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Thread: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

  1. #1
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    Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    I set up my pool 10 days ago. I was using the aquachek 7 way test strips before but I had a really hard time matching the colors so I decided to splurge for the tf100 kit and I received it today.

    6/16 Intex 3 way test strip results
    ph: 7.2
    ta: 0
    tc: 3

    Using the pool calculator, we added 120oz of baking soda and 8oz of borax...Big Mistake! I knew we should have added the chemicals little by little instead of all at once.

    6/18 Aquachek 7 way test strip results
    fc: 3
    cc: 0
    tc: 3
    ph: 8.4
    ta: 240??
    cya: 0
    th: 0
    temp: 67 degrees




    6/24 tf100 kit results:
    fc: 9
    cc:0
    tc: 9
    ph: >8.2
    ta: 160???
    ch: 20
    cya: 0
    temp: 69 degrees

    A few questions about the tf100 kit. For the ta test, they say add r0009 until the color changes to red. The color change from green to pink at 14 drops from me. I kept adding drops(24) and the color turned deeper pink but it never turned red. Is it really supposed to turn red or is pink good enough?

    Why dont they have a more accurate test for ph above 8.2? My results was a deeper pink than 8.2.

    As for the cya test, I filled the test tube all the way to the top but I still see the black dot so I assume that means my cya is 0. Is that correct?

    I just put in 12oz ph down using the pool calculator and will let my filter pump run 24 hrs before retesting tomorrow. Thanks for reading!
    Intex Ultra Frame Metal ABG Pool 16' round x 48"
    4000gph intex filter pump hooked up to 1500gph filter pump to solar bear 4'x20" solar panel to
    intex swg to pool
    deluxe intex maintenance kit, clearview vacuum head, tf100 test kit

  2. #2
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    You really want to get some CYA in the pool. Aim for a CYA level between 30 and 50.

    You should retest the PH sooner than tomorrow and add more acid to get the PH down to somewhere around 7.5 if it isn't there already. You can test the PH again as soon as one hour after adding acid.

    You don't normally need to measure PH levels above 8.0 since you should never allow the PH to get that high in the first place.

    The TA test doesn't need to turn any specific shade of red/pink. You adding drops till the color turns some color in the red/pink/yellow family, then continue adding drops as long as the color continues changing. The final drop, which didn't change the color any further, does not count.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. #3
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    Quote Originally Posted by aznfayeth

    6/18 Aquachek 7 way test strip results
    cya: 0

    6/24 tf100 kit results:
    cya: 0

    As for the cya test, I filled the test tube all the way to the top but I still see the black dot so I assume that means my cya is 0. Is that correct?
    You did not mention adding any CYA to the pool between tests so it's still 0.

    My local Lowe's has a pretty good stabilizer product for about $15 if you don't have any local pool stores.
    24' x 52" AGP = 13.5k gallons
    Dynamo 2.0 HP pump,Sand Dollar sand filter
    Polaris 65 vacuum (good when there are a ton of leaves on bottom), Pool Rover Jr. (LOVE it, but power box dead right now), AquaCritter (an excellent suction side cleaner)

  4. #4
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    Quote Originally Posted by aznfayeth
    A few questions about the tf100 kit. For the ta test, they say add r0009 until the color changes to red. The color change from green to pink at 14 drops from me. I kept adding drops(24) and the color turned deeper pink but it never turned red. Is it really supposed to turn red or is pink good enough?
    Keep adding drops until one more drop produces no further color change and then don't count that last drop.
    Why dont they have a more accurate test for ph above 8.2? My results was a deeper pink than 8.2.
    They do but it requires a different pH indicator. pH indicators work over a small range of pH. Phenol Red is the indicator used for pools since it has distinct color changes frm 6.8 to 8.2 which contains the range of pH at which we want a pool to operate. There is really no reason why you would need to know what your pH is if it's above 8.2 because that is well out of the range of normal pool operation. Bottom line, your pH should never be above that!
    As for the cya test, I filled the test tube all the way to the top but I still see the black dot so I assume that means my cya is 0. Is that correct?
    Correct!
    I just put in 12oz ph down using the pool calculator and will let my filter pump run 24 hrs before retesting tomorrow. Thanks for reading!
    Prediissolve the pH down in bucket, pour it in the pool, and test it in about half an hour
    Actually, you need to lower your TA. Until you do your pH will keep climbing to 8.3 very quickly. I would recommend muriatic over dry acid for this since you are going to need a LOT.

