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Thread: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questions

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    Fleur's Avatar
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    Question I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questions

    Hello Everyone,

    I have multitude of problems with my SWG and our water. My calcium hardness is above 750 (TAYLOR K-2006 ). My TA constantly goes down, and I have to add soda to raise it above 80. I am thinking it goes down because Intelli PH dispenses acid very often. I keep my PH around 7.6, (well, Intelli PH keeps it), and I see white residue in my pool all the time. I have to buy muriatic acid and add it to the tank too often for my comfort. I have tiny green and possibly black algae spots all over the pool at the moment. My combine chlorine shows 0, FC 4.5. After my IntelliChlor IC40 was cleaned by a pool professional a month ago, (he was replacing a fuse), it shows as if I have high salt level (blinking green) when I know that my salt level was fine before the repair and I did not add anymore in the last year. I have 3 rust stains near one of the pump baskets (rebar problem?). They grew from just one spot to 3 during the last year. I see there is an accumulation of orange looking staff on the top of these spots and they falls down as little rust specs if I touch them.
    My CA is very low, around 20-30 because I have Intellichem (it is one of the requirements for it to operate properly). My IntelliChlor IC40 works 100% pretty much all day trying to get enough chlorine into the pool, but with the latest algie bloom I had to add liquid chlorine to get my FC to 4.5.
    I do not even have energy for a proper shock procedure because I think it will be a temporary measure anyway.
    What should I do? Do I refill water considering my fill water CH is somewhat reasonable? I have not measured it yet, but we live in Arizona, Phoenix area, it can be really bad depending on the time of the year. Will algae disappear by itself when the pool is drained?
    How can I know for sure if I have a rebar problem?

    I do not want to look at our pool right now, I wish we did not have it !

    Thank you for the input.
    AG SWG ~15,000 Pebble Tec + Spa :: Intellichem, SWG IntelliChlor IC40, Pentair Intelli pH, Clean & Clear Plus filter (spa), Triton II Sand Pool Filter, MiniMax NT heater, Jandy NeverLube valves X8
    Pentair IntelliFlo 3HP VS (pool filter), WhisperFlo 3 HP 1.15 SF (hot tub jets), SuperFlo VS (spa filter), Challenger 1 1/2 HP 1.47 SF (water features: spillway, fountains)

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    Re: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questio

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleur View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I have multitude of problems with my SWG and our water. My calcium hardness is above 750 (TAYLOR K-2006 ). My TA constantly goes down, and I have to add soda to raise it above 80. I am thinking it goes down because Intelli PH dispenses acid very often. I keep my PH around 7.6, (well, Intelli PH keeps it), and I see white residue in my pool all the time. I have to buy muriatic acid and add it to the tank too often for my comfort. I have tiny green and possibly black algae spots all over the pool at the moment. My combine chlorine shows 0, FC 4.5. After my IntelliChlor IC40 was cleaned by a pool professional a month ago, (he was replacing a fuse), it shows as if I have high salt level (blinking green) when I know that my salt level was fine before the repair and I did not add anymore in the last year. I have 3 rust stains near one of the pump baskets (rebar problem?). They grew from just one spot to 3 during the last year. I see there is an accumulation of orange looking staff on the top of these spots and they falls down as little rust specs if I touch them.
    My CA is very low, around 20-30 because I have Intellichem (it is one of the requirements for it to operate properly). My IntelliChlor IC40 works 100% pretty much all day trying to get enough chlorine into the pool, but with the latest algie bloom I had to add liquid chlorine to get my FC to 4.5.
    I do not even have energy for a proper shock procedure because I think it will be a temporary measure anyway.
    What should I do? Do I refill water considering my fill water CH is somewhat reasonable? I have not measured it yet, but we live in Arizona, Phoenix area, it can be really bad depending on the time of the year. Will algae disappear by itself when the pool is drained?
    How can I know for sure if I have a rebar problem?

    I do not want to look at our pool right now, I wish we did not have it !

    Thank you for the input.
    I think you should separate your rebar problem into its own thread in a construction forum to get more relevant responses.

    On the chemicals side if I was in your shoes I'd turn off all chem automation including SWG, took over chem control into my own hands, balance water manually and then start to bring 1 automation element at the time- SWG first then acid dispenser. It would make things easier to control.

    It also sounds like you need to start SLAM right now: run CYA / FC / pH / TA tests in one go, post results here and we'll help to determine what needs to be added and how much if you need help with that.

    Stable pool water takes very little effort to maintain, it barely takes 5 min of my time daily and thanks to this forum I never regretted getting house with the pool.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questio

    max2k hit the nail on the head. Your problems stem from reliance on those chemical automation systems, they are likely causing you the most problems because you are simply relying on the electronics to know what your pool needs and to dose the pool. The problem is, you have no real world feeling for what your pool water is doing and it is very easy for those automation systems to drift out of their useful operating range. I'm sorry if you spent a lot of money on them, but I truly believe that chemical automation systems like the ones you have (using positive feedback to control your sanitizer and pH levels) are totally worthless in a residential pool.

