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Thread: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test results

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    Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test results

    I haven't filled out my siggy yet so here is a little background on my pool. Finished and filled 5/4/12. It is approx. 20,000 gallons, gunite with mini pebble finish. No spa, we have 3 sheer descents that we run for about an hour each night and 4-5 hours/day on the weekends. Triton II sand filter, Pentair Super II Pump, inline chlorinator. We live in Texas and temps here right now are in the mid-high 90's. I do my pool maintenance on Saturday mornings. When I tested this past Sat, the chlorine was at 0. Turns out there were no tabs in my inline, oops. My chlorine was a little low earlier in the week and I bumped up the dial on the inline from 4 to 5 which is the highest setting. I had added 4 tabs not too long ago and forgot to check to see how many tabs I had at that point so next thing I knew, it was totally out. I'm still trying to get in a rhythm with maintenance and learning the ins and outs of my pool and equipment. Water still looked clear and no issues so I filled it up with tabs and shocked the pool and added 1.5 qts muriatic acid. Tested the chlorine that evening and it was at 2.

    I tested the water this morning at 8 am. Here are my full results: (K-2005 test kit used)

    FC - 1
    TC - 1
    pH - 8 (it usually hangs out around 8 and I lower it with muriatic acid every week. Is 8 the highest that the test will register?)
    TA - 120 (100 is what my builder said would be ideal)
    CYA - 100 (50 is what my builder said would be ideal)
    CH - 210

    So what do you think? Do I need to lower my CYA, would that help my chlorine to stabilize? I just think I shouldn't have to add the Shockwave every Saturday. Would it be better or more accurate to test the water in the evening instead of first thing in the morning? My pump is set to run 8 a- 8p so when I test in the morning, it has been sitting all night. Also, any thoughts on running 2 cycles on my pump so that it isn't sitting there for 12 full hours with no circulation. Should I do 6 hours on 6 off instead?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Jana
    Jana - Central Texas
    Pool Stats: Approx. 20,000 gallon freeform pool completed 5/3/2012. Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, 2 - Heyward Super II Pumps, In-line chlorinator, 3 water sheers on 36' raised beam, CrystalStones Mini Pebble Finish in Caribbean Blue, Leuder Limestone coping and raised beam, 1300 sq. ft. stained and stamped concrete decking.

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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    1. Lower your pH and keep it in the 7's....don't let it go to 8.0 as it is probably already higher than that.

    2. How did your CYA get so high?
    Dave S.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Your CYA level is really high, which makes maintaining the pool very very difficult. I recommend you replace water to get the CYA level down to something more reasonable (60 or lower).

    Always have the pump running for at least half an hour before testing.

    Splitting your pump run time into two blocks is very slightly better than doing it all in one block, but that isn't especially important.

    We recommend you keep TA between 70 and 90. This isn't an immediate problem, more of a long term goal. Lowering TA will reduce the rate at which the PH drifts up.

    The PH test in the K-2005 does produce different colors for 8.0 and 8.2 or higher, but they don't provide a color reference to compare to for the higher PH so they are easy to confuse.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    You're high CYA levels has made it all but impossible to shock your pool. You have an outbreak of algae starting to form, and if you allow your CYA level to stay high you will spend a TON of money at the pool store this year fighting a cloudy pool.

    The best thing to do is to hit Pool School.....and lower your CYA level to around 40. From there you can accurately shock your pool and easily maintain your pool daily. Turn off your inline tabs and start using liquid chlorine. The tabs will continue to add to your CYA level. Lastly....add a FAS/DPD test to your K-2005 to fully be able to test your own water.
    http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlorine- ... t-p47.html

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    aa62579's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Your CYA is too high and every puck you use is just going to raise it up even more. 100 is the highest the test goes, so no telling how high you really are.

    You will need to drain the pool some to get your CYA down to a manageable level and stop using pucks.

    You will need to add enough MA to drop you pH down to 7.2 - 7.5. You really don't want it getting over 7.8, so you may need to add acid more often than you have been doing. (As you repeat this cycle, the TA will drop, so you don't have to worry about that number in itself.)

    Your chlorine level is too low and you may be on the verge of an algae outbreak. At a CYA of 100, you would never want it to drop below 8. At a more manageable CYA of 50, you never want it to drop below 4. After you get the CYA and pH issues addressed, you will need to perform an OCLT to check. We can help you with that when you get to that point.

    I've always heard to test after my pump has been running for at least 30 minutes.

    I think your CYA level is going to be the first thing to address and then we can go from there. The K2005 kit has good parts in it, but it does not contain the FAS-DPD test that you will need to shock your pool or to get a more precise chlorine reading. It can be purchased separately from tftestkits.net.
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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Thanks for the replies! Sounds like I need to call for some in-person back up. I'm going to test again this afternoon when I get home and call my builder to help me troubleshoot some more. My pump hadn't even turned on yet when I tested. A thunderstorm is supposed to hit this afternoon so that may throw a wrench in things.

