Let me give you some background.... I have a friend who had a pool installed just under 4 years ago. The pool/equipment came with a 5 year warranty. The pool is a vinyl pool that is approx. 23,000 gallons. The pool has an attached spa with a booster pump. The filter is a sand filter. The spa/pool is heated with an electric heater. I tried my best to ask specific questions so I could better understand what has transpired, but he's slightly uncertain on certain items.
1. My buddy opened the pool this year and the heater appears to have a leak in one of the coils. He contacted the pool builder who then in turn told him to call the subcontractor that installed the pool. He did and the builder came out and had the water sampled. The subcontractor claims the heater failed because the water has high copper levels??
2. I got into the mix here and decided to come investigate and pull a sample using my TF kit. Here's what I found:
pH - 6.8 (possibly even a tad lower)
FC - 0 (slight algae present because he hasn't been able to get everything in working order at this point with the broken coil)
CC - 0.5
TA - 20
CH - 1060 (yes 1060 - I tested it twice because I couldn't believe my eyes)
CYA - 90
Initially for the first two years I believe he used cal-hypo and probably triclor pucks. He has an injection system that uses pucks. I'm guessing this is what contributed to his high CH and high CYA (he didn't have anymore pucks to show me, so I can only assume this is what he used). Last year he used liquid chlorine solely (good move).
I asked about his testing procedure and I believe he was adjusting PH as necessary and adding chlorine on a daily or weekly basis (would add 5 gallons of 12% chlorine over the course of 1 month - he didn't test for chlorine or he did very little testing and more or less did it by 'feel'). He did say the pool was always sparkling and he never had issues with algae out breaks.
1. I recommended that he purchase the TF kit.
2. I recommended he bring his pool up to shock levels according to the Chlorine/CYA chart and hold until the pool is clear.
3. After he gets the pool clear, he needs to adjust the pH as necessary to target 7.2-7.5
4. I suppose he could raise his TA slightly to target 70-90.
5. He doesn't need to do anything for the CYA and CH shouldn't be of too much concern as it's a vinyl pool and there is no scaling.
The big question is -
6. What do you feel about the issue with the heater? I am under the impression that low pH or very very high levels of chlorine could cause a copper coil to deteriorate. Regardless, high copper levels would not cause a heater to fail. If the owner adjusted pH as needed, that should rule that out as a possibility. If he added 5 gallons of 12% chlorine over the course of a month, that seems about right for a pool of its size. Obviously testing would be more accurate, but the pool was always clear according to the owner. I really don't think his water chemistry has caused the pool heater to fail. I truly feel it could be a manufacturing defect.
Let me know what you think. Thanks again.