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Thread: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

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    Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Two of my kids came down with Swimmer Ear on the same day. Pool is clear. I have SWG and have been testing the chlorine every other day. It has been 3-5.

    My pool is plaster and very new (finished in early June). I am still a little confused on the FC vs TC(?). Isn't the daily test FC, and isn't that what really matters?

    My 3 kids have been swimming in our local public pool since they were very little and none of them have EVER had Swimmers Ear before.

    I feel that I am failing on my pool chemistry. I thought I was OK, since chlorine was reading in the 3-5 range.

    I should mention that when it rains...my pool gets very cloudy...on the green side, but does clear within 24 hours.

    What could I be missing? I really don't want to be causing Swimmers Ear for my kids and their friends.

    Thanks!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Your FC level is dependent on the CYA level. You may just be in equilibrium, where the FC can just keep up with the algae & bacteria, and the slightest disruption gives the edge to the bad stuff.

    Test your CYA, then you'll know where FC should be, and if you've been keeping it high enough.
    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.
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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Your FC level is dependent on the CYA level. You may just be in equilibrium, where the FC can just keep up with the algae & bacteria, and the slightest disruption gives the edge to the bad stuff.

    Test your CYA, then you'll know where FC should be, and if you've been keeping it high enough.
    Thanks Richard...that makes sense, since my CYA is still on the low side. I did add stabilizer the other day, but I do need to add more. That would also explain the immediate cloudiness after a rain, too. I am just "keeping up" with the bacteria.

    I will add more stabilizer today, thanks!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    It also may be that with a pool of their own, they are going to bed with water in their ears, where the public pool meant less swimming so late in the day. Just guessing.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    WestSidePool's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    If they are going to bed with water in the ears, that can contribute to it.
    To dry up any excess water you can use a mixture of equal parts Rubbing Alcohol, and Vinegar to dry up any water in the ears after swimming.
    My mom used this method on us when we were little and I still use it to this day.

    Just a few links I browsed to:
    How to 1
    How to 2
    How to 3

    I'm no doctor it's just what I use.
    Eric

    IG 17x33 Grecian - Vinyl Liner (21k gallons), Hayward Pro-Grid DE 4820 filter, Hayward Super Pump, CompuPool SWG CPSC36, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    My kids used to get swimmers ear regardless of my pool chemistry. Their pediatrician said to use equal parts warm water and white vinegar. Put several drops in ear, let sit for five minutes then do the same on the other side. She said it equalizes the ph in the ear which is a variable in getting swimmers ear. Once we started doing this last year, no more swimmers ear!

    Good luck!
    Mandy
    20,000 gallon fiberglass inground pool * Hayward sand filter and pump * Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWG * Jandy Aqualink Control System

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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    I thought the mix was 50/50 vinegar and hydrogen peroxide?
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Thanks for the advise everyone!

    I have been using the rubbing alcohol/vinegar/peroxide combo since they said their ears hurt....and so far they say their ears are getting better and not worse. Glad I didn't waste a doctor visit.

    Added more CYA to stabilize my chlorine! Hope that takes care of it. Thanks again
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    You might want to also increase the filtration run time to help keep the water clearer.

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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    I think Richard was saying you need to know your CYA level to know what your minimum FC should be. If you are running SWG, your CYA should probably be 60 to 80 (not saying that it is that, just that is the recommended). With a CYA of 60, using SWG, your minimum FC is 3, while the minimum is 4 with CYA of 70 or 80 and assuming SWG.

    However, if your CYA is higher than 80, you might be needing a higher FC, and that may account for seemingly always fighting something off. So . . test your CYA before you add any more stabilizer and go from there using the pool calculator (or post a complete set of results and let the people here suggest what to do).

    FYI, TC is Total Chlorine and is the sum of FC (Free Chlorine) and CC (Combined Chlorine). FC is the stuff that is sanitizing your pool and what you need to check to be sure you never drop below your minimum (as determined by your CYA level).

    What test kit are you using?
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Along with telling us what test kit you're using how about posting a full set of test results?
    pH
    FC
    CC
    TA
    CH
    CYA
    Salt

    If you don't have a good test kit, it's time to order one.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Ironically, we have been running the filter 24/7, since the pool was finished in early June. Pool guy said it was easier on the pump.

    I have the TF-100 Test Kit.

    Here are my numbers...

    pH ~ 8.0 (always fighting it, since it is new plaster)
    TC ~ Between 2 & 3
    FC ~ 4
    CC ~ 0
    TA ~ 70
    CH ~ 150
    CYA ~ 35 (This test is so subjective...it drives me crazy! I can always see a "dot" on the bottom (it just gets lighter in color) ...is there a better way to measure this?)

    Salt ~ SWG Reading 2,900
    AquaCheck Salt Test Strip 2,600 (hhhmmm?)

    I must be confused on the CYA. I was under the impression that the higher the CYA...the lower the Chlorine could be, since the more CYA...the longer the little Chlorine I ad...stayed in the pool.

