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Thread: Pool Water

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    Pool Water

    Good Morning! I am hoping someone can help me out with a problem we are having with our water. We have a 22' Intex above ground pool with a salt water chlorinator. We estimate there are about 11,000 gallons of water in the pool. Our chlorinator is registering low salt so we added 280lbs of pool salt. It was still registering low so we added another 280lbs of salt for a total of 560 lbs. The chlorinator is STILL registering low salt. Does this seem accurate? The water is cloudy which we can't seem to clear up and I have been working on eliminating some algae on the bottom of the pool. I put some algaecide in Wednesday and added more last night.

    Any help or suggestions you can give us would be great. Mostly we are baffled by the amount of salt we have put in and that it is still apparently not enough salt. (We didn't put this much salt in all year last year so what gives?!)

    Thanks!
    22' Intex Above Ground Pool, Salt Water Generator

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Water

    You need to get a couple of things:

    The TF-100 test kit for your normal water chemistry, and the K-1766 for your salt levels. Both are available from http://tftestkits.net/

    Cloudy water is almost always due to pool chemistry being off.
    Cloudy water is almost always due to pool chemistry being off.

    Please put your pool info and location in your profile and signature, so we can give appropriate advice for your pool and location.

    http://www.poolcalculator.com will help you to figure out how much too high you have your salt.

    "Low salt" on an Intex unit can mean you aren't getting enough flow, or your cell plates are dirty and need an acid wash, in addition to possible low salt level in your water. Pool School has the info you need to do a cleaning. Related question: Do you have your copper ionizer still hooked up on your SWG? If it is, unplug it. you don't want copper in your pool. Pool school again has why.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Water

    Hi welcome to TFP! You need to have a test run on the salt level either by a pool store or by purchasing a salt test that you can run yourself. It sounds like the SWG is malfunctioning. I think that your salt level is probably way too high now, and the SWG will not produce chlorine when salt levels are too high. If the water tests out with high salt you will have to drain and replace water to lower the salt level.

    Once the salt level in the pool is addressed you will need to determine if the SWG can be repaired. I don't know if there are parts available to make repairs. All intex shows on their website are hoses and connectors.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Pool Water

    Thanks Charlie and Zea!

    Charlie - I added some of the info you requested but need to look up the rest so I will add those shortly. I have purchased some test strips from Wal Mart and run those. From what I can tell, all the levels look good except for the free chlorine (very low) and the stabilizer (also very low). As for the copper ionizer, I'm not sure. I will have to go back to the directions and check. I will also definitely check out the pool school as well as the cell plates.

    Zea - I had also questioned if the SWG was malfunctioning. It is only 2 months old though. (Our original one malfunctioned so Intex sent us a new one in June.) I do have some salt test strips. I checked it and it came out at around 2 on the test strips which translates to 450ppm. We added the second round of salt last night and retested with the salt strips this morning. We got the same result, which is why I am so baffled.
    22' Intex Above Ground Pool, Salt Water Generator

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Water

    Until you can get the TF-100 or K-2006, you can buy an HTH 6-way from Walmart. If the salt strips are Aqua-Chem, they are fairly accurate. Others, not so much.

    Regular test strips (chlorine etc) are not trustworthy. You need a drops based test kit.

    The HTH will only test up to 5 ppm chlorine level, and for now that may be good enough. You will also need to do a CYA test, included in the 6-way.

    Have a couple of jugs of household bleach on hand, and as Zea suggests, run you pool with manual dosing until we can figure out what is wrong with your SWG.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Pool Water

    I will buy the drops from Walmart until I can get the others. The salt test strips are aqua chem from Walmart. Thanks for the info. Will post back on here with what I find out.
    22' Intex Above Ground Pool, Salt Water Generator

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Water

    Welcome to tfp, smithereyenes

    One common cause of the low salt error is build up on the swg plates due to incorrect pool chemistry. If you can take a look at your plates, they are "silver" colored, and see if there is build up on them, especially between them. If there is, that is likely why it read low salt, and they need to be cleaned.

    576 lbs of salt would have raise your salt level to 5870 ppm, a level which the intex swg will not operate at.

    The copper ionizer Charlie is referring to are the two copper bars just before the outlet of the swg (assuming you have them). If you have them, then just unplug the wire that goes to them. No need for copper ions in a properly chlorinated pool. Copper ions can stain pool surfaces and turn blond hair green.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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