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Thread: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

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    Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    First time pool owner here so bare with me while I try to get through this. We opened the pool for the season approximately two weeks ago - it's inground, vinyl and approximately 19500 galloons. I expected it to look a lot worse.. once they were done suctioning the green gunk off the liner, it actually looked pretty good. We took a sample to our local pool supply store and were told that we needed to get our PH and TA in check before tackling the chlorine which was virtually nonexistent. We finally got those in check so we started working on chlorine. It wasn't holding so we were told we needed to "shock" it. Put the recommended granules in and chlorine would rise but would eventually fall back to 0. Today's reading is as follows:

    FC - 0
    TC - 0
    CH - 250
    CYA - 99
    TA - 100
    PH - 7.2
    PHO - 300

    Came across this board and realized that we should probably be shocking with bleach at this point. I plugged the numbers into the pool calculator and it looks like I am looking for a shock level of 25 and in order to get this, I need to add about 950oz of bleach. Is this right???? Do I do it all at once or over time?? Seems like a very high amount and I don't want to ruin my liner. Are we on the right track?

    Karen

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Welcome to tfp, Karen

    First, those look like pool store test numbers. Getting your own appropriate test kit should be number one on your list. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison Many of us have gotten the tf-100 as it is the best value.

    Looking at your test results, the first thing that jumps out is the the 99 ppm cya level. Pool stores are particularly bad at measuring this, but if it is right, then you need to drain about half of you pool. Again, I would not trust the pool store numbers and I would get one of the test kits in the link above before deciding how much to drain. Has trichlor or dichlor been used to chlorinate your pool?
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by kcvecc
    First time pool owner here so bare with me while I try to get through this. We opened the pool for the season approximately two weeks ago - it's inground, vinyl and approximately 19500 galloons. I expected it to look a lot worse.. once they were done suctioning the green gunk off the liner, it actually looked pretty good. We took a sample to our local pool supply store and were told that we needed to get our PH and TA in check before tackling the chlorine which was virtually nonexistent. We finally got those in check so we started working on chlorine. It wasn't holding so we were told we needed to "shock" it. Put the recommended granules in and chlorine would rise but would eventually fall back to 0. Today's reading is as follows:

    FC - 0
    TC - 0
    CH - 250
    CYA - 99
    TA - 100
    PH - 7.2
    PHO - 300

    Came across this board and realized that we should probably be shocking with bleach at this point. I plugged the numbers into the pool calculator and it looks like I am looking for a shock level of 25 and in order to get this, I need to add about 950oz of bleach. Is this right???? Do I do it all at once or over time?? Seems like a very high amount and I don't want to ruin my liner. Are we on the right track?

    Karen
    Welcome!

    You've been Pool-stored.

    When they say CYA is 99, that's their code for "It's off the charts." In reality, it's probably much, much higher. That 950 oz you calculated is just the initial dose. You'll be needing a lot more to maintain that level until it clears. A lot more. So much more that we generally recommend a partial drain and refill to lower CYA to a more reasonable number, which allows more reasonable amounts of bleach.

    My advice:
    1) Take a deep breath and go order a TF100 with the XL option and a speedstir right now from http://tftestkits.net/Test-Kits-c4/ It will be the best money you ever spent on your pool.
    2) Read Pool School slowly, especially the How To Shock Your Pool and the beginner page. When you feel like , stop and go to
    3) horrible-algae-after-opening-pool-can-t-see-bottom-t60308.html for some inspiration. One of my posts has links to other good threads.
    4) When the test kit arrives, get a full set of your own, accurate readings and we'll coach you from there.
    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: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Ugh...ok... so if I do the "drain part of the pool route"... how exactly do I do that??? According to the paperwork, 99 is in the "acceptable" range for CYA. I guess that is not the case?

