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Thread: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

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    Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Hi,
    I've spent a ton of time in the last week reading the forum...you guys are great! If only I found you sooner! I searched for this topic but couldn't find an answer to this specific question.

    Due to several factors, I'm just now opening to a green monster...fought algae all last year but it seemed to be under control before closing.

    Other than I'm sure my FC is 0, I have no clue what my numbers are. It's possible CYA might be high, because I shocked with Cal-hypo a lot last year, although I drained approximately 6000 gallons to close. I (stupidly) used test strips last year, and they are all gone. Here's my question:

    Should I shock now, guessing at numbers or wait til I have a test kit? I have about 16 gallons of bleach on hand, and can easily get more, so I'm ready with the go juice.

    I ordered the TF Test kit, and it was supposed to be here on Friday (according to the Post Office) It wasn't. Didn't show up Saturday either and the P.O. tracking website seems to indicate (cryptically) that it has been returned. So now I have no clue when I'll be getting the test kit.

    I've topped off the pool (rain and snowmelt plus ~4000 gallons) and can begin circulating, but not sure if I should do that either.

    I really want to get started cleaning it up so the worst is done before I leave town next Friday. I have someone who will be taking care of it while I'm gone, but want to minimize their work.

    TIA!
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    N7390K,

    Please PM me your last name and let's track down your kit together. Meanwhile, wait on the shock process until we get some answers tomorrow.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Should I run the pump? Through the filter or bypass? Don't know if circulating would inhibit or enhance the algae growth. Or if it matters. I can turn off the solar panels...I'm assuming the cooler the better for getting rid of the algae?
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    You could do two things that would help until you get your kit.

    1. pour two Large jugs of Clorox into the pool each evening until the kit arrives

    2. Run your pump 24/7 and watch your psi. It'll likely start rising very quickly once you put the Clorox in there. Backwash/clean as needed.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Still no test kit but Dave (& Meg) have been very helpful in trying to solve the problem...It's all the post office's fault...I'll save that for another post! Since the PO has no clue where my test kit is, Dave overnighted me a new one so that should be here tomorrow. WTG Dave! In the meantime, I put 3 gallons of bleach in last night, and today took water sample to pool store to be tested. Here are my numbers:

    CYA: 0
    TC: 4
    FC: .5
    pH: 8.6
    TA: 70
    CH: 216

    Obviously a whole lotta algae dying. This evening I added 50 oz. of 31.45% muratic acid to try to get the pH down to a manageable level while shocking for the algae. I also put in about 4 lbs. of CYA with a temporary goal of around 30. I will be raising that after getting the algae gone since my SWG kit is supposed to be here tomorrow. After dark I put in 4.5 gallons of bleach and brushed entire pool. In the morning I will test and add more bleach and re-brush. As I'm just starting to learn about all of this, I have a couple of questions:

    Since it takes awhile for CYA level to rise, should I continue to shock using a value of 0? Or should I test CYA and use whatever result that is to determine shock level?

    Assuming pH is down around 7.2 or 7.3, should I worry about the rest of the numbers, or just wait until algae is gone? Seems wiser to work on one problem at a time to me.

    Does it sound like I'm on the right track? I will post new numbers tomorrow.

    TIA!
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Give the CYA 24 hours in the pool and then use 30 as your now number.
    Since you've adjusted the pH don't worry about the rest of the numbers until you pass the OCLT.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Got two test kits today

    Here are my numbers:

    FC: 2.0
    CC: 16.0 is this possible? Or operator error
    pH: 7.7
    TA: 60

    Assuming CYA of 30, I added 4.5 gallons of 6% bleach. Also, since pH is still high, I added another 30oz. of 31.45% acid.

    How do I keep the FC high (13) and vacuum to waste without killing my landscaping or dumping it into the irrigation ditch very nearby? should I plan on vacuuming in the morning when FC is low before I re-shock? Also, if the CC # is accurate and is still that high in the am, does that create an environmental issue also.

    Last year while battling algae, I flocked and waited until the water was clear and the FC was normal before vacuuming. I was thinking I could do the same this time, and then shock once more after vacuuming. Thoughts and comments appreciated.
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Well, I'm gonna suggest you retest FC/CC
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Pool water won't harm plants unless they are very chemical sensitive or your climate is extremely arid. Neither FC or CC are an issue for landscaping plants.

    CC of 16 is certainly possible, but not at all likely. When doing the FAS-DPD chlorine test, make sure the sample turns completely clear for at least 15 seconds of swirling before moving on to the CC portion of the test.
    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: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Thanks for everyone's input. I've been busy pouring bleach and brushing the last couple days but I'm making progress. Water is milky and can even see the second step now...they are high steps, so about 20-24 inches down. At first, I thought I had faulty test chemicals, but it was interesting to watch the chlorine "turn the corner" and start beating out the algae as evidenced by the FC and CC numbers. Initially, I couldn't even get the FC number above about 2.0 and the CC was 16.0 (which I now believe to be accurate.) I would put in 4.5 to 5.5 gallons of bleach, which took about 15 minutes to pour into the pool...wait 15 minutes retest and FC would still be 2 while CC dropped some each test: 16, 7.5, 5.5, 2 etc. Once CC got below 2.0, then FC started to hold at higher numbers. Last three tests were:

    noon: FC 11, CC 0.5
    6:30pm: FC 10, CC 1.0
    10:00pm: FC 9.5, CC 1.0

    One question:

