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Thread: Pool chems out of control - need help!

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    sonflower's Avatar
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    Pool chems out of control - need help!

    I'm so mad at myself right now . Somehow my pool chems got out of whack big time. I've been caring for this pool for 8 years and only 1 other time did it get this bad. I don't know how this happened but I have to focus on fixing it. Issue started long before yesterday but here is some background:

    Yesterday I came home. The pool pump had not run all day due to the electricity going out due to a rain storm the night before. My pool was green green green. Without testing the water I dumped 1 shock bag and 1 gallon of MA in it. Called hubby and asked him to pick up algaecide on his way home. When he got home I dumped 3/4 of a bottle of algaecide in the pool. Water was already looking better. Pump ran all night. Woke up. Water crystal clear and beautiful. I had to take the dog to the vet. Got home and sat down and did the chems. Freaking out now.

    There is no FC at all. And somehow the salt is at 4600.

    As you know Aquarite shuts down at appx ~3800-4000. Here is mistake #1, that I know of, obviously there are many others. 2 weeks ago I tested the salt & it was 4000. Aquarite obviously is not working at this point. I said, well, all winter long the salt kept going down without us even using the pool so I'll give it a week or 2 and re-check the salt and it will be down like it always is & Aquarite will be working again (I know what you're thinking, no I'm not blond, I came up with that flawed logic all by brown-haired self ) Somehow it is UP not down.

    Obviously we have to drain water out of the pool to resolve the salt issue. But the FC? I need help determining how much bleach to put in. Pool Calculator says 1.25 of 6% bleach but that doesn't seem like enough. The last major pool drama involving FC we put in about 10 bottles of bleach. What am I missing in my calc?

    I didn't bother with pH and TA because of the FC and obvious need to drain water out of pool.

    Thoughts and suggestions?

    Signed
    Embarrassed, clueless and freaking out
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    I may have missed it, but what is CYA level?

    In fact, we could use all the test numbers
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    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    Have you confirmed the SWG is shut down positively?

    What is your CYA?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    sonflower's Avatar
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    OK I'll get the #'s. I panicked when I saw 0 FC.
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    sonflower's Avatar
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    OK pH: 7.4
    TA: 100
    CYA: 60

    Here is an image of our Aquarite display and I believe it's shut down because if it had been working we would have had at least 1 FC:
    Enjoy my little 'notes to self' based on hard learned lessons!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/95318445@N08/8979334269/
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    Pump and SWG both on, why don't you take a sample of pool water directly in front of a return into the pool.

    Then, if you have the TF-100, use the simple OTO chlorine test (blue plastic box) and check to see if the sample turn yellow or stays clear. That would tell us for sure if your SWG is producing chlorine.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    In the picture, with the Low salt light ON and the generating light OFF, it should not be making an FC ... not sure if that is a current picture or not.

    How old is the cell? 8 years? They generally only last 3-5 years. A sign of a failing cell is that it is reading a lower salt level than reality.

    It should be reading a salt level that is pretty similar to independent tests (unlike you note seems to indicate).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Pump and SWG both on, why don't you take a sample of pool water directly in front of a return into the pool.

    Then, if you have the TF-100, use the simple OTO chlorine test (blue plastic box) and check to see if the sample turn yellow or stays clear. That would tell us for sure if your SWG is producing chlorine.
    Duraleigh I have the K1766 test kit. I just tested the salt and it read 4600 and yes, the sample turned yellow. It did NOT stay clear. Sounds like that is good news! I edited to add that I took the sample but it was about 1 ft from the return not directly in front of.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    In the picture, with the Low salt light ON and the generating light OFF, it should not be making an FC ... not sure if that is a current picture or not.

    How old is the cell? 8 years? They generally only last 3-5 years. A sign of a failing cell is that it is reading a lower salt level than reality.

    It should be reading a salt level that is pretty similar to independent tests (unlike you note seems to indicate).
    The current salt cell was installed in June of 2010. Yes the picture is current as of 15 mins ago.

