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Thread: Pool Is Out of Balance

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    Pool Is Out of Balance

    Our pool is completely out of whack. PH barely reads, TA is twice the normal range, CL reads 0, CYA is way high.

    Where does one start? We have been trying to raise the PH for days and keep throwing liquid chlorine in to keep our lovely algae bloom in check and frankly don't know what to do. I really need to know the very first step before I continue throwing my entire bank account into this body of water.

    It is a 40,000 gallon in ground pool.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Well, first tell us how you are testing? If it is not one of the Recommended Test Kits, then ordering one is the first step.

    Then the next step is getting the pH reasonable to protect the pool and equipment and replacing a lot of water to get the CYA into the recommended range.

    Then, since the FC went to zero, likely the water is not "sterile", so you need to SLAM it. [slam:2fznysgo][/slam:2fznysgo]
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    The first step is to get a complete set of test results. "normal range" and "barely reads" don't really mean anything in particular. Numbers would be much better.

    Then, you need to adjust anything that is wildly out of range. What you wrote suggests that might include CYA and PH, though that remains to be seen.

    And only them is it worth SLAMing the pool.
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Well, first tell us how you are testing? If it is not one of the Recommended Test Kits, then ordering one is the first step.

    Then the next step is getting the pH reasonable to protect the pool and equipment and replacing a lot of water to get the CYA into the recommended range.

    Then, since the FC went to zero, likely the water is not "sterile", so you need to SLAM it. [slam:23zjmheh][/slam:23zjmheh]

    Yes I just received my TF-100 kit last week. What would be considered reasonable on the PH? Then the ugly question of how much water should we replace. 1/4? (I'll need to get a permit for this one ) Then if I've done these two things I can proceed with the SLAMMING? Thanks! Sondra

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    pH should always be in the 7s.

    If the CYA was below the 100 line, then you need to try the test again with a 50/50 mis of tap and pool water to start, then the regent, then double the reading. If still below the 100 line, you will have to dillute more to get an idea of how high the CYA really is to know how much water needs to be replaced.

    Then you would be ready to SLAM.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by by.way.of.fire
    Then the ugly question of how much water should we replace. 1/4? (I'll need to get a permit for this one )
    If your CYA is over 100 then yes, you will need a permit. You are looking at over 50%.

    If you have your TF-100 please post the full set of results so we can see what you are dealing with.
    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
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    I did your suggested dilution (1/2 tap 1/2 pool water) test on the CYA and it brought the level down from 180 to 100. The PH is actually up to 7.0 from two days of treatment. Correction on my pool size, it's actually 32,000. So I'm guessing 50% water replacement.

    Test Results from the TF-100 kit:

    CYA is 180
    PH is 7.0 (up from a no read two days ago using soda ash)
    FC is 23
    CC is 0
    Total Chlorine 23
    Alk is 256
    Calcium 700

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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    I want to make sure we got this right, your 50/50 mixture read a level of 90 and you doubled it, correct? If so then you need to do more of a 75% replacement. Also with an FC that high your pH reading is going to be higher than it actually is, so your real pH is probably below 7.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    If you want to lower from a CYA of 180ppm to 45ppm ... that would require a 75% water change ... or two 50% water changes.

    When the FC > 10ppm, the pH test reads artificially high ... so your pH is still likely too low.

    How did you get an TA or 256?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    Sorry. My initial CYA was approx. 160 to 180. It was not quite halfway between the bottom of tube and 100. The 50/50 test brought it to 100.

    The TA was 250 - 25 drops x 10 to bring the color to red. My typo.

    I've convinced the pool man (AKA my husband) to stop adding products and to start the permit process for a water replacement. We have never refreshed the water in the 17 years we've had the pool and the dogs are the only ones using it these days which may be why is so out of whack.

    Understood on the PH level.

    I really appreciate the input and feel better about the whole process now. It appears my husband is tired of the maintenance so I may have to take over.

