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Thread: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

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    TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    I am glad I found this place. I have a relatively new pool (about 1.5 years old). Everything was great until about 3 months ago. It started with a very high chlorine level (both total and FC). I have been using Acucheck strips. Eventually the chlorine came down. Then a little while after I was out of town and the kids were using the pool a lot. Wife didn't know about the chlorine tablets in the Rainbow 300 and I didn't check so there was no chlorine going in the pool. It turned green by the time I got home. Now I started shocking with the powdered 1lb bags from Leslie's Pool. I could get the pool to clear up but could not get the chlorine levels to come up. I must have put 15 bags of the shock in by now and still the levels never come up. I took the water to Leslie's and they say everything looks fine. On my test strips everything PH, CYA all look good just the chlorine wont register. I told the store so they ran the more complete tests and said TDS was high (2000) and Phosphate was high (over 1000). They recommended drain and refill. I hesitated called a friend that is in pool biz he said don't drain control the phosphate. He put some phosphate remover in. I went to store and got a big jug of PhosFree. Put half in per instructions. Waited about a week then tested Phosphate still off the chart. Pu the other half of the jug in. A week later I took water to a different store NPS pool supply. Phosphate still off the chart. TDS is now over 3000. Still no chlorine. So I was considering doing the drain. I got scared by all the hydrostatic lifting issues and I also am on septic system so there is an issue of where I dump these 12,000 gallons. This is when I found your site and if I read the Pool School correctly I shouldnt pay attention to Phosphate or TDS really. Ok Im on board. I went out and got the test kit you recomended from Leslies (FAS-DPD service kit). Thats some chemistry set. I also got several jugs of liquid chlorine (planning to turn off the rainbow 300 and do this myself now BBB). First test I did was for CYA to determine the shock load. I filled up the little bottle to 7ml. Then added the CYA chemical to the 14ml line. Then swirled for 30 seconds. Then put the solution into the little vial with the black dot on the bottom a few drops at a time until I couldnt see the black dot anymore. I think I did this correct.
    Holy smokes the CYA test does not even make it up to the 100 line! It looks like I might be 150-200. I guess I do the test again with half tap water and multiply by 2 to find out exactly.
    Now, can this be right? All the time I have been testing with the ACCUCHECK 7 test strips it always says CYA is within the good range. I assume this is far less than 100. None of the pool stores have ever said that CYA is high? How can I be sure I am doing the test right? I really want to start the Shock Process but dont feel confident in the first test I did. BTW the Leslies test kit looks like there is only enough CYA chemical for about 3 tests so I dont want to just keep doing them. Could my CYA have elevated that much this quickly? The pool is getting greenish so I dumped a bottle of the liquid chlorine (10% pool chlorine) in this morning but I want to start the shock correctly.

    Any advice on the CYA test and issue?

    I will do full tests this evening and post later.

    Thank you
    15' x 30' Inground Plaster Approx. 12,000 Gallons
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    This is why we advise against test strips. And pool store tests. They consider anything less than, oh, 200 to be okay.

    I'd recommend repeating the CYA test diluted 3:1. The CYA test is logarithmic, by the time you get to 150 or so the lines would be overlapping. You have a vial in the test kit, so mix 1 part pool water and two parts tap water then use that as your sample source.

    If CYA is really that high, you pretty much have no choice but to drain. It needn't go in the septic tank, my lawn does just fine with pool water. And yes, CYA can climb that high that fast. Each 10ppm FC you add via puck also added 6 ppm CYA. The chlorine dissipated, the CYA did not. And if you ever bought any dichlor shock, you added even greater percentages of CYA.

    Well, you know now, anyway. "Once burned is twice learned"
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    In addition to what Richard320 said, there is no need to worry (or even think) about TDS. It is essentially meaningless. TDS represents the total of several things, some good some bad. What matters are what the individual levels are, not the total. There is also no reason to use phosphate remover. It can easily get expensive, sometimes clouds up the water, and does nothing as long as you are maintaining appropriate FC levels at all times.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Thanks Richard and Jason. Yes, after reading through the pool school and some other docs I found online I am a believer that this TDS nonsense is just that (nonsense). I am with you also on the phosphate thing. Seems logical that phosphate is food for plant life but with proper sanitizer nothing can live anyway. Yes that phosfree and other phosphate removal stuff was expensive. The jug was about $70. The tests are also pricey. I will forget phosphate and TDS.

