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Thread: Chlorine is not holding

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    Chlorine is not holding

    My pool has a 2000 ppb phosphate level and the chlorine is not holding the pool. I am on my second bottle of Phosfree treatment. There are these dark brown clouds that form when the pump is off but go away when the filter is running. Is this phosphate? Why is my chlorine not holding?

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    How do you chlorinate your pool? What is the name of the product you are using to add chlorine to your pool?

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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    I know we have shocked it once and I currently have a chlorinator with tabs.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Welcome!

    Do these clouds look like dust bunnies except they're in the bottom of the pool instead of under your bed? Do they disintegrate when you try to brush them? If so, that's algae.

    What you need is a proper test kit, a whole lotta bleach, and a plan of action.

    pretty-black-pool-t58442.html
    first-time-pool-owner-t61565.html
    a-little-encouragement-for-those-with-algae-and-new-to-bbb-t57137.html
    frog-filled-green-swamp-to-oasis-work-in-progress-t48213-20.html be sure to look at page 2
    before-and-after-t36785.html
    a-final-picture-set-of-how-well-the-bbb-method-works-t33199.html

    Your pool is probably nowhere near as bad as these, and if they can do it, you can do it.
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    I am not sure what "under the bed" is referencing but the clouds are on the bottom and do disintegrate if you try to brush them. Usually they will be gone once the filter is running. Will this "plan of action" take care of the phosphate issue? I assume the algae is eating on the phosphate and increasing their levels.

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Kill the algae and you don't have to worry about phosphates. Pools have a daily chlorine load/requirement and you need to keep up with that. Remove the problem (algae), and you don't have to worry about phosphates. Chlorine is much more cost effective than phosphate remover.

    Welcome to the forums. There's a link called Pool School at the top right center. There's lots of great information there. Here's the link: category.php?c=getting_started

    I recommend you either follow our advice or the pool store advice, but don't do both. (You'll probally get conflicting info, and may turn you pool into a mess.) Our only interest is to help you enjoy your pool, the pool store has to sell products to stay in business. I found this site when I was shopping for a house with a pool, haven't been pool stored, almost but knew better. If you choose to follow the advice here you'll have a great looking pool. The test kits recommended are professional kits, and pay for them self within the first season.

    One of the key differences is we let the CYA level determine the FC level. Chlorine comes in many forms, but we recommend liquid chlorine, it can even come from chlorox bleach bottles. It is cost effective.

    The group is here to help, there are no quick fixes, but rather test, adjust, use chlorine. If you're fighting an algae out break, use lots of chlorine, and keep the pump running. Chlorine kills the algae, the filter catches the dead algae, the pump and chlorine makes it all happen.
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Quote Originally Posted by Weelow
    I am not sure what "under the bed" is referencing but the clouds are on the bottom and do disintegrate if you try to brush them. Usually they will be gone once the filter is running. Will this "plan of action" take care of the phosphate issue? I assume the algae is eating on the phosphate and increasing their levels.
    Shocking your pool will take care of the phosphate issue as it will kill all the algae and they won't eat your phosphates.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Quote Originally Posted by Weelow
    I am not sure what "under the bed" is referencing but the clouds are on the bottom and do disintegrate if you try to brush them. Usually they will be gone once the filter is running. Will this "plan of action" take care of the phosphate issue? I assume the algae is eating on the phosphate and increasing their levels.
    You must have some housekeeper if there are no dust bunnies under the beds!

    I have never had my phosphates tested and have no idea what they are. But I maintain my pH and FC and my pool is sparkling. If there is no algae, who cares what the phosphate level is? Phosphates are fuel for algae. Wood is fuel for a fire. If there's no fire, who cares how much wood there is? Kill the algae and stop wasting money on expensive phosphate removers.

    Phosphates are a profit-enhancing bogeyman for the pool store. Search
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    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: Chlorine is not holding

    Remembering I am a new pool owner, how do you know when your algae is completely killed? Should I maintain the FC between 2-4 to eliminate furthur algae problems?

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    You perform the overnight chlorine loss test to determine if you have successfully killed all that is living in your pool's water pool-school/overnight_fc_test
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Quote Originally Posted by Weelow
    Remembering I am a new pool owner, how do you know when your algae is completely killed? Should I maintain the FC between 2-4 to eliminate furthur algae problems?
    Two things consume chlorine: organics and sunlight. Organics include algae, dead skin, leaves, and insects.

    So... to rule out sunlight, you take an accurate FC reading using a FAS-DPD tester after the sun goes down and take another before the sun comes up. If you didn't lose any, you know there's nothing organic left in the pool. To keep the algae gone, you maintain the appropriate FC level for your CYA level.

