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Thread: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HELP!!

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    Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HELP!!

    I have been on vacation lately, and when we came home Intex SWG said low salt, so we added some and then we left again for another trip. Came back and around edges of pool were cloudy looking, and SWG said low salt again..

    SWG was cleaned about 2 weeks ago.

    Went to pool store today and here is results
    They said phosphates too high and so the salt.
    They recommended me draining 6 inches of water out and replacing.
    18 round and 52" inches deep pool

    FC 0
    TAC 0
    PH 7.6
    TA 80
    CH 190
    Salt 4400
    Phosphates 2500

    What do I need to do? Do I drain and replace??? They want to retest after I drain and replace?
    Thanks
    Alicia N Greg North Augusta, SC
    8300 gal AG,Vinyl,18'Round 52"deep, Intex SWG, 1.5HP PUMP,BIG CARTRIDGE FILTER
    Pool installed 7/2012

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    If you spend any time here, you will quickly come to realize that we do not believe very much of what the pool store employees tell us.

    There are only 2 reasons when water may need replaced: 1. High CH (not for you). 2. High CYA (no reported value).

    Phosphates are meaningless. If you maintain adequate FC to kill the algae, then it does not matter how much food there is for them.

    What you need to do is get one of the Recommended Test Kits and while waiting for it read Pool School a few times, you will quickly know more than the store employees.

    Then, post up a full set of your own test results. If the CYA is too high, then you need to replace water. If the CYA is fine, then you will need to follow the SLAM process to eradicate whatever is in the water consuming the FC. [slam:8nlz78te][/slam:8nlz78te]
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Like Jason said, Phosphates are meaningless on a well balanced pool, and are just an excuse for the pool store to sell you expensive phosphate remover. Simply put Phosphates are algae food, if you keep your pool balanced there will be no algae in it so no reason to reduce the amount of algae food. The logic behind phosphate remover is much like the idea of throwing out a fraction of the food in your pantry if you have a rodent infestation, it may slow the rate that the multiply, but does nothing to be rid of them. As to salt level, I don't have an SWG so am not an expert, but my understanding is as long as your SWG is happy your fine, low salt level is often more of a problem than high, and it will drop over time.

    Ike
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    Wildcat's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Doesn't he have to put in some Chlorine while waiting for a test kit? Pool store numbers may be trash but a basic chlorine test showing 0 chlorine is hard to get wrong.
    10000 Gal, IG Pebbletec, pop up cleaners,Hayward EcoStar VS, 425 sq ft Hayward Cartridge, waterfall feature

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat
    Doesn't he have to put in some Chlorine while waiting for a test kit?
    Well, certainly they need to add chlorine (bleach), but how much since we do not know the CYA? They could certainly add 3ppm everyday, but it may or may not help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat
    Pool store numbers may be trash but a basic chlorine test showing 0 chlorine is hard to get wrong.
    You would think ... but ... at least one instance someone kept going in and they were telling him he had 0 FC and to add more and more, repeatedly. Turned out (after they got a good kit), that the FC was VERY high. The pink DPD color matching test the pool store was using was bleached out by the initially high FC so they thought it was 0, when it was not. Now if you check with a yellow OTO test, that is hard to get wrong.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Since your SWG is not working, you need to chlorinate the pool with liquid chlorine until you can fix the SWG.

    How old is the SWG? When they start reporting lower salt levels than what you actually have it is a sign that it is worn out. There could also be other things wrong with it such as needing to be cleaned. What is the recommended salinity range for your SWG? You will only need to drain water if the salinity is above the maximum allowed by the SWG. Yours is reporting a low level so for now you should not drain any water unless you know the upper limit for the salt level.

    Do you know what the CYA level is at? For SWG's it should be 70-80 ppm to get the best performance out of the SWG. To let you know, this test is the one pool stores are the most unreliable at. I don't think we are looking at too high of CYA in your case since you have a SWG, but a level that might be too low.

    Phosphates have nothing to do with your problems right now or ever will have in a private pool. Pool stores will use this excuse to sell you some junk that you do not need. That number by the way is 2500 ppb as in parts per billion.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    I'd get a second opinion - your own. A proper test kit is the key to perfectly balanced sparkly water.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    I don't know what my cya is? They did not tell me or write it on the sheet. My recommeded salinity level for my SWG is 3000ppm and according to pool store mine is 4400ppm, so I did what they said, I drained out 6 inches and refilled it. I am gonna take another sample to them today, to see what they say now.

