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Thread: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues!

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    Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues!

    Sorry for the minor wall of text. TL;DR at end.

    This is my first season with a pool. My mom moved into a house with a 15,000 gallon pool. Opening went pretty smoothly, and we've had a couple of excellent parties in a beautifully clear pool. I've only been able to check my mom's pool status every couple of days since I live across town. Every time over the course of the last two weeks, the pH would drop and so would the chlorine.

    --2 weeks ago the water became dull and cloudy overnight. I saw that my pH (7.0) and chlorine (1ppm) were both low, so I poured about 2 pounds of simple "pH up" into the water.
    --That brought it back to 7.3 after a couple of hours, so I was happy enough to shock it. I poured a bag of shock, waited 8 hours, saw minimal improvement, and then poured another. Chlorine was at about 4ppm and pH was still at 7.3. Problem solved. For the time being...
    --Stopped by 1.5 weeks ago. Water cloudy. Shock the pool, chlorine up, pH still low (7.1). Throw in pH up and go on my way. Water clears up. Woohoo!
    --Have party over weekend. Sunday morning pool very cloudy. Backwash, because I had a broken psi gauge and thought cloudiness may be dirty filter? Shock pool 2 lb. after reading pH (6.8) and chlorine (<1ppm). Chlorine up, pH stagnant. Go to pool store.
    --Monday, after research, finally make it to pool store. Buy and install new psi gauge (so easy!). Worker sells me 5lb. "pH up" and I go to the cheaper Lowe's and buy more "Aqua Chem. Shock Plus." Test total alkalinity, and it's right in range (100). Throw in 2 lbs. pH up and after 2 hrs., 2 lbs. of shock, figuring I just wasn't adding enough of either. Go home, plan to come back Wed.
    --Earl Wednesday morning. Water cleared up a bit. Just a bit dull. Sweet! BUT Wednesday morning pH 6.8., ***!? After all of that "pH up" and shock?? Throw in 2 more lbs. "pH up." Noonish throw in 2 lbs. shock plus.
    --As of 5 pm pH <6.8 and chlorine only 2ppm. I'm dumfounded. So I research even more than I had.
    --Read up extensively. So much to learn!
    --Here's what I think I've done...

    The shock was Aqua Chem Shock Plus, which is Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione, 58.2 percent. It was actually 2 dollars more expensive for 5 lbs than just "shock," but is labeled it would clarify the water. I now realize it's ALL about chemicals and percentages. I'll get over labels from now on.

    QUESTIONS and TL;DR:

    So, after that long tale, can you help me to understand sodium dichlor? I understand it raises CYA levels, which I've only recently (yesterday) come to know the function of CYA. CYA binds to chlorine and makes it less effective, right? So why was my chlorine going away so fast after shocking? Why didn't the "pH up" work at all? I also understand high CYA results in some overall bad juju, and requires emptying 50% of pool water. Ugh. I hope I haven't made that mistake of creating a high CYA. I wonder, too, if my chlorine tabs I have in my skimmers are trichlor? Doesn't that raise CYA, too? What is the best way, then, to chlorinate my pool and not throw everything else out of whack? I just want something simple that keeps everything at a comfortable level.

    I'm running by the pool store with a water sample tomorrow to check CYA. After 2 weeks, 1 back wash, 7 lbs. of "pH up," and about 10 lbs of Aqua Chem. Shock Plus, here is what my levels are:

    pH: <6.8, probably 6.4-6.6
    Chlorine (simple 5 drop test): 1ppm
    Alkalinity: 100ppm


    Thanks to those who read and answered.
    Missouri (full sun, but wooded area), 19K gal, IG painted plaster, sand filter (more specific info. to come), cascade waterfall.

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    First, you should invest in a good test kit. It seems like a high cost item, but it will pay for itself very quickly.

    Pool stores are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to CYA. Shock is a process, not a product. You will need to SLAM your pool. Using tabs are the reason you are fighting to keep the PH up. Because of the methods you use to increase chlorine also increase CYA, you probably have a very high CYA. Unfortunately, we can't give you much advice until we know your complete test results (FC, TC, PH, TA, CH and CYA) using a reliable test kit.

