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Thread: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

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    Luric's Avatar
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    First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    We had the pool company finish opening the pool over the weekend, and I did my 1st daily tests yesterday & weekly tests tonight. Levels below. I think I already made a mistake with the amount o bleach we added tonight, so advice welcome! We have a 30k gal concrete pool. Thanks!

    Daily results yesterday:
    FC: 3
    PH: 7.5

    Weekly results tonight:
    FC: 1
    PH: 7.5
    TA: 130
    CH: 275
    CYA: I could still see the black dot by the time I filled it up. It was starting to get cloudy, but I could def still easily make it out


    Tonight I added an entire 128 oz jug of 10% LC.

    It looks like I need to add 160 oz CYA and I need to lower TA by way of lowering PH...but will then need to raise it again? I'm very confused and would love a little help please!

    **I would like to also note the pool company balanced the chemicals and said we'd be good till Friday - judging by my levels tonight I'd be swimming in algae if I waited that long to do anything, right?
    Inherited 30k gal IG gunite black bottom pebble w/ waterfall & attached spa, built 1993ish; Pump: Pentair Intiliflo VS pump; SWCG: Pentair IC60; Filter: Pentair FNS Plus 60 SQFT DE; Heater: Pentair Mastertemp 400,000btu; Robot: Dolphin Nautilus Plus; Waterfall Pump: Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP; Testing: TFTest Kit TF-100

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time using TFTest kit - help please!

    Not exactly sure of your questions.
    Are you using the chlroinator and Nature 2 listed in your Sig?

    Forget about adjusting TA. Just focus on FC and pH (and CYA).

    Sounds like you have < 20ppm CYA but more than 0. So, until you get that up to 30+ppm, you are going to lose a lot of FC to the sun every day.

    Good plan to add a full jug of 10% ... that only added 3.3ppm of FC.

    How are you planning to maintain your chlorine?
    If using liquid, having to add a gallon per day is not unreasonable.
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    Yup, waiting would be bad.

    To lower TA, you add muriatic acid to get the pH to 7.2, then aerate the water (turn return jets to roil the surface, run spa jets, water features, do some cannonballs, etc) to get the pH back up "naturally", then add MA, and repeat.

    You're not shooting for a particular number with TA, just finding a point at which the pH doesn't rise too rapidly.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    That much CYA should get you in the 40 range.

    Your minimum FC for that is 3 with a target level of 5 or so to keep you from dropping below 3 on a daily basis. Just depends on how much YOUR pool loses dialy. I lose 3 or 4.

    A gallon of 10% will give you an FC of 3.3

    Lotta water you got there!
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    If your CYA test was somewhat cloudy, I would advise only using half that amount of CYA to start. (Go from now of 20, goal of 40). Then see where you are in a few days.

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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    If your CYA test was somewhat cloudy, I would advise only using half that amount of CYA to start. (Go from now of 20, goal of 40). Then see where you are in a few days.
    Agreed, cya is not something you want to overdo since it's impossible to remove it without doing a drain and refill
    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    That much CYA should get you in the 40 range.

    Your minimum FC for that is 3 with a target level of 5 or so to keep you from dropping below 3 on a daily basis. Just depends on how much YOUR pool loses dialy. I lose 3 or 4.

    A gallon of 10% will give you an FC of 3.3

    Lotta water you got there!
    Matt
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    Luric's Avatar
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    Re: First time using TFTest kit - help please!

    The plan is liquid though we do have some pucks left over from when we moved in last summer. I'll adjust my sig which listed the gear we inherited when we bought the house late last summer. We aren't planning to use the chlorinator or Nature 2.

    Since I need to add so much stabilizer, can I divide the amount in 2 socks, placing 1 in each skimmer? I have young kids, so I don't want anything floating in the pool for them to play with. Instead of the 160oz suggested from a 0 CYA reading, since I did have some cloudiness in the tester, I was thinking I'd start small and add 1 entire 5 lb jug of granular, and retest in a few days once dissolved. Does that seem reasonable? If I read correctly, I should do the socks and leave the filter run for 24 hrs. We just backwashed, so that shouldn't be an issue.

    Will I never really need to worry about the high TA or just deal with it after we get this 1st issue under control?

    On a possible related note, will getting this in check help with some cloudiness that's developed over the last 2 days? I'm a bit disappointed we've been open for less than 4 days and already having a cloudy issue which was something we battled constantly the month we had the pool last summer (using pool store pucks). Thanks for your help.
    Inherited 30k gal IG gunite black bottom pebble w/ waterfall & attached spa, built 1993ish; Pump: Pentair Intiliflo VS pump; SWCG: Pentair IC60; Filter: Pentair FNS Plus 60 SQFT DE; Heater: Pentair Mastertemp 400,000btu; Robot: Dolphin Nautilus Plus; Waterfall Pump: Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP; Testing: TFTest Kit TF-100

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    Re: First time using TFTest kit - help please!

