Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Help with finally getting some consistency

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bakersfield, California
    Posts
    13

    Unhappy Help with finally getting some consistency

    Hi there! I'm new, I've done a bit of reading in Pool School and around the forum, and I have a lot more to read-- but I'm in a bit of a pinch and I'm hoping to get some personalized advice before I'll have time to get through all of the educational stuff on this site (which I can't wait to read actually).

    A little background-- we are new home/pool owners as of November last year. I being the newb that I so clearly am, went to Leslies and got a bunch of products and ended up with a lot of stuff and a hurt bank account. Since moving in, our pool has been in this kind of yo-yo diet situation of beautiful sparkly clear but can't quite get all the numbers right with testing, then a few days or weeks go by and suddenly, algae bloom. This was always following some jerk wind storm wherein many MANY leaves and extra debris got mixed into the pool and I wasn't able to get it all cleaned out before the damage was done. So I thought that was my problem. Turns out (I am now realizing, after months of research recently) that my issue isn't just wind storms, it's just that I can't seem to get the water right no matter what I do. Thankfully I have some much better ideas about how to correct my wrongs and go from here after reading up on this site, BUT, I'm going out of town for 4 days, starting Friday, and I JUST barely got enough bleach dumped into this thing to get the last horrid green out, so I'm hoping you all might have advice for what I can do to prepare my pool for being gone for 4 days before I get back (after which I fully intend to SLAM the pool as it apparently needs).

    I finally got my Taylor complete high test kit and Aquachek7 strips in the mail today so I did some parallel testing between those two and a sample I got tested at Leslies (same day). Here are my results: (NOTE: Initial testing showed FC/TC =0, these results with a * show after I added 2lbs 53% Cal Hypo- which I wish I had done these tests before adding, so I could have used bleach instead since my CH is high it seems!)

    Test Leslie's Pool Supply Taylor kit Aquachek 7
    FC 0 4* 1-3*
    TC 0 4* 1-3*
    CH 260 340 250-500
    CYA 200 >100 150-300
    TA 120 110 80-120
    pH 7.4 7.2-7.8 7.4

    I am concerned about the discrepancy between CH testing methods, but since the kit only has enough for a limited amount I didn't retest yet. It is worth mentioning that while I am a total noob at pool testing, I definitely know how to titrate chemicals, so I don't think my technique was the issue.

    ALSO important, I believe I have mustard algae, due to the description and frequency with which it keeps coming back even after appearing to go away for a short period of time! I fully intend to SLAM the pool and go up to 24 ppm chlorine after I am back from vacation, but given the time intensive process I can't make that happen before I leave. (Actually now that I read the chlorine/cya level chart, should I be SLAMing at 39ppm? this seems insane, I'm assuming I should first take care of the CYA level before trying to SLAM? Ugh, and to think I thought pool maintenance was all just brushing the walls and throwing some pucks in a floater once a week :facepalm:

    RE: CYA levels-- I have already gone through three bags of BioActive, so I'm resigned to the partial draining technique as far as I know now-- ideas?

    Any advice ya'll can offer me would be extremely helpful, but my main question is how can I make the least mess to clean up when I get back from vacation on Monday night?
    ~27,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward sand filter; Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST variable speed pump
    Pool built 1978ish ; Dolphin Nautilus; City water, no pool restrictions.
    Taylor complete (high) test kit & Aquachek 7 strips

  2. Back To Top    #2
    MikeInNH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    476

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    You're fighting a losing battle with CYA that high. The amounts of liquid bleach you need to add to keep a clean pool will be daunting. For the least mess when you get back, you'll need to ask someone to add plain old bleach at least daily, maybe twice a day. As you seem to already know, you will need to replace much of your water. Do yourself a favor and stay away from the pool store recommended chemicals. Many of the powdered/solid items add CYA each time you put them in your pool. Basic bleach does not.

    Good luck and welcome to TFP.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Pool Tool's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Western Chicago Area, IL
    Posts
    754

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    Couple of questions: Do you have anyone to visit the pool while you're away to add chlorine? Did you try to diluted CYA test using half pool water/half tap water and then R-0013? This new result mutiplied x 2 will be closer to your actual CYA. It'll be good to know to estimate your drain volume.

    You are right on with the partial drain and refill unfortunately. Besides RO (reverse osmosis) drain and refill is the only way to effectively deal with high CYA. Without someone to visit the pool and dump in chlorine, which might be moot anyway if algae is present, it will be too difficult and expensive to just raise the FC to Slam levels. And yes your Slam level is at least 39. Additionally, if you suspect mustard algae you would raise to 57 ppm for 24 hours following a successful Slam.

