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Thread: low (no) chlorine/high pH

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    low (no) chlorine/high pH

    This is our first year with the pool (18' x 48" Intex). We put it up a few weeks ago and added 120lbs of salt. I tested the levels the other day and got nothing for the chlorine. The SWG isnt indicating a high or low salt content. I bought the SWG used and noticed it had a lot of calcium built up. So we soaked it in vinegar and it's looking brand new again. I ran the filter and SWG for about 12-16 hours yesterday/last night and I still have no chlorine according to the test strips. Any ideas? Do I need to add more salt?

    I also used the test strip for the salt level but I have no idea what it means. i'm off to try to google that right now

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need to bring the FC level up to normal levels manually, and get all of your other levels balanced, before depending on the SWG. Do not depend on the SWG to raise the FC level up from zero.

    If the SWG is happy with the salt level then no need to worry about that at the moment.

    Beyond that, we need a full set of water test results before we can really tell what might be going on.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    On my HTH test strips I'm getting
    Total hardness 0
    FC 0/0
    pH 8.4
    TA 240
    CYA 30-50

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    Add bleach to raise your FC level. The SWG is for maintenance of FC levels and should not be relied on for raising FC.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    Since we got everything used we have no manuals. Every thing I've found online seemed like I would just add salt and go.
    So, just regular bleach like Clorox? And how much would i need to add?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    You need to look at all the links in the signature.
    1. Read Pool School to get an understanding of the chemistry
    2. Get a good test kit (strips are worthless)
    3. Learn to use the poolcalculator.com to determine how much of what chemical you need to add to get a certain affect.

    All the SWG does is add the FC for you everyday ... you still have to monitor and adjust everything else.

    To your questions. Yes, just plain old bleach, no scented, thicker stuff. To raise the FC by 5ppm in your pool, you need to add 51 oz of 8.25% or 69 oz of 6% bleach.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    Thanks. Ive been reading, it's a lot of info to take in at once and a little confusing at first but I'm determined to learn it all!

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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    I put bleach in yesterday and tested again last night. I was happy to see there was chlorine! However, i tested again this morning and the levels are the same as they were yesterday. and no chlorine again.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    You have to keep adding chlorine. If it dropped overnight, then you certainly have something living in the water ... but the strips are just nat really accurate enough to determine anything.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    Ok, I will keep adding. Should i be running the pump and or SWG when I add bleach? Or should they be off?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    The pump should always be on when you add chemicals and remain on for at least an hour to fully circulate everything. Does not matter is the SWG is on or not.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    Ok, thanks so much!

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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    Ive been putting bleach in with no luck on raising the FC. I read low CYA can result in chlorine loss, correct?
    I got stabilizer for the CYA level, but should I wait a certain amount of time after i added the bleach?

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    What is your current stabilizer level?

    You can add it whenever you want, but I would not trust the strips.

    You just have to keep adding bleach until the FC is maintained overnight ... again I would not trust the strips.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    lol no worries on the "shortness" I totally understand I've been adding bleach for the last few nights (since i started this post) with no luck of keeping it maintained. CYA was 30-50 but is now at 0. I know I need to get a better test system than the strips but I, of course, forget when im at the store. i will try to do that tomorrow or sunday.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    CYA does not drop like that. It is unlikely that you will find the recommended test kit locally.
    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

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    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    I'm a former intex pool owner that "graduated" to the big pool when I bought my new house. I just wanted to post to encourage you to follow the advice that the experts here tell you. The process they teach really works, but you have to understand it and follow it.

    If you are losing chlorine overnight, there's algae or something worse growing in your water. You must shock your pool to kill whatever it is.

    If I were you, I would do the following things:

    1) Order one of the test kits in Jason's signature and get it delivered to you as soon as possible. Until you know your CYA level you can't go through the shock process correctly

    2) While you're waiting for that to arrive, read pool school as many times as possible, especially the part about shocking your pool

    3) I'd suggest not running the SWG for now. While it may help a bit in keeping your chlorine at shock level, wondering whether or not it's working is a distraction to the real job of shocking your pool. Get your water right first, then worry about the SWG.

    Good luck!
    28K, 20' x 40' IG - Vinyl Liner, Hayward DE Filter, 1.5HP Pump, 250K Hayward BTU Heater, Aquabot Breeze 4WD robotic cleaner

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: low (no) chlorine/high pH

    That's a large part of my problem - I just don't understand it all yet.

    When we started out, i was highly unaware of the fact that you needed to add chlorine to the pool. All of the videos I watched on setting up the salt system were pretty much 'add this much salt and go.' My parents neighbors had the same setup and when I talked to them (a few years ago), they made it sound like that's all there was to it too.

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