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Thread: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

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    LoraT's Avatar
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    First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    I started my first SLAM yesterday morning. FYI - here are my numbers before starting:
    FC-2
    CC-5
    PH-7.8
    TA-170
    CH-200
    CYA-60

    I have added around 10 gallons of 10% bleach in less than 24 hours. (Mfg. date on bleach is 4-29-16). First test this morning showed FC of 8, so added 2 more gallons to bring it up to shock level of 24. Tested (twice because I thought the first one was wrong) an hour later and get this:

    FC-3
    CC-4

    So now I need to add another 2 1/2 gallons!!! My pool is crystal clear. I have scrubbed/brushed around the pool lights, steps, bottom drain, jets, around and inside skimmers (even under the baskets). Kids are grown and gone so we haven't bothered with the ladder for a few years. I just don't know where else anything could be hiding. My filter pressure is 12 and has not changed. There has been literally nothing to vacuum from the pool except for a couple of stray leaves - absolutely nothing. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN (looking).

    Is this "normal". Can I expect to go through another 12 gallons of bleach today?!. That's $60 in two days! I thought I was going to be saving money, but an $80 bucket of pucks normally lasts me until about 2 weeks shy of closing the pool. I'm really starting to questions my sanity - LOL. Am I doing something wrong? Could there be something wrong with the chemicals in my brand new kit? I realize user error is a good possibility, however I have now run these chlorine tests so many times I think I could do it in my sleep.

    Please help - I'm close to just giving up and going back to my "old way". I would love to hear any advice, recommendations, insights that anyone can provide! Thank you.
    12,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool, TF-100 - City water
    Hayward Super II 1-Horsepower Pool Pump and Hayward Pro-Series S244T 24-Inch Top-Mount Sand Filter

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Hello again Lora. Try to stay We'll help you. Two things we need to be sure of for a SLAM ... first ... did you adjust your pH to 7.2 BEFORE increasing the FC? If not, please do that now. Use muriatic acid to lower pH to 7.2 (orange) before resuming the SLAM. I also want to ask.......did you have ANY problems doing your CYA test? tested outside under good light and you are sure the black dot disappeared totally at about 60? Just wanted to make sure.

    Once those are confirmed, then you need to watch that FC very closely at first. I mean really close - like every 15 min or so. If you increase the FC to 24, most of it should still be there within 15 minutes. If it drops significantly, increase it right away and stay on it until it stabilizes. Some pools get ammonia which can appear to do the same thing, but then they have no CYA and you do. So that's why I asked those questions. Stay with us, give the SLAM a chance, and keep talking to us about what you see and what's happening so we can help.
    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: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Hello again Lora. Try to stay We'll help you. Two things we need to be sure of for a SLAM ... first ... did you adjust your pH to 7.2 BEFORE increasing the FC? If not, please do that now. Use muriatic acid to lower pH to 7.2 (orange) before resuming the SLAM. I also want to ask.......did you have ANY problems doing your CYA test? tested outside under good light and you are sure the black dot disappeared totally at about 60? Just wanted to make sure.

    Once those are confirmed, then you need to watch that FC very closely at first. I mean really close - like every 15 min or so. If you increase the FC to 24, most of it should still be there within 15 minutes. If it drops significantly, increase it right away and stay on it until it stabilizes. Some pools get ammonia which can appear to do the same thing, but then they have no CYA and you do. So that's why I asked those questions. Stay with us, give the SLAM a chance, and keep talking to us about what you see and what's happening so we can help.
    Ok. No on the PH. It was 7.8. I don't know how I missed that step! Maybe assumed it was okay because it was in range? I found the CYA test to be quite challenging, but my husband and I both did it (indoors and outside). I didn't tell him my number and he got the same number, but he found it very difficult to read also. We actually both got 55, but i now realize that is not a good number and rounded up.

    I just now did a PH test and I would have to say it is 7.0 now. It is not as orange as the 7.2 block, but also not yellow like the 6.8 block. Do I need to increase it to 7.2 before I start on the FC again? I'm going to have to run to the store for more bleach, as I only had 16 gallons to begin with. I'm afraid of running out if I need to test every 15 minutes. I am really surprised by that - I didn't think 15 minutes would give the water enough time to circulate throughout the pool, which is why I was waiting an hour or two.

