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Thread: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

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    Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Hi all,
    First time to own a pool and had some questions. I just finished installing a 21' round above ground pool myself, got the pump up and running today after getting the pool filled yesterday with city water, water level is 4' deep. I have 10,000 gallons in it +/- a few hundred. I added bleach to get my FC levels up based on the pool calculator numbers. Right now I only have AquaCheck test strips and the little test kit that came with my pool. So these numbers probably aren't that accurate but here they are.

    Total Hardness = 250
    Total Chlorine = 3-5 range (color is kinda in between on strip)
    FC = 10 (test strip color)
    pH = 7.2
    TA = 80
    CYA = 30-50 range

    I picked the hottest week to do my first AGP install, heat index was over 105 everyday and I had a lot of work with very little help. You really find out quick who your true friends are....LOL

    Cheers,
    Brian

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Total Hardness = 250
    Total Chlorine = 3-5 range (color is kinda in between on strip)
    FC = 10 (test strip color)
    pH = 7.2
    TA = 80
    CYA = 30-50 range
    I'm a bit concerned about what your true chlorine level is. The formula for chlorine is FC + CC = TC . The results above state Total Chlorine (TC) is in the 3-5 range and FC = 10. This cannot be since FC can only be equal to or lower than TC. Also, the CYA result is too vague. This is a parameter where precision is needed. The chlorine / CYA relationship is a critical one that must be understood (and it's relatively straightforward). The CYA level determines what your target chlorine level should be (see Chlorine CYA Chart). Understand this relationship and you are well on your way to a trouble-free pool.

    BTW, all the other parameters are fine, taking them at face value.

    Test results given in ranges underscore why test strips are not recommended. To take control of your pool, you will need one of the Recommended Test Kits.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Welcome to TFP!

    Well, would you like to know just how inaccurate your strips are? Your Total Chlorine is your FC and CC combined, so showing your FC higher than your TC is an impossible result. As a fresh fill if you haven't added any CYA then your CYA level is zero, not 30-50. So yeah, not very useful and you might as well toss them.

    I assume the little kit is one with the yellow chlorine test and red pH test? Use that to get your pH in line and make sure you are keeping some chlorine in the pool. You can assume zero CYA and add enough to get you to 30 ppm to start. This will buffer your chlorine as well as offer some protection from the sunlight. You really need a proper kit, the k-2006 or TF-100 (my preferred kit) contain the tests you will need to get things going right and keep them that way. From there you will be able to get accurate readings and bring your CYA up to a better level for your specific situation and properly measure your chlorine to assure you never have too much or too little.

    It sounds like you have done some reading in the Pool School? If so, great job! If not, the link is at the top, start with The ABC's of Water Chemistry to get a better idea of everything. I hope you stick around and ask questions, you really can have a crystal clear pool but it will take a little knowledge and good testing to keep it that way.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    I'm a bit concerned about what your true chlorine level is. The formula for chlorine is FC + CC = TC . The results above state Total Chlorine (TC) is in the 3-5 range and FC = 10. This cannot be since FC can only be equal to or lower than TC. Also, the CYA result is too vague. This is a parameter where precision is needed. The chlorine / CYA relationship is a critical one that must be understood (and it's relatively straightforward). The CYA level determines what your target chlorine level should be (see Chlorine CYA Chart). Understand this relationship and you are well on your way to a trouble-free pool.

    BTW, all the other parameters are fine, taking them at face value.

    Test results given in ranges underscore why test strips are not recommended. To take control of your pool, you will need one of the Recommended Test Kits.
    Hey BoDarville,

    Thanks for chiming in!! Looking at the test strip again the color on the FC is closer to 5, my eyes are apparently tired, long day finishing up electrical for the pump.

    I will be picking up the recommended test kit for sure!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    Well, would you like to know just how inaccurate your strips are? Your Total Chlorine is your FC and CC combined, so showing your FC higher than your TC is an impossible result. As a fresh fill if you haven't added any CYA then your CYA level is zero, not 30-50. So yeah, not very useful and you might as well toss them.

    I assume the little kit is one with the yellow chlorine test and red pH test? Use that to get your pH in line and make sure you are keeping some chlorine in the pool. You can assume zero CYA and add enough to get you to 30 ppm to start. This will buffer your chlorine as well as offer some protection from the sunlight. You really need a proper kit, the k-2006 or TF-100 (my preferred kit) contain the tests you will need to get things going right and keep them that way. From there you will be able to get accurate readings and bring your CYA up to a better level for your specific situation and properly measure your chlorine to assure you never have too much or too little.

    It sounds like you have done some reading in the Pool School? If so, great job! If not, the link is at the top, start with The ABC's of Water Chemistry to get a better idea of everything. I hope you stick around and ask questions, you really can have a crystal clear pool but it will take a little knowledge and good testing to keep it that way.
    I totally agree with the strips being inaccurate, I thought the same thing about the CYA since I haven't added any...LOL

    Yes I have been reading the Pool School....Lots of useful information but also a little overwhelming. Just want to make sure I'm doing things the Trouble Free Pool way!!!