    1. Please update your signature to include the information about your pool and pool equipment. pool-school/read_before_you_post
    2. Order a good test kit. pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison
    3. Read and reread pool school: category.php?c=getting_started
    4. Learn how to SLAM your pool after you get reliable test results: pool-school/shocking_your_pool
    5. Use the pool calculator to tell you what and how much chemicals to add: http://www.poolcalculator.com/

    There is a lot of good advice here from people who are tired of getting ripped off by the pool store. The information is overwhelming at first, but with a little studying, a little help from the folks here at TFP, you will have a great pool with much less expense.
    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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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Dichlor lowers PH quite a bit, and trichlor also lowers PH. The tablets are indeed trichlor. If you are using either of those products you need to constantly be raising the PH back up. You have raised the PH a little, but not nearly enough. The PH test reads anything below 6.8 as if it was 6.8, so you won't really know where you are until you get the PH back above 6.8.

    You have almost certainly raised the CYA level too high, though you won't really know until you test the CYA level.

    I recommend using either bleach (or liquid chlorine, same thing) or a salt water system to add chlorine. Both of them add chlorine without any other major side effects.

    In any case, the first thing to do is get the PH under control. Then find out what your CYA level is, and adjust if needed. Then you can start SLAMing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by smittysmith55
    I'm running by the pool store with a water sample tomorrow to check CYA. After 2 weeks, 1 back wash, 7 lbs. of "pH up," and about 10 lbs of Aqua Chem. Shock Plus.
    I will not trust any pool store test, much less CYA. I can tell you that that much dichlor and trichlor tablets that your CYA is probably over 50, though you may be lucky enough to not be too crazy out of range.

    Go ahead and get them to check your water, it will give you some ideas, but do not listen to a single suggestion they give you. If you want something simple that doesn't require a bunch of guess work or water changing then you just may have found the right place

    kcindc gave a good list, a good test kit is a must (I personally love the TF-100) and if you want to do research the Pool School is a gold mine! Let us know what the pool store results are, and let us know if they suggest anything, we enjoy a good laugh

    And welcome to TFP!
    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: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Order a good test kit first. You probably won't be able to get the tf-100 or taylor k-2006 locally, so order that now. Also get a speedstir, it makes testing much easier, and you are going to need to teach your mom how to do the test every day after sundown. Trust me, I taught my MIL how to do the FAS-DPD test for FC/CC and it was much easier for her to do with the speedstir. The hardest part was teaching her how to do consistent drops, if I had to also explain proper swirling and lighting, I'm pretty sure it would have been much more difficult. I also got her the sample sizer which makes it super easy for her to measure the precise 10ml sample. (and I didn't have to explain 'meniscus' to her )

    The reason I did all this, is because this site taught me that it is important to know what your water chemistry is doing every day. I couldn't be there every day, but my mother-in-law could do the FAS-DPD test (using the speedstir) and let me know the result (all she needs to know is how to count drops and see the sample turn from red to clear).

    She would email or call me with the results and I could then tell her to add x ounces of bleach or that she is okay for this evening (I use an SWG, and usually the evening measurement is toward the top of the range, but if it creeps to the bottom of the range, I have her bump back to target with bleach). I'm there every weekend so I take care of the acid when needed
    8638 gallon 20'x52" Intex ultra frame round AG. 2650 gph Intex Sand Filter. Intex krystal Klear SWG. (newer model that includes copper ion generation) Hayward 1091LX skimmer, Kreepy Krauly lil shark. Taylor K-2006 w/speed stir and sample sizer. New this year, Intex PureSpa - dichlor-> bleach method for sanitizing.
    New pool, 16'x36' (approx 18000 gal) in ground pool, Haywood DE filter

