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Thread: Please Help Me

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Please Help Me

    Please Help Me.
    We have been stuggling to figure out just what is wrong with our pool for weeks. Our cya was high..drained the pool and brougth in 2 new truck loads of water, algae, added liquid chlorine...back and forth for weeks now trying to figure out what we need to worry about first,second,etc. took a water sample to pool place today..they said all of our chemicals are off the charts and that they had never seen anything like it. we were told to worry about total alkalinity first along with ph. that the other chemicals and their readings may not be accurate or effective. Is this the right thing to do. We have spent so much money already. We were wondering if we should just drain it completely and start completely over with everything. or do we try the muritic acid. we were told that everything is "bound up" when the alkalinity is high. by lowering the alkalinity, will this possibly allow some chlorine to be used up more and thus decrease cya? we were told that there is some cya in chlorine and that when the chlorine is used up the cya will go down. we were told by others the only way to get rid of the cya was to drain the pool. is it possible to have high cya and chlorine levels, but they are not accurate readings? please help. thank you.
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

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    Re: Please Help Me

    For the most part you've been bad advice, likely not on purpose, but because they don't know better. Someone will be along shorty to help although please be patient on a holiday weekend. Here are some starters.

    1. There #'s aren't likely accurate but post them anyway. It will help others here help first.

    2. Total Alkalinity (TA) has nothing to do with chlorine use and is NOT your first priority. If pH is high, yes, you need to add muriatic acid (MA) to deal with it. pH should be between 7.2 an 7.8 (Note: High TA can lead to pH rises but that is not important for now) TA does NOT bind chlorine, CYA does.

    3. Not all chlorine has CYA and if your CYA is high, the last thing you want to do is use dichlor, trichlor, or pucks. Liquid chlorine is what you need. Options range from liquid chlorine at Home Depot or Lowes, to common 6% household bleach.

    4. CYA is never used up. Only way it goes away is splash out or refill.

    Read pool school, including how to shock (it's a process not a product) and wait for others to provide more advice.


    EDIT: Oh, and you'll need a good test kit. You can find the gouge in pool school.
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Me

    Welcome to TFP.

    As Sportsman pointed out, you've been given some bad advice. You may need to drain part of you pool water to get the CYA (stabilizer) down to a managable level but we won't know that until we see a set of test results. Unlike the pool store, we don't like to guess. Our main tenent here is good testing and doing only what's required to fix the problem.

    First what does your water look like? (clear, cloudy, green, etc.)
    Then give us as many results as you know. We'll take pool store numbers until you can get a good test kit of your own.
    pH
    FC
    CC
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    A good test kit is the single most important tool you can have. I recommend the TF-100 (see Sig). You can buy the Taylor K-2006 (make sure it's not the K-2005) if you'd like but it's not as good a deal.

    If your pH is out of range that's the first thing you need to work on.

    In addition to reading pool school, learn to use the Pool Calculator.

    Once you answer the questions we'll better be able to tell you exactly what your pool needs.
    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: Please Help Me

    You can add information to your profile and signature that will help us to understand what is going on. We like to know your location, sometimes that is a clue to what is going on if it is due to local water conditions. We also need to know about your pool equipment, pool size and type surface, filter type, pump size, water features, and how you have been treating your water so far.

    If you can recall, tell us what sort of things you have used so far to deal with whatever the problem is. I always suggest that you keep a pool book, that records what test results you get and what chemicals you add to the pool. Over time you will learn a lot from these records.

    Finally, describe what is going on, photos are good. If you just drained the pool and brought in new water, I suspect the water is not all that bad. How much new water was added compared to the total pool volume? How high is CYA now?

    I will add my suggestion to all the others that you need to do your own testing of your pool. The test kit most of us use is top notch, good price, great service. Click the link in Dave's signature just above this post to go to the TFTest kit site.
    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: Please Help Me

    please bare with me because up until this point, my husband has been dealing with this. but since he has had surgery i will tell you what i know. our pool is 18x42. inground with a sand filter and vinyl liner. when we started all of this a couple of weeks ago, our cya was 50!. prior to knowing that we had added muritic acid to bring down our ph. not quite sure what it was at. we have ordered a test kit that will not get here until the 14th. if there is any place to buy one, let me know. when i took the water sample in (after using our kit we had and also using strips) the pool place did not give me numbers because they said they were all off the charts. everything (according to their strips,why they dont have a better kit I dont know) was unable to be read. as far as i remember, our ph had never been that high. it was always ideal when we used our kit. we noticed algae, and it wasn't until my husband found this site that he decided to check all the other things. We drained our pool thinking it would get the cya down, but i guess that didnt work. we did not drain it completely, but did use 2 truck loads about 11,600 gallons total. (i think each tuck carried 5800 from what they told me.). i guess i just dont know what to worry about first. after we added the 2 truck loads we added 4 jugs (i would think they were gallons) to the pool, thinking it would help get rid of the algae. i have taken out all chlorine sticks out of our dispenser. i have now added 2.5 bottles of muritic acid today to the pool. if ph is the first thing i worry about, since that is testing about 7.2 maybe a little higher, but still ideal, what do i worry about next? the alkalinity? or the cya? if i get the alkalinity down, the cya won't go down? why didnt my cya go down with the draining and refilling of the pool? we are wondering if we should just drain the whole thing and refill it with all new water. the cost of this is rediculous. thanks for all of your responses. i greatly appreciate it. hope to hear from you all soon.
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

