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Thread: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

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    new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Hello all,

    Just received my taylor K-2006 yesterday and took my readings. Before I list those let me give you a few stats about my pool. I am a new owner and the pool has been in a little over two months now. Some spec as follows:

    IG, gunite/plaster (lagoon (darker) blue color), 18,000-20,000 gals, SWG (with inline chlorinator), spillway from spa to pool that runs with the pump on, waterfall feature, bubbler on tanning ledge, 2HP Jandy motor on pump, run pump everyday from 10AM-6PM, automatic cleaner runs from 12PM-4PM everyday, pool is in full sun all day (Texas/DFW area).

    I have been reading on here for a month or so and love the advice and forum. That is why I bought the taylor because I wasn't sure about my chlorine levels etc...Let me get to the meat of my questions. I started having trouble with "boatman/backswimmers" bugs and wasn't sure what to do. I have read on here that if chlorine was right the boatman would have nothing to eat which would eliminate them thus eliminating the backswimmers that eat the boatmen. My issue was I never knew my CYA because I couldn't test for it. After reading on here I realized that CYA was important and kinda figured mine was low. However, just for facts in case it matters I bought Biogaurd Back-Up and put the start up dose in pool and the bugs were gone for a few weeks, then last week I saw another boatman. I realized I bought the foaming kind and with my water features that makes it foam up so then bought another bottle of the nonfoaming (Biogaurd all 60) and put the 6 oz maintenanace dose in Saturday.
    Anyway, am I right in thinking that if my chlorine is correct that I don't need the algacide? I struggle to understand the difference bewtween FC and CC as well. Clarification would be great?
    Also, my water looks great, it is clear and sparkling, but I have heard with darker color pools that it may be harder to see algae.

    Readings from last evening 8PM:
    FC = 5 ppm
    CC = .2 ppm
    PH = 7.4 (just put 1 pint of muriatic in the night before last was at 7.8 but acid demand called for 1 pint)
    CYA = < 30
    CH = 490
    TA = 100

    my salt is at 3200 on my handheld (Jandy)
    my SWG runs at 95% right now
    I just added one 3" puck of trichlor to the inline for the first time two night ago (don't know if that is needed or not)

    Help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    You do not need algicide if chlorine is maintained at the proper levels. I am unclear as to why you have an in line chlorinator along with your SWCG. I would never use it.

    1. You need to get your CYA in the 70-80 range
    2. Your CH is a little high, and may be due to how they started up your pool. Watch it.
    3. With elevated CH, do not let your pH get high or calcium scaling can be a problem, which will show up quick on your dark finish.
    4. Get your TA down, and keep it down. Easiest way is knock pH down to 7.2 when you adjust it. Your level of aeration will bring it right back up anyway.

    Put all of your numbers in the Pool Calculator, and then watch CSI numbers at the bottom of the colored section. This takes all the inter related data to tell you if scaling will become an issue.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

    "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!"

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    thanks elwood,

    As far as the inline chlorinator goes, PB said he puts them on all his pools to allow for the option I guess during the heat of the summer or if the owner wants to switch over at any time. Other than that I don't know. This is the first I have used it.

    Do I use muriatic to lower the TA?
    How do you lower CH?
    What did you think of my CC number and what is that?

    Thank you very much.
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Quote Originally Posted by pinstripepat
    thanks elwood,

    As far as the inline chlorinator goes, PB said he puts them on all his pools to allow for the option I guess during the heat of the summer or if the owner wants to switch over at any time. Other than that I don't know. This is the first I have used it.

    Do I use muriatic to lower the TA?
    How do you lower CH?
    What did you think of my CC number and what is that?

    Thank you very much.
    Lowering Total Alkalinity is detailed in Pool School here: pool-school/lowering%20total%20alkalinity

    Lowering CH - If your fill water is low in CH you can drain and refill - use Poolcalculator.com once you have tested the fill water and it will tell you want amount of replacement water is required.

