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Thread: Frustrated

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    Frustrated

    We are new pool owners and I think we've goofed. I just returned from the pool store, and here are our numbers: FC 1.1, Total Cl 1.6, CC .5, pH 7.8, Alkalinity 92, CYA 95. Reading on here, I'm learning that our CYA is way too high and we must drain 60% of our pool. Yet the pool store said nothing about that. They just told me to add baking soda and shock. My husband has been using the chlorine tabs and shock, just as the pool store says, both of which I am reading will make the CYA go even higher. I know he's going to fight me on draining the pool since the pool store is going to tell us we don't need to do that, but we have to, don't we? Please advise on best course of action. We've only had the pool a couple of months and filled it ourselves because the previous owners had drained and relined it. I don't understand how our CYA got so very high in only a couple of months. (Or could the pool store's reading be wrong? I have ordered a T-100 test kit but don't have it yet.) Any advice would be oh so appreciated.

    15,200 gallons (I think--based on walking it off); sand filter; IG; vinyl
    12500; sand; IG; vinyl; Tf-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated

    The pool store could be VERY wrong. I took my water to three different pool stores. Water came from same spot at same time. Two of the stores are the same chain and the other is a well known chain. ALL of the stores said something different! The cost to "fix" the water went from $175 to $300! BUT I had already tested the water at home and it was fine!

    Pool store=money as in get you to spend some!

    I for one would wait until you get YOUR good test kit. Once you get it test the water and let TFP know what the results are.

    Until you get your test kit read and reread the pool school. Copy links to different things and send them to your husband so he can read with you and both of you will be able to take control of your pool.

    Good luck!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated

    Hi, welcome to TFP! The pool store's test may be wrong, but usually the the number is higher than they report.

    You are correct, the only way to lower CYA is to drain and replace some of the water. What brand of shock have you been using? How does your water look now?

    As to how the CYA built up so quickly, each 8 ounce tablet adds 2 ppm of CYA. Think of how many tablets you may have used since the pool was refilled, plus how many bags of dichlor/ trichlor "shock" which adds 4 ppm of CYA to your pool and you can see how it doesn't take long to over stabilize the pool.

    read through pool school, especially the section titled ABC's of water chemistry for more information.

    If your husband is reluctant to go against the pool store's advice, just remind him that their "expert" advice got you where you are now!
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Frustrated

    Read pool school and familiarize yourself with the pool calculator (http://www.poolcalculator.com) while you are waiting on your test kit. "Shock" is a process and not a product and the products you put in this year could have bumped your CYA to 95 (or higher), but it is best to wait until you can test it before you drain.

    You have two ways to approach this... keep getting advice from the pool store and spend $$$, or convert to the BBB/TFP way and save $$$. The great thing about this forum is that you learn what your pool needs and what happens when you add certain chemicals. I still use pucks, but I now know that they do to my water and what I need to keep my pool sparkling. All my friends love the feel of my pool and friends who have owned pools for 20+ years always remark on my sparkling, clear water. I work long hours and don't always have the time add bleach, thus I still use pucks. At some point, I would love to add an auto liquid chlorinator.
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by 302harrison
    We are new pool owners and I think we've goofed. I just returned from the pool store, and here are our numbers: FC 1.1, Total Cl 1.6, CC .5, pH 7.8, Alkalinity 92, CYA 95. Reading on here, I'm learning that our CYA is way too high and we must drain 60% of our pool. Yet the pool store said nothing about that. They just told me to add baking soda and shock. My husband has been using the chlorine tabs and shock, just as the pool store says, both of which I am reading will make the CYA go even higher. I know he's going to fight me on draining the pool since the pool store is going to tell us we don't need to do that, but we have to, don't we? Please advise on best course of action. We've only had the pool a couple of months and filled it ourselves because the previous owners had drained and relined it. I don't understand how our CYA got so very high in only a couple of months. (Or could the pool store's reading be wrong? I have ordered a T-100 test kit but don't have it yet.) Any advice would be oh so appreciated.

    15,200 gallons (I think--based on walking it off); sand filter; IG; vinyl
    The Pool Store reading could be off...it's quite likely: inconsistency-in-readings-t61728.html

    Here's a little comparison I wrote a few weeks ago
    We'll take a 16000 gallon pool, because that's what I have. On a fresh fill, prominent national pool chain recommends 2.5 pounds pf stabilizer per 10,000 gallons, which works out nicely to 4 pounds which brings CYA to 30.

