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Thread: Chlorine balancing frustration

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    Chlorine balancing frustration

    Good morning all,

    I am really starting to get frustrated with our pool. The wife's complaints aren't helping much either! *wink*

    Sorry for the seeming randomness, but I'm going to try to give as much pertinent info as I can.

    We've got an in ground 16x32 (3'-9' deep) that we've been having trouble with all summer. We can't get chlorine to stay in it.

    We opened late in May (we planned on opening earlier, but it just didn't work out with schedules). There was a lot of pollen in our area (lower Delaware) this spring. Also, we've been having TONS of rain all summer - just this past week, we got 4-5" more.

    We've been using just AquaCheck dip sticks that were bought new this year (Our shop said to buy new ones every year). Here's the readings we've been consistently getting:
    - pH 7.2
    - FC 0
    - Alkalinity 80
    - CYA 30-50

    We have a Hayward CL200 that I've been keeping 10-12 3" tabs in and keeping set wide open (like around 8.5 on the dial). I usually need to add tabs every 3-4 days. We've added 30-35 lbs of HTH Super Shock & Swim (calcium hypochlorite 52%) over the past month and it's usually gone overnight. We have an Intermatic 1353 timer that I got help with from here that runs the filter pump 10 hours a day (0600-1200, 1800-2200).

    I took some water in to our local shop and described the same to them. They said the Calcium Hardness is high, but still acceptable and that it was due to the HTH shock. They suggested we don't use that any more. They tested our water with the same AquaCheck sticks I use at home, along with some sticks that I couldn't read the label, but from a quick glance it looked like a silver label and it looked like it had pads to test 7-10 items - about the size and look of a Centrum Silver bottle.

    They had me add 10# of granulated chlorine (99% sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate) for $67, run the filter over night and test in the morning, but we would be fixed up. It did nothing at all.

    I've been doing some searches of my own and found a lot of references to chlorine lock, high sulfates, and other root problems with various solutions from draining half the volume of the pool and refilling, to adding plain 6% liquid laundry bleach, to extreme granulated chlorine loads (on the order of 50#).

    When we opened, I had to use a lot of shock and blue liquid "floc"? from the local shop. The strange thing is that the pool water has been crystal clear ever since, with the exception of leaves and normal stuff that I vacuum out.

    Last week I ordered an XL version of the TF100, along with a SpeedStir which is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. We also have a RO under-sink filter that we have a tester for TDS that I can check the pool with if needed.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Need more info?

    Thanks for any and all insight!
    Steve
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Since you are getting the tf100 tomorrow, I would just wait and post a full set of test results then, and we can go from there. Once you have the info, you will be on the way to clearing up the pool.

    You can start reading up on the SLAM process which will be the first thing to do:http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool

    Ignore TDS, it is not problem and most of it will be from salt anyways (which is fine).
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Awesome! Thanks for the quick reply!

    Something I forgot to add is that we have a Sand Dollar SD80 filter and we've never had any type of maintenance done on it (anything that involves pulling off the valve and doing stuff inside it). The pool was built in March of 2006. I checked my paperwork from back then and it says the pool is 30k gallons total.

    Do we need to have some type of maintenance done on the filter?
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    You may not need it, but it may not hurt to do a sand bed cleaning and see what the shape of your sand is. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-sa...-it-t7626.html
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Thanks! I'll post back tomorrow or Tuesday with the results of testing with the TF100!
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html

    These extended directions you may find helpful, especially the directions for CYA.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
    Test Kits - Pool Calculator - Chlorine/CYA Chart - Pool School

    Secret Weapon for Pool Chemistry Testing

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Welcome to the forum. We'll help you sort it out with some good numbers with the new kit.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    OK,

    Sorry for the delay. Busy day (and HOT!) here. Pool is 88 degrees!

