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Thread: Suggested chemical levels

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    Suggested chemical levels

    Hey all, something I've been wondering about for a while is what the "ideal" numbers are to shoot for. When using PoolCalculator.com, and selecting the the TFP suggested levels there are some pretty wide ranges that the chemicals can fall into. Unfortunately for me it bothers me to no end that I don't have a specific number to shoot for! So with that in mind, I'd love your opinions on this.

    FC - Goal 3-7 - I have algae problems quite often, so I try to keep it around 5+
    pH - Goal 7.5 - 7.8 - This is actually a pretty small range so I like it!
    TA - Goal 70 - 90+ - Is it better to go higher or lower?
    CH - Goal 50 - 300 - This is a HUGE range! Where to aim?
    Cya - Goal 30 - 50 - I understand that Cya effects chlorine and shock levels, so I've been shooting for 40 with this.

    I would be happy for a list of numbers, but I would be thrilled if you could explain to me why you came up with the numbers you did.

    Thanks a lot!
    30 foot round AGP (25k gal), 2.5 hp pump, Hayward cartridge filter, Diver Dan pool vac, TF-100 Test kit
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  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    TA determines pH stability. If your pH is stable anywhere in the TA range you are fine. If pH tends to climb, move your TA lower. If pH tends to drop, raise the TA.

    CH is largely irrelevant for a vinyl pool as long as you don't get too high. Some equipment warranties want a certain level, but otherwise it doesn't matter.
    TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike5150
    Hey all, something I've been wondering about for a while is what the "ideal" numbers are to shoot for. When using PoolCalculator.com, and selecting the the TFP suggested levels there are some pretty wide ranges that the chemicals can fall into. Unfortunately for me it bothers me to no end that I don't have a specific number to shoot for! So with that in mind, I'd love your opinions on this.

    FC - Goal 3-7 - I have algae problems quite often, so I try to keep it around 5+
    If you have algae quite often, something is going on. How do you chlorinate your pool? We can help you stop having the problem by pinpointing what is causing it. Using the BBB method, you should rarely get algae and usually you know what caused it!
    pH - Goal 7.5 - 7.8 - This is actually a pretty small range so I like it!
    Glad you like it!
    TA - Goal 70 - 90+ - Is it better to go higher or lower?
    Lower if you have a problem with pH rise & higher if you have pH dropping (which usually occurs when you use trichlor).
    CH - Goal 50 - 300 - This is a HUGE range! Where to aim?
    CH is not a problem w/a vinyl pool unless it gets too high. What is your CH level?
    Cya - Goal 30 - 50 - I understand that Cya effects chlorine and shock levels, so I've been shooting for 40 with this.
    Sounds great; however, if your pool is in full sun all day, you may want a little more. Also, your location & how you chlorinate makes a big difference on your CYA recommendation.

    I would be happy for a list of numbers, but I would be thrilled if you could explain to me why you came up with the numbers you did.
    You can find lots of info on the 'recommended levels' discussion over in the Deep End and Chemistry 201.

    If you post a full set of #'s, folks will help you pinpoint your algae problem.


    Thanks a lot!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Thank God for workable "ranges"........cause your pool is different from my pool. Sunshine, rain, bather load and so forth. There is no practicality in daily maintenance of attempting to keep your FC at 4.6879 and so on down the list. Just use the ranges and see how your particular pool likes them. Most of the tests have some degree or another of "spread" in their accuracy too.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Welcome! Glad to see someone is using the Pool Calculator. It's okay to have sparklypoolitis and OCD here.

    Don't forget to look at the CSI, down near the bottom of the calculator. Those wide-ranging numbers affect CSI. So if you're creeping up towards scaling, you will want to adjust something to get it close to zero. By having a wide range, you have some room to move. You can't do much about water temperature, and Calcium requires draining. Which pretty much leaves you playing with pH and TA. And there is a narrow comfort zone on pH. So.....play with TA. Or if your water goes the other way, you can see what affect adding a bit of calcium will have.