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    The others have given you some good advice, so I will now try to just give you a bit of information. 10 Pounds of dichlor will raise the CYA in a 15,000 gallon pool by 35 ppm, we generally suggest maintain a CYA level of around 40 ppm for most pools that don't use an SWG for chlorination, maybe as much as 50 ppm CYA in sun belt areas. So unless your pool had no stabilizer in it (introduced by trichlor, dichlor or CYA stabilizer (powder or liquid)), and only generally removable by water replacement, you almost certain are dealing with an over stabilized pool with sky high CYA levels. In fact there is a fair chance it was already over stabilized when this problem appeared as cloudy water with some generally "reasonable" FC level is often a clue that the pool is likely over stabilized. The only solution to this is substantial water replacement, but until we get reliable test results for the CYA level we can't tell you just how much water needs to be replaced, it may be less than half or it may be 90%.
    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: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    This is all very helpful. Like any cook, there are going to be varying opinions on how to prepare a steak. And I don't go into a steakhouse asking them to show me how they do it expecting wonderful results at home. They're going to say you can't make a steak without using their supplier or buying their unique sauce... but I can read about it on the Internet and try and try again until I'm cutting the best steak I've ever had. That's how I feel about pool companies, and this is the direction I'm now taking to maintain my pool.

    Assuming I have a CYA level within an okay range, I have my most pressing question: How can I best get my pH up? Should I buy soda ash or any product that says sodium carbonate? What about running my fountain 24/7? I've read aerating your pool can raise the pH. Oh, and I've been running my filter 24/7 the last 10 days (yeesh electricity bill).

    I'm sure anyone would understand it's the height of summer and I want full use of the pool ASAP. Can I safely swim in this thing, or is it too harmful and acidic with below 6.8 pH?

    Oh, and I'll be purchasing a more reliable test kit in the next 24 hours.
    Missouri (full sun, but wooded area), 19K gal, IG painted plaster, sand filter (more specific info. to come), cascade waterfall.

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Last thing before I get some responses back:

    I found that borax is the best bet to raise pH without affecting much else. It seems that this doesn't raise alkalinity too much, correct (compared to other raising methods)?

    Here is the product I'm thinking about throwing into my pool:
    http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... =143758775

    Bad or good practice?
    Missouri (full sun, but wooded area), 19K gal, IG painted plaster, sand filter (more specific info. to come), cascade waterfall.

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by smittysmith55
    Like any cook, there are going to be varying opinions on how to prepare a steak. And I don't go into a steakhouse asking them to show me how they do it expecting wonderful results at home. They're going to say you can't make a steak without using their supplier or buying their unique sauce... but I can read about it on the Internet and try and try again until I'm cutting the best steak I've ever had. That's how I feel about pool companies, and this is the direction I'm now taking to maintain my pool.
    You are forgetting that most of the sources you are looking at (pool stores, pool companies) have a vested interest in making money by selling you a product or they have been educated by manufacturers or their reps that have such a financial interest. That is not the case with this forum. If you want to get the Taylor K-2006 test kit from Amato Industries or from Amazon or even from Taylor Technologies directly, you can do so, but they take longer to ship and are no less expensive. The TFTestkits TF-100 has repackaged Taylor chemistry so there are more of the reagents you use the most, but if you have a philosophical problem with buying that kit, then get a Taylor K-2006 kit from somewhere.

    This is not about different opinions. There is actually a better way backed by science and the experience of over 52,000 registered members on this forum plus over 400,000 unique people visiting this site in June of this year.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    This is not about different opinions. There is actually a better way backed by science and the experience of over 52,000 registered members on this forum plus over 400,000 unique people visiting this site in June of this year.
    Spot on. That's why I've come here to consult with those only interested in helping. I do appreciate at the help you've given thus far!

    Now about raising my pH...
    Missouri (full sun, but wooded area), 19K gal, IG painted plaster, sand filter (more specific info. to come), cascade waterfall.

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Here is the product I'm thinking about throwing into my pool:
    http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... =143758775

    Bad or good practice?
    Exactly the right product.....raises pH in a calculable manner and has little, if any, affect on anything else....including TA.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by smittysmith55
    Last thing before I get some responses back:

    I found that borax is the best bet to raise pH without affecting much else. It seems that this doesn't raise alkalinity too much, correct (compared to other raising methods)?

    Here is the product I'm thinking about throwing into my pool:
    http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... =143758775

    Bad or good practice?
    The ACE link didn't take me to a specific product, so, just to be clear:

    Yes, borax is the best to use to raise pH with little effect on much else.
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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    You can buy it from wall mart or rural king a lot cheaper....like 3 something a box.......gotta save where you can......lol......Mike
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Some good news. This morning the water was clear again. Not 100%, but very close.

