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Thread: What to do next?

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    What to do next?

    New to pool chemistry and DIY, so will try to be factual and apologies if missing any info and lengthy description. Today my pool is clear but yellow/greenish cast and slowly lightening up since sunrise. Test strips show all in normal range, though chlorine on the low side of normal. Have been through a saga the last 12 days beginning with the metal stain removal treatment using ascorbic acid and Metal Free - twice - and getting too much info from my pool service and the local store. They don't respect each other's products or opinions but I know this is not the forum for complaints. But here goes the backstory and what I hope to learn:

    15,000 gallon in ground, vinyl. Chlorine pool w/Hayward S210 Sand filter, - with new glass sand product several days ago, 1 HP motor/pump. Usually no serious issues except routine maintenance and we keep it open year round. Also have a unused Hayward Star DE? filter in line but no filter in it. I do not have a real pool test kit as I rely on a service but do have strips. Pool has been serviced for 11 or 12 years and liner is about 5 or 6 years old. We've owned it for four years.

    This saga began as a request to our pool service to see if he could get the dark yellowish-orange streaks off the pool liner below water level - they appeared last summer and were slowly getting more visible. Pool service told me the staining on liner was permanent and liner would probably need to be replaced at some point. Also blamed it on the landscaper who got fertilizer with iron in it 2 years ago (he removed the iron spots with a metal remover?). Liner has also faded a lot in the last year or so. About 12 days ago I found the ascorbic acid test mentioned online and it was successful in removing stain, so went to local pool store to buy supplies. Used one container of ascorbic acid followed by a product called Metal Free. Kept the pump running 24/7. Pool was great for a couple days then went milky/cloudy. Pool store told me to shock it, and then do it again. Pool service showed up and freaked and also added more chlorine. He never heard of the ascorbic acid treatment. Metal staining came back within a day and I started again. Second round with ascorbic acid, Metal Free, and it clouded again- a milky white. Pool store gave me cellulose to add suggesting the sand filter couldn't get all the particles out - 2 cups every so often until pressure rose. Pressure never rose. So then the thought was maybe filter sand was old. Before we could address the filter, we had a tropical storm and gained several inches of rain and debris. Jets suddenly clogged and we shut down the system for most of the day. We changed the sand in the filter and blew out the jets and all was well except very, very cloudy water. Tons of sediment which I suspect was the cellulose and residual old sand.... (we rinsed but didn't backwash the new sand). Also replaced the filter pressure gauge. The pool store wanted a water sample..... So on Monday 6/9 their results showed 0 available free chlorine, 0 avail chlorine, 170 calcium, 40 CYA, 80 TA, 7.4 PH, 0 copper, 0 iron, 400 TDS. The water was still milky and with sediment so they gave me more shock, a bucket of calcium, a bucket of chlorine tabs and something called ultra bright. I used the shock and the calcium and hoped the pool service could do a real test when they came on tuesday. I did not mess with the Ultra bright. In the meantime I've still been running the pump 24/7 (except for the day the jets clogged and we changed the sand), vacuuming and brushing the pool several times a day. Yesterday the pool service came and again freaked and added a six tabs of chlorine. Said I had zero. Told me I should not have added the calcium. The water was pretty clear though and I was still vacuuming a lot of sediment but that was less and less. So late yesterday I noticed the metal staining returning - not as nearly as much but still there. Today I woke to yellow-green but clear water and very little sediment. It has lightened up a bit this early afternoon. The test strips show FCI either .5 or 1, Alk, between 80 and 120, PH, 7.2, CYA looks like 40 - hard to tell. Yes, I realize I need my own real kit soon!

    Here are my questions:

    Where do I go from here. I have an extra bag of shock. Do I use it? Do I keep adding chlorine tabs & try to get things relatively normal for a few days? Then try and address the metal staining again when I can babysit it? I leave town for four days and was told I should shock it again before I leave because we are having such hot weather.

    Keep the pump going 24/7 ?

    Take a sample when I return to a pool store? (been reading some not so nice things about that). Get a metal test? Use a different product than Metal Free?

    What would you do? At this point I'm not trusting the pool service nor the pool store 100 percent. Pool service suggested draining the pool but I think that's a bit severe?

    Also, what is all this chemical dumping doing to the water?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    1. Where do you go from here! Start reading in Pool School and learn the ABC's of pool chemistry. Get your own good test kit and start testing the water yourself. Take control of your pool.

    2. A metals test might be a good idea but don't be surprised if it shows zero. Get the recommended sequestrant. There's an article in pool school that will give you the ones recommended here.

    3. Draining the pool is severe but so is maintaining a level of sequestrant from now on. draining or not really depends on how much metal free fill water would cost you.

    4. All the chems you've put in the has affected you water in ways we have idea about without good test results.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: What to do next?

