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Thread: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

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    Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    I've read over the pool school info, got the TF-100 test kit, and am doing my first tests.

    On the calcium test it said put in drops of R-0012 until the water is blue. It doesn't say what shade of blue. It has turned a light blue after 10 drops, which means the calcium is low. My question is if the shade of blue matters.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    No, the shade is irrelevant. You are looking for ANY blue to indicate the presence of calcium. The COLOR CHANGE is the level that will determine how much calcium is in your water.....not the intensity of the blue.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Calcium 100
    Alkeline 50
    ph 7.2
    chlorine 2

    The water is clear.

    Since the basic test tells me the chlorine is 2, and the high temperature here in Atlanta is mid 50's, is there any need to do the drop chlorine test?

    I have not added any CYA this year, so I assume that test is not needed. Correct?

    By the way, I only opened the pool to find and fix the leak. That is now done and my pool no longer leaks so I am happy about that.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    It says in pool school "TA is raised by adding baking soda.". I have a big bag of sodium bicarbonate industrial grade. Is this just as good? How much should I add to raise the alkalinity?

    For raising the calcium hardness, is this stuff from amazon OK, and is the price reasonable?
    http://www.amazon.com/Swim-Pool-Calcium ... 504&sr=8-1

    Thanks for all your help.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    It says in pool school "TA is raised by adding baking soda.". I have a big bag of sodium bicarbonate industrial grade. Is this just as good? How much should I add to raise the alkalinity?

    For raising the calcium hardness, is this stuff from amazon OK, and is the price reasonable?
    http://www.amazon.com/Swim-Pool-Calcium ... 504&sr=8-1

    Thanks for all your help.
    You may want to do a quick forum search in regards to raising calcium. It appears some brands of ice melt can be used thus saving you quite a bit of money.
    calcium-hardness-can-i-use-this-to-save-t28499.html?hilit=raising calcium hardness

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    It says in pool school "TA is raised by adding baking soda.". I have a big bag of sodium bicarbonate industrial grade. Is this just as good? How much should I add to raise the alkalinity?
    Have you looked at your CSI (Calcite Saturation Index ) level on the pool calculator? It is really low at -1.18 (that is what i got on poolcalculator.com) and generally should be above -0.6. Others know better than I (I do not have a plaster pool), but since you have a plaster pool you may want to watch this. I would recommend using soda ash (not sodium bicarbonate) to raise the ph up higher end...maybe around 7.6. That would raise your CSI to -0.16, a much better place for a plaster pool. A side benefit would be that it would also raise TA a bit more than sodium bicarbonate. If you pool ph tends to drift down, using soda ash a few times to raise it will also raise your TA.
    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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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    I'm way past the first tests stage, but originally I started too many topics and now I want to keep my questions in one place, so I'll ask everything here:

    In pool school it says recommended TA for a plaster pool using bleach is 70-90+. In the trouble free test kit it says 100-120. Which is correct, and why the difference?

    People say calcium gradually declines with rain and other factors. Once you have your calcium correct, what is the most anyone has had to add in one year? I want to know so I can buy the right amount but not too much. I am in Atlanta and the cheap de-icer stuff is not available here. I can buy a 50 lb bag from the pool store for about $35 or a 15lb bag for about $18. CH is now 270, so I am wondering how much more to buy for my 23000 gallon pool.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    It say 90+ right ... so that includes 100-120

    I actually do not know why the recommendations are different, but if you have higher levels of TA it will tend to pull your pH up. I imagine that the 70-90 recommendation is so that pH does not rise as much. You really just have to find the levels that work for your pool. If your TA is reasonable and your pH is pretty locked in ... don't mess with it ... just be happy.

    You CH of 270 seems fine ... why even buy anything until you see if you need it? CH around here goes up more from evaporation than going down due to rain.

    Post a full set of results so we see where you are at.