    What should I do next? What and see what they say, or tell me what to add. Thanks

    Our SWG is only one yr old this month, and was cleaned two weeks ago and looks fine, don't see anything built up on it.

    Thanks
    Alicia
    8300 gallon vinyl 18round 52" deep, big cartridge filter, Intex Salt System
    Alicia N Greg North Augusta, SC
    8300 gal AG,Vinyl,18'Round 52"deep, Intex SWG, 1.5HP PUMP,BIG CARTRIDGE FILTER
    Pool installed 7/2012

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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need your own high quality test kit. Pool store test results are geared towards having you buy things from them. Not to fix your problems. With a proper test kit, we can tell you what to do to fix your problem(s). Without one though, you're spinning your wheels and spending your money.

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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    Welcome to TFP!

    You need your own high quality test kit. Pool store test results are geared towards having you buy things from them. Not to fix your problems. With a proper test kit, we can tell you what to do to fix your problem(s). Without one though, you're spinning your wheels and spending your money.
    Thanks, I will look into getting one, looks like everyone recommends the TF-100.

    Alicia
    Alicia N Greg North Augusta, SC
    8300 gal AG,Vinyl,18'Round 52"deep, Intex SWG, 1.5HP PUMP,BIG CARTRIDGE FILTER
    Pool installed 7/2012

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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Quote Originally Posted by abyars
    What should I do next?
    That is a question that only you can answer. You are looking at two conflicting philosophies in pool maintenance.

    Your pool store believes that CYA is unimportant (otherwise they would have written it down, yes?) and that phosphates are important. They will have you maintain what we consider to be a low FC level and to fight algae through removing phosphates. Some find success in this, but phosfree is not an inexpensive product.

    We believe that phosphate levels are unimportant (I have never tested for them) and that the FC/CYA relationship is quite possibly the most important thing in pool maintenance. Instead of lowering phosphate levels you keep appropriate FC levels and monitor it yourself using a proper test kit, the TF-100 being the best, IMO.

    I can tell you that our philosophy has a very good track record of success, if you work the system the system works. I can point you to stories of people who had followed every single thing a pool store told them to do yet clear water was always just out of reach. You can clear your pool through either system, but I can only give you guarantees with ours and only if you follow it correctly. That involves testing your own water with a kit up to the task. It involves learning a bit about your pool and the water chemistry. Learning what different chemicals do to the water and only adding what is necessary, in the most cost effective way possible.

    Whichever path you choose to clear your pool is up to you, but mixing advice here and advice from your pool store will only lead to more difficulty than picking one and sticking with it. I hope whichever path you choose you find a clear pool at the end of it.
    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: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    The TF-100 is the best overall kit that you can get as it has the right amount of reagents that you will use most often. The Taylor k-2006 has all of the proper tests, but it is lacking in quantity of reagents in some of the tests.

    With a proper test kit and following the recommendations here at TFP, you will more than save the amount it cost for the test kit. Also, your pool will be in great condition all the time.

    On to the status of the SWG, is it still shut off due to it reading low salt? Have you put any stabilizer in the water that you know of, also known as conditioner or CYA?

    It's up to you to make the choice of following the advice here at TFP or the pool store advice. Trying to mix the two together will only cause more problems for you. I still use my pool store for chemicals as they are the cheapest available for acid and liquid chlorine when I need it.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates High, Pool Store says to Drain some water. HE

    Quote Originally Posted by abyars

    Thanks, I will look into getting one, looks like everyone recommends the TF-100.

    Alicia
    oh yeah.. TF-100 for us all the way! The magnetic stirrer makes testing fast and easy too.
    The first time I took water from my new pool water in to the store there in North Augusta for testing resulted in the pool store chemist having me put too much of some chemical or another in my water. Then on retesting a week later he says "ooops, I guess I told you to add too much." That kind of thing is scary to a new pool owner, right??
    I jumped online and started to do my own research and ended up here and have never been led astray since!
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