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Thread: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

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    Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    I've only been using 3-way strips since the pool was installed, but in the past month FC has been reading zero, even though I've shocked with granular shock a couple of times. No sign of algae. Wondering if CYA may have climbed due to the use of 3" Tri-chlor tabs. Ordered more test strips with CYA (should be here in a day or so).

    I'm in a rural area. No competent pool stores nearby. Willing to buy better tester and learn to use, but I'm worried that I can't get a FC reading.

    Note that I don't have a SWG. Pool company (Anthony&Sylvan) recommended against it, even though they had been installing for past 10 years. Instead I have an ozonator, Nature2 cartridge, and chlorine tablet feeder.

    What steps should I be taking immediately to correct my problem and get a FC reading back.

    According to my strips: FC=0, Alk=100, pH=7.2
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Get rid of the ozone n nature2!!! You don't need it!

    Read Pool School and while you are there, order a proper test kit and post result! Sale your test strips on Craig's List or give them to your neighbor. They are inaccurate and we need proper readings to help you. Your CYA level is probably high but without a good test kit like the TF-100 or K-2006, we're all just guessing. We can't help you without those results.

    Please read Pool School.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Welcome to TFP!

    Like Casey said, a good test kit is a must. Near term though you should be adding bleach to maintain some FC in the pool, problem is no way to know how much without a CYA number.

    The ozonator, nature 2 and tablet feeder are all things we do not recommend.
    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: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Thanks. I ordered the TF-100 test kit last night. I will post again when I have some data. My CYA test strips will probably arrive today. If I get a Cya reading from them, should I attempt to add bleach to raise FC to levels indicated on the chart?
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Don't trust the strips. Wait on your kit to test....it'll be there Thursday.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Survived!

    Awesome board, especially for technical types who like analysis, testing, and calculating!

    So, I think I was on the verge of some bad stuff. I had diligently checked my 3-way strips since the pool was installed last spring. Everything was fine until.....FC wouldn't register on the strips no matter how much I jacked up the Tri-chlor feeder. So, I whined here and you all nicely but firmly told me to get a test kit. I did. My original numbers were:

    FC=1
    CC=.5
    TA=90
    ph=7.2
    CYA=120
    CH=600

    I drained about 2' on Friday night. CH and CYA both went down. I drained another 2' last night and my numbers are:
    FC=1 (just got home from work. I'll add more bleach).
    CC (haven't measured yet. waiting to get FC boosted and let things settle).
    TA=120
    PH=7.6 (I did add some Borax Saturday).
    CYA=40
    CH=240

    I may have missed this in pool school, but is the recommendation to check pH and FC every day? I was checking weekly with the feeder. If we don't use the pool that much during the week, should I expect to see that much consumption of FC?

    I sure am grateful for the replies I received, and for the treasure-trove of information and experiences on this board. Now I'm off to the donation page.
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    I used to check my pool daily when I first recieved my kit. I would check the FC and the pH until I found out how my pool was reacting with 2 children and a few neighborhood kids using it daily. I dropped down to testing pH every couple days and FC nightly.

    I would recommend doing just that until you can almost expect a certain test result before you test the pool. I like to call it... Getting to know you my beautiful pool!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Whenever you do the FAS-DPD test, test the CC also ... it can be a sign of problems.

    With a [s:bw6sqpyf]FC[/s:bw6sqpyf] CYA of 40ppm, you should never let the FC drop below 3ppm. What does your water look like? {Thanks Casey}

    Yes you should check FC and pH everyday. A typical CLEAN pool loses 2-3ppm of FC everyday ... so you need to be adding that everyday ... which is 48-72 oz of 8.25% bleach. If your pool is cloudy / green, you will need much more FC and should go through the Shocking Your Pool 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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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    With a FC of 40ppm, you should never let the FC drop below 3ppm. What does your water look like?
    He meant CYA of 40.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Remarkably, the pool is clear. It never did get cloudy or green. The inability to affect FC is what brought me back to this board. I think I was on the verge of algae, but it didn't happen. I consider myself fortunate.

    So, I'll keep FC at 3ppm minimum (like the chart says). CC was good on Thursday. I'll check again tomorrow, unless there is some urgent need to do it tonight.

    Do you guys do this stuff in the morning or evenings? Unfortunately I leave the house around 6:30am and often get home after 7:30pm. Is morning or evening preferable for the FC readings (I thought I saw this somewhere, but cannot find it now)?
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Evening is the best time because it is typically when the FC is the lowest after losing it to the sun all day.

    If you can not hold FC, I would strongly urge you to raise the FC up to around shock value {16ppm for you} and then Perform the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to verify there is nothing in the water consuming the FC ... this fits right into your schedule
    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
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    I am going to follow the advice to bring it to shock level and do the overnight test, but I have a couple additional questions:

    How long after adding a bunch of bleach (like 362 oz) should I wait before checking FC again? Is there some point at which it is considered mostly-dispersed?
    Also, we had some wind and storms yesterday and there were more leaves and things in the pool than normal. Will a short-term increase in this debris have a measureable effect on FC consumption?

    I measured FC at 3.5 after dark, and this morning it was at 1. Added 48oz of bleach to attempt to get back to 3 before leaving for work. After work, FC=1, CC=0. Water is still clear.

    Just added enough bleach at 7:15pm to get to shock level. Wondering how long to wait before verifying that I'm above 16.
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    You should let the pool circulate for around an hour and the bleach will certainly be mixed in.
    Then leave the pump running all night. And test again in the morning.

    Are you testing for CC each time as well? You should
    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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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    I am, I just didn't report it in that post. It has never been over 0.5 since I received the test. From the little bit I've learned, I think that's a good thing. Right?
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Yes. As long as it stays 0.5ppm or less you are fine. Since you did not report it, wanted to make sure it did not happen to be high which by itself would warrant the full 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
    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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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Losing chlorine over night is not good. It means something is growing and it's time to begin the shock process.

    Good luck and test first thing tomorrow morning before the sun hits the pool.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Will do. Thanks for the encouragement!

    So the dead stuff that made it's way into the pool yesterday (not that much, but normally the vacuum keeps it pretty clean) would not have contributed to the FC consumption overnight?
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    It could some ... but that is kind of why 1ppm loss is allowed.
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    I'm still at it. I took it up to shock level yesterday evening, but something's consuming FC. Amazing that the water has stayed so clear throughout all of this. Wish I had flexibility to stay home and keep it topped-off all day long, but I gotta pay for that bleach!

    6/25 7pm
    FC=18.5
    CC-0.5

    6/25 9pm
    FC=15.5
    CC=0
    added bleach to try to hit 17

    6/25 10pm
    FC=14.5
    CC=0.5

    6/26 5am
    FC=11.5
    CC=0.5
    added bleach to try to hit 18

    6/26 6:15am
    FC=18
    CC=0.5

    6/26 10pm
    FC=5
    CC=0
    added bleach to try to hit 18
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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    Re: Newbie - pH low, FC zero, no algae yet! Need help

    Things are looking better this morning.

    6/27 6am
    FC=15
    CC=0.5

    I'm going to bring it back up to 18 this morning before work and see how it holds today. Hopefully tonight will be my last Overnight test.
    East of Charlotte, NC Pool built 2/12
    16k, IG Pebble, cartridge filter, BBB (now), polaris360 cleaner, TF100 test kit

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