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Thread: Major pool Chemistry problem

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    Major pool Chemistry problem

    I openened my pool last Sunday. The water was dark algae filled. Worse appearance I can remember. I shocked the pool with 6 gallons of bleach, let filter run for couple hours, the shut it off overnight. Vacuumed on waste until water needed to be added. The color went from green to cloudy blue. I added algaecide 40 and some copper sulfate. And let the pump run. Took chemical reading and got readings of
    TC 10
    FC 0
    Ph 7.5
    TA 125
    Ch 200
    Copper 0.5
    Cya 0
    Ammonia >4
    I am confused on how to proceed. I am afraid to add >30 gallons of bleach to a vinyl pool for fear of fading. I know I have to add enough bleach at one time to kill all organics or it makes the problem worse. I don't know if the ammonia will dissipate and outages due to 0 cya in pool. I am in need of help. The pool guy is confused also suggested a floc or clarifier, and possibly a partial drain. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am at a standstill, here not wanting to add the wrong product or the wrong amount.
    Thanks for any advice!

    John
    Johnny-M
    Altoona, Pa
    35,000 gallon in ground pool. Lazy L shaped
    Vinyl liner.
    300# sand filter
    3 Returns, 2 skimmers, and No bottom drain
    2hp pump

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    In too deep?

    I have ammonia in my pool. Pool is cloudy ammonia level of around 5-6.
    I am afraid to add 40 gallons of bleach to my vinyl pool. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
    Johnny-M
    Altoona, Pa
    35,000 gallon in ground pool. Lazy L shaped
    Vinyl liner.
    300# sand filter
    3 Returns, 2 skimmers, and No bottom drain
    2hp pump

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Hi, John,

    Welcome to the forum. Get yourself up into Pool School. You need to provide some CYA for that pool (about 30ppm) and begin the shock process. Don't think of shock like you used to....think of it as it's described in the "how to" article in Pool School.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    I didn't want to add any cya due to the ammonia and the increase need for chlorine load if cya is present. I need to get FC reading before adding any Cya. That is why I don' t want o use dichlorvos or trichlor to shock.
    Johnny-M
    Altoona, Pa
    35,000 gallon in ground pool. Lazy L shaped
    Vinyl liner.
    300# sand filter
    3 Returns, 2 skimmers, and No bottom drain
    2hp pump

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    John,

    You are operating with some misunderstandings. Please do not put any more copper in your pool. How did you test for ammonia and why did you test for ammonia?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    I have been trying to figure this out for a week now. I tested for ammonia using a separate ammonia test kit I bought at the pet store. It measures in ppm. I understand shocking and with large amounts of cl to break the bubble and register fc. I also know that if algae and bacteria are present in the water they are consuming cya and giving off ammonia as a byproduct. If I don't put enough cl in as a shock I make the situation that much harder to overcome. I was even worried enough to check with my pool guy after his reading said I needed 49 gallons of liquid shock. Which would be almost 100 gallons of bleach. I am scared to add any amount like that to a vinyl pool.
    Johnny-M
    Altoona, Pa
    35,000 gallon in ground pool. Lazy L shaped
    Vinyl liner.
    300# sand filter
    3 Returns, 2 skimmers, and No bottom drain
    2hp pump

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    John,

    I will not try to refute what you know or change your mind. No one here can help you, though, as long as you hang on to ONLY your current knowledge and are not open to new ideas.

    My best suggestion is, again, Pool School, or maybe to read the thousands of successful pool owners here on the forum but that will have to be your choice. Good luck.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: In too deep?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny-M
    I have ammonia in my pool. Pool is cloudy ammonia level of around 5-6.
    I am afraid to add 40 gallons of bleach to my vinyl pool. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
    Use the pool calculator and add enough bleach to bring it to shock level. The FC will be consumed pretty much immediately, so you'll have to add more right away (read: an hour later). Each time you add more, bring it to shock level. Do this as often as you can, and you won't bleach the liner.

