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Thread: Basic Newb Testing Questions

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    Basic Newb Testing Questions

    Once you have your chlorine and CYA under control:

    1. How often do you normally check your PH?
    2. your TA?
    3. your CH?
    4. What do you add to your pool if your CH is high? What are some of the general ways of dealing with this?
    5. What do you add if your PH gets high? What are some of the general ways of dealing with this?

    Thanks in advance for any info.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Every pool is different, though frequent testing you can learn how often you have to check everything. Generally:

    1. Every couple days
    2. Every week or so
    3. Monthly
    4. Replace water with lower CH water. Only other option is RO treatment which is only available in a few areas.
    5. Muriatic acid is the best. Having a lower TA can slow how quickly the pH rises. pH will also rise due to any aeration (waterfalls) or SWG.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    Welcome to the forum

    Pool School (big white button top right of each page) will get you up to speed on your pool in a hurry.

    Suggested basic maintenance schedule from Pool School: pool-school/basic_pool_care_schedule

    If the CH is too high, there are only two ways to handle it. Either drain and refill with water that has lower CH or RO treatment, which is available in few areas.

    Muriatic Acid is most commonly used to lower pH.

    If you post a full set of test results and tell us your pool specs, we can give informed help

    ETA: Sorry to repeat info, but Jason is too fast
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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    1. How do you replace your current water with water that has lower CH? Do you use some type of special water or just water straight from the hose?

    2. is Muriatic acid the same as CYA?

    3. What is the affect of having higher CH? Pool school explains what lower calcium will do, but not for higher CH.

    4. What about for higher PH? Pool school explains that anything below 7.2 or 6.8 could be a problem, though what about for levels higher than 7.2?

    5. I add water every week to replace water that evaporates, I have no idea how much water I'm adding, and I'm sure it is a very small percentage overall for the pool, though overtime, isn't this essentially replacing the water? Does this reduce CYA or CH over time?

    Thanks for any help in advance.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    All of these answers are in Pool School.

    1. You test your tap water and see if it is lower CH. If it is, you pump water out of the pool and refill it
    2. No. Muriatic Acid lowers ph. CYA is cyanuric acid which is a FC stabilizer
    3. Possible calcium scaling
    4. Keep pH between 7.2 and 7.8 ... high pH can also lead to calcium scaling
    5. Adding water to replace evaporation does not affect CYA, but it will raise the CH.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    1. According to Pool School "A plaster pool should have CH levels between 250 and 350 if possible." so as long as the water from my hose is within this range, then it would be good for using to replace my pool water?

    2. How large of a sample would I need from the hose to test CH levels? Do I just follow the instructions for testing CH levels of pool water but instead with hose water?

    3. Why does adding water to replace evaporation not affect CYA? Isn't this essentially draining and replacing water?


    Thanks in advance.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by stanw
    1. According to Pool School "A plaster pool should have CH levels between 250 and 350 if possible." so as long as the water from my hose is within this range, then it would be good for using to replace my pool water?
    Anything below 300 is fine to use. If it's real low, it's easy enough to add Calcium Increaser. Why the concern? If you're having a problem, post a set of test results.

    2. How large of a sample would I need from the hose to test CH levels? Do I just follow the instructions for testing CH levels of pool water but instead with hose water?
    Turn on the hose. Wait until the hot water has run out and it's cold. Then test it exactly the same as pool water.

    3. Why does adding water to replace evaporation not affect CYA? Isn't this essentially draining and replacing water?
    CYA doesn't evaporate. Neither does Calcium. Nor salt.

    Essentially, evaporation is solar distillation. Whatever's in the pool is going to stay there unless it is physically removed somehow, like draining or splashout.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    1. So if I completely drained the pool, is there still some sort of CYA residue left on the plaster that should be cleaned out somehow?

    2. If adding water to replace evaporation increases CH, how do you reduce CH when the way to reduce CH is to replace water? Do you just need to make sure your water source does not have
    high CH levels?

    Thanks in advance.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by stanw
    1. So if I completely drained the pool, is there still some sort of CYA residue left on the plaster that should be cleaned out somehow?

    2. If adding water to replace evaporation increases CH, how do you reduce CH when the way to reduce CH is to replace water? Do you just need to make sure your water source does not have
    high CH levels?

    Thanks in advance.
    There may be traces of CYA embedded in the plaster and trapped in the filter, but probably not enough to show up on a test.

    The answer to 2 is yes. Pray for rain. It has no Calcium.

    Again - why so worried? Have you even tested your water yet? Personally? With a good kit, or with strips? Do you live in Las Vegas, Arizona, or Southern California, where high CH is a fact of life?



    pool-school/read_before_you_post
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    I did test my water and the calcium was high, though I do not have the results with me now. I also live in S. Cali and was not aware that it is a fact of life, so other than rain, I'm just trying to figure out what I might be able to do to keep the levels down.

    Now that I am learning about all of this I am just concerned that the high calcium could be damaging the surface of the pool.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by stanw
    I did test my water and the calcium was high, though I do not have the results with me now. I also live in S. Cali and was not aware that it is a fact of life, so other than rain, I'm just trying to figure out what I might be able to do to keep the levels down.

    Now that I am learning about all of this I am just concerned that the high calcium could be damaging the surface of the pool.
    A cover will slow down the evaporation.

    If you live near Escondido, Reverse Osmosis is available. It's one of the few places in the US where it is. Otherwise, you just stay on top of the pH and the TA to minimize scaling. Right now, my CH is at 875 yet the CSI is still slightly negative. We didn't get much rain this year, so I'm planning another partial pumpout soon.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Basic Newb Testing Questions

    To keep track of your CSI, you can plug all of your current numbers into poolcalculator.com, and there is a box that shows you CSI towards the bottom. Anything from -.6 to .6 is generally good.
    John
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