    Back to the CYA. I will retest 3:1 (I assume I multiply the result by 3) and see where I am at?
    At what level would you recommend draining? Anything over 100?
    How much should I drain? Half the pool? All of it? 12,000 gallons on the lawn is a lot (I am in the desert Las Vegas).

    Anyway thanks again for the great resources. As of now I am done with pucks and shock packs. Going simple and hope to get a handle on this quick. Kids want to swim (and its 110F).

    Another question: When adding the liquid chlorine I confused myself as to where to do this. I think I remember you guys saying pour slowly 1-2 minutes per bottle near a return. By return do you mean something sucking to the equipment or something returning the water to the pool? All my returns to the pool are to the in floor cleaners and the return to the equipment is the drain and skimmer. Should I pour the chlorine slowly into the skimmer with the pumps running?

    Thanks
    15' x 30' Inground Plaster Approx. 12,000 Gallons
    Pentair 520 sq. ft. Clean & Clear + Cartridge Filter
    Pentair 3HP Whisperflow Pump Pentair Rainbow 300 Chlorinator
    Pentair Mastertemp 400,000 BTU Heater
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Just pour it in the pool as near to the return as you can. It'll disperse just fine. With plaster, you really have nothing to worry about anyway, you could pour straight bleach onto dry plaster and it wouldn't hurt a thing.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    My return everyone is talking about where the water re-enters the pool from the pump not the skimmer.
    6500 gal, Intex 18'x48" above ground, 1hp Pro Sand Filter, TF100 Test Kit

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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Yes, where the water returns into the pool.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    If you dilute 3:1 you multiply the result by 4. Keep in mind that the error goes up as the dilution increases, so the result will be only approximate.

    We recommend never letting CYA go over 80, so replace some water any time it is 90+.

    You might want to check to see if reverse osmosis treatments are available in your area. Services that do RO are only in a few places, but if you can get that done it will remove the CYA without dumping much water at all.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Ok got it Return means Return to the POOL. For the CYA situation does anyone know anyone in Las Vegas that does RO on swimming pools? Google is not helping with this as anything RO is plagued with water treatment folks cant find a pool guy. I have some experience with RO form an old Saltwater Fish hobby. The small RO/DI units I had to make water were very slow. I imagine that to clean the water in a pool they would have to bring over a huge machine. Sounds expensive too. Kind of like dialysis for my pool. If I have to drain how much to drain to bring the CYA down? I guess 50% drain would reduce CYA by 50% right?
    15' x 30' Inground Plaster Approx. 12,000 Gallons
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    50% water change lowers CYA by 50%.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Quote Originally Posted by rankol
    Another question: When adding the liquid chlorine I confused myself as to where to do this. I think I remember you guys saying pour slowly 1-2 minutes per bottle near a return. By return do you mean something sucking to the equipment or something returning the water to the pool? All my returns to the pool are to the in floor cleaners and the return to the equipment is the drain and skimmer. Should I pour the chlorine slowly into the skimmer with the pumps running?

    Thanks
    For me that's one of the best parts of an infloor cleaning system. It mixes everything around so well you don't really have to worry about where you add your chemicals. If it's running it will get mixed quickly. I don't bother with the slow pour either.
    23x40 freeform w/spa, 28,000 gal. PCC-2000 in-floor cleaning. Pebble Sheen w/flagstone coping. 14' weeping wall, (2) 18" sheer descents. Sta Rite- cart 400 sqft. filter, Intellipro VS pump, 1hp (cleaning)2hp (water feature)Max E Pro's. Easy Touch 8 function w/IPod. Rainbow chlorinator, Paramount Clear O3 (I know, I know), Max-E-Therm 400K heater.

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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    I wouldn't recommend ever adding chemicals straight in the skimmer. No reason to send such extremes through your equipment - high chlorine, low PH (acid), etc.
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Ok just got home and tested CYA. I Hope I did this right. I mixed 14ml tap water with 7ml pool water and then 7ml of CYA reagent. Mixed for 30 seconds. Then using a dropper put into test vial until I could barely see the black dot. It didn't disappear but got very dim. I'm up near top of tube around 25-30. Now if I understand Richard correctly this is a 3:1 test and I multiply by 4? So I am somewhere between 80 and 120 CYA? Since the black dot never fully disappeared should I retest less diluted?
    If I use 7ml pool water and 7ml tap water with 7ml CYA reagent do I multiply result by 2 or 3?

