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Thread: Phosphates?

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    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Phosphates?

    Split off of this topic. JasonLion

    If you have trouble maintaning proper chlorine levels during the day Phosphates is your problem! Salt systems are very suseptable to this. Meaning if you run your system with the proper stabilizer level and at the end of the runing day your measure your chlorine and it's low it because of high phoshates! Trust me I've been through this a few years ago! Most people to this day don't understand advanced water chemistry.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    I beg your pardon? And your credential are what? Your evidence is what? I think it's you that doesn't understand.

    Scott
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    If you have trouble maintaning proper chlorine levels during the day Phosphates is your problem! Salt systems are very suseptable to this. Meaning if you run your system with the proper stabilizer level and at the end of the runing day your measure your chlorine and it's low it because of high phoshates! Trust me I've been through this a few years ago! Most people to this day don't understand advanced water chemistry.
    I believe your statement is incorrect. Organics and sunlight consume FC, not phosphates. Do you mind sharing the theory behind your statement? We've de-bunked this myth quite a few times, so I would appreciate your view.

    Take a read through the thread below. If you keep your pool properly chlorinated, it kills algae before it has a chance to grow, regardless of your phosphate level.

    phosphates-can-be-a-serious-problem-t16805.html?hilit=phosphates
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    Re: Phosphates?

    FWIW, my phosphate level increased prior to my installing the Aqua Rite generator (which I installed last Wed). Before that I used Tri-Chlor until some time in early February and then I switched to 6% Clorox until last week when I installed the Aqua Rite. It went from 100 ppb (in mid Feb) to 2,500 ppb in about 3 weeks and the only thing that I believe explains it is the large amount of pollen we get this time of year.

    [edit] And in the almost 4 months I've had the pool, I've never had any issue with maintaning the chlorine level during the day.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    We all know this one. Phosphates can be a source of food for algae. That is, IF YOU HAVE ALGAE. One does not need to starve algae to be rid of it. Proper pool care will insure that you do not have algae, and you will not need to concern yourself over phosphates. Proper pool care will also result in a sanitary pool, which is not directly related to algae.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Phosphates?

    Sure, I didn't mean to offend anyone. After opening up a new pool about 7 years ago the first swimming season went fine, parameters spot on. The second year after the swimming season started I started noticing that at the end of the day 6-7pm I would test the water and there was almost no chlorine in the pool? Thought it might be my cell. Testing during chlorination revelled differently, cells working! Test in the morning Chlorine is fine. In the evening almost nothing! And nobody had been in the pool all day! Thought it had to be my stabilizer, checked that, nope right at 90. Make a long story short, I was at my local pool store and one of there vendors overheard me talking and said can I come over to your house and check it out.I said sure and after she did all kinds of her own testing could'nt figure it out! All tests were perfect except for phosphates(4500) and chlorine. About 2 weeks later I had 3 chemists in my yard running tests on my water equipment and surrounding vegitation! What came of it was that in my situation and area I need to raise my stabilizer a little bit (around 100-105) even though the range should 50-80. I like to run at 90 so not much of a change. I have no shade at all so I was burning off some chlorine. But the biggest problem was the phosphate levels were in there words "Is not allowing your chlorine to stay stable" I'm trying to see if I still have the binder of info the gave me! So this particular company was beta testing a product to 1 remove the phosphates and another to maintain that level. So I agreed to enter the research study. After about a week after the chemical was added the phosphate level was near zero and the chlorine level went threw the roof!! My SWG had been set at 95% running 11 hours a day, my levels went to like7.2 right away! Like blood red in the tester! So I was able to dial that down right away. Now I might hit 80% during the height of the swim season! Now mind you guy's this whole time the pool was crystal clear, never got algae blooms or anything! I'm not going mention the company that helped me because I don't want to come off as a sales person. But it all worked for me and I have not had a problem since. I do use maintenance dosing once a week but I havent had a phoshate reading above 100 since (4 years now)!
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Some of the other members here have similar stories, and the issue seems to be that there is a not-quite-obvious-yet algae bloom that is using the chlorine as fast as it can be generated. When the phosphate remover is added, the algae starves just enough that the chlorine is able to finally kill it all, and chlorine usage drops dramatically. I expect that is what happened in your situation.

    Phosphates don't cause the chlorine to become unstable. If you are interested, one of our members (Chem Geek) has explained this (and many other chemistry-related questions) in excruciating detail elsewhere on the site.

    Welcome to TFP, by the way! Glad to see someone else trying out the dripper acid feeder; I've been mildly interested but too lazy to try it myself.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    My SWG had been set at 95% running 11 hours a day, my levels went to like7.2 right away! Like blood red in the tester!
    Well, here is the thing about your situation. Since you are saying your test went to like 7.2 ppm right away it implies that your chlorine level was well below that and also that you are using a DPD test. Since you say you like to run your CYA at around 90 that means your chlorine level needs to be a minimum of 7 ppm to compensate for the large amount of CYA you have in your pool.

    You need to purchase a FAS/DPD test because since you like to run high levels of CYA you have to also run high levels of chorine to compensate and the target level for your pool is 10 ppm which you cannot test for using a DPD test.

