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Thread: CYA at start up

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    CYA at start up

    I will be honest.

    I didn't close the pool properly. Maybe I was curious just how well the BBB method would work.

    I had a green swamp. I started testing and dumping bleach, brushing, changing out filters, etc. CYA wasn't even registering, so I put a bunch in a sock of pantyhose and checked it a week later, still not registering. (By this time, I had found a part on Pool School I had missed, that if CYA wasn't at proper levels, it wasn't safe for the pool to bring it to shock level, so I was keeping the green at bay by keeping FC around 4). I put more CYA in (and I don't have a great way to measure, so I use the Pool Calculator, and kind of guesstimate). Another week, and CYA is STILL not even registering with the test kit.

    So. Any suggestions? Am I missing something?

    Oh, and pH is high too, 8.5. Muriatic acid brings that down, but where do I find this? Should I even worry about that at this point with the nonexistent CYA and green swamp?
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    Re: CYA at start up

    How are you testing? Pool test kits almost never measure pH higher than 8.2.

    If you put CYA in, the chances are good it's there, so there must be some type of testing error.

    If you want to learn how to manage your pool, you will have to get a good test kit so you can shock the pool properly and get your water cleared up.
    Dave S.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    I'm using the TF-100 testing kit.

    For the pH, I'm mistyped. The highest level on the basic Taylor K-1000 that comes in the kit is 8.2, so that is the current level.

    I've checked myself as far as testing the CYA and I don't see how I could be messing it up. Does the reagent expire? I bought the kit around July of last year.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    1. Get muriatic acid at HD or Lowes or a pool store and get your pH down into the mid 7's.

    2. How much CYA did you put in?
    Dave S.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Will do on the muriatic acid. Thanks!

    I bought the Aqua Chem Stabilizer 3 lb bottle from Wally World. Like I said, I kind of guesstimate on the amount, so probably around 2 to 2.5 pounds, which is 32 ounces by weight. Pool calculator stated to get my level to 40 I would need 53 ounces by weight (I'm just now doing the ounces to pound math here, so I'm seeing I've probably put in less than what I need; but wouldn't my CYA at least register? And is it normal to have to put that much CYA in at start-up?).

    I appreciate all the help. My husband is threatening to just take down the pool if I don't get it cleaned up soon (he became a TFP and BBB believer after I took over pool duties last summer, first season, but his beliefs seem to be waning).
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Ok, you have put in enough CYA to get about 20 ppm. For now, assume it is in there. (you indicate you have put in CYA twice....when was the first dose and how much have you added totally this year?) You need to increase your precision on your dosing methods so your results will be predictable and we can eliminate the guesswork. We'll deal with the CYA test procedure later.

    2. Get your pH down.

    3. Now, start the shock process as it is described in the article in Pool School. Follow those directions PRECISELY and keep your FC up around 12 ppm ALL THE TIME.

    Run your pump 24/7 and vacuum and brush as often as you can....your pool will clear.
    Dave S.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Will do, any suggestions on measuring CYA? I was thinking one of those little kitchen scales or something....
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    Re: CYA at start up

    You are fine to eyeball CYA. If you used 2/3 of a three pound bottle, it doesn't HAVE to be precisely 2 lbs.....the test itself is not that precise. How much total CYA (in pounds) have you put in your pool this season?
    Dave S.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    First dose of CYA (I'd say about 1 pound) was around April 20. Second dose (approximately 1.5 pounds) was around April 27. So that's it. Just the 2/3 to maybe 3/4 of 3 lb bottle total for this season.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Cool. Go ahead as we discussed.

    Remember, get that pH down first, then don't test it again until you are finished with the Shock Process.
    Dave S.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Ok, I had a family emergency that I needed to help out with, so I am just now able to devote LOTS of time to getting this pool up and running. I added the correct amount of muriatic acid (measured exactly according to The Pool Calculator) and waited 40 minutes before testing the water. pH is still reading at 8.2. Can I go ahead with the shock process? Should I wait longer and retest pH? Pump is running continuously before, during, and still now after adding the acid.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Nope. Test, dose, test, dose, etc. every hour or so until the pH is under control before you start the shock process.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    So I had dosed again for pH last night and this morning, it was 7.2, so I thought I had to add borax and get it at 7.5 before beginning shock. Now the pH is back to 8.2, so I dosed again for pH. Can I shock at a pH of 7.2?

    Also, was reading back through this post to get prepared for the shock process. Duraleigh said keep FC at 12 ppm (this is low for my SWG pool, but I'm assuming he mentioned this level because CYA was not testing for me). Also, I know I need more salt (not sure yet how much, will take that one test to the Pool store and get salt there) but I'm assuming this can wait until after the shock process (I had turned the SWG on when checking everything and it gave a low salt indicator).
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Quote Originally Posted by EGGARTFAM
    So I had dosed again for pH last night and this morning, it was 7.2, so I thought I had to add borax and get it at 7.5 before beginning shock. Now the pH is back to 8.2, so I dosed again for pH. Can I shock at a pH of 7.2?

