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Thread: Nitrate Problem

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    Nitrate Problem

    Hello all. I'm new to TFP, so please bare with me. We have a 15x30 (approx 13,500 gallons) above ground pool, vinyl liner. We have only had it for two years, so I'm VERY new to this and truthfully don't know a lot.

    We uncovered it for the year, and it was very green. I added 4lbs of shock yesterday, and brushed the pool. I went and tested the pool today and my chlorine was at ZERO. I was confused, so I took a sample to the pool store to confirm. Here are the results they gave me:

    FAC: .5
    TAC: .5
    CH: 280
    CYA: 0
    TA: 100
    pH: 7

    But.....they told me my Nitrates are 200!! They said they've never seen a result that high. So their advice, drain and refill. Well, that SOUNDS good in theory, but then they told me to be worried about the liner drying out and shrinking so I have to have it filled pretty much instantly - no one does water delivery near me that I've found.

    But then Google led me here, and I'm wondering if so have to empty and refill for Nitrates?

    Like I said I am a totally newbie when it comes to pool ownership, so I'm hoping you guys might be able to help. Thank you so much!!!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    Two things consume chlorine: sunlight and organics.

    Organics is the green stuff in your water
    You have no CYA to speak of, so sunlight got the rest.

    What you need is a whole lot of bleach to get ahead of the algae growth and kill it, and some CYA to protect the bleach from the sun so it can do its job killing algae.

    Nitrates will feed algae, to be sure. But if there's no algae to eat it, who cares? The proper FC/CYA ratio will ensure that. Take a few minutes to read through ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry so you understand our strange language.

    If you use the search box for Nitrates, you'll find 582 threads. Pretty much all of them say Nitrates are immaterial.

    What you need is a SLAM. And to do that, you need a proper test kit.
    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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    AimeeH's Avatar
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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    Welcome to TFP

    Nitrates are really not a problem in a properly chlorinated pool. You said you have your own test kit? Is it by chance a Taylor k2006 or TF-100?

    We reccomend testing and balencing your own water and staying away from the pool store testing. Their free water testing is worth what you pay for it.

    To clear up a green pool you need to SLAM- Shock Level And Maintain. If you want to take over your pool there will be many people here to help you but you will need one of the test kits I mentioned. Have you had a chance to browse pool school? Some links below are good to start with and you can decide if you want to go the tfp route or continue trusting the pool store. Mixing their advice with ours will likely leave you confused and spending more unnessary $$$.

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - Test Kits Compared
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    No, I just have a basic kit. I will purchase the correct kit I need to do the SLAM method to the pool. Does anyone know if they're sold in stores? It seems I may have to order one offline. They're telling me at the pool store that the nitrates are what is "eating" up all the chlorine. Is that true?

    Trust me, I'd rather follow the TFP guide to help me clear this up, honestly sometimes I think they're just trying to sell products without even knowing sometimes.

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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    Your hunch is correct. Spend the money for a good test kit up front (the link in my signature). We don't sell snake oil or any other miracle products. We are willing to help you learn what your pool needs.

    I'm not sure the pool stores are being intentionally deceptive.......I think they often just don't know.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    So, I ordered the Taylor k-2006 kit as you guys suggested. It will be delivered tomorrow. As we know from the pool store reading (though I'll retest in my own) my CYA was 0. I did not add any stabilizer yet. I read the SLAM method, but I guess my first step is to add stabilizer? I have a 13,500 gallon pool. How much stabilizer should I add so it doesn't spike too high? How much liquid chlorine should I have on hand to start the SLAM process? When can I start SLAM after adding stabilizer? I'm sorry I'm so pool stupid, you guys are an amazing wealth of information.

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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    Please use PoolMath to determine what and how much of each chemical to add.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    I could tell you, but I would rather help you learn how to use the calculator so you can fly on your own.

    It is impossible to know how much bleach to tell you to have on hand unfortunately. A SLAM can take a few days or a few weeks.

    You can start the SLAM immediately after adding the stabilizer. Please post your pool details in your sig line, I have no idea what kind of pool you have (vinyl, fiberglass, plaster)
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    I appreciate your help and showing me the calculator. You're right, I would like to learn how to do it on my own, so I will calculate what to add there. Is there a specific order I follow when adding chemicals before starting the SLAM process? The pool store said (and my "old" at home kit) that my pH is low (again will check to tomorrow when the new kit arrives). But, is there an order I correct these things in? I need to raise the pH, raise my CYA, and begin the slamming process.
    15 x 30 Above Ground Vinyl Liner Pool - Approx. 13,500 gallons
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    Get pH in line first, pump running. After about 30 minutes, get FC in line. CYA can be done at the same time with stabilizer in a sock in your skimmer or in front of a return.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    REALLY stupid question here.....like a sock sock? Or something thinner like panty hose? Cheesecloth fabric? It seems like it will be a decent amount of stabilizer I'm going to need. In the past I've dissolved it while stirring a bucket for.....hours. So this would be MUCH easier! Thank you again!
    15 x 30 Above Ground Vinyl Liner Pool - Approx. 13,500 gallons
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by jmrothermel View Post
    REALLY stupid question here.....like a sock sock? Or something thinner like panty hose? Cheesecloth fabric? It seems like it will be a decent amount of stabilizer I'm going to need. In the past I've dissolved it while stirring a bucket for.....hours. So this would be MUCH easier! Thank you again!
    Yes to all of the above. Just so long as it has no holes. If it won't all fit in one, use two, and suspend the other one in front of a return.
    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: Nitrate Problem

    I had three socks (old tube socks as my husband knows the routine) suspended from pool pool noodles. If that makes you feel any better.

    No stupid questions
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by jmrothermel View Post
    Trust me, I'd rather follow the TFP guide to help me clear this up, honestly sometimes I think they're just trying to sell products without even knowing sometimes.
    Many pool stores are like this. Some mom & pop stores get it right.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    I recently swiped some knee highs from my wife because I couldn't jam enough CYA in the tube socks I stole from my kids. The knee highs work better! Holds more and dissolves faster!
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    So, the kit is here, got the chemicals, and am ready to go.

    Question, before I start.....

    The calculator gives me the ounces to use if I'm using 6% bleach. I got 5 gallon buckets of liquid chlorine. Is the measurements the same?

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Nitrate Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by jmrothermel View Post
    So, the kit is here, got the chemicals, and am ready to go.

    Question, before I start.....

    The calculator gives me the ounces to use if I'm using 6% bleach. I got 5 gallon buckets of liquid chlorine. Is the measurements the same?
    Change the percentage in poolmath to match the strength of what you have. Liquid chlorine, liquid shock, bleach, pool chlorine, it's all the same chemical.
    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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