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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by by.way.of.fire
    Sorry. My initial CYA was approx. 160 to 180. It was not quite halfway between the bottom of tube and 100. The 50/50 test brought it to 100.
    Ok, I am still not getting it, probably me missing something, not you. The scale on the CYA test is logarithmic, which means, long story short, that you cannot get an accurate reading past 100. So the 50/50 test shows 100, right? If so then you forgot to double the number, which makes it 200.

    Ok, so assuming I got it all straightened out now, you will need that 75 - 80% water change. The good news is that now that you know you can fix it! I can promise you that once all of your numbers are in check it will be much easier, maybe even easy enough for your husband to keep caring for it once you teach him!
    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: Pool Is Out of Balance

    The water is going to look so awesome she probably won't want anyone testing and taking care of it but herself

    You will get that water turned around easily once you drain, fill and get CYA in there.

    The methods here work. Post after post confirms that. I started with a bit of blind faith and was nervous, because I wasn't sure if this was just a collection of folks trying to sell testing kits with no regard to the water and whatnot & I am never one to "drink the koolaid" (well I did as a kid and then as a teenager when we would make junglejuice, but that's for a different forum ) I started with one dose of Pristine Blue, it turned my daughters hair green & I couldn't have that ~ I needed to get things turned around & I wanted waters that I knew were safe for my family & critters. So I figured regardless this couldn't possibly be as bad as the Pristine Blue. I was fortunate Butterfly assisted me. Every post she (and others) helped me & kept me flying right, that was last year. And this was accomplished with a sand filter that wasn't actually plumbed correctly. My water was still leaps and bounds better. This year we diagnosed the pump/filter plumbing~ Bama was able to diagnose spa tubing hooked up incorrectly on a filter where no manual exists. Tonight I kid you not you could drop a bottle of Tylenol in my pool and be able to read what the bottle says ~ it is that clear.

    Just wanted to try and give you some reassurance from someone who came here for help like you did ~ letting you know they truly helped me with balancing the water and my filter/pump plumbing issues. This group of folks is very well rounded as it relatess to pool and equipment. So I'm sure it seems scary to get permits and get rid of that water, but trust in these folks and they'll assist you in getting your water where it needs to be ~ that'll be your OJT ~ and from that point you'll have an understanding of your water & never have to worry about it getting away from you because you won't have to depend on anyone else to tell you how to care for it.

    Best of Luck ~ I hope you'll continue to share updates as you go through the process.
    AGP: 27' x 52" : 17,500 gallon
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson
    Quote Originally Posted by by.way.of.fire
    Sorry. My initial CYA was approx. 160 to 180. It was not quite halfway between the bottom of tube and 100. The 50/50 test brought it to 100.
    Ok, I am still not getting it, probably me missing something, not you. The scale on the CYA test is logarithmic, which means, long story short, that you cannot get an accurate reading past 100. So the 50/50 test shows 100, right? If so then you forgot to double the number, which makes it 200.

    Ok, so assuming I got it all straightened out now, you will need that 75 - 80% water change. The good news is that now that you know you can fix it! I can promise you that once all of your numbers are in check it will be much easier, maybe even easy enough for your husband to keep caring for it once you teach him!

    Yes, I am definitely clear about taking over the position from hubby. Also, I realize the lack of accuracy on the CYA test past 100, so when you say double the number, I'm to do that on the 50/50 test which would bring it to a whopping 200! I get it now. I must say the most fun thing about the testing are the color changes! I know, I'm such a girl!

    Really do appreciate all your help and positive words. My husband has kept pool maintenance such a mystery, I've always been afraid of it. But here I go!

    Thanks again!

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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    You don't double the number if you are mixing half pool water with half CYA reagent (R-0013). However, if you get a reading above 100 ppm, you can get a better approximation than your estimate by diluting your pool water 50/50 with tap water and using that as your "half water sample" for the test where you mix it with half CYA reagent. You basically are measuring half your CYA level in that case and hopefully it gets below 100 ppm and THAT is the number you would double. Make sense?
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Is Out of Balance

    Pretty sure that is what they did. Was way above 100, then did diluted method to read 100 on the test ... doubled to 200.
    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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