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Thread: Newbie question about water test results...

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    Newbie question about water test results...

    Hi everyone,

    I just bought a house about two weeks ago that has a vinyl inground pool that is 30,000 gallons. It uses a DE filter but I'm not sure about the flow rate. The house is in Southern New Jersey. The pool uses two floating chlorinators and chlorine pucks. When I first moved in, the chlorinators were in the water but when I checked inside them about three days after moving in, I realized they were both empty. The pool was clear but I did notice some algae growing on the steps and along the seam between the steps and the pool wall. I bought chlorine pucks and put three in each chlorinator.

    A couple of days later, I noticed a lot more algae so I took a sample of water to the pool store and had them analize it. They told me there was a lot of phosphates in the pool that was feeding the algae. They gave me a bottle of phosphate remover and some product to shock the pool, but I'm not sure what the product was. Anyway, they told me to add the whole bottle of phosphate remover and put in eight bags of the shock product (1 lb each). She also told me to add two bags of the shock product once per week.

    The next morning the water was mostly clear, the green was gone, but there was a lot of white of stuff on the bottom of the pool, which I believe was dead algea. I've gotten most of that stuff off the bottom by vacuuming to waste and refilling the water as needed. The water is now perfectly clear. Taking the pool store's advice, I added two bags of the shock product yesterday morning (one week after my last shock).

    I've been on this forum, learning what I can. I just ordered the Taylor K-2006 test kit and did some testing last night. Unfortunately, I couldn't test everything, but here's what I found:

    Ph: 7.4
    Free chlorine: 7.5
    Combined chlorine: 0
    CYA: 0

    Everything looked good until I got to the CYA reading. I think my free chlorine was high because I just shocked the pool less than 12 hours prior. My question is why my CYA was 0?

    To do the test, I added 7ml of pool water into the CYA test bottle and then added 7ml of the CYA reagent. The instructions say to then transfer the "cloudy water" to the smaller test tube with the black dot on the bottom until the black dot is no longer visible. My water was not very cloudy and after I filled the tube all the way up, I could still easily see the black dot. Assuming I did the test correctly, my CYA would be at or near 0.

    Can anyone comment on my results?

    Thanks,

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    If the previous owners were using chlorine tabs, then the pool would most likely have some cyanuric acid. Did the pool store test for cyanuric acid? You should have it retested before adding more.

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    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Thanks... the pool store tested for everything... I have the results but not with me. I think the CYA was 30, but I'm not sure. I'll check the results when I get home tonight.
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    244

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Welcome to the forum. When you did the CYA test, was the water at all cloudy? Also, can you confirm that the chlorine pucks that you added to the floating feeders was trichlor? It's possible that they were cal-hypo, and you may truly not have any CYA in the pool.
    20'x40' Oval 27,000 gallon Vinyl IG, Coverstar Auto Cover
    Hayward MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Sta-Rite PLD50 30 sq. ft. DE filter
    Rheem 266,000 btu natural gas heater
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus with Clever Clean
    TF-100 testkit w/ Speed Stir

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Quote Originally Posted by faby3003
    Welcome to the forum. When you did the CYA test, was the water at all cloudy? Also, can you confirm that the chlorine pucks that you added to the floating feeders was trichlor? It's possible that they were cal-hypo, and you may truly not have any CYA in the pool.
    The water got a little cloudy but only after a minute or two and I could still easily see the black dot. I'll check on the picks when I get home. Thanks.
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Denton, TX
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    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    It would be unusual for you to have calcium hypochlorite tablets, but it is possible. However, if CYA is detected, they are most likely trichlor.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Thanks everyone... one thing that I thought was strange was that my chlorine pucks are dissolving slower than I would have expected. I put six pucks in (three in each chlorinator) about eight days ago and last I checked (yesterday), they were all at least 70% of their original size. Is that normal? I'm not sure why I think it seems slow becuase I have nothing to compare it to...

    Thanks,

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Can anyone comment on my results?
    Tell us where you live and how much swim season you have left.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Can anyone comment on my results?
    Tell us where you live and how much swim season you have left.
    Hi,

    The pool is in Southern New Jersey. Swimming season is about over I guess... since we just moved in, I was hoping to leave the pool open through the middle of October so we can get some use out of it if the weather warms back up. I also read that closing later is better to prevent algae over the winter.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Kevin,

    I doubt the water will warm back up enough for you to swim so I would consider just planning on closing it for the winter. If you choose that route, read the article on closing up in Pool School.

    If you really want to get it back to crystal clear, you would need to get a good test kit and shock the pool with liquid chlorine. The process will take about 10 days or so and we'll need to have good test results to give you good advice. If you decide that route, post back and we'll get you started.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Kevin,

    I doubt the water will warm back up enough for you to swim so I would consider just planning on closing it for the winter. If you choose that route, read the article on closing up in Pool School.