    Got back from the pool shop this morning. Here's what their "ClearCare Expert" computerized water analysis says:
    FC: 2.97
    CC: 0.36
    pH: 7.0 (I have two test kits. Both show below 6.8)
    TA: 91ppm
    CH: 208ppm
    CYA: 39ppm (not too high! Woohoo!)

    The worker is a childhood friend of mine, so he shared what he thought without trying to be too pushy. He was cool and gave me in-house options and places to look on the web. He said I should try and get my CC level down with shock, and could buy even more pH up. I decided to take it one step at a time and told him about the borax. He said he hadn't heard of it but would definitely be interested in seeing how it pans out.

    I left there and bought 20 Mule Borax and dumped in 1 box (4 lbs) about an hour ago. I've also added 1 gallon of Wal Mart brand liquid chlorine (ultra on sale -- 8% available chlorine). I've turned on my fountain and will let it run all day (even if it doesn't raise pH, it will help distribute the borax).

    Here's where my test puts me at one hour after the borax (didn't check TA):
    FC: 5.0
    pH: ~7.0 - 7.1

    I threw in another pound and decided to wait about 2-4 hours and check again.

    Where should I go from here? Keep using liquid bleach to chlorinate?

    Here's what my pool looks like right now.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Missouri (full sun, but wooded area), 19K gal, IG painted plaster, sand filter (more specific info. to come), cascade waterfall.

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Did you order the Tf 100 yet?

    That's your next step.
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by GuinnessPhish
    Did you order the Tf 100 yet?

    That's your next step.

    Just did this morning. Adding yet another layer of comfort!
    Missouri (full sun, but wooded area), 19K gal, IG painted plaster, sand filter (more specific info. to come), cascade waterfall.

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by smittysmith55
    Quote Originally Posted by GuinnessPhish
    Did you order the Tf 100 yet?

    That's your next step.

    Just did this morning. Adding yet another layer of comfort!
    Glad to hear it, because when I hear "'ClearCare Expert' computerized water analysis" I hear The ultra-specific looking numbers are pretty much made up, I would put money that it cannot detect 0.01 ppm chlorine. But some numbers are better than none, and you may be surprised when you do your own CYA test when your kit gets there.

    Since the pool guy is a friend I will be nice, but he still works for the dark side...

    Finally, I will say that you have a very nice pool! Keep using liquid to chlorinate and get your pH in check (not too high, you probably need to SLAM so try to keep it near 7.2). Once your kit gets there do a full batch of tests and we will see what needs done. So far so good!
    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: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson
    The ultra-specific looking numbers are pretty much made up, I would put money that it cannot detect 0.01 ppm chlorine. But some numbers are better than none, and you may be surprised when you do your own CYA test when your kit gets there.
    So since those tests are not completely accurate, what level of difference might my own CYA test show? +/- ___ppm? 10, 20 degrees of difference? I suppose I don't want to get too comfortable with the 39ppm that showed up in the test this morning.

    Also, I've purchased a TF-100 from pool supply world. It should be here next Wednesday.
    Missouri (full sun, but wooded area), 19K gal, IG painted plaster, sand filter (more specific info. to come), cascade waterfall.

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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    So since those tests are not completely accurate, what level of difference might my own CYA test show? +/- ___ppm? 10, 20 degrees of difference?
    It's impossible to tell. It might be spot on, but we also get Pool Stores being wildly off like 10 or 110. That's an extreme (but if happens more often than you might imagine) so all of us are gun shy about having much faith.

    If I had to bet, that is a reasonable amount of CYA and that would lead me to suspect it is fairly close.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Noob used a LOT of (Sodium Dichlor) "Shock Plus," Issues

    Just to add to what Dave said, I think based on what you have added your CYA will be closer to 50, so not a huge difference. Since you added dichlor not too long ago the CYA probably won't show up on tests for a week after it was added. By the time you get your kit you should be able to get a good reading on your actual CYA level.
    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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