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Thread: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

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    Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    I am moving into a home with a pool and started by taking a water sample to the closest pool store 2 days ago. The owners moved away 2 weeks ago and the pool was not cared for for 11 days. We've had lots of rain. I added what I was told: 4 gallons "liquid shock", 0.5 lbs. stabilizer/conditioner, and 11 of the 22 lbs. alkalinity plus called for. I was supposed to add another 11 lbs of alkalinity plus in 6-8 hours, but decided not to because I learned I probably didn't use an accurate volume estimate. I then discovered this forum and ordered a test kit (Taylor K2006) from Amazon. Here are the before...after test results from the pool store and from my new test kit 48 hrs. later:
    FC: 0.22...20
    CC: 0.16...0.2
    pH: 7.8...7.6
    TA: 52...120
    CH: 363...450
    CYA: 19...I'm going to guess 150. The black dot was no longer visible long before the level reached the first number (100).
    The water looks beautiful and has since we looked at the home for the first time 2.5 weeks ago. I need to figure out how to vacuum or use the Polaris. The sides look as though they could use a brushing. I had no trouble emptying all of the baskets and backwashing. The pool service owner only opens and closes the pool but he was happy to teach me how to do everything over the phone free of charge. He instructed me to add 3 pucks to each of the two skimmers. That's how the owners were chlorinating. Is that why the CYA level is so high? I'm much more interested in using the methods in this forum than using the pucks or the pool store chemicals. My volume estimate was 30,500 gallons (using the Pentair online calculator for a kidney-shaped pool), but the pool service owner said probably 26 or 28k gallons. I found a paper in the shed from the same pool store I went to dated 2008 (3 owners ago) which had a pool volume of 18k gallons. How do I use pool math to adjust any levels if I am unsure of the volume calculation? I don't know whether to use 18k, 27k, or 30k gallons. And which results do I need to be most concerned about adjusting first?
    Currently moving into a home (August 2016) with a kidney-shaped gunite in-ground pool. Probable volume 30k gallons (approx. 40' long, 20' wide shallow end, 16' wide deep end, 8.5' deep end, 3.5' shallow end). "Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter" and "Polaris Vac-Sweep" (but not sure what model). City water supply. Pool installed 1981 but tiles and coating recently redone. Taylor K2006 test kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Yes, trichlor pucks add CYA. You can do a diluted test to get a better idea of the cya level. More here, Pool School - Extended Test Kit Directions
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Welcome to TFP! Good to have you here And thanks for reading up on how to get the most from TFP.

    I did a couple of calculations using your information and I would start with 30,000 gallons. Then you can watch the effect of chemical additions and adjust it later one way or the other if need be.

    Maintain your FC around 15 ppm until your do the test mentioned above. It's described at point #9 in this link: Pool School - CYA
    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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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Thank you for pointing me to the instructions on the diluted CYA test, and for the advice about trusting the 30k volume estimate. My Speed Stir arrived today so I re-tested.
    FC 17.0
    CC <0.5
    pH 7.6
    TA 120
    CH 475
    CYA 200
    Is it the norm for the pool store tests to be so far off? Is it possible for CYA to climb from 19, which they said it was 3 days ago, to 200 because of the 1/2 lb stabilizer/conditioner they told me to add, and the 3 pucks I added to each of the 2 skimmers as instructed by the pool service? Did the 4 gallons of "liquid shock" they sold to me contain CYA? From what I've read on here, only the pucks and granular shock contain CYA, so hopefully it was good that I chose the liquid option. It seems I will have to stick with liquid chlorine from now on because of the high CYA. The cost of water in our community is astronomical, so I will have to gradually lower the CYA. Is the water to partially drain and refill cheaper than all of the bleach to keep the FC high enough? How high do I have to keep the FC with CYA of 200? Do I have to shock even if the water looks clear and beautiful, or should I do the overnight loss test to be sure there's nothing growing? Does the pH test mean anything at all if I have to keep the FC so high? Is the CH safe for a recently re-plastered and re-tiled pool?
    Currently moving into a home (August 2016) with a kidney-shaped gunite in-ground pool. Probable volume 30k gallons (approx. 40' long, 20' wide shallow end, 16' wide deep end, 8.5' deep end, 3.5' shallow end). "Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter" and "Polaris Vac-Sweep" (but not sure what model). City water supply. Pool installed 1981 but tiles and coating recently redone. Taylor K2006 test kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Yes, pool store testing is terribly unreliable as are test strips. We've seen it 1000s of times. That is why we are so insistent on testing your own pool with a good test kit. There is no sense trying to figure out why the test was wrong, it frequently is. Your CYA was 200 at the pool store too. It could actually be even higher, 300 or 400. We've seen it many times.

