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Thread: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

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    Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    Hello,

    I am completely new to this forum, and a complete noob to pool care as well. Please bear with me.

    Been working at this for a few weeks, and am having a heck of a time with my high alkalinity levels. Just got back from pool place and here are my levels.

    CYA 100
    Total Chlorine 6.5
    Free Chlorine 6.5
    PH 7.7
    Total Alkalinity 365
    Adjusted Total alkalinity 335
    Total Hardness 374

    The box that my pool came in told me it was 6000 gallon pool. It is an 18' round intex steel tube frame construction. Pool gets full sun all day but the last 2 hours in the evening. It is by two trees, but not directly under them. Leaves do fall into the pool when the wind picks up (don't know if that matters at all). The filter/pump does have a skimmer, and uses paper filters.

    What do I need to do to bring the Alkalinity down?
    6000 gallon (18' steel tube frame above ground, 48" tall)
    "C" type cartridge filter
    Pump Type : F2000c GPH flow: 2000

    My source water is Well water, with high ammonia, and high iron levels.

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    Hi, and welcome to TFP!

    You're in the right place to get this figured out, and your first step is to go read Pool School (upper right of every TFP page, white button). Read it a few times, it's a lot to take in at first.

    The answer to your alkalinity question is in Pool School. To sum up, you'll use a combination of muriatic acid and aeration in a number of sessions (add acid, then aerate to raise pH) to slowly bring the TA down over time. It's in Pool School...

    You'll also be told that you'll need a good test kit of your own. In Pool School, there is information about the kind of test kits that are appropriate for a pool, although around here we prefer by far the TF100 from TFTestkits (cuz it's the best value and ships lickity split).

    There's more, and you'll have lots of questions to ask. Ask away... but most questions that you have right now, and many more that you don't know yet that you have are answered in Pool School so do take some time to read.
    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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    aa62579's Avatar
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    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    Your title says clearing up your water. Your high TA has little to do with this.

    On the other hand, your high CYA is certainly a contributing factor.

    I'd forget about TA for now. It sounds like you need to complete the shocking process. In order to do it most efficiently, you'll need your own FAS-DPD test kit, get your CYA down to 50 or below through draining and refilling, lowering your pH to 7.2 with muriatic acid, and stock up on bleach or liquid chlorine. There are instructions in pool school on how to complete the shocking process.

    If you do not believe you need to shock and have passed an OCLT, overnight.chlorine loss test, let us know and we can go from there.
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    Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Filter Pump Model 56635EG - 635 with Auto Timer
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    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    Thanks guys for your quick responses.....

    That pool school is a TON of info to try to take in.... I will be reading that as I get a chance.

    I just ordered a better test kit (tf-100), and I should be receiving it in the next couple days.

    Below is a history from my personal pool Journal:
    ____________________________________________________________ ____________

    To give you a little history (from my personal pool Journal I started):

    Finished filling pool on 7/1. Took into Arvidsons and had water tested. CYA 0. Chlroine level was 0. Alkalinity was 400. PH was 7.5. Found high Iron content, so they gave us Pool Magnet Plus. Told us to put in 1 and ¾ bottles… I put in 2. Then told me to also put in 2 lb (1 container) of Bioguard smart shock (calcium based), and start using BG silk sticks (chlorine). Water color is Poop Soup. I also added 3 oz of algaecide.

    Ran filter for 24/7 all week, cleaning out filter every 2-4 hours. By the end of the week, no change, except we were filtering out a lot of orange/brown gunk with filter. Tried to balance water myself. Bought old school test kit (only tested chlorine and ph). Chorine levels were decent, but PH was low. Added 2lb baking soda first day (Wed), then 1lb the next day(Thur).


    Took water in on 7/7. Water color was poop Soup. CYA was 45. Chlorine level was 0.4. Alkalinity was 388/374. PH was >7.7. They tested for Ammonia, and found that the ammonia level was very high. Wanted to do a “Chlorine Demand” to neutralize the ammonia. Told me to use 5lb of BG super soluable (calcium based), and 9lb of BG Burnout 35 (lithium based). They wanted to see a water sample the next day. It was also around this time we realized that we hadn’t been installing the filter correctly In the skimmer. Once we started to install it correctly, the filter HAD to be changed/rinsed every 2-3 hours, or it would be caked with orange/brown gunk.


