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Thread: No Free Chlorine Reading

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    No Free Chlorine Reading

    Hello, First time poster here. Been looking at your forum for 2 weeks trying to get some advice...

    I have an 18' above ground pool (about 7960 gallons) and we use the pool frog to add chlorine. Since everyone on this forum recommended the K-2006 tester, i ordered one and had it delivered this weekend.

    My results:
    PH: 7.2
    Hardness: 220
    Total Alkalinity:70
    Free Chlorine: <.2 (took 5 little scoops of the reagent to get the smallest tinge of pink, and one drop cleared it right up)
    Combined Chlorine: .4
    CYA: When dot disappeared, level was between 40-50. Closer to 50, so I am guessing 47

    Also, read on here about ammonia, so i picked up a tester from aquarium supplies, i am reading 4 ppm ammonia.

    My water is crystal clear, and i have vacuumed and scrubbed the pool sides and bottom. I use a cartridge filter, and i replaced the cartridge this year when we opened the pool. Unfortunately, I was deployed when the wife closed the pool in the fall, so I don't know what the numbers were at closing. When we took the cover off, the water was a little green, but not too bad.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My local pool store (splash) has really been no help. They're telling me nothing is wrong. This is the 3rd season we've had the pool, and normally i can run the pool frog at 2, and maintain 2-3 ppm of free chlorine. I have had it set as high as 10 over the past 3 weeks, the little pucks are disolving, but I still read next to zero ppm free chlorine. If i have to partially drain and refill, I am fine with that. Was just looking to see if there was any other way to fix this.

    Thanks for your time.

    V/r,
    Don DeLeo
    18' round above ground pool, 1 hp pump, cartridge filter, former dissatisfied pool frog user!
    Haughton, Louisiana

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    Join Date
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Welcome to TFP!

    According to our chlorine/CYA chart, if your CYA is 50, then the absolute minimum that your FC should be is 4 ppm. Every day operations would require a FC of 6 and if you need to shock (which you probably do) then you need to take your FC up to 20. Here's the chart for reference...pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock.

    For what it is worth, we don't recommend mineral feeders like the Pool Frog or the Nature 2 system here. Minerals (metals) like calcium and copper cause problems and those devices continuously add those substances. On top of that, they are needlessly expensive to operate. We recommend putting only necessary substances into a pool and those are usually chlorine, acid, and CYA.

    You are going to need to shock in order to rid the pool of ammonia and any other organic stuff that might be consuming your FC. Stop the Frog because you already have enough CYA in there.

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    bmann71's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Don, welcome to the board and thank you for your service!

    While I'm no pool expert I too have gained valuable information from this board. I'm sure the experts will chime in soon but I would start with performing an OCLT test. Something is obviously eating your chlorine and for me it was ammonia. It took me 2 weeks and 40+ gallon of bleach before I passed the test. With no readable chlorine your clear water won't last long.

    cheers.
    Ponduke
    20,000 gal/ Fiberglass IG/ Sta-rite s7m120 cartridge filter/Sta-rite SR400NA 400,000 btu heater/Polaris 360 Cleaner/K-2006 Test Kit
    poolcalculator
    Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Welcome to TFP!

    Each ppm of ammonia requires roughly 10 ppm of chlorine to get rid of, probably more once you take sunlight losses into account. The ammonia test won't have been perfectly precise, so the exact amount is a bit variable. I recommend that you shock the pool, instructions are in Pool School, except the very first time you add chlorine add about 30 ppm of chlorine, and then go back to aiming for shock level each subsequent time.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Wow! I am amazed at the rapid responses to my issue.

    I will definitely read the "pool school" chart, and shock as recommended. Hopefully, that will get me on the right track.

    And to 257WbyMag, thanks for the advice with the pool frog. I didn't realize that they actually added that much more than just chlorine. Good to know, cause my pool store says it's the best thing since sliced bread!

    Again, thanks for all your quick responses. I will get back on here after i try shocking the pool, and let you all know.

    V/r,
    Don
    18' round above ground pool, 1 hp pump, cartridge filter, former dissatisfied pool frog user!
    Haughton, Louisiana

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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    No problem! That's what we are here for.

