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Thread: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

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    High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Ok, just switched to bleach and according to the cya/chlorine chart I have to keep my FC levels really high to prevent algae. So, I have no choice but to lower CYA (I think). CYA snuck up so high because of the darn pool store telling us to add stabilizer and then to keep throwing shock into the pool. Our water just would not clear up and they kept telling us to put more and more in (7 to 8 bags of Dichlor shock every time we had it tested). On top of that, we were trying to maintain by putting 2 bags in each week. Plus, they told us to keep four 3" sticks in the skimmer! Every time it rains, the dag gum thing turns green again. Finally figured out it's because FC wasn't high enough for CYA level. UUGGHH!! Wish I had realized that a month ago! So, lesson learned and now 100% on bleach, no more dichlor shock from Walmart. I would rather add stabilizer as needed than have it included with every bag of shock.

    CYA is registering at 100 on a test strip (I know strips are not good) but I think it is alot higher (going to get tested again tomorrow at pool store because I just can't afford $70 to buy the Taylor test kit right now). Any ideas other than draining half of my water and refilling?

    According to the pool calculator, if the CYA is 100, I will have to drain and replace 60% of my pool. Will I be ok by replacing around 30-40%? What about the effects on my liner? The liner is 10 years old and in GREAT shape. We can't afford to replace it, so I need to do this as carefully as possible. Please run me through it step by step. We will be draining the old fashioned way (through pump as far as possible, then through hose pipe).

    Pool specifics:
    Above Ground 24 X 52 (15000 gallons)
    Sand filter with fresh sand and brand new 1HP pump.

    Thanks and please don't scold me too bad for not listening to you guys!!

    One other quick question, while using bleach, do we need to keep chlorine sticks in the skimmer? Or is it just strictly bleach?

    Melissa

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    How could you let this happen!!

    Just kidding...I couldn't resist after you said not to scold you.

    Based on what you said the pool store had you adding, I bet your CYA is much more than 100 (like 300 if I had to wager) so you may have to drain much more 60%. If so, you will have to do it in stages: drain as much as you can and refill, then repeat. Draining shouldn't have an adverse effect on your liner as long as you make sure to keep at least a foot of water in the shallow end and don't leave the liner exposed any longer than necessary.

    Do you have a main drain? If so, do you have a valve to shut off flow from the skimmer? If you answered yes to both of those questions you can use the pool pump to drain. Otherwise you will want to get a submersible pump.

    You didn't mention where you live, but in some areas reverse osmosis (RO) is an option. This involves a service coming to your house with equipment that essentially "cleans" your water.

    You don't need or want the sticks anymore (except maybe in certain situations). They add CYA, and you know where that got you.

    I know you said you couldn't afford the Taylor test kit (you should reall get the TF-100 anyway) but you should really consider it. Just think of all the money you will save on dichlor.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Ok, to answer your questions. I do not have a main drain (that I know of). The only holes in the liner are for the skimmer and the return valve. So, if we drain some, refill, let circulate, drain some more, refill, etc. that will still work? Do I need to let it circulate for a while before draining more? I would imagine it would be similar to our usual winterization. We usually drain below the return valve for closing anyway. So, if we do that about 4 times, we should have essentially replaced enough water to have drained and refilled around 60%, right? That would be about 6 inches or so from the top of the water line each drain and the pool is filled about 48 of the 52 inch walls.

    Thanks for your help svenpup!

    I would imagine the reverse osmosis option would be costly, but I will check on that. We are in South Carolina.

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    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    I can't offer any advise but I just thought it might help if you knew someone else was in the same place you are in. All the way to where I just can't afford a good test kit so I am making do with test strips also. I would also like to add if it helps that since I have been using bleach my pool feels and looks better than it ever has. If I ever get my CYA down I can't imagine what it will look like. It is awesome now. This is great place to get advise. They really know what they talking about.
    24' round AG pool, 52" high,; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter & 100 lb Sand Filter

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    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Thanks scivey! It does make me feel better to know that!! Hope you get yours straightened out soon!!!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    DH went to the pool store to have the water tested this morning to see exactly where CYA level is and I was right it is high - 200. They weren't concerned with stabilizer level tho. They said the stabilizer wasn't an issue and to keep putting 8 bags of shock in to keep water clear! DH called me and said he was going to buy all of that stuff and I said NO!!!! Don't buy a thing, just get water tested. They said there was no need to drain the pool and if we keep using bleach we will ruin the liner. Well, I am not concerned about using bleach, I just want stabilizer down so we can use less bleach!! Once I got DH on board, he was fine with ignoring their advice too.

    So, the plan is to begin a partial drain/refill this afternoon. Should I go ahead and get all levels in range before draining/refilling or would that be a waste of time and $?

    Pool store #'s are below:

    Total Chlorine - 3.7
    Free Chlorine - 0.0 (dumped 3 96 oz. jugs of 6% unscented bleach in Wednesday night, but they evidently didn't hold)
    PH - 7.4
    Alkalinity - 140 (should we lower? Pool store said this was ok and not to lower)
    Calcium Hardness - 100
    Stabilizer - 200

    Thanks for your help!!

