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Thread: Second Season - Need some help with TA / pH / CYA / CC

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    Second Season - Need some help with TA / pH / CYA / CC

    This is my second season with my pool. Installed pool in the fall, never swam in it...opened it up last year and had no issues what so ever, at least none that I was aware of...used the test strips that came with the pool, and very ignorantly added whatever I thought I needed to keep pool clear and sparkling. Made a couple of trips to pool store, and I was just fat, dumb, and happy.

    Fast forward to this year...opened pool to discover a green monster. Went to pool store...they had me dump in a ton of stabilzer, a ton of algeacide, a ton of muriatic acid, and a ton of their powered shock to the tune of $130. I ran filter non-stop. After three days, water turned from green to felt like water, but looked like jelly. It was totally opaque...could not see two inches down. Looked surreal. At this point, I was reading no chlorine, and pH was in the toilet - barely even registered on the test strip. I took another sample back to pool store, and this time they tried to sell me $260 worth of chemicals - that's no exaggeration. I said no thanks, and decided it was time to educate myself on how to deal with a pool.

    So I hit the internet...and stumbled upon this site. It was like the clouds parted, the sun starting shining, and the angels starting singing. I immediately began the shock process and ordered a TF-100 test kit.

    After about four or five days....water began to clear, and pool began to hold somewhat of a chlorine level overnight. I started adding a bunch of bleach, and I kept adding either baking soda, or washing soda / borax. I've also been adding a dose of clarifier ever day. At this point, I had not received my test kit, so I was just using the test strips to keep my chloring levels high. Well, I finally got my kit tonight, and immediately performed the tests. Here are my current numbers:

    FC = 4
    CC = 1
    TA = 240
    pH = 7.2
    CYA = 50

    Water is still cloudy, but has been improving little by little every day. I've been running filter 24 X 7, and cleaning the cartridge everyday.

    Here is what I need help with....
    1. Is my CYA level too high? Seems like I'm right on the high side of things.
    2. My TA level just seems high to me...I've played with pool calc., and when I enter my TA @ 100 - it gives me a recommendation to add 25 oz. of washing soda....when I enter my true TA level, it tells me to add even more. I guess I would like my TA to be closer to the recommended number on my test strip bottle (120 - 150), so how do I lower this number, while still keeping my pH somewhat near appropriate levels? Seems like my TA is way up there. Could I have messed up on my test? I followed instructions to the letter.
    3. Can someone give me a plan of attack moving forward in order to continue on this path of things clearing up, and how to keep things in line moving forward?
    4. How do I get rid of that pesky CC? Do another round of shock?

    Thanks in advance for all the help. Thank goodness for this site...valuable information, intelligence, and education is priceless. Thank you guys so much. Two weeks ago, I hated my pool, and had some real anxiety thinking about all the dough I was pouring into it, and all the dough I was about to part with in order to keep my family happy. Now I feel excited and empowered that I can actually do something effective, and not spend a fortune doing it.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Second Season - Need some help with TA / pH / CYA / CC

    Welcome to TFP!

    1) Nope. CYA at 50 is just about perfect for an outdoor pool without a SWG (salt system).
    2) Yep. TA at 240 is very high. To lower TA, just keep the PH down around 7.2 to 7.5, and over time the TA will slowly come down. There is no need to rush the process unless the PH is going up very rapidly or your CH level (not posted) is also high.
    3) Go read the article on how to shock your pool in Pool School.
    4) You never finished shocking. You need to maintain the FC level at shock level until there is no overnight loss, the water is clear, and CC is 0.5 or lower.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Second Season - Need some help with TA / pH / CYA / CC

    CH test was kind of tough to perform, or at least hard to read. Test water looked clear with blue drops in it from one angle and bluish from another angle after 30 drops. I'd say my CH is about 300.

    Should I do something about the TA given this info, and if so, what? Will the TA just drop on its own over time if I just keep pH on the low side? I just dropped some major coin on a pool heat pump, and I'm scared of low pH. High TA has me concerned as well.

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    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Second Season - Need some help with TA / pH / CYA / CC


    TA is what you mess with after the pool is clean and sparkling and you're bored. Just maintain pH and it will eventually fix itself. Right now, worry abpout algae - valuable swim time is being wasted!
    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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