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Thread: Initial Test Results from a newbie

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    Initial Test Results from a newbie

    Hi,

    First time poster here. I've owned my pool since 2003 with relatively few problems other than a fairly consistent inability to hold Cl over the years. Just went through a number of Pool School articles (fantastic resource). I've spent money on phosphate removal treatments (needlessly apparently) only to have the phosphates reappear. My reading at the local pool store yesterday was 5000+ (The test maxes out at that level. From what I have learned here, that's no big deal, though I did make the mistake of buying into the phosphate removal thing one more time, so I'll finish using what I've got.

    When I went in for water test, the tester strongly recommended Supreme Pro Plus as a way to help control the algae. I bought 45 pounds which may put me on the light side of ideal for a 24,000 pool, but going forward, I'll do the Borax/MA combo instead. (Learned about that after I bought the product).

    In the past the phosphate remover has helped in that I've noticed a noticeable difference in the ability to hold Cl--until the phosphates rebuild.

    So, before I get started on the rebalance, I thought I'd post the pool store's test results (ordered the TF-100 test kit today though) and get some guidance. I have a SWG though the cell is 6 years old. i may be living on borrowed time, but it seems clean when I inspect it and only use the pool from mid-May through Sept).

    FC=0.1 (I knew that from test drops so I shocked it after I took the sample. Higher now, but I have not tested today.)
    CC= Not tested
    TA= 160
    Ph=7.5
    Ca=108
    CYA=90
    Phosphates=5000+
    Salt=3300

    From what I understand, I need to bring the TA down to 80ish and get the FC level up much higher than I have been carrying it (the pool store's 3-5 range--not so much with a SWG and CYA=90. I understand that better now).

    So given that I'd like to get the borates added soon as well, I would like some thoughts on a plan of attack, i.e. the order and quickness at which I can get things more properly balanced.

    A couple of side notes:
    [--The pool has always been pretty clear over the years, but when I first see the slightest bit of cloudiness, I have shocked it with 2.5g of shock (not enough I know now)

    --Oddly, at the beginning of this year, the CYA read "4." Last year it was in the 65-70 range. I do not understand how it could have dropped that low (given that it is supposed to be hard to decrease0, but after adding the CYA this year, it has been slightly high at 90 for the last couple of tests. I'd like it to correct naturally with splash out or refilling vs. draining some if that will work.[/list]

    I hope that provides enough info to get you started. Looking forward to reaching a low maintenance state.
    24,000 gal / DE Filter / IG / Vinyl / 2HP Pentair / Installed 2003

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    You seem to be figuring things out reasonably well.

    ProTeam Supreme (plus or otherwise) contains borates, available far less expensively as a generic instead of a brand name. Borates are great.

    You are going to need really massive amounts of chlorine to shock the pool because of the high CYA level, something that would be simpler if you lowered your CYA level first.

    Lower the PH to 7.2 before you start shocking. You can't really use the PH test when FC is above 10, and it will be for some time.

    Once FC levels are holding at normal levels deal with everything else.
    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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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzhazzard

    FC=0.1 (I knew that from test drops so I shocked it after I took the sample. Higher now, but I have not tested today.)
    CC= Not tested
    TA= 160
    Ph=7.5
    Ca=108
    CYA=90
    Phosphates=5000+
    Salt=3300
    The above readings are from a few days ago before I started balancing things.

    OK, so I received my TFT-100 test kit this week. As I mentioned early, I bought some phosphate remover (before I found this site) so I decided to use it. It really plugged up the DE filter but I vacuumed the pool today and then took the DE filter apart and cleaned it thoroughly, soaking it in an acid solution before reassembling. I poored the acid mix in the pool as my previous TA was 160 anyway. I topped off the pool to lower the CYA from 90, but have not tested it yet My chlorine was at 0 again, so I used the pool calculator and added 7 gallons of 10% shock to target 30 ppm.

    Then I did my water tests. The FC took 62 drops which translates to 31 ppm so the calculator was spot on. The pH read high, but I understand that is to be expected with high FC. I tested the TA and it measured around 200! Does the high FC affect the TA measurement as well?

