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Thread: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

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    arjaygee's Avatar
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    New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    I've been a pool owner for 8 years now, and have been doing self-maintenance for 7.9 years (only took a few weeks of having a pool guy before realizing I needed to do this myself). I discovered this gem of a website a few weeks ago -- not sure how this site managed to escape me for so long but just happy to be on-board now.

    Anyway, enough on the life story intro, on to my question. Shortly after reading this forum, I purchased a Taylor K-2006 test kit to understand the real chemistry of my water, and here are the results:
    FC: 3.0 ppm
    CC: 0 ppm
    PH: 7.6
    TA: 130 ppm
    CH: 1050 ppm
    CYA: >100 ppm

    I think it's obvious which chlorination method I've been using from the numbers above... yep, Trichlor pucks. So, what to do next. From reading various postings, I've concluded that I must get CH and CYA levels down ASAP, and the most direct way to do this is to purge and replace my water. So, what are all of the practical options? I could do a complete drain and replace but I was thinking about maybe draining 1/3 to 1/2. The other thing is that my plaster does have stains, and it seems like the time to address this, if I'm already thinking about draining the pool. I'd rather not do a full blown acid wash, so what if I drop PH on the partially filled water and spot treat the plaster exposed from partial draining? Just throwing a few thoughts out there but I'd like to get your collective opinions and ideas.

    Thanks in advance...
    Rick
    27K Gal. In-ground 20x36 Plaster (Custom Curved Shape)
    1 Hp WisperFlo Pump; Hayward AQR15 AquaRite SWG, Purex Triton 60 Sq Ft DE Filter (FNSP 60); Pentair MasterTemp Heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    Welcome to TFP!

    Your two options are to replace water or to get an RO treatment. RO (reverse osmosis) isn't available everywhere yet.

    You have a lot more control when doing an acid wash if you do a complete drain. Your plan to do a partial drain and lower the PH in the remaining water could work, but it runs a lot of risks. You won't have much control over what happens, especially since you can't run the pump with the water level way down.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    arjaygee's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    So, yesterday I drained ~60% of my water, and now I'm in the refill process. I decided to hold off for a few seasons before doing the acid wash -- too much going on in my life right now to deal with that. Here's a list of what I think my steps are at this point, and I just wanted to get a confirmation or possible corrections:
    1. While waiting for the pool to fill up, stock up on liquid chlorine
    2. Make sure I've got plenty of acid (I have 4 1-gallon jugs)
    3. Once I have enough water, start the pump (I think I read somewhere that I should divert to 100% main drain?)
    4. Add chlorine??? -- here's where I'm not sure of the order (i.e. get the pump going and measure or get a dose of chlorine in?)
    5. After a few hours of running the pump, use my Taylor test kit to take measurements and plug data into the pool calculator to determine what quantities of what of the 3 B's need to be added.
    6. Priority is to make sure I get the right dose of chlorine in, and slowly work my way up with other things (read something like this in one of the forums).

    For chlorine, do I just follow the calculated dose or something higher?

    Thanks.
    Rick
    27K Gal. In-ground 20x36 Plaster (Custom Curved Shape)
    1 Hp WisperFlo Pump; Hayward AQR15 AquaRite SWG, Purex Triton 60 Sq Ft DE Filter (FNSP 60); Pentair MasterTemp Heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    There is no need to add chlorine as the very first thing, that can easily wait an hour. Otherwise that all sounds good.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    gordyjamz's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    Wow that calcium reading is pretty high! Did you do a test on your fill water for hardness level? That could be the source for the calcium. A lot of municipalities, as a cost saving measure, are cutting back on the water softening during water treatment. Just an FYI.
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by gordyjamz
    Wow that calcium reading is pretty high! Did you do a test on your fill water for hardness level? That could be the source for the calcium. A lot of municipalities, as a cost saving measure, are cutting back on the water softening during water treatment. Just an FYI.
    Very true and a good point to mention. Such is often the case in the desert southwest especially.

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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    Rick,
    Good you are waiting on the acid wash...I did mine a few times over the years and it made the plaster rougher each time.
    More places for algae to hide. Sometimes a little stain just ain't so bad.
    Wishing you well, God Bless,
    Paul
    30 year old Gunite, 2008 got a new quartz finish.
    Freeform, approx 20,000 gal.
    Haywood 36 sf D.E Filter & 1 hp Hayward Pump
    BBB now was Triclor.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    Been there.

    I started doing my own maintenance with CYA 220-240, CH above 500. But water restrictions precluded draining it last year. So... I kept FC way up there. Had to really watch pH and TA. My CH peaked at 1100 once.

    Through obsessive testing and careful balancing, along with a lot of partial drains to water the lawn then refill and finally lots of rainwater dilution, I now have CYA down to 40. CH is still high.

    I never had an algae bloom all year. It can be done. And in fact, the blotchy Calcium scale is slowly lifting. Lots of brushing with a steel brush and keeping CSI negative did that.

    Re-read the how-to on lowering TA, you'll almost certainly be needing that. There have been some good threads with ideas and pictures for homemade aerators.

    I also recommend ordering up a speedstir. It really makes the CH test easier.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    There are also other, more expensive, ways of maintaining high CYA pools that involve use of algaecides to prevent algae growth and clarifiers to help clear the pool since the lower active chlorine won't oxidize as quickly. If you were to go this route, the only product I'd recommend would be PolyQuat 60 added weekly. It is an algaecide and a mild clarifier and has no significant side effects (it somewhat increases chlorine demand). However, just keeping the FC up higher as Richard did is the least expensive and most straightforward approach. Note that the PolyQuat will still require chlorine in the pool, but it will help to prevent algae from growing at lower FC levels (FC/CYA ratios, technically).
    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
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    arjaygee's Avatar
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    Re: New to TFP, and looking for ideas on managing high CYA

    As always with this site, great input from everyone -- thanks for all the ideas.

    Here are my current readings (1 week after refill):
    FC: 3.6
    CC: 0
    PH: 7.6
    TA: 130
    CH: 800
    CYA: 90

    Also, fill-line CH measured at 225.

    So, I didn't quite make as big a dent in pulling down TA, CH, and CYA as I had hoped but I'm heading in the right direction. I was very pleased with how quickly I was able to get FC and PH to pop into the sweet spot, and the water looks great. Can't say enough about the Pool Calculator on this site!!!

    I just ordered the Pool Pilot Digital SWG system, and am thinking about doing another partial drain (maybe 30% this time?). TA didn't even budge, so I'll read up on what to do there. I do have a wall-mount water feature, so I'll start by enabling that for aeration. By the way, my wife thinks I've gone completely nuts but what's new...

    Thanks again. Hope someday soon, I'll be able to go from "Grasshopper" to "Master".
    Rick
    27K Gal. In-ground 20x36 Plaster (Custom Curved Shape)
    1 Hp WisperFlo Pump; Hayward AQR15 AquaRite SWG, Purex Triton 60 Sq Ft DE Filter (FNSP 60); Pentair MasterTemp Heater

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