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Thread: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only option?

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    david_22_33's Avatar
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    CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only option?

    The story:
    Hello everyone, I'm a new pool owner, and wanted some assurance I'm pointing myself in the right direction. We took ownership March 1st, 2012 pool was sparkling oasis. I wasn't testing anything and just dropping pucks in the floater and brushing the pool since we weren't living there yet. Life threw me a curve ball (baby came early, in the process of packing to move) so I called the previous pool people to help (the pool started getting cloudy and dirty). They new the filter needed a new cleaning and were afraid the grids would be ripped (super old equipment) so no replacement parts. Manifold was busted so pool was out of commission for at least a month. (Attempted to go through home warranty and wasted $60 and time) Last Thursday (5/31) everything got changed out (72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Hayward variable speed, and multiport valve).

    Now I finally got involved:
    Off to costco for bleach. I was being lazy and just doing the quick test for FC (even though I have the full test kit) since I figured that was all that mattered since I was just trying to get rid of the algae to start (going off of "How to turn your green swamp into a sparkling oasis"). Since I wasn't doing an accurate check for high chlorine (but didn't know it) I just kept dumping bleach, brushing, and backwashing. I did see results and figured I was on the right path. A day or two in I had blue cloudy water (much nicer to look at) but still not an oasis. Since I can almost see the bottom of the pool (6/7) I figured I should check out everything else (properly). One last thing, in a desperate measure on 6/6 to "speed things up" I put in two bags of powder shock I bought from home deopt (supposed to clear algae, cloudiness, and a few other things). I don't remember the brand, I can post it later if necessary.

    Here's what I had as of 6/7 10pm:
    FC= 10.5
    CC= 1.5
    pH= 7.5
    TA= 100
    CH (first time I checked it was 700!) Then I rechecked (assuming there's copper in the water (the main plumbing is copper)) and it came out to 550!
    CYA 85

    With my CH and CYA high I think everything points to a 50% drain. I'm going to remeasure my pool and make sure my gallons are accurate (it's a rectangular pool but huge). My 22k gallon estimate is off some rough measurements I took months back.
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    I agree that, given your test results, a 40-50% drain would really help.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    david_22_33's Avatar
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Should I be concerned about plaster cracking in the sun? Ot is that just a risk I take doing a partial drain? I can see sediment at the bottom so at the very least I'll vacuum to waste to get that out (to start) and then keep going. Is draining with the pump the best/fastest option?
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    You can avoid any exposure of the plaster walls by draining from the bottom on one end and simultaneously filling from the top on the other end.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Given the short amount of time it's going to be exposed I wouldn't worry about it. Or you culd just do as Dave suggested. {dang slow typing.}

    The pump is usually the fastest way to drain. If you have a multiport valve (or some special configuration) you can pump it to waste and vacuum while you're doing it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Thanks, sounds like my conclusion from your tools was right. I'll pump to waste and start filling 'er back up. No celebratory jumping in the pool if the Kings win the stanley cup tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be filled back up after the weekend, I'll post my new numbers then if that's the case.
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Draining is the only solution for the high CYA. Better crunch some numbers on the CH, though. They must have changed water sources - my fill water is 200 CH right now. If yours is the same, draining 40% will only put you down to 410!
    (.6*550)+(.4*200) = 410
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    david_22_33's Avatar
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Very good point. I think I'm screwed. I tested my hose/source water and CH is coming out at 350! I wasn't able drain as much as I wanted, vacuum hose was loosing suction from the low water level in the skimmer and I am not aware of a valve between the drain and skimmer. The pool is old (from the 40's) so I'm thinking if there is a connection between the skimmer and drain it's underground with no valve to turn one or the other off. Any other suggestion? or should I just keep doing incremental drains with refills. I know my neighbor has a clorinator added to his pool equipment because of hard water. I'd rather not go that route if possible considering I just installed my equipment.
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    There are ways of living with high CH levels, though they take extra effort. Basically you need to keep the PH and TA relatively low to compensate for the high CH levels and prevent calcium scaling. Given your high fill water CH levels you are probably going to need to do that all the time. Another thing to watch for long term is that fill water CH levels often vary through the season. Usually there is some time of year when the fill water CH is much lower and that is a good time to replace a lot of your water. The final option is to get a whole house water softener and top off any evaporation using that. The water softener will greatly lower the CH level and topping off with that low CH water will slowly get things under control.
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    david_22_33's Avatar
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Latest numbers:
    6/10 2pm
    FC= 18 (shocked on 6/9)
    CC= .5
    pH= 7.5
    TA= (didn't check)
    CH= 470 (Richard320 was on the right track)
    CYA= 75

