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Thread: Welcome from Orange, TX

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    Welcome from Orange, TX

    Hi guys, a friend of mine (also co-worker) turned me on to you guys, as he's learned tons from ya'll already on this site.

    My parents bought a new house, and guess what, it has a pool (bet you haven't heard this before, right?).

    Anyways, my mom will use the pool, and that's it. Never expected anything else, but my dad wants to learn. Since I'm the research nut, and I always loved chemistry, I am going to try to help him. He already had a pool company come out for a few things, but he's wanting to take it over, and since he's legally blind (not completely, just mostly), perusing forums isn't his thing. Also, with his vision issue, seeing the difference between orange, orange-red, and red is impossible, so that's where I come in.

    The pool is a 25000 gallon pool built by a reputable place in Houston, TX. It's plaster, with a spa and waterfall (from what I understand from reading here, that means decent aeration).

    I picked up a Taylor K-2006 per the recommendation of my friend on here, and tested my pH, and my TA.

    I will be doing CYA next, and will post results.

    Strangely, and this is why I'm getting on here, the pH is below 7.0, and TA is about 160. Outdoor pool, 12 hour cycles from 8AM to 8PM. Per the awesome pool calculator and a few suggestions from people, I have added over the past 2 days 7 boxes of 20 Mule team 4lb Borax to try to raise my pH. It's getting better, but it's still probably 6.8 or so.

    Also, about TA. I double checked it, and then checked my tap water, which was 160 also. That doesn't surprise me, the water in this city if awful.

    [EDITED] Will test CYA next to see if I have to explore options related to it, but currently just adding Borax to raise pH. One thing at a time.

    I have not added anything else, no Muriatic for sure, because even with my higher TA, my pH is still strangely low, and I read it's best to just address pH first.

    Thanks for having me, hope to find a way to contribute.

    -Lee

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Hello Lee and welcome to TFP! You seem to have a good handle on everything. This one comment confused me a bit ..
    Will test CYA next to see if I have to explore draining or something more aggressive than some Borax.
    because CYA is only lowered by water replacement and borax is used to raise pH. Maybe just a typo?. (Do CYA "then" some borax for the ph?)

    In any case, great to have you with us!
    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: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Haha, that's me combining two thoughts. Currently adding Borax to improve pH. Will test CYA later to see where it's at, so we can determine what to do with it next. Sorry bout that
    Lee Mims - Orange, TX, 25400 gallon In-Ground Plaster Pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward Chlorine Feeder, Century 1081 2-Speed Pool & Spa Pump, Hayward H350FDN (350k BTU) Natural Gas Water Heater, Paramount O3 Ozone, Hayward Super II Pump for Waterfall, Aqualink RS System w/ Remote (Jandy), Taylor K-2006 Kit

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Ok friends, more information for you to consider. I have a bad feeling about what you're about to tell me

    pH - 6.9/7.0 (performed Base Demand, took 14 drops of R-0006 to get to 7.4)
    TA - 160
    FC - 31 ppm (it took 62 drops of R-0871 @ 10ml to get it colorless)
    CC - 0
    CYA - 250 (maybe higher, it was way way higher than 100)
    Pool - 25400 gallons

    Blast away.
    Lee Mims - Orange, TX, 25400 gallon In-Ground Plaster Pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward Chlorine Feeder, Century 1081 2-Speed Pool & Spa Pump, Hayward H350FDN (350k BTU) Natural Gas Water Heater, Paramount O3 Ozone, Hayward Super II Pump for Waterfall, Aqualink RS System w/ Remote (Jandy), Taylor K-2006 Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Oh my. Yes, you know it's coming .... wait for it .......... water replacement. You can thank the pool store chemicals for that one. You can do the dilution CYA test as follows tomorrow if you would like:

    CYA Dilution Testing:
    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.

    But the only way to get that CYA monster down to something manageable (i.e. around 50-ish) is a water replacement. We never suggest a 100% drain for the safety of the structure, so don't go any lower than the last step or about one foot from the bottom. But once you get that CYA out of there, it won't come back unless YOU want to add stabilizer later.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Partial drains and refills til you get the CYA down. That's really high. How'd you get that number?
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    If it took 14 drops to get to a 7.4 pH, then your true pH is much lower than 6.9. Did you add a bunch of acid or have been using a lot of trichlor pucks?
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Oh my. Yes, you know it's coming .... wait for it .......... water replacement. You can thank the pool store chemicals for that one. You can do the dilution CYA test as follows tomorrow if you would like:


    Yep, before I posted that I already suggested that to my dad (his pool). He seemed concerned about the cost of the water, and I told him it was probably cheaper than the snake oil the store would try to sell you, and that's just masking the problem for a bit.

    Partial drains and refills til you get the CYA down. That's really high. How'd you get that number?