    With an average loss of 2 PPM/Day or 14 ppm/week, I'll have added 8.6 PPM/CYA if I used trichlor pucks perfectly. And they recommend a weekly "shock" of dichlor between 5 and 10 FC.... 2-3 oz per 10,000 gallons. Split the difference; I'll add 4 oz. CYA went up another .9.

    So..by the end of week one, I have added 9.5 more CYA. It is now 39.5. Mimimum FC for that is 3, so I'm probably okay.

    Week two, up to 49 CYA.
    Week three, 58.5. Minimum FC should be 5, but they recommend 3 as ideal, so the pool looks a bit hazy. So I'll toss in a little extra dichlor "shock" to jack FC up to 10. Which adds another 6.4 CYA. Keeping count? We're up to 64.9 now.

    That caught the algae just in time.. we had two weeks of good luck. A steady diet of pucks and 4 oz. "shock" each week only added another 19, up to 73.9 now.

    Week 6 it started looking funky, so we "shocked"it once again. CYA is up to 99.3. But minimum FC to keep algae at bay is 8, and we're still holding things to 3, because prominent national chain's preprinted sheet shows that as ideal. So algae got a toehold and the pool has a bit of a tint. So we throw two whole bags of dichlor in which jacks it another 7.6 by the time week 7 is over, we're at 116.4, because we had pucks in the floater the whole time.

    So...in 7 weeks, from 30 to 116.4. Let's say there are no more algae outbreaks because they sold me a huge bucket of phos-free and another of yellow-out monopersulfate "shock" Nothing but the pucks and the extra 4 oz of dichlor "shock" weekly. So the next 7 weeks added 66.5, which brings the total to 182.9 CYA.

    Now if we didn't understand this and things looked a bit hazy, we might throw an extra puck or two in the floater every couple weeks, which will drive it over 200 easily.

    And then next year when you try to open, you're whining here how you "shocked" it and it's still green. And then you get indignant at the cost and bother to drain 3/4 of the pool. Seen it over and over and over and over here.
    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: Frustrated

    I think he was using something called Shockwave. The water is cloudy in the deep end. It was greenish yesterday, but the green has gone away. Do you recommend I go ahead and shock the pool with chlorine while waiting on my test kit to verify the testing results from the pool store, even though we may have to drain more than half the water? Also, I noticed on my pool store printout that it says you can't swim if the free chlorine is above 4 (their ideal range is 1-3), but the pool calculator says I should shoot for 3-5 ppm. Is it safe to swim at 5?


    Quote Originally Posted by zea3
    Hi, welcome to TFP! The pool store's test may be wrong, but usually the the number is higher than they report.

    You are correct, the only way to lower CYA is to drain and replace some of the water. What brand of shock have you been using? How does your water look now?

    As to how the CYA built up so quickly, each 8 ounce tablet adds 2 ppm of CYA. Think of how many tablets you may have used since the pool was refilled, plus how many bags of dichlor/ trichlor "shock" which adds 4 ppm of CYA to your pool and you can see how it doesn't take long to over stabilize the pool.

    read through pool school, especially the section titled ABC's of water chemistry for more information.

    If your husband is reluctant to go against the pool store's advice, just remind him that their "expert" advice got you where you are now!
    12500; sand; IG; vinyl; Tf-100 test kit

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    Re: Frustrated

    Safe to swim depends on your CYA level. The entire family was swimming in my pool this morning, and my FC is around 11.

    Our method works, because it's based on understanding the chemistry, accurate testing, and accurate dosing. The pool store's method is about getting you to buy chemicals.

    Welcome to the forum, but very quickly you will have to decide whose method you want to use - they do not play well together.
    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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    Re: Frustrated

    The question of safe chlorine level depends on your current CYA level, CYA buffers chlorine leaving only a fraction of the free chlorine available to actively sanitize your pool. Think of Chlorine as your army that is available to fight algae and other nasty stuff growing in your pool. FC level is the total size of your army and CYA causes some of that army to be held in reserve the more CYA the more of your army that is kept off the front lines in reserve, at low levels CYA may keep about half the Chlorine army in reserve and let half fight on the front lines, being exposed to dangers like sun exposure, but at sky high levels like the numbers discussed in previous messages it might keep 90-99% of your chlorine in reserve, not leaving enough front line troops to keep the algae, etc from over running them and turning the pool green.

    From your description it sounds like your pool is reaching that tipping point where simply adding more FC and CYA will not longer keep the algae under control , but until we get some reliable test report numbers we don't really know how bad it is, so any action now is based on guessing, worse yet, it is guessing with no effective feedback since you don't have a test kit that can accurately tell you the state of your current chlorine level.

