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Thread: First post looking for help...

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    First post looking for help...

    Hi all,

    I have been lurking for a while reading all I can before asking but need some advise from those with experience.

    I have the TF100 test kit and followed the advise in many posts on pool opening but am still having trouble with getting my pool clear. I am the new owner of this pool and don't know what was done to close the pool last winter but can say that the previous pool guy worked on the pool for 26 years and it looked really great last summer.

    I have shocked the pool with 10 bags of Blue Wave Burst! and pulled out all of the leaves that I could and the water quality improved a lot and is now just cloudy. I have been running the pump 24/7 as well as adding bleach rather than using the pucks that were left so as to not raise CYA any higher that it already is.

    I have been testing my water and thought the numbers were in the ballpark but wanted an "expert" opinion so I went to the local pool store this afternoon for confirmation and was shocked.....The analysis from the pool store is way different that I thought I had but should say that I am red-green color deficient and that was the reason for getting the second opinion so their results may be closer to the truth but anyway..

    Pool store results are:

    TC = 0.8
    FC = 0
    CYA = 70
    pH = >6.8
    TA = 77
    Adjusted TA = 56
    Total hardness = 217

    Their recommendation was for 73 bags of Burn Out 35 shock which I think seems excessive from a cost as well as material stand point so I am hopeful that it really isn't that bad.

    My pool is an in ground gunite 28,500 gallon with PAC FAB Superflow 100 sand filter and Intelliflo VS pump.

    Regards,

    Jay
    Jay

    28,000 gal in-ground hybrid pool with PacFab Superflow 100 sand filter witn VitroClean media, Intelliflo VS pump, Stenner chlorine pump, Raypak R336A Millivolt Natural Gas Pool Heater

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Trust your own results.
    Now post a set of your own results.
    pH
    FC
    CC
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    That'll tell us what we need to know to help you.
    All it's going to take is filtering and some more bleach.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Welcome to TFP!

    If PH is actually <6.8, the most important thing is to bring the PH up to at least 7.2. If you wrote it down correctly and PH is >6.8, go to a different pool store and get new test results. By far the best thing you could do is to get your own top quality test kit. That will give you much more control over your pool, save you money in the long run, and make this whole process simpler.

    Do you know what your CYA level is? You said something about it being high, but you didn't post a number. Blue Wave Burst is dichlor, so that will have raised the CYA level significantly. The amount of chlorine you need to use very much depends on your CYA level.

    Burnout 35 is litium-hypo, by far the most expensive form of chlorine. The algae doesn't care how expensive your chlorine is. I suggest switching to bleach or liquid chlorine. It is comparatively inexpensive and doesn't add anything to the water that you don't want.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Welcome to TFP!

    If PH is actually <6.8, the most important thing is to bring the PH up to at least 7.2. If you wrote it down correctly and PH is >6.8, go to a different pool store and get new test results. By far the best thing you could do is to get your own top quality test kit. That will give you much more control over your pool, save you money in the long run, and make this whole process simpler.

    Do you know what your CYA level is? You said something about it being high, but you didn't post a number. Blue Wave Burst is dichlor, so that will have raised the CYA level significantly. The amount of chlorine you need to use very much depends on your CYA level.

    Burnout 35 is litium-hypo, by far the most expensive form of chlorine. The algae doesn't care how expensive your chlorine is. I suggest switching to bleach or liquid chlorine. It is comparatively inexpensive and doesn't add anything to the water that you don't want.
    Thanks for the speedy replies!

    After I posted my message I noticed that I forgot to add the CYA number but it is 70.

    I have just confirmed that the pool store analysis shows pH to be >6.8.

    I used the burst because my own testing showed the CYA to be 20 or so using the looking tube test in the TF100 kit and wanted to raise CYA

    After the initial dose of Burst! I have added 4 gallons of 12.5% liquid chlorine then got a deal on 96oz 6% generic bleach and have been using it. To date I have added an additional 14 bottles of the 6% bleach in addition to the 4 gallons of 12.5% liquid chlorine

    Regards,

    Jay
    Jay

    28,000 gal in-ground hybrid pool with PacFab Superflow 100 sand filter witn VitroClean media, Intelliflo VS pump, Stenner chlorine pump, Raypak R336A Millivolt Natural Gas Pool Heater

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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Trust your own results.
    Now post a set of your own results.
    pH
    FC
    CC
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    That'll tell us what we need to know to help you.
    All it's going to take is filtering and some more bleach.
    I am at work at the moment but will retest and post them later tonight.

    Regards,

    Jay
    Jay

    28,000 gal in-ground hybrid pool with PacFab Superflow 100 sand filter witn VitroClean media, Intelliflo VS pump, Stenner chlorine pump, Raypak R336A Millivolt Natural Gas Pool Heater

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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Trust your own results.
    Now post a set of your own results.
    pH
    FC
    CC
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    That'll tell us what we need to know to help you.
    All it's going to take is filtering and some more bleach.
    OK,

    Has the water tested at a second pool store and the results were much closer to mine.