    My last pH test yesterday was 6.9 with FC 1.0 and CC 2.0 This was after I started shocking so I thought it best not to mess with it, but wanted to verify that with the experts. Obviously I can't get an accurate pH # with such high chlorine #'s, but is that pH low enough to be concerned? I'm hopeful tomorrow will be the last day of shocking, although the cottonwood trees are in full "fluff" right now and the surface is constantly covered with white cottony stuff. I'm guessing all that organic mass is going to keep the CC slightly elevated until the trees are done? If that is the case, how do know when to stop shocking? When water is sparkling and I pass the overnight test? (except the elevated CC and corresponding FC drop) The trees will probably be like this for at least a couple more weeks.

    Thanks again

    Mike
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    If your pH is 6.9, you should go ahead and increase it. It is true that if you are shocking to where your FC is above 10, then it can affect your pH readings by causing them to read falsely high and not falsely low. It is hard for me to tell whether your FC is 1 or if it is 9.5 but in either case, a pH of 6.9 is too low.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    The pH reading was taken yesterday when FC was at 1.0 and CC at 2.0, so I would assume it is not falsely high. My latest test results (4 hours ago) had FC at 9.5 and CC at 1.0.
    Some extra info that might matter. With the exception of 2 brass drain valves on the solar system that is turned off for shocking, I have absolutely no metal parts in my pool. Also, my new SWG kit just arrived yesterday and I plan on installing it as soon as I can.
    So next question: How do I determine how much to raise pH? I want to keep FC at shock levels until the algae event is over, so I can't get an accurate pH number now. Do I use an assumed number of 6.9 and try to raise it to 7.2? (41oz. of soda ash)
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Yes, raise your pH to about 7.2.

    Also, esp because you will be installing a SWG, I suggest you use borax instead of soda ash to raise pH because it has less effect on your TA.
    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: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    @Butterfly RE: Borax...how important is it to use borax vs. soda ash? I'm not sure I want to introduce borates into the water, because our dog spends a lot of time in the pool for therapy and exercise because she has joint problems. We've trained her not to "drink" it, but when she's going after her ball or toys, she's bound to ingest more than an average amount that most dogs would get.
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    But no more than a person would perhaps?
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    As noted in this post, male dogs consuming 29 mg/kg/day over a long time had some of the dogs show smaller testicles. For 50 ppm water, that would be around 6 quarts of water every day for a 22 pound dog. The No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) was 8.8 mg/kg/day or almost 2 quarts of pool water every day for a 22 pound dog.

    So dogs that drink a lot of water from the pool every day might be at the edge of some risk of first symptoms, but an occasional gulping now and then should not be a problem. The body DOES tolerate boric acid since it is in food in small amounts (see this link, for example). It just has a limit to how much it can process per day.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  17. Back To Top    #17
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Boric Acid is a godsend...

    It's great for Candidia... which some of the ladies and probably their spouses know all about.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    @ chem geek,
    Sorry for the delay in responding - I was out of town and been REALLY busy since getting back brushing and shocking and brushing and shocking, thanks for the advice and links on borax. I will probably "boraxify" the pool at some point, but I need to just enjoy it for awhile and I need to stop spending $$$ on it. So far this year I've replaced the sand in the filter (350lbs.) bought a SWG kit, bought an automatic pool cleaner (should be here this week - polaris ATV - F7), plus I had to re-run a bunch of the plumbing to hook up the SWG and it cost a small fortune in bleach to beat back the "swamp thing"

    However, we finally got to swim in it for the first time today! It's the clearest the water has been in the 3 years we've owned the pool, and I see no reason it wont stay that way from now on thanks to the help of TFP!

    I did go against the advice in other threads from some of the long time contributors. After waiting for the filter through 10 days of shocking with good FC and CC numbers but constantly cloudy water with VERY SLIGHT improvement each day, I ran out of POP and decided to flock. The next morning, the water was clear with a mat of organics on the bottom. It took a couple of times vacuuming - I used my shop vac...worked great and only lowered the water level by 1" (about 600 gallons in my pool) - Now I have sparkling clear water and passed the OCLT

    Had heavy rain and wind last night, so shocked this afternoon - still using bleach to chlorinate. Next step, will turn on the SWG tomorrow

    New hardware and parts for the pool - $1500
    Emptying Wal-Mart's shelves of bleach - twice - $150
    First pool party of the year this coming Sunday - Priceless!
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Yes, sand filters can sometimes have a difficult time clearing a pool, especially if circulation is poor as well. If you ever get cloudy water again, you can try to Add DE to a Sand Filter. By the way, which flocculant did you use?
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Waiting on test kit...should I wait to shock?

    Bioguard power flock.
    25k gallon, plaster IG pool in the shape of a "J"
    ABS thin tube solar system
    Hayward SWG
    Polaris ATV suction side pool cleaner
    Jacuzzi Lazer 250L sand filter
    1-1/2HP AO Smith pool/spa pump
    In beautiful Ft. Collins, Colorado

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