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Thread: Suggested chemical levels

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    swimmingfool's Avatar
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    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+
    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!


    I'm glad you started this thread MIke, I have been wondering the same thing. Now I understand it a little better. IF I am understanding properly, I can play around with the "goal" numbers - keeping them in range- until I get the water balanced in the CSI box and use those goals to shoot for. As long as the water looks right? Because I have still not found that sweet spot! And I really want to find it!!! When I do my tests the numbers look good. But the water just never really looks crystal clear. I have started to use 6 for FC, but now I'm thinking maybe 7 or even 8. Yesterday I had 10 people in my pool (5 kids 16yrs and younger & 5 adults) all day- and by the end of the day it was slightly green! I have tested the water twice yesterday during use and today twice and the CC is holding at .5 or less. What am I doing wrong? Normally I will have 4 or 5 people a day through the summer.
    *my pool is in full sun all day*

    my number today at 11:40am

    fc 5.5
    CC .5
    TC 6
    PH 7.8
    TA 90
    CH 440 -the water here is really hard. I did a partial drain of the pool and use filtered water to replace it but this is where I find myself most of the time-including now.
    CYA 50

    I am thinking I will shoot for these numbers: Because they balance and I think I might need FC at 7

    FC 7
    PH 7.5
    TA 90
    CH 350
    CYA 50

    Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

    edited to add I am using the BBB method. liquid bleach not a SWG
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    You don't normally need to worry about CSI at all. If you can keep your levels in the recommended range, CSI will take care of it's self. It is only if you can't possibly keep your levels in range for some reason that you need to start thinking about CSI.

    You want to keep FC between 4 and 8, and never below 8. Adjust your FC target based on what level keeps FC at 4 or higher the next day. If you raise FC to 7 and it is still 7 tomorrow, then you don't need to raise FC as high today.

    You can manage higher CH levels by keeping PH and CH lower than the recommendations. With CH around 440, you should be fine if you keep PH below 7.8 at all times. If CH goes up from there, or if you want more "head room" in case PH goes up further, you can lower TA to compensate.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    swimmingfool's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Thank you! I think I get it.
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Report how much FC you are consuming in a 24 hour period. i.e. test again tomorrow @ 11:40 (or anywhere close) and let's see how much chlorine you have lost. The report of turning green is troublesome.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    swimmingfool's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Ok. I will do it.
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Yesterday I was out of Muriatic acid and the pool store where I get my liquid chlorine and acid was closed. My PH was high but I couldn't do anything about it. I now have muriatic acid and 10.5% liquid chlorine. This morning my pool looks worse. So I decided to start from scratch this morning. I am going to try to upload some photos to go with my numbers. Then shock. And continue from there with guidance from here. I need to get a full understanding of doing this right. At this point I plan on vacuuming, clean my filter (new cartridge of about a month old), putting the numbers in the pool calculator with my goals, add my acid to raise PH, brush, then add my Chlorine to a shock level. wait an hour and test for my numbers, unless someone here tells me differently in the next half hour or so while I'm vacuuming. Thanks in advance for your help! I test my chlorine daily with the drop test because of this stuff. My cc usually is 0 or maybe .5. If it goes over .5 I shock. I have been keeping my FC at 5. I am going to move that up to 7 and work from there. Normally my pool is almost Chrystal clear but never really clear. And this stuff is always hanging around!!!!!

    Here are the numbers I got this morning:

    FC 6.0
    CC 0.5
    TC 6.5
    PH 8
    TA 90
    CH 440
    CYA 50
    [attachment=2:2fc2gb4e]cloud.JPG[/attachment:2fc2gb4e] [attachment=1:2fc2gb4e]closeup of cloud.JPG[/attachment:2fc2gb4e]
    [attachment=0:2fc2gb4e]overall shot.JPG[/attachment:2fc2gb4e]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    You need to shock that pool. Please wait for someone with more experience than me to chime in, but that first picture looks like mustard algae to me. It is hard for me to tell from just the picture though.
    Make sure you understand the shock process before you get started, it's not going to be a one-time hit to get rid of that stuff! Whether that is mustard algae or not, you are still going too have to go through the shock process!

    Oh, and don't use Cal Hypo to shock with at this point, your CH is high enough already.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Ok, I can shock for mustard, I did that before. Last time it took a week to get where I needed to be but at that time my CC was high also. I don't know what cal hypo is. I will shock with my liquid chlorine. shouldn't my CC be high?
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    BTW: this stuff is in my pool ALL THE TIME. Everyday. For the past 6 months, with the exception of about 2 weeks after I shocked at mustard level. I shocked at the mustard level in the pool calculator. It took a week to get my numbers to look good and cc to stay a 0. The stuff keeps coming, but my numbers are good.
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    I agree w/Robbie. Sounds & looks like mustard algae. Your shock level is going to be higher for the mustard.

