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Thread: new and confused

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    new and confused

    I am new to the BBB method and have been studying hard to figure it all out. I am doing strip tests and bought a cheap kit from wal-mart. My problem is that I read great information on here about what my levels should be and then the bioguard test at the pool store has different ranges. And bioguard test shows different levels than my home kit. I did the pool store test just to see if it was close to my wal-mart kit. In the past we have used trichlor bioguard silk tabs in our chlorinator, burn-out extreme, and algaecide. This morning I put 1.5 gallons of 6% bleach in and then took this water to the pool store 6 hours later. 25,000 gallon inground pool, Hayward 1.5HP Super, 2 main drains, a skimmer and step jets.
    My test results:
    ph 7.8
    tot. chl. 1.2
    free chl.0.6
    tot. alk. 118
    Adj. Alk 79
    Tot. hardness 232
    CYA 130
    My pool is cloudy and I have not been able to get a chlorine read for several weeks.
    brh
    18x36 25,000 gallon, vinyl liner, 1.5HP Super Hayward, Cartridge Filter
    step jets, 2 main drains and skimmer, we have a chlorinator

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: new and confused

    Quote Originally Posted by brh
    CYA 130
    My pool is cloudy and I have not been able to get a chlorine read for several weeks.
    The CYA number explains this problem. To raise your pool from 0-16ppm it will require 6.5 gallons of 6% bleach.

    OUCH!

    16ppm is where you'll want to start out at every day to be able to not fall below minimum at the end of the day with 130ppm CYA.

    You would probably like to be able to maintain something like 3ppm minimum and 7ppm high, right? It's gonna require some draining to get there. Approximately 70%. It sounds drastic, but it really has to be done or you're looking at dumping in roughly 3 gallons of bleach per day just to keep it within the range.

    The pool store results also indicate that you have just over .5ppm combined chlorine. Time to begin the shocking process. Read pool school (upper right of this page, white button) and pay particular attention to the shocking information. You'll want to get a good test kit as well, the TF100 is the best value around.

    The PH is getting up there, before you begin the shocking process lower PH to about 7.2 with acid. It will also lower the TA a tad so that may also help.

    Run the filter 24/7 while shocking.

    Did I mention reading pool school and the shocking information there? Shocking is a process, not a product you can dump into the pool and walk away from so don't let the pool store convince you otherwise.

    edit: forgot to mention... time to stop with all forms of solid chlorine (tablets/shock powder). Those products are why the CYA is so high, and the whole root cause of your inability to keep chlorine in the pool. Save them for vacations (AFTER you lower CYA).
    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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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: new and confused

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Have you tried using The Pool Calculator to determine how much chlorine you should add? Currently your CYA is way too high. That puts your daily target range for chlorine at 10-16 ppm. In order to reach the top of your range, 16 ppm, you would need to add 6 gallons of 6% bleach. Since your water is cloudy you probably need to complete the shock process, which means raising your chlorine to 30 ppm and frequent additions of chlorine to keep it at 30 ppm until the shock process is complete. That would be 12 gallons of 6% bleach just to reach 30 ppm.

    Now, I do not say this to discourage you. To lower your CYA you need to drain a significant volume of water so the chlorine requirements will be more manageable. If your pool has a vinyl liner you will want to drain and refill in stages. You never want a vinyl liner pool to have less than 1 foot of water in the shallowest part of the pool. If the pool is plaster or fiberglass then how much you can drain safely depends on your soil conditions.

    Some parts of California and Arizona have companies that offer reverse osmosis pool treatments which will lower the CYA levels without draining the water. You can try and google it to see if it is available where you live.

    In order to complete the shock process efficiently, you will need a high quality test kit such as the TF 100 or the Taylor K2006 which is widely available online. Strips will not give an accurate reading for dosing the pool and your Walmart kit only has enough reagents to run the tests a couple of times. While you are completing the shock process you will need to test every couple of hours the first day or two to keep the pool at shock level. Most pool stores use the OTO chlorine test that only reads up to 5 ppm. You will need to maintain chlorine levels much higher than 5 to complete the shock process.

    Please feel free to post any questions you may have and we will do our best to help you get your pool clear again. Just about all of us have been in your shoes at least once before we came to TFP, so we can relate to your frustration with conflicting information. We are several thousand members strong and there is thread after thread documenting that the TFP guidelines work if you follow the steps as outlined in Pool School.
    TFP Moderator
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: new and confused

    Welcome to the forum

    Who tested the CYA of 130? You can use a dilution test to see if your true CYA # is closer to 100 or possibly 200. Just use 1/2 pool water and 1/2 tap water with the CYA reagent and double the results. Not a precise test, but should be enough to tell you which end of 100 the CYA is on.

