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Thread: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

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    HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Help needed! We just renovated our pool 3 weeks ago. The pool man has been trying to get our water straight continuously and has not been successful. To begin with, he stated our phosphates were way too high. From what I've seen on here, that's not an issue. I need some help getting this pool in line!

    Here's the issue: PH is 6.2. For the past week, he has added 9 lbs of shock a day and added 18 yesterday. FC is at zero in as little as 3 hours each time. CYA is 30. Alk is 140. FC is above 10.

    20x40 Grecian Vinyl
    SWG

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Who is going to take care of the pool, you or him?

    Who is doing the testing and what are they using?

    What kind of "shock" is he using?

    We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Order a TF100. That will give you what you need while you are stabilizing the pool, and probably enough reagents for a couple of years normal use.

    While you wait for it to get delivered, you have a homework reading assignment. Start with ABCs of Water Chemistry
    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: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    I will be taking care of the pool. I will order the test kit today and have already done the homework . From what I can tell, I have to raise the PH and continue to shock until break through chlorination is achieved. I feel that the problem is that he is shocking only once a day. Yesterday was the first day that the pool was not green. He is shocking with Calcium Hypochlorate.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Welcome to TFP!

    PH below 7.2 is very bad for your pool and equipment. It is important to maintain PH between 7.2 and 7.8 at all times. Dichlor and trichlor are very acidic and will lower pH. More here on pool chems, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    +1 to ordering a TF-100 from TFTestkits.net. It is the kit I use. Here's why, Pool School - Test Kits Compared
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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    BTW- Pool guy has given up and wants to drain pool and start over!

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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Welcome to TFP cindyhmorris

    Draining and re-filling is always an option just depends on how much trouble and expense is involved. Being you're in Georgia water is likely not restricted and also cheap.

    Curing your porblem is likely just a matter of getting the ph in the proper range first and then adding chlorine (FC) and holding it at a high enough level to kill the algae.
    (TF100 kit link in my signature. Take a look at the Speed Stir too, it's very handy when testing)

    More frequent testing and adjustments will cut down the time a SLAM takes. But that pH really needs to be corrected before anyone tries to kill off the algae.

    Just in case, hopefully you know you can't test pH accurately when the FC is over 10. That's why it needs to be adjusted before you start to SLAM or shock.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ?° too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Just noticed you said today is the first day it isn't green. Then you're close to a cure and starting over now shouldn't be part of the solution IMHO since the CYA is good too.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ?° too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Thanks! Draining and refilling is an option, but I'm afraid the same issues will present with the refill as we've had these issue from day 1. I've started trying to bring the PH up using sodium carbonate. Hopefully, I can get that adjusted today, get a good test kit by Tuesday and start over. I honestly don't want to drain and refill. It also costs a lot in terms of electricity and wear and tear on our deep well. I love the work the pool guy did to completely renovate our pool, but think I can get this water in line better than he can right now! Thanks for all your suggestions!
    32K gallon, 20X40 IG vinyl grecian, Sand filter, SWG, Well water, TF 100

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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    With a good test kit you should have no problems. Well none that we can't all solve together.
    After all , , , it's just water.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ?° too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Agreed that the water is salvageable. As long as CYA and/or CH aren't off the charts high water chemistry can always be corrected.
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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    How long do you wait after adding chlorine bleach to test for free chlorine?
    32K gallon, 20X40 IG vinyl grecian, Sand filter, SWG, Well water, TF 100

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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Cindy, these folks here will walk you thru, step by step. Once you get your test kit, you'll be able to post your readings in here and use the pool calculator. Good luck!!! I have to do our pool too, and I ALWAYS come back for help here. I came home to algae last week, and it's gone.
    Helen
    Dallas Area, 16,000 gal IG, Easytouch 8 computer, Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed pool pump, Pentair Smart Pump 4x160, Pentair 3/4 HP Booster Pump, FNS 60 DE 60, Mastertemp 400, Rainbow 320, Dual Timer w/ freeze protection, Intellichor SWG, TF100 Test Kit, POOL FILLED AUG 3, 2012, ORDER YOUR TF100 KIT FROM http://tftestkits.net
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/under...ie-t49936.html

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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Please, take a little time and do some reading on our site. You are saying things that are "pool store/pool industry" quotes that have no real basis in pool care for a residential pool. The one that jumps out at me is "continue to shock until break through chlorination is achieved". Get the idea of "shocking" out of your mind. We do not "shock" our pools.

    OK, so you have added multiple pounds of CalHypo.