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Is this test kit the one I should get? TF-100 Test Kit

    Couple of other questions while waiting on the test kit to arrive once I order it.

    Of course my family will want to swim everyday, Should I just add bleach everyday until I get the kit?

    It's in the 90's here everyday for the next week or so.

    Our pool is in full sun from 11:00am - 5-30pm ....there abouts.

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Yes, the TF-100 is the best option IMO. While you are waiting for the kit to arrive you can use your pool. Use PoolMath to figure out how much CYA to add to get your level up to 30ish. CYA does not dissolve easily so the best way to add it is to put that amount in an old sock and hang it in front of the return so it can dissolve at its own rate. This CYA will help with the pool comfort level and also keep the sunlight from burning FC off quite so quickly.

    For the time being you can use your basic kit to keep your chlorine level above 2. This is not the most accurate way to do it and should certainly be considered a temporary arrangement while your kit is in the mail. As for swimming, as long as your FC is above the minimum for your CYA and below SLAM then feel free to jump in!
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by aftrshok99
    Is this test kit the one I should get? TF-100 Test Kit
    Yes, this is the one I use too. Donldson has got you covered on the other points as well.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Yes, the TF-100 is the best option IMO. While you are waiting for the kit to arrive you can use your pool. Use PoolMath to figure out how much CYA to add to get your level up to 30ish. CYA does not dissolve easily so the best way to add it is to put that amount in an old sock and hang it in front of the return so it can dissolve at its own rate. This CYA will help with the pool comfort level and also keep the sunlight from burning FC off quite so quickly.

    For the time being you can use your basic kit to keep your chlorine level above 2. This is not the most accurate way to do it and should certainly be considered a temporary arrangement while your kit is in the mail. As for swimming, as long as your FC is above the minimum for your CYA and below SLAM then feel free to jump in!


    With basic kit, the readings I had this morning were above 10 on the FC and PH was 7.8. I'm going to check those levels again tonight and see what they are after a day in the sun and the pool being used for about 4 hours or so of swim time.

    I picked up some stabilizer and according to the pool math I should add 42 oz by weight since my level is as of now assumed to be ZERO. Now I don't have a sock that will hold that much so should I do it in stages or find a bigger sock? LOL!!!

    I plan on adding the stabilizer tonight and letting the pump run for 24 hours straight.



    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    Yes, this is the one I use too. Donldson has got you covered on the other points as well.
    Thank you!!
    AGP: 21' x 52" : 10,000 gallon
    100 lb. Sand Filter / 1 hp pump
    11-5 full sun

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Another question I had is, would it be ok to plumb the backwash outlet with PVC pipe and fittings? I was going to vacuum the pool this morning and that silly vinyl hose they sent to attach to the backwash outlet was going all over the place making a mess. I only have about 10' from my pump to the edge of my property. Thinking if I came out of the outlet, 90 degree elbow down, over a foot or so, then 45 degree elbow and then a straight piece I could discharge the backwash or waste from vacuuming into a better location.
    AGP: 21' x 52" : 10,000 gallon
    100 lb. Sand Filter / 1 hp pump
    11-5 full sun

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    I would not add anything to your pool (except 1 gallon of chlorine each night) until you get your kit.

    You are guessing wildly with those strips and you will end up wrong and have to redo your numbers. Don't trust those strips and stay out of the pool store.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by aftrshok99 View Post
    Another question I had is, would it be ok to plumb the backwash outlet with PVC pipe and fittings? I was going to vacuum the pool this morning and that silly vinyl hose they sent to attach to the backwash outlet was going all over the place making a mess. I only have about 10' from my pump to the edge of my property. Thinking if I came out of the outlet, 90 degree elbow down, over a foot or so, then 45 degree elbow and then a straight piece I could discharge the backwash or waste from vacuuming into a better location.
    Seems like a good idea. There is no reason you must use a vinyl backwash hose.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    Little update: Hard plumbed the backwash line and now I don't have water running across my neighbors yard, ordered the TF100 test kit yesterday, also added half of the amount of stabilizer that the pool calculator called for. I just needed to try to keep some chlorine in my pool. The water temp has been 90 and the chlorine has been burning off before mid afternoon. Can't wait to get my test kit so I can really get on top of what my water needs, in the meantime the family has been having a blast in the new pool.
    AGP: 21' x 52" : 10,000 gallon
    100 lb. Sand Filter / 1 hp pump
    11-5 full sun

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    Re: Pool Filled, Question about chemical levels

    I was talking with one of my co-workers who also has a pool and he asked me what I'm doing as far as chemicals and such for my pool. I told him about TFP and the way you all recommend and he was like. All I do is throw a chlorine tablet in and then once a week I toss in one of those arm and hammer clear balance tablets. I'm surprised he has clear water, he also tests his water with guess strips....LOL

    I'm going to stick with the TFP way and do it the right way!!!

    Test kit will be here Thursday and I'll post up my numbers as soon as I can.
    AGP: 21' x 52" : 10,000 gallon
    100 lb. Sand Filter / 1 hp pump
    11-5 full sun

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