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Thread: Test Results (and lots of questions!) on newly filled pool

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    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Lancaster, PA
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    Test Results (and lots of questions!) on newly filled pool

    My newly installed inground vinyl pool was filled about 1.5 weeks ago. When the crew had it filled, they did not add the salt or start the pump (for whatever reason). It sat like that for about 3 days until my PB learned that the crew failed to do this, and he came and added the salt and started the system up. This was on Friday, April 27, and he told me to stop by their sales office to have my water tested - which I was unable to do until Monday, April 30.

    Water looks crystal clear to my newbie eye. Water was trucked in via a water supply truck, and I am assuming it was possibly well water with the high CH you will see in my stats below.

    My test results at that time (Monday, April 30th) Water temp was probably around 55 degrees or so.
    FC .6
    TC .7
    CC .1
    PH 8.2
    CH 430
    TA 220
    CYA 10
    Salt 2900

    They had me add one 40 lb bag of salt, and 8 lbs of "PH Minus" and 2 lbs Pool Stabilizer.

    I had not had time to use my TF100 test kit until today, and these are my readings:

    Saturday, May 5th - water temp 65
    FC 5.5
    CC 0
    TC 5.5
    PH 8.2
    TA 230
    CH 340
    CYA 0 (black dot never went away)
    Salt 2800
    Borates 15 (is it possible to have Borates if I never added any?)

    I realize my PH is high, as well as my TA, and I added 1 gallon of muriatic acid today. I retested PH and TA about an hour later (is this long enough of a wait?) and results are:
    PH 7.2
    TA 200

    So, my questions as a total newbie:

    1. Should I keep adding muriatic acid to continue to lower the PH and TA? Would this be better than the "PH Minus" granular stuff that they gave me on Monday? They told me to add the PH Minus directly to the skimmer, which I did but I really didn't like having that granular stuff being sucked right into my plumbing and thought I probably should have diluted it first.

    2. What do I do about adding CYA? Their test showed 10 - and mine shows 0. Is it safe to assume that the Stablilzer they gave me was not enough? Is this the only way to go to add CYA, or is there something I am missing? Or do I just wait and see if starts to creep up over the next few days?

    3. Since they had me add another 40 lb bag of salt, why would the salt reading have gone down to 2800 from the previous 2900? They indicated at that time that it should be brought up to 3200. Does this mean that I have to add more, or is there something that I need to do with my Pool Pilot to do this?

    4. Is my FC too high at 5.5? And why do I not have any CC - is this something to worry about or will it fix itself?

    5. Is my CH too high? And will this go down by itself? It seems to have getting lower, but I am not sure how this happens.

    6. I have not added any Borates, yet I show a reading of 15. Does something else affect this without adding anything? Should I be doing anything differently here?

    I should probably add that the weather over the past week has been somewhat rainy and cloudy, until today. We have been doing a lot of grading of the yard around the pool, and there has been some dirt and topsoil getting into the pool once in a while, which we vacuum out pretty quickly as we have been having the Sand Shark operating a few hours each day. With the rain we've had off and on all week, sometimes very hard rain, we've been fishing out a lot of worms from the pool. Not sure how, if at all, any of this might affect the test readings. Finally had the yard seeded today, so hoping I will be done with all of the mud, etc.

    Sorry for all the questions!

    Any help would be appreciated, and steps on what I should be concentrating on and it what order would be helpful.

    Thank you!
    16 x 32 vinyl In-ground Lagoon; Shallow pool 3' to 5'; Buddy Seat; IntelliBrite 5g LED; Pool Pilor Digital SWG, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 320; Pentair Intelliflo VS + SVRS; Pentair Sand Shark. My Construction Thread - Spring 2012

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results (and lots of questions!) on newly filled po

    1) Yes, keep using muriatic acid. It is much less expensive than dry acid and also doesn't add anything extra to the water.
    2) You definitely want some CYA in the water. Aim for somewhere around 30 to 50.
    3) Salt readings are not exact. Even the better tests are +-400. Also, it takes the SWG salt meter 24 hours to fully react to the addition of new salt.
    4) FC at 5 with CYA very low is a bit too high, but not dangerous or anything.
    5) CH is on the high side, but can be managed. You need to continue working on getting the PH and TA down so that your relatively high CH doesn't cause a calcium scaling problem.
    6) Again, the test isn't all that precise. Your level might well be zero. Borates are optional and not something you should worry about just at first.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results (and lots of questions!) on newly filled po

