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Thread: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

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    chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    I have a small 4,000 gallon pool. My chlorine level is always between 1 and 2, my ph is 7.2. I just started using Liquid Bleach, and I put the cya in a sock and put it in my filter basket. My husband and I had an little disagreement about that. I didn't like the idea of putting it in the basket so hung it from the ladder by the inflow. but, my cya is not registering as having any in the pool. So, did as husband said and put it in the basket. I haven't retested yet, but wonder why it has not registered yet. I put all this in 2 days ago. The pool is beautiful, so clean and clear compared, especially, to how it looked before. Also, we have very hard water out here in the country. Can't afford a water softener, so read up on all this and decided to try the liquid bleach method. My husband also recommmended we do that and again, I resisted until now. Should listen, I guess. But, here I am with all this beautiful pool water, but the chlorine won't go above 1-2, ph stays at 7.2 and the cya doesn't register yet. What do I do, or what am I doing wrong?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    Welcome to TFP.

    It takes up to a week for the CYA to show up on a test.

    You need to put bleach in the pool every day. Use the pool calc to figure how much to put in there based on how much CYA you targeted.

    It sounds like you're not adding enough.
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    Thank so much for answering. I did put in 2 cups last night of bleach, it read high this morning and then low just now. So, maybe I didn't put in enough bleach last night?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    Until the CYA gets into the water, the FC will drop quickly due to the sun. Just keep adding bleach every time you test.

    Now for a little test ...

    How much CYA did you add? What was your target level? What is your minimum FC based on your targeted CYA level?
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    My very intelligent reply is: Huh? I can't remember exactly how much cya I put in the sock. I seem to think it was like 2 cups? I don't recall, sorry. Will ask husband, he was there too.
    I would like the cya to register 40 to 50, of course I am so new at this, and am a little confused about all the testing and numbers, but am trying to understand it all. Am a whiz at literature, but these maths things and chemicals are beyond me. My son-in-law is a biochemist and is coming here with daughter to visit, so am going to see if he can understand it all and help me. I will post again when he is here to get me thumped in the head and get him to explain it all. He's a biochemist, and my daughter is a "green" person, everything should be environmentally safe. The bleach bothers her, but it has to be. She asked me if it is just store bought bleach or environmentally safe. Well, not only is it store bought but it is WalMart Chlorox. I'm looking into going to the dollar store. That should really make her jump!! hahaha

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    No problem ... that was my way to see where you are at on the learning curve.

    Using the poolcalulator: in 4000 gallons of water, 21oz of stabilizer should get you to 40ppm
    Would be nice if you can estimate how much you really added (how big is the container).

    In Pool School, the CYA/FC chart shows that your minimum FC level for 40ppm CYA is 3ppm. So if you added to get to 40ppm, you should not let the FC drop below 3ppm at any time.

    Don't use environmentally safe bleach ... it is either weaker or has additive that you do not want.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    No special bleaches! Just regular, unscented, laundry bleach.

    Bleach is environmentally safe anyway. It's chlorine. Chlorine is chlorine. It is consumed by organics. In a pool, or out of a pool. The remaining element is salt. I'd like to know how they could even make bleach be environmentally safe. The only thing one could do to bleach is add something to it or reduce the concentration (which means nothing, since you'd have to use twice as much to do the same job). The chlorine, which is all that is in bleach other than water (sodium hypochlorite plus water = bleach) would have to remain for it to even be bleach. Odd thought there... too much to ponder. If she allows her kids to go to the public pool, she should know that they use twice the strength of chlorine in liquid form. Same as bleach, just twice as strong.

    It would be good to know how much CYA was put into the sock. Then we can help you estimate the value to use for your pool water. Next time, measure and remember because you won't be able to test for CYA right away, as noted above it can take up to a week to register. That being said however, go squish that sock and get the CYA that's remaining dispersed. I would bet that if you squish it a few times it'll all be gone, it's been soaking plenty long enough.
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    I talked with husband he said we put in one pound of cya, using the cap to measure it. I now remember.

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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    My gosh, we put in about 16 ounces and it says here to put in 21 oz. Maybe I should put in more?

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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    I am writing a lot, hope i'm not annoying. But, here goes. Just tested the chlorine and ph again. The chlorine has gone, the ph is the same. I should put in more bleach, I would guess. And, maybe a little more cya? Help me, I'm sinking in all this info. This has helped and I will squish it. I did do that but didn't know if it was the thing to do. If I need to add more cya, I will do it. It seems the bleach is disappearing fast in the sun. I want to go swimming the afternoon. would that be ok?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    16 oz should put you around a CYA of 30ppm ... the low side of recommended, but a good place to start. Assume you are at 30ppm and keep your FC above 2ppm at all times. In a week, test the CYA level and if the pool is in a lot of sun, you may want to raise the CYA up to 40-50ppm.

    Sure you can swim if the FC is > 2ppm and is < 10ppm
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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    You will likely need to "bleach the pool" like you "feed the dog", daily.

