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Thread: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

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    Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    From the test at Leslie's this afternoon:
    FAC = 5
    TAC = 5
    PH WAS 7.94 (Leslies said to put in 3# baking soda, which my wife did after test)
    TA=80
    CYA=30
    CH=330
    PHOSPHATES=300

    They told us to put 3# baking soda in, which is in now for almost 4 hours. After 4 hours we're supposed to put 1 1/2 Q MA.

    I put another 1# of shock (73% CH) in there when I got home so it's closer to 7.5 on FAC and TAC now. PH reading about 8.4 on my strip now.

    About 1 1/2 weeks ago I thought the CYA was low, so I put in 4 # of Conditioner from Leslies. Didn't take a sample in but had a low reading on my Hach AquaCheck Select strips. Still having some algae growth, although the pool is crystal, but now know my CYA is still low, and I was afraid it must be off the chart because I put the whole 4# in there instead of just putting in 2# and then checking it like they told me. I put 4# in there last year also. Was afraid I'd have to drain the pool but now at 30 ppm on CYA.

    Ordered a Qt. of PhosFree online today. Also ordered PHH Algaecide 60 Plus Swimming Pool Chemical-1 Quart today.

    How's this mess look to you? Never had a pool in my life til 3 1/2 years ago. I don't usually buy the stuff the pool place pushes and just up the chlorine. Never used Borax before, but have a box now. Never used bleach. Never covered the pool, and have huge pecan trees that drop **** in it all the time from my neighbors (Spring and Fall), but those little caterpillar things are done dropping this year so should be easier to maintain, as it has been each year. I always have trouble in Spring when the trees are dropping all kinds of junk in the pool.

    I "try" to keep my FAC & TAC around 5, but with the low CYA I've been dumpin lots of chlorine in the pool, but still getting algae.

    Thoughts? TIA

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JJSeabrook
    From the test at Leslie's this afternoon:

    ...
    Thoughts? TIA

    JJ
    Two thoughts:
    1) Follow this link and order up a TF100 XL and a speedstir. I make no money off this. A good test kit is absolutely necessary to take control of your pool chemistry, and this is a winning combination. It seems expensive, but if you rely on Leslies, you'll spend far more than that before July. And probably still have a green pool.

    2) Brew up a pot of coffee and plan on spending a few hours studying Pool School

    There really ain't no other way to get a Trouble Free Pool.
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Welcome to the forum!!!!

    I am not really sure why they had you add baking soda? I assume to raise the TA ... but 80 should have been about perfect. And then adding the acid to re-lower the ph I assume.

    With a CYA of around 30 ... FC of 5 seems good.

    Others in the forum will confirm to ignore the phosphates levels, while they are algae food, if you are keeping the FC level correct, you will not have any algae problems.

    Have you read the Pool School (upper-right of the forum pages)? I have had to read it a few times to start to grasp everything.

    It is also highly suggested to get you own good test kit (info in Pool School) and not generally trust Leslie's numbers. Seems like these generally need to be ordered as Leslies does not carry the tests with a FAS-DPD test which is need to measure FC and CC.

    If you are seeing algae, you will need to follow the shock procedure outlined in Pool School ... to do that accurately, you will need your own good test kit.

    I am sure others will be along to offer additional advise, but eventually you will be enjoying a sparkling pool!!!
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Thanks! Ordered a test kit. Haven't ordered the Speedstir yet. Thanks for the Pool School link! I read quite a few links but didn't see that one. Lots of good info there I'm sure, and looking forward to reading it all.

    Meanwhile, Should I go ahead and put 1 1/2 Q of MA in there now to lower the PH?

    Thanks again!

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JJSeabrook
    Thanks! Ordered a test kit. Haven't ordered the Speedstir yet. Thanks for the Pool School link! I read quite a few links but didn't see that one. Lots of good info there I'm sure, and looking forward to reading it all.

    Meanwhile, Should I go ahead and put 1 1/2 Q of MA in there now to lower the PH?

    Thanks again!

    JJ
    I don't recommend adding anything unless you have a current, accurate measurement.
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Quote Originally Posted by JJSeabrook
    From the test at Leslie's this afternoon:

    ...
    Thoughts? TIA

    JJ
    Two thoughts:
    1) Follow this link and order up a TF100 XL and a speedstir. I make no money off this. A good test kit is absolutely necessary to take control of your pool chemistry, and this is a winning combination. It seems expensive, but if you rely on Leslies, you'll spend far more than that before July. And probably still have a green pool.

    2) Brew up a pot of coffee and plan on spending a few hours studying Pool School

    There really ain't no other way to get a Trouble Free Pool.
    Thanks! I actually read quite a bit on here before posting, but I have a LOT more to read. I've pretty much controlled my pool with chlorine (76% HC in 100# buckets), and I used a Qt of PhosFree last year in Spring. Put 4# of Conditioner in it last year, and put 4# more a couple weeks ago. I'm low on CYA still, I think. Was shooting for 40 ppm and only at 30 ppm. I thought I read here that 40 ppm was ideal for CYA????

