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Thread: Newbie with too high CYA

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    Newbie with too high CYA

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    Well I just opened my new pool. even though I cant swim in it (to cool weather) I have been trying to balance it out. I have a 11,000 gallon fiberglass pool. Since my pool contractor basically left me to my own devices it has been uphill on learning everything. I added too many 3" tabs (5) and set the auto chlorinator to 7. well in just a week I had an over chlorinated pool. I mean way over. I turned the chlorinator off but it was to late. My chlorine level would not drop. in 14 days all I could get it down to was a glowing orange reading when a pale yellow was required. (yes Im a newb). That was with letting it go on its own.

    I took a sample to the store and they had my CYA level at 250 ppm. First I had never heard of CYA and now I never want to again. So I drained 60 percent of the water and replaced it with tap. The CYA is 95 now. My PH was high (9.0) so following their instructions I hit it with Muriatic acid and now its a PH of 6.5. This is a struggle. I want to know how to do this without draining my pool every six months because of the tabs raising the CYA levels. The pool store told me that any other method is too much work and would require me to be balancing the pool every couple of days. My chlorine level is now to low 1.5 but I'm afraid of putting more trichlor tabs in. Any advice out there.
    size=11,000 gal, free form
    type=fiberglass w/ pebble finish, waterfall fountain
    pump=Hayward Pro II, 1 hp
    Filter=Sand filter
    treatment=BBB

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: CYA Buildup: What Level?

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    I took a sample to the store and they had my CYA level at 250 ppm. First I had never heard of CYA and now I never want to again. So I drained 60 percent of the water and replaced it with tap. The CYA is 95 now. My PH was high (9.0) so following their instructions I hit it with Muriatic acid and now its a PH of 6.5. This is a struggle. I want to know how to do this without draining my pool every six months because of the tabs raising the CYA levels. The pool store told me that any other method is too much work and would require me to be balancing the pool every couple of days. My chlorine level is now to low 1.5 but I'm afraid of putting more trichlor tabs in. Any advice out there.
    Hello mustang68... Welcome to the forum

    What the pool store considers too much work translates into once a week testing for you and a decrease in sales of Trichlor pucks for them!

    You were wise to drain 60% of your water to reduce CYA but you're not done yet. I would recommend that you drain a bit more until your CYA is somewhere in the range of 50 - 80 ppm. Then get rid of your tabs... either use them very infrequently or not at all. When you state that you set your auto chlorinator to "7" -- are you referring to a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWG) or a tab feeder? If you don't have a SWG, you're better off using liquid chlorine (10-12%) or bleach (6%) for a sanitizer. The current chlorine level of 1.5 is too low, but you'll be compounding your problems by adding Trichlor. It's bad news for the pool store, but good news for you that you've decided at an early stage of pool ownership to address these problems. Lots of folks here to answer your questions.


    See pool-school/recommended_levels
    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: CYA Buildup: What Level?

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    The pool store told me that any other method is too much work and would require me to be balancing the pool every couple of days.
    Whether it's too much work is for you to decide, not them. Using liquid chlorine or bleach you probably need to add some every 2-3 days when the pool is open. But it's not a lot of time, 10-15 minutes at most, it just needs to happen often enough to keep the chlorine level up.

    I don't count adding chlorine as "balancing" which is getting the ph/TA/CH/CYA in shape. Once those parameters are straightened out, they should need attention infrequently, testing once a week at most (and testing CH/CYA monthly is really micro-managing).
    --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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: CYA Buildup: What Level?

    I agree with Paul. You should try it and then decide if it's too much work.

    When I was manually dosing our pool with Chlorine it took me about 5 minutes per day to maintain it once I got it balanced.
    • Here are the steps.
    • Get a sample of the pool water.[/*:m:2ehox7z8]
    • Take it inside and run the FAS/DPD & pH tests.[/*:m:2ehox7z8]
    • Fire up the Pool Calculator and input the numbers.[/*:m:2ehox7z8]
    • Add as much Chlorine as the PC said I should.[/*:m:2ehox7z8]
    • Done.[/*:m:2ehox7z8]


    I rarely had to add anthing but Chlorine.

    I now use the LQ (Liquidator) to add chlorine, so steps 3 & 4 are replaced with "slightly adjust flow valve up or down depending on whether FC is higher or lower than target. Most days I don't have to touch the flow valve. Then once a month I run a full set of tests. That takes all of 15 minutes. In my book that's no work at all and more than worth it to have a sparkly pool. Yes, I do have Sparklypoolitis!!!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Hi and Welcome -

    We have many users that use a combination of pucks and bleach to achieve the correct chlorine levels.

