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Thread: Wow..such differences!

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    Wow..such differences!

    While I wait for my TF-100 testing kit to be delivered, I have been using my cheap Amazon purchased testing kit to get my chemistry in line now that my pool is open. This is my first year with the pool so I am still learning. The test kit I have uses regents and can test total chlorine, PH, Alkalinity and one or two others. I mainly test the three I mentioned.

    My water is crytal clear right now with my chlorine levels on the low end of good and my Alkalinity reading around 90. My PH has been reading low.

    I had ordered some chemicals from In the Swim (their brand PH up and Alkalinity up) since I have been unable to find Borax and baking soda in large enough containers that are cost effective (it was cheaper to buyt the pool branded stuff!!).

    Anyway, I received a free In the Swim test strips kit and tried one yesterday. They read free chlorine, CYA, PH and Alkalinity levels on each strip. It was simple to use, dip it in, wait about 10 seconds and poof!! Results...

    Free chlorine and CYA was in the good range but my PH and alkalinity were sky high......


    So here I sit waiting for my new test kit to arrive keeping my fingers crossed that my water stays crystal clear! Yikes!! Can't believe the differences between two test kits. I guess I will be learning a lot this year as I maintain my pool!!
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    jcowart's Avatar
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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Did you try the baking goods isle for baking soda. Last time I checked at walmart it was 39 cents for a 1lb box. Borax should be in the laundry isle.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Quote Originally Posted by jcowart
    Did you try the baking goods isle for baking soda. Last time I checked at walmart it was 39 cents for a 1lb box. Borax should be in the laundry isle.

    The price of a 4 pound box of Borax is around $8 to $10 from what my wife has told me. I got a 25 pound tub of the PH up from In the swim for $43 shipped. So I need at least 6 boxes of Borax at $8 puts me at a higher cost.

    The biggest bag of baking soda my wife has found was the 13 pound bag which was about $20 a bag. I got the 25 pound Alkalinity up for $35 shipped.

    I hadn't thought about buying the 1 pound boxes since my pool is 25,000 gallons. I suppose I could buy a lot of them and then store them in my newly aquired 25 pound tubs! The Borax is harder to find in smaller boxes and cheaper so i think the PH up seems like tjat will be a better deal.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    I would not buy any more things until you test your water. You can have faith in the pH test in the TF-100 and you may or may not need to adjust it at all.

    Sit tight and then post all your results from the TF-100 and you won't purchase stuff you don't need.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    thank you. That is what I intend to do. I wasn't expecting to have my pool open this early but my PB wanted to open it and run everything to make sure there are no issues before the deack gets poured. I had planned to buy the test kit but completely forgot over the long and rather brutal winter we had. At least my kids got to finally go swimming (once) in the new pool thanks to the heater. Now, it's just too cold again! New England weather is awful!!!
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Got my TF-100 test kit today. Super fast shipping!!

    Only got to test my basic total chlorine and ph before the wife cane home with the kids. Chlorine was reading .5 and ph was 7.8.

    So low chlorine and slightly high ph. I will do all the other tests tomorrow. I also need to switch my chlorine method from the evil trichlor tablets to regular bleach before I start having problems. My chlorine levels seem to be hard to keep high. Not sure if its the high ph but I was cheating by using trichlor tablets to avoid having to add bleach everyday. Since I am having issues anyway, might as well switch to the better method to get it under control.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Trouble keeping chlorine in the pool could be a low CYA issue or you have a condition where your FC is being consumed by something growing. Or both. Run a full set of test tomorrow and post em up and we will go from there. At this point, since your FC is so low, it wouldn't hurt to dump a jug of bleach in there for the night.

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Did my first full set of tests. I shocked the pool last night using the only shock I had which are the 1 pound bags of pool shock from in the swim. I used 2 pounds which covers 20k gallons. My pool is 25k.

    So probably not the best time to test but I was anxious to try the kit and learn. My results might be meaningless due to the shock but i figured I'd post them since one of the readings is very surprising to me.

    FC - 6.5
    CC - 0.5
    PH - 7.8
    AL - 170 (yikes!! But not the one that surprises me)
    CYA - less than 20

    The CYA is the most surprising to me since I have only used trichlor based chlorine so far in my pool. I would have expected it to come out higher. Maybe I did the test wrong but I mixed the two chemicals together per the instructions and I emptied the entire contents into the tube yet I could still see the black dot at the bottom when held at my side. Maybe I have super vision or I found why I am burning through chlorine rather fast.

    So new to all this....
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    I mixed the two chemicals together
    50% pool water and 50% R-0013, right?

