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Thread: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

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    Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Hi All,
    It's been great reading all of the very helpful information here about pool chemistry and trying to get up to speed on this new pool in this new house I bought a couple weeks ago. I'll do my best to explain what's been going on in those few weeks, and I appreciate any help you can provide.

    I bought a house about a month ago and it had a pool. Wasn't looking for a house with a pool, but my fiancee was certainly happy about it. Anyway, the house was nice even without the pool so we bought it. Moved in about 3 weeks ago and had a 'pool guy' open the pool. He was just the guy that closed it last season so I just let him go for it because it was cheap. Problem was he also sold me a bunch of chemicals I probably didn't need like algaecide and stain / scale stuff. I assume he put some shock and algaecide in when he opened it as well. He definitely poured a couple bottles of stuff in there. At the time I didn't know much about the chemistry.

    I got the automatic vacuum going with the help of a new bag and got most if not all the leaves out of the bottom. The water was at the point where I could start to see the drain in the deep end (8ft) when I had to leave for about 10 days for my wedding and honeymoon. I threw the solar cover on and left the pool frog in with it loaded with trichlor tabs. I get back from my honeymoon to a very cloudy blue pool and the solar cover blown half off from some big storms we had while I was gone. Not that big a deal so I just took the cover off and started running the pump and frog thinking it would clear. Went and had a water test at leslie's and everything looked ok except there wasn't any chlorine. So they sold me some oxygen shock that they said would free some up because there was 'locked up chlorine' which now I know is bogus.

    So around a week ago I start getting wise to the leslie's racket and decided to start googling and found this awesome site. Bought tons of clorox at sam's club and a TF100 that just arrived today. Been doing a lot of testing and came up with an interesting anomaly that I can't explain and I'll also post my latest results.

    The latest test from leslie's says my CYA is 60. Ok not bad so I've putting bleach in trying to clear the pool up. But with the TF100 CYA test I'm getting a zero CYA reading. I've read the directions very carefully and also tested probably 5 times just to be sure. I can clearly see the black dot even when the tube is completely full. My chlorine tests throughout the day don't show a huge loss of chlorine from sun, but I did take some trichlor out of the frog (took the frog out of the pool) and put them in the skimmer just to get some CYA in there if there really was none.

    Any ideas as to why there's such a big difference in the tests? Is leslie's just incompetent and I don't have any CYA due to neglect of the pool the last year or so? The previous owners didn't use the pool much I'm told by the neighbors. I'm almost positive I just have to shock and keep it there to clear the water, but with the CYA being so off I'm just not sure where to go from here or how much chlorine to put in. Thanks very much for any help and my latest test results from this afternoon are below.

    FC - 10.5
    CC - 1
    CYA - 0
    TA - 230
    pH - 7.6
    CH - 280
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by mviper13
    Any ideas as to why there's such a big difference in the tests? Is leslie's just incompetent and I don't have any CYA due to neglect of the pool the last year or so?
    Incompetent, well let's just say they were sloppy with their testing or they used an inadequate test system. You can use Trichlor, but that will be slow to add CYA. You could use Dichlor as a chlorine source which will dissolve more quickly and will add more CYA than Trichlor. Or you can buy pure CYA and add it. Since you probably need to add a reasonable amount to get to 40-50 ppm CYA, buying some pure CYA is probably your best bet. You should find your chlorine lasting much longer during the day once you get your CYA up somewhat.

    Is your pool still cloudy or is it now clear?

    As for how much CYA is added by Trichlor and Dichlor, you can use the following rules that are independent of concentration of product and of pool size:

    For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Trichlor, it also increases Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 6 ppm.
    For every 10 ppm FC added by Dichlor, it also increases CYA by 9 ppm.
    For every 10 ppm FC added by Cal-Hypo, it also increases Calcium Hardness (CH) by at least 7 ppm.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Hi and thanks for the quick reply!

    We just had some big T-storms blow through and I'm sure there's a bunch of leaves floating on top of the pool right now, but it's dark so I'll have to wait till morning to get them. I tested about 15 min ago and I still have the same amount of chlorine, but it's more like 1.5 FC and 10 CC so I added 2 more 182oz bottles of clorox to hold it over for the night. The pool is still pretty cloudy. I can see maybe a foot down. I can barely see the 2nd step so maybe even less than that.