    For the first 4 weeks, I was using tri-chlor tabs, so I thought I would get a little CYA from them...then I added a small bucket of Stabilizer/Conditioner (from Leslie's) to the pool over the past few days using a stocking in the skimmer.

    I thought my CYA reading would be a bit higher than it is. That is why I can't stand that CYA TF~100 test with the black dot! Maybe it is higher, but I am reading it wrong.

    Thanks again
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mom-to-3-kids
    For the first 4 weeks, I was using tri-chlor tabs, so I thought I would get a little CYA from them...then I added a small bucket of Stabilizer/Conditioner (from Leslie's) to the pool over the past few days using a stocking in the skimmer.

    I thought my CYA reading would be a bit higher than it is. That is why I can't stand that CYA TF~100 test with the black dot! Maybe it is higher, but I am reading it wrong.
    What is your pool volume? If it is ~30000 gallons, per pool calculator, you would need ~250 ounces by weight of CYA to get to 60 ppm. How big was the "small bucket"?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown
    +1 !

    My ENT suggested the same home remedy others have mentioned, but I didn't want to smell like a pickle from the vinegar.

    So, I bought an ear dryer. Helped me a lot and my ENT endorsed this idea, too. Check out the ear dryer at http://www.dryear.net/ .

    Good luck!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    The pool builder told me my pool was 34,000 gallons, but after filling it...it only took closer to 30,000 gallons.

    The bucket of CYA that I added was 2.5 pounds (40z).

    I definitely need to add more. With that being said, any suggestions on how to get a more accurate reading on CYA, rather than the "black dot" test?

    If the "black dot" is the only one...
    Do you read it when the black dot fades to grey?
    When you see no dot at all?

    Maybe I should take a sample to Leslie's.

    Thanks!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

  17. Back To Top    #17
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mom-to-3-kids
    I definitely need to add more. With that being said, any suggestions on how to get a more accurate reading on CYA, rather than the "black dot" test?

    If the "black dot" is the only one...
    Do you read it when the black dot fades to grey?
    When you see no dot at all?

    Maybe I should take a sample to Leslie's.

    Thanks![/color]
    I find CYA gets easier to test as it gets a little higher. Fill until you see no dot at all.

    tfttestkits sells a standard that you can use to understand better how to test. Here is a link to the 50 ppm version:

    http://tftestkits.net/R-7065-CYA-Sta...ution-p34.html

    I doubt going to leslies will guarantee accuracy, better to learn to do it yourself!
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    You read the CYA test as the black dot is completely gone. If you pour all the test solution in the view tube and still see a ghost of the dot the CYA is less than 20. It is best to read the test outside in full daylight with the sun at your back, holding the view tube at waist level. You can pour the solution back into the mixing bottle and re-read the test several times and take the average of all the tests as your result. I also look away for a minute and then look into the view tube to make sure I'm not seeing things!

    While the test can be difficult to read, it is the most accurate test available. Strips will only give a range of 30-50,50-80, ect. There is a lot of difference between a CYA of 30 and a CYA of 50.
    TFP Moderator
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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    I've been reading up on CYA and its effect on chlorine.

    My CYA is low...my chlorine level is usually 3-4.

    QUESTION: Rather than raise my CYA level (currently 35), should I just lower my chlorine level to 2, as the pool calculator suggests? For a SWG pool, a chlorine level of 1-3 is recommended.

    Looks like a higher CYA level makes chlorine leave faster. Wouldn't a lower CYA level be best...then I can turn down my SWG a bit?

    Thanks!
    30k gallon ~ 48' x 20' Roman Style Gunite
    ColorScapes Quartz Plaster
    SWG (SmartPure Sanitizer II)
    AquaCal Heatwave HQ155
    1.50 HP Hayward SmartMax Pump
    450 Sq./Ft. Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Help...Kids Getting Swimmers Ear!

    from Pool School:
    "CYA - Cyanuric Acid

    Cyanuric acid, often called stabilizer or conditioner, both protects FC from sunlight and lowers the effective strength of the FC (by holding some of the FC in reserve). The higher your CYA level, the more FC you need to use to get the same effect. It is important to know your CYA level so you can figure out what FC level to aim for. If you don't have a SWG or problems from extremely high amounts of sunlight, CYA is typically kept between 30 and 50. If you have a SWG or very high levels of direct sunlight, CYA is typically kept between 70 and 80. If you are using an ORP controller, keep CYA below 50.

    You increase CYA by adding cyanuric acid, often sold as stabilizer or conditioner. CYA is available as a solid and as a liquid. The liquid costs a lot more, and generally isn't worth the extra expense. Solid stabilizer can take up to a week to fully register on the test, so don't retest your CYA level for a week after adding some. Solid stabilizer is best added by placing it in a sock in the skimmer basket. The pump should be run for 24 hours after adding solid stabilizer and you should avoid backwashing/cleaning the filter for a week."

    If you don't have enough CYA you can't add chlorine fast enough, and you run the risk of having no FC.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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