    Awww...JasonLion beat me too it....here are my thoughts anyway:
    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    Borates 15 (is it possible to have Borates if I never added any?)
    Unless they have been added, they should not show up. Which borate test are you using? They can be trickiy to read. Ignore borates for now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    I retested PH and TA about an hour later (is this long enough of a wait?) and results are:
    PH 7.2
    TA 200
    Yes, waiting an hour should be long enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    1. Should I keep adding muriatic acid to continue to lower the PH and TA? Would this be better than the "PH Minus" granular stuff that they gave me on Monday? They told me to add the PH Minus directly to the skimmer, which I did but I really didn't like having that granular stuff being sucked right into my plumbing and thought I probably should have diluted it first.
    Since you already have it, ph down is fine to use, it just is more expensive than MA. Read the recommended pool chemicalarticle for directions on how to add chemicals.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    2. What do I do about adding CYA? Their test showed 10 - and mine shows 0. Is it safe to assume that the Stablilzer they gave me was not enough? Is this the only way to go to add CYA, or is there something I am missing? Or do I just wait and see if starts to creep up over the next few days?
    I would guess their 10 ppm cya reading was wrong, and no cya was added yet. Assuming your pool is about 15000 gallons, pool calculator computes 2 lbs of stabilizer should raise your cya from 0 to 16 ppm. 20 ppm is really the lowest the cya test can pick up. THe recommended range for a swg pool is 60-80, but be cautious as you go, since it can take a week for granular cya to fully show up in the test. I would maybe shoot for a maximum of 60 for now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    4. Is my FC too high at 5.5? And why do I not have any CC - is this something to worry about or will it fix itself?
    Have you gotten familiar with the poolcalculator.com yet? If not you should and it will answer these questions. For 20 ppm cya, I get a recomemded range of 1-5, so you should still be fine at 5.5. As you get more cya in the pool you target range for FC will go up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    5. Is my CH too high? And will this go down by itself? It seems to have getting lower, but I am not sure how this happens.
    The only way it will get lower is splash out. That level should be fine for your vinyl pool with no heater. Do you know what your makeup water ch level is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    6. I have not added any Borates, yet I show a reading of 15. Does something else affect this without adding anything? Should I be doing anything differently here?
    It is unlikely you have borates unless someone added them. Either way, no need to worry about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    Any help would be appreciated, and steps on what I should be concentrating on and it what order would be helpful.
    Work first on keeping you ph down. Since your TA is high, I would shoot to lower ph down to 7.2 every time it goes above 7.8. Over time this will also lower your TA. To get TA to come down faster, you can follow this: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...l%20alkalinity
    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.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Test Results (and lots of questions!) on newly filled po

    This is all so helpful - thank you! I just need to clarify a few things so that I can wrap my head around it all:

    So I am thinking that my plan will be to add more muriatic acid tomorrow to lower the PH a bit more to about 7.0, thus lowering the TA. Is this correct? And then concentrate on aerating to raise the PH again to within 7.2 - 7.6 if it falls too low. I used the entire amount of PH Minus that they gave me on Monday, but I did not see any result from it. I did see almost instant results from the muriatic acid, though. Should I assume that there is still some of the undisolved granular in the plumbing or filter or just ignore that and continue with the muriatic acid? I think I am understanding that this will be a back and forth process until the TA is within acceptable ranges, correct?

    My second plan of action will be to raise the CYA. Since the 2 lbs of stabilizer that they gave me was added on Monday afternoon, did I retest this too soon by testing today (Saturday) since it could take up to a week to show up? Or is it okay to continue and add another 2 lbs. I am thinking that the 2lbs I already added would not have been sufficient anyway, so another 2 lbs would possibly bring me to the lower end of an acceptable range. I am nervous about adding too much, so plan on going slowly with this (should I just do 1 lb a week?) - unless I am missing something here. And from what I understand, I can put it in a sock (just a regular sock?) and tie it in either a skimmer basket or in front of a return and retest in a week. Is this correct?

    I will ignore the borates, and will ignore the CH for now. The Borates test strip was a LaMotte tester, and nobody added any so I am not sure how accurate that reading must have been. I don't know what my tap water results are, but the pool was not filled by my tap water. I will try to test it this week so that I know for future reference for if I need to tap or refill the pool, though.

    I have been playing around with the pool calculator, but it was hard to read on my iphone while out on the deck! I will need to bring my laptop out with me next time, so that I can have a quick reference.

    Are there any good pool calculator apps that anyone could recommend?

    Thanks again everyone - if I am missing anything please let me know. I have been sitting and looking at this pool for the past 1.5 weeks, and can't get in it yet because we don't have our certificate of occupancy from the township - but I want it to be ready for my first plunge!
    16 x 32 vinyl In-ground Lagoon; Shallow pool 3' to 5'; Buddy Seat; IntelliBrite 5g LED; Pool Pilor Digital SWG, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 320; Pentair Intelliflo VS + SVRS; Pentair Sand Shark. My Construction Thread - Spring 2012

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results (and lots of questions!) on newly filled po

    Just continue with muriatic acid, don't worry about what happened with the dry acid. Lowering TA takes a while, and gets slower as you get closer to your goal.

    A week is the very longest CYA can take to dissolve. Waiting five days should either be enough or very close to enough, meaning that your Saturday reading can't be off by very much (aside from the usual lack of precision in all CYA testing). I would go ahead and add another 2 lbs of CYA. Sock in skimmer, or in front of return, is fine and yes wait a week to retest.

    The web version of the Pool Calculator is your best bet on a laptop. If you don't have an Internet connection, you can save the page as a web archive and use that when not on the Internet.
    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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