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Thread: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

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    Unhappy Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Good Afternoon everyone.

    I am new to pool owner ship, only 2 months. Not sure how well the pool was taken care of with the previous owner. I have the following test kit on order "TF-100 TFTestkit 100 FAS-DPD" However it hasn't arrived yet we are looking about about something next week. So I am using the test kit the owner left with the pool kit. It is a HTH test kit (kit does 6 way testing) and strips.

    My chemical results are below. My concern was I had my water tested at Leslie pools 3 weeks ago with extremely high chlorine and CYA levels and have not added any chlorine to my pool since then and it doesnt see like my chlorine level is not coming down. I know from this site I need to drain half the pool to try and get my CYA back under control just haven't had the time to do that yet. (looking for a place that will deliver 4000 gallons and haven't found it yet)

    I know the old owner was using Chlorine tablets in the pool and I am switching over to liquid Chlorine.

    I have backflushed the pool to make sure the filter was clean and the water that came out of it wasnt dirty at all.


    Could the test kit I am using be that wrong? The pool water is not cloudy or hazy, it seems clear. Does not really have a chlorine smell anymore like it use to when we first moved in. I know the previous owner was using 3 tablets in the skimmer as they had it written on the container.

    Any suggestion on how I can get my chemicals back in control?

    Chlorine - well over 5 from the gauge. My test water for the chlorine is almost a violet color, if I use the test strips I get a 10/20 results.
    PH - is between 7.5 and 7.8
    Alkaline - is 430 ppm if I use the test strips it says it is 180 ( when testing with the drops the water never turns red it only turns Yellow. The number I recorded 430 was the 43 drop is when it turned yellow). I redid the test and got the same results I kept going to see if the color would change to red and stopped at 70 drops.
    Hardness - with the drops is not present (water does not turn red when I added the 5 drops) if I use the test strip it is over 800
    CYA - with drops is really bad I added 30 drops to the test tube and the black dot wasnt visible.

    Pool is 8000 gallon, DE hayward filter.
    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Hi and welcome. Good to hear that you have the TF100 test kit on the way.

    I just spent about 20 minutes googling and I can't find a simple set of instructions for the HTH kit, so I'm not much help. If you have the instructions, could you interpret for us what 30 drops means?

    If CYA is over about 50, then yes, partial drain/refill is likely to be a good approach.

    I'm guessing this is a plaster pool?

    Let's ignore Leslie's numbers and test-strips. They're unreliable and no help as we work through this.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Quote Originally Posted by needsajet View Post
    Hi and welcome. Good to hear that you have the TF100 test kit on the way.

    I just spent about 20 minutes googling and I can't find a simple set of instructions for the HTH kit, so I'm not much help. If you have the instructions, could you interpret for us what 30 drops means?

    If CYA is over about 50, then yes, partial drain/refill is likely to be a good approach.

    I'm guessing this is a plaster pool?

    Let's ignore Leslie's numbers and test-strips. They're unreliable and no help as we work through this.

    HI needsajet,

    Thanks for writing back. Yes the pool is plaster I believe or could be gunite, not sure how to tell the difference?

    ok here are the instructions I followed for the Chlorine, Alkalinity, Hardness and CYA.

    Chlorine,
    1 - Rinse and fill chlorine/Bromine (Cl/Br) cell to mark with Water to be tested
    2 - Add 5 drops of OTO, Cap and invert to mix.
    3 - Match color in cell with a sanitizer color standard. Record as ppm total chlorine or total bromine. My gauge stops at 5 and is a yellowish color, my water after putting those 5 drops in were violet.

    PH,
    1 - Fill pH Cell to mark with water to be tested
    2 - Add 5 drops Phenol Red, cap and invert to mix
    3 - Match color in cell with a pH color standard, record. If it is between two values average and record.