    No, liquid "shock" doesn't contain CYA, it is just a stronger percentage bleach or liquid chlorine. They are all the same except for the percentage of chlorine. More here, Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    The PH test is not valid when FC is over 10 ppm.

    Water is usually not as expensive as people think, call your water district and ask them. The incremental cost from a pool fill is usually not so much and sometimes they will waive sewage charges. It will use a lot more water to do it a little at a time ever than it will to do it all at once.
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Your CYA could be higher than 200 if you tested at 100 with the diluted test. The only silver lining I see is that you might have done the CYA test after you no longer had bright sun. Lower light conditions can give you a false high, but not too high. You still have a significant CYA issue and need to drain and refill. The question is how much you need to drain.

    Do you pay for water usage in your lease? Perhaps you could negotiate with the owners to share the cost of water replacement if you convince them that they will have a perfectly balanced pool in the end??? You and they WILL have that if you follow TFP methods.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Btw, I admire you investing in a great testkit being as you don't even own the pool. That shows the dedication that will lead to a great turnaround!

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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    It's a crying shame how the consumer gets messed around by the pool chemical companies. They train the pool stores, where the staff don't know any better. They're told that CYA doesn't matter, when at that high a concentration of CYA, trouble is almost guaranteed for the pool owner. But they make so much in sales, that the game is hard for them to resist.

    If the pool is free of algae, you may find the daily consumption of chlorine to be around normal at 2 or 3 ppm FC per day. But if you get an algae bloom, it will take an enormous amount of chlorine to get rid of it, and it may not even be possible.

    The experts do not approve of dilutions beyond 1:1 so I can't suggest a way to find out if you're above 200. That means we can't recommend an FC level. If you were sure of 200 ppm CYA, your target FC level would be 20 ppm FC.

    Your only choice, if you want to follow Trouble Free Pool Care (TFPC), is to drain the majority of the water and refill in order to bring your CYA level down to a maximum of 80 ppm, and preferably more like 50 ppm.

    Sorry to give you such bad news. You're not alone. Sadly, chem companies and pool stores believe it's in their best interest to advise you incorrectly with respect to your pool water chemistry, and cause these problems to keep you buying other damaging products.

    Your water balance is probably OK for your pool finish. I have to say probably because pH is a guess with FC higher than 10. If your pH is really 7.3, and there's a reasonable likelihood it's around that number, then the other chemistry is OK for the finish. But at the end of the day, the pool needs a substantial water exchange.
    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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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Quote Originally Posted by needsajet View Post
    It's a crying shame how the consumer gets messed around by the pool chemical companies. They train the pool stores, where the staff don't know any better. They're told that CYA doesn't matter, when at that high a concentration of CYA, trouble is almost guaranteed for the pool owner. But they make so much in sales, that the game is hard for them to resist.

    If the pool is free of algae, you may find the daily consumption of chlorine to be around normal at 2 or 3 ppm FC per day. But if you get an algae bloom, it will take an enormous amount of chlorine to get rid of it, and it may not even be possible.

    The experts do not approve of dilutions beyond 1:1 so I can't suggest a way to find out if you're above 200. That means we can't recommend an FC level. If you were sure of 200 ppm CYA, your target FC level would be 20 ppm FC.

    Your only choice, if you want to follow Trouble Free Pool Care (TFPC), is to drain the majority of the water and refill in order to bring your CYA level down to a maximum of 80 ppm, and preferably more like 50 ppm.

    Sorry to give you such bad news. You're not alone. Sadly, chem companies and pool stores believe it's in their best interest to advise you incorrectly with respect to your pool water chemistry, and cause these problems to keep you buying other damaging products.