    Personally I think the safe action here is to keep your FC level up using liquid chlorine / bleach until your test kit gets there, it will likely not improve your situation, but it may keep things from back sliding into swamp like pool conditions, the most important thing at the moment is to remove all CYA sources (pucks, dichlor shock, etc.)

    Ike

    p.s. Regarding convincing your husband, try to explain to him that the pool store does not have your best interest at heart, all they tend to care about is getting the most money out of you, much like a drug dealer, as long as it does not kill the customer (or at lest does not kill them too fast) and cut off the flow of money they don't care much about the customer's quality of life. So pool store testing is not about making sure your pool is in perfect shape, it is a tool used to sell you chemicals, which are often to counter act the chemicals they sold you the previous week.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Frustrated

    Okay. Thanks so much for the explanation. This is all new to me, but I have high hopes that TFP will get us in good shape. I actually do have a smaller Taylor test kit for chlorine and Ph that the previous owners left, so I'll use that to monitor the chlorine levels until the T-100 arrives. Not sure if I should follow the shock instructions yet, as I don't know if my CYA is accurate, but someone said it's probably at least as high as the pool company says it is. Anyway, the test kit has shipped, so I won't have to guess for long. Oh, and I have a really dumb question. How do we drain the pool? Is that something we can do ourselves, or do we need to have a pool guy come out? Where will all that water go? Thanks again!


    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    The question of safe chlorine level depends on your current CYA level, CYA buffers chlorine leaving only a fraction of the free chlorine available to actively sanitize your pool. Think of Chlorine as your army that is available to fight algae and other nasty stuff growing in your pool. FC level is the total size of your army and CYA causes some of that army to be held in reserve the more CYA the more of your army that is kept off the front lines in reserve, at low levels CYA may keep about half the Chlorine army in reserve and let half fight on the front lines, being exposed to dangers like sun exposure, but at sky high levels like the numbers discussed in previous messages it might keep 90-99% of your chlorine in reserve, not leaving enough front line troops to keep the algae, etc from over running them and turning the pool green.

    From your description it sounds like your pool is reaching that tipping point where simply adding more FC and CYA will not longer keep the algae under control , but until we get some reliable test report numbers we don't really know how bad it is, so any action now is based on guessing, worse yet, it is guessing with no effective feedback since you don't have a test kit that can accurately tell you the state of your current chlorine level.

    Personally I think the safe action here is to keep your FC level up using liquid chlorine / bleach until your test kit gets there, it will likely not improve your situation, but it may keep things from back sliding into swamp like pool conditions, the most important thing at the moment is to remove all CYA sources (pucks, dichlor shock, etc.)

    Ike

    p.s. Regarding convincing your husband, try to explain to him that the pool store does not have your best interest at heart, all they tend to care about is getting the most money out of you, much like a drug dealer, as long as it does not kill the customer (or at lest does not kill them too fast) and cut off the flow of money they don't care much about the customer's quality of life. So pool store testing is not about making sure your pool is in perfect shape, it is a tool used to sell you chemicals, which are often to counter act the chemicals they sold you the previous week.
    12500; sand; IG; vinyl; Tf-100 test kit

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    Re: Frustrated

    If you have a sand filter chances are you have a multi port valve (the one you use for backwashing your sand filter) that also has a setting called WASTE this setting takes water from the pump and sends it straight to the waste output (you may have a hose that you connect at this point). How much you can drain at a time this way depends on if you have a way to isolate the floor drain from the skimmer (assuming you have a floor drain), and also on how high your local water table is, if you have a high water table you probably only want to drain a foot or so of water at a time, with a vinyl liner pool you never want less than about a foot of water over the shallow end or else the liner may shift and wrinkle. If you don't have a multi port valve set up or don't have a floor drain, you may need to rent or buy a small submersible pump that can be connected to a garden hose, such as this one sold by harbor freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/16-horsepo ... 68422.html

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Re: Frustrated

    I added a whole bottle of chlorine bleach yesterday, and the water is much improved today and FC levels are higher than my little test kit will read (the yellow is darker than the darkest one.) I read somewhere else on line that having algea in the pool can make the CYA level read higher than it is. Since there was algae in the test water I took to the pool store, could it be my CYA isn't 95 and I won't have to drain the pool? Really hoping so, especially since the chlorine has improved the look of the water so much.
    12500; sand; IG; vinyl; Tf-100 test kit

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    Re: Frustrated

    It is possible, but we will have to wait and see
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Frustrated

    I'm new here, too, so I'll leave the details to the experts, but I just want to offer a word of encouragement.