    I am also of the belief that the IntelliChem type systems are worthless here in the desert southwest because they require too low a CYA level in order to function. The high sun and heat here in the desert southwest absolutely requires outdoor pools to have CYA in them and it almost always has to be at concentrations above 50ppm to protect the pool water from extreme FC loss which then puts pool outside the useful range of ORP-controlled automation systems. You wind up having to run your SWG at 100% output for the entire time that the pool pump is running and it basically struggles to keep any chlorine levels in the water at all. Then your FC levels dive down below the proper minimums and algae takes over.

    Follow max2k's suggestion and you should be able to get your pool back on track in term's of chemistry. As for the rebar stains, can you post pictures of what you're seeing? pictures help a lot.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Fleur's Avatar
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    Re: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questio

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    max2k hit the nail on the head. Your problems stem from reliance on those chemical automation systems, they are likely causing you the most problems because you are simply relying on the electronics to know what your pool needs and to dose the pool. The problem is, you have no real world feeling for what your pool water is doing and it is very easy for those automation systems to drift out of their useful operating range. I'm sorry if you spent a lot of money on them, but I truly believe that chemical automation systems like the ones you have (using positive feedback to control your sanitizer and pH levels) are totally worthless in a residential pool.

    I am also of the belief that the IntelliChem type systems are worthless here in the desert southwest because they require too low a CYA level in order to function. The high sun and heat here in the desert southwest absolutely requires outdoor pools to have CYA in them and it almost always has to be at concentrations above 50ppm to protect the pool water from extreme FC loss which then puts pool outside the useful range of ORP-controlled automation systems. You wind up having to run your SWG at 100% output for the entire time that the pool pump is running and it basically struggles to keep any chlorine levels in the water at all. Then your FC levels dive down below the proper minimums and algae takes over.

    Follow max2k's suggestion and you should be able to get your pool back on track in term's of chemistry. As for the rebar stains, can you post pictures of what you're seeing? pictures help a lot.
    Thank you, max2k & JoyfulNoise, I will take photos and move rebar problem to another directory. I understand what you are saying, but at the same time I saw many people on these forums who are proponents of low CYA even without SWG. I just don't remember if it was a general discussion or area specific discussion.
    I was sleeping with a jar of muriatic acid before we installed IntelliPh, I actually love that it automatically dispenses acid. I am not too fond of IntelliChlor IC40 because I think it is underperforming compared to an Australian cell I had before (forgot the brand). Basically, I had problems stabilizing PH before, it was a constant struggle. That is why I am looking at calcium hardness and thinking maybe it the reason I have my issues. I am not a chemist, I am just guessing. I do not understand why my pool has to absorb so much acid with or without Intellichem to keep decent PH level. I am also not sure why my TA drops to such low levels. Some days I cannot spend even 5 minutes dealing with our pool (also, it was never 5 minutes for me before, more like 15-20) so automation was a solution. My algae bloom has to do with recent storms - I was not home and nobody cleaned pool baskets for 1,5 weeks. Even when I do not have algae in my pool, I still have dropping TA issue, high consumption of acid to keep PH at 7.6 and very high calcium hardness. I can slam the pool and get rid of algae, but it is not the main issue ( I apologize that I did not make it clear). Does anyone think my high calcium hardness can be a problem?
    AG SWG ~15,000 Pebble Tec + Spa :: Intellichem, SWG IntelliChlor IC40, Pentair Intelli pH, Clean & Clear Plus filter (spa), Triton II Sand Pool Filter, MiniMax NT heater, Jandy NeverLube valves X8
    Pentair IntelliFlo 3HP VS (pool filter), WhisperFlo 3 HP 1.15 SF (hot tub jets), SuperFlo VS (spa filter), Challenger 1 1/2 HP 1.47 SF (water features: spillway, fountains)

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    Re: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questio

