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Thread: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine *updates* Next?

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    coffeegoddss's Avatar
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    Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine *updates* Next?

    We put in an above ground pool last year. Towards the end of the season, we suddenly started having algea problems with no apparent reason and it was a battle for almost a month. When we opened our pool this year, the pool will NOT hold chlorine. I've gone round and round with it for almost two weeks now. I stumbled on this site and just reading the Pool School section has answered so many of my questions! Love this! However, I do still have a few...

    I have yet to purchase an actual GOOD test kit but the results from the Wal-Mart one are CYA=40, Chlorine/Bro.=.5/1, PH=6.6, TA=110, TH=90.

    I was told BEFORE putting the pool in that the "experts" at the pool store were not looking after my best interests so I've always taken what they said with a grain of salt. I was informed that if I had only drained to pool to just under the skimmer when we closed it, that we didn't need to add any stabalizer. WRONG. I tested anyway and it was barely registering. I've since gotten that level up, then the PH dropped and it hasn't held chlorine at ALL. The amount of shock I've used is appalling. A lot of what I've read here has lead me to believe that the trichlor tabs we've been using may have caused some of our problems last year as well as this year? The water was only a little cloudy when the cover came off. It cleared up when the CYA was raised but it seems to be getting slightly cloudy again.

    Also, we have one of those mineral filter cartridges as well and I'm wondering if it's even worth using?

    And, how does one transition from trichlor tabs to straight bleach? Is that even a good idea?
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    Welcome to TFP!

    Raise your PH to at least 7.2 right away. Low PH can damage the pool, and will also reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.

    I would avoid using mineral cartridges. Most of them add copper to the water, which can cause unsightly stains.

    I recommend switching from trichlor to bleach. There isn't any conversion or transition, you just stop using one and start using the other. Bleach is a little more carrying, but it doesn't constantly raise the CYA level the way trichlor does.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    coffeegoddss's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    I probably should've mentioned that the pH was fine until I raised the CYA. I'm in the process of raising the pH and will definately switch to bleach. And the mineral cartridge explains the weird orange stains around the skimmer!

    This site is such a relief - I want to kiss you all! Thank you!
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
    Coffeegoddss...bonafide thread killer!
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine - new questi

    Ok folks...here goes. About two days after switching to BBB, the pool was sparkling and crystal clear. Then I started to see brown stuff accumulating on the bottom of the pool, that would disappate and *poof* disappear if disturbed. Some quick research on this site led me to believe that it was dead algae and that I was keeping the chlorine at juuuuuust the right level to kill it off and keep the pool clear - but not high enough to kill the algae outright. So, I finally ordered my test kit (most awesome little pool toy I now own!) and began the shocking process. It slowly got better - by day four, I was sure I was beating it. This morning, I went out and it seems worse. The water is clear and sparkly - just this brown stuff on the bottom. Could I possibly have misdiagnosed and it's something else? I'm still losing - on average - 3-4ppm overnight.

    This morning's test results were:
    FC: 14 ( I then added chlorine per PoolCalculator back to shock level)
    CC: .5
    TA: 90
    CYA:40
    pH: 7.5

    I have tested so much in the last four days that I ordered the test kit refill for the chlorine test - I'm pretty sure I'm going to run out before it arrives, too... :-/
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
    Coffeegoddss...bonafide thread killer!
    POOL SCHOOL...fortheloveofgawd, read POOL SCHOOL

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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    Usually, the best way to remove that stuff is to sl-o-o-w-l-y vacuum it up. You could also continue to brush it and the filter will eventually pick it up or you could do a combination of both.

    You need to return your FC to shock level and HOLD IT THERE until you no longer lose that chlorine overnight. No sense performing the OCLT as long as you have something visible in your pool. Only perform that when your pool is CRYSTAL clear and your CC's test shows .5ppm or less.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    With the overnight loss, you are correct that organics are eating your chlorine and you should continue shocking.

    If you haven't already, you should pull lights and ladders and do a thorough cleaning in nooks and crannies where algae could hide.

