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Thread: Need advice on test results and pool issue

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    Need advice on test results and pool issue

    I bought a house with a pool in AZ when I moved here 1 year ago. The pool was emptied/cleaned/refilled at that time. The water has had near perfect readings until about a month ago when I started seeing black/green staining on the pool walls. It didn't look like Algae spots, but more like a stain that continually grew as time passed. I am still not 100% sure what it is or if there is a way to tell for sure.

    Anyway I started attacking it as if it were Algae and that is when the problems started. I used the algae killer from the pool store and started shocking with the Calcium Hypo and scrubbing the stains...There was some decrease it seemed in the staining, but it never went away completely. Then I started noticing that my chemistry readings began to fluctuate. The PH went up and the pull was acidic and I had a 7-1 TC/FC reading (6 CC).

    After treating this with Soda Ash to bring PH down I continued to shock to get rid of CC and I accomplished that. The only problem is that now both TC and FC barely register at all. Now my PH has dropped and Alkalinity as well. Also, it looks like because of the shocking that my CH has gone way up. Here are the current readings.

    FC - 0
    TC - 1
    PH - 6.8
    ALK - 6
    CYA - 50
    CH - 1000

    Of course I was taking direction from the pool store in everything I did. Now after reading these forums that was probably not a good idea. Besides now having to draing the pool (Something I shouldn't have to do since the water is less then a year old but probably related to the shocking). What is the best course of action going forward? The pool is clear, and besides the staining looks ok.
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    What is the CH of your fill water?
    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: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Welcome

    Cal-hypo is about the last thing you want to use in your pool given the high calcium levels we tend to start with.

    Are those results from you own test kit? If not, order one of the ones listed in the link in my signature.

    While draining water to lower the CH might be tempting, it may not be required and may not help as much as you might think. You should test your fill water for pH, TA, FC, CH to see what you are starting with.

    If you keep a tight control on the pH you should be able to live with the high CH.

    If you do not want to drain, then you need to raise your pH up to about 7.2. And then start the shock PROCESS (read Pool School) using liquid chlorine. Follow the directions exactly. Let us know if other questions come up.
    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: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    My fill water PH is around 7.5 and CH is pretty high out here in AZ (400-450). Looks like I have added to that a bit with the Cal Hypo but maybe that isn't as big of an issue out here since it is high to beging with. I would rather not drain the pool if I can live with it for now. If not for this green/black staining in the pool I wouldn't even be able to tell there was a problem without reading the water tests. PH was holding at 7.2 until recently when it dropped to 6.8
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    So according to the pool calculator I should do the following in this order

    Raise PH by adding 33oz of Soda Ash (Or 66oz of Borax).
    Raise alkalinity by adding 56oz of baking soda
    Shock pool by dumping in a full bottle (128oz) of bleach at 6% (Standard bleach from grocery store)

    From what I read I should add the soda ash and BS first to get the PH and Alkalinity up, then shock the pool once that happens. In the meantime while I am waiting for PH to rise what should I do about chlorine?
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    In order:

    1. raise TA up using baking soda to at least 50 ppm.
    2. raise ph up by shooting for 7.8 using borax.
    3. Retest TA and ph and post results.
    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: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Might be stupid question but can I put the BS and Borax in at the same time? Do I need to hold off on using the bleach until PH and TA levels are in range?
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    You can add bleach while adjusting TA and pH ... just realize the pH test is not accurate when the FC is > 10ppm.

    Also when you get to the shock process ... review the instructions as what you wrote above is not fully correct ... you have to keep testing and maintain the FC at shock level ... not just raise it once.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Thanks for the help...So for shocking...If shock value is 20 and 1 bottle of chlorine gets me there then I dump the bottle in every couple hours until the sun goes down and this should hold it at shock level. Then I test the water and let it sit over night and test in the morning to see where it is. If I hold within 1.0 then I can stop shocking and let the levels get down to acceptable range. If there is a drop overnight I keep shocking. Does this sound right?
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Close...you measure the pool each time before adding more bleach/liquid chlorine and use poolcalculator.com to calculate how much more bleach/LC to put in. Do this as often as possible, with 1 hour intervals being a good shortest time between. Tonight after the sun is off the pool, measure and redose to 20 ppm FC, then after and hour of circulation, do the evening FC test (also test CC). Leave the pump running overnight, but do not add any more chlorine. In the morning before the sun hits the pool retest FC (and CC) and see how far it has dropped. If it has dropped less than 1 ppm (and your CC is less than 0.5 ppm), then it is safe to assume your pool is algae free and you can let your FC level drop back down to normal levels. If you do not pass then continue the shocking process.
    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: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Noticed calculations were wrong. If I need to bring FC to 15 to shock it then with 50 CYA readings I need to go to 373 oz of bleach so that would be 2 full bottles. I am putting the bleach in now...TA to 90 and PH right at 7.2
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    I get 16 ppm shock FC level from poolcalculator for 50 ppm.
    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: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Went back over it again...CYA/FC chart show shock value of 20 for 50 and 16 for 40. If I go on the high end and say 20 then I put that figure into the pool calculator FC box and calculated at 12,000 gallons. That actually gave me 498 oz so I added another bottle of bleach whic equals 492oz in the pool right now. Does that sound right?
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Yes, that is right.
    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: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Update...Pool held the chlorine pretty well last night. Chlorine levels only fell a couple points. I had to leave this morning and just got back and tested the water. The Chlorine is still holding under the hot sun at normal ratings (FC and TC around 4). PH and TA holding at 7.2/90. I did notice that CYA went up from around 50 to around 90. I was chlorinating with tabs but the tabs have not been in the pool since I started this process. The black staining looks like it may have gone away a bit but is definately still there. I did not notice any of it turning white or clouding the pool at all. I am still wondering if maybe it isn't algae at all. CH is still at same high levels.

    What are your thoughts on where to go from here?
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    What are your thoughts on where to go from here?
    Resolve that CYA test result before going any further.

    90ppm CYA is a problem. CYA doesn't increase unless you put it in the pool. How are you testing for it?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    I had to use a test strip for CYA because I ran out of the regular test. Probably a bad reading then because all I used was Baking soda, bleach and the soda ash since I had the 50 reading to start the process.
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    Assuming you used the liquid turbidity test for your first results, then use that.

    Your experience is a perfect example of how troublesome test strips are. The advice, if you accept the test strip result, would be to drain half of your pool to get cYA down.
    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: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    I thought you were going to go through the shock process, but clearly what you are doing is not following the procedure.

    You must raise the FC back up to shock level every time you test it, which should be at minimum a few times per day.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Need advice on test results and pool issue

    I did do that all day yesterday. Today is the first time I tested it where the FC was in the normal range of 4-5. It held close to shock level overnight which is what pool school says is one of the signs that you can stop shocking if I understand it right. CC is 0...FC held close to 1 overnight, it was only a couple off...Water is clear, just has the black staining but it has never been cloudy. My question was how to move forward with those numbers and strange CYA reading, and also given everything what the black staining might be...I will go have the CYA tested using the better tester and then bring it back to shock level again if that is the recommendation
    First time pool owner in AZ
    12,000 gallon IG pebbletech pool with cartridge filtration

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