    I have 3 jets in the pool where I pour the bleach in, most of it going in front of the one at the deep end. Is there an optimal place where I should be taking the water sample in relation to where the jets are?
    12,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool, TF-100 - City water
    Hayward Super II 1-Horsepower Pool Pump and Hayward Pro-Series S244T 24-Inch Top-Mount Sand Filter

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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    7.0 is fine. Normally we don't have to test FC THAT often, but just for the first hour or two you may have to. I don't think you have ammonia, but you must have an overwhelming amount of organics in the water to be consuming your FC. The only other explanation would be the sunlight, but you have plenty of CYA for that. You can take a water sample wherever you want to, but I would suggest taking it from the same place for consistency. Me personally, I pull my sample from the deep end. But that's just me.
    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: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Thanks for your quick replies. I'm off to the store, will post back after I restart the SLAM.
    12,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool, TF-100 - City water
    Hayward Super II 1-Horsepower Pool Pump and Hayward Pro-Series S244T 24-Inch Top-Mount Sand Filter

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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Started the process again at 2:30. I've been testing every half hour and adding more chlorine when needed. My last test at 6:00 was:

    FC-24
    CC-.5 (maybe less)

    Testing 15 minutes after each addition of chlorine at the beginning, I feel, was the key to success. The instructions say "adjust chlorine levels as frequently as practical, but not more than once per hour, and not less than twice a day". So I was testing every 3-4 hours and getting very frustrated. My last test was 30 minutes after the last chlorine addition and it held at 24, so things are definitely turning around in my favor.

    Thank you so much for all your help. I am going to do the testing every 30 minutes for the next little while, until I am sure that number is holding!
    12,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool, TF-100 - City water
    Hayward Super II 1-Horsepower Pool Pump and Hayward Pro-Series S244T 24-Inch Top-Mount Sand Filter

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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Here is a tip, if you are testing that frequently, use a 5ml water sample, and then each reagent drop is 1.0 instead of 0.5. Will save reagent, and at 24 FC, it's not important to know to the nearest 0.5
    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: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Yes, and great to hear you made it over the "hump". That's a huge accomplishment. Now you should definitely be able to tailor-back the FC testing based on a patter of expected loss. SO if your FC well, you may only need to test every couple hours. You'll see as you go. Good job!
    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: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bruce View Post
    Here is a tip, if you are testing that frequently, use a 5ml water sample, and then each reagent drop is 1.0 instead of 0.5. Will save reagent, and at 24 FC, it's not important to know to the nearest 0.5
    That is fantastic!! Thank you.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Down to every hour now !! I love this forum - best thing since sliced bread!
    12,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool, TF-100 - City water
    Hayward Super II 1-Horsepower Pool Pump and Hayward Pro-Series S244T 24-Inch Top-Mount Sand Filter

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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Here are the results of my OCLT:

    11:00 pm: FC-24 / CC-.05
    07:30 am: FC-23 / CC-.05

    Does this mean I am finished with the SLAM after only one day?!?!
    12,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool, TF-100 - City water
    Hayward Super II 1-Horsepower Pool Pump and Hayward Pro-Series S244T 24-Inch Top-Mount Sand Filter

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Good morning Lora. You passed two items above. Water is still clear correct? If so, then there's no need to continue at SLAM level and can let your FC drop on its own back to the ideal target range. Just make sure to keep your FC in that target zone and never drop below a minimum. If you ever suspect something odd in the water (cloudiness, green, excess FC consumption, etc), do an overnight (OCLT) right away. Nice work.
    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: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Did you brush the pool while SLAMing? Algae creates a biofilm that protects it from the FC. Brushing removes the biofilm allowing the FC to kill it. If you skipped the brushing, you might not be finished, but are really close. Can you see the screw heads on your main drain clearly? If you brushed and can see the screw heads (or whether a quarter is heads or tails), it sounds like you passed.

    Make sure to check behind the ladder and lights to make sure you don't have any algae hiding from you.
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Congrats...it is a great feeling knowing that you were right by listening to the folks here. Any pool place would have told you that you were crazy and then try to sell you a ton of junk. I firmly believe that I lived with a pool that had a CC in the 7 range for years. Leslies and some others only tests CC. The ones that do test for FC and CC will tell you it is impossible to have a CC greater then a FC level....
    38,000 gallon vinyl liner, True "L", Sand Filter, Hayward Heater, Diving Board

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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    Yes - the water is crystal clear. I did brush and vacuum the whole pool yesterday morning. I will do that again today. Out of curiosity, I found a few of the results that I still had from having the water tested at the pool store last year. They never tested the CC level. I can't believe it was so high when I started. I always thought my water was so clean because I really keep on top of the cleaning and maintenance and had my water tested once a week at minimum. Oh well, live and learn. I am so happy to be taking control over my own pool now.


    I'm getting ready to run a full set of tests now to see where the rest of my levels are. Should I post those here, or am I supposed to start a new thread? TIA!
    12,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool, TF-100 - City water
    Hayward Super II 1-Horsepower Pool Pump and Hayward Pro-Series S244T 24-Inch Top-Mount Sand Filter

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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    You are welcome to post back here if you like. If you have a new, unrelated issue, then start a new thread. But as long as your numbers hold steady and match-up with the TFP Recommended Levels, you should be good. Good to be in charge of the pool now.
    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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    LoraT's Avatar
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    Re: First Time SLAM - freaking out - please help

    All numbers (except FC of course) are within the recommended levels. This thread is officially closed!

    Thank you everyone - could not have done it without you.
    12,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl liner pool, TF-100 - City water
    Hayward Super II 1-Horsepower Pool Pump and Hayward Pro-Series S244T 24-Inch Top-Mount Sand Filter

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