    Thanks everyone for your help!!
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    I think your cell has reached the end of its life ... have it tested at a pool store.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    the sample turned yellow. It did NOT stay clear.
    I am talking about the chlorine test (OTO test)turning yellow. Are you?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    the sample turned yellow. It did NOT stay clear.
    I am talking about the chlorine test (OTO test)turning yellow. Are you?
    No, my bad. I wasn't talking about OTO.

    I have the K2006 kit which includes - Chlorine, Free & Combined D FAS-DPD.

    The sample never turned yellow but I am not sure I know what I am doing to be honest because this has never happened before to me with this test kit. I added the 2 droppers of DPD powder but it did not turn pink like it always done. So I followed the instructions to add more DPD powder. After 3 more scoops sample was still clear.

    Do I keep adding DPD powder....seems like I could run out of DPD powder....?
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    The K-2006 does not have the test I am talking about so you cannot go further. It's a pretty good bet your cell has failed.....I was trying to confirm that with the OTO test but your DPD test confirms it as well.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    No, don't add more DPD powder, you probably don't have any FC.

    The yellow they are talking about is the OTO test, you add drops directly to the water sample and compare it against the color block. The Taylor K-2006 doesn't come with that test.

    As the others have said, your cell is most likely dying.
    23,000 IG Plaster pool w/ spa, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE Filter, Hayward RS1000 Main pump, Polaris booster pump, CPSC48 SWG, Legend pool sweep. Dallas, Texas, Full sun, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    Have you checked to make sure the cell is clean? The cell will read low when it is not clean. What are you using to get the salt level at 4600, the K-1766?

    Don't waste the DPD powder, most likely you are out of chlorine.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    I think I am missing a piece of information though...probably several as you can tell. What if I get the salt count down from 4600 to the proper range, say 3300-3400, clean out the salt cell using MA and water like we were taught, and try again? Is there any hope that would help?

    It's only 3 years old. I pulled out the warranty and we are 3 weeks from the 3 year warranty expiring. I am now on hold with Hayward just in case there's any hope of using this warranty.

    I read here years ago that salt does not evaporate. If true, in the winter when the pool is not being used, why does my salt level go down?

    Thanks again for your help.
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ping
    Have you checked to make sure the cell is clean? The cell will read low when it is not clean. What are you using to get the salt level at 4600, the K-1766?

    Don't waste the DPD powder, most likely you are out of chlorine.
    Thanks ping... no we haven't and that was the first thing my husband said when I called him. I said, but true, we need to clean it.... but I think we are wasting our time till the salt level is down to the proper range. Yes, the K1766 test kit is what I use to test.
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    The cell is telling you low salt when in reality it is high ... I think it is done. Try to clean it and put it back on ... if the salt reading in the controller goes up, you might squeak by for a little longer. But, given that the warranty is almost up, I would certainly see if you can determine if it is dead so you get something out of it.

    The salt should not really go down unless you are removing water from the pool (backwashing, splashing, vacuuming, leaking).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    Just to confirm.... I was told the way to tell if the chlorine is being produced is small bubbles will come out of the return... is this true? Certainly this is not happening today but I've seen it in the past.
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    Not necessarily. Sometimes people see bubbles, other people do not. You can try taking a water sample directly from the return and see if the FC is higher than the bulk of the water.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    sonflower's Avatar
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    Re: Pool chems out of control - need help!

    OK thank you. I haven't really read where anyone is suggesting I get the salt level back down to the proper range... the focus is on testing and replacing the salt cell if needed, which I agree is likely. Do I not need to get the salt level back down to the proper range?

    I am beating myself up for not taking care of the pool chems and I do take ownership of that in the last 2 weeks with all the storms, yet it also sounds like the salt cell may be the bigger culprit after all. Had it been working properly perhaps there would at least be some FC. As it is now we can't use the pool due to health risks.

    Is it possible that too high of salt would cause a salt cell to quit working altogether, as in die and have to be replaced?

    We are definitely cleaning it with MA and water just in case it helps.

    Salt cell is out of warranty unfortunately.
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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