    Where does one buy pure CYA? I'm not opposed to going to leslie's as long as what I'm buying will help me with the problem. What is the proper way to add CYA to the pool? Thanks so much.
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    You pretty much can only get CYA (aka stabilizer or conditioner) at a pool store or online. Just make sure it's mostly pure "Cyanuric Acid" on the ingredients. The easiest way to add it so that it dissolves more quickly is to put it in a sock or panty hose and either hang it over a return flow or put it in the skimmer with the pump running 24/7 until it fully dissolves. I've used an old T-shirt over the skimmer basket instead of a sock or panty hose and that works as well. Until you get the pool clearer, you can just get the CYA to something like 30 ppm and then add the rest later after the pool has cleared up. That should let you use a lower chlorine level during the shock process yet still have enough CYA to make the chlorine last longer during the day.

    With your pool still cloudy, keep the chlorine level up and keep running the filter. Brush the pool as well to circulate the cloudy material to the filter. If you can physically remove any larger pieces from the pool (such as the leaves) then that will help.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Most Walmarts & HD, Lowes, Ace, etc. also sell CYA (a/k/a conditioner or stabilizer).

    Read the ingredients - it should be close to 100% cyanuric acid.

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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Hi Guys,

    Just an update to what's been going on. Been a busy day; those storms also knocked out my A/C capacitor so I had that to deal with as well as the pool. Anyway, I went out and bought a 4lb tub of stabilizer. Put most of it in a sock and hung that over a return. Been dumping bleach in all the while and am going to try an overnight FC loss test. I've tested several times over the course of the day and my CC is still very high and FC lower than I'd like, but I think I'm making progress. I'm keeping a spreadsheet of my tests along with timestamps if anybody wants to take a look at the data. Water is still cloudy. Thanks for any help.
    23000g IG Vinyl
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Quote Originally Posted by mviper13
    Hi Guys,

    Just an update to what's been going on. Been a busy day; those storms also knocked out my A/C capacitor so I had that to deal with as well as the pool. Anyway, I went out and bought a 4lb tub of stabilizer. Put most of it in a sock and hung that over a return. Been dumping bleach in all the while and am going to try an overnight FC loss test. I've tested several times over the course of the day and my CC is still very high and FC lower than I'd like, but I think I'm making progress. I'm keeping a spreadsheet of my tests along with timestamps if anybody wants to take a look at the data. Water is still cloudy. Thanks for any help.
    Don't waste the time and reagents doing the overnight test until the water is clear.

    For the CYA test, it seems strange that you would have none registering, what with a pool frog and all the **** Leslies sold you. Just to be sure... you did follow the directions and mix half pool water and half R-0013, right? Because either one alone will not cloud up.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Keep at it... sounds like you're on the right track. Being in Indiana too I can tell you I've seen stabilizer at Rural King for pretty cheap. They don't sell a lot of pool supplies, but they did have that.

    Hopefully our weather will get better around here soon, but then again... it is Indiana! You never know what's around the corner.
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Ok good to know. I will hold off on the overnight test. I did indeed mix pool water and R0013 (biggest bottle in the kit) just as the directions said. I was kinda confused by the test results too, but I did the test quite a few times with the same result. Unless there's something else I'm missing it didn't seem like a very complicated test.
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Hi All,