    At some point with your constant fussing, your pool will find it's sweet spot where everything sits stable, aside from the chlorine, which will have a very consistent, predictable demand.
    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: Suggested chemical levels

    LOL, my husband just told me yesterday that I am obsessing over the pool Constantly checking it, cleaning, scrubbing (when I had the brown water from the metals), etc. But hey, it paid off cuz today it is sparkling clear and looks awesome!!!!

    So here's a question for everyone: How often do you test (daily, less?) and how often do you add bleach (daily, every other day, etc)? Just curious as I am now at a point of maintaining my clarity, FC levels etc.
    ~Shell
    24' AG 13,500 gallons
    Hayward pump, sand filter
    Deck yet to be put up...

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    When manually adding bleach I test and add bleach every day. With a SWG, I test weekly and just look closely at the water daily.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    The more tuned in your pool becomes, the more you become "tuned in" with your pool.

    Over the years my consumption of chlorine is all worked out as is the slow rise in pH I can expect.

    I used to test pH and OTO chlorine test daily and the whole battery of tests weekly. That's still a good plan as you are learning your pool.

    Now I test pH & OTO chlorine 3 times weekly and CH, TA, and CYA probably every 3 weeks.

    I use liquid Cl and add it every other day.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    >> but I would be thrilled if you could explain to me why you came up with the numbers you did.

    apart from the excellent replies you've already read, it depends also on how new is the pool, the type of surface and finally, your equipment and how many hours you run the system. to illustrate: before I had a SWCG and Muriatic Acid automation, I had to keep an eye on a whole lot of numbers in a different range than today. once the pool was rebuilt, it presented another set of variables with a new surface that would cause slight variations into the range almost daily.

    today I have almost zero maintenance and test only once weekly. current numbers maintain FC at 4, ph is automated/dialed to 7.7-7.8, TA is kept at 50, Salt at 4100, Calcium at 370, Cyanuric at 60, Borates at 30 (and plan to slowly bring up as TA drops to 40). I run pump 10 hours @ day / 4 days a week and 24 hours @ day / 3 days a week. Other parts of the system are activated/inactive based on the amps/watts consumed as monitored by an automation relay.

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    If you have algae quite often, something is going on. How do you chlorinate your pool? We can help you stop having the problem by pinpointing what is causing it. Using the BBB method, you should rarely get algae and usually you know what caused it!

    I actually switched to the BBB method last year, and things have been running much more smoothly. I can usually pin point my algae problem to us not testing the pool often enough and letting the chlorine get a little too low. I have several large trees around my pool, and it's only in full sun for about 5 hours in the morning.

    Thanks for all the great answers!
    Mike
    30 foot round AGP (25k gal), 2.5 hp pump, Hayward cartridge filter, Diver Dan pool vac, TF-100 Test kit
    -It takes less time to do things right then it does to do it again.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike5150
    If you have algae quite often, something is going on. How do you chlorinate your pool? We can help you stop having the problem by pinpointing what is causing it. Using the BBB method, you should rarely get algae and usually you know what caused it!

    I actually switched to the BBB method last year, and things have been running much more smoothly. I can usually pin point my algae problem to us not testing the pool often enough and letting the chlorine get a little too low. I have several large trees around my pool, and it's only in full sun for about 5 hours in the morning.

    Thanks for all the great answers!
    Mike
    Sounds like you got it under control
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    I'm curious just how important or bad it is for my pool to have a higher T/A, as it has been stubborn in coming down. All the other numbers look great!

