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Thread: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

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    Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Hello all! This is my first time posting. I have a 12,000 Gal. In ground, Cody pebble tech pool. It's a little over a year old. We've had problems with yellow algea on the walls lately but the water has always been really clear. I finally called a pool company and they told me that CYA was off the charts and we will have to drain our whole pool. My question is-should I get a second opinion? I'm dreading the hassle and swampy yard, and that brings me to my 2nd question: if I do drain, what do I do with all that water? I don't think my neighbors would appreciate their yards flooded either. 3rd and final question, how could the CyA be that high in only a year?

    Thanks so much, I really appreciate (in advance) all the expert knowledge!!

    T

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Do you have to drain the whole pool? ...... that's hard to know without knowing your exact CYA. Here's what I would suggest ..
    - Make sure you have a TF-100 test kit of your own. You'll need it anyways to maintain your pool year-round. (link below)
    - Do a CYA diluted test as follows:
    Add pool water to bottom of sticker.
    Add tap water to top of sticker.
    Shake.
    Pour out half so mixture is to bottom of sticker.
    Add reagent to top of sticker.
    Shake.
    Test outside with back to sun and tube at waist level.
    Pour back and forth a few times to see if you get the same result.
    Double the result.
    Once you know your true CYA, then you can go to the Poolmath calculator to figure out how much water to change-out.

    Don't take someone else's word for it or guess which might waste your time & money. The proper test kit and the calculator link will do the work for you every time. Nice to have you with us.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As a side note, I keep my CYA around 60-70 in the summer. If your CYA is anything under 70, you can work with that and begin to take actions to adjust FC to kill any algae.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    dsmith99's Avatar
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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tmart View Post
    My question is-should I get a second opinion? I'm dreading the hassle and swampy yard, and that brings me to my 2nd question: if I do drain, what do I do with all that water? I don't think my neighbors would appreciate their yards flooded either. 3rd and final question, how could the CyA be that high in only a year?

    T
    You should have your own reliable test kit and test your water yourself. A TF-100 or Taylor K-2600 are excellent choices that allow you to accurately test your water right in your home. With a little knowledge from here you can be an expert in no time and take control of your pool.

    You can drain the pool more slowly with a small pump or siphon hose, move the hose often and this will allow the water to soak in rather than pool up. You could also drain it to somewhere besides into the yard. I run my hose out to the curb and send it to the storm drain, many areas don't have storm sewers and some places may not allow this. You could route it to a floor drain or even into a bathtub and send it to the sewer system assuming you have city sewer, this would require draining more slowly and carefully monitoring the process.

    How do you chlorinate?

    Dry chlorine products such as tablets or shock are "stabilized chlorine" which means they include a large amount of CYA (stabilizer) with each tablet or bag. Your chlorine burns off each day but the CYA remains and accumulates (rapidly) over time. Liquid chlorine products such as bleach or liquid pool shock are a much better choice to chlorinate your pool. These add only chlorine, water and a small amount of salt. Another option would be to convert your pool to salt and install a Salt Water Generator. The SWG uses electrolysis to convert the salt in the pool to chlorine. Most users here test daily and chlorinate with plain household bleach by dosing their pool daily as indicated by the test results. These two options are pretty much your choices to get pure chlorine without adding the extra unwanted chemicals. You too can keep your pool water clear and perfect while spending very little money doing so.
    AGP 24' x 54" approx 14000 gal Full sun all day
    Hayward 1.5 HP and EC50 D.E. filter
    Stenner 45MPHP2 3 gal/day fixed rate pump and timer
    330 gallon Tiger River Spa
    Taylor K-2600C test kit


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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    For demonstration purposes let's say you use pucks. And for ease of numbers we can say its four pucks a week. That's 52 weeks times four pucks. That's over 200 pucks in a year. The chlorine from each puck is 3 ppm and the stabilizer is 1 ppm(I'm just using easy numbers here) your pool uses up the 3ppm of chlorine and its gone by the end of the week.... BUT the cya level has steadily went up every single week by 4ppm....your pool now has 208ppm in it after a year! Those numbers are hypothetical....but do you see how it works now? This never took into consideration rain, backwashes, fills, or splash out. Hope that helps!

