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Thread: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

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    Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Hey all,

    We recently bought a pool for the kids. 16' 48" deep intex pool. Foolishly I bought a salt water system for it thinking that meant no chemical maintenance required. I had a large pool growing up and I have many memories of tubs full of various chemicals and test kits and a lot of time getting the water right.

    We went to the local pool store to pickup salt and were informed there is still a bit more too it, maybe not as much as when I was a kid, but some. We were told to just bring a water sample back and they would tell us what chemicals we need.

    We returned the next day and someone else at the store checked the sample and told us to put three gallons of muriatic acid in. This seemed odd to me I remember on a much larger pool adding fairly small amounts of chemicals at a time. I thought maybe this was just part of getting the water going the first time.

    Anyway we dump the acid in and check the water the next day and everything is waay off. The test strips didn't seem to develop at all.

    So we took another sample back and explained the situation. Apparently the person who read our water last time didn't know what they were doing. The pool store sold us two tubs of Alkalinity plus, giving us one for free for the trouble.

    Things do seem to be getting closer to OK on the test strips. The chlorine is still way low and we have been running the salt system on boost to try and raise it up.

    Right now the water is looking really green, and we have been washing tons of brown rusty stuff out of the filter.

    I am wondering if all this acid has damaged the filter/salt system/liner etc? How would I know? I've read that the salt system has metal plates coated with something (I don't remember exactly) that allows the salt to be converted to chlorine. Could the acid have eroded this in two days?

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Hi welcome to TFP! I hope you have a copy of the test results and their recommendations, in case there is damage to your equipment. I have some questions for you. Was the water already green or did it turn after all the acid? Was the acid 31.45% or 15.7% strength? Does your intex salt system have copper bars? Do you use well water to fill the pool?

    Unfortunately situations like yours are one of the reasons we advocate getting a high quality test kit such as a Taylor K2006 or a TF100 . When you do your own testing you can add only what you know your pool needs and you can trust your results. I hope this does not come across as scolding, it is not meant to scold just inform.

    I wish you well with fixing your pool.
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Hey Paul, trust me, the salt water chlorine generator is one of the best purchases I ever made for my pool. It is a little bit of work at first to get the pool started, but once you do, you will love it. Just test your water daily, and use the pool math calculator here. I made the mistake of going to the pool store prior to this website, and I will never make that mistake again. Those guys really just want to sell you a bunch of overpriced stuff.

    I also had the colored water, and found out through here how to solve my issue. I now have the sparkly pool, and besides some stabilizer, there isn't much I add to the pool with the SWCG. Just trust these guys on here, they know their stuff! - and stay away from the pool store
    16' 48" 6K AG, Hayward 1HP pump, Cooper Ranger 16" sand filter, Intex SWCG

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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Wow that sounds crazy...hope you didn't follow that advice.....(opps missed the part where you said you did) wow hope you can get this fixed with minimal damage ....
    13,995 gallons 24 X 52 / above ground pool.../.SWG/ sand filter/ vinyl liner

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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Hi welcome to TFP! I hope you have a copy of the test results and their recommendations, in case there is damage to your equipment. I have some questions for you. Was the water already green or did it turn after all the acid? Was the acid 31.45% or 15.7% strength? Does your intex salt system have copper bars? Do you use well water to fill the pool?

    Unfortunately situations like yours are one of the reasons we advocate getting a high quality test kit such as a Taylor K2006 or a TF100 . When you do your own testing you can add only what you know your pool needs and you can trust your results. I hope this does not come across as scolding, it is not meant to scold just inform.

    I wish you well with fixing your pool.
    Sadly no, never occurred to us to ask for any documentation. I do have a receipt that shows the free tub of alkalinity plus, and the receipt for 3 gallons of acid from before that. No proof they told us to do that though.

    the acid is 31%.

    I am not sure if the salt system is copper or not. I cant find any mention in the documentation, or maybe I'm just not seeing it.
    Amazon.com : Intex 120V Krystal Clear Saltwater System CG-28667 with E.C.O. (Electrocatalytic Oxidation) for Above Ground Pools : Patio, Lawn Garden

    Also here is a new note. I was looking at pool salt online and noticed it comes in 4 lb bags. The pool store guy said to just buy Morton water softener salt add to add about 130 lbs of salt. I do see the Intex book also says to start the pool to add 125 pounds for our pool so maybe that is OK? I bring this up because right now the salt system says high salt.

    City water (apple valley mn)http://www.premierwatermn.com/wp-con...ter-report.pdf

    P.S. Doesn't sound like scolding at all. In fact we only went in to get a test kit and salt. I had planned to figure the rest out from reading online. I didn't expect they would offer to just test the water for us. Lesson learned I guess.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    How much salt have you added so far? If the unit says the salt is too high it will not be able to produce chlorine. The only way to lower the salt level is to drain and replace some of the water. Your unit should have come with salt test strips, did you test the salt with one of those?
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    How much salt have you added so far? If the unit says the salt is too high it will not be able to produce chlorine. The only way to lower the salt level is to drain and replace some of the water. Your unit should have come with salt test strips, did you test the salt with one of those?
    1 40lb bag. and 1 and about 3/4 50lb bags. so pretty close to 130 pounds. The test strips that came specifically with the SWG list; free chlorine,pH, Total alkalinity, and Calcium hardness. No salt/sodium oddly since it seems like that might be important?