    Not a clue, this is my parent's house, they just moved there in March. The house was unoccupied for a few months in the meantime, but the last owner was doing his own pool maintenance, and there's a TON of stabilizer in the chemicals he left us. I assume he was blasting the pool with it quite often.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    If it took 14 drops to get to a 7.4 pH, then your true pH is much lower than 6.9. Did you add a bunch of acid or have been using a lot of trichlor pucks?
    I suspected as much. It's still off the chart on my K-2006, so I knew it was below 7.0 for sure. I suspected at least 6.5 but in the light I was looking at it (dusk), it seemed close to 7.0. However, indoor lighting and poor lighting are tricky to get accurate results.

    Did I add anything to the pool? Just Borax (7 boxes over 2 days, but nothing today). No MA at all. I assume Trichlor pucks are those 3" Chlorine pucks, if so, my dad puts them in this canister looking device, and it's set to 3/10. I reduced it to 2/10 a few days ago, because it's clearly got enough of that mess in there.

    ---

    I just got off the phone with him, and after convincing him yet again that there isn't a magic chemical to make all this go away, I think he's going to let me drain some.

    My question is, is it effective to drain 3 or 4 inches a few times, or do I need to drain down to the last step on the shallow end like someone else mentioned? Even if it took a few more days, it's like to introduce the process slowly, because honestly, my mom doesn't understand that while the water is clear, it's clearly not right. I need to minimize the "shock" factor of seeing her new house and new pool mostly drained.

    Thanks for your info so far, you guys are wonderful.
    Lee Mims - Orange, TX, 25400 gallon In-Ground Plaster Pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward Chlorine Feeder, Century 1081 2-Speed Pool & Spa Pump, Hayward H350FDN (350k BTU) Natural Gas Water Heater, Paramount O3 Ozone, Hayward Super II Pump for Waterfall, Aqualink RS System w/ Remote (Jandy), Taylor K-2006 Kit

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    3-4 inches won't do much and will take a very long time to lower the CYA. You need to drain and replace 75% of the pool's water which is probably about 4' of depth.

    It would actually take a good deal of work to have your high TA level with a very low pH. Are you certain you are doing the tests correctly?

    Was baking soda added?
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    I'd start draining now with the forecast we have for Thurs & Fri.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    You also need to get us an accurate CYA number, so we can determine how many drains you will need to do. Posting a guess of around 250, because it was greater than 100, will not do it. Have you tried the dilution method for measuring CYA that Pat told you about? You need to get us that number. When I joined this site, my CYA was over 400. It would have taken me 6 partial drains to get a good CYA number, so I ended up doing a full drain. Knowing your ACTUAL CYA will help us help you.
    Bruce - (The SmartJack was an invention of mine, and became my nickname)
    Fox Pool 40x27 IG Vinyl, Lagoon Shape, 27,000 gallons, Hayward 300,000 BTU heater
    Hayward 1.5 HP, 2-Speed SuperPump, with Hayward C4025 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris C-310 ORP Controller, modified to pump Liquid Chlorine
    Hayward Phantom, and Aquabot Turbo T-Jet automatic pool cleaners, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    I'd start draining now with the forecast we have for Thurs & Fri.
    Is rain expected? Oh wait, it's SE Texas. Of course it's expected...
    Lee Mims - Orange, TX, 25400 gallon In-Ground Plaster Pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward Chlorine Feeder, Century 1081 2-Speed Pool & Spa Pump, Hayward H350FDN (350k BTU) Natural Gas Water Heater, Paramount O3 Ozone, Hayward Super II Pump for Waterfall, Aqualink RS System w/ Remote (Jandy), Taylor K-2006 Kit

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Hi all, I'm the friend Although we work together we live in different areas and I hadn't yet seen the full results either. When I first heard how low Ph was I was expecting anything other than the high TA. I do know they haven't added anything themselves, but even my own pool guy that carried over with my home purchase dumped buckets of baking soda in right after I got my TA down. However, my PH spiked as well. Any thoughts on how TA could be high yet PH so low?

    I've also been working on him for getting a stenner or SWG in place quick, so jump on in to help with that too, lol.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    My guess is the problem is YEARS of chlorinating with trichlor, and no drains for all this time. I had very similar numbers from years of using DiChlor. Both DiChlor and trichlor are acidic, and lower pH. Since I was using only DiChlor, my CYA kept rising, so I was using even more DiChlor to keep the pool looking good. All that DiChlor kept my pH very low, and I was constantly fighting to raise the pH. Every year I would put in tons of pH up and baking soda. So, as I was adding all that stuff to get my pH back up, my TA kept rising high. By the time I found TFP my CYA was over 400, my TA was around 180, my pH never made it over 7.5 because I just got tired of putting pounds and pounds of pH up in the pool.

