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Thread: Advice for first time poster

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    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    3

    Advice for first time poster

    I've been lurking for a couple of weeks - long enough for you all to help me clean up a swamp - but this is my first post. Have been a dichlor and trichlor user until this week, as I am switching to liquid chlorine.

    My main question is whether my low CH reading should be addressed and if so, how? Also do I need to raise my TA at all? How do I know how much liquid chlorine to use to maintain proper FC levels, assuming I get back down to 70ish CYA? Would that be the calculator?

    Here are the results:

    FC 11
    CC .5 or less
    CYA 100 (reasonably confident this is not a capped reading that is really materially higher than shown)
    pH 7.5
    TA 90
    CH 120

    I welcome any advice. I was at 280 CH and 120 TA 1 week ago, but that was with a dark swamp - not sure if the result would be skewed from that. Plus the drain and refill process discussed below probably also led to the dilution down to my current readings.

    In case more background is helpful (and really just to get it off my chest), here is my story:

    Latest activities have been a partial drain and refill. Drained about 40-50% at first, then two more 25-30% drains, just to get to 100. Very rough estimates based on diluted CYA tests would suggest CYA was maybe in the 250-350 range before draining. I still have about 8-12" refill to go to get back to proper water level.

    Last year my CYA levels were very high, but the pool store recommended delaying draining as long as possible, so i knew it was only a matter of time. But, despite the ridiculous CYA levels this year, when I went swampy 3 weeks ago, the pool store gave me, wait for it, dichlor, and recommended dumping the whole 25 lb. bucket in. I did, nothing happened, and so I found your site, bought the test kit, and the drain began. After the 50% drain and refill, miraculously, dark green started turning to milky white. But the CYA still wouldn't register, so I've continued the drain and refill process. Will probably do it one more time to try to get around 50-70. But that will be after finally enjoying my pool this weekend.

    Can you believe that yesterday the pool store ran their tests and said everything was fine as they quickly dumped the water. When I pushed them specifically on CYA results, he said "well, it was 99, which is at the top of the OK range." 99. Not 100. Not 95. This guy is really accurate with his tests.

    Of course the recommendation was to get back on the dichlor and trichlor regimen. I guess he's looking forward again to when it takes more than 25 lbs. of dichlor to shock my pool.

    I did get some First Aid, which has always been helpful to speed up clarifying my dead algae, and it has worked again in 1 night after waiting several days to let the filter do it. But my next stop was the other pool store that sells liquid chlorine.

    Since I have been refilling almost every night, haven't been able to run a meaningful OCLT, but I think I have licked the algae (eww) for now.

    I appreciate all the work that has gone into making this site such a great resource. I've been learning a lot and hope to be able to contribute back to the community once my knowledge reaches the proper level. I promise no future post will even approach this length.

    Ahh, I feel better already.
    23,000 gal. IG plaster pool with sand filter and 1.5 hp pump
    Installed in the 70's, owned since 2011
    Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD test kit

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Sebring, Florida
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    Re: Advice for first time poster

    Welcome to the forum.

    Well, I am not sure if you have questions. It appears your water is in pretty good shape but I am not sure. What does it look like?

    You appear to have a VERY good grasp of all the ideas involved in taking over your own pool. Let us know if there are specifics we can answer.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    Re: Advice for first time poster

    Thanks for the welcome and confirming that I'm on the right path. My questions were in relation to my CH and TA test results. Should I be concerned about them? And in calculating the proper amount of bleach to use - is the calculator the place to look? And lastly, should I try to get CYA down further?
    23,000 gal. IG plaster pool with sand filter and 1.5 hp pump
    Installed in the 70's, owned since 2011
    Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD test kit

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    RaviePoolGirl's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Location
    Napa, CA
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    47

    Re: Advice for first time poster

    My main question is whether my low CH reading should be addressed and if so, how? I believe this should be addressed. You can use the pool calculator to determin how much chemical you should add. With a low CH, your putting your plaster on the pool at rick for having Calcium dissolve out of it. Normal fill water usually has some calcium in it, so aiming at the lower end of normal of around 250 i believe would be appropriate. CH will tend to go up over time and the drain you did im sure reduced it. This gives it room to creep up. Someone will correct me if I am wrong. The pool calculator will guide you on this.

    Also do I need to raise my TA at all? TA is fine

    How do I know how much liquid chlorine to use to maintain proper FC levels, assuming I get back down to 70ish CYA? Would that be the calculator? Use the Pool Calculator to determin how much chlorine to add. Use the Chlorine/CYA Chart to determin what chlorine level you need to keep for your pool.
    20,000 gal inground hourglass shape with 7' Hot Tub with overflow; Gunite
    Hayward TriStar 1.85/.22 THP - Hayward cartrige filter- SWG.
    Hayward Gas Heater

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    linen's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: Advice for first time poster

    Welcome to tfp, Ivebeenpoolstored

    Thanks for sharing your story, it will help others in the future.

    I agree with Dave, you have a good grasp of your pool now and the concepts to maintain it. My question is, do you have your own test kit. I think you already know you need it (if you don't have it) If you haven't looked at it yet, see my sig for a link discussing appropriate test kits. I like the TF-100, most bang for buck.

    I also agree with Ravie, you probably want to get you CH up, though it is not panic time.
    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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    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
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    Re: Advice for first time poster

    Thanks for your responses and suggestions.

    @linen: I do finally have my own test kit, but getting there required persevering through being pool stored again. Last year when I bought the house, I instinctively thought I should have a decent test kit. The pool store said they're too expensive, just get the strips. I thought, hey, that's great! They're saving me money! Little did I know they would make it all back and more by leading me on a tour of the top 100 chemicals all good pool owners should be using.

    So that's what I had until a week ago. I thought that my inability to accurately interpret the colors was just a personal flaw, so I was glad to find out people in the know hold them in disdain.

    Now I have the Taylor K-2006.
    23,000 gal. IG plaster pool with sand filter and 1.5 hp pump
    Installed in the 70's, owned since 2011
    Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD test kit

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    DFW, Texas
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    Re: Advice for first time poster

    Hi Ivebeenpoolstored!

    Welcome to TFP

    I would first focus on getting your CYA down to around 50 which will likely result in another partial drain & refill based on your current level.

    After that, I would run a complete retest of all chemical levels.

    As for CH, a plaster pool should have a CH of between 250 - 350 ppm (ideally). To increase your CH, there are two options I would consider:
    • 1. Temporarily switch to Calcium Hypochlorite (a.k.a., CalHypo) to maintain your FC levels.

    • 2. Add Calcium Chloride


    Of the two, I would choose option 1 since CalHypo can be used to maintain your target FC level and add calcium at the same time. I would test for CH weekly until your CH reaches between 250 - 300 at which point I would discontinue the CalHypo and switch back to liquid bleach as your chlorine source. Note that CalHypo may make the water appear slightly cloudy (that's the calcium). However if FC is below shock level, it is safe to swim in. If you go the CalHypo route, I would recommend using a brand with a strength of 65% or greater. Also, CalHypo is slow to dissolve. I would premix it in a 5-gallon bucket of water, give it a good stir, and then empty the bucket as you walk it around the pool. If you have a deep end, I would add more in that area. As with any chemical addition, make sure your pump is on.

    Recommend using the Pool Calculator (see link in my sig) to calculate the appropriate doses for your pool based on your test results.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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