    CC: Read up on it here: pool-school/pool_water_chemistry
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    One question, I read if you have algae it is not safe to swim. My water is clear and sparkling but I had those boatman bugs I was mentioning above, and they say that they are there because they are eating something (algae). I can't see any algae anywhere and I have been raising the chlorine level (5 ppm) now. I gues I am nervous because we did not stop swimming because the water looks so great, but we did have some of those bugs so does that mean there is unseen algae (is there such a thing)......any help would be great, kinda worrying and curious. I have seen about one bug per day.
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Just thought I would re-post to see if anyone knew the answer to my question. Thanks.
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Combined chlorine is a byproduct of the active chlorine... being active and eating stuff. (in not so technical terms, lol)

    CC will come and go, and as long as it's .5ppm or less it isn't an issue. Any time your chlorine is doing it's job, disinfecting and attacking organics in your pool some CC is produced.

    It looks like you're using the 25ml sample for chlorine. You can go ahead and use the 10ml sample, and count each drop as .5ppm instead of .2ppm. It'll save reagent and it's good enough for the purpose.

    So, with a CC of .2ppm you're doing fine. Since CYA is low, 5ppm is also good for now but you do want to raise CYA because the SWG will perform much better at 70-85ppm CYA. After that, aim for the SWG to produce enough chlorine to end or begin the day at the high target for your CYA level (pool calculator, make sure to set the chlorine source to SWG). This will allow for normal loss during the day due to sun, bathers, and any organics.

    I wouldn't use the chlorinator because you really don't need it with the SWG, save that for vacations.

    I can't answer about the bugs, backswimmers and boatmen are nothing I have ever seen first hand before. However the testing indicates that your pool is fine chemically. It's a far better indication than bugs, any day.

    I do know that we once had this stink bug problem. They are apparently an invasive species, not native to this area. I don't know how they got here but they existed for about 4 years in various populations and would show up in the house. The first year we added borates to the pool, the suckers all jumped in over about a week, and then disappeared. Last year I found one in the skimmer, and then never another. I am fairly sure they are eradicated from our yard now and I theorize that it was the borates that did it (although I just saw a report about a grape vinyard 50 miles away that has an invasion and they're sweating big time about it... I seriously hope we had nothing to do with it!).
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Pinstripepat, you will be able to greatly conserve your SWG cell if you will increase your CYA to 85. You said you are at 95%, you will be able to turn that way down once CYA is in line. Those cells are pricy to replace.

    Because you need CYA, you COULD use the trichlor tablets in the feeder to increase it. That means calculating how many tablets that is and slowly adding them to the feeder while slowly dialing back the SWG. Or you could just buy Stablizer/Conditioner at Walmart or a pool store and measure it into a stocking and hang that in front of a return and get it done all a once -- this is far easier and what I suggest.

    Either way you need to be able to measure CYA correctly, yourself. I suggest that instead of trying the local pool stores who may talk you into something you do not need, you go to http://www.tftestkits.net and order exactly what you need. I have the TF100 kit, you may have parts of that and only need a few suppliments or extra reagents to duplicate it.

    I will offer a guess that the pool builder included the feeder so that in colder weather you have the option of adding chlorine via that while the SWG is not working due to cold temps. That is reasonable, IMO, but again, you have to be testing CYA monthly and FC more frequently to notice when to do that.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    It would be interesting to know the CH and TA of your tap water.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    frog and anona,

    Thank you so much this is very helpful. I have added some CYA into the skimmer as the directions said (did not know about the stocking, I will try that, can you swim while the stockiing is there?). I am up to 38-40 CYA right now. The disolving in a bucket thing with the CYA was not working very well for me, could never get it disolved. Should the pump be on and again can kids swim while stocking is hanging? You are talking about a womans type stocking / pantyhose, correct?

