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Thread: Pool water smells salty

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    Pool water smells salty

    This is going to sound funny but my pool water had been smelling sort of salty or fishy (almost like ocean water) for the past 2 to 3 days. I use liquid chlorine and maybe a few trichlor in the summer and mostly trichlor in the winter when it rains a lot. I would expect the pool water to smell more like chlorine but it does not. Makes me wonder if something is going on with the water that I need to be aware of. Hopefully not mustard algae developing.....my worst nightware. I have been adding at least half a gallon of 12.5% liquid chlorine to the pool every evening. My test results from this past weekend are:

    Ph - 7.7
    FC - 8.5
    TA - 70
    CH - 225
    CYA - 50
    water temp - 92 degrees

    Should I be concerned?
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    CC?
    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

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    OMG if your water smells fishy like a pond you've got algae.

    Your test kit doesn't show combined chlorine? In all honesty, other than green water, in my experience the smell is the first clue.

    If you've ever fished a lake or pond, or had a fish tank you know what I'm talking about. The smell is unmistakable. In two days your pool will be green for sure. We've absolutely been in your same shoes before with clear but stinky pond water needing to be shocked.

    Get a good test kit if yours doesn't do TC.

    But by all means, start now and get some extra bleach into that pool. Pond smelling water is algae, I would bet my life on it. Been there, smelled it.

    The good news is that it can be handled easily with shocking. You're not looking at a long process to get it back to perfect in all likelihood.
    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.

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    It has smelled like this for at least the past 2 or 3 days and the water has not turned green. The water is crystal clear. CC tested at 0.5 last weekend and 3 days ago. I have the TF 100 test kit which is what I use regularly. I test FC daily and maintain FC at the higher end of a minimum of 8 ppm. Based on the test results, I don't have algae. But the smell makes me wonder if it is due to the 102 degrees weather and the water temp of 92. It is 90 today. I tried to keep it down and intend to maintain it at 88 degrees.
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Your FC is too high. Lighten up on the liquid chlorine.

    Check the salt level.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Well, I agree with frogabog (the nose knows) and it sounds like you could have a nascent algae bloom.

    I suggest you bring it to shock level and then do an OCLT.
    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: Pool water smells salty

    Shock the pool. Do it correctly by following the article in Pool School.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    " But the smell makes me wonder if it is due to the 102 degrees weather and the water temp of 92. It is 90 today. I tried to keep it down and intend to maintain it at 88 degrees."

    If that was the case.............I'd just as soon turn mine into a coy pond! Heat and high water temps just seem to make it eat more chlorine than normal and easier for algae to take hold. Shock it and then possibly increase your pump run time if needed. Mine runs 10 to 12 hours per day in Texas this time of year and I know a lot of folks run them 24/7---------most likely overkill.
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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Seriously, all we had to go by for 3 years without BBB (and a TC/CC test kit) was smell. We really never got green unless we neglected to notice/deal with the pond smell for a few days, maybe a week.

    There's a distinction to this smell, and a lake, pond, or fishtank smell are all of the things my nose/brain related to the pool smell when it occurred. There is always algae in these waters.
    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.

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Last night FC tested at 8. I added half a gallon of 12.5% of liquid chlorine. That should bring FC to about 10.5. This morning at 6:00am, the water tested at 10 ppm. How do I check the salt level? Since I have to go and buy more chlorine before I can shock, I might as well pick that up too.
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Most pool stores can test it with strips or sell you the strips. They aren't super precise but for swimming pool use, precision isn't that critical.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Ok, just got back from the little pool store that supposedly sells 20% chlorine. I started a thread on that and I will post there what I found out today. I asked them to test the water before I bought liquid chlorine. Here are their test results:

    Ph - 8.2
    FC - 5 (highest on their test kit)
    TC - 5
    TA - 90
    Hardness - 160
    CYA - 50
    Phosphates - 1500 and it should be 100 (Leslie's test result was 750 this time last year)
    Salt - 0

    The one test result that is the same as mine is CYA. The guy told me that the only problems I have is the high Ph and sky high Phosphates level. So he tried to sell me the phosphate remover like Leslie did last year. He also said that I have TOO MUCH chlorine in the water. Maybe that is what's causing the salty smell. I know I often have problems with rising Ph but my tests did not show that it is above 7.8. So I bought some 12.5% liquid chlorine and 31.45% MA. I need to lower the Ph to 7.2 before I start to shock, right?

    The water temp is now at 90. It was 86 degress at 11:00am. The water smells much better today. I wonder if the phosphates and the high water temperature had caused the water to smell salty. In any case, I will be shocking the pool at 30 PPM (for CYA of 50 assuming mustard algae condition). The lesson I learned so far from this experience: When in doubt, SHOCK!
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Honestly, I don't see any value in comparing test results in a store that sells 20% chlorine. TRUST YOUR OWN TESTING. I cannot remember a post where pool store has been more accurate than pool owner.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Always, always, always trust YOUR testing over Pool Store tests!

    Yes, first lower your pH before starting the shock process. 7.2 to 7.4ish is just fine.

    Forget phosphates! JasonLion's pool has a gazillion thousand (okay, maybe 4K phosphates) and is not an issue!
    That is just something the pool stores test to sell you more unnecessary 'stuff'.

    Well, at least the Pool Store got the CYA right! Your shock level is 20.

    Why are you shocking to Mustard Algae level? Do you have Mustard Algae? Just asking cause I didn't read that earlier.

    The lesson I learned so far from this experience: When in doubt, SHOCK!
    Yep, absolutely, trust your instincts! It can't hurt to shock your 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. ~

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Just added some MA to bring Ph down to 7.2 I am going to shock to mustard algae level because I had mustard algae twice last year. It is paranoia. I don't see any mustard algae this time around. I just want to be safe than sorry. So, can I shock at a lower level of 20?
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Yeah, you can use the regular shock level of 20 - unless you still have paranoia or actually have mustard algae!

    I suggest you do normal shock level and see what happens. Also, you could do the OCLT tonight.
    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!

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Great, I will do the regular shocking and see what happens. Thanks.
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Quote Originally Posted by kal2002
    Great, I will do the regular shocking and see what happens. Thanks.
    You're welcome and please keep us posted.

    You know how things are, we love pics and test results
    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: Pool water smells salty

    I forget, do I have to leave the pump running overnight?
    IG pebbletec pool: size of pool: 27,000 gal; filter: cartridge - Hayward Superstar Clear; pump size: 1.5 HP; TF 100 Test kit - got it on 7-29-10; The Pool Cleaner-4-wheel suction model; Pool calculator: http://www.poolcalculator.com/; bleach calc: http://troublefreepool.com/files/BleachCalc262.exe

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water smells salty

    Ideally, you should run the pump 24/7 while shocking.
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