    Having said this it appears that you were on the verge of a algae break out and that is the true reason you where consuming large amounts of chorine not because you had phosphates in the water.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Agreed. We've seen this same tale of "where is my chlorine going?" over and over. If it is getting used up, it's either UV or organics. If you had raised your FC to proper shock level, which by the way, is 35 for a CYA of 90, you'd have wiped out the algae. We tend to think that your CYA level is a touch high, and you've just experienced the reason why. It reduced the effectiveness of the chlorine, so that eventually, as CYA goes up and up, one really has a tough time maintaining an effective FC level at all.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    Sure, I didn't mean to offend anyone.
    Thank you for explaining...no offense taken. And my apologies for not giving you a warm welcome first

    You'll find alot of what we state works for roughly 99% of our members, that said, if you have found something that is working for you, that's great, it just may not be the same as our opinion, which is mainly focused on providing a TFP experience in the most economical fashion possible.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Ben, I thought the same thing about the algae but the water was crystal clear! They also took scrapings off my grids in the filter skimmer and outlet eyeballs! No growths at all in the algae department. Houtex, the reason your seeing your phoshates shoot up is the water is rapidly warming up here enough to bloom algae. Also with high phosphate counts my SWG was being taxed to produce normal chlorine levels, when the phosphate level was elliminated the SWG over produced chlorine! Resulting in sky high chlorine levels! My tester is the one recomended here. Most of my more accurate testing is at my local store where they use a software based tester that uses light (I believe). I'm not a big fan of drip tester though, not very accurate IMO. Just my .02! Sounds crazy but its been working flawless ever since!
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    Houtex, the reason your seeing your phoshates shoot up is the water is rapidly warming up here enough to bloom algae.
    Not sure I follow your reasoning. Are you saying that the phospates increased because the water temp increased? I don't believe I have an unseen algea problem. My chlorine level is at 5 ppm, and I have no trouble maintaining it. For a salt pool I think I'm in the range of the recommended chlorine level at 80 CYA.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by HouTex
    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    Houtex, the reason your seeing your phoshates shoot up is the water is rapidly warming up here enough to bloom algae.
    Not sure I follow your reasoning. Are you saying that the phospates increased because the water temp increased? I don't believe I have an unseen algea problem. My chlorine level is at 5 ppm, and I have no trouble maintaining it. For a salt pool I think I'm in the range of the recommended chlorine level at 80 CYA.
    HouTex...just a tad low, aim for 6ppm with CYA at 80...you'll want some FC buffer for heavy bather load/hot sunny days
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    Most of my more accurate testing is at my local store where they use a software based tester that uses light (I believe). I'm not a big fan of drip tester though, not very accurate IMO. Just my .02!
    You wont find a better way to test pool water than with a good drop based kit.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    When water warms up algae will grow, thus phosphates will rise because there feeding on the algae.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Are you sure about the chlorine level? Pool School for SWG pools says 3-5 ppm chlorine at 70-80 CYA.
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    When water warms up algae will grow, thus phosphates will rise because there feeding on the algae.
    But that assumes that algae already is growing in my pool. At my chlorine level (and the fact that it's very stable) I really don't think there is algae in my pool at the moment. What is it about my level of phosphates that causes you to believe it's evidence of algae in my pool?
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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    Ben, I thought the same thing about the algae but the water was crystal clear! They also took scrapings off my grids in the filter skimmer and outlet eyeballs! No growths at all in the algae department. Houtex, the reason your seeing your phoshates shoot up is the water is rapidly warming up here enough to bloom algae. Also with high phosphate counts my SWG was being taxed to produce normal chlorine levels, when the phosphate level was elliminated the SWG over produced chlorine! Resulting in sky high chlorine levels! My tester is the one recomended here. Most of my more accurate testing is at my local store where they use a software based tester that uses light (I believe). I'm not a big fan of drip tester though, not very accurate IMO. Just my .02! Sounds crazy but its been working flawless ever since!

    Quite the opposite of what most of us here have observed. We have found the Taylor K2006 and the TF100 to have very accurate and repeatable test results, especially with the accuracy required for pool maint. On the other hand pool store test results are known to swing wildly depending on the "mood" or experience of the tester and equipment being used. Spectrometer pool water testing is not any more accurate than using drop/color change based kits.

    I think you are missing the point, in that you can still have "crystal clear" water, yet have enough organics in your water consuming your FC and battling the SWG FC output. It was not the phosphates consuming your FC and whomever convinced you to believe so has mis-informed you. True, that by removing your phoshates you have eliminated some of the algae nutrients in your water, hence reducing growth of organic matter in your pool water, allowing your SWG to "catch-up" but you could have accomplished the same feat by shocking your pool with plain old bleach or chlorinating liquid. The reason you likely continue to require maintenance doses is that with your CYA at 90, if your FC were to ever drop below 7ppm you are at significant risk for developing an algae bloom. The reason your water stayed clear is because the SWG was fighting that bloom, but again with CYA at 90, it's fighting a losing battle. Just my opinion FWIW
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    Re: Phosphates?

    For me, it's not about the phosphate levels, it's the chlorine consumption that makes me think there was algae.
    Phosphates really don't consume chlorine, but they do feed algae, and algae consumes chlorine. If there is enough chlorine, the algae will consume it until it dies.
    It's a battle. Like with germs and antibiotics. Chlorine kills algae (and other organic stuff), but gets 'used up' in the process. Algae will be killed, but if it is reproducing at the same or greater rate than it is dying, then it will proliferate. If it is being killed faster than it is growing, then it will all die off. Maintaining chlorine keeps soldiers in the fight for the good guys, phosphates will feed the bad guys.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Phosphates?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    When water warms up algae will grow, thus phosphates will rise because there feeding on the algae.
    Please stop spreading mis-information on the forum. You claim to understand water chemistry, but your post above makes no sense. Warm water contributes to algae growth, yes. However, algae feeds on phosphates and is another contributor to algae growth, not the other way around as you have stated. Presence of algae does not increase your phosphate level, nor is it a living organism to be feeding on algae.
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