    Alkalinity,
    1 - fill sample tube to 25ml mark with water to be tested
    2 - add 5 drops of Alkalinity Indicator, swirl to mix. Sample should turn green. ( It does turn green)
    3 - add Alkalinity Titrant dropwise. After each drop, count and swirl to mix until color turns from green to red. (my color lever turns red no matter how many drops I put it. I only get a yellow)

    Hardness,
    1 - fill sample tube to 25ml mark with water to be tested
    2 -add 5 drops Hardness Indicator, swirl to mix. Sample should turn red if hardness is present. (my test the water did not turn red after adding those 5 dorps)

    CYA, when I first started adding the mixed solution to the tube the dot disappeared right way not even close to markings on the tube. So I redid the test and this time I just adding drops and my black dot disappeared at 30 drops. sorry for any confusion.

    1 - fill CYA dispensing bottle (#9191) to 7 mil mark with water to be tested.
    2 - add Cyanuric Acid reagent to 14ml mark, cap and mix for 30 seconds
    3 - slowly transfer cloudy solution to CYA view tube until black dot on botton just disappears when viewed from top.
    4 - read tube at liquid level, record as ppm.


    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    What did your vial read with those 30 drops? There are markings on the side of the vial.

    If it is 100, try this: Pool School - CYA

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    See point 9

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Excellent, we've got Marian to help My stuff might seem long cause I probably talk too much...

    OK, I get most of it now. Thanks

    For all testing, be sure to triple rinse your test tubes in tap water or pool water between tests.

    Discard test solutions down the drain with the water running, or tip it out in the garden.

    So yes the CYA is very high. You don't need to count the drops on that test. Look at the side of the test tube. There will be numbers on the test tube. CYA in PPM is the reading corresponding to the line just below the level of the water. It sounds like you're at 100 or more. It could be anywhere above 100 because the test only goes up to 100. If you have enough CYA indicator left, do this:

    Take 2 cups of pool water and mix it with 4 cups of tap water (measuring carefully). Mix this all in a clean container or bowl. Then take your 7 ml sample from this water. Add the 7 mls CYA reagent and do the test looking for the dot. Do it with your back to the sun and hold the tube at waste height looking down. Glance back and forth. When you no longer see the dot immediately upon glancing, stop and see what line you're just above on the test tube. You can pour it back into the 14 ml sample bottle and re-do the test a few times to be sure. We'll take that number and multiply by three to get a rough idea for the pool water.

    So drain/refill is what you're going to have to do. The only other option is reverse osmosis, which may be available in your area, but from what I've heard it costs around $500. Are you not allowed to drain the pool and refill it using your garden hose?

    Back to the chlorine test. I haven't heard of violet from an OTO test. Could you test your tap water the same way, and tell me if it either stays clear or goes a pale yellow?

    Or if you like, go to WalMart and buy a new HTH 6-way kit. It's around $27. Or we can just wait for the TF100 kit.

    In any event, I would be putting about 1/2 gal of bleach in the swamp each day until we can get started on a SLAM

    - - - Updated - - -

    We cross-posted so I went to look at the page about CYA. Diluted by 7 mls works fine. I do larger volume (cups of water) to reduce the measurement error. Either way is fine.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ignore my comment about swamp. Is your water clear?
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    HI MarianParoo , it wasnt even close to the 100 mark. It was about an inch away from the 100 mark which is the first marking.
    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Hi needsajet ,

    Yeah I am way over 100 that I can tell. On the tube for the CYA that had the marking on it. The first marking is 100 and when I add my water to the tube the black dot disappears and I still have about an inch before I am at the first marking ( which is 100)

    I will try your cup method in the morning and post the results.

    I will also test our tap water for Chloride and post the results. I will re do my chlorine test in the pool also and get a better description of the color and take a photo.


    We can fill the pool from our garden hose it just cost a ton of money as with the drought restrictions and where we live we get find for going over our allotted amount of water for the month.

    Ok on the 1/2 gallon of bleach. Correct my pool water seems very clear, that is what confuses me. I figured if my numbers are off as much as they seem I would think the water would be cloudy or something.

    The kit that the previous owner left I think is from walmart and is the HTH 6 way test kit. It looks exactly like the one I was looking at the other day at walmart. I am hoping my other kit comes in soon.


    Thanks for all the help
    needsajet and MarianParoo

    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Clear and sparkly water is great, but still has things trying to grow in it. The 1/2 gal of bleach is an insurance policy until we know where we're at.