    You can't follow pool store advice and TFP advice. We want your pool to be trouble free and they want to sell more chemicals!
    So, just ignore their recommendations and follow us thru Pool School. We can help you get your pool back and keep it all sparkly and clean year round.

    Unless there is an RO treatment for pools (reverse osmosis) in your area, your only option is to do the drain/refill dance.

    You also need one of the recommended test kits. The fav around here is the TF100. Link in my sig.

    Since it would take an amazing amount of bleach/liquid chlorine to shock your pool with the current CYA level, I suggest you skip shocking for now and get started on the drain/refill dance. Once the CYA is under control (at least down to 60 or 70), then you can start the shock process.

    Where are you located? City and State? Does your pool get full sun?
    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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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: new and confused

    We are located in Ohio. I have had a hunch for about a week that we need to drain/refill ASAP. But, wanted to register on here and get advice. This is a great forum!!! We will start the drain/refill process tomorrow. How long do we wait in between draining and refilling for the next drain/refill if we need to do this 3 times?
    brh
    18x36 25,000 gallon, vinyl liner, 1.5HP Super Hayward, Cartridge Filter
    step jets, 2 main drains and skimmer, we have a chlorinator

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: new and confused

    After the first refill test the CYA and see how much progress has been made. You can start draining again as soon as you would like.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: new and confused

    Ohio = no reverse osmosis so that's not an option. (pretty pricey, anyway)

    There is no wait period in the drain/refill process. You are simply lowering the level multiple times to keep the water level from being too low if you did it all at once. It uses somewhat more water but is a much safer thing to do.

    If your CYA REALLY is 130, drain 1/3 of your pool twice and then retest. You should be down around 60 which actually is close enough. If it's above 60 after the second refill, I would suggest draining enough to bring it to 40ppm.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: new and confused

    Thank you for all the advice. I will let you know how it turned out!
    brh
    18x36 25,000 gallon, vinyl liner, 1.5HP Super Hayward, Cartridge Filter
    step jets, 2 main drains and skimmer, we have a chlorinator

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    Re: new and confused

    CYA level is now 60 after drain/refill. However my FC is 1 and CC is 2 today. I added 3 gallons of 10% Chlorine. I used the Pool Calculator and it only suggested 1.6 gallons. This confuses me because of what I read about shocking. I am assuming that I want my FC level to be 5-7....correct? I am also wondering if it is safe for people to swim during this shock process and where should my numbers be for them to safely swim, especially if the FC is high for shocking???? Still learning
    brh
    18x36 25,000 gallon, vinyl liner, 1.5HP Super Hayward, Cartridge Filter
    step jets, 2 main drains and skimmer, we have a chlorinator

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: new and confused

    Welcome to the forum brh!

    If you haven't already, make sure you read about the shocking process in pool school: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool

    At 60 ppm of CYA, poolcalculator shows 18 ppm for you shock level (that is minimum) so you do not want to fall below that until you meet the following conditions:

    1. CC is 0.5 or lower;
    2. An overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less;
    3. And the water is clear.

    To go from 1 to 18 ppm FC (with a CYA of 60 ppm) requires ~7 gallons of 6% bleach.

    On poolcalculator.com there is a section called "Suggested FC Levels" that shows normal and shock levels. Or you can use the Chlorine/CYA chart (I assume that is where you got 5-7), that chart shows 24 ppm for shock (it is a bit more aggressive than the poolcalculator).
    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.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: new and confused

    So is it safe to swim with FC level up in the 16-18 range during shock? How long will it take to get FC level down to 5-7 then as maintenance range?
    brh
    18x36 25,000 gallon, vinyl liner, 1.5HP Super Hayward, Cartridge Filter
    step jets, 2 main drains and skimmer, we have a chlorinator

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: new and confused

    Quote Originally Posted by brh
    So is it safe to swim with FC level up in the 16-18 range during shock? How long will it take to get FC level down to 5-7 then as maintenance range?
    Don't swim while shocking.
    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: new and confused

    It might eat your suit and could cause some skin irritation but yes it's safe enough |WITH a CYA of 60 or more.
    Glenn - Pickering, Ontario
    Circa 1980 Vinyl In-ground 80,000 Ltrs. ~ K2006 Kit ~ Hayward Pump/Navigator/Sand Filter ~ Raypak 255 Gas Heater