    Pool Store 2 results:

    pH = 7.3
    FC = 3.0
    CC = 0
    TA = 60
    CH = 100
    CYA = 30

    My results:

    pH = 6.8
    FC = 2.5
    CC = .5
    TA = 70
    CA = ???? I could not get any noticeable color in my test sample from either the first or second reagent in the TF100 kit. Is it possible I have a bad batch of reagent or am I just doing something wrong?
    CYA = 30

    Regards,

    Jay
    Jay

    28,000 gal in-ground hybrid pool with PacFab Superflow 100 sand filter witn VitroClean media, Intelliflo VS pump, Stenner chlorine pump, Raypak R336A Millivolt Natural Gas Pool Heater

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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Trust your test results.

    1. Bring the pH up to 7.4 or so using muriatic acid. That should take less than an hour.

    2. Now, Shock your pool by adding plain Clorox....enough to get your pool to14ppm. If you don't know how to calculate that (don't guess), post back and we'll help.

    3. Disregard your other tests until you accomplish the above.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Hi, I'm sure Duraleigh meant to say raise the pH with washing soda, soda ash, or aeration. Muriatic acid lowers pH. If you are having trouble reading the pH block, try holding a white card behind the block either in a brightly lit room or outside with the sun at your back. If the overall color is yellow the pH is below 7.2, orange is around 7.5, and pink/purple is above 7.8.

    Read through Pool School and pay particular attention to defeating algae and how to shock your pool.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    With a TA of 70 I'd probably use 20 mule team borax instead of aerating but either way is fine.

    The CH test takes the longest of any of the test. Take a look at the following instructions here.

    [list=1][*] Rinse the sample tube with pool water.[/*:m:250dv1fe][*] Fill the sample tube with pool water to the 25 ml mark. The top of the sample will be curved. This curve is called a meniscus. The bottom of the meniscus should be level with the 25 ml mark.[/*:m:250dv1fe][*] Add 20 drops of R-0010 and swirl to mix.[/*:m:250dv1fe][*] Add 5 drops of R-0011L and swirl to mix. The solution should turn red, pink, or blue. If the sample turns blue, you are done and your CH level is zero.[/*:m:250dv1fe][*] Counting the number of drops as you go, add R-0012 one drop at a time, swirling to mix after each drop.
    1. Continue adding drops until the color changes to something more or less blue. If the sample turns purple see the note on "fading endpoint" below.
      [/*:m:250dv1fe]
    2. Continue adding drops as long as the color continues changing. The final drop, that does not change the color any further, does not count.
      [/*:m:250dv1fe]
    3. If the sample starts to turn blue and then goes back to red/pink and stays there from several more drops this is also a "fading endpoint", see the note below.
      [/*:m:250dv1fe]
    [/*:m:250dv1fe][*] Multiply the number of drops by 10 to get your CH level. Remember that the final drop, which didn't cause any further color change, doesn't count.[/*:m:250dv1fe][*] Dispose of the sample safely. It is best to pour it down the drain with the water running. Do not add it back to the pool.[/*:m:250dv1fe][*] Rinse the sample tube with tap water and store for next time.[/*:m:250dv1fe][/list:250dv1fe]

    The biggest part of the test is swirling between each drop. That's a lot of swirling. You'll notice when reading posts that a lot of us recommend the SpeedStir and because it makes the CH test so much easier is the biggest reason for that.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    I suggest you use Borax to raise the pH as it will have the least effect on your already very nice TA #.
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    ...
    The biggest part of the test is swirling between each drop. That's a lot of swirling. You'll notice when reading posts that a lot of us recommend the SpeedStir and because it makes the CH test so much easier is the biggest reason for that.
    I did buy the SpeedStir as on option with the TF100 kit And have been using it. Do I add all drops first then stir or, as I have been doing, start the SpeedStir then add drops while stirring?

    Also, PoolSchool says to mix the borax in water then add to the pool. According to the pool calculator I need 4 boxes of borax to raise my pH to 7.4. Do I add one box per bucket (5 gal) of water or should I make smaller batches of the mix?

    Thanks,

    Jay
    Jay

    28,000 gal in-ground hybrid pool with PacFab Superflow 100 sand filter witn VitroClean media, Intelliflo VS pump, Stenner chlorine pump, Raypak R336A Millivolt Natural Gas Pool Heater

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    Re: First post looking for help...

    I mix up to about half a box per bucket of water, though if you can get more to dissolve easily then go for it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    A start the speed stir before the first drop goes in and drop the R-0010 and R-0011L about one drop a second then I drop the R-0012 about one drop every three or four seconds.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    I mix up to about half a box per bucket of water, though if you can get more to dissolve easily then go for it.
    Any real reason to do this? I didn't dissolve mine first, and it worked really well. I ended up with a few clumps due to one of my boxes being really old, but it was gone in a few hours.
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Borax is very forgiving, so not too much trouble regardless of how you add it. Still, I prefer to pre-dissolve in a bucket as that makes the least mess and fewest problems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    With a TA of 70 I'd probably use 20 mule team borax instead of aerating but either way is fine.

