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Thread: New to TFP - Can't seem to get it right!

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    PMCoro's Avatar
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    New to TFP - Can't seem to get it right!

    I'm newly registered as a member to TFP, but I've been studying up on this method for a couple months. I'm committed to this process but my husband isn't convinced yet and wants to revert back to the pool store. Our problem is that we don't have our own pool test kit (it's on order, to be delivered by next week) so we haven't been able to reliably run numbers on the water. We've been going every day or every other day to get a water sample test from the pool store, but that gets very tedious very quickly, especially when they try to push expensive products on me each time I go.) We started off okay: we had an algae situation so we SLAMed the pool and monitored the chlorine levels as closely as we were able to and it started turning clear and blue again. Until this weekend, when it suddenly and horribly turned unmistakably green... think the color of the ooze that will mutate your adorable pet turtle into an overgrown, masked, teenage martial arts master. Yep, that color! It started turning green on Sunday and it's mostly cloudy - I can barely see the bottom of the pool on the deep end (8.5 ft). I don't know what to do now because the CYA levels are inexplicably SUPER high and I'm worried that the high levels of chlorine will mess with the pool pump/plumbing. I almost had my husband converted until this happened. Please help!

    Test results (via Leslie's), taken today @3:07pm
    FC - 10 *It's been "10" each time we've had the water tested since the SLAM
    CC - ??
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 90
    CH - 150
    CYA - 100

    Thank you!
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP - Can't seem to get it right!

    Welcome to TFP! Good to have you here

    Until the test kit arrives, we're flying blind. Sadly the pool store tests are unreliable and entirely geared toward over-selling chemicals. The printouts you get are from software provided by the chemical companies.

    I can assure you that Trouble Free Pool Care (TFPC) will work much better and for less cost. But we're going to need the test results - especially CYA, which pool stores tend to under-report. It may not be the person at the counter, but the system and software they get from the chemical companies largely ignores CYA, which is what causes these ongoing problems.

    It's pretty likely you need to drain/refill at least half your water, so start thinking about that. There are usually charges for the water and could be charges for going over your quota. You should be able to find out from your water company or online. Rest assured that if you stick with the pool store, you'll spend even more money on expensive products and it won't work, and you'll end up draining and refilling anyway. It's the high CYA that is holding too much of the chlorine in reserve. The pool is over-stabilized. You will need to get the CYA down to around 50 before any approach to clearing the pool is going to work. People here will help you through a drain/refill and be sure you know the things you have to be careful with. Another option is reverse osmosis which removes many chemicals from the pool, including CYA. Articles online suggest this usually costs around $550.

    In case you're wondering, the CYA has accumulated due to use of dichlor, trichlor, pucks, tabs, or powdered shock, etc., pretty much any form of chlorine other than liquid.

    Until you get the test kit, pour a gallon of plain bleach in the pool each day. This will keep it from getting very much worse.

    Start shopping for chlorinating liquid. I wouldn't use anything less than plain bleach (not scented or splashless) that says 8.25% sodium hypochlorite. If it doesn't have the % shown on the jug, don't buy it. Also don't buy anything with a manufacture date code lower than about 16150. The 16 means 2016 and the 150 means the 150th day of the year. If you can find 10% liquid pool shock (10% sodium hypochlorite) that's better. And 12.5% pool chlorine (12.5% sodium hypochlorite) better yet. All of them are the same thing and fine to use. Higher % just means you're lugging around less water.

    You can read up on the SLAM procedure here: Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    For the first day, you'll need to be there to maintain FC at your shock level. Good for the second day also. After that 3 or 4 additions per day will get the job done. Just mentioning this so you can plan around it. The SLAM will get much easier after the first few days, but it is likely to take around a week. Once the water is clear and you can see the bottom, it's safe to swim in the pool during a SLAM as long as your FC is at or below the shock level.