    The key for your success will be your own testing kit, like the ones we recommend, so you are subjected to the often-poor advice delivered by the pool store employees.

    Then read all the information in Pool School and you will be on your way to a Trouble-Free pool.

    I spend so much less time on my pool now than I used to back when I used trichlor. I spend less than 5 minutes every other day. It's not "too much work" at all.
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Thanks guys. I am just beginning this adventure. I learned from my audio/video forum that you can get great info and make good friends if you can find the right forum. Obviously this is it for pools. Well I'm starting to figure out that the pool contractor and pool store guys all have no idea what they are doing. So here I'll be for some time to come.

    UPDATE: My pH level is at 7.2 now and chlorine is still low at about 1.5. Given that I went weeks with it at some crazy high level I can take that for a while. I have no idea where my CYA level is but it must still be at about 95 since I have not put a Trichlor puck in the chlorinator. I would like to know the truth about CYa though. I was told that it could eat away the fiberglass pool coating I have on my pool if it goes above and remains above 150 ppm. Is that true? Also my level was at 250ppm. Since I drained it down do you think there could have been damage or does it take longer?

    BTW Alkalinity is way high at over 170. What can I do for that. If I'm on the wrong thread pls direct me to the right one as well. Thanks.
    size=11,000 gal, free form
    type=fiberglass w/ pebble finish, waterfall fountain
    pump=Hayward Pro II, 1 hp
    Filter=Sand filter
    treatment=BBB

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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    Thanks guys. I am just beginning this adventure. I learned from my audio/video forum that you can get great info and make good friends if you can find the right forum. Obviously this is it for pools. Well I'm starting to figure out that the pool contractor and pool store guys all have no idea what they are doing. So here I'll be for some time to come.
    Thanks for the trust, we'll do our best!
    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    UPDATE: My pH level is at 7.2 now and chlorine is still low at about 1.5. Given that I went weeks with it at some crazy high level I can take that for a while.
    Whoa, no you can't. There's no residual effect from the high chlorine levels. If you think your CYA is in the 90-100 range then you want to keep FC above 7 at all times. Click on the "Pool School" button (upper right of every page on the forum) and look for the "Chlorine / CYA Chart" article.
    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    I have no idea where my CYA level is but it must still be at about 95 since I have not put a Trichlor puck in the chlorinator. I would like to know the truth about CYa though. I was told that it could eat away the fiberglass pool coating I have on my pool if it goes above and remains above 150 ppm. Is that true? Also my level was at 250ppm. Since I drained it down do you think there could have been damage or does it take longer?
    I have not heard that high CYA can really damage anything, other than your sanity and possibly your wallet, but there's other folks around who've been doing this a lot longer than I have.
    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    BTW Alkalinity is way high at over 170. What can I do for that. If I'm on the wrong thread pls direct me to the right one as well. Thanks.
    Second question first: we'd rather you keep things together in one thread, so we have all the history in one place.

    Pool School again to the rescue: In the "How To" section there's an article "Lower Total Alkalinity." It's actually a procedure that some people have a lot of trouble understanding, so if the article doesn't make sense then post your questions back here and we'll try to sort things out.

    Let us know what's going on, regardless. We like success stories as much as the hard problems!
    --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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    I've never heard of high CYA affecting the fiberglass....
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    So if I understand this correctly I need to have a FC level reading of 7.

    Well I just put Muriatic acid in to get my now 8.2 pH down. How long do I wait before I put chlorine in?
    size=11,000 gal, free form
    type=fiberglass w/ pebble finish, waterfall fountain
    pump=Hayward Pro II, 1 hp
    Filter=Sand filter
    treatment=BBB

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Retest the PH after an hour or two of circulation - when the PH is where you need it, you can wait 30 minutes after any acid addition to add chlorine.
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA



    Well I will read as much as I can on the Pool School in the next couple of days. I'm not going to go crazy over to much of the chemistry yet. I am going to drain the pool down about 40 percent more to get the CYA to under or at 50. After that I can really concentrate on the chemistry. BTW i followed the calculator and got the pH to 7.5. All I have is Shock Chlorine so I dont know if that is what I should use to put in the pool. I thought it was something with 6%. I believe the Shock brand read 10%.
    size=11,000 gal, free form
    type=fiberglass w/ pebble finish, waterfall fountain
    pump=Hayward Pro II, 1 hp
    Filter=Sand filter
    treatment=BBB