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    Re: Please Help Me

    one more thing, tell me if i am thinking the wrong way. high TA will cause chlorine to be ineffective. it will also bind with cya. if i get my TA down, this will allow chlorine to work more effectively,and cya will not bind to the high TA anymore. or does cya bind to chlorine? if it binds to chlorine, then why wouldn't it become decreased with the decrease of chlorine? We live in the midwest, if that makes any difference to possible causes as to how this got this way. our water was cloudy green prior to us adding the liquid chlorine. now it is not as bad,but still cloudy. thanks again for all your help. hopefully tomorrow i can find a good test kit somewhere and post more accurate numbers. we have always been under the impression that unless your TA is in the right range, your PH results are not accurate. I will definetly read the pool school again. thanks again
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Please Help Me

    First, relax. This is not hard to solve. We still need more info on the volume. How deep is the deep end and how deep is the shallow end? Someone can help figure that out for you. Is it rectangular?

    How much of the pool was drained? Half, all but some amount in the deep end? Knowing that 11,600 gallons was replaced is part of the answer.

    I see that pH is now 7.2, that is fine, leave it alone. Don't worry about alkalinity, that is the last thing you work on. Keep an eye on the pH. If it goes up a lot, like to 7.8 or more, then you will add some muriatic acid to bring it down. How much muriatic acid depends on the volume of the pool, so that is important, as well as the TA, total alkalinity. Too much acid can cause problems so no more dumping in jugs without knowing what you are trying to do. You ought to spend some time playing with the Pool Calculator to see how it works. It requires the correct pool volume, so do not, do not, add any chemicals based on that until you know your pool volume.

    You said you added 4 jugs after the truckloads of water.... 4 jugs of what?
    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: Please Help Me

    Quote Originally Posted by dbabz31
    one more thing, tell me if i am thinking the wrong way. high TA will cause chlorine to be ineffective. it will also bind with cya. if i get my TA down, this will allow chlorine to work more effectively,and cya will not bind to the high TA anymore. or does cya bind to chlorine? if it binds to chlorine, then why wouldn't it become decreased with the decrease of chlorine? We live in the midwest, if that makes any difference to possible causes as to how this got this way. our water was cloudy green prior to us adding the liquid chlorine. now it is not as bad,but still cloudy. thanks again for all your help. hopefully tomorrow i can find a good test kit somewhere and post more accurate numbers. we have always been under the impression that unless your TA is in the right range, your PH results are not accurate. I will definetly read the pool school again. thanks again
    All wrong.

    TA is important to pH. High pH will have some effect on chlorine, but really the problem is that high pH makes it uncomfortable to be in the water, hurts the eyes and makes skin itchy if it is too far out of whack. High TA leads to higher pH, eventually. It is corrected with muriatic acid, can be done fast or slow. Slow is easier. Fast requires a source of aeration (like spa bubbles or a fountain). TA is not really important enough to worry about in general -- as you keep pH in the correct range the TA will tend to drift downward as you add muriatic acid. Sometimes it can be important, some situations with unusual water conditions, but really, do this last.

    CYA is what binds to the chlorine. It "wraps up" (or binds) the chlorine so that only a part of it can get out to work on the pool. A lot is held back, and protected from the sun, to come out slowly, as the other chlorine is used up. CYA is important because of how it binds chlorine. Depending on what you put into the pool after the new water, and how much new water there was, you may have a lot of CYA or practically none. None is bad, since your chlorine will be gone in hours after the sun comes up. Too much is bad, as too much of the chlorine is "wrapped up" and not working in the pool.

