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Thread: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

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    Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Hi all! What a great forum. After spending more money on chemicals than I'd like to admit, I found your website. I am hoping we can get some help despite the inadequate test results from one of the color scale tests. We have received varying advice from pool store employees and friends as to how to get our pool ready to swim in; our water is still cloudyish, a little blue/green on the deep end, and our test results are not where they need to be according to the tests. Only our total chlorine is "OK" - and from the posting rules, you don't even ask for that.

    I don't know if these can even be used by folks here, but here are the only values/results we have:

    Total hardness: low
    Total chlorine: OK
    Free Chlorine: very low
    pH: low
    Total alkalinity: low/very low
    Stabilizer: very low

    Don't have results for:
    CC, CH, CYA

    Water is clear enough that we can (finally!) see the bottom in the deep end, and the color is blueish - a light teal maybe. It has been this color for a few days now, but only today can we see the bottom in the deep end. We have seen the shallow end bottom for a few days. We shocked the pool (5 lbs of shock) last night.

    There's a Leslie's that does free tests that I can go to tomorrow if I can't move forward without more complete results. The last results I have from them are from 8 days ago and there's been 4 inches of rain since then. (Hey, it helped get the pool water level back up after all the backwashing!). We won't be getting a decent test kit until July.

    Thank you for your great forum!
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Yeah, sorry, that amount of information is not going to tell us enough to give any kind of recommendation. Since our recommended levels are going to be different that the pool stores and we have not idea what "low" "very low" mean.

    Stabilizer = CYA ... that is a VERY important parameter to know as it determines how much FC you need.

    What powdered chlorine are you using? It is either adding CH or CYA with the chlorine and adding either is bad if they get too high.

    If the best you can do is get number from Leslies, we can try to help, but generally pool store testing is found to be worth exactly what you paid for it.

    In the meantime, read Pool School (button at the upper right) a few times ... and get a test kit as soon as you can. Even the 6-way HTH from Walmart would be better at this point than guessing: Recommended Test Kits
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Welcome!

    http://tftestkits.net is in Raleigh NC. You probably missed today's truck, but I bet you'd have the primo test kit in your hands the day after it ships. Order one now!
    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: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    What powdered chlorine are you using? It is either adding CH or CYA with the chlorine and adding either is bad if they get too high.
    We have some 3" chlorine tablets from Rising Sun Pools and we have most recently put in 5 lbs of Pool Essentials Shock from Walmart. I'm not sure if that's what you're asking.
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    The tablets and the Pool Essentials are both Trichlor ... so they are adding CYA. This could be a very bad thing if your CYA is already too high.
    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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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Thanks jblizzle, hopefully the Stabilizer result from the cheap test is accurate and the CYA is not too high. We'll have to figure out a way to get a good test. We've exceeded our pool budget already (by more than 150%!) so we may just have to wait. I will check out the walmart one you mentioned in the meantime.

    FYI - here are the Leslie's results, just to get some feedback on the numbers, whether they are more like results that can get us some more guidance. Note that these are old results, so we're not looking for a recommendation from them, just to know whether if I go to Leslie's tomorrow and get a water test it'll be worth the 45 minute round-trip. Thanks again for your time.

    Free Available Chlorine: 4
    Total available chlorine: 4
    Calcium Hardness: 90
    Cyanuric Acid: 70
    Total Alkalinity: 80
    pH: 6.8
    Base Demand: 6
    Copper: 1
    Iron: 0
    Total Dissolved solids: 1100
    Phosphates: 800
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    If those were to be believed, your CYA is too high and all the solid chlorine you are adding is making it worse. Problem is the CYA test is the one the pool stores are the worst at getting right.

    Also, their FC test is likely limited to 5ppm, so that is not helpful if you are trying to follow the shock process (this is true of the HTH test as well ... need that FAS-DPD)

    Ignore TDS and Phosphates. That Copper seems awfully high I think.
    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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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    I don't know what the "shock process" or FAS-DPD is. I will read the pool school info again. The copper is high because we added copper sulfate per a friend's instructions. It was 2 ppm. We have stopped that.