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Thank you all so much for the warm welcome. I just purchased the TF-100. Once we get this all figured out I will only use the TFP way from here on out. I'm super stressed that our very expensive pool that is less than a year old is (likely) already in need of draining.

    One more question. If we do have to drain, the pool people we are speaking with suggest installing a 3 valve pump to aid in draining, costing 205.00. Cost to drain, clean the walls with chlorine, then refill and balance water will run us 300.00 Does this sound right? I'm not sure if this forum allows suggestions on companies in Central TX to use, but if so, I would appreciate them!

    Thanks!
    T

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Welcome!

    We're all about doing stuff ourselves if possible. If you want to be hands on, we can help you out.

    First thing we need is a list of all your equipment, including model numbers. You can add that to your signature by looking here:
    Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post
    Have a look at my signature and those of others for examples.

    Based on your equipment, we can make suggestions for draining. Probable worst case is rent a sump pump from Home Depot for around $50 and drain yourself. You can hose down the walls as the pool drains, if needed. I haven't heard of anyone here washing the walls with chlorine.

    I'd recommend NOT having them balance the chemicals. You can quite easily do that on your own once you have the TF-100 test kit.

    Of course, first things first. After the kit arrives, post up a full set of test results and we can help you from there. Don't forget to reference the instructions for the diluted CYA test that Pat (Texas Splash) posted above.
    Gene
    ​12,300 gal IG play pool - Pebbletec - built 10/1999 || Hayward S360SX 36" sand filter || Hayward Ecostar SP3400 VSP || A&A In-Floor cleaning system || Quik Water Leveler || Quik Dek-clor (limited use)
    TF-100 testkit / Speedstir - A good test kit is not an expense, it's an investment

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Please post pictures of your pump, filter, plumbing and anything else on the equipment pad. That will also help us to answer your questions.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Do you have a harbor freight close by? Grab one or two of their sump pumps! Then you'll have them for other jobs too! I think this job is doable and save yourself some money!

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
    6500 gallon SummerWaves AGP. Taylor k-2006, skimmer/pump all in one included with the pool. City water

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by JEC11718 View Post
    Do you have a harbor freight close by? Grab one or two of their sump pumps! Then you'll have them for other jobs too! I think this job is doable and save yourself some money!
    This. For the cost they are quoting you, you could buy a few pumps and see an immediate ROI. Even if you just rent a pump from Lowes or Home Depot it's only going to cost you somewhere around $60.

    You also won't need to scrub the walls with chlorine, etc unless you're fighting algae right now.

    So to recap:
    1. You can maintain a pool with high CYA no problem - it just takes more chlorine to keep it clear, and you want to be extra careful not to have an algae breakout since it will be nearly impossible to SLAM the pool to get rid of it. My pool had nearly 300ppm CYA when I inherited it, and I kept it clear for months by simply keeping the FC level high enough to account for the extra CYA.
    2. You can drain your pool yourself. If you're simply reducing CYA and the pool is otherwise clean and clear, just drain it and refill it (make sure your fill water doesn't have metals!). No need to scrub walls, etc. I would, however, suggest that you remove the light fixture and spray it out with the hose while you've got the pool drained to get rid of any accumulated gunk or sediment back there. Be sure to keep the plaster wet while the water level is low to help prevent it from drying out and being damaged.
    3. You'll still need to pay the cost of water. You can contact your water provider and they can give you a rough quote of how much your bill will be with the extra water usage.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    PentAir WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, PentAir CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, PentAir SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    You have us backing you up for moral support! Drain 12" and fill. Repeat the next day! You can lower it quickly with steady draining and filling! 12" of water could be close to 1000-2000 gallons of water. Dilution is your solution to pollution (i.e. cya). Put sump pump on one end and fill hose on other. BAM! Saved you $500!!!!!!!!