    I am willing to bet the CYA of this pool is over 300 because of all the pucks that were used over the years, and are STILL being used. Get us a valid CYA, get those pucks out of the pool, and start buying bleach.
    Bruce - (The SmartJack was an invention of mine, and became my nickname)
    Fox Pool 40x27 IG Vinyl, Lagoon Shape, 27,000 gallons, Hayward 300,000 BTU heater
    Hayward 1.5 HP, 2-Speed SuperPump, with Hayward C4025 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris C-310 ORP Controller, modified to pump Liquid Chlorine
    Hayward Phantom, and Aquabot Turbo T-Jet automatic pool cleaners, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    LOL, that would explain why I found a lifetime supply of PH UP in my own garage. I installed 100% new equipment and switched to SWG within days and with pool guy caused high TA was fighting to reduce PH. Couldn't figure out why they kept such a stock of PH UP Lee out to lunch but will be getting more info as well as getting some pics to me at least. They aren't sure where waste discharges to and filter not backwashed or pressure checked at least since they moved in either
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Ok, update, and new information:

    I'm thinking the war is almost over, but since this is my parent's pool, I'm having to fight them on letting me drain.

    Dad wanted a second opinion on my analysis and I took it to a pool store and they confirmed my pH was WAY below 7.0, and told me to use Chlor-Out to lower chlorine level, and allow the pH to rise.

    HOWEVER, my issue with that, is that with my CYA around 300, and FC @ 31, deleting Chlorine will reduce FC under my lower limit and most likely give me a green monster. It's humid and 90 degrees here. Perfect breeding grounds.

    So, I already know your opinion of pool stores, and I'll agree with you on that one. He also mentioned the following snake oils (I mean products):

    No Mor Problems - This appears to just be an algecide and if I can maintain an appropriate FC level it shouldn't be an issue.
    Bio-Active - This claims to reduce CYA, but from reviews it appears like junk. Secondarily, it's more expensive than the water would cost to just dump and pump.

    Basically since it's not my pool, I'm having to lobby to get them to let me drain because they want to try ANYTHING but do that. However, EVERYTHING else costs more and appears to be masking the problem for the short term.

    QUESTION:
    When I drain, what CYA should I be shooting for? The Pool Calc shows I should shoot for 20,000 gallons replaced, I might have to do that over 2 drainings. Also, I'd like to balance my CYA and FC drops so that I don't get algae whilst I'm dropping CYA and FCs during this process. I'd prefer to see if I could pull the drain off without a SLAM following it.

    Thoughts?
    Lee Mims - Orange, TX, 25400 gallon In-Ground Plaster Pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward Chlorine Feeder, Century 1081 2-Speed Pool & Spa Pump, Hayward H350FDN (350k BTU) Natural Gas Water Heater, Paramount O3 Ozone, Hayward Super II Pump for Waterfall, Aqualink RS System w/ Remote (Jandy), Taylor K-2006 Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Say Lee, I'm in SA, and if I had to lower my CYA, I'd shoot for a target of 50. Not the lowest for a SLAM I know, but reasonable enough to manage with bleach and for when the sun kicks-in shortly. In a month or so you may even consider a CYA of 60. But you MUST drain to lower that CYA. Don't look to any pool store products or crazy chemical adjustments to compensate. You could cause much worse problems by doing those things. As for algae, I wouldn't worry about that just yet. If the CYA stays as high as it is right now, you'll have more algae than you care to deal with very soon. I know you're in a touch spot Lee, it's not your pool. But for your parents it has to be one way or the other - pool store or TFP. You can't mix both methods.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    I passed on to Lee while on the phone that even a pool store will likely want the pool drained with a CYA that high anyway. They may FIRST try to sell a pile of expensive products, but in the end will bring out the dreaded "chlorine lock" card and say to drain it anyway. Yet, in the meantime, more was spent on those chemicals, the pool will be green, still need to drain, and THEN still have to fix the green. Ugh.

    He's on board though, he's needing more info to find a way to guide his parents with facts. I've helped where I can, but some of it is way off the chart from what I faced. They also have plaster while I have vinyl. I'm just worried about that gas heater while it sits with a PH so low it can't be measured.
    Scott
    15,000 Gallons vinyl in-ground screen enclosed, Hayward Eco-star SP3400VSP, Hayward Aqua Logic PL-Plus, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, Polaris 380 with booster pump, Hayward heat pump HP50HA. K-2006 kit.

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    But for your parents it has to be one way or the other - pool store or TFP
    Don't worry, I'm with you guys all the way! No offense to the pool store, but I deal in facts.

    UPDATE:
    1. Dad is on board with draining.

    2. Dilluted CYA test was a brilliant idea. I was able to get 100, then x2 = 200. So pretty sure CYA is around 200. Shooting for 50 would mean 75% of pool to be drained. Not sure of a way to guestimate how much that is...
    Lee Mims - Orange, TX, 25400 gallon In-Ground Plaster Pool
    Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward Chlorine Feeder, Century 1081 2-Speed Pool & Spa Pump, Hayward H350FDN (350k BTU) Natural Gas Water Heater, Paramount O3 Ozone, Hayward Super II Pump for Waterfall, Aqualink RS System w/ Remote (Jandy), Taylor K-2006 Kit

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    Re: Welcome from Orange, TX

    Determine the GPM of the pump you'll be using (by rating or pumping into a container with a known volume) to drain the pool and divide 19000 gallons by the GPM. The result will be the number of minutes needed to drain approximately 75%.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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