    Looking forward to hearing the CYA number and then we can develop a plan. Keep trying to line up the water if that's your cheapest source. Down here, it's around US$7 per thousand gallons, which in your case would be a reasonable cost to get things on track quickly.

    Whenever I hear these high CYA stories, it seems like the manufacturers of chlorine pucks are the ones who should be getting fined!!!
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Right???

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Good Morning Needsajet and MarianParoo,

    I tested my tap water and my chlorine test came out clear nothing present as you suggested.

    So I did the water test this morning again. I used Needsajet method and did 2 cups of pool water and 4 cups of tap water.

    The CYA test was a little better, I was able to get a little closer to the 100 PPM mark but I am still about 1/2" from that mark so I would say my CYA is extremely high?

    I also ran all the other test as I was curious to see what the results would be. so I would have to multiple all these results by 3 to get the accurate numbers? If that is the case I am guessing my best course of action is to get half the pool drained and refilled and start over? I know when I get the new water I am going to do liquid chlorine as I just purchased a pool pal liquid chlorinator for my pool.

    I have nothing growing in the pool except looks likes rust stains as no matter how much I scrub them they do not go away.

    Chlorine - the color was very close to the 5 10 mark on the tester, Maybe just a shade darker yellow.
    pH - 7.8
    Hardness - water turned yellow after adding the 5 drops of the Hardness indicator so I am assuming no hardness which I expected as I didnt have any hardness when I did the test yesterday with just normal pool water.
    Alkaline - 26 drops before the water turned red.
    CYA - already mentioned this about.

    Thanks for all the help with this I really appreciate this
    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Your CYA is over 200. Bummer. If you care, you can do a 3x dilution... However, you're right. It's drain time.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Your CYA is over 200. Bummer. If you care, you can do a 3x dilution... However, you're right. It's drain time.


    Thanks MarinParoo,

    Do I have to drain the whole pool or just half?


    This is a stupid question is there a way to drain the pool using the bottom drain in the pool or do I have to get a pump do it? Nothing is labeled in my pool house, I have figured out most all the values except one and I believe that is the one that controls the bottom drain in the pool.
    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Harbor freight has sump pumps that are pretty reasonable. I used their 3/4hp with float switch ($60) and 2" discharge hose ($20) which moves water pretty quickly. You also should do some reading on draining a pool so you understand the risks of floating the shell. Being summertime, risk of high groundwater causing damage are lessened but it really depends on each unique situation as to risk. We have a 9' deep pool and had no problem here in martinez. Since pool had some scaling after 10 years, I chose to acid wash while it was empty which really spruced up the pool.

    FYI I called our water company and cost to refill our 19,000 gal pool was ~ $140. Suggest you may want to do the same as you could get a waiver that will eliminate and penalties.
    18,000 gunite pool/spa combo. Pebble tec, iaqualink rs8, cl580 filter, aquapure 1400, 400k btu lx heater, 10 solar panels, jandy 1hp, 1 1/2hp, and 2hp stealth pumps for circ, spa, waterfall

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Quote Originally Posted by Rossterman View Post
    Harbor freight has sump pumps that are pretty reasonable. I used their 3/4hp with float switch ($60) and 2" discharge hose ($20) which moves water pretty quickly. You also should do some reading on draining a pool so you understand the risks of floating the shell. Being summertime, risk of high groundwater causing damage are lessened but it really depends on each unique situation as to risk. We have a 9' deep pool and had no problem here in martinez. Since pool had some scaling after 10 years, I chose to acid wash while it was empty which really spruced up the pool.

    FYI I called our water company and cost to refill our 19,000 gal pool was ~ $140. Suggest you may want to do the same as you could get a waiver that will eliminate and penalties.

    Thanks for the info Rossterman.

    I will have to check out Harbor Freight. Yeah I have a note to call our water company and ask them how much it would be to fill our pool. Good idea about acid wash if I have to drain it all.
    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Glad you're starting to get the information you need. When you dilute the pool water for testing, only the CYA test is useful. Chlorine is slightly useful, and it looks like your FC is around 15 PPM. The chlorine test is confounded by the FC in the tap water, but only slightly.

