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Thread: Dealing with Ammonia

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    Dealing with Ammonia

    I purchased an ammonia test kit which read up to 8ppm, my test was darker than the limit so I'm not sure how high it was. I am in the process of doing a series of drain and fills. What's a workable ammonia level? Before I start the schock process, do I raise the pH and add stabilizer? I'm assuming the pH will be right around 7.0 as it will be mostly fresh tap water and the stabilizer will be lower. How much LC do I add to start? Do I shock to the level of the CYA chart or higher because of the ammonia? I've read any where from 7-10x ammonia level. TIA!
    20,000 gallons vinyl, I/G, 4 cartridge filtrs, 2 HP dual speed Hayward Super Pump, Pool Frog XL Pro automatic chlorinator (trichlor tabs), built 2008, Phantom auto cleaner (rarely used)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Ammonia

    How much water you replace vs how much chlorine you need to use is a tradeoff, the ideal balance of which depends on your other levels and the cost of chlorine.

    You will want to at least check PH, TA, and CYA before you start shocking. You don't want PH or TA wildly out of range and you don't want CYA at zero.

    I would add chlorine in doses of about mustard algae shock level at a time, repeating as often as every half hour until you get an FC reading above 1 half an hour after adding chlorine.

    Total chlorine usage is ideally 9 times the ammonia level, but you always lose some chlorine to sunlight, so it ends up being a little higher than that.
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    Re: Dealing with Ammonia

    The shock process will destroy the ammonia. It happens almost immediately after the bleach hits the water.

    Yes, get your ph right, hang your stabilizer in a sock in front of a return, and then begin the shock process.

    Get ready to use lots of bleach. When I had this issue two years ago, it took about 20 gallons of bleach before it began to hold.
    28K, 20' x 40' IG - Vinyl Liner, Hayward DE Filter, 1.5HP Pump, 250K Hayward BTU Heater, Aquabot Breeze 4WD robotic cleaner

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    Re: Dealing with Ammonia

    I used pool calculator and added the recommended 2 gallons to get to mustard algae shock level. I tested 45 min later and FC was 1.5 and CC was 10 and everything else was fine (pH 7.4, TA 100, CYA 30) so I added another 2 gallons. Came home 4 hours and retested and now 2.0 FC, 0 CC everything else unchanged and ammonia 0. Does this mean I'm done adding bleach or do I still need to get FC to the mustard algae shock level of 19 as recommended on pool calculator?
    20,000 gallons vinyl, I/G, 4 cartridge filtrs, 2 HP dual speed Hayward Super Pump, Pool Frog XL Pro automatic chlorinator (trichlor tabs), built 2008, Phantom auto cleaner (rarely used)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Ammonia

    You need to keep adding bleach and following the shock process until you pass the 3 criteria to stop. You can just use the regular shock level.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Dealing with Ammonia

    THANK YOU! My pool is crystal clear again. It's been a long battle, but thanks to your advice all the ammonia is gone. After the drain and fills (about 3 of about 12 inches each time), used 10 bottles of 12.5% bleach. Just waiting for the FC to drop after the shock process, but all of my other numbers are perfect. Of course temps are supposed to drop here in Chi-town, but it'll be ready to go when it warms up again. Thanks again!!!
    20,000 gallons vinyl, I/G, 4 cartridge filtrs, 2 HP dual speed Hayward Super Pump, Pool Frog XL Pro automatic chlorinator (trichlor tabs), built 2008, Phantom auto cleaner (rarely used)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Ammonia

    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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