    I don't want to waste any more of your time without some more reliable results. Thanks!
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    The FAS-DPD is the chlorine test that is in all the kits we recommend (K-2006 or TF-100).

    The Shocking Your Pool PROCESS is described in Pool School as is used to remove any organics in the water (like algae) that are consuming chlorine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Alright, we got a test kit (TF-100) thanks to the great folks at TFTestkits.net!
    Here's where we are:
    FC: 0.5 ppm
    CC: 1 ppm
    pH: < 6.8
    TA: it turned pink at 70 and was still only dark pink at 140. Are we going for Wolfpack red?
    CH: 720 (we have copper so this is with the 2 drops of R-0011L prior to the R-0012)
    CYA: 50
    The pool is clear - we can see the bottom throughout - and has been clear 2 days.

    Here's what we have on hand that I'm hoping we can use:
    5 # Pool Essentials Shock from walmart
    25 # 3" chlorine tablets (that I can't return to the pool store... have already tried)
    5 # soda ash
    unknown amt pH down

    Any recommendations?
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    You do not want to use any of the chlorine chemicals you have since they will raise the CYA and you are at the top of the recommended range.

    Your TA sounds like 70 ... when the color does not change, you are done.
    You need to use the soda ash to get the pH into the low 7s and then start the Shocking Your Pool PROCESS using liquid chlorine/bleach.

    Your CH is pretty high, so you will need to keep a close eye on the pH to prevent calcium scaling.

    Have you read the Extended Test Instructions?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Don't worry about those solid chlorine products, they keep for years and you can use them later to adjust your CYA if it gets low due to splash out, or if you need to use pucks while on vacation.
    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
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Thanks again jblizzle & Isaac-1.

    Jblizzle, I just read the extended test instructions. Thanks for the link.

    We have known for a few days that the pH was low but didn't want to add the soda ash in case there was something we needed to do before that. We will add the soda ash and retest tomorrow.
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Add the soda ash. Circulate for 30-60 minutes and then re-test. Once pH is in line ... start the shock process ... why wait?
    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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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    When you say circulate, do you mean use the 'circulate' option on the filter, or just keep the filter running?
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Just keep the filter running ... in fact it should be running 24/7 while in the shock process.
    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: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Ok - pH reads 7.2 on the color test included in the TF-100. We have to get some liquid bleach. I saw The Shock Process says it's impossible to know how much is required, but is there a reasonable amount to purchase at the outset? Two to three gallons? Five or more?

    Thanks again! You have no idea (or maybe you do) how relieved we are to have found a reliable source for pool care.
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by bsnobles
    Ok - pH reads 7.2 on the color test included in the TF-100. We have to get some liquid bleach. I saw The Shock Process says it's impossible to know how much is required, but is there a reasonable amount to purchase at the outset? Two to three gallons? Five or more?

    Thanks again! You have no idea (or maybe you do) how relieved we are to have found a reliable source for pool care.
    25,000 is a pretty big pool. I'd empty the shelves with as much as your car can carry. The initial dose, just to get it up to 16, is just under five gallons. Expect that to be used up in a few hours.
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    Just an update:
    I added approx. 5 gallons bleach about 4 hours ago; the current chlorine results are:
    FC: 6.5 (may be 6.0 but last 2 drops of the reagent came out back to back)
    CC: 6.0

    I'm going to add another approx 5 gallons now and then do the OCLT tonight.

    Question: how long should I wait after adding the bleach to test for the shock level of FC?
    First-time Pool Owners
    25K gal. - IG - Vinyl - Sand Filter (Tagelus TA60 325 #) - unknown pump HP/speed - Built 2000

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Any hope before we can get a test kit?

    You are nowhere near ready for the OCLT based on the high CC. That is really the last step after the pool is clear and your CC < 0.5ppm

    You should circulate for about an hour after adding bleach to re-test. With CC that high, you should be trying to re-test as often as possible because the FC is going to be used very quickly.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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