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Thread: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my #'s

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    Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my #'s

    Hi gang,

    I had my pool built about seven years ago. The chemicals were always easy to maintain and I got into a routine of adding the same amount of chemicals on a regular basis and slacked off on checking things. The water was crystal clear, no burning, chloromine smell, etc. At the end of last year, I was stumbling through my closet and found an old OTO test kit. I checked the chlorine level and it was a dark orange. Pretty far off from the pale yellow on the comparison chart. It was at the end of the season so I didn't care so I ignored it and chalked it up to an old test kit. This year, I decided to test again using my trusty old kit. Same dark orange. Bought a new cheap test kit and same results! Ph was always good where I'd add 1/8 of a gallon of acid once a week to keep it at 7.6 but the orange chlorine. I finally realized I probably had a problem. I searched and found this site. I read through and bought one of the recommended kits...the Taylor k-2006. After some learning, I figured that my non stop usage of 3" chlorine pucks was probably a bad thing regarding my CYA. Armed with my Taylor, I went through the tests and here is what I got.

    FC - 32.5
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 125
    CYA - >100 (if I had to guess, 200)
    CH - 500

    As you can see from my signature, I'm in sunny SoCal and get tons of sun on the pool. I add 7 pucks a week to my chlorinator and have a floater with three pucks. I also throw in one bag of kem-tek super shock quick (treats 20,000 gallons) per week. My water is crystal clear and I'm completely algae free. The only time I smell any type of chlorine odor is when I turn on the spa. It's quite strong for about 10 minutes. We use the pool all the time and have no irritations, no stingy or red eyes. This brings me to the question...should I toss out half the water and start over or if I stop the pucks and just use liquid chlorine, will I be able to bring the CYA down without dumping water?

    Advice, suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
    18,000 Gallons (Pool & Integrated Spa)
    Hayward Aquarite AQ-15 cell
    In Ground - Plaster
    Hayward Ecostar Pump - Hayward Swim Clear Cartridge Filter
    Pool Built 3/2004

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    With an FC of 32.5, you added 65 drops to the test vial? If so, your FC is high even with the CYA effect. You also seem to have high CH which I believe is not good for plaster pools.

    It sounds like you have been lucky to not get an algae bloom, because if you did you would have a ton of issues getting it to clear up.

    For your CYA, try a dilution test to see if you are in the 100-150 range or something even higher, which is completely possible with 10 pucks. To do this, mix your pool water with tap or bottled water 50:50 before measuring it into the squeeze bottle but use the "normal" half bottle amount of reagent. When you get this answer, it will about 50% of the actual value, so 50=>100ppm and 100=>200.

    CYA will not typically go away on it's own. To get it under control and be in a "manageable" position (CYA in the 30-50 range) replacing the water is the only way short of paying several hundred for reverse osmosis. How much water needs to be replaced is dependent on your measured CYA. Test you fill water to see if it has a high CH, as changing your water may also resolve your high CH, assuming the fill water is lower.

    You may be able to keep you pool like it is but if you get a bloom going, you may have an exceedingly difficult time to manage it.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    Welcome to TFP!

    A CYA above 100 could be anything really. If I were you, I would do some draining and refilling to see if you can get your CYA down to an accurately detectable level which is somewhere below 100 ppm. Then, we can reevaluate things.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    New water and new method of treatment are both needed.
    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: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    @ techguy...

    Yeah 65 drops. I thought I was going to get Carpal Tunnel from all the swirling. To make it worse, I actually did the test the previous evening and added 60 drops that time. I never thought the color was going to change.

    Guys, thanks for the validation on replacing water. I thought one of you might have been able to pull a Harry Potter and wave your wand with a secret trick but chemistry is chemistry.