    Also, was reading back through this post to get prepared for the shock process. Duraleigh said keep FC at 12 ppm (this is low for my SWG pool, but I'm assuming he mentioned this level because CYA was not testing for me). Also, I know I need more salt (not sure yet how much, will take that one test to the Pool store and get salt there) but I'm assuming this can wait until after the shock process (I had turned the SWG on when checking everything and it gave a low salt indicator).
    7.2 is just fine. Once you take FC up, don't bother checking pH again until the pool is clear and the FC level is back to normal levels. High FC reacts with the red reagent and can cause a color shift which will give you false readings.
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    Re: CYA at start up



    I couldn't get started right away on shocking the pool after my last post. We own our own business and things got extremely hectic.

    I have been fighting the pool for over a week now. Probably 2. I am using the pool calculator and only adding enough bleach to get to 12 (although I will test after an hour, and it's not at 12, so I add the recommended amount). Some days, I have to run business errands, so I am gone for 6-8 hours. Most of my pool time is spent in the morning, for about 2-4 hours, and then in the afternoon or evening.

    The pool is not green. Water is blue, but very cloudy. I can see the skimmer net almost all the way to the bottom. It has been this way for a week, at least.

    I brush the entire pool daily. I change out/wash out the cartridge filter every 2 days.

    Am I not getting faster results because of a low shock level (12). Technically, if my CYA had been where it was supposed to be (and who knows if it was, I am very very sure I did the testing correctly before starting this shock process, see above), and we have a SWG (although when I turned it on, again, before this shock process it gave me a low salt indicator) I should be at least at an FC level of 24 for shocking. I understand that due to the unknown CYA, that is why an FC of 12 for shocking was recommended.

    But I am so sick of buying bleach. I'm using the 8.25 Walmart brand. Should I buy brand name? Does that make a difference? Just really frustrated.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Please post a complete set of water test results. It is difficult to make progress without more information. You need to know your CYA level, and all of the other levels can affect the shocking process. It would also be good to do an overnight FC loss test (see Pool School).

    Walmart brand bleach is just fine.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    I was thinking about doing an overnight FC loss test. I will do that Sat/Sun night.

    I used the water I took at about 7 p.m. for this complete water test (which the FC was zero, so I just added my bleach and called it a night).

    I haven't been testing anything but FC. So here it is:

    pH: 6.8
    TA: 60 (although at 50 it turned, but not to red, to purple)
    CH: 20
    CYA: 0 (I REALLY checked and double checked my steps as I did this test, I am running out of the solution. I just don't know why this is still coming up as zero after so many doses. I have one idea I'm going to check in the morning, and that is the expiration date on the chemical bottle. Although it was not from last season, I bought it when I went to "open" the pool.)
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    Re: CYA at start up

    The CYA issue is mysterious. There are a couple of possibilities. Either your CYA test reagent is bad, or you are doing the test wrong, or the "CYA" you are adding doesn't actually contain CYA. There are various ways to test each of those possibilities. You can get a pool store to test CYA. You can dissolve a single crystal of CYA in a vial of water and then test the CYA level of that, and you can describe in detail all the steps you take to do the CYA test.

    In the meantime, your PH is too low. You need to get PH up to at least 7.0. One of the problems here is that the PH test will read 6.8 even if the actual PH is much lower. If PH is actually 6.8 that isn't so bad, but if it is much lower it could be interfering with the shock process.
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    Re: CYA at start up

    Ok, so I want to make a game plan for the morning then.

    First, get the pH up.

    For the CYA test, I am following the directions included with the TFT test kit to.the.letter. Add the pool water to the bottom of the label, then add the R13 to the top of the label, shake. Count as slow as possible to 45 (directions say at least 30 seconds) and shake again. Then I hold the tube with the black dot at my waist and slowly pour. I end up pouring to the top and the black dot remains clear as day.

    So, if the expiration date is ok on the bottle of CYA, I will try the dissolve test (dissolve one crystal in 25 mL of pool water or tap water?). I am also going to take a sample to the pool store and let them test, I was going to let them test for salt anyway and buy it there. Is it ok to go ahead and add what salt I need during this shock process?

    Question about the pH. How long should I wait after adding borax before testing again? I think I read this somewhere in pool school, 30 minutes? Couple of hours? Should I hold off on shock until I'm sure of CYA and pH? Just feel like I'm wasting bleach at this point if these two issues are interfering.

    Sorry so many questions in one post. :-/
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    Re: CYA at start up

    30 minutes with the pump running should be enough. I like to give it an hour, but that isn't essential.

    You need to add some chlorine at least twice a day or you will lose any progress you have made up to this point. However you probably should cut back to just twice a day, at least until the PH issue is resolved.
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