    I'm probably over-answering, but I think it's fair for you to know what's ahead. It's a lot of work now, but once done, pool maintenance becomes pretty easy and regular, just like maintaining your yard. The TFPC system will give you much cleaner water than you've seen from pool store recommendations. There's 1000s of people here and threads with pictures to prove it.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    PMCoro's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP - Can't seem to get it right!

    I forgot to mention that I live in the California Central Valley... it gets HOT! It was 106 degrees today. It's been triple digits since the weekend and will continue to be triple digits for the next week or two. I just wanted to mention it since I'm sure that the weather has an impact on the pool.
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    PMCoro's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP - Can't seem to get it right!

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    So, just to be clear... a gallon of bleach each day until the test kit arrives. Then, SLAM and monitor closely to maintain appropriate shock level. Is this right?

    After getting started with the first SLAM, we cleaned out the neighborhood Target store of their generic bleach in 2 shopping trips! We still have 4 jugs so I'll start by using that. And I'll start looking into the other forms of chlorine.

    Thanks again! I'll likely be checking back in often...
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New to TFP - Can't seem to get it right!

    Getting close, yep.

    Testing CYA will be first. You may need to use point #9 in the link I'll add below, which is a dilution test required when CYA of 90 and above is noticed. The CYA test is a tricky one to read, and we can give you a few tips before you do the test.
    Pool School - CYA

    Print out the SLAM procedure and follow it very closely. The first step in a SLAM is to determine the correct FC level, and the second step is to adjust pH.

    You'll be needing a fair bit of bleach. It's impossible to say how much, but 15 to 30 gallons is not uncommon.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Is this right?! Need guidance

    I'm newly registered with TFP and I just got my Taylor K-2006 test kit from Amazon. I tried testing the chlorine levels but I'm not sure if I'm doing this right...

    Some background: We bought a house with a pool - our first ever. My husband has been taking care of maintenance and chemical balance in the pool but we've never been satisfied with how it looked. It's always been just a little bit cloudy. So I started researching on the internet and I came across this method. When our pool started turning green, I convinced my husband to try it. We started with a SLAM which worked great! The pool was blue again and on the way to becoming clear... until this weekend. We noticed the pool had suddenly turned green again and got worse over the next few days. We had been getting our water tested at the nearby Leslie's (while our test kit was on order) but the numbers they gave us were always a bit wonky. The one thing that was steady was that the CYA readings were always high. So we did a partial drain/refill. But the water only got worse! It's so bad that my husband has started talking about going back to the pool store method! (Yikes!)

    I live in an area that gets HOT. It's been triple digits since last week and will continue to be this hot through next week. Right now, the pool water is cloudy and green. The green seems to be turning brownish which I think means the algae is dying.

    These are the test results (via Leslie's) from yesterday @3:07pm
    FC - 10 *It's been "10" each time we've had the water tested since the SLAM
    CC - ??
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 90
    CH - 150
    CYA - 100

    And these are my test results this morning (who knows if they're right!
    ):
    FC - 6
    CC - 0 (???)
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 90
    CH - 220
    CYA - 90

    I started a thread yesterday in the Algae section and got some advice (thanks needsajet!) but I'm in need of some more guidance... Please help!
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    Trust your testing, not the pool store.

    You are going to need to do some drains and refills, your CYA is too high. As it is you are under the minimum FC for your CYA Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    How does the water look?
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
    Test Kits - Pool Math - Chlorine/CYA/Target/Slam Chart

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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    The water is green with a slight brownish tint. And it's murky.

    So, first step would be drain/refill before doing anything else, right?
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by PMCoro View Post
    The water is green with a slight brownish tint. And it's murky.

    So, first step would be drain/refill before doing anything else, right?
    Yes,
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by PMCoro View Post
    The water is green with a slight brownish tint. And it's murky.

    So, first step would be drain/refill before doing anything else, right?
    if you can it would be the most effective.

    What source of chlorine are you using? As you prob know TFP requires use of liquid chlorine almost exclusively.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    Welcome to TFP !!!! <That's Kim she just hangs around here.