    I'm going cold turkey on the pucks and switching to liquid. I'll prolly go that route for a couple of weeks just to experiment to see if the CYA will move downwards at all but know that renting a submersible pump is gonna be in my future.
    18,000 Gallons (Pool & Integrated Spa)
    Hayward Aquarite AQ-15 cell
    In Ground - Plaster
    Hayward Ecostar Pump - Hayward Swim Clear Cartridge Filter
    Pool Built 3/2004

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    Quote Originally Posted by sound_designer
    ...but know that renting a submersible pump is gonna be in my future.
    Why is that? No main drain? I've heard of people using the vacuum hose to pump out most of the water in the deep end without a main drain.
    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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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    CYA will not go down without a ton of rain, or a lot of splash out and backwashing. Switching to liquid chlorine will help not add to the problem while you plan some water changes. You will get a double benefit in that you will probably be able to improve your CH number as well.

    An alternative to consider might be RO treatment.

    As for using your main drain to pump out the pool, it is not a very efficient way to get it done due to power and wear and tear. Stick with a submersible pump. depending on your local code, you may need to put the water in a sewer clean out, or us it to water the yard.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    Quote Originally Posted by sound_designer
    I'm going cold turkey on the pucks and switching to liquid. I'll prolly go that route for a couple of weeks just to experiment to see if the CYA will move downwards at all but know that renting a submersible pump is gonna be in my future.
    CYA won't move downwards. It won't climb anymore, but it won't go down unless you remove it.

    Rumor has it there used to be a product for this. It worked like the CYA test - precipitated out so you could vacuum it away. But apparently, it didn't work. And I take that to mean it really didn't work, because uselessness has never been a cause for the pool industry to stop selling something!

    I doubt you have a problem with high groundwater in Santa Clarita, but I could see worrying about the dry walls getting baked by the sun. Scroll down, 3rd from the bottom. If you try this, take pictures!
    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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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    If you bite the bullet, change your water and go all liquid CL, you will have one great looking pool. I have had mine seven years and since going BBB, it has never looked better, the water is clearer than ever, and I am in control of the pool.

    I changed my liner on the first weekend in June, adding new water and going all BBB. I added my CL, some stabilizer, some20 mule team borax and MA for ph adjustments. I added CL daily and small amounts of MA. In early July I added borates and my pH hasn't moved.

    Now all I do is adjust my CL and it's been trouble free. My other values stay steady.

    Pool store...I bought my stabilizer and I am now buying my 12% CL... And pool toys. That's it. I have had them test my water, just to confirm I am good, and they come up with the exact same answers I do... Perfect! Most of my chemicals, outside of stabilizer, were bought at WalMart or HomeDepot.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Quote Originally Posted by sound_designer
    I'm going cold turkey on the pucks and switching to liquid. I'll prolly go that route for a couple of weeks just to experiment to see if the CYA will move downwards at all but know that renting a submersible pump is gonna be in my future.
    CYA won't move downwards. It won't climb anymore, but it won't go down unless you remove it.
    CYA has to eventually go down if he's using just bleach, right? If he is no longer adding CYA and his fill source is CYA free then splash out, evap and backwashing will lower it over time.

    My CYA was about 200 and after a partial drain and fill I was able to get it back in range fairly quickly by sticking to bleach. Now I find I have to add some dichlor every couple weeks because my cya level starts to slip with all the splash out and evap we see this time of year in Charlotte.
    8000 gallon outdoor inground vinyl. Sand filter, Hayward 1HP.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    Splash out and backwashing will slowly lower the CYA. Evaporation has no affect on CYA.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Time for new water or is there a better way to attack my

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Splash out and backwashing will slowly lower the CYA. Evaporation has no affect on CYA.
    Exactly. Evaporation removes the water but leaves the CYA contained in that water behind. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll bet if you did a CYA test after a significant amount of evaporation, you'd see an increase in the CYA level due to the decreased volume of water. So adding water would just bring CYA back to the level it was before the evaporation. But yes, replacing water after splashout/backwash will reduce CYA gradually over time.

    Partial drain and fill is the only remedy I know of, short of reverse osmosis.
    20,000 gal. free-form plaster on concrete
    Triton DE filter, 1.5HP pump
    Aquabot Elite pool cleaner

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