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Thread: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

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    Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    bought house with pool late last summer. I did not have time to learn anything about the pool last year with moving and all and I am having trouble understanding all this. bought the Taylor k-2006 test kit finally after deciding the test strips recommended by someone must not be accurate enough. will have to use this test kit this year and next year will get the one you all recommend.
    this year's story:
    pool cover removed May 28. man who opened my pool called me and said vinyl had tear in it, I had no idea what to do- so he left it uncovered and did not start the pump,
    I was going to get pool service to fix tear- but they would not be able to get out here for at least 3 weeks, so the man who opened pool for me said he would make the repair for me. after 4 days with no pump running, pool starting to look pretty bad so I dumped chlorine granules in it to kill algae and repair was made next day, and then one more day before I got water level back up in order to start the pump and filter.
    water was blue but very cloudy. tried vacuuming and after several days realized dirt was going back into pool through returns and then I started vacuuming to waste and dumping lots of calcium hypochlorite into pool to keep chlorine levels up. after 2 1/2 weeks of vacuuming to waste almost daily- water finally starting to clear up. but not perfect yet. now that brings me to my problem: ph does not remain stable, and chlorine does not remain stable, so I ordered this taylor test and tonight I got these readings:
    ph 7.8
    TA 180
    calcium hardness: 100
    FC 1.2 ( checked it twice)
    CC 0.2 1st test and 0.4 2nd test
    CYA did not register, the test sample was not cloudy after adding the reagents, and the black dot in the bottom of the tube could be seen clearly, pretty sure I did it correctly- but will retest tomorrow.


    I do have a tub of sodium dichloro s- triazinetrione, but since many do not recommend using that- I have been using the calcium hypochlorite granules and the HTH brand ph reducer,

    Saturday I was starting to get algae again and have dumped the chlorine in and got he water blue again, but tonight the chlorine levels are down and the ph is going up again.

    I really am not sure what to do to get ph and chlorine to stabilize.
    I put 2 1/2 lbs of ph reducer in it tonight. After searching I think I should get ph down first but I am not sure what to do next.
    Am I supposed to have to put a ph reducer in it every couple of weeks to keep the ph down?

    Thanks for your help.
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    For now, you need to buy some cyanuric acid, CYA. Do you know how to use PoolMath to calculate a dose to 30ppm? Here's how:
    Pool School - PoolMath

    Throw a jug of bleach, or if you don't have bleach, a bag of cal-hypo, in there for tonight and then study up PoolMath.

    Do those things and we will work on pH and stuff later. Your priorities now are getting FC in the pool and CYA to protect the FC. Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    I have put 75 lbs of chlorine in the pool in the last 2 weeks(30 lbs of 56% cal- hypo and 48 lbs of 48% cal hypo). 30 lbs of that was put in over the course of three days this past weekend. the next day the chlorine is high, but 36 - 48 hours later the chlorine drops to hardly anything and I dump more chlorine in. It is very blue. there cannot be any algae in that water to be using up the chlorine, I need to know why the chlorine level drops so quickly. what do these values mean in respect to the ph and the chlorine not remaining stable?
    ph 7.8
    TA 180
    calcium hardness: 100
    FC 1.2 ( checked it twice)
    CC 0.2 1st test and 0.4 2nd test
    CYA did not register- the black dot in the bottom of the tube could be seen clearly

    Is TA of 180 high or low or acceptable?
    Is calcium hardness of 100 high or low or acceptable?

