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Thread: can't hold a chlorine reading

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    can't hold a chlorine reading

    I opened my pool 2 weeks ago and the water was clear(with some leaves and debris at the bottom). I have been using the local pool store and its chemicals but got frustrated with the cost. I have added some of their chemicals to attempt to balance the water including lo n slo, optimizer,etc. After 12 bags of shock I was getting no chlorine reading. That's when i discovered the BBB approach and it made sense. I am using the HTH 6 test and got these readings

    chl -5.1
    ph 7.2
    ch - 290
    alk 170
    cya - 90

    according to the pool calculator I needed to add 1.3 gal of bleach which I did and 1.8 box of borax. I did that and my chl reading is unchanged so 2 days ago I had the same readings and added the same. An hour later the chl was dropping so I added another gallon of bleach. The level dropped to the 5.1. We have well water in this area and live basically in a forest so in previous years I haven't been able to get a reading till I drop the phosphates below 300. i did that this time and still can't get the reading up. Also the pool store is getting a zero reading when they measure my chl. I have had the pucks in a chlorinator open to 10 for over 2 weeks. Help!
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

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    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Should really invest in a good tester. I wouldn't worry about Phosphates, thats just the pool stores way of making money on you. CYA is really high, and I bet higher than 90! Pool stores get this wrong all the time. Pucks have stabilizer in them so they over dose you on CYA! I would switch to bleach. Is the water not clear anymore?
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    maxepr1 has the right idea. Get a top quality test kit, so you tell what is going on with your water, and get your CYA level down to something more reasonable (say 50 to 60).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    It sounds like you are likely heading towards replacing a large amount of your water to lower your CYA, the problem is CYA binds to chlorine leading to over stabilization and no available chlorine to disinfect your water.

    CYA gets into your water in one of three ways

    Powdered or Liquid "Stabilizer" (straight CYA)

    Dry (pellet, stick or powdered) Chlorine containing either Tri-Chlor or
    Dry Chlorine containing Di-Chlor

    The only types of dry Chlorine that don't add CYA to water are Cal-Hypo (it adds calcium which can lead to other problems)
    or Lithium Hypo which tends to cost a lot more than the other dry options.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    I have the TF 100 on order so it should get here Mon or Tues. The water btw is crystal clear. The pool store reading for cya is much lower...they are the ones who suggested adding the stabilizer!!! Now they are telling me to add 5 bags of shock at a time until I get a chlorine reading. That I am in demand and have to add bags till I hold a reading for 24 hours. This is how I found BBB ...looking for answers. Also why would the hth 6 test read 5.1 for chlorine if there isn't any? Thanks for the help folks...even if I hate the answers
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    The OTO yellow drop test for chlorine is a bulletproof test for the presence of chlorine.

    Pool store testing is often incorrect. When you get your TF100, you will be in total control of your pool.

    Yep, you're gonna have to replace water to get the CYA down to a reasonable level.

    No more pucks for now! Save them for vacations and such.

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    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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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    One thing to remember about pool stores, for the most part they are not in business to help you they are in business to sell you chemicals
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Thanks for all the info folks!!! When I get the testing kit I will be back on with the results and more questions I'm sure.
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Hi guys....I got my test kit and tested the pool. Thanks to Mother Nature and 2 1/2 inches of rain in 3 days, I have an overly filled pool. I think it helped with my CYA reading. I got the following numbers:

    FC .5
    CC 1
    TC 1.5
    TA 180
    CH 260
    pH 7.5 with the test strips
    borates 50
    CYA 70 I think that test is challenging since you look at that dot long enough that it's tough to tell if you are seeing it or thinking you are seeing it. The calculator said to only add 4.5 bottles of the bleach....does that sound right? Also on the calculator it didn't have an ideal for borates...should I add that number? Thanks
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    mdreese,

    Your test result of cc = 1ppm indicates the possible need to shock your pool. What does your water look like? Why did you use strips to test for pH?
    Dave S.
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Oops....used test strip for borates not pH. Water has been crystal clear the entire time
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    CC needs to be below .5 otherwise it either causes clothing to bleach out or possibly eye irritation (or maybe that is improper PH). Your FC is also too low for sanitizing, need to get that up to around 5 or so...
    POOL SPECS - 18' round AG pool Doughboy pool with 5'8" deep-end, Aqua Trol Salt Water Generator, 1HP Doughboy pump, Doughboy sand filter, Solar Dome cover and a 40'x4' solar heater. Located in Oregon with swimming season from end of May through September. I pull the pump & SWG during winter months. Solar Dome minimizes FC loss & keeps heat in & debris out. Btw - Solar Dome lasted about 6 years before plastic started shredding.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Quote Originally Posted by Positronic
    CC needs to be below .5 otherwise it either causes clothing to bleach out or possibly eye irritation (or maybe that is improper PH).
    You have the right idea, but wrong details. CC above 0.5 tends to cause bad smells, skin irritation, and possible breathing problems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    I need you folks to explain the chemistry of my pool to me because after reading pages and pages of forum posts and pool school info I am not sure why my pool isn't a mess. I posted my previous readings on May 9th but haven't done anything but checked the levels in my pool since then. We have had many days of rain(all total upwards of 4 inches) and the water seems to be getting better on its own. It is and always has been crystal clear with no smell. It is also 58 degrees. We have had 1 or 2 warm sunny days since i opened the pool but sunshine is in short supply in north central Pennsylvania. Anyways here are the readings
    May 13
    FC .5
    CC .5
    TC 1
    pH 7.5
    TA 160
    CYA 60
    CH 280
    borates 50

    So at this point do i shock it or just add the amount listed in the pool calculator? And why hasn't the pool gotten algae (walls aren't slimy either) or more messed up?
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    I think it is just because the water is too cold for the algae to really take off.

    If it is not clear shocking will not hurt, but I would at least get your FC level up in the recommended range so nothing will start to grow when the water warms up.

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    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    I added bleach today to shock my pool. the calculator told me 4 bottles of 182 oz bleach to reach a FC of 17. I checked to see if I was at that level and tested 25. Then figuring it hadn't mixed well yet I used a large measuring cup and tested it 3 times and got 3 different readings. The 3 test measurements were 22, 18 and 21. It was the same container of water...why would there be such a variance?
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Could be minor changes in how fast your were adding drops so that they were slightly different sizes ???
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Could be...I will try to be more careful in doing the test. Next question is my FC has dropped some in the 1 1/2 hrs since I put the 4 jugs of bleach from the low to mid 20's(see numbers above) to 20. I will have to add bleach but how do you know how much to add to get it back up. Will the calculator tell me this?
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Yup, just change your NOW numbers to your current test results and make sure your TARGET numbers are correct and the calculator will tell you how much bleach is required to achieve it.
    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
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: can't hold a chlorine reading

    Just checking to make sure I am doing this right.

    1:00 FC 25
    CC 3.5
    3:00 FC 20
    CC 3
    6:00 FC 19.5 added bleach based on calculator
    CC 3
    9:00 FC 24
    CC 2
    7:00 FC 22.5
    CC 2
    1:00 FC 19
    CC 2
    Based on the chart and my Cya I am keeping it around 22 so I will be adding more bleach but do i need to be checking any of the other numbers?
    17x33 inground vinyl pool, 22,000 gallons, 1 1/2 hp hayward pump, Hayward systemII DE filter with chlorinator, north central pennsylvania, heater

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