    All of this is in Pool School. You need to start reading that. You're looking for a quick fix; we teach understanding and knowledge.
    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: Chlorine is not holding

    Shocked the pool yesterday. I performed the Overnight test with the results of FC at 5 last night and 5 this morning. I assume this means no algae is present and I need to maintain my FC level appropriately with my CYA level. Thanks for everyone's help.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    What FC was your shock level?
    What did you use to raise the FC?
    How long did you hold it there?
    How often did you test to make sure it stayed there?
    What is your CYA level?

    I doubt you shocked your pool according to our definition.
    Which test kit do you have?

    I feel that we've failed you by not following through on your problem. You say you're chlorinating using tabs and they raise the CYA each time you ise them. You appear to also be adding so called "shock" which is probably Dichlor and it raises CYA more that tablets do. Given that your CYA is probably really high and you have the beginnings of an algae bloom and that's what's consuming your FC so fast. Due to the fact that your CYA is probably high you are not able to maintain high enough FC to kill it completely.

    We want to help you, but to do that we need a full set of test results.
    pH
    FC
    CC
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    Post those and how you got them and we will be glad to help you get this cleared up and help you understand how to prevent this ever happening again in the future.

    P.S. The couldiness is most likely from adding the phosphate remover and should go away once you've correctly shocked your pool.
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Here is what I have using the K-2005 test kit:
    pH - 7.4
    FC - 9
    CC - 0
    TA - 120
    CH -
    CYA - 95

    A shock with 15 lbs of dry chlorinating granular and liquid algaecide was performed on Tuesday evening. The overnight test has been completed both nights and once during the day. The chlorine is holding well as of now and the pool is clearing up slowly (test shows no evidence of lost chlorine). The Sunday before, phosfree was added before I was completely aware phosphates didn't matter if there was no algae but as of yesterday, the levels dropped from 2500+ppb to 100ppb! Hopefully this will help in other areas with algae. What is the next step in the process besides continuing to test and monitor the different levels?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Unfortunately without the FAS-DPD chlorine test you can't perfrom the OCLT. It needs to be perfoormed with the FC at shock level and the shock level for your pool with a CYA of 95 is almost 40 ppm.

    We have no idea what size your pool is or what the "dry chlorinating granular" or "liquid algaecide" was so we can't tell how much it raised the FC but my bet is not enough!

    I can't stress enough that what you've done isn't shocking your pool. You may have startled it, but to shock it correctly you have to raise the FC to shock level per the chlorine/CYA chart and hold it there until you've passed the OCLT.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Your CYA of 95 is already too high, and continuing to add a shock product is most likely going to keep making it go higher. A few shock products add calcium instead of CYA, but most add CYA.
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    Re: Chlorine is not holding

    Basically, Cyanuric Acid (CYA) significantly reduces chlorine's effectiveness so you need a higher Free Chlorine (FC) level when the CYA level is higher to get the same level of effectiveness, including the rate of killing algae. See the Chlorine / CYA Chart for such levels for regular minimum FC levels and for shock FC levels. You can see that having a high CYA is often impractical in a manually dosed pool.

    However, before jumping to conclusions about your pool water chemistry levels, we strongly suggest you get yourself a proper test kit and since you already have a Taylor K-2005, I recommend you just supplement that with the FAS/DPD Chlorine & CC's test. That will let you test for higher chlorine levels (up to 50 ppm) so is especially useful during shocking but is also useful for measuring the higher maintenance FC needed with your higher CYA level (until you lower your CYA).

    Since your CYA is too high, then your best course of action is a partial drain/refill of your pool water to lower it to roughly 50 ppm or so (unless you are in a very hot and sunny desert environment). You'll need less chlorine to shock the pool to get rid of algae (even if not yet visible and consuming chlorine) when the CYA is lower. For now, maintain the higher FC level as indicated in the Chlorine / CYA Chart, but having a lower CYA will be less risky for the future. Certainly, don't use any stabilized chlorine products since they increase CYA levels.

    Read the Pool School and be sure not to skip Defeating Algae and The Shock Process so you'll know how to properly shock the pool in the future rather than just throwing in chlorine one time.

    And, by the way, my pool has had over 3000 ppb phosphates and I've prevented algae growth by maintaining the FC/CYA levels as in the Chlorine / CYA Chart and we've got one member here with tens of thousands of ppb phosphate who also prevents algae growth with chlorine alone. Now, that said, the fact you got your phosphates low will likely make your pool less "reactive" in case you lapse and let your FC drop too low, but if you let your FC get to near zero then bacteria can grow and convert organic phosphates in the pool into orthophosphates that algae can use -- the phosphate remover only lowers orthophosphate and does nothing about organic phosphates which is one of several reasons why we don't recommend using phosphate removers. They aren't "bad" -- just unnecessary if one maintains the proper FC/CYA levels.
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