    Just another quick update. I tested the Chlorine levels on lunch today and the CC is still high, and I've been putting lots of bleach in still. I've put in 6 182oz jugs today alone and the FC is still not getting to 10. CC is 10.5 and FC is 3.5. I also tested the CYA again and the dot is still visible, but much more obscured than previously, so the stabilizer I'm putting in is working. I added the last of the 4lb tub about an hour and a half ago. From what i hear from the neighbor the pool hasn't been maintained very well over the last 3 years so the lack of stabilizer could be from that. I just don't know any history prior to a month or so ago. Thanks for all the help.
    23000g IG Vinyl
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    I'm having a hard time keeping the FC up in the pool now. I don't understand. I've put so much bleach in the pool and every time I test it's way back low again. Could I have some kind of ammonia or other problem? The pool is clearing although very slowly. I'm able to see the 3rd step now, but not quite to the bottom of the shallow end. I will try to attach my spreadsheet with my readings and actions taken on it. I put 20 bottles of 182oz clorox 6% in just yesterday and this morning. I tested this morning and FC was 1! and my CC was 2. I've also added more stabilizer to keep the sun from using up all the FC during the day while I'm at work. I put 8lbs in total so I should be around 30 at this point. Any help is appreciated. Thanks very much.
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Having the CYA at 30 is where you probably should be while shocking, so you're doing good there. The fact that CC is coming down means that the process is working. How often are you checking the FC levels? You can and probably should test every hour when shocking, or as often as possible. Every hour being the most often I would check it. You want to try to maintain an FC level of 12. How much of the powder are you adding to the mix when doing the FC test? Just to clarify, you are using a 10 ml sample of water, adding a heaping scoop, or maybe even two level or slightly raised scoops, correct? (a little more gives what seems to be better results when the FC is high)
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    I just went home and tested again at lunch. 1 FC and 2 CC. CYA was 30. I'm testing as often as I can during the week which is in the morning, at lunch time since I work 10 minutes from home, and at least 2-3 times after I get home. This weekend I plan to hit it hard and test every hour or so. I just bought 10 more cases of 6% bleach (182oz x 3) and put 4 in at lunch. I can see the third step more clearly now and I'm a hair away from being able to see the bottom of the shallow end. This pool must have been in worse shape that I thought. Hopefully once I get things balanced I can keep it together more easily. Thanks for the help!
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Yeah, if you read my saga - I was adding those jumbo jugs of bleach every hour and was still losing it all to the algae that was living in the pool! They finally all died and now I'm just fighting sunlight. Good luck!
    Holly
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Ha again all. Just wanted to thank you for the advice. After putting enormous amounts of bleach in the pool is finally pretty clear. Not perfect, but I can see the drain in the deep end now. I must have hit the magic number Friday night because Sat morning I could see the bottom of the shallow end. It got progressively better and this morning it's actually looking like a pool. I'm still shocking it to finish it off and will be able to do an overnight test soon. Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it.
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Good for you! You'll soon be done and can give us a pic
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    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: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    I am a newbie here. Can someone explain to me why the OP did not just drain the pool completely, scrub it, fill it, and then proceed to treat the fresh water? Is there an advantage to keeping the original water in there? I am a total newbie, haven't even decided on a pool yet, so I mean no disrespect to the OP. Just trying to learn.

    Also, would you put that much bleach into a SWG pool? Like I said, still learning...
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    If you look at the OP's sig you'll see that they have a 23,000 gallon pool. in most places that's several hundred to a thousand dollars to drain and refill just in water charges. Also a lot of places have restrictions on how much water you can use per month. In those instances it's prohibitive to drain the water so fixing it is preferred.

    And I didn't even get into the fact that it's never a good idea to drain an inground vinyl pool.

    Yes you would put that much bleach in a swg pool. The swcg makes the same kind of chlorine that the bleach adds so there's no difference there.
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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    Thank you for your prompt and informative reply! I am glad I asked. Still trying to get a hang of a lot of this material...it just doesn't come naturally for me.

    If I was responsible for my swg pool, handling conditions such as those the OP encountered, my knowledge is so limited right now, I would have thought to add only more salt. So glad I am learning from this outstanding site instead of jumping in and making all sorts of mistakes. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread. My level of understanding is such that, I really need others, to state the obvious. Thank you for your patience & understanding.
    I am looking at getting 16x48 intex AGP 5061 gal, intex sand filter,
    pentair rainbow vaccum, intex SWG

    Yes, I copied this off of another user's sig, but I have to start somewhere to begin to understand. I like the pics of the pool this user, jsf0656, has.

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    Re: Huge CYA discrepancy and cloudy water

    I was pretty sure I could get it to clear. Draining and refilling would have been much more expensive. I've seen pictures on this site of pools in much worse shape than mine. It just took some time, patience, and a ton of bleach. I'll take a picture this week so you can see how clear it is. Although I didn't take any before pics lol.
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