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    Well I will read as much as I can on the Pool School in the next couple of days. I'm not going to go crazy over to much of the chemistry yet. I am going to drain the pool down about 40 percent more to get the CYA to under or at 50. After that I can really concentrate on the chemistry. BTW i followed the calculator and got the pH to 7.5. All I have is Shock Chlorine so I dont know if that is what I should use to put in the pool. I thought it was something with 6%. I believe the Shock brand read 10%.
    Watch out for "shock" chlorine! If it's Trichlor or Dichlor, it adds large amounts of CYA to your water... rather self-defeating. For now, would recommend using liquid chlorine available in pool stores and home centers (10-12% sodium hypochlorite) or plain old Chlorox bleach (6% sodium hypochlorite)... available anywhere and everywhere.
    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.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Drained pool down to 50% and am filling it now. If my math holds up and this draining mirrors the last I should have a CYA level of about45. I dont have a test kit for that so I will have to take it to the pool store to get a reading and look for a kit that will do it. I just dont trust the store anymore. Hopefully I will make a decision as to what method I will use to chlorinate. I am leaning toward liquid chlorine as why I would introduce CYA into my pool purposely seems kinda counter productive.
    size=11,000 gal, free form
    type=fiberglass w/ pebble finish, waterfall fountain
    pump=Hayward Pro II, 1 hp
    Filter=Sand filter
    treatment=BBB

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    If you're looking for a good test kit, I can vouch for the drop-type test kits discussed here. If you buy a kit other than those recommended on this page, look for one that features a "FAS-DPD" chlorine test -- it's more precise and can easily measure high levels of chlorine.
    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.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    You may have "Liquid Shock" which is liquid chlorine, 10%. That's great, no CYA. Use that. It does degrade with time so if it is old you might see less reslts than expected, so test after an hour circulation to be sure.

    Next time, do the math to see which is better priced; regular bleach (unscented Clorox, Walmart brand, some grocery brands if 6%) or 10% liquid chlorine from Pool store (or hardware store IF they are fresh jugs)

    You should look into the TF100 kit sold here, it is the best "bang for the buck" and you will get it pretty fast. While you wait you could let the pool store do the tests.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    It is the Shock version with 10% and no CYA listed. My chlorine tested in at 3 now and pH was high again 8.2 because of the tap water. Using the Pool Calculator I added Muriatic acid. I go Saturday to get the CYA tested and will buy the kit from here this weekend as well. Once I know my CYA level I will use the Pool School chart to know what to get my chlorine level too. I will tell you that the pool store never mentioned that the CY level would require a higher chlorine level than what the standard kit reads. My buddy with a pool for years always keeps his at the ideal 3.0 level and never checks his CY level. Makes me wonder whats going on in his pool.
    size=11,000 gal, free form
    type=fiberglass w/ pebble finish, waterfall fountain
    pump=Hayward Pro II, 1 hp
    Filter=Sand filter
    treatment=BBB

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    My buddy with a pool for years always keeps his at the ideal 3.0 level and never checks his CY level. Makes me wonder whats going on in his pool.
    That's pretty common. I know people who never test the water in their pools, so I think they're just "lucky" not to get an algae outbreak. If they ran commercial pools the same way we'd have flu epidemics (and worse) every summer.
    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.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Your buddy may have a pool like our friends... gets cloudy after the grandkids swim, so they shock it. If that doesn't work, they drain some water and refill. I don't think they ever have sparkly water, but they think it is fine. I've seen it all cloudy and wouldn't dare get in it.

    Anona, with a confirmed case of Sparklypoolitis
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Had the test done.

    CYA= 50
    FC- 8.0
    CC- 0
    pH 7.8 (after adding muriatic acid to balance.)
    TA=150

    So I checked the Chl/CY chart and it recommended 6.0 for my chlorine. I'm thinking I'll just let it go down on its own. Now Ihave time to read some Pool School and get my stuff together.
    size=11,000 gal, free form
    type=fiberglass w/ pebble finish, waterfall fountain
    pump=Hayward Pro II, 1 hp
    Filter=Sand filter
    treatment=BBB

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with too high CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang68
    CYA= 50
    FC- 8.0
    CC- 0
    pH 7.8 (after adding muriatic acid to balance.)
    TA=150
    Looking good... I take it that you're no longer using Trichlor to chlorinate your pool. The good news is that with cooler water temperatures and little or no swimming, you won't have to add chlorine very often. But please consider getting a good test kit so you can perform your own testing. You have all winter to practice!
    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.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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