    Since I need to add so much stabilizer, can I divide the amount in 2 socks
    Yes you can.
    To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
    I was thinking I'd start small and add 1 entire 5 lb jug of granular, and retest in a few days once dissolved. Does that seem reasonable?
    Also sounds fine.
    Will I never really need to worry about the high TA or just deal with it after we get this 1st issue under control?
    As Jason said, just worry about it later. Adjusting CYA, FC, and pH are priority right now. We generally worry about an elevated TA only when it seems to allow pH to rise too fast each week. It's an issue you can always address later if needed.
    On a possible related note, will getting this in check help with some cloudiness that's developed over the last 2 days?
    Cloudiness could be algae I'm afraid. Your earlier comment about "judging by my levels tonight I'd be swimming in algae if I waited that long to do anything, right?" was spot-on. The FC and CYA were very low when the pool company opened. I would recommend the following:
    - What was your new CYA target? ... "30"? If so, increase your FC to "12" for today with bleach and keep it there as best as you can today. Tonight, do an overnight (OCLT) test. Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT). This will help us confirm whether or not you have excessive organics eating your FC. If you pass, then it might just be a filtration issue. But because that FC and CYA were so low for an extended period of time, it's best you don't take a chance and crank the FC up now to be safe.
    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
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    Now that I saw your other thread and merged them together, I would say reevaluate your potential "new" CYA. If you think it may be higher than 30 (i.e 40), then adjust your FC level to that appropriate CYA for today and still do an OCLT this evening.
    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.
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    Just did my OCLT. It was 5 last night & 4.5 this morning, so it appears my slight cloudy issue is not organics. Yay? That still leaves an unanswered question (and one I'm hoping doesn't end with "buy a new filter)

    Our pools doesn't have a cover, so there was a LOT in there when we opened. The pool company vacuumed a good 4 or 5 times, flocced 2 or 3 times - it took 2 wks to open & clear everything up. We backwashed Monday night, so is it possible our newly cleaned out filter is just playing catch-up with some of those final fine particles? It's a black bottom pool, and I thought I might have read somewhere that it will tend to appear a bit more hazy? Or I could be making that up. I put some fine mesh hair nets in the skimmers (learned from this site!), and they are doing a great job of grabbing pollen etc. I added 4 lbs of stabilizer (was going to do 5, but my husband brought home a 4 lber), half in a sock in each skimmer basket. It doesn't seem to leave too terribly much room for water to pass through at the moment, though definitely still clearance. Will that impede filtering? My final idea for a possible filtering issue is that I think we have some valve(s) in the wrong position. I have a different post on the forum asking about our polaris draining the spa when it runs which I don't remember happening when we took over the pool last summer (we never changed a single thing until we closed the pool). That makes me thing what's coming & going is not quite right or maximized. I believe we have 3 returns in the pool, and we leave the polaris plugged into it's dedicated one. There's 1 main return in the spa (plus a bunch of less powerful blowers), and it overflows into the pool. None of our actuators work, so everything must be done manually. Since we're still figuring out what's what, it's highly possible we have something in the wrong position.

    That's my update for now. Any recommendations or thoughts are welcome!
    Inherited 30k gal IG gunite black bottom pebble w/ waterfall & attached spa, built 1993ish; Pump: Pentair Intiliflo VS pump; SWCG: Pentair IC60; Filter: Pentair FNS Plus 60 SQFT DE; Heater: Pentair Mastertemp 400,000btu; Robot: Dolphin Nautilus Plus; Waterfall Pump: Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP; Testing: TFTest Kit TF-100

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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    Nice to hear you passed your OCLT. Could the filter need more time? .... sure. Have you tried a sand "deep cleaning" as noted on the Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter page? That could help a bunch. Definitely refrain from any more pool store products as some of them tend to bind-up the sand and cause problems later. As for the sock soaking with stabilizer, I too only have one suction source to the pump, so I have to be careful. If you're concerned about water to the pump, you can hang the sock like you see here:


    We'll look-out for your other posts as well. If you haven't done so already, post a pic or two of your equipment and we'll try to help.
    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.
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    This is our equipment. Apologies if it's not the right angle; I'm still figuring out what everything is and where it goes, so I wasn't sure the best way to take the shot. I'd like to label all the white tubing and valves until I get a better feel for everything.

    While out there I checked my 2 CYA socks. One looks maybe 1/3 empty, but the other looks almost totally gone. Each one had 2 lbs. Is that normal for less than 1 full day's flow through the skimmer?