    If you really want to get it back to crystal clear, you would need to get a good test kit and shock the pool with liquid chlorine. The process will take about 10 days or so and we'll need to have good test results to give you good advice. If you decide that route, post back and we'll get you started.
    Duraleigh,

    I think you're right... I did manage to get in on Sunday but the water was quite cold. The pool company that serviced the pool for the prior owners offered to close it for free so I think I'll call them out some time this week.

    As for the sandy white stuff on the bottom, I vacuumed the pool (again) on Sunday but I went really slowly held the vac in place until the little cloud that was stirred up cleared. I managed to clear about 95% of of it without making the water cloudy, which I think means the vac was working at removing the stuff. I didn't vacuum to waste since there wasn't that much left and I didn't want to have to add a ton of water to get my water level back up.

    Anyway, the pool is cystal clear now and there's only a very small amount of whatever that stuff was on the bottom, that I can probably get up with one more vacuum. I'm not sure my vacuum is working properly though. I do get suction, but when I put my hand over the opening in the bottom of the vacuum, I can barely notice the suction. I basically have to put two fingers over the opening and then I can feel the water being pulled through the gaps in my fingers. I did figure out how to switch the valve so that the water was pulled entirely from the skimmer box (as opposed to the bottom drain) and I get good suction at the skimmer box, so I'm not sure where I'm loosing suction. I'm thinking maybe the hose is clogged??

    Thanks for your help.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    One possible way the CYA could be that low is if the pool was emptied and refilled before it was sold and no attempt was made to rebalance the pool chemistry. Then, the tablets that were added would only have added 1.1 ppm CYA each. Not sure what the minimum CYA you can test for with your kit but this test is accurate to +/- 15 ppm so the difference between 0 and 15 ppm CYA hard to see.

    A full water test would be nice to have, along with a test of your tap water. I know in my area, the TA is so high that a recent refill would be obvious with TA near to tap water values since as time passes the addition of acid to control pH would make that TA drop. Not sure if your water has anything that would make that refilling so obvious.
    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.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    One possible way the CYA could be that low is if the pool was emptied and refilled before it was sold and no attempt was made to rebalance the pool chemistry. Then, the tablets that were added would only have added 1.1 ppm CYA each. Not sure what the minimum CYA you can test for with your kit but this test is accurate to +/- 15 ppm so the difference between 0 and 15 ppm CYA hard to see.

    A full water test would be nice to have, along with a test of your tap water. I know in my area, the TA is so high that a recent refill would be obvious with TA near to tap water values since as time passes the addition of acid to control pH would make that TA drop. Not sure if your water has anything that would make that refilling so obvious.
    OK... I finally got around to getting a complete test done... here's my results:

    FC - 2.2
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.2
    TA - 50
    CH - 70
    CYA - 0

    CYA is still measuring 0... unless I'm doing something wrong but I'm pretty sure I'm not. I may take a sample to the pool store to have them test and compare my numbers. Any comments on my results? I did check and the chlorine tabs I am using are trichlor. Thanks again. I'm looking to close the pool now but I know my numbers should be right before doing so. Thanks,
    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Anyone care to comment?
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
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    244

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    If you're planning to close the pool soon, I wouldn't do anything about the low CYA. You can add some in the spring when you open the pool. You should just follow the pool closing procedure in Pool School.
    20'x40' Oval 27,000 gallon Vinyl IG, Coverstar Auto Cover
    Hayward MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Sta-Rite PLD50 30 sq. ft. DE filter
    Rheem 266,000 btu natural gas heater
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus with Clever Clean
    TF-100 testkit w/ Speed Stir

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Newbie question about water test results...

    Quote Originally Posted by faby3003
    If you're planning to close the pool soon, I wouldn't do anything about the low CYA. You can add some in the spring when you open the pool. You should just follow the pool closing procedure in Pool School.
    Thanks for the response. I planned on using a service to close the pool since the company has offered to do it for free and because I'd like to make sure it's done properly since I'm still very new to pool ownership. Unfortunately, they aren't able to come out until October 8, 2011, which is about a week and a half from now. I guess I'll just shock the pool one last time to get my chlorine levels back up until then. Hopefully, the levels will stay up but they should drop rather quickly since I have virtually no CYA in the water right now.

    Kevin
    ---
    30,000 gallon vinyl pool
    Hayward DE Filter
    Hayward Super Pump
    AO Smith 1 1/2 HP Pump (27GPM)
    Polaris 380 Pool Cleaner

    Check out the app I created to control my pool equipment from my smartphone:
    i-created-an-app-to-control-pool-equipment-with-smartphone-t61606-20.html

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