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Thread: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

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    Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    35000 IG plaster pool & spa

    Initially the pool was eating up chlorine. Then we saw some small sites of algae. Had water tested on 6-22-13

    6-22-13 test
    FC = 0
    TC = 0
    Calc Hardness = 390
    CYA = 30
    Total Alkalinity = 70
    pH = 7.2
    Tot Dis Solids = 800
    Phosphates = 100
    This pool company said we needed to shock the pool 3 days in a row to get TC, FC up and algae out

    I shocked with appropriate amount 70% Chlorine. TC and FC barely moved up.

    Got water tested 6-24-13 at different pool company (gonna run out of pool companies soon)

    FC = 0.2
    TC = 0.69
    pH = 7.1
    Hardness = 439
    Alkalinity = 47
    CYA = 144
    Copper = 0.1
    Nitrate = 35
    We were told to empty the pool approx 60% and refill with fresh water due to high nitrate level.

    Any advice will be appreciated.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Dallas, TX

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    Well, I'm not worried about that nitrate level, but the pool store got your CYA up sky high. You'll have to drain and refill anyway to get that CYA back to around 30, back where you started.

    FYI, pool stores are notorious for not testing the CYA level correctly. I'm going to be first in recommending you get a quality test kit and take control of your pool yourself. I suggest the TF-100 from
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I agree with Robbie, the best advice we can give at this point is to stop trusting pool store testing and order yourself one of the Recommended Test Kits.

    After you get it, post a full set of test results. Your next step may be to replace water to lower the CYA (nothing to do with nitrates), whether or not that is required, you will then need to follow the Shocking Your Pool PROCESS to eradicate whatever is in the water. NOTE: this shock process is NOT what you have thus far considered "shocking".
    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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  4. Back To Top    #4
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    Well. let's just make it unanimous.

    Get your own test kit, get some results you can trust, and go from there. In the meantime, try to keep FC at least 5 so it doesn't go green on 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
    Charlie_R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Mexico, MO

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    You nany mouse?

    Pool essentials:

    1] good test kit

    2] Pool School

    3] Bleach!!!!


    5] POOL SCHOOL!!!!

    6] Pool Calculator
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Bay City, Michigan

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    Would be curious to know what exactly this 70% chlorine was that you added and how much was added?

    I see the pool store test shows you went from 30 to 144 CYA.

    With 35000 gallons, you would have needed to add:

    60 LBS of Trichlor (would have raised chlorine by 188) (lowed ph by 10.0)
    66 LBS of Dichlor (would have raised chlorine by 125) (lowered ph by 4.75)
    33 LBS of Granual Stabilizer

    Plan on having stores test your water again?
    12500 gallons, 24 foot round above ground
    Hayward Sand filter, Pentair OptiFlo 1HP 2-Speed pump

  7. Back To Top    #7
    kkendall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxman
    Had water tested on 6-22-13
    CYA = 30

    Got water tested 6-24-13 at different pool company (gonna run out of pool companies soon)
    CYA = 144
    Don't believe it....

    I tested mine one day and saw about 40 ... took a sample on the same day to a store and they tested it and told me it was 100. I told the guy it wasn't possible since I don't add anything to the water that would add CYA.

    He looked at me like I had 2 heads. He was shocked - then he retested... the second time he got the same as me - 40.

    Another time, when the guy was testing TA, he quit putting in drops as soon as the sample turned pink, and he told me that my TA was too low. I asked him to put in another drop and it turned a brighter pink. I had him continue the drops until there was no further change in the color then subtracted that last drop from the count.... my TA was fine - HE just didn't know how to test.

    At first, I wasn't overly confident with my numbers and had the store retest. When I saw their values come up different than mine, I questioned my own process until I got comfortable with testing and realized I was doing it right and if their numbers were different, they didnt do it right.

    You can take the same sample to 2 different stores and get back 2 different results. (I know cuz I've done it!) What does THAT tell you?

    Test your own pool - you can have the stores retest to validate your numbers, but unless you get someone at the store that actually knows how to do it, trust YOUR results. You will know when you found someone like that when his numbers are consistent with yours!

    PS - The only reason to have the pool store test your water is just for the entertainment value!
    * 18.5 K Gallon, 8ft deep, IG, Pebble Radiance * Pentair VS 3050 Pump w/420 Cartridge Filter
    * Blue Square Q-360 In-floor Cleaning System * UltraPure UPP25 Ozone Generator
    * Pool startup: 09-04-2012 * TF-100 Test Kit

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    topher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    I went into a store and got my water tested they said Cya was 60. My wife went in later to the same store, and they said it was 150 my testing says 45.

    Sent from my HTC Ruby using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    13500 gallon AG, build late 90's, Hayward S220T sand filter,1Hp aqua coastal
    Gasser BBQ broilmate 155154 LP, Smoker CGK (akorn)


  9. Back To Top    #9
    Smykowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Gurnee, IL (North Suburban Chi-town)

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    I don't test my water at a pool store. It's not even worth it for laughs anymore.
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10
    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Mandeville, Louisiana

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    I had my water tested at L's twice. It was just before I got my own test kit. As she was testing Chlorine someone called to her and as she turned her head she dropped two drops of the reagent on the counter next to the vial. She told me what I needed to buy. I left in a hurry.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Re: Told to drain the pool due to high nitrate

    I'll jump in on the bandwagon because I was exactly where you are about 6 weeks ago. I posted numbers here that was a conglomerate of 3 different pool stores and my old test kit (from a pool store) and I was on about $150.00/month budget of scale remover, phosphate remover, mineral remover, and trichlor tablets (SWG was on blink, fixed with help from here by the way )and acid - I don't buy any of that anymore except acid (the cheapest chemical), my pool is under 100% predictable control, and it looks awesome - and I buy about $30.00/month muriatic acid now - that's it. I spent about $30.00 in bleach to shock b/c I was having algae spots.

    It is frustrating to have multiple tests giving you different answers and it feels like a "safety blanket" to have a pool store re-enforce what you are thinking/testing. But the absolute BEST thing to do is stop having pool stores test your water. Get a good test kit (TFT-100) and trust yourself more than the pool store. What finally did it for me after reading pool school and all these posts I was asking the pool store employee if "unstabilized shock" (i.e. dichlor) had CYA in it - they vehemently told me "NO" - this I know for a fact, is false. So I dumped them. I got a good test kit, and I posted questions here - usually responded too within minutes. 0 complaints, have more money in my pocket, pool looks great and I feel like I am in control of it now.

    It will re-enforce your comfort level when you calculate how much of whatever you need to add, you do so, and the results you predicted come out on your follow up testing.
    25,000 gal in-ground gunite with spa and waterfall, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWG, Jandy CL580 cartridge filter, Raypak gas heater

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