    If you have them, please post test results. It'll help us help you.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    I was reading as many article on this to find a fix and those also have pointed me in the direction of a massive fc ppm total of 80-90 ppm. This was calculated by taking the ppm of ammonia and multiplying by ten for needed fc to clear the pool. If I am misinformed, please let me know any other options. I don't know where else to go. I have had no luck on other similar forums, yet. It takes a while to get the right person reading your post. And the delays are longer than I can take to make chemical decisions in a timely manner .
    Your help is greatly appreciated!
    Johnny-M
    Altoona, Pa
    35,000 gallon in ground pool. Lazy L shaped
    Vinyl liner.
    300# sand filter
    3 Returns, 2 skimmers, and No bottom drain
    2hp pump

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny-M
    I was reading as many article on this to find a fix and those also have pointed me in the direction of a massive fc ppm total of 80-90 ppm. This was calculated by taking the ppm of ammonia and multiplying by ten for needed fc to clear the pool. If I am misinformed, please let me know any other options.
    You are misinformed. Reread pool school, then ask questions.

    Also, please keep your posts in a single thread. It keeps the story consistent, and will help us help you.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    You should follow the procedure spelled out in the How to Shock Your Pool article in Pool School. That approach is safe for a vinyl liner.

    The ammonia will go away on it's own eventually, however without chlorine it will take weeks (or longer). Chlorine can clear it out much more quickly, but it will take a dramatic amount of chlorine.

    Stop thinking about or using all of the other chemicals you are talking about. Several of them are just a waste of money, others are making things more difficult, and others may well cause problems in the future. Keep things simple and straightforward. Just follow the shocking procedure spelled out in Pool School and it will get back to normal.

    You are over thinking the whole process. It really doesn't matter what is in the water or what the reactions will be. Chlorine will clear it all out and get everything back to normal. The only concern you mentioned that is important is to not add too much chlorine all at once. Also, make sure you have the pump running when you are adding chlorine.

    There is a way to estimate how much total chlorine you will need, but it is somewhat involved. That may have been what the pool person you contacted did when they said 49 gallons of liquid chlorine. I don't think it is worth figuring it all out in advance, it will take as much as it will take regardless. But maybe that is just me.
    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: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Dave,
    I appreciate your advice and I will review the pool school section on shocking the pool. I apologize for upsetting you that was not my intention. I am just frustrated. I have had a pool for 20 years and this is the first time I can't get it to balance out chemically. I know this winter was very mild but I closed 4 other pools last year and all of them openeded up with above normal algae content but were cleared up in a couple of days. All but mine. It figures.
    Thanks
    Johnny-M
    Altoona, Pa
    35,000 gallon in ground pool. Lazy L shaped
    Vinyl liner.
    300# sand filter
    3 Returns, 2 skimmers, and No bottom drain
    2hp pump

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Thank you for your post. I guess the only question I have is, do I add gallon after gallon of bleach testing FC in between each addition. Until I can get a FC reading of 10? How much liquid bleach is too much for that size of pool and liner.?
    Johnny-M
    Altoona, Pa
    35,000 gallon in ground pool. Lazy L shaped
    Vinyl liner.
    300# sand filter
    3 Returns, 2 skimmers, and No bottom drain
    2hp pump

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Having an ammonia problem can be daunting, but chlorine will take care of it.

    If you have liquid chlorine/bleach on hand, now (night - no sun) would be a great time to start adding and testing. Your shock level with zero CYA is 10. That's about 6 gallons of 6% bleach, like you said.

    You could test every half hour or so and add bleach to get back up to shock level.

    Have plenty of bleach on hand.

    If you just forget all that other information and follow the directions for shocking the pool in Pool School, your problem will be solved. It ain't gonna' be fast, but it will be solved and your pool will be beautiful and sparkly again.

    Post back here with any questions.

    Just saw your question above: To shock, add enough bleach (looks like about 6 gallons) to get to the FC shock level of 10. You can then test and adjust back up to 10 after each test.