    Attachment 51207

    *The tubing is all between the heater & filter on one side and a bunch of tall shrubs on the other. Everyone who's been back there has cursed whoever originally installed everything since you have to reach over the filter to reach anything.
    Inherited 30k gal IG gunite black bottom pebble w/ waterfall & attached spa, built 1993ish; Pump: Pentair Intiliflo VS pump; SWCG: Pentair IC60; Filter: Pentair FNS Plus 60 SQFT DE; Heater: Pentair Mastertemp 400,000btu; Robot: Dolphin Nautilus Plus; Waterfall Pump: Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP; Testing: TFTest Kit TF-100

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    Luric's Avatar
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    I just tested for the night.

    FC: 2 (was 5 last night, 4.5 this morning)
    pH: 7.3

    I was thinking of aiming for 6 for FC since it looks like we have a good drop each day until the stabilizer kicks in.

    This is my 1st time adjusting pH. In PoolMath there's a cell for borate, but I don't have a measurement of that. For my 30k gal pool at 7.3, I was going to add 2 entire boxes of Borax to get close to 7.8.

    Do these seem reasonable?
    Inherited 30k gal IG gunite black bottom pebble w/ waterfall & attached spa, built 1993ish; Pump: Pentair Intiliflo VS pump; SWCG: Pentair IC60; Filter: Pentair FNS Plus 60 SQFT DE; Heater: Pentair Mastertemp 400,000btu; Robot: Dolphin Nautilus Plus; Waterfall Pump: Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP; Testing: TFTest Kit TF-100

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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    Yes on the FC.

    You can just run the waterfall to raise your pH. That will help in the long run with your TA issue.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here's a little reading on the idea:

    Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

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    Luric's Avatar
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    Thanks MarianParoo! Much easier that way
    Inherited 30k gal IG gunite black bottom pebble w/ waterfall & attached spa, built 1993ish; Pump: Pentair Intiliflo VS pump; SWCG: Pentair IC60; Filter: Pentair FNS Plus 60 SQFT DE; Heater: Pentair Mastertemp 400,000btu; Robot: Dolphin Nautilus Plus; Waterfall Pump: Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP; Testing: TFTest Kit TF-100

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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    I realize it's a bit labor intensive, but since you're trying to raise your CYA, lower your TA, and chlorinate, why not figure that each of those 3" tri-chlor pucks is approximately 7oz by weight, and feed them into your (mentioned in an earlier post) chlorinator. just make sure you do the Pool Math and test regularly to confirm you are having the desired effects. I would also suggest if that pushes your PH too low, raise it with Borax. That way you get some Borates in the water, which is not a bad thing, you also get a boost in PH without as much rise in TA as Baking Soda would provide.
    25.5K gal vinyl IGP 3.5' - 8' depth. 1.5HP single speed A.O. Smith C48L2N134B1 motor on a Hayward SP2610X15 Pump. 40 ft2 D.E. Filter Hayward model EC75A. Hayward Chlorinator model CL200. single skimmer, 2 Returns. TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir.

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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    DHoover has a point, however, since you are new to pool care, I would caution that changing so many variables at once might be tricky until you get to "know" your pool. IMHO.

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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    DHoover85's post # 16 above is a tremendous suggestion. Gives you a chance to use up any pucks that you already spent money on to your advantage rather than the ill effects of using them long term. Once they are used up and you reach desired levels you can switch to a liquid chlorine/bleach method.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Luric's Avatar
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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    So apparently my husband went ahead & added 2 boxes of borax last night before getting the final confirmation from me (based on this thread). Now our pH appears to be about 8 (inbetween the 7.8 & 8.2 on my daily tester when I checked this morning). Is that level safe to swim until I can get some pH decreaser?

    I like the idea of using up the pucks I have left as well as taking baby steps to learning the TFPC method since clearly we're making too drastic of swings trying to figure this all out right now. When we were using pool store testing last summer, we consistently had to add Bioguard Lo & Slo to lower pH in addition to the pucks. Should I use the decreaser then switch to pucks tonight? PoolMath says the pucks lower pH, so should I switch to them 1st and see where we're at tomorrow morning regarding pH? My husband likes to take the kids in the pool when he gets home from work, so I just want to be sure I do what I need to make it safe to swim within the next 10 hrs (I've got 3 kids 4 & under including one only a few wks old, so I don't take them all in myself during the day very often at the moment).

    Thanks so much for everyone's input & suggestions!
    Inherited 30k gal IG gunite black bottom pebble w/ waterfall & attached spa, built 1993ish; Pump: Pentair Intiliflo VS pump; SWCG: Pentair IC60; Filter: Pentair FNS Plus 60 SQFT DE; Heater: Pentair Mastertemp 400,000btu; Robot: Dolphin Nautilus Plus; Waterfall Pump: Hayward Super Pump 1.5 HP; Testing: TFTest Kit TF-100

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    Re: First time using TFTest Kit - help!

    Bump it down a little with muriatic acid. If you have dry acid on hand that's fine, but MA is cheaper and stronger. I always encourage people to take baby steps with pH changes, it's so easy to overshoot. Use pool math and shoot for 7.7
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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