    This should help you:
    how-to-lower-ta-t5341.html

  5. #5
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    Thanks for the tips. I did read pool school several times and the different forums. I went out and tested again. It is so fun to do the test kit...didnt think I would miss chemistry lab. UPS just delivered my salt water test strips too, hehe.

    New Results
    ph 7.5
    ta: 150??(at 13 drops, it changed to grayish clear, 14, light pink, 15 bright pink, 16 bright pink)
    salt: 4100 ppm(added 25lbs more salt than the recommended 125lb cause the swg kept beeping low salt the first day)

    I added 3oz more dry acid(pre-dissolved in warm water). Will retest tomorrow.


    Another question, why is my chlorine so high when I only turn on the swg like 2 hrs a day and havent turn it on the last few days(test strips was reading 10-20!). It has been raining the past week and I kept the intex pool cover on. I am still waiting for my 16' solar cover.

    I just ordered some hoses to connect my solar heating panels to my intex 1500gph filter pump and swg. It is 30ft each way. Do you think my pump is too small to handle the length? I think I am going to order the intex 2500gph because I read that the 4000gph is too strong for my little pool.
    Intex Ultra Frame Metal ABG Pool 16' round x 48"
    4000gph intex filter pump hooked up to 1500gph filter pump to solar bear 4'x20" solar panel to
    intex swg to pool
    deluxe intex maintenance kit, clearview vacuum head, tf100 test kit

  6. #6
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    Quote Originally Posted by aznfayeth
    Another question, why is my chlorine so high when I only turn on the swg like 2 hrs a day and havent turn it on the last few days(test strips was reading 10-20!).
    What did the FAS-DPD test in the TF100 say? What the test strips said doesn't matter now that you have a good FC test.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
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    Water testing instructions on one page

  7. #7
    Senior Member dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    if you have the intex swg...which is what I own...beware...those little guys sure do produce alot of chlorine. I run intex swg on avg 2hrs a day (my pump runs about 8hrs a day) and have fairly stable FC...that in a 24ft round pool.

    It takes some playing around, but I'm guessing 2hrs is too long of a runtime for you each day. Try reducing the swg to 1hr per day...but whatch those FC levels closely

    1st...read pool school and adjust your water levels to recommend levels for a swg...the only exception I find to those levels is on the CYA, while running an intex swg. I keep my CYA in the 50-60ppm range as I do not believe I will get additional benefit from increasing my CYA another 20ppm, except make it harder to shock my pool down the road (although I don;t think I'll need to armed with the TF100 ) I say this, b/c my little intex can easily keep my pool chlorinated (my avg FC=6ppm)
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  8. #8
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    I do use the FAS-DPD test now even though I use the test strip too to see if they correlate.

    6/25 11a tf100 kit results
    fc: 10
    cc:0
    tc:10
    ph: 7.2-7.5
    ta: 120
    temp: 68 degrees

    I added 1 more oz of dry acid based on the results. I'm scared to bring the ph below 7.2 and risk algae. I am still waiting for my cyanuric acid order to arrive. I wonder why my free chlorine increased from 9 to 10 when I havent turned on my swg for a few days. How do I lower the chlorine?


    When removing the pool cover today, a few days worth of rain water, leaves, and dirt fell into my pool. I ordered a vacuum hose and the clearview vacuum head for my telescopic pole yesterday. I cant wait to vacuum the leaves off my floor, yuck.

    Installed the solar bear solar panel on a rack today but still waiting for the longer hoses to arrive before hoaking up to my pool.
    Intex Ultra Frame Metal ABG Pool 16' round x 48"
    4000gph intex filter pump hooked up to 1500gph filter pump to solar bear 4'x20" solar panel to
    intex swg to pool
    deluxe intex maintenance kit, clearview vacuum head, tf100 test kit

  9. #9
    Member slawton's Avatar
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    I recently purchased a new Intex, 8,400 gallon pool (12' x 24' x 52") with a 2,000 gallon pump/SWG combinaion.