    Your water balance is probably OK for your pool finish. I have to say probably because pH is a guess with FC higher than 10. If your pH is really 7.3, and there's a reasonable likelihood it's around that number, then the other chemistry is OK for the finish. But at the end of the day, the pool needs a substantial water exchange.
    It is too bad. I was just in a store recently getting a reagent I ran out of and the owner was trying to convince me to other stuff that had calcium or CYA. Without knowing my levels at all, he said it would be good to shock every week with his products. His 25 years of experience (I heard that at least 5 times in 5 minutes) indicated that calcium and CYA won't get too high here in FL since we have rain and splash out..... He also tried to convince me that his liquid chlorine was not the same as store bought bleach. I was very happy that I knew it was all wrong and I left.
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Thank you for the advice and compliment. The owners had their house on the market since April, and they lowered their lease price to 300 less than their mortgage payment. I would feel awful about asking them to pay for the water. We will most likely buy this home when ours sells, so I'm caring for the pool as if it is my own. I did the CYA test using natural daylight, but it was an overcast day. Pool math says to drain 26% to bring the CH down to 350 and 60% to bring the CYA down to 80 using a 30k gallon volume estimate. I will check with the water department to see how much a 25% drain and refill will cost. Maybe then I can get a better CYA measurement without paying for a 60% drain. Is water drained when the pool is closed? If so, how much? Will that help the situation at all? Should I get this situation under control before I close the pool, or wait until spring to fix everything? The pool service owner said he keeps his pool open until October 15th, and my daughter is begging me to keep it open that long. Most here close their pools Labor Day weekend. There are no trees near the pool so I should be able to keep the leaves away. In the mean time, I spent some time reading reviews and chose a pH meter from Amazon. That will at least give me the ability to know the pH while I have to keep the FC so high. I suppose I shouldn't mess with the pH until the meter arrives and I see what it has to say. I'm going out to compare local bleach prices and will start adding today to get the FC up to 23 (what pool math says is the upper goal for the current CYA estimate of 200). I'm going to keep testing daily to see how this pool responds to the pool math recommendations and see if the volume estimate seems accurate while I'm learning how to keep it clean and operate all of the equipment. Hopefully I can make a drain/refill decision after a week or 2.
    Currently moving into a home (August 2016) with a kidney-shaped gunite in-ground pool. Probable volume 30k gallons (approx. 40' long, 20' wide shallow end, 16' wide deep end, 8.5' deep end, 3.5' shallow end). "Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter" and "Polaris Vac-Sweep" (but not sure what model). City water supply. Pool installed 1981 but tiles and coating recently redone. Taylor K2006 test kit.

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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Where do your gutter downspouts drain to on pool side of the house. You could calculate roof sq ft and inches of rain to determine what type of gallons of water your roof turns to runoff in a rain.....divert the gutters keep track of rainfall...
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Wow! I just spoke with the water department and there will be no sewer charges if I drain and refill. We are only charged sewer on winter usage. Pool math says I would have to drain 18k gallons (60%) to bring the CYA down to 80. The water will cost $5.40 for each 748 gallons, so about $130. I guess I need to start reading about how to drain and refill. Should I wait until I'm sure the pool volume is 30,000 before I proceed? Will pool math tell me if my volume estimate is off? If so, how long will that take to figure out? And what if the CYA is higher than 200? Should my goal be to get the CYA lower than 80, like down to 50? When should I do the drain/refill, now, at closing time on October 15, or in the spring when I open the pool?
    Currently moving into a home (August 2016) with a kidney-shaped gunite in-ground pool. Probable volume 30k gallons (approx. 40' long, 20' wide shallow end, 16' wide deep end, 8.5' deep end, 3.5' shallow end). "Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter" and "Polaris Vac-Sweep" (but not sure what model). City water supply. Pool installed 1981 but tiles and coating recently redone. Taylor K2006 test kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    50 is a good goal but 80 is manageable. Adding bleach/chlorine, running the pump and brushing for 15/20 minutes and testing for expected outcome will help dial in your pool volume. A few times should get you there.

    There are a few ways to drain your pool.
    Rent a sump pump from lowes/HD and pump it out
    Start a siphon with a garden hose
    Buy a cheap sump pump from harbor freight
    Do you have a bottom drain and ability to close off suction to the skimmers?
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    All of the equipment is down hill from the pool. The pool service owner suggested I empty the pump basket last week but did not tell me to close the valves first. So I learned very quickly how to close the valves when water started spilling out all over and the rubber gasket came flying out. There are valves for both skimmer baskets and the bottom drain and I know how to open and close them now. When I tried to vacuum for the first time yesterday, I figured out I need to close the main drain valve and the skimmer I'm not using to vacuum in order to get the vacuum to work. Based upon the cobwebs and gunk in the vacuum hose I think the owner was using the Polaris. I really need to figure out how that works. The pool service owner suggested I backwash last week and told me all waste and backwash water comes out behind the pool shed. I looked and the area behind the shed and it is wooded and slopes steeply down into a ravine. My guess is there is a creek at the bottom. Will draining 18k gallons cause this creek to flood? Do I need to get permission? I've seen a few mentions on this forum of "floating the pool". How can I tell if that could be a problem for me? I'm going to try out the new pH meter tonight when I test and add chlorine. Can I try "A Chemical Way of Calculating Pool Volume" after I know what the pH is? Since TA is 120, I guess I should make sure I have enough titrant first.
    Currently moving into a home (August 2016) with a kidney-shaped gunite in-ground pool. Probable volume 30k gallons (approx. 40' long, 20' wide shallow end, 16' wide deep end, 8.5' deep end, 3.5' shallow end). "Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter" and "Polaris Vac-Sweep" (but not sure what model). City water supply. Pool installed 1981 but tiles and coating recently redone. Taylor K2006 test kit.