    You probably have algae.

    I would test your pool at 7PM and then using Pool Math (above) adjust the chlorine to 10. Wait half an hour and test to see your are at 10. Then check again in the morning. Its an OCLT Overnight Chlorine Loss Test Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    Use liquid chlorine -- from the pool section at HD or Lowes.

    See what the results of that are. Loss of .5 or more means you probably have something. If you do then Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    If your pool is out in this sun with this heat CYA of 90 is not really that bed. It just makes it very difficult to clear algae.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by max2k View Post
    if you can it would be the most effective.

    What source of chlorine are you using? As you prob know TFP requires use of liquid chlorine almost exclusively.
    I'm in the process of partially draining the pool as we speak. For chlorine, we've started using liquid chlorine (8.25% generic bleach).
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    So, I've replaced about 40-45% of the water in the pool. I put 2 gallons of bleach in the pool last night while I was refilling it because it just looked so green and murky.
    Here are my test results from this morning:
    FC - 13
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.6
    TA - 90
    CH - 160
    CYA - 60

    What's the next step... SLAM? Should I bring the pH down before I start? Also, I know the calcium is low, do I need to worry about that now or wait until after the algae is gone?
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    pH test is invalid with FC > 10. If we go with your previous pH of 7.4 that's fine. SLAM away!

    Yes, worry about CH after the SLAM.
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    Sweet, thanks! I'm ready.... Let's DO this!!!!
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    Re: New to TFP - Can't seem to get it right!

    hi! I don't really know enough yet to try and advise, other than to say this...trust these folks...needsajet was one of a handful of folks that helped me when I got started on here...it was all greek to me and took me about a week to really begin to understand all of the jargon and how things affect other things. my husband sat back and just let me go with this process and is super impressed with how we ended up. they will guide you to the perfect, sparkly pool! have faith and don't listen to a pool store or any cheap test kits you may have...get the recommended test and start doing the process...you will not regret it! good luck!
    Windy ☆ 22ft round, 11,400 gal, intex ag vinyl, SF70110-1 Intex sand filter/2800 gph pump, CS8110 intex swg, city water, solar heater, TF100 test kit/speed stirrer, over the wall intex skimmer~fall river ks~SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math

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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    Update:

    I poured enough bleach into the pool to bring the FC to shock level of 24. And I've been checking FC every hour or so. Here are my results:
    @1:35 (30 minutes after pouring bleach into the pool) FC=24
    @2:41 FC=23 (full sun, 100 degrees)
    @4:06 FC=23 (partial sun, 106 degrees)

    The water is bright green, almost like a neon green, and still really cloudy - can't see the bottom of the pool.

    Am I on the right path here? I feel like with as green as the water is and with how hot the weather is, I should have more FC loss. ???
    19,500 gallons, IG plaster pool w/spa, built in the late 70s
    Hayward Pro Series sand filter; Sta-Rite Dyna Glas pump (1.5 hp)
    Zodiac T5 Duo suction cleaner; K-2006 test kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Is this right?! Need guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by PMCoro View Post
    Update:

    I poured enough bleach into the pool to bring the FC to shock level of 24. And I've been checking FC every hour or so. Here are my results:
    @1:35 (30 minutes after pouring bleach into the pool) FC=24
    @2:41 FC=23 (full sun, 100 degrees)
    @4:06 FC=23 (partial sun, 106 degrees)

    The water is bright green, almost like a neon green, and still really cloudy - can't see the bottom of the pool.

    Am I on the right path here? I feel like with as green as the water is and with how hot the weather is, I should have more FC loss. ???
    pictures please. Bright neon green is many times indicative of metals in the water. But, with the cloudy water you may also have algae.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: New to TFP - Can't seem to get it right!

    i hope you are using the 0.5ppm method
    no need for extreme accuracy during the slam
    use the extended directions where each drop equals 0.5ppm
    your test kit will last much longer
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