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    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    First, skip fixing the water until you are done with the drain and fill.

    Next, take the money your husband was ready to spend at the pool store, I see Leslie's has Fresh & Calear at $3.89/lb so that was maybe $33 including tax, and you might have done that at least one more time, another $33, then you may have been sold some sort of algaecide $26, and maybe a clarifier $15. So that was $107 saved... take that and order a top notch testing kit (like TF100) so you will not have to run over to the pool store all the time. Heck throw in something for the cost of gas and aggravation as well. See, it is a bargain at $68 + shipping.

    Everything else can wait until your CYA is in range, that being something like 30-50. So begin the drain and fill. Do you use municipal water or well water?
    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.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Thanks anonapersona! DH shouldn't have been spending the money on the stuff at the pool store in the first place, that's why I told him NO! We didn't/don't have it to spend.

    To answer your question, we are on city water, so our bill will probably skyrocket this month!

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by missylissac
    Thanks anonapersona! DH shouldn't have been spending the money on the stuff at the pool store in the first place, that's why I told him NO! We didn't/don't have it to spend.

    To answer your question, we are on city water, so our bill will probably skyrocket this month!
    Probably no more than $30 dollars. Maybe $50...You gotta love that Pool store guy...uh...Ripoff Artist! To be safe when draining the pool only go down by a third, then fill, let it circulate for a while and then test. Then start the process all over again and drain down another third of the pool. The TF kit is not really expensive and worth it's weight in gold. You could go to leslies or other like pool store and just order the CYA kit if you don't want to keep taking it to the store...Especially if you can't trust the DH to just get the water tested...Tell him to be strong. YOU WILL NOT RUIN YOUR LINER USING BLEACH...The only thing that has ruined my liner is the stupid puck floater that came apart and allowed a puck to fall to the bottom of the pool. I use liquid chlorine...12.5% and it hasn't harmed my liner...just poor in the pool right into the return flow...I ususally turn my jet so it is actually making a surface flow...and poor it right into the stream. Three years and no problem...Don't listen to the pool store guy. I have acutally almost been thrown out of my pool store for telling customer's the advice they got is dead wrong...And they know I don't buy into it because the only think I buy there is the chlorine...They know I know what is up with all those chemicals in the back.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by missylissac
    To answer your question, we are on city water, so our bill will probably skyrocket this month!
    I asked because some well water has high metals which can be a problem, city water is typically fine in that regard.
    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.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Thanks guys! I just drained the first 5 inches and am now refilling. If only the refilling would happen as fast as the draining...ugh! We would love to be swimming by tomorrow! My 7 yo has been with his grandpa all week and is begging to swim, but he can't because when I got home today the friggin' water was green again! DH is threatening to shoot a hole in the dag gum thang! LOL! Anyway, only about 7 more drain/refills to go

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    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by missylissac
    Thanks guys! I just drained the first 5 inches and am now refilling.
    You don't seem to understand.

    If you need to drain 35" you need to do it in much larger steps than that. You see, as you refill the water mixes up and when you drain again you are draining some of the fresh water you added just before. You will waste A LOT more water that way.

    If you need to drain 35" or half the pool, just do it. Stop refillling and go back to draining.

    I assume the pool is 70" deep? So, with a 5" drain you got rid of 7%, so on refill the CYA is now 93% of 200 or 186.
    Drain # 2 of Next 5" is 93% of 186 = 172, drain # 3 = 160, #4 = 149, #5 = 135, #6 = 129, #7 = 120.

    But if you just drain 50% NOW, and refill you get to half of whatever the CYA was in one step. Assuming it is actually 200, which could mean it is 160 or 280, you may find after a full one step 50% drain and refill that you test CYA = 80 or 140. You will know when you get there.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Would you be able to get your hands on a submersible pump? This will allow you to drain down below your return...
    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: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Would you be able to get your hands on a submersible pump? This will allow you to drain down below your return...
    Hey, it is an Above Ground Pool, so just flip a few hoses in and set them at the halfway point, give a good hard suck on it to get the water running over the edge of the pool and gravity will do the rest. when the water level gets to where the hose is set at the halfway mark it will suck air and flow stops. You must be certain that all water is out of the hose before you start this or you will find it much harder to do.

    I know one hose is pretty slow but 4 might be faster, or you can go to Home Depot and buy 15' of 1" vinyl tubing, maybe 30' if it is not too pricey. Clear is nice so you can see when it gets over the edge and you don't have water in your mouth -- I used to do this with fish tanks and fish water is not so tasty.
    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.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: High CYA - Drain and refill above ground pool?

    Ok guys, we've been draining since 11 o'clock this morning. We are down to 22 inches left in the pool. We have drained roughly 60% the height to the fill line. We are going to drain about 6 more inches and start the refill process. The water already looks better! The bottom 22 inches are crystal clear! A little green, but otherwise looks great! Thanks for all your help and I promise to get a good test kit soon!

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