    Now, with the description of the pool we are getting something to work on. Was green after the new water, added 4 jugs os something... bleach?... now cloudy. Is it still green and cloudy or is it grey or blue and cloudy?
    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: Please Help Me

    ok,here goes, hope i got some better info for you. my pool is 18x42 with deep end 8 ft and shallow end 3.5, which, using the calculator puts me at 32,200 gallons, now this is what it will hold, but i cant say if that is the amount right now due to me vaccuming and wasting some to get rid of algae, prior to getting on this site. after we emptied not quite half of the pool to decrease the cya, we added 4 gallons of liquid chlorine. at the time prior to emptying the pool and also at the time after refilling it, the water was cloudy and green. after adding the chlorine, the following morning it was still green and cloudy. by afternoon it was less green. i then vaccummed the pool to waste to get rid of the algae.(at this point we thought our biggest problem was algae). now this morning (saturday) the water was more of a blue/grey cloudy, but i could see there was still algae on the liner That was when i took the sample to the pool place. (which i now see has been giving us wrong info). Am i correct in saying that by adding the muritic acid, that even though the ph may come down, it can easily rise again due to the high TA? I was under the impression that I should be checking ph along with TA, thinking that the muritic acid would bring down the TA along with the PH and that I would have to keep a close eye on the PH to add ph increase if needed. Now your saying add muritic acid only if the ph is high, right? that once i get the ph stablized, the TA will pretty much take care of itself, or am i getting too confused? If my ph is ok (ideal) and my TA is high what do i do next? or should i worry about keeping ph ideal and worry about something else like my high cya? how do i know if high readings for all the chemicals are not false highs? thanks so much for helping.
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

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    Re: Please Help Me

    after reading your last post again, do you think if we drained the pool and refilled it again and did not do anything else, this would lower cya, allowing chlorine to no be so bound up and it would kill the algae? i dont know why i think that would work, probably because it sounds to easy to do. is this almost pointless to try to fix until we get our better testing kit? until then i don't think i have an accurate way to test cya,fc,etc. unless i use strips, which i thought were not accurate. thanks again
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Me

    I get a volume for your pool of 31,000 so I'd say we're in the same ballpark.

    We've noticed that there seems to be a trend toward putting more importance on TA than it really deserves. TA only needs to be quickly addressed if you have really high CH and are in danger of scaling, so lets not worry about TA right now.

    Without a good test kit we really don't know what your CYA is. Most pool stores will report a CYA over 100 as 100 so you really don't know how much higher it might be. You can check at Walmart for the HTH 6-way drop test kit. If they have it in stock, you could use it till your good kit arrives. That has enough CYA reagent in it for two tests. That would at least let us know where you're starting at. If you do find one post back here that you have it before you perform the test because I want you to dilute the first one to save reagent and that'll cover it if you're still over 100. I'm not saying you are we'll just test that way.

    I'm not going to tell you to drain the pool at this point because you're CYA might be alright from the last draining. If you do decide to drain it, it will certainly get rid of the CYA.
    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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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Me

    Please remember to be patient with your pool. It did not get this way overnight and it will take some time to clear up. You have gotten very good advice from Bama, Anona, and Sportsman. Take a deep breath, let it out... We have all been were you are right now, confused, frustrated, and dealing with a swampy mess. So far you have taken your pool from green to cloudy blue. This is good, this is progress.
    From what I understand from your post, you have added 4 gallons of chlorine. That is a good start. At this point you can continue to add a gallon a day to keep your pool at its current state, cloudy blue. When the test kit arrives you can post your test results and we will take you through completing the shock process. It is important to have those test results so we will know how to accurately dose your pool.

    FYI- We do not "shock" a pool here at TFP, we take it through a shock process. The shock process involves raising the FC to shock level (as determined by test results) and keeping it at shock level until the shock process is completed.
    The shock process is completed when the pool has passed the Overnight FC loss Test (more on this later, or you can find the article in Pool School if you would like to review it now), you have a CC reading of .5 or less, and your water is clear.

    Anytime you have questions feel free to post here. We are here to help. You will be enjoying your pool again soon!
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Please Help Me

    OK, got it now? Just to summarize, in case advice from various people is confusing....

    1. Add a gallon of bleach every day. (continue to filter 24/7, OK to turn filter off a short while to let debris settle to the bottom occasionally to vac to waste if you can) And I assume you know to add bleach while the filter is running, pouring it slowly where water is returned to the pool so it mixes well and does not just sit on the bottom. It is good to brush right after to be certain mixing occurs and you get a chance to scrub the algae with fresh bleach.

    2. If you are sure that the good test kit will not arrive until 9/14, 9 days from now, then get the "HTH 6 way kit" from Walmart. Dilute the sample with one part pool water and one part distilled water to save reagent on the CYA test. Your true CYA will be approximately 2x what you read. (if you are not sure of the reading, pour the sample back into the bottle and do the test again with the same mixture, you can read the result as many times as you need until you think you have it right. Just don't toss out the sample and use reagents again. Expect to try for best 2 out of 3, or 3 out of 5 readings.) What kit did you order that will take so long to arrive?