    The rest of the tests can not be done on diluted water because the results are confounded by the pH, TA, and CH of the tap water.

    You'll be draining most of the water, quite likely 80-90% of it. Please do the greater dilution so we know where we're at: 6 cups tap water, 2 cups pool water, mix, sample from mixture, test CYA, multiply result by 4

    It can be done in multiple partial drain/refills, but then more total water gets discarded, and it would take longer.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Quote Originally Posted by needsajet View Post
    Glad you're starting to get the information you need. When you dilute the pool water for testing, only the CYA test is useful. Chlorine is slightly useful, and it looks like your FC is around 15 PPM. The chlorine test is confounded by the FC in the tap water, but only slightly.

    The rest of the tests can not be done on diluted water because the results are confounded by the pH, TA, and CH of the tap water.

    You'll be draining most of the water, quite likely 80-90% of it. Please do the greater dilution so we know where we're at: 6 cups tap water, 2 cups pool water, mix, sample from mixture, test CYA, multiply result by 4

    It can be done in multiple partial drain/refills, but then more total water gets discarded, and it would take longer.

    Hi Needsajet, thanks for the information. I am planning on doing the draining this coming Sat as I need to rent a pump to drain the pool. Going to call my water company to see how much 8000 gallons will cost to fill the pool this way I know the worse case. I will keep you guys all posted next weekend on how it goes and hopefully I will have the new test kit also.

    Thanks again for all the help
    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Quote Originally Posted by Rossterman View Post
    Harbor freight has sump pumps that are pretty reasonable. I used their 3/4hp with float switch ($60) and 2" discharge hose ($20) which moves water pretty quickly. You also should do some reading on draining a pool so you understand the risks of floating the shell. Being summertime, risk of high groundwater causing damage are lessened but it really depends on each unique situation as to risk. We have a 9' deep pool and had no problem here in martinez. Since pool had some scaling after 10 years, I chose to acid wash while it was empty which really spruced up the pool.

    FYI I called our water company and cost to refill our 19,000 gal pool was ~ $140. Suggest you may want to do the same as you could get a waiver that will eliminate and penalties.

    Sidebar: here in central NY we paid $800 to fill ours. How can it be so cheap there when ca has no water! Must be competition.
    Pool installed 8/2015. 30' round Radiant pool. 21,000 gallons. 200# sand. Hayward Vari flow XL valve. 1.5hp Hayward Power-Flo Matrix running 10 hours/day in two periods. TF100 with speed stir. Sun all day, south side of house
    Order test kit TF-100 w/ Speed Stir and then Poolmath Calculator --- RECOMMENDED LEVELS --- POOL SCHOOL --- Algae? --- Chlorine/CYA CHART.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    Quote Originally Posted by needsajet View Post
    Glad you're starting to get the information you need. When you dilute the pool water for testing, only the CYA test is useful. Chlorine is slightly useful, and it looks like your FC is around 15 PPM. The chlorine test is confounded by the FC in the tap water, but only slightly.

    The rest of the tests can not be done on diluted water because the results are confounded by the pH, TA, and CH of the tap water.

    You'll be draining most of the water, quite likely 80-90% of it. Please do the greater dilution so we know where we're at: 6 cups tap water, 2 cups pool water, mix, sample from mixture, test CYA, multiply result by 4

    It can be done in multiple partial drain/refills, but then more total water gets discarded, and it would take longer.
    Needsajet, would you recommend doing the acid wash at the same time since it we are draining most of the pool anyways? Also is there anything special that needs to be done when you fill a pool with fresh water besides do the test and record the numbers to add chemicals to get them in the correct range?
    Pool Rectangle with attached Spa (approx. 8000 gal, depths 4 feet and 5-1/2 feet), Pump - Hayward Super II, Filter - Hayward Micro Filter DE Model 4800.

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    Re: Help with Chemical test results - very confused

    The question re acid wash is above my paygrade! For me, it would depend if I had a problem, or if I wanted to learn how . But I'll ask an expert or two to stop by and give their thoughts. I agree it's a good opportunity.

    Filling is very straight-forward, you can do FC, CYA and pH all within an hour so it's not tricky, then fine-tune the rest after.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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