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Thread: Got my first test results, please help.

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    Got my first test results, please help.

    Hi Everyone...I'm totally new to pools, so please bear with me.

    A few days ago I posted that my first tests, according to Leslies, were off, and all their recommendations weren't working. As suggested, I've ordered the K2006 test (but it hasn't arrived, so I've just done the walmart 6 way test.) Here are the results:

    Total Chlorine = 0.5
    Bromine = 0.5
    pH - 7.0
    TA - 80
    CH - I couldn't read this one. The test says the water is supposed to turn red if hardness is present, but it just stayed purple even when I added titrant drops.
    CYA - 90

    I'm most concerned with the CYA level, which seems to indicate there is algae growth (or is on the verge?), but the water is strangely clear.
    So now I'm trying to understand the pool calculator...Can you please help me confirm that this is right?

    Add 16 oz dichlor (I have a 40lb bucket of Chlor Brite that I'd like to use up before spending $$$ on bleach).
    Add 59 oz of Soda Ash (which I also have)
    Add 94 oz of Baking Soda
    And here's what concerns me: It says to replace 56% of the water to lower CYA. Is this really necessary?

    Is all this correct? I've read through Pool School, and I'd like to try the BBB method after I've depleted all my other pool supplies (ie, chlorbrite and a huge bucket of 3" tubes for the chlorine feeder).

    Any help would be appreciated!
    21,000 Gallons; Filter: Hayward DE 4820 Filter; In Ground Pool; Vinyl Liner; Hayward Super Pump...Don't know flow rate; Approx. 5 years old (by previous owners), New Jersey

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Got my first test results, please help.

    Sorry, but you do not want to use any more dichlor or trichlor. They will only make the high CYA problem worse.

    With a CYA of 90 the FC should be between 7 and 12, and never below 7.

    If your water is clear and you don't see any algae, you could just add bleach/liquid chlorine to try to maintain the FC levels needed.
    Then, when you get your kit, you can retest and confirm whether or not you need to do a drain/refill dance. You will also be able to test FC & CC and learn exactly what is needed.

    I suggest you use borax and raise your pH to about 7.4ish ASAP.

    Your TA of 80 is just fine where it is.

    Ignore the Br/bromine indicator on the OTO yellow drop test. You have a chlorine pool.

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    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Got my first test results, please help.

    Back to Pool School with you - especially ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry You're confusing CYA with CC.

    The CYA is too high, which renders chlorine ineffective. You need to maintain FC above 7 all the time, or you're risking an algae outbreak.

    Chlor-brite is Di-chlor. Every time you add FC with it, you're also adding CYA, which just makes things worse. You're getting caught in a vicious circle; you need higher and higher levels of FC to compensate for the higher CYA, so you add more, which raises CYA, which means you need ever higher levels of FC, and so on. Until the pool turns murky and/or green.

    Where are you located? You may have really hard water, which will make the CH test take a long, long time. And if it's somewhere hot, like Phoenix or Vegas, it wouldn't be surprising if CH was over 1000.

    TA is just fine where it is. So use some of your soda ash to raise pH to about 7.4.

    Then you need to decide if you want to drain and refill some water to lower CYA and CH, or if you're willing to maintain the higher level of FC. With the FAS-DPD test in the K-2006 it's no problem to keep it up there above where a color match test stops, but if you do end up with algae, you'll have a heckuva time clearing it with that CYA level.

    My advice: adjust pH now, raise FC to about 10 using bleach (so as it gets used, you stay above 7) and wait for your test kit. And while you're waiting, may I suggest:

    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: Got my first test results, please help.

    Ok, you people are the best. I realize I need to keep reading up on this in order for it to sink in, but you've already helped me understand the effects of dichlor a bit better. I'm not sure why leslie's, for the past 3 weeks, has recommended chlorbrite given its effects on CYA. I honestly think they were tyring to take advantage of me since I am not too familiar with pool maintenance.

    So, I now have a few other questions...
    Do I need to turn off the Hayward chlorine feeder while I balance the pool? I assume so.
    I'll try the bleach...Pool Calc says I need to add about 2 lbs of bleach to the pool. Do I pour this full amount around the poolside all at once, then wait an hour and retest...and keep doing that until it's up to 10?
    And then go on to the Borax dump poolside until the pH is up to 7.4?

    Thanks again for all your help!
    21,000 Gallons; Filter: Hayward DE 4820 Filter; In Ground Pool; Vinyl Liner; Hayward Super Pump...Don't know flow rate; Approx. 5 years old (by previous owners), New Jersey

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Got my first test results, please help.