    The CH test takes the longest of any of the test. Take a look at the following instructions here.

    [list=1][*] Rinse the sample tube with pool water.[/*:m:15dk61b5][*] Fill the sample tube with pool water to the 25 ml mark. The top of the sample will be curved. This curve is called a meniscus. The bottom of the meniscus should be level with the 25 ml mark.[/*:m:15dk61b5][*] Add 20 drops of R-0010 and swirl to mix.[/*:m:15dk61b5][*] Add 5 drops of R-0011L and swirl to mix. The solution should turn red, pink, or blue. If the sample turns blue, you are done and your CH level is zero.[/*:m:15dk61b5][*] Counting the number of drops as you go, add R-0012 one drop at a time, swirling to mix after each drop.
    1. Continue adding drops until the color changes to something more or less blue. If the sample turns purple see the note on "fading endpoint" below.
      [/*:m:15dk61b5]
    2. Continue adding drops as long as the color continues changing. The final drop, that does not change the color any further, does not count.
      [/*:m:15dk61b5]
    3. If the sample starts to turn blue and then goes back to red/pink and stays there from several more drops this is also a "fading endpoint", see the note below.
      [/*:m:15dk61b5]
    [/*:m:15dk61b5][*] Multiply the number of drops by 10 to get your CH level. Remember that the final drop, which didn't cause any further color change, doesn't count.[/*:m:15dk61b5][*] Dispose of the sample safely. It is best to pour it down the drain with the water running. Do not add it back to the pool.[/*:m:15dk61b5][*] Rinse the sample tube with tap water and store for next time.[/*:m:15dk61b5][/list:15dk61b5]

    The biggest part of the test is swirling between each drop. That's a lot of swirling. You'll notice when reading posts that a lot of us recommend the SpeedStir and because it makes the CH test so much easier is the biggest reason for that.
    I have the SpeedStir and have been following the instructions above precisely and am still having trouble with the CH test. Are the colors supposed to be vibrant or more pastel? If I stare at the test tube long enough I can convince myself that the color is a light red/pink and then turns to a light blue but I wouldn't stake my life on that analysis. I could just as easily conclude that the sample stayed clear.

    Is there some way I can verify that the three test drops are working properly and are correctly labeled?

    Jay
    Jay

    28,000 gal in-ground hybrid pool with PacFab Superflow 100 sand filter witn VitroClean media, Intelliflo VS pump, Stenner chlorine pump, Raypak R336A Millivolt Natural Gas Pool Heater

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    Re: First post looking for help...

    When you add the R-0011L, Does the sample turn a color or stay perfectly clear?
    Dave S.
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    Re: First post looking for help...

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    When you add the R-0011L, Does the sample turn a color or stay perfectly clear?
    It *may* turn a very light red / pink but I am red/green color blind so it is hard for me to tell. I had my wife look at it while I was adding the drops and she confirmed what I have been seeing. When the pool store (Leslie's) tested my sample, the colors were much more pronounced and I was able to see them much better. I believe they were using the Taylor drops so I would expect similar results using the TF-100 kit but that hasn't been my experience so far.

    Regards,

    Jay
    Jay

    28,000 gal in-ground hybrid pool with PacFab Superflow 100 sand filter witn VitroClean media, Intelliflo VS pump, Stenner chlorine pump, Raypak R336A Millivolt Natural Gas Pool Heater

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    Re: First post looking for help...

    The colors will be pastel. And sometimes very very pale.

    One alternative to try is to measure out your sample, add 5 drops of R-0012 and mix it up good. Then do the test like normal. When you start counting drops of R-0012, begin counting with drop 6. Sometimes you get Magnesium interference which makes it weird; this fixes that. If CH is high, it can take quite a long time. Eventually it will start to shift to lavendar. That is not blue. It will turn sky blue given enough R-0012 and enough mixing. The speedstir is a godsend for this test when you have high CH, let me tell you!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Help with inconsistant results

    I have been struggling to get my pool open for about a month now following the BBB method and have been seeing some modest gains. The water is cloudy but seems to be improving little by little. During this time I have been using the OT test to get a quick indication of the TC level as well as pH then performing a more detailed analysys using the TF-100 drop test. Until recently, the test results have been in alignment, meaing that if the OT test shows the TC levels to be 8-10, the drop test is within that range as well. Recently however, the OT test shows my pH levels to be 6.8 or below and TC is off the charts but the TF-100 drop test shows the TC levels to be much lower. Is there something wrong with my OT test materials or is there some other possible expanation for these results?

    I have added 1 box of Borax based on the test as a precaution, but I hesitate to add the amount recommened by the poolcalculator until I am confident that there is nothing wrong with the test as I would hate to be raising the pH levels skyhigh and not know it.

    Thanks

    Jay
    Jay

    28,000 gal in-ground hybrid pool with PacFab Superflow 100 sand filter witn VitroClean media, Intelliflo VS pump, Stenner chlorine pump, Raypak R336A Millivolt Natural Gas Pool Heater

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