    Then, out of order because I missed it, I tested for CC. I gave up at 60 drops because the color was staying a steady pink. I read in another thread that with high Cl, I should expedite the testing so maybe that was part of it?

    The pool is essentially clear right now. I would not describe it as cloudy at all, but neither is it crystal clear.

    So tomorrow I will test the FC again and bring it back up to 30 or so and rinse and repeat.

    Questions:

    1) Could my CC reading in excess of 30 (where I stopped testing) be accurate? So I keep it at a high FC for a few days before I test?

    2) Should I even test for the other things before the shocking is done?

    3)I have the Supreme Pro Plus waiting to go in to add borates. Can I do that now, or should I wait.

    Anything else I should be doing?
    24,000 gal / DE Filter / IG / Vinyl / 2HP Pentair / Installed 2003

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    1) That is very unlikely, but not completely out of the question. With very high FC levels you really need to move the test along quite quickly to get a valid CC result.
    2) Not unless FC happens to be 10 or lower for some unrelated reason (then test PH).
    3) I recommend waiting. You need to rebalance the PH afterwards, and you can't do that right now.
    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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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    1) That is very unlikely, but not completely out of the question. With very high FC levels you really need to move the test along quite quickly to get a valid CC result.
    2) Not unless FC happens to be 10 or lower for some unrelated reason (then test PH).
    3) I recommend waiting. You need to rebalance the PH afterwards, and you can't do that right now.

    OK, thanks. I'll report back in a few days.
    24,000 gal / DE Filter / IG / Vinyl / 2HP Pentair / Installed 2003

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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzhazzard
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    1) That is very unlikely, but not completely out of the question. With very high FC levels you really need to move the test along quite quickly to get a valid CC result.
    2) Not unless FC happens to be 10 or lower for some unrelated reason (then test PH).
    3) I recommend waiting. You need to rebalance the PH afterwards, and you can't do that right now.

    OK, thanks. I'll report back in a few days.
    Lat night, I shocked with ~7 gallons to bring the level up to 30ppm.

    This morning, it was down to 15ppm, so I added another 3.5 gallons.

    Sounds like I've got a ways to go even though the pool water is pretty darn clear and was to start (just wouldn't hold Cl).

    Off to the store to get more shock!

    I'm not planning on testing for anything else until I get this Cl under control.
    24,000 gal / DE Filter / IG / Vinyl / 2HP Pentair / Installed 2003

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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzhazzard

    Lat night, I shocked with ~7 gallons to bring the level up to 30ppm.

    This morning, it was down to 15ppm, so I added another 3.5 gallons.

    Sounds like I've got a ways to go even though the pool water is pretty darn clear and was to start (just wouldn't hold Cl).

    Off to the store to get more shock!

    I'm not planning on testing for anything else until I get this Cl under control.
    I was never very good at chemistry, but this is kind of fun.

    Last night I gave up counting the CC at 60 drops of reagent when I still had a pink sample. As I mentioned above, this morning my FC had dropped from 30 to 15 (CYA ~80 with a SWG). I added enough Cl to get it back up to 30. Three hours later, I am still at 30, but more importantly I think, when I tested for CC, the solution changed from pink to almost clear at one drop and was clear by two drops--so less than 0.5 CC.

    I'll do checks throughout the day and then again in the morning, but the progress is fun to watch.

    1) So once I pass the overnight FC test, I can let the level come down naturally to a target value of 6 and approaching that, turn the SWG back on. Is that correct? Then at that point I should take a look at the other chemistry?

    2) I think the only thing that was a bit out of whack on my last pool store check was that my TA was 160. The pool calculator suggests 60-80 for my setup, but somewhere on here (I believe)I read that if the TA is high but pH is OK and holding well, I should not necessarily try to target it down. Is that correct or did I miss something? I do like targets, so will happily adjust it down if that's the best course of action. Muriatic acid is on my shopping list.

    Thanks for the replies and this great forum!
    24,000 gal / DE Filter / IG / Vinyl / 2HP Pentair / Installed 2003

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    1. Correct, just let it come down to normal and when it gets close turn the swcg back on.