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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    I hope you have a main drain and shut off valve(s) from the skimmer(s):

    If you have a manual vacuum and hose, you can hook that up then leave it in the bottom of the pool upside down, but of course the hose and the cuff where it's attached have to seal up well for this to work. If it starts pulling air, you need to stop.

    If those options are possible, you use the pool pump to drain the pool. There is probably a spigot at the equipment pad for this purpose. You attach the biggest garden hose you can get your hands on, and lay out the hose to somewhere for the water to go.

    If these can't work, and you have a low spot to direct the water to, you can siphon by pushing a hose down into the pool to fill it with water, cover the free end with your hand, and then drag the free end to the low spot, then take your hand off and the siphon should start. If you have a manual vacuum hose, water will flow faster than through a garden hose, or multiple garden hoses would also speed it up.

    If none of those work, a dirty water submersible pump can be a nice thing to have. You hook that up to a hose to direct the water to where you want it to go, and then lower it into the pool and plug it in. Here's an example: 3/5 HP Submersible Dirty Water Pump with Tethered Float 2110 GPH
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    What about putting the sand filter on backwash waste, closing get the skimmer valves and pumping from the bottom drain?
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Whoops, sorry, I must have been looking at pooldv's signature re: filter.

    Yep, my mistake. If you're able to use the pool pump, set sand filter on backwash or waste and lay the backwash hose to wherever you can send the water.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    Yes, waste would be better.
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    I added bleach using pool math for the first time on Sunday. My local grocery store, Kroger, had their bleach on sale for $2.88/121 oz. bottle. The shelves were almost empty so I had to go to 3 Krogers to end up with the 8 jugs I wanted to start out with on hand. I hope this means it's relatively fresh, but some of the jugs so far haven't had a seal to peel off when I opened them for the first time. I wanted to bring FC up to 23 since my CYA estimate is currently 200. I didn't know I should have waited until sunset to add the bleach. I added it at 3 pm and it was sunny. My daughter was in for about 30 minutes and we vacuumed and brushed the walls after adding the bleach. She and a friend were in for about 30 minutes after school yesterday. I tested last night after dark and the FC had only gone up from 16 (tested right before I added) to 18.5 in about 30 hours. I increased my volume estimate from 30k to 31 and added more bleach. I was too tired to stay up and re-test, so I tested at sunrise. FC was 22.5. Maybe 31k is a good volume estimate. I tried a number of online pool volume calculators for kidney-shaped pools, and some said 30.5, but one said 31.5.

    I also tried the pH meter that arrived yesterday. I checked the calibration and it seemed to be right on. I do the Taylor pH test very quickly since FC is >10. Both the Taylor K-2006 test and the meter agreed the pH had gone up from 7.6 to 7.8 from the day before. This morning, however, the Taylor test said 8.0 and the pH meter said 8.2. I'm going out now to find MA because I think my daughter and her friend are going to want to swim again after school today. Should I put a goal into pool math of 7.5 or 7.8 before adding the MA? If I understand what I've read correctly, re-testing pH this morning may have been too soon after adding more bleach last night. Would using 7.5 as a goal if it lowers it more than that be a problem?

    Once I'm ready to do the partial drain/refill to lower CYA, how will I know the rate at which I'm draining? I'd like to drain only the number of gallons pool math tells me to. Is there information I can get about my pump that will tell me the gallons per minute it pumps out if I set it on "waste"?
    Currently moving into a home (August 2016) with a kidney-shaped gunite in-ground pool. Probable volume 30k gallons (approx. 40' long, 20' wide shallow end, 16' wide deep end, 8.5' deep end, 3.5' shallow end). "Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter" and "Polaris Vac-Sweep" (but not sure what model). City water supply. Pool installed 1981 but tiles and coating recently redone. Taylor K2006 test kit.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Just received test kit and need help with first test results.

    7.5 is fine. I get my MA at Lowes.

    No, pump info gpm will not be that curate or helpful. Best to estimate how many feet/inches you want to drain. I would leave a foot or so in the shallow end just to be on the safe side.
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