    I might just add some bleach and go on vacation knowing you are coming back to drain and refill and let it be. Relax and hit it when you are home. Sorry as it isn't a good plan, but using all that chlorine just to exchange water is a drag. If you haven't looked into RO it might be an option. Best of luck to you on a tough situation.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bakersfield, California
    Posts
    13

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    Thanks! I have avoided the pool store like the plague since I discovered this site and others who advocate the simple stuff. I have not added anything with CYA since I found out about that issue in March, only cal hypo and bleach.

    Unfortunately I doubt I'll be able to get anyone to add bleach for me daily, we even have to kennel our two dogs because we have no reliable/available /willing friends lol. Would putting a boat load of bleach in the night before leaving help at all? Or if I am unable to get help would it be better to just deal with the mess

    ~27,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward sand filter; Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST variable speed pump
    Pool built 1978ish ; Dolphin Nautilus; City water, no pool restrictions.
    Taylor complete (high) test kit & Aquachek 7 strips

  5. Back To Top    #5
    MikeInNH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    476

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    Cal-hypo adds CH so be careful with that too. At this point, although it may be disheartening, I think PoolTool is right. The diluted CYA test is helpful then just let it be for now. Enjoy your time away and start the battle when you get back. How high are the temps in your area? Do you have a way to cover the pool?
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Pool Tool's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Western Chicago Area, IL
    Posts
    754

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    I would usually recommend adding a boatload of bleach to raise to Slam levels before a vacation especially a short 4 day one, but since you indeed need a load of bleach it is up to you. I forget the exact proportions but basically you can lose up to 50% FC a day near Slam levels, i.e. day 1 - 40, day 2 - 20, day 3 - 10, etc. Although a cover would significantly reduce UV burnoff.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

  7. Back To Top    #7

    TFP Guide
    PAGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    2,388

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    It's too bad you can't do a large drain and refill to lower the CYA considerably. If that were possible, you could lower it enough to have wiggle room to use tablets in a floater.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    MikeInNH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    476

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Tool View Post
    I would usually recommend adding a boatload of bleach to raise to Slam levels before a vacation especially a short 4 day one, but since you indeed need a ****load of bleach it is up to you. I forget the exact proportions but basically you can lose up to 50% FC a day near Slam levels, i.e. day 1 - 40, day 2 - 20, day 3 - 10, etc. Although a cover would significantly reduce UV burnoff.
    The weather forecast for that area is 100+ the next few days. Unless Jem can get the big returnable jugs of concentrated bleach from the pool store and cover the pool it may just be a waste of money. Maybe devise something that constantly drips bleach into the pool like some auto chlorinators do?
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,654

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    Jem, You are between a rock (pool) and a hard place (vacy).........push your FC up to SLAM level while you can before you leave THEN push it up again right before you leave.

    Go and enjoy yourself knowing when you come back you will have to drain your water to get your CYA down.

    OR you can just leave it like it is and know you what you have to do when you get home. This is the cheapest way and may be the best way. The other way is really to TRY to stay ahead but I think you will lose any progress while you are gone

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bakersfield, California
    Posts
    13

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    Thanks everyone! I think I'll just clean up the walls and put a load of chlorine in before I go, in hopes that I don't have a huge green mess when I get back, but I won't waste ALL my bleach on it and plan to do a partial drain when I'm back. Since I know now to avoid cal hypo, I have a bunch of bleach at the ready, but I'm sure I'll need more before SLAMing.

    Just logistics wise, what level FC should I try to maintain while doing this partial drain stuff to get rid of my CYA ? I'm not sure if I'll be able to maintain SLAM levels for that whole process since I don't know if we can drain that much in a day.

    Pool store tech said CYA can build up in the walls and will leach out as I remove it from the water... Any truth to this??

    She also said I could use the pool water to water the grass. Seems like a bad idea to me, but what is the consensus here on that?

    ~27,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward sand filter; Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST variable speed pump
    Pool built 1978ish ; Dolphin Nautilus; City water, no pool restrictions.
    Taylor complete (high) test kit & Aquachek 7 strips

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,654

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    These words alone are a clue to how wrong the info is, "pool store tech".........anytime you say that just know it is wrong LOL.

    I would not try to add any FC while you are draining. You will just be draining it out. Drain and refill. Once that is done THEN we will work on the levels.