    It is important to brush everywhere, wash bathing suits, and clean pool toys with diluted bleach solution or soak them in the pool for a few hours at the extra high shock level. Mustard algae can hide out in various places, even if they are dry at the moment.

    Since you said you always have this problem, after the mustard is completely gone, you might consider using Polyquat 60 on a regular basis and maintain the higher end of your recommended FC level.
    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.

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Before shocking, adjust your PH down to 7.4.

    I can't say for sure that it is mustard algae from the photo, but it is certainly looks like some kind of algae. CC can be low even when you have algae.

    Mustard algae tends to first appear on the walls and floor only on the shaded side of the pool even when FC levels are appropriate. It will go away when FC is at shock level, only to come back as soon as you go back down to normal FC levels. You can get rid of it permanently, but it is a project.
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Mustard algae tends to first appear on the walls and floor only on the shaded side of the pool even when FC levels are appropriate. It will go away when FC is at shock level, only to come back as soon as you go back down to normal FC levels. You can get rid of it permanently, but it is a project.
    Mine started on the shaded walls. Since I didn't know what I was doing, it spread. It looked green on the walls, but made pretty yellow clouds when I brushed over it.

    Shocking didn't get rid of mine. Shocking hard at and even a little above mustard algae levels until the water was very clear did the trick for me. It took over a week. CC levels were within range, but the water still had a green tint so I kept going. It took a crazy amount of cal hypo to go through the process (remember, my CH was low, so it was OK in my pool).
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    ok, thanks everyone. I am going to shock at mustard level, after I get the PH to 7.4. And thanks butteryfly, I will stay on the high side and see what polyquat 60 is, as I have never heard of it.

    I'll post again later.
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmingfool
    And thanks butteryfly
    How did you know I was buttery!
    anyhoo, the polyquat 60 is the only algaecide we recommend
    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

    lol, sorry for the typo!
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmingfool
    lol, sorry for the typo!
    No problem, it made me laugh

    .....then I started thinking about Paula Deen, you know, the southern "...honey, you can't get too much butter in there lady..."
    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

    .....then I started thinking about Paula Deen, you know, the southern "...honey, you can't get too much butter in there lady..."

    @butterfly, yes I know her, her food is dangerous!

    ok, I vacuumed, cleaned the filter, added acid to lower the PH to 7.4, Numbers were as follows at 1:35pm:

    FC 6.0
    CC 0.5
    PH 7.4
    TA 90
    CH 440
    CYA 50


    brushed the pool, added Chlorine to shocking level, brushed, waited an hour and retested. Numbers are now as follows:

    FC 27
    CC 3
    TC 30
    PH 8.2

    TA 90
    CH 440
    CYA 50
    water temp 83 - sprinkling

    so if I'm correct I now have to add all these numbers in the pool calculator and re-adjust the ph to 7.4, brush, add chlorine back to 29, and brush again. recheck in an hour. so unless I hear differently pretty soon, that's what I'm going to do.
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    Ignore the PH while FC is that high. The PH test will be wildly wrong at high FC levels.

    You only need to brush once a day while FC is very high. Raising FC back up to 29 can be done as often as hourly.
    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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    swimmingfool's Avatar
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    Re: Suggested chemical levels

    thanks Jason, I won't adjust the PH. I will just re-adjust the chlorine.
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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

    [attachment=1:1kmnxqsu]improving.JPG[/attachment:1kmnxqsu]

    third day of holding the Chlorine at 29-mustard level. Overall pool is improving but the cloud is still there.

    4:40pm yesterday:
    FC 23
    CC 1.5
    TC 24.5

    8:08 am today:
    FC 24.5
    CC 1.5
    TC 26

    4:08 pm today
    FC 22
    CC 1.5
    TC 23.5
    TA 90
    CH 440
    CYA 50
    [attachment=0:1kmnxqsu]still got the cloud.JPG[/attachment:1kmnxqsu]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    using the BBB with liquid Chlorine 10.5% for 5 yrs.
    inground 28 X 14 ft. 14,700 gallon pool. Masterpool 8 port floor popup system
    Replastered w/Krystal Krete 09/23/2015
    Pentair 100 sq. Ft. Cartridge Filter - 1 hp Super Flo pump - IC20 Saltwater system.
    TF-100 test kit and the Taylor K1000

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