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Thread: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

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    FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    I have had my pool for a couple of months now and FC has always read 4-5 using my TF-100 test kit. The only chemicals I have ever added to the pool is muriatic acid. For no apparent reason the chlorine reading was orange on the 10th of November, with my intellichlor running at 40%. On the 11th I did the FAS/DPD which gave me a level of 18. I turned the intellichlor off and retested today and the result is still orange. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening? Could the intellichlor be malfunctioning?
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    I forgot to add the other pool readings:

    pH 7.6
    CC 0
    TA 90-100
    CH 300
    CYA 60
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    As the temperature starts to drop (both the water and air) chlorine use goes way down. So the settings where you need to keep the SWCG in the summer may not be appropriate for fall and winter. Just turn the SWCG down a little bit.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    With water temps in the 50's chlorine use is greatly reduced.
    Reduce the output percentage on the SWCG to 10% or reduce the pump run time to 1/4 of your Summer level.
    Monitor your chlorine level as it may take weeks to reduce to the proper level.

    When water temps are less than 50, I turn off the SWCG and add a little liquid chlorine to maintain the correct chlorine relative to the CYA. Our pools need only a small amount of chlorine when the temps are less than 50.

    I am wary of using the SWCG to increase the chlorine to shock+ levels and allowing it to slowly drift downward over the Winter. I do not know if high chlorine concentrations over several months could effect the color or longevity of the pool surface and equipment.
    poolschoolgrad

    20x40 free-form IG vinyl, 1hp Hayward superpump, Hayward pro grid DE filter, Raypak heatpump, Goldline Aquarite SWCG, Polaris 280 with booster, and tested using a Taylor K2006.

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    I currently have the Intellichlor off, should I turn it back on to 10%?

    The pump run time is another issue. Currently the pump is running 11 hrs/day. We have trees surrounding the pool. I had an infloor cleaning system installed which has never gotten the pool clean. Sand and leaves laying on the floor. I have come to find out that mine was the first system that my pool builder has installed. Once they figured out how to program with my Intelliflow, they couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. Turns out someone did not remove a sticker somewhere in the plumbing that was blocking the flow. After that fix it still wasn't working. I was told to increase the cleaning time which we did to 4 1/2 hrs. Still not clean. They had to come back and clean out the heads because of debris. Still not clean. Then I had the Polaris rep come and he took the heads out and removed more debris. Still not clean. I noticed some of the heads had popped off. He came back to put them on. Still not clean. I paid $2000 additional to have tree limbs which overhang the pool removed. Then the Polaris rep told my builder that the pump needs to run at full speed while the cleaner is on, since the leaves and sand just sit along the edges of the pool. The builder made that change, then I noticed three more heads have come off. I have waited a week for the builder to come and put the heads back on, I will have to hunt him down on Monday.

    I have had this brand new pool finished since September and it has never once looked clean. I am extremely frustrated and upset that we spent all of this money on a system which is not working. I have spent many hours netting leaves off the bottom of the pool and can't do it anymore. Is the 99% clean guarantee backed by Polaris or an outside company? Does anyone have any advice or comments?
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    Unfortunately, those in-floor pool cleaning systems are a bit tempermental. Some people have good luck with them, others not so much. I've never known anyone with one that was completely satisfied.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    You can leave the intellichlor off. Just monitor the chlorine level. When it nears the Chlorine target level then turn it back on at 10%. With your 11 hour run times this may still increase the chlorine, but would be a good starting point.
    Water temps may fall below 50 degree in Houston within the next month and the SWCG won't output any chlorine. If the water temps are below 50 just leave the SWCG off.

    For Fall usage (water temps below 65), I shorten the chlorine output of the SWCG to 1/4 of the normal Summer usage. This is accomplished by decreasing the output % or decreasing the pump run time. I normally decrease the pump run time as long as the cleaner can clear the leaves from the bottom in 1 cycle.

    I have no experience with the in-floor cleaning systems.
    Leaves and debris can be a challenge for all types of cleaning systems. In fact, I empty the bag on the cleaner daily or every other day and sometimes I scoop off some of the leaves from the surface with a large leaf net. The 'leaf madness' only lasts about 2 months and I simply deal with the leaves in order to enjoy the Oak and Maple trees the other 10 months out of the year.
    poolschoolgrad

    20x40 free-form IG vinyl, 1hp Hayward superpump, Hayward pro grid DE filter, Raypak heatpump, Goldline Aquarite SWCG, Polaris 280 with booster, and tested using a Taylor K2006.

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    Thanks for the input everyone. I'll get the heads put back in and we'll see what happens.
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    My FC shot way up also. FC now higher then I can read it. I have had the SWCG off for several days now and the FC has not dropped much at all. I cut my pump time down from 6 hours daily to 3. My PH is standing good too.
    4' X 6' depth 10.3 k IG Gunite w/blue diamond brite interior finish. Pentair 1.5 HP pump, Goldline salt system, 300,000 btu Pentair gas heater, Pentair FNS DE filter, blower for in pool bench spa jets, floor sweep/cleaning system, bird cage covering, highly filtered well water.