    CalHypo raises the calcium (we refer to it as CH) level of the water. When the CH gets too high it is very easy to have calcium scale form in your pool. Think of little stalagmites all over the floor or even the walls of the pool.

    So, the testing numbers didn't list your CH level. But, you also didn't answer the question - Who is doing the testing and what are they using?

    As you are ordering a TF-100 (good choice) I have to assume a "pool professional" has been testing the water. Not much credence is given to professional testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing. We will wait for your testing to get "real" numbers.

    For now I suggest -

    *Tell the pool man he is correct, as he has given up his services are no longer required - you will fix the water

    *No more granular shock

    *Turn off the SWG, or at least turn it down to about 50% for now.

    *Add one bottle (121oz/8.25%) generic bleach to the pool with the pump running each day until you get your test kit.

    *Visit WalMart and purchase the bleach and an inexpensive 2 way test kit (about $8), mainly for the pH test. While there, also purchase several boxes of 20 Mule Team® Borax Natural Laundry Booster. It is sold in the laundry detergent section of most larger grocery stores and some big box stores. Please note, you do not want detergent, you want Borax Natural Laundry Booster. 20 Mule Team® Borax Natural Laundry Booster is almost always less expensive than the sodium carbonate from the pool store. Secret is, it's the same stuff in different packages.

    * Now, use Pool Math to calculate your pool volume.

    *Before you add your bleach to the pool, test the chlorine and pH. If as you have said is true, the chlorine will read "0" and the pH will probably be off the bottom of the scale. If the chlorine reads anything higher than "0" stop and let us know before you continue with what I have below.

    *Use the calculated volume in Pool Math to determine how much 20 Mule Team® Borax Natural Laundry Booster to add to raise your pH from whatever your scale's lowest number is to 7.5 Use half that amount and add it to the pool by pre-dissolving it in a bucket of water and then pouring that slowly in front of a return. Wait 30 minutes, test the pH and repeat until you get the pH around 7.5 Once there add your bleach for the day.

    OK, still with me? Remember I said "continue to shock until break through chlorination is achieved" is pool industry speak? They feel throwing massive single doses of chlorine at a pool will break the back of an algae bloom. It might, be we have a better way - we call it a SLAM.

    Read up on the the directions on SLAMing your pool in the How To section of Pool School as that is the procedure you will be following once you have your test kit. We prove through testing that the algae is gone when:




    • CC is 0.5 or lower;
    • You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    • The water is clear.


    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.

    Questions?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by cindyhmorris View Post
    How long do you wait after adding chlorine bleach to test for free chlorine?
    Just long enough for the water to circulate it through the pool. 30 minutes is usually good.
    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: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Got it Tim! Thank you for your help. I'll get the Borax and let you know as soon as I get reliable test results! This is my first go around with a pool in 10 years so I'm a little rusty!
    32K gallon, 20X40 IG vinyl grecian, Sand filter, SWG, Well water, TF 100

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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    I have to up my Borax as it's getting low and I found out that Walmart no longer carries it, at least not around here !! They used to have the best price. You might want to see if your local Walmart still has it.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ?° too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Our Dollar General carries it.
    32K gallon, 20X40 IG vinyl grecian, Sand filter, SWG, Well water, TF 100

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by cindyhmorris View Post
    Got it Tim! Thank you for your help. I'll get the Borax and let you know as soon as I get reliable test results! This is my first go around with a pool in 10 years so I'm a little rusty!
    plus, if my suggestions begin to make me sound overbearing just tell me so. My mind was running at 90 miles an hour - first on how to fix your pool and secondly on how a "professional" messes up a new fill....
    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: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    plus, if my suggestions begin to make me sound overbearing just tell me so. My mind was running at 90 miles an hour - first on how to fix your pool and secondly on how a "professional" messes up a new fill....
    No worries! I just appreciate the help!

    Pool guy/store has been doing the testing. I've ordered the kit and I'll start as soon as it arrives.
    32K gallon, 20X40 IG vinyl grecian, Sand filter, SWG, Well water, TF 100

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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    I finally have a kit. Here are my results:
    PH 7.8
    FC 12
    CC 10
    CH 450
    TA 320
    CYA 90

    Pool is clear.
    32K gallon, 20X40 IG vinyl grecian, Sand filter, SWG, Well water, TF 100

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: HELP Low PH and No Free Chlorine

    Are you sure about that CC 10? Seems unlikely . Take a look at the extended directions to be sure, Pool School - Extended Test Kit Directions

    Did you wipe the tip on the TA test? Double check those directions also.

    Please add which test kit you use to your sig.
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