    Tried to get TA down a bit further, so around noon or so I put 16 oz of MA in, waited 1/2 an hour, and put 96 oz of bleach in cuz I was concerned with the very hot, sunny day today and didn't want FC to drop too low. I had added a sock of CYA yesterday, so per TFP advice, assumed CYA of 30 into pool calc. This, of course, adjusted my goal target #'s in pool calc, so I trusted them

    Stats:
    This a.m.: / @ 8 pm:
    FC 2.5 / 5.5
    CC .5 / <.5
    TC 3 / 5.5
    pH 7.5 / 7.5
    TA 210 / 230 - 240
    CYA didn't check / 25 - 30, closer to 25 tho

    Two questions: 1) why did the extra bleach cause my TA to rise back up while keeping my pH the same? and 2) pool calc isn't suggesting I add any more muriatic acid with Now and Target FC of 7.5 (goal 7.5 to 7.8) and if I adjust target FC to say, 7.7, it wants me to add borax or baking soda. My thoughts: if pool calc isn't suggesting I add anything with the stats I have as is, even tho TA seems a bit high, I think if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    Still a noob, so correct me if I'm wrong, please...
    ~Shell
    24' AG 13,500 gallons
    Hayward pump, sand filter
    Deck yet to be put up...

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Hi Shell, Your TA level is not a problem unless it causes pH to rise making you have to add muriatic acid often enough to annoy you.

    Your #'s look just fine. So you are right. If it ain't broke .....

    There are pool owners that would dance the jig to have your water test #'s!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    JeepGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    I knew it!!! Thanks for confirming. So based on my stats, is a pH of 7.5 in a suggested goal range of 7.5 to 7.8 ok to maintain then?
    ~Shell
    24' AG 13,500 gallons
    Hayward pump, sand filter
    Deck yet to be put up...

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by JeepGirl
    I knew it!!! Thanks for confirming. So based on my stats, is a pH of 7.5 in a suggested goal range of 7.5 to 7.8 ok to maintain then?
    Absolutely.
    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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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by JeepGirl
    I knew it!!! Thanks for confirming. So based on my stats, is a pH of 7.5 in a suggested goal range of 7.5 to 7.8 ok to maintain then?
    Is 7.5 okay to maintain? Most of us call it P e r f e c t !!!

    .....posted by Butterfly, 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Limited, V8 HO, 2WDR, Black, appx 48K miles - AKA my favorite vehicle ever....
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Sweet!!!! I am such a chem geek too (sorry chemgeek, I know that is your screen name), but I find it cool to measure the stats and as charged, I am sooo guilty of having sparklypoolitis, lol. Thanks everyone!

    Awesome Butterfly!!!!!

    My daily driver is a 2000 TJ Wrangler, hard top, toys by troy roll cage, cobra CB, 35" tires, 4" rock crawler lift, 1" body lift, front ox lockers, detroit back locker with super 35 - YEAH baby!!!!!!!

    Also have 2 early 90's YJ's, one is currently being beefed up for trailing/mudding
    ~Shell
    24' AG 13,500 gallons
    Hayward pump, sand filter
    Deck yet to be put up...

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    I feel so...inadequate.

    I have a 1995 Cherokee Sport 4X4 AT with about 255,000 miles on it, totally stock aside from wear and tear. And a 2001 Wrangler Sport 4X4 5 spd softtop with full doors. About 63,000 miles. Dana 44 rear 4.10 gears with posi. Only mod was a skid plate for the gas tank, after the fact.

    I work on cars all day long for a living. I get no pleasure working on my own cars anymore.
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    I feel so...inadequate.

    I have a 1995 Cherokee Sport 4X4 AT with about 255,000 miles on it, totally stock aside from wear and tear. And a 2001 Wrangler Sport 4X4 5 spd softtop with full doors. About 63,000 miles. Dana 44 rear 4.10 gears with posi. Only mod was a skid plate for the gas tank, after the fact.

    I work on cars all day long for a living. I get no pleasure working on my own cars anymore.
    Showoff!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JeepGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Hubby and I belong to a local jeep club, and go out on cruises, parades and trailing outings with them. We have taken out one of the stock YJ's once and did some damage to my baby, almost made me cry. So got another YJ cheap, and are modifying that one

    Took the top off the TJ today, and went in town for some Taco Hel* and ice cream! Jeeps are sooooo kewl!!!
    ~Shell
    24' AG 13,500 gallons
    Hayward pump, sand filter
    Deck yet to be put up...

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