    Wow thanks again, this forum is great!
    I will also test the tap water this evening and let you know. Although, my PB and neighbors said we have hard water and there pH rises because of our water.
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    The kids can swim while the sock is hanging. Have them squish it and release some CYA into the water whenever they're near. Their splashing will mix it up nicely. It's much simpler than the bucket method.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Anona (and others),

    I tested my tap water last night and the TA was 90 and the CH was 140. I was shocked at the hardness because I am getting around 480 in my pool. What could be causing that?

    PS....I have added CYA and am up to mid 60's now. My FC last night was 6.5, hope thats not too high. TA was 110. Ironically my pH was 7.4 which is unusually low for me not adding muriatic for a week. Could that be due to the fact that I added CYA an hour before the readings?
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Quote Originally Posted by elwood58
    You do not need algicide if chlorine is maintained at the proper levels. I am unclear as to why you have an in line chlorinator along with your SWCG. I would never use it.

    1. You need to get your CYA in the 70-80 range
    2. Your CH is a little high, and may be due to how they started up your pool. Watch it.
    3. With elevated CH, do not let your pH get high or calcium scaling can be a problem, which will show up quick on your dark finish.
    4. Get your TA down, and keep it down. Easiest way is knock pH down to 7.2 when you adjust it. Your level of aeration will bring it right back up anyway.

    Put all of your numbers in the Pool Calculator, and then watch CSI numbers at the bottom of the colored section. This takes all the inter related data to tell you if scaling will become an issue.
    Repeating what Elwood58 said.... the high CH may be due to how they started up your pool. I have no "new pool" experience so I'm not sure why this would be so. But, with tap water at a much lower CH, you may over time with rain and replacement of backwash or splash out (but not replacement of evaporation), see that CH go down. Beware of cal-hypo as you cannot afford any more calcium in your water now, you are too high and you will want to monitor your SCI values using the Pool Calculator. Play with that to see why Elwood58 said that you need to watch pH and TA, those values all work together to create scaling which you really need to avoid.

    PS - noticing the darker color and the full sun Dallas location, you will want to create shade at that pool soon. Palms can offer rather instant tall shade with few debris problems (not pindo/jelly palm or a few others that grow too tall too fast). Big umbrellas can help also if you can get them near the pool on the correct side. If they did not put umbrella sleeves in, you may like a DIY umbrella planter that I noticed at Sunset magazine website. I just invested in two 11' Sunbrella umbrellas with fiberglass ribs for the sleeves on either side of the spa. With a new grand baby in the family they use the spa area so they can keep him in the shade. You will also want a fountain for cooling I'll guess. Search here for DIY ideas or buy one that hooks to a return. Fountain spray will cool remarkably well and your TA is not so high that it creates a pH problem like my tap water will, at TA 340 my pool is always increasing pH with any new tap water.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Quote Originally Posted by pinstripepat
    Anona (and others),

    I tested my tap water last night and the TA was 90 and the CH was 140. I was shocked at the hardness because I am getting around 480 in my pool. What could be causing that?
    Texas.

    It's pretty much the same in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. We're just lucky that way....

    Every time you add water, you add CH. The water evaporates, the Calcium stays behind. So it just builds and builds. My pool gains about 25ppm per week that way. We're just lucky that way....

    If you ever added Cal-hypo "shock powder" you added a bunch of Calcium, there. And same as fill water, the water evaporates, the Calcium stays behind.
    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: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Having the CH rise so high, from 140 ppm to 480 ppm, so quickly in two months time, is not normal. Evaporation could not do that in such a short time period. Yes, adding Cal Hypo adds calcium (CH), but would also not that in such a short time. One pound of Cal Hypo adds 3.2 ppm of CH per 20,000 gallons of water.

    It is possible that your tap water might have changed from two months ago to yesterday. But that much is pretty extreme. You could check with your local water provider.

    Another possibility, was an acid start-up performed on your pool? If over-done, that can dissolve a large amount of calcium from the plaster surface. Also, if salt is added too early (before 28 days), that can also cause dissolution of calcium from the plaster surface. Lastly, if the pool plasterer added a lot of calcium chloride (accelerator) to the plaster mix, that can also dissolve out and increase the CH level of the pool water.