    If everything is reasonable and your CSI is in range ... just sit back and enjoy
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    I'm way past the first tests stage, but originally I started too many topics and now I want to keep my questions in one place, so I'll ask everything here:
    I like that! Have you plugged in your numbers to poolcalculator to check CSI (calcite saturation index)? Lowering your TA is only going to make you more negative. Post some test results if you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    In pool school it says recommended TA for a plaster pool using bleach is 70-90+. In the trouble free test kit it says 100-120. Which is correct, and why the difference?
    I do not know why they are different, but I will make sure duraleigh, or someone who knows checks on this. However, chasing TA for no reason is not typically needed or helpful. If you are having trouble with scaling, leaching, or fast ph drift it might need to be managed. Other than that, TA usually sort of "finds its place" unless it is really high or low. Yours is neither.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    People say calcium gradually declines with rain and other factors. Once you have your calcium correct, what is the most anyone has had to add in one year? I want to know so I can buy the right amount but not too much. I am in Atlanta and the cheap de-icer stuff is not available here. I can buy a 50 lb bag from the pool store for about $35 or a 15lb bag for about $18. CH is now 270, so I am wondering how much more to buy for my 23000 gallon pool.
    This I don't know, I have never added CH...I have plenty free
    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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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    ph 7.6
    chlorine 3
    TA 90
    CH 270
    CYA 40
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    ph 7.6
    chlorine 3
    TA 90
    CH 270
    CYA 40
    What did you get for CSI? I will show you my answer after you show me yours (i got 0.00 which is right where you want it) I assumed 75F for temp.

    Your values look good How is the water looking?
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Unless you have some reason to be concerned about your pool ... Go swimming !!!!

    Your numbers look spot on



    If you feel like you are having to add a lot of FC as the weather warms, you could bump up your CYA to 50 to protect it a little better from the sun, but that is really optional.

    {I got a CSI of -0.08 assuming the salt level is really around 1000 after using bleach}
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Unless you have some reason to be concerned about your pool ... Go swimming !!!!
    I just came in from swimming laps. I'm 62 and in decent shape for my age, but lap swimming is different than weights and stationary bike at the gym. I feel very tired but in a good way. I'll be in better shape to swim farther in a month.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    I did the pool calculator. I get -0.33 CSI. Water temperature is 70. Crystal clear. I don't have numbers for borate or salt so entered 0. I did put in some borax at first.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    {I got a CSI of -0.08 assuming the salt level is really around 1000 after using bleach}
    This is not a salt water pool. Is that number reasonable?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    If you enter zero for the salt level, the pool calculator will make a guess at a likely salt level and work from there. In this case the guess comes out {EDIT}around 300{/EDIT}. A salt level of anywhere from 1000 to 2000 is not uncommon for a pool that has not had the water replaced in a while, even if salt was never added. Nearly all pool chemicals contain some salt.

    Likewise, it is reasonable to enter a Borate level of zero if you have never added borax for anything other than adjusting PH. The quantities used to adjust PH are very small compared to the amount used to raise the Borate level.
    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: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    I did the pool calculator. I get -0.33 CSI. Water temperature is 70. Crystal clear. I don't have numbers for borate or salt so entered 0. I did put in some borax at first.
    Well ... given the numbers you posted an hour ago ... I can not figure out how you got -0.33.

    So lets figure out why.
    I entered (going down):
    3, 7.6, 90, 270, 40, 1000, 0, 70 = -0.13

    with salt at 0 = -0.04 {Which does not agree with what JasonLion just stated that they would be about the same???}

    So what did you do differently?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    I must have entered a number incorrectly. I now get the same as you.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    In pool school it says recommended TA for a plaster pool using bleach is 70-90+. In the trouble free test kit it says 100-120. Which is correct, and why the difference?
    I do not know why they are different, but I will make sure duraleigh, or someone who knows checks on this.
    I talked to duraleigh and it is kind of as I suspected. Just as there are no black and white answers to most (probably all) things, TA levels are no different. Some empirical evidence has shown that 100-120 is preferable for bleach/liquid chlorine users, but it is not set in stone. We have one successful forum member up at 180, and I have read of others down to 50. I would recommend not chasing this value around. If you ph is swinging wildly, then raise your TA. If your ph is constantly rising, lower TA. Other than that there is no reason to mess with TA...often times it just takes care of itself
    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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    Re: Doing my first tests and I have some questions

    The higher TA levels are very important when using dichlor or trichlor as a chlorine source. Dichlor and trichlor are both acidic, and higher TA levels help prevent them from dragging the PH down too quickly.

    With all other forms of chlorine, the ideal TA range depends on how much aeration your pool gets. The more aeration you get, the more important it is to keep TA fairly low. Some pools have very low levels of aeration and are fine with fairly high TA levels. But if you have a SWG, waterfall, fountain, etc you will want to keep TA below 100 if possible, and often closer to 60 or 70.

    I did get the pool calculator salt estimate wrong in the post above. The actual salt level guess, when salt is entered as zero, is around 300 for the posted numbers. Meanwhile, for a pool that has been in use for a couple of years without massive water replacement, it is reasonable to guess that salt will be around 1000.
    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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