    Took water in on 7/8. Water color is now a split pea green. CYA was not tested. Chlorine level was 10+. PH >8.8. Alkalinity was 361/361. Now they wanted me to bring the Alk down with Muriatic acid. They told me to add 1 pint every 12 hours and bring in on Wednesday. (Not sure if I should have added the baking soda from the get- go.) I also added 1 oz of algaecide.


    Took water in on 7/11. Water color is Limeaide. CYA was 100. Chlorine was 10+. PH was 8.1. Alkalinity was 374/344. While the alk was going down, was taking too long. They doubled the dosage to 2 pints/12 hours. Bring in on Friday.


    Took water in on 7/13. Water color seems to be improving. CYA was 70. Chlorine was 10+. PH was 7.7. Alkalinity was 350/329. They decided to continue with current treatment, while watching the PH levels.

    On 7/14 (sat), I topped off the pool with soft water, and I think it was around 2 inches, at 130 gallons per inch. I continued to add 2 pints of muriatic acid every 12 hours.

    Took water in on 7/16. Water is definitely getting clearer… can see fingertips when arm is submerged down to elbow. Chlorine was 10+. Ph was 8.2. Alkalinity was 372/342. They figured the alkalinity rose because I added water to the pool. Asked what I needed to do to get pool ready for kids to swim in. They told me to bring Chlorine down to 5-7 ppm. I could do this by stop adding chlorine and let the sun burn it off, or use their chemical to bring it down. I should still work on reducing the alkalinity. I bought some PH- from Menards and started that night to add 9-10 oz per day (per instructions on package) in addition to the muriatic acid. I also added 1 oz of algaecide.

    Took water in on 7/19. Water was clear enough to see the leaves at the bottom, but it is still cloudy. Chlorine was 1.7 (as expected since I haven’t added any since 7/16). PH was 7.7. Alkalinity was 356/327. They instructed me to use Lo N Slow (same product as the ph- from menards). 2 lbs per day for the next 5 days.
    ____________________________________________________________ _____________________________

    So that brings me to the current status that I originally posted on. I think I have shocked the pool with the chlorine demand that I had to do to get the ammonia under control.... Maybe I didn't correctly shock it yet.
    6000 gallon (18' steel tube frame above ground, 48" tall)
    "C" type cartridge filter
    Pump Type : F2000c GPH flow: 2000

    My source water is Well water, with high ammonia, and high iron levels.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by thegrgyle
    So that brings me to the current status that I originally posted on. I think I have shocked the pool with the chlorine demand that I had to do to get the ammonia under control.... Maybe I didn't correctly shock it yet.
    No, you haven't. aa62579 just gave you the abbreviated version. You're going to need to lose at least half your water to reduce CYA. The CYA viewtube scale is logarithmic; if you're not math-minded, just know that if it reads 100, it may well be 120. Or 140. Or higher. Once the CYA level is down, pH adjustment is quick, then you can perform the shock process properly as outlined in Pool School.

    If you're diligent and don't try to cut corners or start dumping the wrong stuff in because the pool store told you to, you can have a clear sparkling pool by August.
    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.
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    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    I guess my next plan of attack is to bring the CYA down first. I will be attempting that, and I'm sure I will be back here with some more questions.
    6000 gallon (18' steel tube frame above ground, 48" tall)
    "C" type cartridge filter
    Pump Type : F2000c GPH flow: 2000

    My source water is Well water, with high ammonia, and high iron levels.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    I am very uncertain of your CYA level. They told you on 7/11 it was 100 and on 7/13 it was 70. You did not report dumping 30% of your pool water and refilling with tap water so I don't see where that CYA went to unless the test values were no good to start with.

    I think you need to begin doing your own testing, so that you know you have consistent results. I use the TF100 from www.tftestkits.net. Best value for the dollar and it is sold by one of our dear forum members. Great service and supper shipping.

    Now, your CYA is high and probably will need to drain and refill to some extent, but how much is the question. And what a shame to be dumping water when you started with a fresh fill so recently. Shame of the pool store for letting this get out of control. When you have good values for the CYA you will know about the need for draining. So hold off on that until you get a good test kit.

    Regarding the TA, not all that important. TA is important in that it is what drives your pH up, but my fill water is like yours, high TA. You can work really hard to reduce TA, I've done it, or you can just keep pH in check and let TA fall on it's own. I suggest the latter. Just stock up on Muriatic Acid and test pH frequently. When it is at 7.8 +, add MA to drive it down to 7.2 - 7.4.

