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Thread: Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

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    Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

    Last year our pool was installed, so this is our first time opening our pool. We opened it this past weekend. We installed a new vision cartridge and chlorine canister for the nature 2 system. After filling it a third of the way with new water we shocked the pool with a dose of what should have been 10 ppm. We then tested it with test strips no chlorine was found. We then shocked it again with another round of 10 ppm. It still showed no chlorine. We then had our water tested at a pool store. These are the results: CYA 0, Tot. Chlorine 5.8, Free Chlorine 0.4, pH 7.7, Alkalinity 200, Hardness 560.

    We were told to add 3 lbs stabilizer which we did overnight. Today we added another 1/2 gallon of liquid shock along with 1 lb granular shock. We tested the pool again and still show no chlorine.

    We have been running the filter 24 hours/day on low since Monday.

    Any help on what might be wrong would be really appreciated.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

    Greetings, Denon, and welcome to TFP.

    What did the water look like on opening? What does it look like now?

    When someone opens with 0 CYA and gets 0 FC, it often means that ammonia has been created by a bacteria that consumes the cya and converts it. To effectively knock it down requires more precise testing than you can get with test strips...and its also important to first rule out that the chlorine additions havent just bleached out your results.

    So to follow the TFP method of SLAM and the ammonia test/steps to precede it you will need a FAS/DPD type test kit - either the TF100 (more reagents...best for a Slam) or the Taylor k2006, both available from TFTestkits.net or
    Amazon.com : TF-100 test kit : Pet Supplies.

    Please don't try this until you have one of those kits to make sure your testing is accurate while you're doing it but once you have one of the kits, these are the steps to nail the ammonia...

    In the mean time, you can read up more on TFP methods in pool school. At TFP, having a troube free pool means keeping your FC/CYA Chart ratio for perfect sanitation and to prevent algae.

    To prepare for a slam, you will want to get some stabilizer/cya, but don't add any until you can test accurately and have the water holding FC per the instructions.

    Ammonia 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 ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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    Re: Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

    Quote Originally Posted by denon View Post
    Last year our pool was installed, so this is our first time opening our pool. We opened it this past weekend. We installed a new vision cartridge and chlorine canister for the nature 2 system. After filling it a third of the way with new water we shocked the pool with a dose of what should have been 10 ppm. We then tested it with test strips no chlorine was found. We then shocked it again with another round of 10 ppm. It still showed no chlorine. We then had our water tested at a pool store. These are the results: CYA 0, Tot. Chlorine 5.8, Free Chlorine 0.4, pH 7.7, Alkalinity 200, Hardness 560.

    We were told to add 3 lbs stabilizer which we did overnight. Today we added another 1/2 gallon of liquid shock along with 1 lb granular shock. We tested the pool again and still show no chlorine.

    We have been running the filter 24 hours/day on low since Monday.

    Any help on what might be wrong would be really appreciated.
    It sounds like you don't understand about the consumable nature of chlorine.

    Chlorine muct be added to your pool constantly and when you have a bunch of orgaanics in your pool, the chlorine is quickly consumed.

    This can all be fixed if you will stay out of the pool store and learn what we teach on this forum.

    I suggest you start with the ABC's of pool water chemistry and then ask questions.

    If you return to the Pool Store to "double-check" there is a good chance you will drop some more money and get no benefit.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

    Thank you. Yes this is our first year. I guess I thought it was going to be easier than this

    We opened the pool and it was very clear (Still is very clear). There is a little bit of dirt on the ground that I have not vacuumed up yet but the water is crystal clear. The pool is a 21ft round above ground. I added 2.5 lbs of stabilizer over the past two days. I will order one of the test kits but was hoping to get the pool opened before it comes. The kids are dying to swim with the warm weather.

    My strips show a 30-50ppm of stabilizer now but will bring it to the pool store to test in the meantime. If my stabilizer is in that range do I just keep adding Chlorine until it starts to read? I read the part on the SLAM method and figured that is what I should do next if stabilizer is ok.

    I guess my fear was of bleaching the liner and ruing it.

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    Mr Bruce's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

    Quote Originally Posted by denon View Post
    My strips show a 30-50ppm of stabilizer now but will bring it to the pool store to test in the meantime.
    I'd save the gas money.

    You are flying blind without a proper test kit I am sorry to say. There are no short cuts
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
    Test Kits - Pool Math - Chlorine/CYA/Target/Slam Chart

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    Re: Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

    That is why I was going to go to the store with a sample. They put a sample in a machine that then prints out an analysis a page long of items I don't understand Do you think that they test they run would not be worth it? Can I buy a reliable kit locally?

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

    No, not worth it. We have seen pool store test results off by 100% or more margin of error. And test strips are more useless than that. I have not had my water tested at a pool store in over 4 years, not even for fun. You can get an HTH or Taylor drop based test kit locally. But, they often don't have CYA tests and almost never have FAS/DPD chlorine tests.
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    Re: Opening Pool and Chlorine not registering

    I guess I thought it was going to be easier than this
    It will be, promise!

    Here's the deal with the methods here at TFP, and why they're not compatible with pool store approach.

    Years ago, research showed, and then was confirmed by members of TFP, including a theoretical chemist in the industry, that if you keep your CYA and your chlorine at a simple ratio (7.5% but you don't even need to know that because there's a chart..,see link) it would keep algae away and sanitize your pool. Period.

    But the pool industry couldn't sell pucks with chlorinating systems that didn't have cya because they had to be able to mfg a slow release of chlorine, which requires cya. So adding tabs makes your cya a moving target all the time, and there's no way to pin down the right FC level and cya is almost impossible to test with a strip.

    The industry will say that consumers demand for automatic convenience drives this. It also drives profits...because if the cya is too high from constantly using pucks, then you need algaecide, shock, etc. etc. etc.

    So you go into a pool store and they print out what to buy each time they read your water, which makes it "look" easy, but in essence is just giving you a shopping list - they're not teaching you how to fish.

    Then, when there's a problem, which there usually will be, however well-meaning they may be, the only "solutions" they know of or offer are those taught by the very industry that has turned a blind eye in the name of profit to real research and which blames the consumer for its demand of convenience

    By comparison, with TFP, you determine your cya level (usually by adding the cya separately to a target) and then just dose with liquid chlorine or bleach which does not have cya in it to that level every day. Once you've tested a few times with an accurate kit, you're looking at a daily time investment of literally maybe 5 minutes a day.

    Generally, you avoid adding anything other than pure, known entities (bleach, baking soda, washing soda) to avoid interactions, inexplicable behavior and unintended consequences

    By having a true testing kit, you're also in the drivers seat if like right now you have a problem to fix...because that same research is the basis of the SLAM (shock level and maintain.) Basically, you need to be able to accurately read shock level FC without running to the pool store, and to read the changes, which tell you what's going on

    Then you are applying precisely what's needed, and avoiding the frustration of doing things that aren't working and make no sense.

    This learning curve is a one-time thing...and the rewards are typically never having to shock or slam again ...which is why this forum is called Trouble Free Pool

    Hope you'll join us. Read though the earlier links to get a sense, bu there are lots of people who will answer your questions and help confirm your steps if you choose this path
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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