    Now, do not work to change pH at this time, if FC is very high it will interfere with the pH test. Do test and report to us the pH you read, but know that it could be off. Also do not worry about TA, do that last. It may be that you don't even need to address it.

    Finally, please, go to the User Control Panel at the upper left of the page. Go to Profile and click it, then under Edit Profile enter your Location -- then it will show up when you post, over at the left under your name. This is important because knowing your location may tell us what your local water is like. Then under Edit Signature enter what you can about your pool, I suggest using 31,000 gallons that Bama calculated, vinyl liner, sand filter. It makes it easier for us, right now I have to scan backwards to the old posts to find that info, just sort of tedious. I read about 6 to 10 different threads each time I log in so I cannot remember your details.
    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: Please Help Me

    Ok, I am off to see if walmart has the kit. Hopefully they do. Another note, today my water does look a little more greenish than blue/grey. there is algae covering the bottom of the pool and sides as evidenced when brushing the pool. Hopefully will be able to posts some real numbers soon. Thanks.
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

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    Re: Please Help Me

    Get some bleach while you are at Walmart, Clorox is better than Great Value IMO.
    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: Please Help Me

    ok, well no luck at walmart. out of season here in IL. I did redo my readings with the standard kit here at home just now. here is what i got, dont know if it will help. PH now is 7.2, TA measured 26 drops, which I assume measured 260ppm. When I did test the chlorine (which I know doesn't tell me FC vs Total chlorine) it again was off the charts, so greater than 3.0. My question is should I continue to add muriatic acid? And aerate to keep PH from dropping too low? Has anyone heard of "slugging" your pool to lower both ph and TA. I know that you said to not worry about TA at this time. I keep thinking that the high TA will continue to bring up my PH until the TA is normal, is that correct? If I do not need to worry about the TA and to continue to watch PH and acid if neccessary, then what do you think the next thing to correct is? Do i need to add more chlorine(bleach) at this time if chlorine is already high? if the answer is yes, is it due to the chlorine not being effective and binding to the cya? I am going to continue to search to see where I can find a better test kit. thank you for all of your advice. I hope I am understanding all of this the right way. PH first...most important part to stablize in order to get everything else in check, right? From there I don't know, I guess I would say chlorine next, followed by TA. At what point would I tackle the CYA?
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Me

    Don't worry about your TA. It will come down as you adjust your pH from time to time. Don't stress about the pH either just test and adjust the pH down every time it gets up to 7.8 or so.

    The best thing you can do while waiting on your test kit to arrive is add some chlorine each day and spend a lot of time reading pool school especially the parts about shocking and levels.
    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: Please Help Me

    So continue to add liquid bleach (chlorox?) or liquid chlorine every day until my kit arrives,right? Basically to get rid of the algae. There is more now than this morning. Algae will cause my PH to increase, am I right? How much do you suggest that I add at a time and how long do I wait to retest? When I retest, dont worry about the chlorine levels worry about the PH? Have you ever heard of "slugging" a pool? I was told that you add muriatic acid to the deep end to form a funnel, let it sit for 30mins and then turn pump back on. I guess I just don't know what my next thing to worry about besides maintaining the ph is. I just cont to dump in bleach until there is more chlorine than cya? or until the algae goes away? Once I add the bleach, do i let it sit? or should i circulate it while i brush the pool? I was also told that once I get the PH and TA stable, everything else should work itself out, except the cya. If my chlorine is high, cant that give me a false ph reading? thanks again.
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Please Help Me

    one more thing about the chlorine. If i do not know what my FC is at this time, how do i know that i do not have too much and that it wont ruin my equipment? the weather is fairly cool here, dropping to 50-60's at night. not very hot and sunny during the day, will that make a difference in my adding of bleach? is it safe to say that my FC is low just by the presence of algae? if so, just keep adding and bruching til algae goes away? (while also balancing ph?, and if the ph drops, what do i do because i do not want to add ph increaser due to it will add cya, wont it? would i aerate if ph drops too low? or do you think it wont drop because the algae and the high TA will cont to raise ph?) thanks again.
    31,000 gallons, sand filter, pro series S244T24,vinyl liner,

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help Me

    You're not going to be able to effectively shock your pool and get rid of algae until you get a good kit. The best you can do at this point is to let the chlorine drop back down to where it's readable and then add enough to get to shock level for 100pm CYA. Use Pool Calc to figure ot out. That's not nearly ideal but it'll have to do until you get the kit.

    Test the pH when it gets back down below 10ppm TC and adjust it if needed.
    A couple of questions.
    Where are you getting the kit from and which kit is it?
    I only ask because it seems strange to take that long to get a kit.
    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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