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Thread: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

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    Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    Hello, having a tough time getting this pool in shape. Any advice would be very appreciated.

    I have a 14' X 42" round Intex above ground pool. Approximately 3,100 gallons. Krystal Clear 8110 Saltwater System. Both just under one year old.

    Salt cell builds up a lot of scale after a couple of weeks. Test strips would show the chlorine level in pool at around 2.0 early morning but gone by late afternoon. I have to run the saltwater system at Boost mode all night to generate enough chlorine to last through the afternoon. My water is crystal clear now but was cloudy a few weeks ago so I shocked the pool twice, each time with an 121 oz bottle of 8.25% bleach about a week apart.

    Just bought a Taylor K2006 test kit. Test results below
    FC 2.0 ppm
    CC 0.4 ppm
    PH 8+ (Acid demand took 4 drops of R-0005 to lower to PH to 7.4)
    TA 200 ppm
    CH 250 ppm
    CYA 0 (7 mil + 7 mil of R-0013 mixture never got cloudy)
    Salt 2180 ppm (My Salt Pool test strip)
    I can see I have very unbalanced water. Where should I begin to balance the SI?

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    Mr Bruce's Avatar
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    Re: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    pH first (always). CYA for a SWG should be 70-90.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    Howdy, neighbor!

    Easy.

    You need some stabilizer. It's amazing that the SWG can even keep up with the losses due to UV rays from sunlight. Low CYA is why you can't keep the FC level up and why it burns off and allows algae (cloudiness)

    You need to lower the pH with some muriatic acid.

    At the moment, the FC is adequate for zero CYA. As CYA rises, FC needs to rise, too. Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart But if the SWG is on, it will as the stuff dissolves.

    You only need about 2 lbs of CYA to get into range. It comes in 4 or 5 lb canisters, so one is plenty. And one cup of acid will do you, so you only need to buy a gallon unless you already have some. Make sure you get the 31% stuff if you shop at Lowe's, because they sell the half-strength stuff as well.

    The CYA is mildly acidic, so it will counteract the pH rise you'll see from the high TA. And as the CYA dissolves, it will protect the FC the SWG creates. If you make a chemical run tonight and get things set up and leave the pump on overnight, tomorrow you should be good. Or real close to it.

    Have you been to Pool School?

    Start with ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and then study up on some of the topics in the Pool Chemistry section.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    Howdy! No, haven't been to pool school. Just got the Taylor test kit this morning. It came with a very informative booklet but I will definitely take your advice and learn my abc's. Couple questions: I read that since I have a vinyl pool i need to use dry acid. Muriatic acid is the liquid, right? Also, can I add the acid and CYA one after the other?
    Thx for your quick reply and advice. Much appreciated

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thx!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    My suggestion is don't even open the Taylor booklet. Use the card in the top of the case and ask questions here. That booklet was written by scientists who know how to confuse people. The color coded card in the top is easy step by step for each test (the bottle caps match the color of the test in the top of the case).

    Richard hit the nail on the head with Pool School. Add these two to your reading list.
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    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: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyD View Post
    Howdy! No, haven't been to pool school. Just got the Taylor test kit this morning. It came with a very informative booklet but I will definitely take your advice and learn my abc's. Couple questions: I read that since I have a vinyl pool i need to use dry acid. Muriatic acid is the liquid, right? Also, can I add the acid and CYA one after the other?
    Thx for your quick reply and advice. Much appreciated

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thx!
    The dry acid turns to liquid when it hits the water. But if it is slow to dissolve, it'll settle on the floor and leave freckles. So dry acid for vinyl is just more pool store nonsense. And also, dry acid contains some sulfur. I don;t know what conditions are needed to make it start smelling, and i don't want to find out!

    If you already have some dry acid, use it up. Just don't waste money on buying any more.

    You can add CYA any time. It takes a while to dissolve so the usual waiting times between chemicals are ignored.
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals tells how to add things.
    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: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    Okay, Read thru some threads here. Muriatic acid okay in vinyl pools. I will add tonight and post results tomorrow

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh okay, I'll take your advice on the links. what about the watergram calculator that came in the box? Seems pretty keen

    - - - Updated - - -

    Got it. Not enough dry left so I'll buy som muriatic when I get the cya. Yes, I disolve the dry in a bucket of water then add

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyD View Post
    I'll take your advice on the links. what about the watergram calculator that came in the box? Seems pretty keen
    Skip it.
    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: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    You will use PoolMath instead of the watergram.....it's a little more comprehensive.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyD View Post
    Hello, having a tough time getting this pool in shape. Any advice would be very appreciated.

    I have a 14' X 42" round Intex above ground pool. Approximately 3,100 gallons. Krystal Clear 8110 Saltwater System. Both just under one year old.

    Salt cell builds up a lot of scale after a couple of weeks. Test strips would show the chlorine level in pool at around 2.0 early morning but gone by late afternoon. I have to run the saltwater system at Boost mode all night to generate enough chlorine to last through the afternoon. My water is crystal clear now but was cloudy a few weeks ago so I shocked the pool twice, each time with an 121 oz bottle of 8.25% bleach about a week apart.

    Just bought a Taylor K2006 test kit. Test results below
    FC 2.0 ppm
    CC 0.4 ppm
    PH 8+ (Acid demand took 4 drops of R-0005 to lower to PH to 7.4)
    TA 200 ppm
    CH 250 ppm
    CYA 0 (7 mil + 7 mil of R-0013 mixture never got cloudy)
    Salt 2180 ppm (My Salt Pool test strip)
    I can see I have very unbalanced water. Where should I begin to balance the SI?
    I just want to say thx to everyone for your help. The best advice was directing me to pool school. Thx for not chastising me for not going there first, lol.
    My numbers are good now thx to all your advice, this web space and PoolMath. What a fantastic tool!


    Today's levels
    FC 5.8 Didnít run the SWG for the last 4 days while I lowered the TA. I had to clean the titanium electrode and didnít want to disturb the aerating process. So nice to see the chlorine not disappearing with the morning sun. Today was the first day I ran the SWG and only ran it for 2 hours. Without CYA I was running 5-6 hours a day. I think until it gets hot I will only need to run it an hour a day.
    CC < 0.5
    PH 7.4
    TA 70 Took 4 days but I was able to lower the TA using the muriatic acid/aeration method I found here. Still have to bring the PH up a little but that's about it. A few more hours of aeration should do it.
    CYA 70
    CH 220
    SALT 3010


    All in all because of this space I feel much more confidant now that I can have a Trouble Free Pool. Thx!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Very unbalanced water. Where to start

    Excellent progress. Nice work! Glad TFP is working for you.
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