    No CYA cannot build up "IN" the walls and leach out. Your fiberglass walls cannot absorb "stuff" so you are safe there. I WOULD brush the walls real good to get as much of the algae that attached to (not in) the walls and bottom off.

    You can use the pool water to water the lawn and landscaping. Ask your neighbors if they want some LOL I am thinking by the time you get back all of the chlorine will be gone so it would be fine for the grass.

    Use care when you drain. Do NOT drain empty as you pool can pop out of the ground. Leave about a foot of water in the shallow end to make sure it stays.

    Good luck and have fun on your trip!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  12. Back To Top    #12
    MikeInNH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    476

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    I may be off but I think I read somewhere that someone used plastic sheeting to separate the old water from the new. After laying the plastic on top of the water, they siphoned water from under the plastic and added on top of the plastic. When the plastic got down to the desired depth you could see approximately how much water was replaced. I would assume the pump would need to be off so the water stayed still. Just a thought, I've never tried it.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bakersfield, California
    Posts
    13

    Arrow Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    Hey y'all.. so it took me a REALLY long time to make all this happen, but now I have an update (when pool season is nearly over, of course).
    I finally bought a sump pump and did like 4 overnight drains (this only took me down to the bottom of the swim-out, except for one night where the stupid electrical outlet gfci shut off mid-drain and I only got 6" or so down). I also drained from the swimout mainly because I was doing the drain overnight while I was at work, and my pump supposedly shuts off when the water gets to 1/4" depth, and I thought this would help prevent me from accidentally over-draining--little did I know this was not going to be my issue. I found a new pool store which sells the refillable sets of 4 gal liquid chlorine, 12%ish, and the owner seems to appreciate that I have been doing research and doesn't push me to buy useless products, so even though it's twice the distance from my house, I'm so glad I found this place over Leslie's, haha!

    After all the draining and periodic chlorine additions just to keep from any flyovers to get the notion my pool was green enough to elicit a ticket, here are my results:

    Test Pre-drain Current
    FC 0 7.5
    TC 0 7.5
    CH 340 160 *
    CYA >200 55 **
    TA 110 80-90
    pH 7.2-7.8 7.6

    So, first things first.
    * - my CH is now LOW? obviously I trained a decent amount of water, but I didn't even consider that my CH could go too low. Can I use Cal Hypo for a bit to raise my CH, so I can kill two birds (need to SLAM) with one stone?
    • Per poolmath if I add 800 oz of 53% cal-hypo, it would raise my FC by 117, CH by 82 (which would make it 242), and salt by 118.
    • So if this is the case, could I just use cal-hypo for my SLAM to get my CH back up, or is this a bad idea?
    • I'm also thinking it'll be easier for me to keep that amount of cal-hypo around than having to go back to the pool store pretty much daily for my new 4 gal refillable 12% chlorine to ensure I have enough to maintain a SLAM with my CYA level.
    • Not sure if salt matters to me since I don't have a SWG-- please educate me if I am ignoring something important


    2nd ** CYA ...so the test is like halfway between the 50 and 60 hash marks. Ideally I want it to be lower, and I will-- at some point this winter I need to do at least 1 more drain to re-grout the tiles at the top of the pool. BUT for now, I'm tired of waiting, and I know the SO is about to lose his mind since we haven't even really used the pool more than 3x this summer (our first summer in the house!). He just wants it done and usable so that we can enjoy the pool for the last month or two of the season. Then when it's too cold to swim, I'll have time to deal with the last ~30% drain I need to get my CYA down to 40ish.
    • Per poolmath, (using TFP suggested goals), my normal FC shoud be 4-9, shock 22, and mustard algae shock 32.
    • The Chlorine/CYA chart says shock FC should be 20-24, so that makes sense.
    • Since I'm pretty certain I have mustard algae (that jerk just won't die!!!! grrr), should I try to maintain 32 ppm FC for the entire SLAM?


    Also I may be an idiot but how are you guys testing chlorine levels so high? My test kit only goes up to 10 ppm, and I got the TF100. So can I do a dilution like with the CYA test, or is there another test kit I need to get for SLAMing? actually even a 1:1 wouldn't get my range to 32, meh.

