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Thread: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

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    New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Hi everyone! From my brief introduction to pools, I'm going to assume I'll be spending a lot of time on this forum. So thanks for the space and the help, and nice to meet all of you!

    Long story short, the people that were (now fired) maintaining my pool and the pool supply employees are as clueless as me. I've been dumping tons of chlorine in the pool (5-6 tabs every 2-3 days), and my levels are still at 0. I took a sample in and the supply store and after determining my chlorine is in fact 0 and my nitrates were 30, they sent me home with a $105 bucket of shock. After dumping the first half in, I began reading on the internet and learned that the nitrites created by the shock will return form to nitrates and that I basically just wasted $105. From what I can see, I need to drain a decent portion of my pool, but I'm hesitant to do that because it seems like a pita.

    My most recent numbers:
    FC 0
    TC 0
    CH 300
    CYA 99
    TA 90
    pH 7.2
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    TDS 1100
    Phosphates 0

    Would you guys agree that this shock is a waste of time (and money!) and that I need to dilute my pool?
    23,500 gal, In-ground, Concrete, Hayward Aquanaut 400 cleaner, Dyna Tech 1Hp pump, Hayward Star Clear Plus C1200 cartridge filter, SunRunner (by AquaPro) 1300 heat pump, Solar heater, Hayward AquaRite 900 SWG

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Welcome to TFP!

    You do need to do a partial drain on the pool. But, it is necessary to lower the CYA, nothing to do with nitrites or nitrates. TDS, nitrites, nitrates and phosphates are not important in pool care. I have never tested any of those.

    Step 1, read this ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and this Pool School - Test Kits Compared

    Step 2, order a good test kit. I use and recommend the TF-100 and I buy mine at TFTestkits.net.

    One problem is that pool store test results are very unreliable. Another is that the CYA test maxes out at 100 and could be 200, 300 or even more. We've seen it many times.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Quote Originally Posted by NickNorth11 View Post
    Hi everyone! From my brief introduction to pools, I'm going to assume I'll be spending a lot of time on this forum. So thanks for the space and the help, and nice to meet all of you!

    Long story short, the people that were (now fired) maintaining my pool and the pool supply employees are as clueless as me. I've been dumping tons of chlorine in the pool (5-6 tabs every 2-3 days), and my levels are still at 0. I took a sample in and the supply store and after determining my chlorine is in fact 0 and my nitrates were 30, they sent me home with a $105 bucket of shock. After dumping the first half in, I began reading on the internet and learned that the nitrites created by the shock will return form to nitrates and that I basically just wasted $105. From what I can see, I need to drain a decent portion of my pool, but I'm hesitant to do that because it seems like a pita.

    My most recent numbers:
    FC 0
    TC 0
    CH 300
    CYA 99
    TA 90
    pH 7.2
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    TDS 1100
    Phosphates 0

    Would you guys agree that this shock is a waste of time (and money!) and that I need to dilute my pool?
    Welcome to the forum.

    Each of those 3" tabs will only add 2.4ppm of FC to your 23K gallon pool, and will also add 1.4ppm CYA. Six tabs is only 14.4ppm of FC, and an additional 8.4ppm of CYA. As your CYA increases you need to increase your FC level to compensate. This is why we recommend liquid chlorine, aka bleach, as it only adds chlorine and a trace amount of salt.

    What exactly is this 'bucket of shock', and how much (oz's) have you added?

    As mentioned, ignore the nitrates, and the pool $tore. Do yourself, your pool, and your wallet a big favor and get one of the recommended test kits. I also recommend the TF-100.
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    If you want a crystal clear pool, you must learn how to manage the water chemistry. Stay the heck out of the pool store. You are allowing them to manage your pool and they are clueless.

    You will have to commit to doing your own testing and learning how to use your own good kit.

    Getting your CYA down to a manageable level is your first step......pita or not you have little choice.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Thanks guys! I'll start draining today. (BTW, any idea approximately what percentage I should drain/refill?) I read the ABC's and about the test kits. I'll see what my current kit has and doesn't have and order accordingly (I just paid $60 for my current kit). Regarding the type and amount of shock I have already added, it is Leslie's Power Powder Plus, and I have added 15lbs of it per their recommendation. I was going to add the remaining 10lbs this morning, but have not (and will not). Again, thank you guys for your responses!

    On a side note, I am planning to convert to salt water soon. Would you guys recommend waiting until I have drained the pool and refilled it to resolve the CYA issue?
    23,500 gal, In-ground, Concrete, Hayward Aquanaut 400 cleaner, Dyna Tech 1Hp pump, Hayward Star Clear Plus C1200 cartridge filter, SunRunner (by AquaPro) 1300 heat pump, Solar heater, Hayward AquaRite 900 SWG

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    (BTW, any idea approximately what percentage I should drain/refill?)
    It's a bit difficult because of that bogus result of 99 for your CYA, (99 is as high as their test will go, you could easily be higher)

    I would suggest you drain 50% (roughly) and then retest CYA.....please do it yourself. Then be prepared to drain 50% again if your CYA is still not down to 60 or so. Keep doing those 50% increments until you get a CYA of somewhere between 40-60.