    I understand the ph and free chlorine values, but I do not understand these others numbers and what to correct so the ph and chlorine will not change so quickly.
    If I am going to have to put 25 lbs of chlorine in the pool every week- i will have to fill the pool with dirt.
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    You have algae in the pool. It's not being eradicated completely and keeps consuming your chlorine. Did you read through pool school? All your questions can be answered there. You need to SLAM your pool. Before starting the SLAM, you need to get stabilizer (CYA) in there up to about 30 and adjust pH down to 7.2 and then SLAM. Please read through pool school, it will be the best 1 hour investment of your time.
    17k IG plaster pool+ spa, Stonescape mini-pebble midnight blue, marble coping, Trex and porcelain tile decking, Pentair Intelliflo VSP x 3 (filter, laminars and spa jets), Pentair IC40, Pentair MasterTemp 400, Pentair Quad DE 100, Pentair CC 150 for laminars, Intellibrite 5G LEDs, MagicStream Laminars x 3, Intellitouch i9+3 automation with Screenlogic2, IntellipH, Dolphin s300i, TFTest kit, SpeedStir

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    +1 to your priorities
    Lower pH to 7.2

    You absolutely need to get the CYA in the pool. The sun and any algae are gobbling it up. The CYA will help protect some of it. Use pool math to figure out how much and by all means if not sure post it here and someone will double check it.

    Your pH is climbing fast because the TA Is probably too high, that can be fixed after the SLAM. The most effective way is with muriatic acid - MA. What you do is calculate how much to lower pH to 7.2. Dose it. Try to measure the pH every day. Once you get to 7.8. Dose back down to 7.2. Keep repeating this process - there is no reason to even measure TA during the process. Eventually you will notice that the gap between doses will extend out to several days. I usually will then dose it down to 7.5. If my rise to 7.8 is several days, then I fill pretty confident I have it under control. Then I measure TA to get a feel for its sweet spot.


    Free form 17X30. 14,500 Gal. Pentair sand filter and 1.5 hp pump. Aqua-Rite SWCG. TF-100 Test Kit w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    Friend: do you know how to shop for CYA and how to add it to your pool? I hope you read the ABC's linked above.

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    Thanks for the replies.
    I have read the Pool School -ABC's several times- it is not sinking in, as well as the pool math

    Live in rural area and only Walmart available and they are currently out of ph reducer, small rural towns are not going to have muriatic acid, previous homeowners left a jug of it- but I tried using it last year to lower ph and it did not work- either I did not use enough of it or it is old and no longer effective. .
    pool math said to add 6 lbs of dry acid-only could find 5# container at menard's last week and they are sold out this week. will have to order some ph reducer online I guess
    (three weeks ago I did add 7# of powder ph reducer and it did bring the ph down, but it did not stay down that is when I bought another container of it at menard's)

    larger town 40 miles away does have pool stores-but unable to go there when they are open.

    I did buy 2 4 lb jugs of HTH stabilizer and put in one jug on Thursday. probably did it wrong- directions say to add directly to skimmer- but i read on here to mix in water first. pool math says use 7.5 lbs- I thought I would test before adding the second jug of it tomorrow.

    I found the slamming process and began that last Friday- but I only had HTH test strips at the time to test for chlorine- guess I did not do it right either because by wed when I got the taylor test kit- the FC was 1.2, and I do not understand if that is a low value or not.
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    MA: any hardware or paint store will have it. No need to buy pH reducer.

    Great decision to only add 1/2 the dosage for CYA (stabilizer). Skimmer is fine, just don't backwash for 48 hours. I would suggest also waiting to retest the CYA until Monday. Adding by the skimmer may take a while for it to dissolve and you certainly don't want to overshoot your CYA. In other words, don't add more CYA until after Monday (if it's sunny enough to test CYA), and know what your new CYA level is.

    In the future, use a 10ml water sample for FC/CC. The directions are on the lid of your kit. You will save reagents that way.

    Yes, your FC is low. Take your FC up to 3 ppm until you get that MA.

    We can double check your PoolMath when you give us a full set of results. Here is a tutorial in the meantime:
    Pool School - PoolMath

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    Next time you read ABC's, just focus on pH and FC. That will simplify things. The rest can come later and we can hold your hand with CYA for now. It can be so overwhelming when you are first learning. We ALL started with little to no knowledge of pool chemistry.