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by kcvecc
    According to the paperwork, 99 is in the "acceptable" range for CYA.
    Not here at tfp. Your story is the most common problem we experience we here about on tfp and one that is very avoidable in the future if you take time to learn the methods taught on this board. For a non swg pool, we recommend a level of 30-50 ppm cya. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...mmended_levels

    Also take a look at this pool school article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool
    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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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    You really need to read the pool school link at the upper right of this page, in general around here we feel a CYA level of 50 is the highest anyone should intentionally aim for, anything over about 70 is unmaintainable.

    Ike

    p.s. like linen said this is the most common problem we see, on average we hear this same story several times per day this time of year.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    We ordered the testing kit and it will be here Monday. In the meantime what should be my course of action? Should I remove the pucks, run the filter 24/7 and just continue to add bleach daily until the kit comes? If so, how much bleach? I think we have done about 4.5 gallons so far and the strip is registering chlorine at 10 - which I know isn't indicative because it could be 10,15 or 20. We are having my daughter's bday next Saturday and it's a pool party so I really want to try to get a jumpstart on things. Thanks everyone!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Just keep doing what you're doing. Keep things from getting worse. Or...knowing almost positively that CYA is above 100, drain and refill half the water now, always bearing in mind that that still may not be enough and you'll need to repeat it after you get your test kit and some valid results. But it could shave a few hours off the cleanup once you do get the kit, as refilling takes a while. It's your call. If you do drain. leave about a foot in the shallow end so your vinyl liner doesn't shift.
    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: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    So can I drain by backwashing and, if so, how do I do that? I have a sand filter if that matters. And will this damage the system in any way?

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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by kcvecc
    So can I drain by backwashing and, if so, how do I do that? I have a sand filter if that matters. And will this damage the system in any way?
    Turn the pump off. Move the handle on top of the filter to backwash. Turn the pump on.

    As long as you don't drain so low that you suck air into the pump, no problem at all.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    What type of filter do you have? Could you put your pool and equipment detail in your signature?

    You may have a waste setting if you have a multiport valve on your filter.
    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: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    We have a sand filter and a Centurion pump. I am new to this so let me know if that is not what you are looking for. Looks like we do a waste setting... what do I do with that?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by kcvecc
    We have a sand filter and a Centurion pump. I am new to this so let me know if that is not what you are looking for. Looks like we do a waste setting... what do I do with that?
    Waste means the pump sucks water out of the pool and spits it out the waste port. The filter is isolated. You're just using the pump, not the filter.
    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: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Sorry... just want to make sure I am understanding all this before I do anything So backwash runs through the sand filter but using the waste port bypasses the filter? How much of the pool can you drain through the waste port?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by kcvecc
    Sorry... just want to make sure I am understanding all this before I do anything So backwash runs through the sand filter but using the waste port bypasses the filter? How much of the pool can you drain through the waste port?
    If the main drain is piped separately from the skimmers and you can close off the skimmers, all of it.
    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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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Backwash runs the water through the sand filter backwards flushing the dirt out of it, and then sending it out the waste line. Waste just takes water from the pump and sends it straight out the waste line.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    Thanks for all the great info! Excited that the test kit is arriving tomorrow and we can hopefully get this on track to being able to swim.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    One other question.... running out to Sam's tonite. Any thoughts, realistically, on how much bleach I should buy (assuming not draining) and is there a Sam's brand that I can buy that will work or should I buy Clorox?

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    House brands of bleach or fine, just read the fine print to see the percentage strength, also make sure it is plain bleach, no splash proof or outdoor bleach which has additives.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Help... Pool not holding chlorine

    I agree with Isaac, just be aware some of the cheaper brands (often with lower than 6% NaClO) have a higher lye content that can raise the ph more than the "less cheap brands". For now I would just buy what ever is the best value per oz of NaClO (sodium hypochlorite). Member DanialP made a nice bleach cost comparator: http://www.troublefreepool.com/liqui...or-t58962.html

    Hard to say how much you will need, but 10 (maybe 15) gallons of 6% would get you started.
    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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