    You can use either borax or soda ash to raise pH. Since you already have the soda ash, use that. Do pH first.

    What's this chlorine feeder? Does it have pucks in it? Those are trichlor, which drive CYA up and pH down. So shut it off, and stop using it. You're a jug-dumper from now on.

    I don't know where you got the 2 lbs of chlorine from. To go from .5 to 7, you need 2 gallons 3 cups or 2.2 (128 oz) jugs of 6% bleach. Plain old Chlorox, no scents, no gimmicks. And tomorrow, probably another gallon. In fact, just about a gallon a day of the 6% should keep up with normal demand. Once your K-2006 arrives, you'll actually be able to read the high FC accurately, so you'll be able to dose it accurately, which is the essence of troublefree.
    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: Got my first test results, please help.

    Ah yes, I meant 2 gallons! And yes, it's a trichlor chlorine feeder...I'll keep it off.
    Thanks for your quick responses. I'll try all your recommendations and see it that works!
    L.
    21,000 Gallons; Filter: Hayward DE 4820 Filter; In Ground Pool; Vinyl Liner; Hayward Super Pump...Don't know flow rate; Approx. 5 years old (by previous owners), New Jersey

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    Re: Got my first test results, please help.

    If there are a lot of tablets in the chlorine feeder, they will still dissolve over time. It is hard to get them out, but may be worth the effort. you can simply dry out the tablets that you remove and use them sometime in the future. Maybe next year, when CYA is lower, you can use the tablets again to keep chlorine up when you are out of town. For now, you don't have that luxury.

    As you add new water to the pool after backwashing the DE filter or vacuuming to waste, you will slowly reduce the CYA level. Huge rains that cause you to drain off excess water will also reduce CYA somewhat. Some areas will see CYA drop a lot over winter due to rain or snow. But those effects happen over a span of many months. You will know better where you are when you get a good test of CYA. What you need to do will be clearer with good data.
    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: Got my first test results, please help.

    Update:

    So, I did everything I thought I was supposed to do yesterday. Balanced pH nicely with the Borax dump. Then added 3 gallons of bleach and waited an hour, retested. Chlorine was normalizing (at 5) but my aim was 10....and CYA went from 90 to 75. Seemed things were improving. So I added another 1-1/2 gallons of bleach and retested this morning. Now I'm just confused.

    CYA is now over 110. Yikes. And chlorine is back to 7.2 (though I knew I needed to add more bleach today to maintain...)

    Is there any way to lower CYA without draining 50% and refilling the pool? Or is that the only way?

    Thanks again!
    21,000 Gallons; Filter: Hayward DE 4820 Filter; In Ground Pool; Vinyl Liner; Hayward Super Pump...Don't know flow rate; Approx. 5 years old (by previous owners), New Jersey

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    Re: Got my first test results, please help.

    How are you testing the CYA? No, dumping your pool is the only way to lower it but post back your answer before you drain anything.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Got my first test results, please help.

    CYA is pretty much not likely to change unless you remove water and add water w/o CYA or use a chlorine w/ CYA in it or add CYA directly.

    The fact that you have wide. Variations in your readings might be due to your testing methods. Can you describe how you are testing for CYA?
    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: Got my first test results, please help.

    I'm still testing via the Walmart 6part test kit. The k2006 hasn't arrived yet.
    The Walmart cya test involves mixing 7ml pool water with 7ml cya and slowly dropping into a beaker that has a black dot at the bottom. I stop when the black dot disappears, and that is my cya level. It's admittedly not a precise science,

    I should note that the pool still appears crystal clear, so maybe my testing is flawed?
    21,000 Gallons; Filter: Hayward DE 4820 Filter; In Ground Pool; Vinyl Liner; Hayward Super Pump...Don't know flow rate; Approx. 5 years old (by previous owners), New Jersey

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Got my first test results, please help.

    The CYA test you describe isn't much different from any of them. With the one I have you are supposed to get best (most accurate) results doing this in bright sunlight with your back to the sun and the tube held around waist level while looking down into it. The cloudy solution lasts a while so you are able to transfer it back to your original container and try to do the test more than once - perhaps averaging the results?

    Remember that if you see even faint blackness - you are not yet done. You want to have it totally white with no hint of the black circle. Also the indirect lighting that you get from standing back to the sun is important - I have tried this with side lighting (before I knew better) and it made the test come out 20 points lower.
    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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