    IOW, you add enough all at once, to get to 10FC to start. Then maintain the shock level.

    Welcome to the forum
    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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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    The best part about this forum is that 97% of problems have been solved before, so there's no need to reinvent the wheel.

    iam4iam is having the same problem as you, and from what we can tell, is nearing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Take a look at his thread here.

    Then, ask more questions!!
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Johnny.......
    I'd like to start off by welcoming you to the site. There's a TON of info here, and we're only here to enjoy ourselves and to help each other out. Pool stores, other sites on the net, ext while not all are bad, many are misinformed. Your first step in this case is to take a deep breath. Your pool will be a shade of blue you've never seen before, with a TON of really neat sparkles if you follow the steps in Pool School....and for dirt cheap too.

    Follow the steps in "How To Shock Your Pool" and you'll be just fine. Get a good test kit.....read pool school....then read it again. The info found there is AMAZING!

    Quick steps to help you in your current state.
    1. Order a GOOD test kit.
    2. Dump in 3 gallons of bleach ( this won't do much....but will keep things from getting worse)
    3. Read pool school
    4. Dump in 3 gallons of bleach everyday until you receive your kit
    5. Shock pool as stated in "How to Shock Your Pool" once your receive your kit

    These steps will only have you using bleach and a small amount of stabilizer. Any other chemical other than those two are NOT needed. It's going to take some time and work on your part...but we promise you once it's finished your pool will clean, you'll have a better understanding what you need to do to keep it clean, and you'll have an amazing new kit.

    Welcome again!

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    John,
    Welcome to TFP. +1 on what the others have said. Also a couple things I gleaned from your post. If it hasn't been said already, also get familiar with the POOL Calculator on this site. It, along with a good test kit, (I've been using the TF100 from Dave) will be your best friends. As I understand, they (other sources) are telling you to add all of the chlorine at once? That would be wrong. Get it to the shock level you need for your cya, and keep it there till the ammonia is gone. I would also add some CYA to a somewhat lower level, to keep the sunlight from burning the chlorine up as well. It will probably take a lot of chlorine, how much?, as much as it takes. As frequently as possible, keeping the chlorine at the proper level till the ammonia is gone, or till you can hold the FC, will protect your liner from fading. Hope that helps a little. If I've advised wrong, the mods will correct me, hopefully. Good luck, & again welcome. You've found the best site with the most knowledge, helpful, friendly people.
    Dave
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
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    AquaTrol RJ SWCG 2011 startup
    TFP Method since '09, TF100
    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Thank you for all for the welcome and the comments. I already went to Samns Club and bought 24, 1.5 gallon jugs of bleach. I just gotta start the process and keep it going until it is fixed. It stinks I am on the road through the week and may have to rely on my wife to follow the process. I may do 2 allnighters to really get ahead of this mess
    I will keep you posted.
    Johnny-M
    Altoona, Pa
    35,000 gallon in ground pool. Lazy L shaped
    Vinyl liner.
    300# sand filter
    3 Returns, 2 skimmers, and No bottom drain
    2hp pump

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Have you read Pool School and have you used the Pool Calculator before? As someone else said, you really need a good test kit to shock properly because you can't check the higher chlorine levels with the little generic test kits like they sell at home depot.

    See pool calculator here http://www.poolcalculator.com/
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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    Re: Major pool Chemistry problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny-M
    Thank you for all for the welcome and the comments. I already went to Samns Club and bought 24, 1.5 gallon jugs of bleach. I just gotta start the process and keep it going until it is fixed. It stinks I am on the road through the week and may have to rely on my wife to follow the process. I may do 2 allnighters to really get ahead of this mess
    I will keep you posted.
    You might check w/local pool stores and see about getting liquid chlorine at a good price. Your pool is huge and is gonna use alotta chlorine to clear that ammonia.

    Good luck and hang in there. We'll be waiting for updates.
    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!

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