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Thread: New pool owner, first numbers

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    New pool owner, first numbers

    I purchased a house with a pool, and just got moved in. This is the first pool I have owned. Honestly, the water looked great before these tests, crystal clear, no algae or anything, but enough of that. Let's get to the numbers, and it doesn't look good:

    FC < 0.5
    CC = 0
    TA = 270
    CH >= 600
    PH >= 8.2
    CYA >= 400

    This was my first time with the TF kit, so my numbers may be a little off, hence the ambiguity above. The guy I bought the house from exclusively used the chlorine pucks.

    After these tests, I added ~40oz of 14.5% muriatic acid, roughly the same amount of 10% liquid chlorine (what was left, plus it was stored outside, and I am unaware of the age), and tossed the last two pucks of chlorine he left me in the floater.

    Anyway, here in AZ, I don't really plan to close it down but the water is too cold to swim, so what to do? I know some significant water replacement is in order. The pool does have an auto-leveler, is pumping water out via the pump and relying on the auto-leveler to replace water a plausible solution? Not all at once of course, but gradually? If this is plausible, how gradually? I suppose I should test my fill water for CH also?

    Thanks in advance for any other advice you have, I look forward to maintaining proper chemistry for years to come!
    ~12k gallon in-ground pool, PebbleTec surface, sand filter, The Pool Cleaner (2WD)

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    Ok, welcome to TFP!

    You either have a mess on your hands, or will in the very near future, based on your numbers.

    You need to take the pucks out of the pool NOW, if your CYA is indeed over 400. How did you come by that number, as the test only goes to 100??

    I suggest retesting your water tomorrow, and post back here before you do anything!

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mermaid Queen
    Ok, welcome to TFP!

    You either have a mess on your hands, or will in the very near future, based on your numbers.

    You need to take the pucks out of the pool NOW, if your CYA is indeed over 400. How did you come by that number, as the test only goes to 100??
    Although I am inexperienced with the TF kit and pools in general, given my research on this great website, I doubt a crisis is imminent. Numbers like this are not out of the question, e.g. this very recent post:

    advice-needed-high-cya-new-to-forum-t17539.html?hilit=very%20high%20calcium%20hardness

    How did I come by that number? I followed the directions on the test....the dot disappeared slightly less than half-way to the 100 mark, and given the scale my estimate is that the number is in excess of 400.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mermaid Queen
    I suggest retesting your water tomorrow, and post back here before you do anything!
    Given that the season is over, and some water replacement is pretty much guaranteed, do you really think a full re-test is necessary? By adding the acid the goal was to help the PH, I will find out if that helped in the morning. And although I am aware the previous owner's use of chlorine pucks is likely responsible for the high CYA, the 2 pucks that were left plus the liquid chlorine seemed the best thing to do in the moment since that was all I had on hand, plus there appeared to be next to 0 chlorine of any kind in the water.
    ~12k gallon in-ground pool, PebbleTec surface, sand filter, The Pool Cleaner (2WD)

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    Hello pebble.pool.fool...

    The numbers that alarmed The Mermaid Queen could very well lead to a disaster of sorts... but she's probably more concerned with the very high CYA level and very low chlorine (not quite as much the Calcium Hardness... but that too is way too high); and finally, the pH. Adding the muriatic acid may have improved the pH, but the chlorine level is far more doubtful.

    If your estimation of CYA is correct (400 ppm) the suggested chlorine residual is about 30 ppm! I think your best course is a partial (80%+) drain and fill -- and very soon. If there's doubt about the CYA level, try diluting the sample with a known quantity of tap water and muliplying the result.

    No need to beat yourself up for using the pucks, but I agree completely that you're better off removing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by pebble.pool.fool
    The pool does have an auto-leveler, is pumping water out via the pump and relying on the auto-leveler to replace water a plausible solution? Not all at once of course, but gradually? If this is plausible, how gradually?

    It's plausible but if your auto-fill is anything like mine, waiting for it to fill will be like watching continental drift... recommend turning off auto-fill while you drain, then turn it back on and supplement the refill with one or more hoses.

    I suppose I should test my fill water for CH also?

    It's a good idea if you suspect the calcium hardness in the make-up water is > 200 or so. If it is, you may have to find alternative replacement water.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    is pumping water out via the pump and relying on the auto-leveler to replace water a plausible solution?
    I would test the fill water first. That may be a contributor to your high CH. It will certainly reduce your extraordinary CYA level but it may not help your CH if fill water is that high, too.

    TMQ's concern was for emphasis. CYA of 400 is not only problematic but likely very, very innaccurate. The test goes to 100 and anything over that is guesswork (although it sounds like you guessed well enough to know you have w-a-a-ay to much

    Secondly, anytime there is virtually no chlorine in the pool, as way your case, that is an invitation for algae and bacteria to thrive and they will be difficult to kill since your CYA is over the top.

