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Thread: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

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    Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Im a new pool owner... It is an above ground Intex metal frame vinyl lined 15x48in pool. We have extremely hard water at my home, and have spent 2 weeks now trying to balance the chemicals to the proper levels.
    I am using the HTH brand test strips, and all of the chemicals I have bought & used are HTH brand as well. My total hardness, PH, total alkalinity, and cya are currently showing to be as high as possible on the test strips. I have kept the pump going 24/7, kept 3 in chlorine tablets in floaters in the pool, shocked it once, added ph minus twice, and added algae guard twice... The pool water is absolutely clear. It does not smell like chlorine, and there is no buildup or slimy feeling...
    I have never maintained a pool before & am clueless as to how to get the levels to the correct amount!
    I've read that muriatic acid might could help my problem. Will it damage my pool? If not, how much, how so, & how often should I add the acid?
    Or do I need something else entirely?
    Please help!! Ive spent a lot of time & money, & want to know what im doing wrong--Thanks in advance
    Lyndsi
    New AG pool owner
    5K/AG Vinyl Intex Metal-Frame/1k gal per hr Cartridge Filter/Pool Set-Up 7/1/13

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Test strips are useless ... you would be better off just guessing, as at least then you would KNOW you were guessing

    I would suggest you do a lot of reading in Pool School to better understand the chemistry and then either get one of the Recommended Test Kits or try to follow the pool-school/temporary_pool_guide

    One thing you need to quickly realize is that the tablets are adding CYA in addition to the FC. When the CYA gets higher, you need to maintain higher FC levels so the pool does not turn green. Also, they are very acidic, so I would not think you have high pH.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Welcome to TFP.

    yep jblizzle summed that up nicely.

    Follow that advice !!!


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Thanks, Im doing a lot of reading! I can upload a picture of my most recent test & basic pic of what my pool looks like... I'd just really appreciate more advice than just reading- it's all confusing and a little overwhelming (i hope to get used to it, however, as my goal is to have an inground pool put in within a few years). If this additional information helps any- I'm located in southern Oklahoma and have 'well water' which is usually extremely hard. :/
    Lyndsi
    New AG pool owner
    5K/AG Vinyl Intex Metal-Frame/1k gal per hr Cartridge Filter/Pool Set-Up 7/1/13

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Well start with these then if Pool School looks too big:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    We can help answer questions, but there is no point in us having to re-type everything. You have to put in some effort

    If you are planning for a larger pool. Then I would revise my recommendation and would say you definitely should order one of the recommended test kits to get used to maintaining the pool properly.
    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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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    To really help you out we need valid test results from a good test kit. You need to have one to be in control of your pool.

    The reading and understanding our methods is very important.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Okay, the picture won't load. My luck is down lately! It's showing the following levels
    TH: 1000 (max on strip)
    Chlorine: 1/2
    pH: 8.4 (max on strip)
    TA: 240 (max on strip)
    CYA: 100

    I have been reading the topics and am attempting to learn. That is why I registered at this site, because of the helpfulness of the posts and replies, and the informative articles.
    I realize I need a different tester, but as there is no pool supply store in town, i will have to wait until the weekend. I'd rather the water not be green/slimy before then!
    Thank yall for pointing out the articles I should focus on, I appreciate any and all help!
    Lyndsi
    New AG pool owner
    5K/AG Vinyl Intex Metal-Frame/1k gal per hr Cartridge Filter/Pool Set-Up 7/1/13

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Given your use of pucks, I just can not bring myself to believe the high pH. You will not find one of the test kits locally, you need to order it online ... tonight If you are near the east coast, you likely could have the TF-100 before the weekend.

    If that CYA is correct, your first step is going to have to be a large water replacement.

    Best recommendation I can make would be to add about 2 cups of 8.25% bleach everyday to attempt to keep any algae at bay.
    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: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    The recommended test kit is worth the few days of waiting for it to be delivered. The $80 I paid has saved hundreds on my own pool and thousands on my other pools. After a few weeks of learning this pool stuff you will quickly realize how impowering it is not relying on crappy strips or pool stores. It really is the first step. Life made a little simpler.
    In ground 25,000 gallon - vinyl liner - Sand filter - residential pool
    Also maintain two commercial 190,000 gallon competitive indoor bromine facilities -9x Sand filters

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Part of the reason we insist on reading pool school is the vast scope of information there. We can answer your questions right now, but without some kind of foundational understanding, our answers will sound like gibberish and be even more confusing.
    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: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    Thank you everyone for your advice; I'm doing a lot of reading, so hopefully upping my knowledge.
    I've placed an order for a new testing kit- maybe the results will show I am doing things correctly (since according to all Ive read- I am) and Im worrying about nothing!
    1 thing I'm not clear on- 1 article talks about muriatic acid versus dry acid... Would the ph minus be dry acid? I was just a bit confused on that subject! (Could be the late hour
    Again, thanks! This is a great, informative, & friendly site!
    Lyndsi
    New AG pool owner
    5K/AG Vinyl Intex Metal-Frame/1k gal per hr Cartridge Filter/Pool Set-Up 7/1/13

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    The PH minus, not 100% sure, prob has other things in it you don't need. I could be wrong I've never used it. Muratic acid is what we suggest using.

    Good job on the reading. It will all sink in and make sense soon!!


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    pH down/minus and dry acid are basically the same thing, they do the same thing as muriatic acid, but they come in powder form. It's a little easier to handle than muriatic acid, but it tends to be more expensive. However, it doesn't dissolve/disperse as quickly, so if you're using dry acid, you need to make sure the granules dissolve and don't sit on the bottom of the pool, where they can stain or damage the bottom.

    I personally only use muriatic acid. It's cheap, it works very, very fast, and as long as you treat it with a little more respect than any of your other household chemicals, handling it is a non-issue.
    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: Can't get my chemicals balanced...HELP!

    If it is still testing high when I get the new test kit in, I'm definitely going with muriatic acid. I'm actually familiar with the product and have used it during rental home remodels-- so i know it is definitely stuff to be careful with!

    I want to really thank yall for creating & keeping up with this site- its amazing! My only regret is not discovering it sooner & reading it all before I got my pool and purchased all of the chemicals, when I could have gone a lot cheaper!

    Lyndsi
    New AG pool owner
    5K/AG Vinyl Intex Metal-Frame/1k gal per hr Cartridge Filter/Pool Set-Up 7/1/13

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