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    Re: new and confused

    How long does it take to get the CC down to .5 or less with my current CC of 2? I am still unsure about whether it is safe to swim with shocking or not (got 2 different opinions above).
    brh
    18x36 25,000 gallon, vinyl liner, 1.5HP Super Hayward, Cartridge Filter
    step jets, 2 main drains and skimmer, we have a chlorinator

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    Re: new and confused

    I know this will sound like I"m being an a**, but it takes what it takes. It might take you 4 days, it might take 2 weeks, it might take even longer. There's no rules that apply to the shock process other than you have to FOLLOW the process. You can swim at shock level, but it may bleach clothing... I personally do not swim at shock level, so I don't recommend it. Get through the shock process, THEN enjoy your sparkly pool!
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: new and confused

    Hoping it doesn't take too long. We live in Ohio and we are limited with pool time. Thank you! The pool is clear... I just have the FC and CC issue. Just checked chemicals:
    ph 7.4
    FC 1
    CC 1
    TA 110
    CYA 55-60
    brh
    18x36 25,000 gallon, vinyl liner, 1.5HP Super Hayward, Cartridge Filter
    step jets, 2 main drains and skimmer, we have a chlorinator

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    Re: new and confused

    Quote Originally Posted by brh
    How long does it take to get the CC down to .5 or less with my current CC of 2? I am still unsure about whether it is safe to swim with shocking or not (got 2 different opinions above).
    I personally Wouldn't swim at the high FC levels. It will most likely damage swimwear, my skin is more sensitive to it than some others around my house and lastly you are shocking because the pool is not very sanitary or you wouldn't need to shock. The pool is cloudy because something is prolly growing in the water.

    That is also why noone can tell you how long it will take to shock the pool. Noone really knows how bad it really is. The good news is you have the cya down to a manageable level.
    10,800 gallons Gunite/Plaster
    Hayward 244t 24" Sand Filter with Zeo
    1 1/2 HP Challenger
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    Located in NOLA

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: new and confused

    Quote Originally Posted by brh
    ..... I am still unsure about whether it is safe to swim with shocking or not (got 2 different opinions above).
    Swimming in chlorine up to shock level isn't a problem. But where there is algae, or other organics consuming chlorine, there are most likely going to be places where there isn't any chlorine, and the water in those areas will not be sanitized.

    CC comes in several forms, some of which are fairly significant irritants and others of which can cause breathing problems at high enough levels. CC at 0.5 or lower generally isn't noticeable, but at higher levels it can be quite annoying, thus best not to swim.
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: new and confused

    The active chlorine level in a pool at shock level (FC that is around 40% of the CYA level) is the same as a pool with around 0.6 ppm FC and no CYA so less than in most commercial/public indoor pools in the U.S. Of course, such pools without CYA do tend to wear on swimsuits, skin and hair faster (my wife who swims in one during the winter can attest to that while in our own outdoor pool with CYA there are no such problems) but it's not as if they are un-swimmable.

    As Butterfly noted above, sometimes CC can be irritating so in your pool that is now clear that would be the main factor to keep you out of the water. If you don't smell a "bad chlorine" smell ("clean" bleach-like smell is all right), then you might be OK. If your pool is exposed to sunlight, then the CC will likely drop within a day, assuming you keep the FC higher. Keep the pool uncovered while shocking. I suspect that the CC is from nascent algae starting to grow (due to the low FC/CYA ratio) even if not yet fully visible.
    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
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: new and confused

    Quote Originally Posted by brh
    Hoping it doesn't take too long. We live in Ohio and we are limited with pool time. Thank you! The pool is clear... I just have the FC and CC issue. Just checked chemicals:
    ph 7.4
    FC 1
    CC 1
    TA 110
    CYA 55-60
    Ok I see you posted while I was typing(i took a call in the middle of typing). It is Great that the pool is clearing up. You also have to pass the OCLT. Just because the pool is clear doesnt mean the algea is totally dead. It could be almost dead and if you stop shocking it will rear it's ugly head the first time the fc gets a bit low. Read the instruction for the OCLT. It is basically make sure you lose <1ppm between sunset and when the sun starts hitting your pool in the morning. You don't want to stop 1 day or less short of being finished shocking and have to start over in a week or two. If it's clearing up you are getting closer.
    10,800 gallons Gunite/Plaster
    Hayward 244t 24" Sand Filter with Zeo
    1 1/2 HP Challenger
    Digital Pool Pilot DIG-220 SC-48
    Located in NOLA

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