Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Can't figure out my levels at all.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Hello all, I made a post here a few days ago about the local pool store telling me I needed 105 pounds of Calcium plus.

    Well regardless TFP helped me figure out that I only needed 50ppm for my 30,000 gallon vinyl pool. As opposed to the 200-500ppm the store said I needed.

    I don’t know much about levels in my pool, we have had the thing for 30 years and for 30 years we never had any problems (has to replace the liner once about 10 years ago), and this year is just giving us grief. So I don’t really know much about how to changed the levels this greatly.

    So these were the results the store gave me before I adjusted the water, or tried to at least.

    First Test:
    6/25:
    Test 1: Free Chlorine 0ppm (Low)
    Test 2: Total Alkalinity 84.4ppm (Ok)
    Test 3: pH 6.8 (Low)
    Test 4: Calcium Hardness 0ppm (Low)
    Test 5: Cyanuric Acid 52ppm (Ok)

    They suggested; shocking the pool, add 2lbs 10oz of pH Plus, add 105lbs of Calcium Plus.

    So I shocked the pool more than usual, added the pH Plus, and added 19 pounds of Calcium Plus (which should have brought it up to the 50ppm I wanted).

    I did that over the course of two days, and finally yesterday I had it tested again. It should be noted that it did not rain or anything like that over the last few days.

    Second Test:
    6/29:
    Test 1: Total Alkalinity 0ppm (Low)
    Test 2: pH 7.2 (Ok)
    Test 3: Calcium Hardness 0ppm (Low)
    Test 4: Cyanuric Acid 10ppm (Low)
    Test 5: Free Chlorine 1.2ppm (Ok)

    So notice the tests are out of order. Is that normal? That’s not what I’m really worried about. Why did my Alkalinity drop from 84 to 0ppm and my Cyanuric Acid from 52 to 0ppm? Why did my calcium not raise at all regardless of adding 19 pounds of calcium plus? What’s going on here? I need advice from people that actually know what they are doing. I feel like I’m getting jerked around at the local store. I know I don’t know what I’m doing but they aren’t helpful and won’t explain anything to someone who is truly confused.

    I also want to say when I do the test strip myself it looks like my hardness is well over 0ppm, even as much as 200ppm. However I have a hard time seeing these things and can never tell if the colors are right.

    EDIT - Oh yeah, I also wanted to add not only do they still suggest I add 105 pounds of Calcium plus, they want me to add 45 pounds of Alkalinity Plus now also. I think tomorrow I'm going to travel into the city and have it tested to see if they are screwing something up in town.
    30,000 Gallon, Above Ground, Vinyl, DE Filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    I think I shall bookmark this thread as an example of being Pool Stored

    Take the money you saved by not buying 100 pounds of Calcium and spend it at http://tftestkits.net I recommend a speedstir as well.

    Nobody will test your pool as carefully as you will, and nobody will care as much about what's being put in the pool as you. As long as you're getting inaccurate tests, you will never, ever add the right amounts of chemicals.

    There's just no other way
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Thanks, I guess I'll look into buying my own kit. So no real reason for the levels to look the way they do?
    30,000 Gallon, Above Ground, Vinyl, DE Filter

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    It's gotta be testing error. TA doesn't drop to nothing, nor does CYA go down that much, in that short a time.
    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!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Jeeze and here I thought I did something extremely wrong this whole time. Thanks for you're help! This is a great forum.
    30,000 Gallon, Above Ground, Vinyl, DE Filter

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    10,045

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Like Richard said, those pool store tests are apparently wrong, which is common.

    If you really want to take control of your pool, order the test kit!!

    Best investment we made in our pool
    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!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Midland TX
    Posts
    15,001

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Just more proof they can't be trusted. No way both can be right. Get a test kit, a good one you can trust. It will end your frustration, and give you control.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

  8. Back To Top    #8
    dmanb2b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    3,728

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Welcome to TFP

    Just to reiterate what was said above a Tf100 from Tftestkits.net will put you back in control of the beast

    The PS clerk deserves a . With TA at zero your PH would be below 5
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Greentown, IN
    Posts
    914

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Like the others said... get a good test kit and you'll know for sure what's going on. Spend some time here reading pool school and reading the forums and you'll learn a lot.

    If you have more questions... people here are quick to help.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

    Test kits compared
    Purchase test kits

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Yeah thanks guys! I'm definitely going to order a kit next week. In the meantime I did just get back from the city where they have a real pool store, these tests seem more accurate. Yeah, all of that Calcium I added, I guess was a bad idea and the small in town store was incorrect. Will too much calcium be a bad thing? This is my new test.

    TDS: 1000
    CYA: 37
    pH: 7.2
    Tot. Alkalinity: 104
    Adj. Alkalinity: 93
    Tot. Chlorine: 1.5
    Free Chlorine: 1.7
    Tot. Hardness: 310 (I wanted it at 50....)
    Optimizer +: 15
    Copper: 1
    Iron: 0

    So, my pH is a little low, Adj. Total Alkalinity is a little low, Hardness is high. Copper is high. Everything else looks alright. They said I needed 3qts of Pool Magnet Plus, 15.5 lbs of Balance Pak 100, 0.25 lbs of Lo 'N Slo, Add Sparkle Up, Add 3 Bags of BurnOut3 (I'm not even sure what this is). Then after all that I'm supposed to add 34 lbs of Optimizer Plus and 17 pounds of Lo 'N Slo.
    30,000 Gallon, Above Ground, Vinyl, DE Filter

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frogabog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,578

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Good Lord...

    You didn't buy that stuff did you? No... no of course you didn't. You came back here to give us all a good laugh. Thank you so much!

    You're getting nowhere with these pool stores. None of them can be trusted. The results are all over the place.

    Test kit ordered yet? Just do that. You'll feel so much better when you are in control of the testing. Promise.

    You do need chlorine though. Target for 37ppm CYA is 7ppm CL. Minimum is 3ppm. You have a trace amount of combined chlorine, indicating you could be blooming some algae. Get the pool up to target right away, use the pool calculator set at 40ppm CYA, enter the volume, assume your chlorine is near 0 now after the trip to the city and enter target of 7 (overdoing it by 1ppm today will hurt nothing).

    What test kit do you have at home anyway? You can use that tonight to see what the FC level is, then dose back to 7ppm using the calculator. Check in the am, if you lost any chlorine, re-dose to 7ppm. Swim. Check tomorrow night again, and dose back to 7.

    You're in better shape than you think, you just need to get the CL in check. And then daily dosing for the rest of the summer. Are you still using pucks/tablets? If so, I'd discontinue them now and just use bleach as the CYA level of 37'ish is just fine. You don't want to raise that much, if at all.
    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.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    Haha no I didn't buy any of that, not listening to them anymore.

    And thanks, I'll cut the picks and use bleach.
    30,000 Gallon, Above Ground, Vinyl, DE Filter

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    10,045

    Re: Can't figure out my levels at all.

    LOL Yep, what frogabog said

    Also, don't worry about the CH until you get your own kit and test it yourself.

    Now would be a good time for you to add your pool and equipment specs to your sig.
    Go to User Control Panel (top left, below TFP logo), select Profile, then Edit Sig.
    This will be very helpful to folks trying to answer your posts.

    Just think of all the $ you will save by NOT adding all the pool store 'stuff' that messes up your chemistry and causes you to spend more $ trying to fix.
    Not to mention, your time, energy & gas expense!
    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!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •