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Thread: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

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    low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    ph~7.2
    alkanility ~180
    chlorine ~.5
    stabilzer < 30

    (this is all my test strips show)

    the water is cloudy, with a slight green tint (has been cloudy for a week + and green for only a day after high use memorial weekend

    last night I added ~5lbs of ph-up and enough shock for a 45,000 gallon pool

    people are complaining of their eyes burning

    cliffs:
    -pool company opens pool and shocks it 2 weeks ago
    -water begins to clear
    -gets fairly clear
    -beginning to get cloudy
    -seems the total alkalinity is high
    -all other chemicals are low and ph is perfect
    -add metal magic and ph down
    -water clears some
    -alkalinity seems to have gone down some but ph is now too low
    -add ph-up
    -ph is still is not high enough (cloudy again)
    -add more ph-up and shock in attempt to clear it
    -continuing to get cloudy
    -this morning when i was cleaning it there seems to be some white film of undissolved chemicals (had 7 hours with pump on)
    -water is not getting better
    -peoples eyes are burning


    I dont know what to do
    1) 45000 gallon
    2) sand filter
    3) Inground
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    5) 5hp

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    My guess is combined chlorine. And pH is on the low end. You already know total chlorine is too low.

    Without a good test kit, you'll have as much hope of getting things balanced as you would of painting a masterpiece in a black room.

    My suggestion is to head over to Pool School until your brain is full and your eyes can't focus. Then do it again tomorrow, until it starts to make sense.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    You need to get the CYA level up, or you will continue losing all of your chlorine to sunlight each day.
    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: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    Well, so far it looks like the culprit is pH. The human eye is close to 7.6. 7.2 is a little low for pool water. One misconception is chlorine burns the eyes, well, unless your Free Chlorine is through the roof and combined outrageously high, the pH is almost always going to be the culprit. Also, when you smell strong chlorine odors, this is ususally cholorimines, or inactive chlorine. That being said. I'd get the Alkalinity down to about 80. This can be done with muriatic acid, but you'd have to turn off the pool and pour it slowly close to the water at the deepend so that it kind of looks like it's going sink to one spot on the bottom, and let it sit a few hours. Spreading the acid will only lower the pH. You may have another way to adjust the alk, so if so, do that. But get the pH up and the alk down. Also, with a heavy bathe load, you'de want to get the pH to at least 2-3.0 .

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    Re: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    the pool does not even begin to smell like chlorine
    1) 45000 gallon
    2) sand filter
    3) Inground
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    5) 5hp

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    Re: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You need to get the CYA level up, or you will continue losing all of your chlorine to sunlight each day.
    is that the stuff called "uv shield"
    1) 45000 gallon
    2) sand filter
    3) Inground
    4) If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    5) 5hp

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasscottch
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You need to get the CYA level up, or you will continue losing all of your chlorine to sunlight each day.
    is that the stuff called "uv shield"
    Probably. Look at the ingredients. It should say cyanuric acid, or maybe 1,3,5-Triazinetriol; s-Triazinetriol; 1,3,5-Triazine-2,4,6(1H,3H,5H)-trione; s-Triazinetrione; Tricarbimide; Isocyanuric acid; Seudocyanuric acid.

    If it's in the pool aisle, that's probably the stuff.
    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: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    That being said. I'd get the Alkalinity down to about 80. This can be done with muriatic acid, but you'd have to turn off the pool and pour it slowly close to the water at the deepend so that it kind of looks like it's going sink to one spot on the bottom, and let it sit a few hours. Spreading the acid will only lower the pH. You may have another way to adjust the alk, so if so, do that. But get the pH up and the alk down. Also, with a heavy bathe load, you'de want to get the pH to at least 2-3.0 .
    Several things to address here....

    1. Do not shut off the pump and pour muriatic into your pool. This "slug" method makes no sense even though it stays around the industry for some unknown reason

    2. Lowering TA, while not a bad idea, is not the reason for OP's burning eyes. Lowering TA can be addressed in Pool School but it should be done LATER.

    3. pH of 7.2 is within acceptable range for swimming pools

    4. This pool needs to be shocked. Read how in Pool School. Shocking is a process....not a one time event. It will clear your pool and, almost surely, stop peoples eyes from burning.

    5. I'm not sure why metal magic was added....do not put things in the pool when you don't know if you need it or not.

    6. As jason said, get your CYA up to around 30ppm or so before you start the shock process. This will allow your FC to stay in the pool a little longer and begin to kill off the organics growing there.

    7.
    you'de want to get the pH to at least 2-3.0
    That's a typo. Disregard it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: low chlorine, and peoples eyes are burning

    Yes, that was a typo.. I apologize. not sure HOW I did that .. It should have said 7.4-7.6. Which is ideal. and I agree, Lowering alkalinity this way may be outdate, and we have used it years with no problems, but when giving advice, I like the fact that different people can give different interpretations, so thanks!

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