    Help I'm almost there. It seems to be looking like a pump rental is in the near future though!
    15' x 30' Inground Plaster Approx. 12,000 Gallons
    Pentair 520 sq. ft. Clean & Clear + Cartridge Filter
    Pentair 3HP Whisperflow Pump Pentair Rainbow 300 Chlorinator
    Pentair Mastertemp 400,000 BTU Heater
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Alright so I am a dummy. I think I did the test wrong. I found this on the Taylor website

    "Add the same amount of tap water. (For instance, if you filled the dispensing bottle to 7 mL with pool water, add enough tap water to bring the volume up to the 14 mL mark.) Cap and mix thoroughly.
    Uncap and pour off half of the sample volume (in our example you’ll be back down to the 7 mL mark).
    As specified, add the Cyanuric Acid Reagent to the remaining sample water in the dispensing bottle. Cap and mix gently for 30 seconds. The sample will turn cloudy."

    Ok so I did a 3:1 but I didn't pour out the diluted sample down to 7ml. I mixed the 14ml of tap water with 7ml of pool water then tested the whole 21ml with 7ml of reagent. From the Taylor information I should have only used 7ml of the 21ml diluted sample to mix with reagent. Is this correct?

    The document on the Taylor website is very good for this test and shows clear images of what the dot should look like. Good resource
    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Chemi ... ntentID=36
    15' x 30' Inground Plaster Approx. 12,000 Gallons
    Pentair 520 sq. ft. Clean & Clear + Cartridge Filter
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    I guess I wasn't clear enough. But I meant that you should do the dilution mixing in one container, then pour some of that into the CYA bottle and then add equal amount of the CYA reagent. Then multiply the result by the appropriate factor.
    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: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Quote Originally Posted by rankol
    Alright so I am a dummy. I think I did the test wrong. I found this on the Taylor website

    "Add the same amount of tap water. (For instance, if you filled the dispensing bottle to 7 mL with pool water, add enough tap water to bring the volume up to the 14 mL mark.) Cap and mix thoroughly.
    Uncap and pour off half of the sample volume (in our example you’ll be back down to the 7 mL mark).
    As specified, add the Cyanuric Acid Reagent to the remaining sample water in the dispensing bottle. Cap and mix gently for 30 seconds. The sample will turn cloudy."

    Ok so I did a 3:1 but I didn't pour out the diluted sample down to 7ml. I mixed the 14ml of tap water with 7ml of pool water then tested the whole 21ml with 7ml of reagent. From the Taylor information I should have only used 7ml of the 21ml diluted sample to mix with reagent. Is this correct?

    The document on the Taylor website is very good for this test and shows clear images of what the dot should look like. Good resource
    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Chemi ... ntentID=36
    yes 7ml of the diluted pool water with 7ml of the reagent
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Sorry guys I'm new to these testing protocols. I just did the retest using 7ml pool + 7ml tap. Then 7ml dilute solution with 7ml reagent. Results are right around 50 so multiply by 2 and I'm around 100+ CYA.

    So do I need to drain? I think so.
    50% to get down to 50 CYA as a start over point for my new routine?

    As long as I'm doing this what do you recommend?
    15' x 30' Inground Plaster Approx. 12,000 Gallons
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    I would replace about 40%, to get CYA down to around 60 and stop using chlorine tablets (which constantly add CYA). If you want to continue using chlorine tablets you need to replace more water and lower CYA down quite a bit further.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    No more tabs for me. I plan to use liquid chlorine now. So is 60 the number to shoot for on CYA? We have an automatic cover and keep it closed. Does this reduce the demand on CYA since the pool is not exposed to as much sunlight?
    15' x 30' Inground Plaster Approx. 12,000 Gallons
    Pentair 520 sq. ft. Clean & Clear + Cartridge Filter
    Pentair 3HP Whisperflow Pump Pentair Rainbow 300 Chlorinator
    Pentair Mastertemp 400,000 BTU Heater
    Automatic cover

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    Re: TDS Phosphate NO Free Chlorine Drain My Pool Oh MY

    Quote Originally Posted by rankol
    No more tabs for me. I plan to use liquid chlorine now. So is 60 the number to shoot for on CYA? We have an automatic cover and keep it closed. Does this reduce the demand on CYA since the pool is not exposed to as much sunlight?
    Like Jason says, shoot for 60. Depending on your water table, draining inground plaster pools can be risky. If you're unsure of your water table it's best to drain and leave at least a foot of water in your shallow end.

    I'm guessing that the water table is deep in Las Vegas but 60 would be a good number to start with, cover or no cover, considering that hot Vegas sun.
    Bill
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