Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals If it was me, the max I could, which means leaving a foot or so in the shallow end. No way to predict. At the low end, maybe 30 gallons. You'll still need a bunch to SLAM, too. New water may be cheaper, especially if you call the water company and tell them so they'll waive sewer fees. Depends on what kind of "shock" it is. There are at least three different chlorine powders commonly available, another less common, and one non-chlorine shock. They all have their down sides, which is why we recommend bleach. Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    If you're trying to eliminate the ammonia by adding bleach every ten minutes, do it at the rate of 2 gallons every ten minutes. That will get you to about 10 FC each time. On one of those tests, you'll see that you're holding FC. That's when you need to use poolmath to recalculate how much to add to maintain 10 FC.

    You can use dichlor when it's time to add CYA, but not before. Otherwise, you'll just create more ammonia from the CYA in it. We don't get into mixing chlorine sources because most people have a tough time getting things figured out working one chemical at a time, and dichlor will have you juggling 3 variables. And as the dichlor dissolves, the CYA climbs, which raises the shock FC level, But hey, if you're good at differential equations, go for it. I've forgotten most of my Calculus.

    If you look at poolmath, you'll see that to take 20000 gallons from zero FC to 10 FC will take either 2 gallons of 10% bleach (on sale at Walmart btw) or 3 lbs of dichlor "shock." Price things out. I doubt it will save you much but a lot of heavy lifting.
    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: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    I thought you said 30 gallons on low end earlier?
    If I add 2 gallons every ten minutes, am I testing right afterward?
    "On one of those tests, you'll see that you're holding FC. That's when you need to use poolmath to recalculate how much to add to maintain 10 FC."
    Can you explain what you mean, Im confused?
    I understand sticking to one source, makes sense.
    Than you so much for your help!
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamS View Post
    I thought you said 30 gallons on low end earlier?
    If I add 2 gallons every ten minutes, am I testing right afterward?
    "On one of those tests, you'll see that you're holding FC. That's when you need to use poolmath to recalculate how much to add to maintain 10 FC."
    Can you explain what you mean, Im confused?
    I understand sticking to one source, makes sense.
    Than you so much for your help!
    I was just guessing on how much bleach you'll need overall, based on what I've read here over the years. It may be much less or a lot more.

    Right now you have 0 FC and unknown amounts of Ammonia.
    Shock level for 0 CYA is 10 FC.
    You add 10 FC to the pool. That's 2 gallons.
    You recheck FC after ten minutes.
    If there's ammonia, you probably have hardly any of the FC left after 10 minutes. Odds are you'll have lots of CC. You add more bleach to get to 10 FC again.
    You recheck FC after ten minutes.
    If there's ammonia, you probably have hardly any of the FC left after 10 minutes. You add more bleach to get to 10 FC again.
    Repeat again and again until at some point your 10 FC holds to maybe 6 or 8 FC. When that happens, you've cleared the ammonia. Now you start on the SLAM.
    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: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    ok, thank you so much!! I will do it Friday and let you know how it goes, or more likely have more questions! Thank you!!

    Also, the bleach you were talking about at Walmart was which brand that is 10%?? Ive been using the Home Depot germicidal for about $3 a gallon and I believe its 8%.
    17x34 and ranges in depth from 3 ft to 6 ft.; I think 20-22 thousand Gallons
    IG -Vinyl with Waterfall
    Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP
    Pentair DE 60 Filter
    Hayward H300 Heater; Taylor K-2006 Complete

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    Re: Can't Get Chlorine Reading, Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamS View Post
    ok, thank you so much!! I will do it Friday and let you know how it goes, or more likely have more questions! Thank you!!

    Also, the bleach you were talking about at Walmart was which brand that is 10%?? Ive been using the Home Depot germicidal for about $3 a gallon and I believe its 8%.
    Not sure of the brand. Someone posted about it. It's in the pool section, not the laundry aisle.
    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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