    "Shock" is what we use as a verb (ie - the shock process) not a noun because it can be different things. What are the active ingredients of the product you used?

    1. Is your water still clear?

    2. Are you putting that powdered chlorine in the pool just to get rid of it or are you attempting to start the shock process?

    3. I'm gonna' ask you to do the TA test again in a little bit but let's get your chlorine dosages sorted out first....the TA can wait.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Yes, 50/50 mix per the instructions (filling with pool water for bottom to label and top of label with mixture. Shake, wait at least 30 seconds and shake again).

    The main active ingredient in the shock is 68% calcium hypochlorite.

    1. Water is still clear

    2. I added the shock because my chlorine levels were coming up as very low or non-exsitent on my last test. My pool was open two weeks ago and it only took a day or two to get it clear using the same shock stuff. I was "using" the shock this time to boost my chlorine and, I guess, get rid of the supply I have so I can move onto bleach.

    3. OK....will do. The cheap test strips I received for free from in the swim also gave me high TA readings so I guess those might be a little more accurate than the Amazon pool kit I have.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Just double checked again and I did follow the instructions appropriately.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Got it. Keep your FC up around 3 ppm for now. I suggest you can use some more pucks if you like but they are handy for vacations when you can't do bleach everyday and they don't go bad.

    I would buy enough CYA to get your pool to 30ppm. It'll take a while for it to register so don't test for 3-5 days but assume your dosage is correct and that it is in there. You will probably need some more (tell us your city and state) but hold off for a bit so you don't overdose.

    Because your kit is so new, the TA test can be skewed because of the VERY fresh chemistry. This time when you test, wipe the dropper tip every 2-3 drops with a damp cloth. This eliminates some static electricity that is common to the R-009 and will give you the most accurate result. That static will dissipate in a couple of weeks so you won't have to wipe that tip after mid-May.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Thanks!

    I'm just outside of Boston MA.

    Will let some sun burn off some chlorine for a bit today and retest some stuff later. I need to get some additional stuff to raise my CYA as I thought I'd never have to worry about having too little since I was using trichlor!
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Could please post your pool and equipment details in you sig? I had to go search your other post just to find out your pool surface (vinyl).

    Even though you have a vinyl pool, you still should watch your calcium input, so get a measure on CH before you use too much more calhypo.
    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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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Added!!

    I just retested my TA while wiping between drops. Came out with 120. So better than last time. Will check other tests later tonight and will do a CH test as well.

    Thanks!
    Matt
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    I'm just outside of Boston MA.
    Then a final target CYA would be around 40 ppm.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    I just finished another round of tests.....chlorine is virtually gone after one day of 70 degree sunny day.


    FC - 1.0
    CC - 0.5
    PH - 7.8
    TA - 120
    CH - 130
    CYA - less than 20

    I also measured my total chlorine using the quick test and it registered at 0.5.


    So I assume the CYA levels are what's killing my chlorine since it seems there is no stabilzer in my water. I just assumed that since I use Trichlor pucks, I would be getting some. I have been running 3 tablets in my pool for the last 2 weeks. One in each skimmer.

    So looks like I will be ordering some stabilizer and making the switch to bleach.

    Seems a 121 ounce bottle of 8% bleach from Walmart runs about $3. I am unsure as to how long a bottle lasts but I am guessing I am going to need several wagons of bleach for the summer. Is this so? I ran some of the pool calculators and it was giving me large number of ounces to add.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Each 3" (assuming 8oz) trichlor puck will raise your ~24,500 gallon pools cya by ~1.9 ppm
    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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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Each 3" (assuming 8oz) trichlor puck will raise your ~24,500 gallon pools cya by ~1.9 ppm

    Yes, those are the pucks I am using. Guessing that the buildup is so slow that I either have to 1. wait it out until it builds enough, 2. add some stabilizer directly to get levels in line and continue to use trichlor and wait for the levels to build so high that I have other issues, or 3. add stabilizer and switch to bleach method. Hmm.....tough choice! LOL!!

    Cheapest I've found a gallon of bleach is walmart at $2.98 for their generic brand which contains 8% of active ingredient. Need to hit up Costco and BJ's to see what it costs there.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Re: Wow..such differences!

    I would add enough granular stabilizer to get to 30-40 ppm. Then use your pucks if you want to until you get to 50 ppm and then stop using the pucks and you'll be just right. That's using good testing to manage your pool water.

    You could also save the pucks for when you are away and can't add bleach. Simply manage your CYA and chlorine carefully and you won't have any problems
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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