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Thread: Balancing water

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Balancing water

    I am a new TFP user this year. I have added borax to my pool and I am getting closer to being balanced. I have a few questions.

    First, here are my current testing information. pH is 7.2 and Chlorine is 0.5. I just have a basic test kit thus far. The pool looks pretty clear but is not sparkling yet.

    My plan was to do the following;
    1. Add more borax to bring up my pH level.
    2. Add more chlorine to bring up my Chlorine level

    My questions are this;
    1. I do not have any borates test strips. Is it important to test borate level or can I react to what my pH levels are? So far this year I have added about 22lbs of borax to my pool)
    2. I was told by another TFP member to test water level at night and determine ichlorine level. Then test the next morning. If the chlorine level drops then I do not have enough chlorine in the pool. Do you agree?
    3. My TFP friend stated to do this nightly/monring test every day until the chlorine leve does not drop.
    4. She also suggested to start with a very high chlorine level of 10 or 11. My basic test kit does not measure that high. What do you recommend?
    5. As I have been raising my pH level I have NOT been adding muriatic acid - is that OK?
    6. Last question is once I get water balanced - do I really need the advanced test kits TF-100 or Taylor Kit? Or can I use a basic test kit?

    Thanks for all of your help!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    SE Minnesota

    Re: Balancing water

    Get the TF-100 or Taylor Kit. It will help you get your water balanced and stay balanced. A basic kit or strips won't do that. It's an ongoing process. You need to know what your CYA level is to accurately determine how much chlorine you need on a regular basis. The 'test at night/test in the morning' is what is people call the overnight chlorine lost test or OCLT, to help determine if you have algae/organics that need to be addresses.
    Mona SE MN
    24' round 48" high AG
    Meteor Sand Filter
    1.5 HP pump

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Balancing water

    Hi, welcome to TFP! I'll answer your questions in order.
    Your plan:
    1.Your pH is fine at 7.2, that's the bottom of the recommended range.
    2.Yes, your chlorine probably needs to come up, but we don't know how much you need to raise it without a current set of test results.

    Your questions:
    1. Without the strips you are relying on guessing at the borate level. If you use borates, you need to be able to test their levels.
    2. It sounds like your friend was telling you to do the overnight chlorine loss test. This is an easy test that will tell you if you need to perform the shock process on your pool. You test the chlorine level at dusk, when the sun is off the pool and record the level. Test again in the morning at dawn, before the sun is on the pool. If you lose more than 1ppm of chlorine there is something in the water consuming the chlorine (usually organics such as algae) and you need to perform the shock process to get rid of it. Just raising the chlorine without knowing how far to raise it won't correct the problem. You can read more about the shock process here.
    3. When you are performing the shock process and the pool looks crystal clear then you do a nightly overnight chlorine loss test as 1 of the 3 criteria that tells you the shock process is complete. Those 3 criteria are crystal clear water, 1 ppm or less of chlorine loss overnight, and .5 or less of combined chlorine.
    4. Has your friend tested the pool water for you or have you shown her recent pool store test results? Without test results we can't tell you how much chlorine or anything else you should add.
    5. Without test results I have no idea if you need acid or not.
    6. A good test kit is always important. It will last a couple of years with regular use, and if you have an algae outbreak and need to test higher levels of chlorine you don't want to wait a week for your kit to come in the mail. Regular testing is the best way to stay on top of your pool. Also how high your chlorine level needs to be depends on how high your CYA level is. With high CYA you may need to maintain daily chlorine levels of 10 ppm or even higher to keep the water safe.

    Also we would need to know what kind of surface the pool has, (plaster, fiberglass, vinyl) as different surfaces have different chemical requirements.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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