    Make sure the testing is performed accurately, and keep an eye on any further calcium increases.

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Richard,

    I am confused now, becasue I thought the way to decrease CH was to drain the pool a bit and add water. By your comments would I not be adding calcium then.

    On balance,

    You said some interesting things. Yes I remember when they plastered they used muriatic acid wash, so i beleiveed they used and acid wash start up.....Also, i beleive the PB waited 14 days to add the salt, can't remember. I know we ran the pumps 24/7 the first 14days just cant remember if he put the salt in at the 14 day mark.

    So....the million dollar question do I need to get the CH down and how? Also, what is scaling and what would it look like?

    Thanks everyone, you are great...
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Quote Originally Posted by pinstripepat
    Richard,

    I am confused now, becasue I thought the way to decrease CH was to drain the pool a bit and add water. By your comments would I not be adding calcium then.

    On balance,

    You said some interesting things. Yes I remember when they plastered they used muriatic acid wash, so i beleiveed they used and acid wash start up.....Also, i beleive the PB waited 14 days to add the salt, can't remember. I know we ran the pumps 24/7 the first 14days just cant remember if he put the salt in at the 14 day mark.

    So....the million dollar question do I need to get the CH down and how? Also, what is scaling and what would it look like?

    Thanks everyone, you are great...

    Poolcalculator.com is your friend. Take your info from your kit and your pool - plug it all in and then look at the CSI index that it generates. The CSI will help you understand when you would have problems. Too little could attach the surface of your pool (unlikely with your CH levels) and too much can cause scaling.

    Also on the same site you can put in your CH from your fill water and it will tell you how much water you would need to exchange to reach any given CH level above that fill water minimum.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    To answer your question, yes, draining some water out and then flling with tap water (that has a lower hardness, such as your tap water), will lower the CH. But given that your pool is a salt pool and other water parameters, your current CH may not need adjusting down until it gets a little higher. Remember, too little CH makes the water too aggressive toward the plaster finish, which can etch (it over time. As Anonapersona and UnderWaterVanya mentioned, run the Pool Calculator and see what adjustments are needed. But don't worry, it takes "out of balance" water to normally create those conditions. There is a fairly wide range to keep the water in a balanced condition.

    Scaling (calcium carbonate), which can be caused by a very high CH, would show up as a uniform and hardened white residue (and usually quite rough to the touch) on the plaster surface. In time, it becomes a grayish color when dirt and metals in the water attach to it. But it usually can be removed by a special acid treatment.

    If the salt was added at the 14 day point, that should not be a critical issue. Adding salt within the first few days is the wrong thing to do. So that should not be a problem for your pool.

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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    Thanks....

    As of my readings tonight I have my CYA up to 70, yeah! My FC however has risen to 9 which is the highest it has ever been.
    Is that because I finally have CYA protecting it and if that is the case should I now dial back the SWG from 95% which is where it has been.

    Also, is FC of 9 safe for family to swim?

    The pool calculator said SWG FC Target of 3, but said normal 5 to 10. So again, am I ok at 9. Sorry for the questions, guess i just don't know how to read the calculator yet and don't want to harm anyone swimming.

    thanks all.....

    PS....My CH went down to 425....by the way....hmmmm
    IG, Gunitie/Plaster (darker blue "lagoon" color), Jandy 1400 SWG (with inline chlorinator option), Jandy AquaLink System w/ 2 HP pump motor, 20,000-23,000 gals, spillway from spa to pool runs when pump is on, waterfall feature and bubbler on tanning ledge, pool is in full sun all day (Dallas Texas), Polaris automatic cleaner, Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: new pool owner - help/advice with my readings please

    See here: pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    You may not have SWG specified on the setup for your pool in the poolcalculator.

    9 is below shock so they say you can swim. I was in 8ppm tonight w/cya around 55ppm.

    You should adjust swg towards the goal of 5ppm.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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