    I have a mental pic of you with a white lab coat, test kit, and a huge cup of coffee :P
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    You're done SLAMing when:
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly

    I have a mental pic of you with a white lab coat, test kit, and a huge cup of coffee :P
    That's about right! We have a neighbor that is constantly outside that is referred to as "The Lady of the Yard". With my pool antics the last few weeks, I've earned "The Chemist of the Yard".

    I didn't perform the overnight test - perse - just been writing down my test results as I go and noticed the difference between night and morning.
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
    Coffeegoddss...bonafide thread killer!
    POOL SCHOOL...fortheloveofgawd, read POOL SCHOOL

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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    The OCLT will only be accurate when the night test and morning test are performed with no sunlight. It could just be you have dirt or pollen in your pool, and you won't know for sure until you accurately perform the OCLT.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeegoddss
    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly

    I have a mental pic of you with a white lab coat, test kit, and a huge cup of coffee :P
    That's about right! We have a neighbor that is constantly outside that is referred to as "The Lady of the Yard". With my pool antics the last few weeks, I've earned "The Chemist of the Yard".
    When you choose an avatar, please make sure that I see it
    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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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    Well, poop. Got all excited this morning - thought I was done. Lost 1ppm overnight. Since it's the first of the month, I decided to run all the tests. My CYA came back at 80!! Wth? I must have miscalculated back at the beginning when I wasn't holding any chlorine and had to add stabalizer. Dang. So a drain is in order. It explains why it's taken so long when the water was already clear - just finding dead algae every morning. I ran out of drops and had to order more so for a few days I was guestimating (shame, I know) with the OTO drops - going for the dark orange color and intentionally keeping it higher than I was because I didn't want to backslide. It must have finally raised it to the actual shock level per my CYA. *sigh*

    Going to do a partial drain and start all over with the balancing, I guess. It's a learning process, right?
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
    Coffeegoddss...bonafide thread killer!
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    Going to do a partial drain and start all over with the balancing, I guess. It's a learning process, right?
    Yes, it is, but your assessment of what has been happening in your pool is all good common sense and you are doing exactly the right (if somewhat painful) thing. You are VERY close to being a Happy Pool Owner.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    I'm pretty certain my husband suggested putting in a pool last year to give me something other than him to focus my control issues on...
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
    Coffeegoddss...bonafide thread killer!
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine

    Finished the drain and refill. I figured, since I was draining, I threw the vacuum head in and siphoned out all the brown stuff that was still sitting on the bottom. The entire time it was draining and refilling, the bottom stayed clean (except for the little bit of mud that accidentally got dragged in by a hose - whoops). About an hour ago, it hit a good level to turn the pump on, so I did. Within minutes, the brown stuff was back on the bottom in patches!! While I was waiting for it to drain, I opened up and cleaned the filter and housing and the hoses and everything. If I didn't miss anything, the only other thing I can think of is that stupid mineral cartridge. They gave it to us, so I figured I'd have to put up with it if I wanted to use the chlorine feeder while on vacation later this summer. Could that be the culprit? Or should I just shock again? After an hour of pump running, I've got the following readings:

    FC 8
    CC 0
    TA 200 (working on bringing down)
    pH 7.5
    CH 110
    CYA 40(ish - more like 45)
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
    Coffeegoddss...bonafide thread killer!
    POOL SCHOOL...fortheloveofgawd, read POOL SCHOOL

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    coffeegoddss's Avatar
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    overnight results are in...now what?

    Yesterday, the pool held strong at an FC 8, CC 0 from @3pm to 9:30pm (it was pretty overcast all day). 5am reading this morning was FC 7, CC 0. Am I done and just need to have patience with the filter picking up everything that settles on the bottom? Or should I start the shock process again?

    Thoughts?
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine *updates* Ne

    Have you tried an OCLT again after draining? If so what were the results?

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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine *updates* Ne

    FC 8 CC 0 after sundown last night. FC 7 CC 0 at 5am this morning. That's an OCLT of 1ppm.
    AG, 10,400 gallons, filter cartridge, 2HP pump
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    Re: Newbie with questions, not holding chlorine *updates* Ne

    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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