    The water was much clearer so I decided to take my first dip in the pool today (it was fine). My only concern was my chlorine level, I know I'm supposed to keep it on the higher side because of my high CYA but I guess I had it in my head that I'd have "ideal" water conditions and a much lower chlorine level. I might try a drain/fill like duraleigh suggested. I can get three hoses to the pool and it fills a lot faster than I expected. I'll have to see if I find a day when I can do this...and ideally if I find a time of year that the CH in my hose water is at a lower level. A water softener would be nice too, I'll have to think about that one. I do have some mustard algae on the walls, I'll have to work on getting rid of that but overall I think the water is in pretty good shape.
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    The numbers are looking better, I feel your main source of problem is now the CYA level, if things are not sparklingly clear in another few days I suggest doing an overnight chlorine loss test (OCLT) and see if you still have something growing in your pool. If you do then it will be time to shock again until it is dead, as to your CH, it looks like it is in the manageable range as long as you avoid things that will increase its concentration. I know your in an area with low rainfall, so you may want consider reverse osmosis treatment options, as well as the possibility of hauling in water with lower CH.

    Ike
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    david_22_33's Avatar
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Ok, got around to checking my numbers again last night. Pool looks it's best than it ever has! However...

    Checked 6/12 7pm
    FC= 5.5
    CC= 1.5
    CYA= 60 (I'm still trying to get the hang of this one)

    After seeing FC getting low, I shocked last night and brushed the sides. The filter doesn't have high pressure but I'm sure the chlorine is getting something out of the water. Could this be due to mustard algae? Or is it just regular algae trying to make it's comeback? I won't have time to do an OCLT until the weekend. Overall the water looks great!
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    I'm a little confused. I see you've written a couple of times that you have Mustard algae growing right now on the sides of your pool, is that accurate? If it is then it is my understanding of the BBB process that you need to hold your pool at the appropriate shock level, which according to the chart in Pool School is 24PPM of Chlorine pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    None of your posted test results show that you've actually reached shock level yet nor more specifically maintained that level until your pool is clear and you don't see anymore algae. I see you a aware of the OCLT test so i understand you've read Pool School etc.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Reverse Osmosis (RO) is another option if its available in your area. Although, its more expensive as I understand it.
    19,600 gal, Vinyl, Grecian L, StaRite Dura-Glas 1 HP pump, 3/4hp booster, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Cartridge filter
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    david_22_33's Avatar
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    harleysilo - You are correct on all the above. I've been shocking but I haven't checked FC after shock. I haven't been trying to shock to mustard algae levels (I've been trying to concentrate on seeing the bottom of the pool first). Now That the water is clear I need to get enough chlorine to shock to mustard algae levels. I've been doing most of my pool work in the late evenings (11pm - midnight) so by the time I shock and brush, I'm super tired and haven't had the energy (or smarts) to recheck my water to see if I'm actually getting to my recommended shock levels. I've been seeing improvements daily so I assumed I was getting where I needed to be. Last night was the first time I even considered checking my water after my shock (but of course didn't do it). If I remember correctly from the mustard algae post, I need to shock to mustard algae levels and hold for at least 24hrs. I'll make sure I do that this coming weekend when I have the time to keep an eye on shock levels. Also, any time I shock, I'll make sure to check my FC levels after I brush. Thanks.
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Quote Originally Posted by david_22_33
    harleysilo - You are correct on all the above. I've been shocking but I haven't checked FC after shock. I haven't been trying to shock to mustard algae levels (I've been trying to concentrate on seeing the bottom of the pool first). Now That the water is clear I need to get enough chlorine to shock to mustard algae levels. I've been doing most of my pool work in the late evenings (11pm - midnight) so by the time I shock and brush, I'm super tired and haven't had the energy (or smarts) to recheck my water to see if I'm actually getting to my recommended shock levels. I've been seeing improvements daily so I assumed I was getting where I needed to be. Last night was the first time I even considered checking my water after my shock (but of course didn't do it). If I remember correctly from the mustard algae post, I need to shock to mustard algae levels and hold for at least 24hrs. I'll make sure I do that this coming weekend when I have the time to keep an eye on shock levels. Also, any time I shock, I'll make sure to check my FC levels after I brush. Thanks.

    Okay, I'm well aware of live's difficulties getting in the way of my to-do list as well, i just wanted to make sure I understood what you were saying. Good luck this weekend! Is that baby sleeping through the night yet? Life will be sooooooooo much better when you can get 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep!
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    david_22_33's Avatar
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    Re: CH through the roof! CYA high too, 50% drain my only opt

    Thanks. The baby sleeps better than me! Going to bed at midnight or later and up at 5am to go to work is no fun. It makes me skip FC checks after shock! lol
    30,000 gallons, Aquarite salt system, 72 sq ft Hayward DE filter, Stonescape Pebble finish, Hayward Eco Star Variable speed pump (water fall), Hayward Tristar Variable speed pump (pool),
    Hayward 400,000 BTU Heater, 7' high rock waterfall/mini grotto/slide, 80 sq ft Baja bench, Belgard pavers and coping, Hayward LED colorlogic light

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