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    I was anxious to retest and did so this morning.
    FC 6.0
    CC 3.0
    ph 7.6
    TA still 180
    CH 140 (first test probably inaccurate)
    CYA test sample was cloudy and filled tube all the way up and dot disappeared, but still <30

    will try to find MA somewhere, guess I overdid the chlorine. but since the chlorine remains up does that mean I do not have any algae eating up the chlorine now?
    I will retest before blindly adding anything else.
    thanks for your help.
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    No. You have algae. CC of 3.0 confirms that.

    Please inputs those current numbers into PoolMath and let us know your results. That way we can double check you to make sure you are accurate with the PoolMath tool. Keep everything now and goal the same as your tests except for pH. How much 31.45% MA does it tell you to add to get from 7.6 to 7.3?

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    with the results from Sunday, it give nothing for FC putting in 6 and a target of 4
    ph from 7.6 to 7.2 it says to add 102 oz of MA ( which yes I can get at the local lumber yard- but they closed before I got of work today)
    TA it just says to reduce ph to 7.0 to 7.2 with acid and then aerate to increase ph-
    CYA I am using 20 even though all I know is it is still below 30 it tells me to add 40 oz by wt of stabilizer.

    so if I still have algae- how am I supposed to know how much chlorine to add? I have seen the chlorine CYA chart and I do not understand what the units of measurements are for the shock FC. Minimum FC and target FC are ppm. but what is the unit of measurement in the shock FC column?
    thanks for all your help.
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    They are all ppm.

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    Follow this process to kill the algae, SLAM
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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    thanks for all your help,
    so if the chlorine cya chart says this as below: and the shock fc is 10 ppm how do I know how much chlorine to add? yes I have read (several times) the information on slamming the pool. I have found it very informative- with still confusion on how many times I have to add 10 or 12 lbs of cal- hypo 48% to get rid of the algae. #
    1) if 3 ppm CC means I still have algae- what value should I be looking for in CC to know there is now more algae and
    #2) what value in FC should I be looking for to know there is no algae?
    CYA (Stabilizer) Minimum FC Target FC Shock FC
    20*
    2
    3
    10
    30 2 4 12
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    You need to use PoolMath (link at the top of the forum)!!

    Enter your gallons (if you don't know them, there's a handy calculator a the bottom of the pool math page).
    Scroll down and select TroubleFreePool.com as the Suggested Goal Level, Bleach as your source of chlorine, and surface as Vinyl. Then back to the top and put in your current FC, your target FC, and select your bleach concentration and PoolMath will give you a good idea of what you need to add to reach your goal.

    It's a wonderful tool and extremely good to understand so you can maintain your pool.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    yes, thank you triptix. I found the pool math page several days before posting any questions. it is a very good tool
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    OK so I tested again today Wed.
    FC - 6.0
    CC - 0.5
    TA - 150
    ph 7.0 ( taken 90 minutes after adding 128 oz. of MA - woops I did not double check and I was supposed to only add 102 oz. according to pool math)
    CH 175
    CYA 40

    FC has remained since Sunday, CC had gone from 3.0 to 0.5 since Sunday.
    Since the FC has remained constant since Sunday and the CC has dropped back to 0.5, is it safe to assume I have no more algae using up the chlorine?
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    Sounds promising! Do an OCLT to make sure:


    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

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    Re: Need help getting water balanced and stablized

    Yes, I did this morning and the free chlorine was still 6.0 and the CC was 0.


    after adding MA, pool started to clear up, but tonight I still cannot clearly see bottom of deep end. not a lot of junk of the bottom of pool where I can see, but now I am just going to vacuum to filter to try to get as much of it out as I can.

    now the question is how do I keep the ph down and the free chlorine within normal range? does this require testing it every day to see how quickly it changes or what?
    18 x 36 ft inground rectangular pool with vinyl liner, shallow end 3 feet , deep end 8 feet (33000 gallons?)
    Tagelus sand filter, Pentair Superflo VS

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