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Thread: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

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    help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    We just switched from chlorine to salt water a week ago and we cannot get our chlorine level up. We have been using the pool calculator and added the appropriate amount of bleach and still cannot get a chlorine reading. We have also had the water tested at the pool store and they suggested Super Shock. I put two bags in last night and still no chlorine this morning. Our pool is vinyl and holds 17,200 gal.

    Yesterday's readings-
    Free Cl - 0
    Total Cl - 0.01
    Combined Cl - 0.01
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 93
    Ca Hardness - 152
    CYA - 50
    Salt - 3370

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, we are heading out of town for a week and I don't know what to do prior to leaving.

    Many thanks!
    Louise

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    This sound bizarre, but hang in there, this forum will get you there.. A few questions. How does water look? Any sign of algae, cloudiness?

    Based on your post, we don't know when you added "the appripriate amount of bleach" and when you took the reading. Was it an hour after adding bleach? many hours? The reason I ask is because if you do have contaminants eating up your chlorine, it is very well you can get a low reading. However these 0 readings are suspect. Your CYA is good, so the sun shouldn't have burned it all off. As far as the "super shock" the pool store sold you, again need more info. I like how you added it at night and tested in the morning. Based on that you definately should have got a FC reading. But we don't know what this product was. Any shot that it was a "non Chlorine" shock? That might explain things.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    Thanks for your response! The pool water is crystal clear. We added the bleach in the evening after the sun went down and checked it in the early morning before the sun hit the water - No chlorine. The "Super Shock - It" I added last night contains 73% Calcium Hypochlorite, 27% Other ingredients - (Minimum 70% Available Chlorine). Again, no chlorine reading. The water was tested on Monday for Phosphates and it came out at 100. The people at the pool store said that that level was fine - not a problem.

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    You should be reading Chlorine and lots of it. What kind of test are you using? If you are using a Taylor Kit are you sure you are adding 5 drops of R-0001 & 5 drops of R-0002 to get you FC reading? Some mistakenly only add the R-0001, which will stay clear. Let us know if you are using another testing method and I will research the instructions for it.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    First and foremost. Do you have a good test kit?
    Are the results you posted from the pool store?

    I assume that the bags were 1 lb bags. 2 lbs of 73% cal-hypo should have raised your FC by 10 ppm. If you read zero a few minutes after adding it, you have something consuming the FC very quickly.

    If we can believe the CYA number your shock level would be about 20 ppm so you would need to add 4 bags of cal-hypo or about 4 large jugs of 8.25% bleach. And you need to test and use the Pool Calc to figure out how much to add to bring bring it back to 20 about every hour. In short you need to perform the SLAM process (see sig for info).
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    You should SLAM the pool as outlined in Pool School.

    Once you pass the three tests (see red lines in my sig), you can then allow FC to drop down to target, turn on the SWG, and let it take over adding chlorine.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    We are using a Taylor FAS-DPD test kit but the results I posted were from the pool store and they closely matched.
    Yes, the shock bags were 1 lb. bags.
    We are leaving 6am tomorrow morning for 10 days so I cannot SLAM the pool until I return. Any suggestion on anything I can/should do today to make sure things do not get worse while we are gone?
    I really appreciate your help!
    Louise

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    With you leaving for 10 days and already having a problem there's not much you can do about it until you get back.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    We have a sand filter so would it make any sense to use the DE before we leave? We have never used this product before but I saw it listed at the bottom of the SLAM directions. Also, would you advise us to leave the SWG on or off while we are gone?
    Thanks,
    Louise

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    The DE addition is among the last things to do when you're at the very end of the SLAM process so I wouldn't try it.

    I'd leave the swg on and maybe turn up the percentage too. That may help keep it from getting too much worse while you're gone.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    Thanks so much!!! We'll follow your advice and SLAM when we return.

    Louise

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    As of about 2 hours ago, Louise posted that her water is "Crystal Clear". I just re read this entire thread to make sure I wasn't missing anything. But I wouldn't exactly say she is "already experiening problems". Everything seems perfectly fine except she is not reading any chlorine. pH, TA, CYA all reading great. Without me personally dropping the reagents in her test sample, I'm not convinced that she has no chlorine in the water. Now what I would do if I were going away for 10 days:

    As Dave said, run your SWG at 100% (maybe it's not working, but it won't hurt anything).

    Being that we don't know for sure if you are holding Free Chlorine based on these results and assuming you can't have someone dose it for the next 10 days, then I would get some pucks and load up one of those floating dispensers just to be safe. (My kids like the yellow Duck, personally I like the shark).... Again this won't hurt anything, but may indeed certainly prevent disaster if your SWG is not functioning.
    [attachment=0:2mlsdhi3]Duck_Shark_Chlorinator-lr.jpg[/attachment:2mlsdhi3]
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    If she can't hold FC in the pool, she IS experiencing problems and everything is NOT perfectly fine.

    Those floating dispensers will increase your CYA a good bit in 10 days so you will most likely have to drain some water when you get back in order to get the CYA down to a reasonable level to perform the SLAM process.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    Is it better she adds no chlorine for 10 days if her only alternative is this? Or just trust her SWG that may or may not be producing chlorine? She's at a CYA of 50 and running a SWG, so I wouldn't be too concerned if that came up a touch. Better than coming home to a green swamp.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    Can you describe to me the process you are using to test your chlorine? Do you have any test strips or something that can verify that you have no chlorine in the water? Is there any chance you happen to have the bags of "Super Shock" around so that you can tell us what the ingredients contain??


    Edit.....I see the shock was Cal-Hypo. I missed that.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    Try the FAS DPD chlorine test again but use two scoops of powder and let us know if you get any results.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    Thanks again to everyone for all your comments. We are off tomorrow morning for our vacation and will leave our SWG turned on (which we know for certain is working) and will have our neighbor (who knows nothing about pools!) keeping an eye on the pool. He will add some algecide for us while we are away so hopefully it won't turn green while we are gone! We bought 10 gallons of bleach today so as soon as we get home a week from Sunday we will start the SLAM project !

    I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of your help. You all are great.

    Sincerely, Louise

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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    Make sure it is not a copper based algaecide, as you will just be causing more problems. Polyquat 60 it the kind you want.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    Hello! We are back from vacation and want to SLAM our pool. We had our water tested today at the pool store and our CYA is 31, our pH is 7.7, TA is 65, CH is 180, the salt level is 3260, and there is no chlorine. The water is a slightly cloudy.

    Do we need to get the CYA up to at least 60 and the pH down to 7.5 prior to SLAMMING? Also, should we add some algaecide at this time?

    Thanks,
    Louise

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    Re: help - new SWG and we cannot get chlorine level up

    You will not be able to perform and finish the SLAM process unless you use your Taylor FAS/DPD kit. Why are you going to the pool store when you have your own kit?

    Algaecide is not necessary or very helpful
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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