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Thread: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unattended

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    ctakim's Avatar
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    Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unattended

    Left several trichor pucks in a floater and shocked the pool before I left on a family vacation (to Hawaii!) but came back to this:
    FC 1.0
    CC 0
    pH 7.4
    TA 80
    CH 220
    CYA 35
    Borate 15-30

    I plan on shocking with 2 lbs of calcium hypochlorite 73% (Leslies Power power plus) that I have on hand and adding a box of borate. There were a moderate amount of leaves in the pool that I cleaned up and some algae starting to become visible on the far end of the pool where it always shows if and when the FC gets unacceptably low (before I found the this website). Now that I'm home I will stop with the pucks and go back to using liquid bleach.

    All in all not quite a bad as I expected.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Why 2 lbs? Does that get you to shock level? If you see algae, then you should follow the shock process.

    Why add the borax? Your pH seems fine. Focus on the algae then worry about your borates level.

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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Pool Calculator says 2 lbs of 73% Cal-hypo will only raise FC by 6 in a 29000 gallon pool. Shock level is 14. If you have live algae, that 6 ppm will disappear in a hurry.

    You need to get FC up higher than that, and keep it there until you pass all 3 tests.
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Thanks, a few hours after the powdered shock the FC was 5.8 so I added two jugs of 6% bleach (364 oz.), waited 45 min and rechecked the FC and now I get 18 ppm. According to the CYA/Chlorine chart I should be in a good shocking range. Not sure how long I should keep things at this high chlorine level. Oh and I've brushed the walls down, too. The water continues to look nice and clear, which is good.

    Thanks for the helpful feedback. Also, I added the borate because I thought my range was a little low (target 30 to 50) and I thought it might help with the algae, but perhaps I should just focus on the shocking process for now.
    Crackin' Toast, Grommit!
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Quote Originally Posted by ctakim
    ...
    Not sure how long I should keep things at this high chlorine level.
    ...
    Answer
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Thanks, so my CC is already at zero and the water is clear so that makes 2 out of 3. Now I just have to wait until the overnight loss of FC is 1 ppm or less!
    Crackin' Toast, Grommit!
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Quote Originally Posted by ctakim
    Thanks, so my CC is already at zero and the water is clear so that makes 2 out of 3. Now I just have to wait until the overnight loss of FC is 1 ppm or less!
    Clear includes the walls, so if there's still algae visible, you ain't done.
    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: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Hang in there... patience is a good thing to have when getting rid of algae... you want it gone for sure!
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    The walls are clear after the initial brush down but the overnight test showed the FC dropping from 15.8 to 11 ppm, so more bleach today!
    Crackin' Toast, Grommit!
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    the FC dropping from 15.8 to 11 ppm,
    I suggest you use the 10ml sample to perform the FAS/DPD test.....it will give you .5ppm resolution which is just fine and save on reagents.
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Thanks for the helpful advice on the testing. One question is whether it is safe to allow the kids to use pool with the FC at shock levels? I know it will use up the chlorine more quickly but any hazard to people?

    TIA
    Crackin' Toast, Grommit!
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Yes, you can swim with the pool at shock level.
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    we generally say it is safe to swim when the FC is BELOW shock level. If you are actively in the shock process, then your FC should be at or above shock level.

    It is not so much the chlorine that is bad, but potentially whatever you are fighting in the pool ... especially if the water is cloudy reducing visibility.

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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    we generally say it is safe to swim when the FC is BELOW shock level. If you are actively in the shock process, then your FC should be at or above shock level.
    This is confusing to me. There are two shock levels, regular and mustard and people on here seem to say below shock even mustard is OK. So normal shock is below MA shock - so is that "below shock" or not? I ask because I have had my kids and I in my pool when I was shocking but below MA shock and things seemed OK.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    see the second half of my post.

    If you are above regular shock level, there is usually a reason ... cloudy water or something in the water. It may not be the chlorine so much as the condition of the water to stay out of it.

    Easier and safest to say safe with FC below shock level, low CC, pH in range, and clear water.

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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Quote Originally Posted by UnderWaterVanya
    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    we generally say it is safe to swim when the FC is BELOW shock level. If you are actively in the shock process, then your FC should be at or above shock level.
    This is confusing to me. There are two shock levels, regular and mustard and people on here seem to say below shock even mustard is OK. So normal shock is below MA shock - so is that "below shock" or not? I ask because I have had my kids and I in my pool when I was shocking but below MA shock and things seemed OK.
    Chlorine levels between regular shock and MA are generally harmless to people. I personally would get in the pool to brush above regular shock levels. However I would not let guests in above regular shock levels solely because I don't want any complaints if their swimsuits fade. I haven't had to shock in the last two years except for opening and the water is usually too cold to swim anyway.

    I think the general consensus about swimming at or below shock levels presupposes that the water is clear and CCs are .5 or below and the shock process is over. I wouldn't let anyone in except myself during the process. Having a small pool, I rarely have to get in to brush as I can usually hit it from the outside.
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Okay it is over a week later and the pool water and walls are sparkling. I stopped the shock process when the OCLT was 1.0 and there after kept the FC in the 3.0-5.0 range. During the week the pH drifted up to 8.2 so I had to add some dry acid. I'm having to add about 60 oz of liquid bleach a day to maintain the FC at or below the current level. The latest TF-100 from today shows:
    FC 5.0
    CC 0.0
    pH 7.8
    TA 80
    CH 210
    CYA 30-40

    Also the Borate (strip) showed 30

    So I'm pretty happy with how the pool looks and where my numbers are but I would love some feedback. Am I good to hold the status quo?

    TIA!
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Sounds good. Even for a Philly boy.
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    Re: Back from vacation for 2 weeks where the pool was unatte

    Yes indeed, although it seems a bit strange to be a called a Philly boy although it is where we now live. Having grown up in southern California, lived in south Texas and with many relatives in Hawaii the first pool I've owned is on the east coast. Owning a pool in those other climates means you can use it nearly year round. Here it is just April to September and then it is all covered up!
    Crackin' Toast, Grommit!
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