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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    most recent test result
    pooltest.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    To me it looks like we might have dropped the acid too much?

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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    There is another test strip that will just test the salt ppm. You may have to go back to the pool store to get some, or online. I haven't seen them at the box stores. Follow the instructions on them, as the ones I got you have to soak in 1" of pool water for 15 minutes to get an accurate reading. You want to be around 3200-3500 ppm on the salt, that will make the SWG very happy. it won't high salt fault until you are way high... My pool is at 4200ppm and it is working fine.

    You have the same salt water chlorine generator that I have, it does not use the copper, it uses a titanium electrolytic cell. With that cell, you will want to pull the cell out and soak it in vinegar if you see calcium or mineral buildup occurring. If the cell gets too much buildup, it will not work as well, and it will start giving faults. You will know by looking at it that it needs to be cleaned.

    If that SWCG gets an error code, such as low salt, high salt... you can sometimes shut it off and then back on to see if it will start working. Once it is in fault mode, it is not making chlorine... it just sits there, so know that it is asleep if it is in fault. If you salt keeps reading too high, you will have to drain some water and refill. The water softener salt doesn't dissolve as fast as the pool salt, although it does cost less - I would bite the bullet and buy the pool salt. WalMart sells it for about $5.75 a bag.

    I would mix that water up really good and make sure that the salt is all dissolved and then test it. It may be that the salt is just too concentrated in one spot. I put 200# (5 bags) of pool salt in my 16'x48" and that is how I got to 4200ppm. It is too much, but not so much that the SWG faults.

    Do you have a picture of your water color you can post? People on here can do a lot with a picture.
    16' 48" 6K AG, Hayward 1HP pump, Cooper Ranger 16" sand filter, Intex SWCG

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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    It takes 24-48 hours for salt to fully dissolve and mix in the pool. Some brushing will also help. There is a very real chance that the SWG was damaged by the very acidic water. Are you chlorinating with bleach/liquid chlorine for now?
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Hey guys,

    Thanks a lot for all the help so far. We are still riding the struggle bus. My wife dipped a test strip this morning and things were looking good. Total chlorine was at a 2(see image above for our test strip scale) then she took another later in the day and the chlorine was gone.

    Does it evaporate that quickly?
    Is the SWG not keeping up a clear indication it is damaged from the acid?

    The PH seems a bit off. I think we swung from highly acidic to not enough acid now. Could that affect the chlorine? I think I read some where that you need the acidity for the swg to do its job?

    I really need to get one of these TFP test kits ordered. I should add that between the test strips we bought at Menards and the ones that came with the pool the results seem quite a bit different.

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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Yup, those test kits aren't considered too reliable. We want reliable results so that we're not putting the wrong thing or the wrong amount in our pools.

    The Taylor K-2006 or the popular TF-100 can both be found at TFTestkits.net
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Your FC is either being consumed by organics (such as algae, swimmer's dirt, sweat, and bacteria, sunscreen) or there is not enough CYA to protect the chlorine from burning off under the sun.

    Another thing about SWGs, if you are starting at 0 FC they have a hard time getting established. It is best to supplement with liquid chlorine for a couple of days until the SWG is producing at its scheduled rate.

    Once you have accurate test results we will have a better idea of what is going on in your pool.
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Have you added any CYA to the pool? Aka Stabilizer or cyanuric acid.
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Have you added any CYA to the pool? Aka Stabilizer or cyanuric acid.
    Nope havn't done that. So it sounds like I should pickup some liquid chlorine and cyanuric acid (maybe not 3 gallons though)


    Also the pool has been uncovered day/night. Wife put the solar cover on today. Which I think will help with the chlorine burn off?

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    You can use PoolMath to determine how much CYA you need for your pool. You don't want to add too much, draining water is the only fix for that!
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    The solar cover will help to reduce FC burn off, yes.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    LOL! Right, no more 3 gallon dumps into the pool!
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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Well I think we are getting on track now. Just added a little CYA and bleach. Hopefully tomorrow we have some good chlorine in the pool and the swg will be able to keep it up.

    Of course now our SWG has been saying low salt some times, so maybe we will have to add some more.

    Anyway this LAST trip to Family Leisure was so irritating to me I had to share...

    I hurt my neck at the gym so I had my wife go in with a list. I said don't talk to them just grab the stuff and checkout. Of course though she can't find it, the names/labels are not that obvious. Just needed some BASIC stuff CYA,Liquid Chlorine (I know we can get this anywhere but figured we were already at the pool store anyway), REAL pool salt to dissolve faster, salt test strips.

    So she asks the guy where liquid chlorine is, he tells her he wont sell that to her as it will damage the liner. Sells her chlorine tabs but not a floater. She has talked to this guy 3 times by the way and he KNOWS its a new pool. I cant believe he let her leave there with chlorine tablets and no floater after telling her not to put liquid chlorine in. She was going to throw a few in the pool to sit on the liner >:O

    Then the salt. "We cant sell you our salt it's special salt for our systems only". and no salt test strips.

    So in the end it was basically a wasted trip, except the "fun" story. Are all pool stores like this!? How on earth do they stay in business. Anyway, that's it I will never go back there.

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    Re: Pool store told us to dump 3 gallons of muriatic acid in.

    Lmao...what is "Special salt" SMH...it should probably be "overpriced salt " probably saved you a boatload of money, I'd be grateful he wouldn't sell it to her. Side note can you return the tablets?
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