    BTW, the Pool Frog is the best thing since sliced bread for a pool store. This is because they make $$$$$ off of selling the units and the chemicals that go with them.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Just a note here, When shocking use bleach. I'd add about 3 large (121 oz) jugs of bleach the first time, then test and add as required until you pass the OCLT.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Thanks Dave, I was just searching for whether I should use Bleach or the powdered shock. how much time should I wait after adding the 3 jugs to accomplish a test to make sure I am at shock level? Also, I will do the OCLT and post my results.

    Thanks Again!

    -don
    18' round above ground pool, 1 hp pump, cartridge filter, former dissatisfied pool frog user!
    Haughton, Louisiana

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Welcome to tfp, deleod99

    Quote Originally Posted by deleod99
    how much time should I wait after adding the 3 jugs to accomplish a test to make sure I am at shock level?
    If you can, test every hour and bring it back up to your shock level with bleach/liquid chlorine.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    As Linen said, every hour of you can, but if not then as often as you can.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    You have gotten good advice, but want to add one thing. You should not have to add more than 1 scoop of powder at normal levels and 2 scoops at shock levels if the first scoop does not make the sample stay pink.

    You had 0 chlorine to start, so no amount of powder was going to give you the pink color you should expect.

    The yellow OTO chlorine test is a good sanity check whether there is any chlorine in the water. This did not come with the K2006, but may be part of a cheap kit you may already have, usually with the pH test.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    And remember to turn off your pool frog when you perform the OCLT.
    23,000 gallon gunite with waterfall, radiant heat, sta rite system 3 cartridge filter 450 sq. ft., 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Hello all,

    Again I want to thank you for taking the time and offering all your help yesterday. After listening to all of you, I have completely removed my pool frog from the filter return.

    So, after a lot of bleach to keep the pool at shock level (20 ppm, based off the advice and the chart), i checked the pool every hour from 11 AM to 10 PM last night. As jblizzle suggested, i picked up one of the OTO chlorine testers to maintain the level. Since it only goes to 5 on the darkest color, I diluted my pool water 1 part pool to 3 parts tap water, and just multiplied by 4. If this is wrong, then disregard anything that follows, and I need a helluva lot more advice (HA!)...

    At 10 PM last night (waited an hr after adding last batch of bleach, and 1.5 hrs after sun was down) i had right at 20 ppm chlorine (1/4 dilluted water, color was just into the 5 ppm zone). This morning at 6:00, i was down to 16 ppm. So, by my math in public I lost 4 ppm overnight. From reading this site for the last few weeks, I know that a good overnight loss should be less than 1 ppm.

    Does this mean I should repeat the shock/test cycle again today?

    Thanks again for all your inputs, I really appreciate it.

    V/r,
    Don
    18' round above ground pool, 1 hp pump, cartridge filter, former dissatisfied pool frog user!
    Haughton, Louisiana

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    The K-2006 has the FAS-DPD test and that's the one you should be using to do the tests with. The OTO test is just a go/no-go check to see if you have chlorine.

    Keep shocking today and use the FAS-DPD test.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Thanks Dave,

    Guess i misunderstood that one...darn!

    Will keep shocking and checking today. Will post my new Overnight Chlorine loss results tomorrow.

    Thanks again!
    -don
    18' round above ground pool, 1 hp pump, cartridge filter, former dissatisfied pool frog user!
    Haughton, Louisiana

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Sorry. You misunderstood what I meant. I think Bama straightened you out.

    I only suggested the OTO when there was confusion about there being 0 FC in the water.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    jblizzle, no worries, I am a little slow sometimes! I will just use the K-2006 from here on out, since I have chlorine in the pool now.
    18' round above ground pool, 1 hp pump, cartridge filter, former dissatisfied pool frog user!
    Haughton, Louisiana

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    If you dont' mind me asking. Once you dumped the 3 jugs in, what was the FC the next time you tested it?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Dave, after i dumped the 3 jugs of bleach in, i used that OTO tester after an hour. Using my dilluted math from above, I got 15 ppm. I added another jug after testing. The next hour, I got 20 ppm.
    18' round above ground pool, 1 hp pump, cartridge filter, former dissatisfied pool frog user!
    Haughton, Louisiana

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: No Free Chlorine Reading

    Unfortunately, I am stuck at work for another hour. When I get home i will use the FAS-DPD tester and post my results.
    18' round above ground pool, 1 hp pump, cartridge filter, former dissatisfied pool frog user!
    Haughton, Louisiana

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