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Thread: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

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    Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    Let me start by saying that I do not know what I'm doing with my pool. Period.

    Three weeks ago, I took a water sample to the local chain pool store and got this:

    FC: 4
    Alk: 100
    PH: 7.0
    Copper: .5
    TDS: 2100

    Three days ago:

    FC: 4
    Alk: 0
    PH: 6.8
    Copper: 3
    TDS: 2200

    (I added 5lb of Metal Free or whatever it's called)
    Today:

    FC: 4
    Alk: 0
    PH: 6.0
    Copper: 3
    TDS: 2250


    Water is clear and has been all season.

    Please let me know what else you need to know, and what I should be doing! Thanks...
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    Well, pool store testing can be very inaccurate.

    Did they give you more test #'s? We also need CYA, CC & CH

    A quality test kit will put you in control of your pool. See test kit comparisons in Pool School.

    You should double check your pH. It should not be below 7.
    Use borax and raise it into the low 7's ASAP.

    How have you been chlorinating your pool?

    What chemicals have you added?

    Pls add your pool and equipment specs to your sig.
    Go to User Control Panel (top left under TFP logo), select Profile, then Sig.
    That info will help us help you.

    Welcome to the forum
    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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    Re: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    I have an inline chlorinator and use 3" tabs from Leslies.

    CYA was not tested. Calcium Hardness is 370. I can't figure out what CC is.

    The only chemicals I've added are powdered "shock" and 5lbs of Metal Free due to the copper.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    Forgot to mention... water is crystal clear.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    Trichlor tablets are fairly acidic, they constantly lower both the PH and TA levels. To compensate for that you need to be constantly adding soda ash/washing soda/PH Up to maintain the PH at a reasonable level.

    Now, it is impossible for your TA to literally be zero while the PH is anywhere near 6 or 7, but still it is quite plausible that TA is very low. You need to raise both PH and TA back into range as soon as possible. PH below 7.0 can damage the pool, especially if it stays low for very long.
    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: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    Thanks Jason -- I'm *hoping* the "big chain" pool store is wrong. Any suggestions on the copper? Do I have copper in the water because of the low PH, or is it possible that the copper is causing the low PH?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    Have you added an algaecide that contained copper?

    Have you used one of the mineral-based low chlorine systems?

    Do you have a a heater with a copper heat exchange coil?
    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: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    Algaecide: no

    Low chlorine system: errr... don't think so

    Heater with copper: yes.
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    Having the PH below 7.0, especially way below 7.0, can erode copper from the heat exchanger, raising the copper level, and eventually destroying the heater. As I said, you need to get the PH and TA back up into range as soon as possible. I would start by adding enough baking soda to raise TA up to around 70, give that at least an hour to mix in with the pump running, then test the PH again and adjust it to around 7.0 to 7.2 from where ever it is at that point.
    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: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    All I have is test strips at the moment... but I've added washing soda for the PH and baking soda for the TA, and the strips are at least happier with my PH. It was showing off the scale low, now it is showing around 7.5. TA is still showing "low", but that could be anywhere from 0 to 50.

    Water went from super clear to cloudy. Assuming that's the baking soda and it will clear off. I added them both to water, mixed, and poured into the skimmer. (not at the same time)

    Thoughts on next steps? I know.. buy a testing kit... what else? Pool needs to be clear and usable Thursday, is that possible?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Re: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    An update on this...

    Using washing soda and baking soda, I have gotten the pool to a pH of 7.5. However, my TA is still reading super low (<40). It doesn't seem to matter how much baking soda I add, it doesn't raise the TA. Any hints?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Something's very wrong (newbie post)

    If you add enough baking soda it will raise the TA. You just haven't added enough yet. OR your strips are lying to you! I'd take a sample to a pool store and have them test it till I could get a TF-100 shipped, so you can do your own tests.
    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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