    As the TA falls, you need to adjust the amount of acid you use, as TA falls, the muriatic acid is more potent and moves pH more easily. Do not go below 6.8 or you may damage equipment. Swimming is best at 7.5-ish, that is 7.2 to 7.8.

    But don't stress over TA, that is the last thing one needs to worry about. Know that since your tap water is high TA you will always have an upward drifting pH. Just test it and add acid as needed, no big deal.

    I assume that the TA of 365 was due to a fresh fill, though it could have been pool chemicals. You can call the water department to ask about the tap water TA, or take a sample of tap water in to the pool store for testing, or when you get your own test kit, test in and record the results. Those items are things to write down in a Pool Log Book, along with all the specs for your pool and equipment and the results of all tests you get. Also include all chemicals added to the pool and what is in them. So when you post here, you have what you need at hand. You'll really learn a lot from the data you collect over time.
    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.

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    Thanks again for your response. My supply water is from a private well, and is horrible, to say the least. I did have it tested a couple weeks ago, and the TA was 400. I did order the TF100 test kit.... I have been wanting to get a better test kit besides the stupid test strips that the pool store sold me on.

    I am glad to hear that with hard work, that I can straighten out this pool water. Thanks for all your suggestions.

    Fabian
    6000 gallon (18' steel tube frame above ground, 48" tall)
    "C" type cartridge filter
    Pump Type : F2000c GPH flow: 2000

    My source water is Well water, with high ammonia, and high iron levels.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    With well water one may get iron or nitrates. Have that info, it may be important. Iron is a real bad thing, shocking at high FC can create problems, so beware. You can use sequesterants, consistantly, to keep iron from staining. That is another subject -- above my pay grade. Ask here if that is an issue for your 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.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    I FINALLY DID IT!!!!!

    Just wanted to let you guys know that I finally got my water under control, and just vacuumed the pool for the first time, because I could see the bottom.

    Thanks to you guys for helping point me in the right direction. The first thing I did after reading the initial responses, and reading some stuff in POOL School, was to order the TF-100 test kit. That came in a couple days, and now I was able to test my water consistently.

    Since my CYA was high, and you guys suggested that I lower it before anything else, that is what I concentrated on. I know it was suggested that I drain half (or more) of my pool, but since I had spent all that money on the water so far, and I had terrible source water, I thought I would try to lower the CYA another way. I proceeded to shock the pool correctly, and only used non-stabilized chlorine (liquid) to do that. Fortunately, my family was leaving for a week long vacation, so I was able to do it without them complaining that they wanted to go swimming. Once my CYA started to drop, I noticed the pool was clearing up better, and then I started to attack the high alkalinity with muriatic acid. It was amazing how fast the water cleared up from there.

    I still am not using any stabilized chlorine until my CYA gets below 50. Ever since I opened my pool on Wednesday, my kids have been in the pool every day, even though the temps have only been in the low 80's/high 70's.

    My current levels are as follows:

    CYA : 62
    TC : 7
    FC : 6
    TA : 140

    PH : 7.3


    Anyway, thanks for helping a NOOB to start learning the ins and outs of pool chemistry. This forum is an incredible source of information, and am happy to have found it and joined up.

    Fabian
    6000 gallon (18' steel tube frame above ground, 48" tall)
    "C" type cartridge filter
    Pump Type : F2000c GPH flow: 2000

    My source water is Well water, with high ammonia, and high iron levels.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    I am puzzled. Your CYA will not drop unless you are removing water from the pool. Are you backwashing a lot? Any chance you have a leak? Maybe a lot of splash out from use?

    Either way, you can not start using stabilizer chlorine again when you get the CYA down around 50ppm. If you do, it will climb back up and put you in the same situation you started with.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Been working on clearing up my water for about 3 weeks

    I have a cartridge filter, so I don't need to backwash. I have only added minimal amounts of water to the pool, maybe on average about 100 gallons every other week. I don't know why the CYA dropped like it did, but it did, with me only adding 10% liquid chlorine, and muriatic acid. We have had lots of sun the last few weeks, and when I shocked the pool, my TC levels were actually at 35ppm. Either way, it worked...... Maybe it was a fluke.
    6000 gallon (18' steel tube frame above ground, 48" tall)
    "C" type cartridge filter
    Pump Type : F2000c GPH flow: 2000

    My source water is Well water, with high ammonia, and high iron levels.

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