    Anyway, here's my results with using the Speed Stir:
    Using the K-1000 first:
    CL - 0
    pH - 7.2

    Rest of tests:
    FC - 0
    CC - 0
    TC - 0
    TA - 90 (started to change color at 7 drops)
    CH - 260 (Hope I got it right)
    CYA - 70~80

    I also bought 6 jugs of this Clorox bleach from Lowes. It's 8.3% sodium hypochlorite. Hopefully that's what I need.
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Best procedure:
    1. Replace 40-50% of the water to lower the CYA into the recommended range (assuming you do not have a SWG)
    2. SLAM the pool with the bleach. [slam:2h8ib86t][/slam:2h8ib86t]
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Please put your pool and equipment details into your sig.

    jbliz beat me...here are my comments:

    Now that you have the right tool, you can see that your cya is high (see:http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...mmended_levels) I would do about a 1/3 drain/refill before moving on to the SLAM process.

    All of your other test values look good...except of course for FC, but you won't raise that until you do the drain/refill.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Follow jblizzle's (and linen's) procedures and you will be well on your way.

    The pool shop made a very incorrect call switching you from cal-hypo to dichlor. Now instead of having a slightly high CH reading you have a high CYA reading. Unless you have an SWG CH is far less concern than CYA. Also chlorine lock is a myth. Get your CYA in line, SLAM your pool, and afterwards keep your FC above the minimum for your CYA level and you will find things working far better for you! And you should put the dichlor and tabs away. Dichlor is only good if you need to throw some extra CYA in, tablets are good for vacation if used sparingly.

    As a side note, I love that this forum tells you when someone else has posted while you are typing!
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Updated sig, hopefully enough info without being too much.
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    And thank you all for your help!
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

  14. Back To Top    #14
    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Sounds like you have the standard pool-stored story. They told me to add xx pounds of this and now my pool wont stay nice/blue/un-green.

    If nothing else, learn and understand the relationship between CYA and chlorine. This is most important piece of knowledge and the one thing pool stores never seem to know.

    Good luck... back your your regularly scheduled suggestions
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Quick update:

    Pool water hit 90 today. Got roughly 5k gallons pumped out and it's refilling now (4" irrigation well and a 1" line going into the pool). 60 degree well water should cool it down - at least until tomorrow afternoon! Should be fully into SLAMing this weekend! Will update again.
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

  16. Back To Top    #16
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    5k drain/refill will only lower your cya level 5/30= 17%...or down to 62 ppm(assuming you were at 75 ppm to start). You probably should drain/refill another 20% or so to get to 50 ppm.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Cool, thanks! My math sucks anymore... Used a volume calculator online to figure out what I pumped out (18x36x1), but now I know that's about 5k gallons. It also dropped the temp down to 80!

    Should I be doing the pumping on waste like I am, or maybe backwash? Strangely enough, it actually took longer to pump out than to refill... That variable speed pump on the irrigation well is paying off!
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

  18. Back To Top    #18
    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    You could actually just use a garden hose & siphon off some water each day and add that small amount back each day. Maybe drop the water level by a couple of inches each time. In a week or so, you would be down at the CYA target level Linen mentioned.
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    I'm no expert, still learning, but IMO I certainly don't see what it could hurt to backwash as you drain. Unless you could have sand that is "too clean". I'm sure you've already done the math, but in case you havn't, my calculations, assuming a 30K gal volume and a beginning CYA of 80, it should take you 3 one foot drain/refills to get to a level of about 46 on your CYA. If your CYA was 70 to start with you'd be at about 40 afterwards so you're good either way.
    "The early bird might get the worm, but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." ~ W. Rian Adams
    .
    Relative's IG Vinyl | 16x32 | ~18,600 gals | Hayward 3/4hp Pump | Hayward S244T Filter | Pentair Model 300 Chlorinator (not used) | Polaris 180

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    Re: Chlorine balancing frustration

    Update:

    Looks like it takes me about 60 minutes 5k gallons of water in "waste" mode. Half way done the final two feet.
    Built March 2006 - 26k gallon, Pacific Pools 18'x36' Roman end vinyl liner, 8' Roman steps one end, Sand Dollar SD80 filter, Pentair Pinnacle 1HP pump, Pentair Letro 3/4HP pressure side booster, Pentair Letro Legend Platinum cleaner, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400LP, Hayward CL200 chlorinator
    Added April 2013 - Intermatic PE15300 (1353ME timer & 4243ME switch, PE650 transceiver, PE953 remote, PA122 temp sensor)
    TF-100 XL w/ SpeedStir

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