    I cannot emphasize enough the importance of you learning and testing. It is the center of what we teach.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Nobody can tell you how much to drain until we have a reliable CYA test number. As was stated earlier, CYA tests max out at 100, but could easily be way over that.

    A reliable and repeatable test is an absolute necessity to maintain your water.

    And, Yes, wait until your water chemistry is under control before switching the SWG on. You can install it and get everything ready to go in the mean time.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
    Vinyl in-ground
    Hayward 250# Sand Filter
    1 HP Pump
    Hayward SWG

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Quote Originally Posted by NickNorth11 View Post
    Thanks guys! I'll start draining today. (BTW, any idea approximately what percentage I should drain/refill?) I read the ABC's and about the test kits. I'll see what my current kit has and doesn't have and order accordingly (I just paid $60 for my current kit). Regarding the type and amount of shock I have already added, it is Leslie's Power Powder Plus, and I have added 15lbs of it per their recommendation. I was going to add the remaining 10lbs this morning, but have not (and will not). Again, thank you guys for your responses!

    On a side note, I am planning to convert to salt water soon. Would you guys recommend waiting until I have drained the pool and refilled it to resolve the CYA issue?
    The Power Powder Plus is 73% Cal-Hypo, and it should have added 57ppm FC. Did you test right after adding it? This would have also added 40ppm of CH to your already high level of 300ppm.

    This is the typical "shock and pray" pool $tore approach.

    It's hard for us to recommend what to do without reliable test results.

    What does your current test kit check? Which kit is it exactly?
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Ok. The pool is currently draining. I'm assuming it's going to take all day to get 50% out of it since it's just draining through a garden house via the filter, but I'll retest after refilling and report back.

    Dom, I currently have a Leslie's (Taylor) Total Poolcare DPD Test Kit (their most comprehensive/expensive kit). The only number I see on it is 18-576. It does not say FAS/DPD, just DPD, so I'll have to purchase the FAS/DPD test. And no, I haven't retested yet.
    23,500 gal, In-ground, Concrete, Hayward Aquanaut 400 cleaner, Dyna Tech 1Hp pump, Hayward Star Clear Plus C1200 cartridge filter, SunRunner (by AquaPro) 1300 heat pump, Solar heater, Hayward AquaRite 900 SWG

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    At that price, I would just get the TF-100 with XL option and the speed stir. More of the tests you actually need.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me) Goldline SWG Intermec 104 TImer Test kit K-2006-C

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Draining is taking forever so I'm buying a sump pump. Is filling half of my 23,000 gallon pool going to take days?

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    If you have a hose for your vacuum, that will drain it in no time.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Fill a 5 gallon bucket with your hoses and time it. Then just do a little math to estimate the required time.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me) Goldline SWG Intermec 104 TImer Test kit K-2006-C

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Ok. So I've drained 1/3 of my pool and refilled it. My FC is still maxing out my cheapo test's reading (1-5 scale), as it has been. I had a hard time reading the CYA test due to reflection off the water (as did the pool supply employee), but I thought I got 65ish and he guessed somewhere between 70-90. According to the chart, it looks like my FC should be about 8, correct? My wife doesn't want me to spend another $100 on a test kit to get more accurate readings, so I won't be able to figure out my exact FC.

    Also, I was waiting to get things inline before I converted to SWG. Do you guys think it's safe to go ahead and switch now?

    Lastly, my CH didn't drop at all with the dilution process. It stayed at 350. Is this normal?
    23,500 gal, In-ground, Concrete, Hayward Aquanaut 400 cleaner, Dyna Tech 1Hp pump, Hayward Star Clear Plus C1200 cartridge filter, SunRunner (by AquaPro) 1300 heat pump, Solar heater, Hayward AquaRite 900 SWG

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    Without the FAS/DPD kit you will not be able to figure you exact chlorine and you will need to know it. My husband was not big on me spending so much for the proper test, but once he saw what we were saving on chemicals, he is ok with it now.
    VinDeeLoo
    7600 gallons ~ AG ~ Summer Waves Cartridge C Filter ~ using pump that came with our Summer Waves 18 x 48 pool ~ Taylor K-2006 (SpeedStir & Sample Sizer) ~ no well water or water restrictions

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    TFTestkits.net sells the FAS/DPD individual tests.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    So I ordered the individual FAS/DPD test today, but I have company coming over today and tomorrow. Is there any way to tell if my pool is safe?

    Current numbers:

    CYA 55
    FC >5
    TA 70 (I have added 10 lbs of baking soda to fix this.) (*Edit:now 100)
    pH 6.8 (See above) (*Edit: now 7.2)
    CH 300
    23,500 gal, In-ground, Concrete, Hayward Aquanaut 400 cleaner, Dyna Tech 1Hp pump, Hayward Star Clear Plus C1200 cartridge filter, SunRunner (by AquaPro) 1300 heat pump, Solar heater, Hayward AquaRite 900 SWG

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New here (and to pools) and having nitrate problems

    It is safe to swim when
    FC is above minimum and up to shock level for your CYA, FC/CYA Chart
    The PH is 7.2 to 7.8
    The water is clear

    Also, the pH test is not valid when FC is above 10.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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