    I would suggest this.

    1. Get your pH into the mid 7's (as I think you have already done)

    2. put a couple of jugs of Clorox in the pool while you sort out a plan of action.....you need chlorine

    3. Test your fill water for CH

    4. Decide how best to drain and refill your pool to reduce CH and especially CYA

    5. YOur auto-fill may work but it will be painfully slow and, again, may not help your CH much

    6. If you have any pucks left, give them to someone that you really don't like......they're the source of your biggest issues.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    Welcome PPF,

    If I had your issue I would do what Polyvue suggested, dilute your pool water with distilled water.

    1. in a container add 5 oz of pool water with 20 oz of distilled water
    2. Redo your CYA test and multiply your result by 5. The best case scenario is to get you CYA reading between 100 and 30 before you multiply by 5 so you can you can a semi accurate result.
    3. Redo your CH test and multiply your result by 5.

    Once you verify your true CYA and CH post the numbers again.

    If you are going to drain/refill, I would Check the source water for CH like Duraleigh suggested so you can figure out what your CH is going to be. Also turn off the auto leveler until you finish draining. It does not make sense to leave on the water while you are emptying out.
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    OK, thanks for all of the advice. Since my last post I have: added acid to bring the PH to a more reasonable 7.5, added 184oz of 6% bleach (and have more on hand), and tested my fill water source for CH (~130).

    Thanks for the specific dilution instructions also JCJR, I will do that next, although I will need to go out and get some distilled water. I should be able to accomplish that by the end of the weekend.

    As far as replacing water to lower CH and CYA, here in AZ it looks like I have two options: (1) standard draining and re-filling, or (2) a service like this: http://www.aqualabz.com/product.html

    From the moderate amount of reading I have done on draining and re-filling, it sounds straightforward but also potentially tedious, depending on how it is done. I am planning to call the service above to see what they charge as it could be worth it to me for them to take care of the problem, while also not "wasting" water down the drain, plus it sounds like they could reduce the CH level to below my fill water source which could help me in the long-run. I don't think I can find out the cost until Monday though.

    Does anyone have any experience with that type of service? It appears to be relatively new.

    Also, I would be happy to write it if I knew more, but a Pool School article on water replacement would be a good addition (unless it is there and I missed it!). It sounds like there are several issues to be aware of, at least: above or in-ground, water table, pool surface, outside temperature, and I am sure I missed some. It would be nice to have all that info compiled in one place.

    Thanks again to all for the advice!
    ~12k gallon in-ground pool, PebbleTec surface, sand filter, The Pool Cleaner (2WD)

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    The aqua labz site is very interesting. Be sure to confirm with them that it will remove CYA. That process is quite new. I knew there were companies that removed CH (however, only in the Southwest) but I have not heard of one that will reduce your CYA. Please post back and share with us what you find out.

    Your fill water of 130 CH is fine if you decide to drain and refill

    You can redo your testing with your tap water and don't need distilled water. Your tap water has 130 CH and absolutely no CYA. Just compensate mathmatically for the existing CH in your tap water. That said, diluting and testing is wildly inaccurate but may still get you a little closer than what you did before.

    Either way you go, reducing your CYA down to around 50ppm or so is the most crucial of those two items but it seems like either process will reduce your CH at the same time......that's all very good.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    Reiterating something Dave said, to dilute water for the CYA test, you can use tap water. You'd use distilled water to dilute for any other test, but tap water will never have any CYA in it.

    Arizonans commonly have high CH. It requires managing your pH very carefully, keep it lower than the usual recommendation, like in the 7.2-7.5 range. Keeping the TA down will also help. This is the kind of situation where you'd want to use the Pool Calculator and pay attention to your CSI (calcite saturation index).
    --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
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    Just to follow up on the filtration process mentioned above. I was told that the process does in fact remove CYA, and for my size pool (<12k gal) that it would be under $300 and take a few days.

    Then I received the service agreement from them, and in the email I notice that only 50-85% of the water will be saved, and I suspect that is how the CYA is lowered. Anyone agree?

    I am still deciding on whether to use the service, but it does sound very hands-off for me, which I like. They drop off their equipment at your house, hook it up, turn it on, and come back 3-7 days later depending on the size of your pool. The price includes the start-up chemicals. If I remember from the phone call correctly the process is a combination of different types of filtering and reverse osmosis.

    Anyhow, thanks again for the advice. Hopefully in the next day or so I will get to re-testing my levels using the dilution methods mentioned above.
    ~12k gallon in-ground pool, PebbleTec surface, sand filter, The Pool Cleaner (2WD)

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    Re: New pool owner, first numbers

    and in the email I notice that only 50-85% of the water will be saved, and I suspect that is how the CYA is lowered.
    If that's the case, that won't work for you. You need to get rid of 87% of your CYA to get it manageable down around 50 (If you really have 400)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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