    I don't use the 3" tablets. I mix my 76% HC in a bucket and pour it into the pool. Seems like broadcasting it wastes a lot of HC to me. Don't really have much problem once Spring is over usually, and not many faded bathing suits LOL.

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    1.5 quarts of muriatic acid is too much. I can't imagine what they were thinking.

    If all you have done is add 3 lbs of baking soda (or Alkalinity increaser) I suggesting going ahead and adding 2 cups of 31.45% muriatic acid (or the equivalent) for now. That will get the PH down to around 7.6.

    The key to getting rid of algae for good is consistency. If you maintain a consistent FC level everything will go very smoothly. You need to have your own test kit to do that, but it look like you already have that covered.

    CYA is fine anywhere from 30 to 50. Since CYA tends to go down slowly over the course of the season, it is best to start near 50 and then it will most likely still be above 30 by the end of the season.
    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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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    1.5 quarts of muriatic acid is too much. I can't imagine what they were thinking.

    If all you have done is add 3 lbs of baking soda (or Alkalinity increaser) I suggesting going ahead and adding 2 cups of 31.45% muriatic acid (or the equivalent) for now. That will get the PH down to around 7.6.

    The key to getting rid of algae for good is consistency. If you maintain a consistent FC level everything will go very smoothly. You need to have your own test kit to do that, but it look like you already have that covered.

    CYA is fine anywhere from 30 to 50. Since CYA tends to go down slowly over the course of the season, it is best to start near 50 and then it will most likely still be above 30 by the end of the season.
    Pic in the shallow end of a piece of PVC my dog just dropped in the pool:


    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/ ... CN3240.jpg


    Pic of deep end showing main drain, which doesn't really accurately represent the clarity, but I just added the 2C of MA in the deep end:


    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/ ... CN3241.jpg

    I'll up the CYA to 40 this weekend. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

    JJ

    The pool is actually crystal right now, except for a bit of cloudiness in deep end from MA just being added.
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    IF my PH was too low, am I right in believing that under the guidelines of BBB is that you'd use Borax instead of baking soda to raise PH, or did I misread that? Isn't Borax supposed to keep the PH up longer than baking soda and better for the long run in maintaining PH level? Maybe I misunderstood what I read, and probably so. Trying to see if this BBB will work for me, and think it will, but confuses me to see recommendations of using baking soda to raise PH over BBB Borax in another thread.

    Anyway, THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP! Hope to be a long time member here. Still trying to figure out if this is right for me, but like what I see, even though still confused a bit.

    Have a great night!

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JJSeabrook
    IF my PH was too low, am I right in believing that under the guidelines of BBB is that you'd use Borax instead of baking soda to raise PH, or did I misread that? Isn't Borax supposed to keep the PH up longer than baking soda and better for the long run in maintaining PH level? Maybe I misunderstood what I read, and probably so. Trying to see if this BBB will work for me, and think it will, but confuses me to see recommendations of using baking soda to raise PH over BBB Borax in another thread.

    Anyway, THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP! Hope to be a long time member here. Still trying to figure out if this is right for me, but like what I see, even though still confused a bit.

    Have a great night!

    JJ
    Baking Soda was recommended to raise TA, not pH. pH is acceptable, and will come up some with the baking soda. Whether it goes up too high and then needs fine tuning with acid is unknown. That's why we use a test kit and the pool calculator, rather than just blindly throwing chemicals in the pool based on a probably erroneous test performed by an untrained shop clerk who has barrels of snake oil to sell.
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Thank you, Richard. I'll read more. I've only had a pool since October, 2008, so still many things to learn. I did get off most of the snake oil stuff early and have had a pretty nice pool, but I've reverted back to the snake oil a few times, and normally during Spring when tons of **** is dropping in my pool and I get a little overwhelmed when I can't keep the algae out. Hope to learn the BBB program. I'm NOT snake oil oriented, so I won't have to change my snake oil way of thinking much.

    Thank you so much for your help, and all of you!

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JJSeabrook
    Trying to see if this BBB will work for me, and think it will, but confuses me to see recommendations of using baking soda to raise PH over BBB Borax in another thread.
    The whole "BBB" thing is a little misleading at first. Here at this forum "BBB" is about accurate testing and really understanding what these chemicals are that we are using. All three of the "B's" are industrial chemicals that are found in a multitude of forms and products - and here we buy them in the purest form at the cheapest price rather than at the pool store. For example 20 Mule Team Borax is pure Sodium tetraborate decahydrate - a chemical you can buy at the pool store under a variety of names. Your local Walmart happens to sell it in the laundry isle at 1/4 of the price...