    2. You are corect here as well. If th pH isn't raising too fast then just adjust it as needed.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    Yesterday, i tested the pool several times and it was holding Cl at 28ppm. I did a final test before bed and it was still 28. This morning is was 23. CC reads somewhere between 0 and 0.5ppm.

    I'm a little surprised that while it held the level during the day, it lost some overnight. The pool did get some use yesterday afternoon by me and the kids, but nothing significant.

    So if I understand correctly, even though the CCs are very low now, I should keep the shock level up until I pass the overnight FC test, right?
    24,000 gal / DE Filter / IG / Vinyl / 2HP Pentair / Installed 2003

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    That's correct hold it at shock till you pass.
    Did you test the FC after you and the kids got out?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    That's correct hold it at shock till you pass.
    Did you test the FC after you and the kids got out?

    Yes, a few hours later for the kids and maybe an hour after I got out. I wondered if those teenage bodies might be dragging me down.
    24,000 gal / DE Filter / IG / Vinyl / 2HP Pentair / Installed 2003

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    Re: Initial Test Results from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzhazzard
    Hi,



    FC=0.1 (I knew that from test drops so I shocked it after I took the sample. Higher now, but I have not tested today.)
    CC= Not tested
    TA= 160
    Ph=7.5
    Ca=108
    CYA=90
    Phosphates=5000+
    Salt=3300
    An update.

    I shocked the pool (30ppm) a week or so ago. I travel a lot and when I left the overnight FC loss test was showing a 2.0-2,5 loss with a cc of zero. I know i am supposed to get it to 1 or less but will have to do that when I have a few more days at home. I let the FC level bleed down naturally and at around 12ppm turned on the SWG set at 90% (Pump runs 10 hours/day). I don't think the SWG is doing its job because with or without it running I get about the same FC loss everyday. The cell is 5-6 years old but only used 4 months/year and is very clean when I inspect it. But that's for another thread.

    I added the Supreme Pro Plus (before I learned I could do it with Borax).

    The pool looks GREAT.

    This morning I did my own testing and then decided to get a cross check at the pool store as a confidence builder. Most of the tests were pretty close, but a couple were significantly different:

    TEST. . . . . . . . . . ME . . . . . . . . . .STORE

    FC. . . . . . . . . . . . 4.5 . . . . . . . . . . 2.3
    CC. . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . . .Not tested
    TA . . . . . . . . . . . .200 . . . . . . . . . . 195
    pH . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.8 . . . . . . . . . . .6.7(!)
    Calcium . . . . . . . . . Did not test . . . . 107
    CYA . . . . . . . . . . . 80 . . . . . . . . . . . 80
    Salt . . . . . . . . . . . 3300 . . . . . . . . . 3400
    Borates . . . . . . . . . Did not test . . . . . 10-15

    NOTES:
    FC: I did have the test water in the car for maybe an hour and a half and I am thinking that may have had some effect, but I think their's still reads low. I retested the sample at home and was at 3.5 after the pool store check. I know I need to get this back up

    TA/pH: Before I started shocking the pool to high levels a week or so ago, my pool store check showed a TA of 160. Now it's at 195 and that's after adding some acid. Would the 10 or so gallons of shock in the last week contribute to that? After I added the acid, MY pH showed 7.2, and I aerated and I now get a very dark pink test corresponding to 7.7 or 7.8. The pool store is showing 6.7. I had planned to bring the TA down and the pH back up using the acid/aeration method, but now I am second guessing myself because of the pool store's acidic reading already. Thoughts?

    Borates: I added 45 pounds of Supreme ProPlus (pH neutral) which SHOULD have given me a reading of about 45 ppm by my reading. They use test strips for the borate test, and two tests showed maybe 10-15 ppm. They were at a loss as to why, and i do not have faith in their test because I know what I added.

    I plan to try a different store when I return to town to test the pH in particular, but does anyone here have thoughts as to why I am measuring basic and they would be measuring acid? the store uses one of those light spectrometer tests for everything other than borates. I want to believe my numbers, but I also do not want to add any more acid to bring the TA down before I get some advice here.
    24,000 gal / DE Filter / IG / Vinyl / 2HP Pentair / Installed 2003

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