    Thank you!
    1. Have read the pool school but leaving town in the am and don't have opportunity to work on this until Monday. So no test kit or OCLT until early next week. I would like to take control but am out of town so much, that s why the service! Maybe I can get confident enough not to worry about that.
    2. Will look at metals test and definitely get a recommended sequestrant next round of tests etc.
    3. Too early to make that decision.
    4. TBD

    So I plan to load up chlorine tabs while out of town, and throw in a bag of shock to be on the safe side until Monday when I can get back to this... and get my own kit.

    Thanks

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    Order the kit now. And get a speedstir. Then you'll have something fun to look forward to when you return. Http://tftestkits.net ships really fast. Order tonight and it will probably be waiting for you.


    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!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: What to do next? Update

    Updates and affirmation of intent....

    Since returning to the scene (and back in town) and still running the pump 24/7. My water is crystal clear. Pool guy said on Tuesday chlorine was perfect, his "strips" were all good and took a calcium test as that is my concern now. (From previous post, pool store gave me a bucket of calcium to dump into my vinyl pool). His test - he says - was sky high over 700. Then he tested my fill water and calcium was 300.

    So I got MY new TFtest kit and began my own exploring last evening (Thursday).

    FC .5
    PH 7.5-7.8
    TA 110
    CH 500
    CYA 60

    I recalculated the pool size, pool guy told me about 15,000 gals. My calculation was 8150 and my other half calculated 9412. So I am using 9000 gallons as my pool size. It is an odd shape. I purchased and added 48 oz of 10% liquid chlorine last evening.

    This am my tests:

    FC 7
    PH closer to 7.8
    TA 90
    CH 460
    CYA 45

    AND I tested my fill water (from our town)

    FC 2.5
    PH 7.5
    TA 230
    CH 240
    CYA 0

    So after reading and reading.... I don't have access to an osmosis system and my fill water obviously has calcium, too. So I plan to continue vacuuming and backwashing often so that I am slowly replacing water and hopefully bringing down the calcium. Continue running the pump 24/7 . The new zeolite sand seems to be a happy accident - I've never seen the water so clean. I can vacuum to waste but not having any sediment issues any longer. I plan to use liquid chlorine for the time being. Then would like to have advice on whether to go back to the tablet product(s) for convenience - if so what.

    Pool guy left me a gift- bottle of Caltreat - Do I dare try it? Afraid to since my water is so clear.

    And the metal stains have virtually stayed away - a little discolor on the slope and a couple of streaks. Can I just spot treat w/ Vit C? I can live with it as it looks so much better than before this adventure.

    Should I bother with a metal test at this point? If so, trust the pool store?

    I do have a water fountain feature, which we never use, that could aerate - if that sparks any thought.

    I have a question about the fading of the pool liner and I have a burned out light bulb. Second one in a year and we never turn on the light. Should I ask about those in a separate post?

    Thank you so much for any guidance.

    9000 gal, IG vinyl, Hayward S210 w/new zeolite, 1HP motor/pump

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    You can probably turn down the filter to 8 hours a day. After a week, if it still looks good, try 7. If it's lost some sparkle, go back up. And so on. I get by with 3.5 plus the extra time when I'm vacuuming.

    Calcium could be a problem. Just plug your numbers into the poolcalculator and look at the CSI. If it's ) =/- .5, don;t sweat it. If it starts going outside that range, fiddle with the target numbers and see if reducing TA or pH a little will fix it, then do whatever's easiest.

    Pucks are a good way to replace CYA lost to backwashing. You will, however, need to test CYA more often so you don't go too high. As you sit now, I'd hang onto them until vacation time.

    Some cheap generic Vitamin C tablets smashed in a sock and weighted with a smooth river rock or some marbles should lift stains.

    There's nothing to do with a fading liner but replace it. Fading is usually caused by overchlorinating by the "pros".

    You might try the search box (the google on waaaaay at the lower left might be better) about the burnt out light.
    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!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: What to do next?

    Getting a bit nervous.... things were going smoothly until yesterday when chlorine really dropped - was down to .5 in the am, added pool calculator suggested amount of liquid chlorine, held fair during the day but had to add some and again last evening and down to .5 this am. Also ph looks a bit high. Too me it looks like it could be 8.2. So I did a complete panel this am:

    FC .5
    PH think it could be reading as high as 8.2
    TA 110
    CH 380 (which has dropped over this week)
    CYA 45-40

    I had stopped running the pump 24/7 and down to 12 hours per day, during daylight

    Still vacuuming every other day

    Metal staining is returning, though not as bad.

    Two questions:

    So I have pucks and threw one in until I can get to the store. Should I throw in liquid bleach later, too as the calculator suggests? 50 oz of 10%. Or since the CYA level is ok and lowers ph, should I throw in a basket of pucks to last? I've leaving town again next week anyway.

    Second, will I have to start anew with ascorbic acid and a sequestrant? Or just a sesquestrant? First treatment was weeks ago.

    I plan to go by a pool store later to test the water and fill water for metals.