    I am hoping to maintain my FC as high as I can for now to keep the mustard at bay, and begin my SLAM on the 10th when I know I'll be back in town for at least 2 weeks.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

    *I should mention, the water looks almost blue (still a slight tinge of green, but the best its looked in at least a month), but is a bit cloudy.
    Last edited by jemc2; 09-01-2016 at 06:47 PM. Reason: mistyped current TA level
    ~27,000 gallon IG fiberglass; Hayward sand filter; Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST variable speed pump
    Pool built 1978ish ; Dolphin Nautilus; City water, no pool restrictions.
    Taylor complete (high) test kit & Aquachek 7 strips

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand
    Posts
    443

    Re: Help with finally getting some consistency

    So, first things first.
    * - my CH is now LOW? obviously I trained a decent amount of water, but I didn't even consider that my CH could go too low. Can I use Cal Hypo for a bit to raise my CH, so I can kill two birds (need to SLAM) with one stone?
    First off CH is not important for a fibreglass pool. So yes you can use your cal hypo to start your slam, but dont let the levels get too high because you can then get calcium scaling. This is why we suggest using liquid chlorine / bleach as it doesnt add cya or calcium like solid/powdered chlorine. Both of these can only be lowered by drain and refill as you found out. I think someone mentioned that you are likely to have high calcium levels in your water anyway so I would prob just stick with the liquid for now


    • I'm also thinking it'll be easier for me to keep that amount of cal-hypo around than having to go back to the pool store pretty much daily for my new 4 gal refillable 12% chlorine to ensure I have enough to maintain a SLAM with my CYA level.
    Once you finish your slam you will probably only use approx 58oz daily of bleach at 12%, a bit more if you pick it up at the grocery store or walmart as they are often lower %. Its always a bit of a trade off for me, convenience as I go to the grocery store anyway but a little more expensive, cheaper to go to a big box store but a special trip.


    • Not sure if salt matters to me since I don't have a SWG-- please educate me if I am ignoring something important
    Salt doesnt matter for your chemistry, but it does soften the water and make it feel nicer on the skin so no issue there


    2nd ** CYA ...so the test is like halfway between the 50 and 60 hash marks.


    If between marks we round up to the next mark so treat it as 60ppm. Actually I would run your pool at this level and see how it goes. I think many ppl in california do


    BUT for now, I'm tired of waiting, and I know the SO is about to lose his mind since we haven't even really used the pool more than 3x this summer (our first summer in the house!). He just wants it done and usable so that we can enjoy the pool for the last month or two of the season.
    You can swim (including during your slam) if:
    Your ph is between 7.2 and 7.8
    Your FC is above your minimum and below your slam level (only has to be 1ppm below)
    You can see a swimmer at the bottom of the pool for safety reasons


    • Per poolmath, (using TFP suggested goals), my normal FC shoud be 4-9, shock 22, and mustard algae shock 32.
    Use the values for 60ppm, always above 5, target 7 (although 8-9 may be better to start) and slam at 24


    Since I'm pretty certain I have mustard algae (that jerk just won't die!!!! grrr), should I try to maintain 32 ppm FC for the entire SLAM?
    If you have mustard algae (actually pretty rare) then you complete a normal slam and then raise your FC levels to mustard slam for 24 hours at the end. You could also have algae behing lights, ladders, skimmers and thats why you see it keep coming back. Also unless you have completed a slam with a pass on OCLT (overnight chlorine loss test of less than 1ppm) clear water and less than 0.5CC you might never have killed all the algae and it just starts to grow again


    Also I may be an idiot but how are you guys testing chlorine levels so high? My test kit only goes up to 10 ppm, and I got the TF100.

    You need the FAS DPD chlorine test which is in the TF 100 kit from TFTestkits.net. This measures FC levels upto 50ppm. You can order it separately online. Its the R0871 and the R0870 powder. Just wondering if you have the kits confused as you dont have the TF100 in your siggy. IF you dont have this test and actually have the taylor k2005 not the TF 100 or Taylor K2006 kit then order the separate FAS DPD online asap. Watch the reagent sizes, you really need the 2oz bottles


    So what to do now??
    Lower ph to 7.2 with muriatic acid and wait half an hour with the pump running
    Raise your FC to SLAM Levels
    Add 2 gallons of bleach per day (=9ppm) until your FAS DPD test gets there, or if you have it test and redose as often as you can (start hourly)
    Brush your pool daily
    Backwash when pressure rises 20-25% above clean pressure
    Read up on SLAM in pool school at top of page
    6000 gal, AG vinyl, Intex ultra frame 16ft, 1200 Gallon Sand Filter, DIY Solar, Clear Choice Labs Testing Kit

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •