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Thread: Trying to balance pool levels

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    Join Date
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    Trying to balance pool levels

    Hey guys!

    I am the new owner of a small above ground pool (see sig). I filled it up and turned on the filter pump with a new filter cartridge. I've been adding 1" chlorine tablets (hth brand) every other day or so to the filter cartridge.

    Our water is a bit cloudy and we were hoping for that crystal clear blue color. I bought a starter kit from HTH but I'm having trouble getting the pool balanced. I checked the water levels using the test strips. Here are the results (as best as I can tell from the strips):

    FC: 0
    pH: 6.4
    TA: 120
    TH: 100
    CYA: 0 (it was hard to tell between 0 and 30-50)

    These readings were taken after adding 10oz of HTH Stabilizer, 5oz HTH Ultimate Mineral Brillance Chlorinating Granules, 8oz HTH Shock Treatment, and a 1" chlorine tablet. This was before I found TFP or learned anything about pool care. I was just trying to go off of the starter kit instructions. Now with about half of the chemicals left, I am still stuck with cloudy (not green) water.

    I tried raising the CYA first. It was at 0 this morning. When I just tested it looked like it was almost at the 30-50ppm mark on the test strip, but it was very hard to differentiate between that and the 0 mark. So I'm not really sure.

    What advice can you give to help me straighten this out? The kids are ready to swim tomorrow after waiting all day for me to get the pool ready!
    Pro Series metal frame above ground 16'x42'' round pool with approximately 4270 gallons non SWG

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to balance pool levels

    Hello and welcomed to TP! At this point, I would stop adding anything else to your water except for about 1/4 gallon of bleach each evening. That's it for now until you can order the proper test kit - either the TF-100 (link below) or Taylor K-2006C. That's #1. Stay away form pool store advice or products and rely simply on the vital links below in my sig.

    Once you get one of the above-named test kits, post a full set of results and we can help you take 100% control of your pool. Spend some time in our Pool School as well for some good basic about TFP pool care. 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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to balance pool levels

    Welcome to TFP!

    +1 on getting a good test kit.

    Cloudy water is due to no FC in the pool, bacteria and algae are growing and clouding the water. FC must always be lept above minimum for your CYA, FC/CYA Chart. According to Poolmath 10oz of stabilizer will add 18 ppm of CYA to your pool. Add another 7 oz to get CYA up to 30. Then add 32 oz of 8.25% concentrated bleach to the pool to raise FC to 5 ppm. Then keep FC at 4-5 ppm going forward. Based on the FC/CYA Chart

    Then do some reading in Pool School
    Here, ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    And here, Pool School - Getting Started
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    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

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Trumann, AR
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    Re: Trying to balance pool levels

    Thanks for the tips everyone! So is it at all safe for anyone to get in the pool?
    Pro Series metal frame above ground 16'x42'' round pool with approximately 4270 gallons non SWG

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to balance pool levels

    It is safe to swim when your water is balanced (FC, CYA, pH, etc) and you can see the bottom. CYA (stabilizer) is one critical element because it protects the swimmers and pool from the harsh effects of chlorine. I wouldn't place any faith in those test strips you used before. You stated you added 10 ounces of stabilizer which should increase your CYA to about 20. 30 is our recommended minimum. Some of the other bags of shock may have increased it more, but there's no way of knowing for sure without the proper test kit.

    FC could be raised to about 4-5 ppm with regular bleach. About 3-4 cups should do it then mix it really well all around with the pump running. pH should always be in the mid-7s. If you're not sure how to raise/lower pH, please see the link below in my sig titled "Recommended Chemicals".

    But please remember that very soon you'll want a TF-100 test kit to test water accurately for the entire season to avoid dumping the water and starting over. Hope this helps.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Trumann, AR
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    Exclamation Safe for swimming?

    Hey everyone! I have been looking over PoolMath but I am still a bit confused by everything, mainly because I can't test for everything on there. My pool is a metal frame pro series pool 4270 gallons. I have been using 1" chlorine tablets in the filter, but the total chlorine is always zero. It eventually turned green and then black. It was horrid! So I added 2 bags of HTH shock and the water turned a murky green color. The next evening, I added a gallon of bleach, and now the water is a cloudy blue.

    I was shocked by the transformation, but I still don't think it is safe to swim. I bought an HTH 6 way test kit and here are my readings from yesterday and the readings from today.

    Yesterday's readings (the morning after adding the bleach):
    TC: 5
    BR: 10
    PH: 8.2
    TA: 110ppm
    Hardness: 90-100ppm
    CYA: 40ppm

    Today's readings:
    TC: 0
    BR: 0-1ppm
    PH: 8.2
    TA: 120ppm
    Hardness: 90ppm
    CYA: 60ppm

    I put all of this into pool math, but I am not sure it is giving me accurate readings. It is telling me to do x when the borate is 0 (I can't test for that) so I was a bit confused.

    I assume that the pool is not safe to swim in, but we really want to get it going soon. Do you have any recommendations?
    Pro Series metal frame above ground 16'x42'' round pool with approximately 4270 gallons non SWG

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to balance pool levels

    It is safe to swim when
    FC is above minimum and up to shock level for your CYA, FC/CYA Chart
    Ph is between 7.2 and 7.8
    The water is clear

    When chlorine is below minimum for your CYA the pool is not properly sanitized and there is increased risk of person to person disease transmission, especially in kids.

    If you have algae then it is time to SLAM to kill the algae.
    And do a little reading in Pool School
    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - Getting Started
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    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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