    I was very frustrated until I found TFP. I had a green swamp and after dumping in pounds and pounds and gallons and gallons of chemicals from the pool store that didn't fix anything they ended up having me do a partial drain and fill. Then they sold me so much stuff to dump into the new water that within two months I had to do another partial drain to get rid of the excess CYA and Calcium that the pucks and "shock" and who knows what else caused. I was even starting to consider maybe filling it in because it was getting so expensive and so much trouble to keep up year after year and we weren't even able to swim in it yet.

    But if you listen to the people on here and follow their advice, it will save you a lot of frustration and money. I wish I had found them several hundred dollars worth of pool store chemicals and several thousand gallons of water earlier.

    If you find you need to do a partial drain & fill after you get your test kit, it is well worth biting the bullet an doing it. Then you can start off knowing exactly what is in your water and why, which is one of the keys to keeping it that way.

    Good luck getting your pool in shape. Follow these folks advice, keep studying the Pool School articles, and reading the other posts, and you will have a sparkly pool before you know it.

    Dave
    32K gallon, 20x40 vinyl IG. Liner replaced 5/2010. Hayward SuperPump 1HP single speed running 24/7,Hayward CL-200 in-line chlorinator. Hayward S244T sand filter (new sand 5/2013). Dolphin Diagnostic cleaner. Taylor K2006 Test Kit.

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    Re: Frustrated

    Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement. Itching for my test kit to arrive so I can get things rolling!
    12500; sand; IG; vinyl; Tf-100 test kit

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    Test numbers!

    Ok. My test kit came, and I'll have to say it felt a little less precise than I was hoping it would. If we did it right, the hubby and I think the CYA level is 75 (pool store data said 95 a few days ago). (Do you wait until you can't see the dot at all? We could still see just a shade of it until around 75.) The FC is 6, cc is 1, TC is 7, TA is 240, CH is 130, and PH is 7.5. Please advise as to how we should proceed now. When I looked at the shock chart, it looks like we need to add almost 500 gallons of bleach to get it to the recommended shock level for our CYA. Can this be right? Seems like an awful lot. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
    12500; sand; IG; vinyl; Tf-100 test kit

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    Re: Test numbers!

    Quote Originally Posted by 302harrison
    Ok. My test kit came, and I'll have to say it felt a little less precise than I was hoping it would. If we did it right, the hubby and I think the CYA level is 75 (pool store data said 95 a few days ago). (Do you wait until you can't see the dot at all? We could still see just a shade of it until around 75.) The FC is 6, cc is 1, TC is 7, TA is 240, CH is 130, and PH is 7.5. Please advise as to how we should proceed now. When I looked at the shock chart, it looks like we need to add almost 500 gallons of bleach to get it to the recommended shock level for our CYA. Can this be right? Seems like an awful lot. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
    No. I suspect a typo. I get 344 oz of 8.25% bleach to raise your FC from 6 to 21. That's just a hair under 3 121 oz jugs. But remember, that's just the initial dose. It will take more. The shock process isn't a one-time thing.
    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: Frustrated

    Do I need to bring the Ph down any before shocking? It's at 7.5. Also, the TA is way off. Should I address this before or after shocking? Anything else I need to do before I pour in all that chlorine? Thanks!
    12500; sand; IG; vinyl; Tf-100 test kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by 302harrison
    Do I need to bring the Ph down any before shocking? It's at 7.5. Also, the TA is way off. Should I address this before or after shocking? Anything else I need to do before I pour in all that chlorine? Thanks!
    Deal with it after the pool is clear. Every minute you delay, the algae breeds more.
    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: Frustrated

    Don't worry too much about the exact CYA level yet, with practice you will get better at reading it, lighting conditions are important, for good results the test should be done outdoors in sunlight with the sun to your back. We know your CYA level is high, the only question is do you need to replace about half your water or about two thirds, I would therefore suggest a partial drain and refill, then retest CYA. With a vinyl liner pool you never want to get less than about a foot of water in the shallow end or else liner can lift and wrinkle, also if you have a high water table there is risk of your pool trying to float if you drain too much water out of it at once. So assuming you have a typical 3 ft deep shallow end, you will want to drain 18-24 inches of water from the pool, refill, circulate the water and retest your CYA, repeat as needed until you get CYA in the 40-50 ppm range. You may want to do this before starting the shock process, that is a judgement call, just don't delay too much before proceeding.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated

    It is best to read the CYA test in the daylight with the sun at your back, holding the tube at waist level. When you no longer can see any trace of the dot that is the test result. After you have read the test result you can pour the test solution from the viewing tube back into the squirt bottle and then read the test again using the same solution. You can pour it back and forth a couple of times to see if you are getting consistent results. You can check the CYA test picture to see how the test should look when completed.
    TFP Moderator
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