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
    6500 gallon SummerWaves AGP. Taylor k-2006, skimmer/pump all in one included with the pool. City water

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Hi and thanks! I set up my signature, I can't find model numbers at the moment but will add them when I do. I am waiting on the kit, and will post test results. As of right now, we occasionally drain a couple inches out of the pool at a time (due to rain) using a regular water hose and spigot that is attached to the equipment. It takes forever so a sump pump is probably needed. The pool guy who initially gave us an estimate said it looks like we have a minor case of mustard algae--I'm thinking that is the reason for the chlorine wash.

    Oh, and one other thing, I read somewhere that if you drain your pool it could float out of the ground from the hydrostatic (I think that's what it's called) pressure. This scares me to death! Do i need to worry about this? It has been pretty wet lately so the ground is saturated.
    TMart
    13K Gal, IG PebbleTec, Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 Variable Pump, Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge filter.
    Built in July 2015. Soon to be using TF-100 testing kit, with a Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer cleaner.


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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    When it comes to draining, we generally say to not lower any further than the lowest step or about 12" from the bottom, so you have plenty of room to drain. Since you have a cartridge filter, you probably only have that small hose bib at the bottom like I do (My Pool pics in my sig). That's a slow way to do it for sure. If you have no other plumbing option to drain quicker, then as noted above a sump pump of some type would go quicker, or perhaps even a couple additional garden hoses to siphon simultaneously. Of course if you have no main drain, you can't drain any lower than your poolside skimmer to keep the pump running, so it may take several attempts. But once you get your test kit and can run accurate numbers, you'll be in a much better position to make decisions from there.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    kcindc's Avatar
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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Yes, pools with high water tables can pop the pool out of the ground if you drain too much water from the pool.

    Let's get a reliable CYA result when you kit gets in and see what you are dealing with. We will help you figure out a safe plan. In the mean time, take a deep breath and relax. You can add 1/2 a jug of 8.25% bleach a day. Wal-Mart great value brand is very economical, convenient for most and is usually very fresh.
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig Heater 336K BTU, TF-100 test kit.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    T-Mart, I literally just went through this a week ago!! Our pool is 9 months old and we started out using the ducks based on the PB recommendations. This summer we got algae twice and I couldn't keep the pool looking good, so I FINALLY ordered the Taylor K-2006 test kit and found my CYA to be 200!! So, we drained the entire pool (should have listened to TFP math calculator and done 85% like it suggested bc I ended up having to BUY CYA, lol!) Anyway, we bought a pump at Harbor Freight and a long hose and pumped it out to the street so it went down the street into the storm drain around the corner. Now, the pump we bought was a piece of garbage and it took 3 days to drain. I was stressing about the pebble sheen finish, etc, but as soon as the pool was drained, we got it filled up quickly (we had three hoses going on the pool) and now I am just getting it to the point of being balanced. If you buy the kit and follow the TFP pool math tab plus just use the bleach, muriatic acid and baking soda as needed, you won't have the high CYA levels so quickly again. I am wondering if this is why my PB recommended a yearly drain, bc they know the CYA levels will be high. The biggest question is, why in the heck are PB not teaching us this method?!?! Finally, the ONLY way to lower CYA is to drain. Good luck and keep us posted.
    _______________________________
    15k gal, 16x32 IG, baja shelf, Gunite/Blue Smurf Pebblesheen with double Shimmering Seas
    Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter, tristar VS pump, and aquanaut 400 vac
    Pool completed December 2015
    Taylor K-2006 test kit; Pool filled with city water, no restrictions, Phx, AZ

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Local ordinances dictate where you can drain your pool water. Some municipalities allow pool water down the storm drain, others do not as they classify pool water as "treated water" and that's not allowed down drains. You need to find out what your local code requires.

    If you are allowed to drain into your sanitary waste line (household sewer line) then you need to do so carefully. Too high a flow rate through your sewer line and you can back pool water up into your showers and toilet bowls.