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    I actually have to defend in floors. I have a paramount and couldnt be happier.I work quite alot so even though I think I would enjoy vaccuming my pool it would take a dent out of my time to enjoy the pool. I did not have any problems all summer with debris or leaves an when the guys closed the pool they said it was the cleanest pool they had closed this year.
    Kurt R
    35900 gal. 20x40 Inground, Vinyl Liner with Deep End in the Middle, Roman Stairs on Both Ends
    Sta Rite Sys 3, Hayward 1.5 Super Pump, Aqua Heat Heat Pump, Paramount in Floor, BBB

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    Does your main pump run the cleaning system, or do you have a 2nd pump that runs it? The debris you referred to - is it in the supply pipe underneath the cleaning heads, or somewhere else? The system should supply clean water to the pop-up heads, so if debris is getting into them, there may be another problem as yet undiagnosed in the filter. It would be normal to have a very high flow rate for the in-floor cleaning system to operate properly. Some mfgrs of the infloor systems ask the builder to fax them a pool plan & they will tell the builder exactly where to locate the heads, so you might ask Polaris if all that seems to be correct. I've seen several brands of the in-floor systems work very well, although they are expensive. If it's not cleaning properly, contact Polaris, as the guarantee comes from them.
    APSP CST Certified
    17k inground concrete; 1.5hp 2 speed Tristar pump, 300sq.ft. Cartridge filter, AquaLogic PS-4 w/ Tcell-15, Navigator suction cleaner.

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastsporty77
    My FC shot way up also. FC now higher then I can read it. I have had the SWCG off for several days now and the FC has not dropped much at all. I cut my pump time down from 6 hours daily to 3. My PH is standing good too.
    If there is no sunlight hitting the pool and if the water is cooler, then the chlorine can last a whole lot longer. In my own pool during the winter with a mostly opaque cover on it, when the water gets below 60ºF, the FC drop is less than 1 ppm per week.

    You say the FC is higher than you can read it. Do you not have a FAS-DPD chlorine test as in the TFTestkits TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006? What is the CYA level in your pool? If it's around 80 ppm, then having the FC even at 20 ppm is not a problem, but if you wanted to lower it faster you could add a dechlorinating product (usually sodium thiosulfate), though that's not really necessary.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    My chlorine level did drop off once I turned off the intellichlor, then I turned it back on at 10% and it was working fine. However, I noticed that the salt level indicator on the system was low (red light), so I added 2 bags of pool salt and turned on the superchlorinator function for 24 hrs. The chlorine level dropped from 1 to 0.5. Do I need to add more salt?
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    Whats the water temp? At lower water temps, the SWCG will "sense" low salt. They will not operate at water temps less than about 55 degrees.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    The way the SWG reads salt is by the conductivity of the water. When the water gets cold the SWG thinks there is less salt in the water then there actually is. I disconnect my SWG in the winter and just use chlorine manually. SWGs are not ment to operate in cold water and some manufacturers tell you to disconnect the SWG when it gets cold.
    Carlos
    Pool: 28,000 gallons IG; IC 40 SWG; Pentair 120 gpm cartridge filter; Marble finish; Pentair Wisperflow 1.5 hp; Polaris 360
    Spa: 350 gallon; Bromine
    How to shock your pool

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    Thanks for the quick replies, yes, it is cold here right now, about 40 degrees. So I should turn off the SWG and manually add some chlorine? What kind should I put in? Today's test results are:

    Cl 0.5
    pH 7.8

    and from Jan 1st:

    TA 30-40
    CH 300-350
    CYA 70-80

    Also, my pool was built July 2010 and I have been battling a rising pH ever since, needing to add 1 gal of MA once a week or once every other week, is that normal or excessive? Is there something I am missing?
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    Ranger 987,

    To answer your question, I have one pump (Pentair 4X160 I think) running both the main circulation and the cleaning system. I have had Zodiak out here several times to evaluate, the heads have been cleaned out a few times, on their latest visit I was told that the issue is that the system is not getting enough pressure to push the debris out. The sand and leaves and acorns get pushed to the perimeter of the pool and stay there. He said when he disconnects the system from the filter, the pressure is good and that the filter needs to be backwashed.

    So I backwashed the filter but still have not seen any change in the cleaning. I have made an appointment to meet with both the builder and Zodiak to see what is going on.

    The pool was finished in September, we only got to swim in it a couple of times before it was too cold, and now it has become a maintenance nightmare. It has never looked clean because the infloor has never worked properly. The acorns and leaves started falling in October and they are still coming down strong here in January. This is so much more work than in the summertime.

    Any suggestions?
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    Regular unscented bleach (clorox, great value, aldi) will do the trick, just make sure the pump is running so that the chlorine gets circulated.

    As for the PH rise and acid demand, that is very normal and to be expected on a new (less than 12mo old) plaster pool.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    As for the Paramount:

    What speed are you running the VS when the in-floor is running?

    How long does the in-floor cycle run?

    Are the heads where Paramount said they should be?

    What size nozzles are in the heads?

    How many zones? How many heads per zone?
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: FC level 18 with no chlorine added- possible causes?

    The pump is running at full speed when the cleaner is on, which is 4 1/2 hrs/day. Otherwise the pump is on for another 6 1/2 hrs/day at low speed.

    The Zodiak rep has told me that is installed properly and working as is should, that the issue is with the pressure being delivered to the heads. There are 6 heads in the spa, 3 in the sun shelf, 4 in the first step, 1 in the second step, 1 on each of two benches in the middle of the pool, 2 in the swim out, and 14 in the main area. Not sure how many zones but I'm guessing there are 10-12 zones. I don't know the nozzle head size either.
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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