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Thread: 2 month pool owner, testing questions.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    2 month pool owner, testing questions.


    Thank you for this web site !! I bought a house a few months ago
    and a pool came with it. I previously had only a jaccuzi, but
    that made me confortable with chemical testing the pool.
    In going with recommendations of different sources, this site,
    other internet articles, I stopped using the tri-chlor tabs the previous owner used,
    because CYA level is around 70 I think ( the dot is a hard test for me). I went with
    Cal-Hypo powder instead. here's my latest readings using my DPD test kit:

    FC - 4.0
    CC - not sure, it only gets slightly darker with my DPD test
    pH - 7.5
    TA - 100
    CH - 350
    CYA - 70

    My questions:

    1) your FC recommendations are 3-7, but the tester tops out at 5,
    and the pool store says keep it at 2-4. Why the difference of opinion?

    2)Should I get - FAS-DPD test kit, or just shock with any CC darker tester color change?

    3) Should I do a 50% drain and lower my CYA?

    4) Should I be concerned about the CH, and does CalTreat work
    I am thinking of using 12.5% liquid bleach when my cal-hypo runs out.
    2 gallons for under $8 at my local Leslies.

    5) Is Fresh n' Clear worth it?

    I live in a sunny area of Nor Cal, ave summer is 90 degrees, but the pool is
    partial shaded 50%, due to trees.

    So far the pool is crystal clear.

    Enough questions for now.
    Thank You,
    Ross Biondo

    16,000 gal ,plaster , cartridge filter, IG pool with aerated spillover spa.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL

    Re: 2 month pool owner, testing questions.

    Hi Ross,
    Welcome to TFP!

    Start using bleach/liquid chlorine instead of the cal-hypo, as your calcium level is just where you want it. If you keep using cal-hypo, it will get too high, and water replacement is the only practical way to lower it.

    A CYA level of 70 is high, but managaeable. Your FC is entirely based on your CYA level, but many pool stores don't understand this and still use "industry" recommendations (which are based on indoor pools with zero CYA).

    You should get the FAS-DPD test to supplement your kit. It's sold separately for about $25. I'm not sure if Leslie's sells it alone, but Taylor and both sell the individual test. Once you have the FAS-DPD test, if your CC's end up higher than .5, then you should shock - I wouldn't worry too much right now, sounds like you have a handle on things. Confirm it with a good chlorine test though. Until you get that test, you can do a 50/50 dilution with distilled water to read your test up to 10.

    Fresh & Clear is really meant for use in indoor pools and spas, and "worth" it? Not IMHO.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    Perfectly Clear Pool Service, Find me on Facebook!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: 2 month pool owner, testing questions.

    There has been a great deal of interest and activity concerning the individual FAS/DPD test so I'm gonna' glom onto this thread and point out some differences.

    First of all, if you do not have the ability to test for FC levels higher than 5ppm, the FAS/DPD test is almost essential for following the BBB principles that we teach. Measuring accurately and at very high levels is what the FAS/DPD test is all about. It is also the priciest of all the parameters we test.

    The Taylor FAS/DPD (K-1515) comes in an individual, waterproof box and is neatly packaged with instructions. It contains 10g of R-0870 powder and .75 oz. of R-0871 reagent. If you do not have a convenient, dry place to store this additional test, this is probably the best bet. It sells on their website for $24.90

    The test I sell does not come with any storage device. It is pretty much intended for those that may experience water issues (algae, baqua conversions, etc). It assumes you can make room for this additional stuff in your existing kit. However, it's big advantage is it contains 2 oz of R-0871 rather than the .75 oz found in the Taylor....this is the reagent that is consumed rather quickly if you have the need to do a lot of high level, accurate testing. (the price is $25.50)

    Synopsis....if you have decent pool water and need (want) the waterproof storage box, the K-1515 form Taylor is the best bet. If you've got water issues and need the extra chemistry and don't mind the plain ole' baggie it comes in, the TF test is probably a more sensible approach.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: 2 month pool owner, testing questions.

    Thank you both very much for your replies.
    Thanks for your simple truths of TFP vs "industry levels",
    and thanks for the 50/ 50 DW dilution suggestion.

    So I guessing I can ignore the " Don't go in the pool
    unless the FC is 4 or below" rule? , since my CYA is 70 ?

    **Also to add: my Phos is 100, should I keep doing weekly
    Phos Free/ Pool Perfect as suggested by the pool store?
    I do get a lot of leaves dropping every day due to trees
    giving shade to the pool.

    Thank You,
    Ross Biondo

    16,000 gal ,plaster , cartridge filter, IG pool with aerated spillover spa.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    reebok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Lakeland, FL

    Re: 2 month pool owner, testing questions.

    yes you can pretty much ignore anything the pool store tells you, whether it's about safe chlorine levels, phosphates, whatever. just follow the plan here and keep your fc levels according to the chart. pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: 2 month pool owner, testing questions.

    If you maintain the pool at proper chlorine levels you do not need to use Phos Free. Algae does feed on phosphate but algae also feeds on nitrates. So you can eliminate all the phosphates in your pool and still have an algae problem.

    You want a FAS/DPD chlorine test for several reason:
    1.It is very accurate compared to OTO, DPD, or test strips. This is particularly important if you conduct an overnight test to determine if you have algae. The other tests are not not sufficiently accurate to do this test.
    2.If you have to shock the pool you will need the FAS/DPD test to determine if you are at shock level of chlorine.
    3.By maintaining the proper chlorine level you can lower the amount of chemicals you use and save money. When you know you have the proper chlorine level you will not want to purchase algaecides or Phos Free from the pool store.

    We used Cal hypo for years. The problem with hypo are:
    1.It clouds the water.
    2.It adds calcium to the water. After years of use you will need to drain the water to reduce the calcium level.
    3.Adding hypo raises the pH so you need to add acid.
    4.Adding acid reduces the TA so you need to add baking soda.

    We purchased hypo in 100 pound drums because it was more convenient than hauling bleach. Read the articles about the BBB method. You may find liquid chlorine to be a good method for you.

    Do your own testing. Keep your pool chemicals in the proper range and you will have a trouble free pool.
    30,000 gallon gunite in-ground with a spillover spa, Diving board and water slide
    Hayward 1 HP Super II filter pump, Hayward 24 " Sand Filter Pro Series using zeolite media
    Polaris 380 cleaner with ¾ HP booster pump, Hayward Heatmaster pool heater, AutoPilot DIG-220 Power Supply SC-60 cell
    Testing with the TF-100 Test Kit

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