    The amount you add will be based on the test results. You put your numbers into poolcalculator.com and it will tell you how much. It will change each day based on the amount of sun, your CYA level, number of swimmers, temperature... but it will likely be close to the same each day.
    -- Guy --
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    What were you using as your chlorine source before you started using the bleach? Tablets/puck contain CYA, so if you ever used them or di-chlor, you already had some CYA in the pool.
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    I used chlorine with cya and it was awful. My water got so milky that we had to drain the pool twice and start over. I started checking the internet to see what was wrong. Water is very hard and the cya builds up if you have to add the chlorine power to keep up with the evaporation in the sun. So, I started reading about liquid bleach, as my husband first suggested to do, and found this site. I've been educating myself, hard job at my age, and now am trying the liquid bleach. Only 2 days doing this so it's new to me and hard to understand it all. But, am learning. The bleach still evaporates at a fast pace, but am hopeful the added cya will help stop that. I don't want it to get cloudy again so am taking it slow. The ph is a little low, 7.2 but everything else except the cya comes out good. Thanks so much for all your help on this forum. It has helped so much to read all the advise. Tomorrow, I get Borax and Baking Soda to help me keep up with it all. And, I guess I have to watch for Algae and put in Algae killer stuff once a week? Or does the bleach help with that, too? Here I go again with the questions. I have to stop testing. I am going to wait until tonitht before sundown and see how it all is. My husband thinks I'm obsessed with it all, and I am for now. Can't wait until it all comes together in the pool, and in my head

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    No chemical added to the pool will keep it "clear". Clear water is 100% dependent on the filter and pump's performance.

    If you pool has any algae in it, when you add the chlorine (CL), the algae will go from green to a grey-white color. This is good! This means it's been killed and not growing. Your pump and filter must filter out the dead grey debris.

    If you have clean water and add the CL and keep it from getting algae... and you are killing off any other organics in the pool (ie sweat, urine and other human debris) you water will stay clear as long as the filter removes the junk from the water.

    Oe note: if this is an Intex Cartridge A filter, you may need to run it 24/7 to filter the debris and keep the pool clean.

    edit had to fix my "poo"
    -- Guy --
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    There is no point in buying Borax and Baking Soda until you know that your pool needs it. That is a key thing the BBB method is about ... only adding what your pool needs.

    Borax will raise the pH ; muriatic acid will lower the pH ... at this point you do not need to do either
    Baking Soda raises the TA ... you have not reported the TA so why buy it if you do not know you need it

    IF you keep the FC in the correct range, you should NEVER need to add any "algae killer stuff" ... although for some small pools a polyquat 60 algaecide is sometimes used, but no required.

    Have you read this:
    Temporary Pool Guide

    Although you are doing things a little differently, there could be good info in it for you.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    Thanks so much for the information. I am getting better at understanding it all. I checked the pool after swimming in it. Couldn't resist the beautiful water. And, it's at 2-4! Great! I added some bleach and it must have helped. I can't emphasis enough how all this has helped me. Swimming in that clear water was wonderful. My daughter and her little son are coming soon and he loves to swim. So, I'm really anxious to keep the pool nice. I'm so thrilled with the result of the bleach etc, and all your advise has even given me more confidence about keeping the pool looking so nice. I even went out and sprayed water on the outside of the pool to keep it looking pretty. I'm so happy about finding this site and getting such wonderful advise. Thank you again all of you who have replied. I will be back in a few days and hope all of you have a great week.

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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    Hi krockers and welcome to TFP!
    With any pool... algaecide is not needed if the Chlorine/CYA chart chart is followed and you have good water circulation, with some manual bushing once or twice a week (depending on how many screaming, thrashing about kids in the pool stirring it all up and keeping it clean) as long as the FC chlorine is kept in check.
    Although in Pool School in temporary pool section, is is mentioned to use some polyquat 60 algaecide. This is there because temporary/seasonal pool owners are not as intense with pool chemistry and care of the pool in general, so it is recommended more as preventive care when FC levels keep falling below the normal range on the Chlorine/CYA chart here:
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    Polyquat 60 is the best of any of the algaecide products because there is no added byproducts that hurt the pool water chemistry long term, it's considered basically organic.

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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    Where do you get Polyquat 60? I haven't seen it at the regular stores? At the pool store, or have I just missed it at WalMart, Target, etc stores? I live in a rather rural area, developing fast, so have limited stores yet. Thanks so much for your advise. I have to toss all the other products I have bought to keep the pool sparkling clean, which they never did. I think I have something called Algaecide something or other. I will check to see what that is, but think I need to toss that too. Thanks again all of you. Do I sound very grateful? Well, I am. My little pool has never looked so good and smelled so good, just clean water clean. I'm amazed!

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: chlorine level, ph level, cya level

    I bought Poly 60 at Lowes. I have not looked at HD.

    You need to look at the ingredients listing for many of these products. You need to look for a "poly" word in the ingredients list with a 60%. Many store only stock the 30% stuff. You also need to make sure they didn't sneak in a copper/cupro something.
    -- Guy --
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