    I read in the instructions in the manual and it stated that the last thing the water should hit is the SWG then go straight into the pool. Not sure why...

    I was bummed because with my previous Intex, I always used a solar panel. The water left my pump, went to the panel and then back into the inlet hole. With the SWG needing to be the last thing in the line, this set-up, if the directions are to be believed, was not possible.

    So, not wanting to give up and wanting my kids to have a warm pool, I rigged up an older 2,000 gallon pump with the solar panel. I just have two lines (one going in and one going out, with hoses, in two corners of my rectangular pool. It's hilarious but I'm still proud of my little contraption!! With that pump, I can send the water up onto my roof (about 40 or so feet) and then back to my pool. This pump was one I had used for about 4 summers with my previous Intex, before I received this new pump/SWG combo deal with the new pool.

    It is still ticking and I run it as much as 8 hours a day. It's kind of amazing.

    Your 1,500 might work if you aren't sending the water up. I guess try it out and you will see.

    What I did to get it going was pump the outake into the pool water, and then shoved a hose into it, filling the lines the best I could before turning on the pump.

    Good luck!
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

  10. #10
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    Took the pool cover off for 7 hrs yesterday to let the sun shine on it.

    Today's tf100 kit results(6/26 9a)
    fc: 0!!!
    cc: 0
    tc:0
    ph: 7
    ta: 110
    temp 70 degrees

    The sunlight and the load of organic matter from the rainwater we accidentally dumped in the pool yesterday destroyed all my chlorine from 10 to 0 overnight!(the solution didnt turn pink after adding the powder like usual). I turned on the swg fast and set it to run for 4 hrs. My cyanuric acid is not coming until tomorrow, argh.
    Intex Ultra Frame Metal ABG Pool 16' round x 48"
    4000gph intex filter pump hooked up to 1500gph filter pump to solar bear 4'x20" solar panel to
    intex swg to pool
    deluxe intex maintenance kit, clearview vacuum head, tf100 test kit

  11. #11
    Member slawton's Avatar
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    As I quickly learned here on the forum, without the correct CYA, your chlorine can simply disappear....I'll bet when you get that adjusted, you will see a more stable FC level in my humble, newbie experience that is!
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

  12. #12
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    tf100 kit results(6/26 4p)
    fc: 2.5
    cc: 0
    tc:2.5
    ph: 7.2
    ta: 110
    temp: 68 degrees

    Ran the swg for another 2 hrs.

    tf100 kit results(6/27 11a)
    fc: 8
    cc: 0
    tc:8
    ph: 7.5
    ta: 110
    temp 74 degrees

    Added 3oz of ph down and 24 oz of cyanuric acid in a sock tied next to the skimmer(too big to fit in the skimmer basket!). Got my 16' solar cover but it's bigger than 16" so it sticks over the edge. Also received my vacuum hose and clearview vacuum head but it doesnt fit my intex telescopic pole! Do I have to buy another pole or can I buy another vacuum head attachment??

    tf100 kit results(6/28 11a)
    fc: 5.5
    cc: 0
    tc:5.5
    ph: 7.3
    ta: 110
    temp 72 degrees

    Squeezed the sock containing the cyanuric acid until everything is dissolved. Will test the cya levels in a week.
    Intex Ultra Frame Metal ABG Pool 16' round x 48"
    4000gph intex filter pump hooked up to 1500gph filter pump to solar bear 4'x20" solar panel to
    intex swg to pool
    deluxe intex maintenance kit, clearview vacuum head, tf100 test kit

  13. #13
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    tf100 running journal

    tf100 kit results(6/30)
    fc: 9
    cc: 0
    tc:9
    ph: 7.2
    ta: 110
    temp: 77 degrees

    tf100 kit results(7/1)
    fc: 7
    cc: 0
    tc:7
    ph: 7.2
    ta: 110
    temp: 77 degrees

    Got my new intex 4000 filter pump and 125ft of filter hoses today and set up the solar panels. The 4000 pump had a hard time priming the solar panel(it is 60 ft away from my pool). Water would go in the inlet side but cant come out the outlet side. We finally had the bright idea to hook up our old 1500 filter pump between the 4000 pump and the inlet side of the solar panel and it worked! Once the system was primed, the 4000 pump had no trouble pumping water through the solar panel to the swg and then to the pool. I cant wait to turn on the solar panel tomorrow and getting some warm water.