    9000 gal, IG vinyl, Hayward s210 w/zeolite, 1 HP motor

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    If you're losing more than 1 ppm overnight, something's in there fighting the chlorine. Start the shock process again. The good news is, it could be over with in a day or two since you're nipping it in the bud. Fix the pH first, with acid. Your metal stains might disappear again. Just a thought .... you haven't added any sequestrants or algaecides, have you?

    Hold onto those pucks for when you leave town and pack a floater with them.

    EDIT: Is there a reason you're not testing CC?
    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!

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: What to do next?

    have not added any sequestrants or algaecides

    so is adding 50 oz of 10% bleach considered shock? there was a definite shift/drop after changing bottles, but who knows

    where do I find how to pack a floater? i do have inline chlorinator that sits idle... could use that

    I did test cc - forgot to post.... .5

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    Quote Originally Posted by poolmetal
    have not added any sequestrants or algaecides

    so is adding 50 oz of 10% bleach considered shock? there was a definite shift/drop after changing bottles, but who knows

    where do I find how to pack a floater? i do have inline chlorinator that sits idle... could use that

    I did test cc - forgot to post.... .5
    No... 50 oz is not shock level. With 45 CYA, shock level is 16, and http://www.poolcalculator.com/ indicates that 179 oz - just under 1.5 gallons of 10% is needed.

    The inline chlorinator will work fine; that's what it's there for - to hold trichlor pucks. For people without one plumbed in, a floating dispenser is the solution for vacation. Packing just means adding as many pucks as it will hold - it's no esoteric pool term
    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!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: What to do next?

    thanks very much

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: What to do next?

    ok, planning to add acid and shock level chlorine based on pool calc

    read multiple safety instructions, first - but curious about time between or which first..... add acid to body of pool and 30 minutes later chlorine to skimmer? Both during mid day?

    thanks if you are still nearby

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    Quote Originally Posted by poolmetal
    ok, planning to add acid and shock level chlorine based on pool calc

    read multiple safety instructions, first - but curious about time between or which first..... add acid to body of pool and 30 minutes later chlorine to skimmer? Both during mid day?

    thanks if you are still nearby
    Almost. Give it thirty minutes between chemical additions with the pump on. Brushing a little also helps mix things good. Just pour the liquids in front of the return and the stream of water will disperse it quickly. Don't pour anything into the skimmer.
    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!

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: What to do next?

    got it
    thanks

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: What to do next?

    update on shock - think I did everything correctly yesterday, EXCEPT that I didn't check the ph after adding the muriatic acid (3 cups) before adding the chlorine about 30 minutes later .... I checked both the CL and PH an hour after adding the chlorine and the chlorine was of course off the chart and the ph was 7.5 so added two more cups of the acid. Brushed multiple times and ran pump over night. Then read where you can't depend on PH readings during shock. Oh dear.

    last evening about 8pm:
    clear water
    Cl off the chart
    PH 7.5
    FC 17.5
    CC 0
    TC 17.5
    TA 100
    CH 330
    CYA 40

    This morning about 8am

    Clear water, however the metal staining is much more pronounced on the vinyl
    CL still orange
    PH 7.5
    FC 14.5
    CC .5
    TC 15
    TA 100
    CH 330
    CYA 40

    Should I assume to add the pool calculator amount of chlorine to keep it in shock this am?
    Do anything with the PH? Pool Calc says to add to reach 7.2
    Guess I'm also facing another round of metal stain removal at some point?

    Should add that we've had a lot of rain and wind here on the southeast coast!

    thanks for any input

    _____________________

    9000 gal, IG vinyl, Hayward s210 w/zeolite, 1 HP motor

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    Don't worry about anything but FC and CC during the shock process. Unless you had to replace a huge amount of water, which will have messed up the CYA level. Otherwise, you're just chasing your tail and wasting test reagents.

    Getting rid of the green for good takes a while. Lowering CYA or CH takes a while. But fixing the rest of it can all be done in a matter of hours once the pool is clear.
    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!

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: What to do next?

    Sorry to be so literate, but when you say getting rid of the green, you mean making sure "anything" that's there is gone whether I see green or not!?

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    Quote Originally Posted by poolmetal
    Sorry to be so literate, but when you say getting rid of the green, you mean making sure "anything" that's there is gone whether I see green or not!?
    Yes. That means passing the overnight loss test and having CC below .5.

    It might be time to reread pool-school/shocking_your_pool now that you've been doing it. It will make more sense 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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: What to do next?

    YAY! Overnight test held, and no CC this am.
    Though we had a ton of rain and the pool has it's usual sediment, but very clear water.
    Last night and this am:
    FC 17.5
    CC 0

    Now do I just monitor until FC is in a normal range and begin CL and PH testing?

    I leave town Tuesday so would you recommend waiting another week to address the staining?

    Thanks for any feedback!

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: What to do next?

    Yes and yes.

    Good work!
    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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