    Baking Soda and Borax are a little confusing at first. Both will raise PH and TA (unfortunately you needed to do neither) Baking Soda will raise TA more than PH and Borax will raise PH more than TA. So if your TA was 20 and PH 7.0 someone might recommend adding Baking Soda to bring up the TA and the PH will come up as well. If your TA was 120 and ph 7.0 someone might recommend Borax.

    The quality of the advice you got from your pool store is very poor. Since you've ordered a test kit I think we should leave it at - dont do anything until you've run a complete set of tests with the new kit. (except add the acid per Jason's suggestion and keep the chlorine level up.)

    I certainly would not add any more CYA or any more Cal-Hypo shock. Both CYA and Calcium can cause problems when they get too high and can only be lowered with water replacement. Much better to wait for the test kit.

    If possible return the Phos-Free and the Algecide. You wont need them.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    IF my PH was too low, am I right in believing that under the guidelines of BBB is that you'd use Borax instead of baking soda to raise PH, or did I misread that? Isn't Borax supposed to keep the PH up longer than baking soda and better for the long run in maintaining PH level? Maybe I misunderstood what I read, and probably so. Trying to see if this BBB will work for me, and think it will, but confuses me to see recommendations of using baking soda to raise PH over BBB Borax in another thread.
    Raise pH - use 20 mule team borax...little affect on TA
    Lower pH - use muriatic.....will lower TA as well

    Raise TA - use baking soda....little affect on pH
    Lower TA - aeration and acid....see pool school

    For example.....if your test results indicated a pH of 8.0 and TA of 80.....

    Lower ph down to around 7.4 or so using muriatic. Since TA lowers along with pH, now you may choose to raise TA back up using baking soda....the pH will stay down around 7.4
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JJSeabrook
    Thanks! Ordered a test kit. Haven't ordered the Speedstir yet. Thanks for the Pool School link! I read quite a few links but didn't see that one. Lots of good info there I'm sure, and looking forward to reading it all.

    Meanwhile, Should I go ahead and put 1 1/2 Q of MA in there now to lower the PH?

    Thanks again!

    JJ
    The speedstir is awesome. Here is a link to purchase it. I highly recommend it as it will help you get your sample mixed a lot better. Others can confirm that this item really helps. It is a big help really on all the test that require the same to be stirred after each drop.

    http://tftestkits.net/SpeedStir-Magneti ... r-p56.html
    13,000 Plaster IG Pool approx
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    Emerson 1081 EB653 1.0 HP 1.40 S.F. 3450 RPM
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  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Thanks, guys! Waiting for my new test kit and will order a mixer today. Tests out pretty nice on the little strips this morning and pretty and clear.

    Appreciate the help!

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    Well, my test kit was held off as a Father's Day gift, as well as the mixer. Looks like my CYA is nearer 20 than it was previously at Leslie's at 30. PH was about 8.0 so put some muriatic acid in there to bring that down. Gonna add 4# of stabilizer to bring my CYA up to about 50 ppm. It's about 113 here today, and been hotter'n ****, so the sun's really been burnin up the chlorine. Not a bit of algae at all since I posted here last. It's been crystal, but I've really been watching the chlorine level. Hopefully bringing up the CYA will save me from adding as much chlorine daily.

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    4# of stabilizer didn't do jack. Still low on CYA. My kit says I add until I can't see the black dot in the bottom. My eyes aren't that good but they tell me my CYA is still low. Haven't done the Chlorine Drop Test...setting aside all of tomorrow morning for that. This kit stuff ain't no easy deal. I got the kit, I got the magnetic mixer, and I'm not sure I have time to use all that stuff. Personally, I only swim in the pool about 4-5 times a year. I could care less about even having a pool. However, my sweetie likes having one. Wish I'd never seen one myself. I'd rather fill it up with dirt and put some concrete on the top of it. LOL Not really asking for advice. It's crystal, but a PITA. I have to have time to learn how to use the kit. Even on a simple Chlorine and PH test the colors don't work for me. I get better stuff to help me out of the strips at this point. I'm sure I'll learn as I go, if I don't get too frustrated to mess with it, and I have found NOTHING but frustration from having a pool in my back yard. Personally, I'd rather go out the the ranch and swim in a pond. LOL

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    What is your CYA now?

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    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    FC=3
    CC=1.5
    TC=4.5
    PH=7.5
    T/A=100
    CYA=25

    BTW, the speedstir sure makes the mixing easier.

    Will any vacuum hose you buy work with a barracuda or are the heavy duty pro hoses just for vacuuming?

    TIA

    JJ
    15K gal IG plaster pool
    DE filter
    1 horse pump..don't know flow rate
    Chlorine Feeder
    Pool Newbie (only 3 1/2 years)

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Just found this forum...chems out of whack on my pool

    CYA can take a week or more to show on test. Please report your caculated CYA based on what you put in.
    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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