    The only trouble is that we didnt change the inlet and outlet fittings yet in the pool. They are basically the same except the 4000 has filter grids and return eyeball(yay I can finally aerate!). Is it possible to change those connections without draining half of my pool? Maybe just change them quick??
    Intex Ultra Frame Metal ABG Pool 16' round x 48"
    4000gph intex filter pump hooked up to 1500gph filter pump to solar bear 4'x20" solar panel to
    intex swg to pool
    deluxe intex maintenance kit, clearview vacuum head, tf100 test kit

  14. #14
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    Re: Why is my free chlorine so high? and other tf100 questions..

    tf100 kit results(7/2)
    fc: 6.5
    cc: 0
    tc:6.5
    ph: 7.2
    ta: 110
    temp: 77 degrees

    tf100 kit results(7/3)
    fc: 6
    cc: 0
    tc:6
    ph: 7.2
    ta: 110
    temp: 76 degrees
    We changed the inlet/outlet return fittings today and got soaked in the process, hehe. Received the intex deluxe maintenance kit which comes with a larger skimmer basket, vacuum attachment, hoses, telescopic pole, brush head, vacuum head, and leaf rake. Finally vacuumed the floor of the rainwater debris.

    tf100 kit results(7/4)
    fc: 5.5
    cc: 0
    tc:5.5
    ph: 7.2
    ta: 110
    temp: 76 degrees

    Turned on the solar panel today and got a 5 degree rise even though there wasnt much sun!

    tf100 kit results(7/5)
    fc: 5
    cc: 0
    tc:5
    ph: 7.2
    ta: 110
    temp: 79 degrees

    tf100 kit results(7/6 11a)
    fc: 4
    cc: 0
    tc:4
    ph: 7-7.2
    ta: 110
    cya: 20?(added 24oz of cyanuric acid on 6/27)
    temp: 81 degrees

    Took off the solar cover today to discover brownish stuff on the bottom of the pool that wasnt there yesterday. It brushes off easily and the water is clear. Do you think it is algae? I am going to do an overnight fc test tonight. I havent turned on my swg since 6/30 cause my fc tends to run high(running it for 2-4 hrs will make my fc 9-10). The only reason why I suspect algae is because I had an incident on 6/26 when the fc dropped to 0 after a day of sunlight and a few days worth of rainwater debris accidentally dumped in.



    After 4 hrs of swg, water was crystal clear and so blue that we decided to jump in for the first time since we set up the pool 3 weeks ago. Water was a toasty 84 degrees with the solar panel. It was great.

    tf100 kit results(7/6 6p)
    fc: 6
    cc: 0
    tc:6
    ph: 7-7.2
    ta: 110
    cya: 20?(added 24oz of cyanuric acid on 6/27)
    temp: 84 degrees


    Overnight fc loss test:
    tf100 kit results(7/6 9p)
    fc: 5.5
    cc: 0
    tc:5.5


    tf100 kit results(7/7 8a)
    fc: 5.5
    cc: 0
    tc:5.5
    ph: 7.3-7.4
    ta: 110
    cya: 20?(added 24oz of cyanuric acid on 6/27)
    temp: 82 degrees

    I admit I woke up late 3 hrs after sunrise so the pool got a little sunrise before I did the test but I had no chlorine loss at all! Maybe it was just dirt that had settled to the bottom after vacuuming on friday???

    The solar panel seems to increase the temp 5 degrees every day. With the solar cover, the temperature loss is 2 degrees overnight...net 3 degrees a day.

    I will clean the filter cartridges and add more cyanuric acid today.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Intex Ultra Frame Metal ABG Pool 16' round x 48"
    4000gph intex filter pump hooked up to 1500gph filter pump to solar bear 4'x20" solar panel to
    intex swg to pool
    deluxe intex maintenance kit, clearview vacuum head, tf100 test kit

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