    Finally, drain and fill when the weather cools. Plaster surfaces should never be exposed to air temperatures above 85F and low relative humidity as that can dry out the plaster and lead to shrinkage cracks. If you can wait until its cool, that best. If not, drain a pool in the late afternoon as quickly as you can and then refill right away to keep the plaster protected.
    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, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by az_fam View Post
    I am wondering if this is why my PB recommended a yearly drain, bc they know the CYA levels will be high. The biggest question is, why in the heck are PB not teaching us this method?!?! Finally, the ONLY way to lower CYA is to drain. Good luck and keep us posted.
    I so agree, it seems almost illegal!!!
    TMart
    13K Gal, IG PebbleTec, Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 Variable Pump, Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge filter.
    Built in July 2015. Soon to be using TF-100 testing kit, with a Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer cleaner.


  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by kcindc View Post
    Yes, pools with high water tables can pop the pool out of the ground if you drain too much water from the pool.

    Let's get a reliable CYA result when you kit gets in and see what you are dealing with. We will help you figure out a safe plan. In the mean time, take a deep breath and relax. You can add 1/2 a jug of 8.25% bleach a day. Wal-Mart great value brand is very economical, convenient for most and is usually very fresh.
    My husband thanks you for the "deep breath and relax" advice So I got my kit and the numbers...should I continue to post on this thread? If so, here you go... (if not please let me know the best way).

    CYA-180-200 I did two tests so it's definitely somewhere in between
    Chlorine-2 ppm
    PH-7.5
    FC- 0...I think it did not turn pink
    CC-0
    CH-525 ppm
    TA-100

    Looks like I'll have to drain not only b/c of the CYA but also the Calcium. Ok, all the advice I can get is appreciated!

    Thanks!
    TMart
    13K Gal, IG PebbleTec, Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 Variable Pump, Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge filter.
    Built in July 2015. Soon to be using TF-100 testing kit, with a Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer cleaner.


  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Couple of quick things, test your tap CH level. That may be why you have high CH, or using lots of cal hypo. Dont sweat it if it is high, there are ways to manage higher CH levels, but it would be nice to know if your CH is going to drop with a water exchange

    High CYA means a drain, which you already guessed. If you plug your pool data into pool math at the top of the page it will make a recommendation on how much will need to be drained to get down to 60-70ppm suggested above for CYA. Now dont take offence but the CYA test can be a little tricky and is light dependant so are you comfortabel with teh number you got? Also did you know there was a video for the CYA test https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxaqoW-_MCs and the extended testing instructions are here http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...Kit-Directions

    While knowing your CYA is important I find I can be plus/minus 10ppm on the test. I redo the test a couple of times, with the same water until I feel comfortable with the result I get

    Not sure what happened with your chlorine tests. You show chlorine at 2ppm and FC (free chlorine) at 0. You need to get more chlorine in the pool to stop it getting greener, while you put together a plan to drain your pool. I'm not sure how high you should go but if it were my pool I would use bleach to raise it to 10ppm. Poolmath will calculate that for you too

    hth
    6000 gal, AG vinyl, Intex ultra frame 16ft, 1200 Gallon Sand Filter, DIY Solar, Clear Choice Labs Testing Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    You are on the way to having your own Trouble Free Pool! It is a shame PB and Pool $tores do not care about what the tablets and powder stuff does to the water. It is all $$ for them

    Trust your tests. Use pool Math. Ask LOTS of questions BEFORE you do anything.

    I would NOT drain your whole pool. Ask Pool Math how much to drain and do it in steps if you need to.

    Brush your pool to get the algae off the walls and bottom.

    You will need to do a SLAM when you have it refilled. Look in my siggy for the link.

    Lets keep this as your main thread. Your "story" is here and a good one.

    I can't wait for you to see your water once you get it all balanced using TFP and a good test kit! You just thought is was clear before!

    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit, Become a TFP supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Too much CYA, do I have to drain the whole pool?

    Ok! Today is the day! This weekend we are partially draining about 30%. The weather is cooler here and I feel like we have enough grasp on what we need to do to get the CYA down at least for the winter. We will test as we go! I plan to test our water hardness out of the tap,as well...but there is not a lot I can do about that one. See the tests below... As always any advice is appreciated!!

    CYA-170-190 I did two tests so it's definitely somewhere in between
    FC-1 ppm (we wanted this low as to not kill our grass.)
    PH-7.5
    CC-0
    CH-525 ppm
    TA-100

    Thanks!

    -Desperately seaking low CYA

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