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleur View Post
    Thank you, max2k & JoyfulNoise, I will take photos and move rebar problem to another directory. I understand what you are saying, but at the same time I saw many people on these forums who are proponents of low CYA even without SWG. I just don't remember if it was a general discussion or area specific discussion.
    I was sleeping with a jar of muriatic acid before we installed IntelliPh, I actually love that it automatically dispenses acid. I am not too fond of IntelliChlor IC40 because I think it is underperforming compared to an Australian cell I had before (forgot the brand). Basically, I had problems stabilizing PH before, it was a constant struggle. That is why I am looking at calcium hardness and thinking maybe it the reason I have my issues. I am not a chemist, I am just guessing. I do not understand why my pool has to absorb so much acid with or without Intellichem to keep decent PH level. I am also not sure why my TA drops to such low levels. Some days I cannot spend even 5 minutes dealing with our pool (also, it was never 5 minutes for me before, more like 15-20) so automation was a solution. My algae bloom has to do with recent storms - I was not home and nobody cleaned pool baskets for 1,5 weeks. Even when I do not have algae in my pool, I still have dropping TA issue, high consumption of acid to keep PH at 7.6 and very high calcium hardness. I can slam the pool and get rid of algae, but it is not the main issue ( I apologize that I did not make it clear). Does anyone think my high calcium hardness can be a problem?
    high CH will cause scaling but I don't think it can be relevant to pH creep or algae bloom. As I said I'd take over and manage pool chemistry manually to get an actual feeling (and numbers) and then re- introduce automation one parameter at a time. Your IC40 might very well underperforming because you have algae now and SWG is intended to compensate FC loss from the Sun, not to fight algae. The Sun breaks 1-2 ppm/day while algae can consume that in 30 minutes. Try to deal with problems one at a time.

    What is your fill water CH? Is partial drain/replacement an option?
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questio

    Max and Matt are right on here.

    First order a K-2006 or TF 100 test kit.

    Second give us the results

    Third turn all the auto systems off

    Fourth forget shocking, unless your object is to spend money, we are going to SLAM your pool to get rid of the algae. Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Fifth we will adjust your chemicals so its all balanced.

    Sixth we will turn on The SWG.

    Then its yours.

    I would not use intelgph or whatever its called. Unless you check the calibration once every couple of weeks. Its better to determine your pools needs and have a Stenner pump inject a consistent amount of acid. then check every few days and adjust. After a while you can either fine tune the Stenner.


    So go order a test kit and lets get started. We need reliable chemical test results.
    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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    txnole's Avatar
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    Re: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questio

    Great advice already provided, but I will say: I hear the frustration; it's well founded and understandable... but this is absolutely manageable. I'm interested to see your test results; too low CYA and Chlorine are likely your biggest enemies.

    Once everything is back to balance, your automation is ABSOLUTELY CAPABLE of managing your pool day to day, as long as you give it good tests / adjustments weekly. Can't wait to see the test results and maybe some pics!!
    COMPLETED BUILD THREAD - 15'x29' rectangular offset shotcrete pool; 14,100 gal; 5'x7' raised spa with 400k btu fire feature; 7' spillover; 25' leuder stone raised bond wall w/waterfall; Pentair SWG; Pentair VS (pool); Pentair 3/4hp feature pump; 1hp spa blower; Pentair Cartridge filter; Pentair “Easy Touch 8” wireless; Dolphin Oasis Z5 robot; Solar Hydronics iSwim solar panels; Mansard Screen Enclosure; walnut travertine deck; 1 very happy kiddo.

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    Re: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questio

    My only comment to the previous posts is this - you're going to have to choose between chlorine automation via ORP probe or by human fine tune and adjust. The IntelliChem/SWG system absolutely needs a CYA level less than 30ppm in order to function properly. There is absolutely no compromise on that point; it's a fundamental chemistry/equipment problem. The IntelliPH part of the system can probably be made to work reliably although I really never liked the idea of unattended acid additions (saving grace - IntelliPH does have hard-coded daily limits on dosing).

    With a CYA of 30ppm or less, your SWG is simply going to run at 100% output for as long as your pumps run. This is because the Arizona sun and heat is just so strong that UV loss is the dominant mechanism (assuming the water is clean). As I said, typically speaking in AZ you need a minimum of 50ppm CYA to protect FC from loss.

    If you choose to automate chlorine by human being, I think your IC40 will work reliably. I live in Tucson where we get plenty of heat and sun and I can make my IC40 work very reliably. But I would never be able to use am ORP prove to automate since my CYA works best at 70-80ppm which is far outside the operating ranges of an IntelliChem.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    txnole's Avatar
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    Re: I about to give up & refill my pool. Possible rebar problem too. A lot of questio

    FWIW, the current Pentair CYA recommendation for ORP is 30-50, not under 30. You may/may not be able to push it up to 60-80, but - I agree - one option is disabling the ORP
    COMPLETED BUILD THREAD - 15'x29' rectangular offset shotcrete pool; 14,100 gal; 5'x7' raised spa with 400k btu fire feature; 7' spillover; 25' leuder stone raised bond wall w/waterfall; Pentair SWG; Pentair VS (pool); Pentair 3/4hp feature pump; 1hp spa blower; Pentair Cartridge filter; Pentair “Easy Touch 8” wireless; Dolphin Oasis Z5 robot; Solar Hydronics iSwim solar panels; Mansard Screen Enclosure; walnut travertine deck; 1 very happy kiddo.

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