    To be honest, this is the first time I have actually tested the CYA. We tested it the day we did pool school which was when the pool was about a week old so 1 month ago. Oh and my builder said that an optimum chlorine level would be 2.

    Algae is the (devil). Definitely don't want that!

    I'll keep you posted...

    Jana
    Jana - Central Texas
    Pool Stats: Approx. 20,000 gallon freeform pool completed 5/3/2012. Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, 2 - Heyward Super II Pumps, In-line chlorinator, 3 water sheers on 36' raised beam, CrystalStones Mini Pebble Finish in Caribbean Blue, Leuder Limestone coping and raised beam, 1300 sq. ft. stained and stamped concrete decking.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Quote Originally Posted by jttr
    Thanks for the replies! Sounds like I need to call for some in-person back up. I'm going to test again this afternoon when I get home and call my builder to help me troubleshoot some more. My pump hadn't even turned on yet when I tested. A thunderstorm is supposed to hit this afternoon so that may throw a wrench in things.
    That may help! Free water, with no Calcium, and no CYA in it! Grab as much as you can.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Quote Originally Posted by jttr
    Thanks for the replies! Sounds like I need to call for some in-person back up. I'm going to test again this afternoon when I get home and call my builder to help me troubleshoot some more. My pump hadn't even turned on yet when I tested. A thunderstorm is supposed to hit this afternoon so that may throw a wrench in things.
    That may help! Free water, with no Calcium, and no CYA in it! Grab as much as you can.
    I tested the CYA after the rains came through and it appeared to be at 80. But it is such a subjective test! At least in my test kit it is. "Read the number when the black dot just dissapears." Huh?!?! Help is on the way tomorrow to help me sort it all out.

    Jana
    Jana - Central Texas
    Pool Stats: Approx. 20,000 gallon freeform pool completed 5/3/2012. Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, 2 - Heyward Super II Pumps, In-line chlorinator, 3 water sheers on 36' raised beam, CrystalStones Mini Pebble Finish in Caribbean Blue, Leuder Limestone coping and raised beam, 1300 sq. ft. stained and stamped concrete decking.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    For more CYA testing info (with pictures if you follow the internal link):
    extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html#p206397
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    For more CYA testing info (with pictures if you follow the internal link):
    extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html#p206397

    Thanks for the link. I should just read before I open my big mouth and post. The last line is particularly applicable.

    Novices often have problems reading the test correctly, and tend to get higher than actual readings.

    I'm pretty sure I fall in that category.

    I saved my water from earlier. Just for grins, I'm going to go pour it again.
    Jana - Central Texas
    Pool Stats: Approx. 20,000 gallon freeform pool completed 5/3/2012. Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, 2 - Heyward Super II Pumps, In-line chlorinator, 3 water sheers on 36' raised beam, CrystalStones Mini Pebble Finish in Caribbean Blue, Leuder Limestone coping and raised beam, 1300 sq. ft. stained and stamped concrete decking.

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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    When I poured it again based on the detailed instructions in the link, I came up with 60-70. Still high but better.
    Jana - Central Texas
    Pool Stats: Approx. 20,000 gallon freeform pool completed 5/3/2012. Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, 2 - Heyward Super II Pumps, In-line chlorinator, 3 water sheers on 36' raised beam, CrystalStones Mini Pebble Finish in Caribbean Blue, Leuder Limestone coping and raised beam, 1300 sq. ft. stained and stamped concrete decking.

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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Pool builder tested my levels and everything looks good. He came up with 55 on the CYA and slightly lower on TA and pH. We came up with a game plan to help hold the chlorine at 1-2. Still trying to figure out the personality of my pool. Main thing is that the water is crystal clear and sparkling and I intend to be hypervigilant to make sure it stays that way! Thanks for the help! I have printed out the extended test kit directions and put them with my test kit and I plan to order the supplement to help me test the chlorine easier.
    Jana - Central Texas
    Pool Stats: Approx. 20,000 gallon freeform pool completed 5/3/2012. Pentair Triton II Sand Filter, 2 - Heyward Super II Pumps, In-line chlorinator, 3 water sheers on 36' raised beam, CrystalStones Mini Pebble Finish in Caribbean Blue, Leuder Limestone coping and raised beam, 1300 sq. ft. stained and stamped concrete decking.

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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Chlorine at 1-2 is not sufficient by the way. Use poolcalculator.com, plug in your numbers, be sure to select your pool type and goal of troublefreepool.com near the bottom.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble holding chlorine - help me analyze my test resul

    Look at Chlorine CYA Chart

    At CYA of 60 you have to keep FC over 5ppm at all times to avoid problems.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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