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Thread: New Pool Owner - Test Results - Super High CH

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    New Pool Owner - Test Results - Super High CH

    Hello everyone and happy 4th. I'm glad to have this holiday weekend to finally try and get on top of things including the pool. I ordered the TF Kit last week and it just came in yesterday. I had a pool about 8 years ago but now I'm trying to relearn everything.

    The pool is in ground, pebbletec. Around 13000 gallons. I don't have an exact measurement yet but the pool is rectangular 23' by 13.8' with an avg depth of 49". Also has a couple shallow shelves.

    It's a SWG pool, but the salt cell wasn't working properly until I cleaned it out a few days ago.

    Here's the story:
    We just bought this house 3 weeks ago and moved in last weekend. Former owner let the pool go a bit before moving out. He felt bad, took water sample to pool store, and got a host of chemicals to throw in right before closing. Based on the paper he left, here is a list of what was done:
    • Lower pH 2 pts (I assume he added a couple gallons of Muriatic Acid)
      2 Packets algae treatment
      6 gallons chlorine


    When we got the keys, I noticed the salt cell wasn't working so I got a floater and some tablets (ya i know). The tablets were 3" dual layer with thichloro-s-triazinetrione (70%) and Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione (15%) and OTHER (15%). Over the last couple weeks we've burned through about 8 of these.

    Water looks blue, but it is definitely a bit cloudy, especially at night in the light. We do have a lot of calcium (thought it was salt at first) buildup on the waterline and in the fountain fixtures. Here are the test results:

    • FC 5.5, CC .5, TC 6[/*:m:gwo18eup]
    • pH 8[/*:m:gwo18eup]
    • TA 150[/*:m:gwo18eup]
    • CH 1460 (This is where it just started to get a decent blue tint and my patience was growing thin waiting for it to turn). I also tested the fill water and it is 420.[/*:m:gwo18eup]
    • CYA 20[/*:m:gwo18eup]
    • Salt 4300 (aqua chk strip), 3800 (according to aqua rite readout)[/*:m:gwo18eup]


    So I would guess Salt and CH require partial draining of the pool, which is kind of a problem for me since the backyard is not really that big and there is really nowhere to drain. Any tips on that?

    With a fill water CH of 420, am I going to have this same problem again and again? What are the options here? Do they sell a filter I can add to the fill line?

    Also I'm guessing to lower pH and TA and raise CYA. Any suggestions to the order of attacking these things?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    ~13000 gl pebbletec in-ground SWG
    Filter: Hayward DE6020 120gpm flow
    Pump: Hayward Super II SP3010 1hp

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    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Denton, TX
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Test Results - Super High CH

    Welcome to TFP!

    You have several issues to deal with, but I would suggest starting out by lowering the pH. That is one thing you can take care of right now with muriatic acid.

    Where are you located. If you are in the southwest somewhere, there might be a Reverse Osmosis outfit near you that can pull the salt and calcium from you water without having to drain.

    The only thing that I can think of to soften your fill water is a water softener.

    Your CYA is low. This of course needs to come up but I would wait until you get the salt and calcium levels lowered.

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    Re: New Pool Owner - Test Results - Super High CH

    Thanks for the reply. I am in the southwest - Phoenix area. I did a quick google search and found a couple companies that look like they specialize in ROing the water. Haven't seen any prices yet, but looking at the size of the trailer they bring out and the fact that it takes 6-10 hrs, I imagine it can't be cheap. How many gallons would you recommend draining to reduce salt and calcium?

    I know the Pool School has a link that says that in areas of high calcium (I guess that's me), that levels up to 1200 can be managed by keeping pH and TA on the low end. Is that would you guys would recommend for a long term solution? I'm not sure water softener on the fill line is practical. We do have a water softener loop on the house, but I am 99% sure it is not looped into the outside hose bib.

    I'll start with some acid tomorrow. What would be your recommended target pH given my other numbers?
    ~13000 gl pebbletec in-ground SWG
    Filter: Hayward DE6020 120gpm flow
    Pump: Hayward Super II SP3010 1hp

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    SouthWest Alabama
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Test Results - Super High CH

    With a fill water CH as high as yours, your best bet is the R/O treatment. If your water is really cheap and you don't mind draining a god bit on some regular basis then drain refill might work.

    With a CH of 1450 and fill water of 450 you need to drain almost all your water to do a great amount of good.
    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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    Re: New Pool Owner - Test Results - Super High CH

    Welcome to the 'page!

    Like 'Bama said, I would look at the R/O option. I know some of the guys out your way, so if you need a referral, just PM me. I don't think it costs anything for an estimate, so you might check and see what it runs and then make your decision.

    Please be careful draining in your heat! The P-Tec is very strong, but the heat is brutal this time of year by you, and plaster wants to stay wet. The sheer amount of rock offers you quite a bit of protection, but it is still possible to delaminate the finish in your heat.

    Congrats on the new home, and for finding TFP! Good for you to take the incentive to take control of your pool; you will not regret it

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    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Denton, TX
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    Re: New Pool Owner - Test Results - Super High CH

    At this time of the year, I would do whatever possible to avoid exposing your plaster to direct sun. That is why RO is such a great thing for your area.

    Many people do run with an appreciably high CH in their pool water but it is all about focus great attention on the CSI. It can be done but not without great diligence on your part.

    I would make some calls and check some prices on RO and just see what you are looking at.

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