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Thread: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

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    Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Hello,

    I just bought a house with a pool and have a few questions. I have already read the pool school. I only have a K1004 test kit, as that is all the pool store recommended for a beginner. From looking on this site more though it seems they were wrong. First, should I go exchange this one for a more extensive one?

    Next, when I tested on Thursday, I only had about 1 PPM free chlorine, so I shocked it with 3 bags of Shock (the old homeowners left it behind) Didn't measure to know if I shocked it enough, this was before reading pool school.

    I tested again today, here is what I am looking at. 3-6 Free, 5-10 Total Chlorine 7.5 PH 200 Alkalinity. Obviously too much Combined, and a little high on the Alkalinity. Should I shock again this soon? What is my best course of action?

    Also, I see that bleach is my best bet, however I already have an auto chlorinator running with a few 3 inch pucks that were left. How should I handle this? Use both? Take the pucks out and just use bleach?

    Thanks!!!
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Welcome to tfp, jmon22

    Quote Originally Posted by jmon22
    I only have a K1004 test kit, as that is all the pool store recommended for a beginner. From looking on this site more though it seems they were wrong. First, should I go exchange this one for a more extensive one?
    Unlikely they are going to have what you need, but you want a test kit with a FAS-DPD FC test and a cya (cyanuric acid) test. Another option would be to keep what you have, and add the FAS-DPD FC test and cya test. TFtestkits carries it here: http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlori...-test-p47.htmlhttp://tftestkits.net/CYA-Cyanuric-Acid-Test-p48.html

    Quote Originally Posted by jmon22
    I tested again today, here is what I am looking at. 3-6 Free, 5-10 Total Chlorine 7.5 PH 200 Alkalinity. Obviously too much Combined, and a little high on the Alkalinity. Should I shock again this soon? What is my best course of action?
    You need a cya test to know what your shock level should be. Also on tfp, shocking is a process not a one time event. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jmon22
    Also, I see that bleach is my best bet, however I already have an auto chlorinator running with a few 3 inch pucks that were left. How should I handle this? Use both? Take the pucks out and just use bleach?
    Most likely then, your cya levels are high, since the pucks add it while adding chlorine. I would stop using it, at least until you know your cya level. Use bleach/Liquid chlorine for now and get a value for cya. Pool stores are notoriously bad at this measurement...so you could have them test it, but you are better off getting you own test for it. If your cya level is too high, you will have to do a drain/refill. Take a look at this poolschool article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool
    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.

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    You need a real kit like mentioned on this site, they have great prices. Needed info is the CYA levels. If all that was used is pucks and the pool water hasn't changed for a long time then your CYA may be really high which is bad. Bleach is best because it has nothing added, pucks have CYA in them. Ok to use at times assuming you can monitor the CYA levels. What area do you live in? People can somewhat get away with pucks up here because of the water turnover.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    I'm in Columbus, OH

    I will get the right test kit and go from there.

    I really appreciate the help fellas.
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Quote Originally Posted by jmon22
    I will get the right test kit and go from there.
    Make sure you read this link before buying: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison
    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.

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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    I did see that comparison. Looks like the TF100 is the way to go. Thanks!!
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Actually ended up with a K2006.. Here is what I have...

    FC- 3
    CC- Less than .5
    PH- 7.3
    Alkalinity- 130
    Hardness- 140
    CYA- 85

    A little high on the CYA from what Pool School says, but other than that I think I look pretty good. Any opinions on what I should do right now?
    Thanks!!
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Check the CYA chart for what FC you need to hold at that CYA level. 3 is way too low for that level.
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    What does you water look like?

    First, with a cya that high I would do a drain/refill to get it down to 50 ppm. Then I would do an OCLT to determine if you have algae.
    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.

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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Water looks okay to me. Maybe not crystal clear, but not visibly green or cloudy. Draining runs me into another problem though, my pool has wood walls, and the person that was maintaining it warned us not to run the water too low. Obviously every pool will be different, but any advice with how to proceed? Thanks!!
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    You could use the tarp approach, where you put a tarp over the pool and pump fresh water on top of the tarp, which displaces the water underneath (which is drained or overflows). This is probably the safest way while still giving you the most efficient (least water needed) dilution.

    A less efficient way, but easier is to drain from one end, while filling from another while not circulating the pool water (to minimize the mixing of the two concentrations). Even easier if you have a floor drain. However, this approach can use a lot more water to achieve the same results as above.
    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.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Do you have a link or any more specific instructions to the tarp approach? I searched and can't find anything. I assume I would just add water to the top of the tarp while I have my pump drain water from the floor drain of my pool?

    I really appreciate your help. Thanks a million.
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    You got it. You secure down the edges of the tarp (or plastic sheeting) with weight while leaving some slack in the middle of the tarp and put your fresh water in the middle. Overtime, you let down more slack in the tarp towards the pool so your tarp can hold more water. One other variation on this method is using a silage bag and pumping fresh water into the bag while draining the pool to keep the level the same.
    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.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    More dumb questions, but reading more I found this... If you have a SWG or very high levels of direct sunlight, CYA is typically kept between 70 and 80. If you are using an ORP controller, keep CYA below 50. My pool is uncovered in my backyard all day getting a lot of sun. Am I still better off going down to 50? I am guessing it will just be much easier to keep the chlorine levels where they need to be at 50 as opposed to 80?
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Do you have a link or any more specific instructions to the tarp approach? I searched and can't find anything.
    I have concluded it's an urban legend. I have yet to have someone post on this or other forums that they actually did it. I encouraged it for a few years when it dawned on me I would never do it myself.

    Bring your CYA down to 50...everything is easier to manage for a manually chlorinated pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Correct. 50 seems to work in most cases for full sun. Always easier to add than remove.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    You know, I have heard the tarp method mentioned many times, but I haven't actually read someone's experience doing it either.
    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.

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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Haha guess I'll just turn the filters off, drain from one end, and fill from the other. Oh well if I use a little more water. Thanks again fellas.
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    Getting there!! Drained and refilled today. CYA down to 50.

    FC: .5
    CC: less than .5
    PH: 7.2
    TA: 130
    CH: 120

    Pool Calculator says add 91 oz of 12% chlorine. Also wants me to raise PH and CH. Other than the chlorine, are either of these extremely necessary right now? Thanks!
    25000 Gallons - Sand - IG- Vinyl

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Need Help w/ Test Levels

    You don't ever need to add any calcium because you have a vinyl liner pool.

    The PH is fine where it is for now. Since TA is a little high, the PH will probably come up on it's own. If you see PH going below 7.2 raise it, otherwise assume it will go up over time and so you don't need to worry about adjusting it manually.
    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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