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Thread: First test results

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    First test results

    Kit came today. I probably should have waited until this evening but with these numbers, the results would likely be negligible. Probably explains our skin trouble, eh? Water is clear, tastes a little salty, and I have a good deal of calcium buildup on the tile already.

    Water temp: 88F
    SW exposure, sun most of the day


    FC= 15.5
    CC= 0
    TC= 5
    pH= 8.2 (likely higher)
    T/A= 570
    CH= 490
    CYA= 60

    Salt level= 2650 ppm, set @ 60% PB originally set it at 80%, service tech lowered it last Fri.

    I know I'll need to get the CYA up, and I have not been running the waterfall or spa spillover. Should I do this to bring the TA down?

    Only other thing is I'm not solid on the gal amt. of the pool. I came up w/ 17K, but builder says 15.
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    whoozer's Avatar
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    Re: First test results

    VM- Congrats on getting to water testing stage! I don't believe you need to do anything with your CYA at this point. It is at the low average for an swg. I would work on getting the PH and TA down. Usually adjusting ph first moves the TA quite a bit also. I believe aerating gets one down without affecting the other so you may want to go another route. I would just use your best estimate on the gallons to help you through what to put in to balance it. The pool calculator helps me tons. Congrats again. I'm sure the "pros" will chime in with some more concise info. Good luck.
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Guest

    Re: First test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegasmom
    Kit came today. I probably should have waited until this evening but with these numbers, the results would likely be negligible. Probably explains our skin trouble, eh? Water is clear, tastes a little salty, and I have a good deal of calcium buildup on the tile already.

    Water temp: 88F
    SW exposure, sun most of the day


    FC= 15.5
    CC= 0
    TC= 5
    pH= 8.2 (likely higher)
    T/A= 570
    CH= 490
    CYA= 60

    Salt level= 2650 ppm, set @ 60% PB originally set it at 80%, service tech lowered it last Fri.

    I know I'll need to get the CYA up, and I have not been running the waterfall or spa spillover. Should I do this to bring the TA down?

    Only other thing is I'm not solid on the gal amt. of the pool. I came up w/ 17K, but builder says 15.
    don't worry about the 2k gallon difference right now. It's not going to make THAT big a difference in the long run. First think to do is get your pH down to 7.0. It will rise on it's own. When you drop it test the TA. Keep doing this until you get the TA around 70-80 ppm. You can speed the pH rise part of the process by aeration. See these articles for more info:
    category/pool-school/lowering%20total%20alkalinity
    viewtopic.php?t=5341
    Before you start this please retest the TA to verify it's actually THAT high.

    Don't worry about your CYA right now. It's ok but you do need to get it a bit higher eventually. In the desert I would suggest 80 ppm.

    Your salt seems a bit low. What SWG do you have? A good rule of thumb is to run your salt about 200-400 ppm HIGHER than the manufacturer's recommended level.

    You are not going to be able to do much about the calcium so your plan of attack to help prevent scaling is to monitor your pH closely and NEVER let it get above 7.8. This is probably the most important thing you can do to prevent calcium scaling. You can run the pH a bit lower normally, say around 7.2-7.4 but it will make your pH rise faster than if you keep it slightly higher. Experiement and see what works for you.

    Finally, I have a feeling that even 60% is too high for your output on the SWG. You want to maintain the FC between 3-5 ppm. Adjust the output down in about 10% increments and give it about a week to stabilzie before making another adjustment. I would lower it to 50% right now and see where it puts your FC in a week.

    Since this is a new pool your pH is going to climb fast so check it daily, brush twice a day and keep the pH below 7.8 (aim for 7.6). Don't be surprised if you need to add acid daily. This will slow down as the plaster cures but it will probably be what to expect for the next few months.

    Hope this is helpful.

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    Re: First test results

    Ok, TA was not that high. It's 360 not 570. I dropped until it turned dark pink, almost red. Is that right? How would I get such a drastic difference in readings?

    I used the Pool Calculator and then conversion charts to come up with just under 2 gal of acid. What's the max I can add at once and how long to wait before adding more?

    Also, checked the SWG (Intellichlor) and it is set at 50% for the pool, 2% spa. On the unit it reads 60%, but the remote gives me the proper reading.

    Thanks for the help, it is much appreciated.
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    Guest

    Re: First test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegasmom
    Ok, TA was not that high. It's 360 not 570. I dropped until it turned dark pink, almost red. Is that right? How would I get such a drastic difference in readings?
    Keep adding drops until the last drop does not produce any further color change and then don't count that last drop. 360 IS drastically high for TA. You want it around 70 or 80 ppm! The links I gave you above will teach you how to lower it.
    I used the Pool Calculator and then conversion charts to come up with just under 2 gal of acid. What's the max I can add at once and how long to wait before adding more?
    I suspect it's going to take more than that. You have new plaster! You really don't want to lower the pH below 7.0 at any one time. It's in the links I gave you.
    Also, checked the SWG (Intellichlor) and it is set at 50% for the pool, 2% spa. On the unit it reads 60%, but the remote gives me the proper reading.
    To the best of my knowledge the remote and the unit should be giving you the same readings! Get that checked out
    Thanks for the help, it is much appreciated.
    As I said before your first order of business is to lower your TA. It is WAY too high unless your builder is doing a bicarbonate startup. You might want to ask them if they did a standard, acid, or bicarbonate startup.

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    Re: First test results

    The indicator on the SWG unit doesn't have a 50% mark, only a 40 and 60. So I guess the remote is used to dial in an exact percentage. According to the PC, I need to add 141 lbs. of salt!? The Intellichlor says everything is fine. I'll do the salt test again.

    I read the links but it still doesn't answer my question of whether or not I add the full amt. of acid at once, or should I do it in stages. On the bottom of the acid demand chart the PB gave me is says not to add more than a quart at a time. I guess that's my answer. I've got my bottle of P.O.P.
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    Guest

    Re: First test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegasmom
    The indicator on the SWG unit doesn't have a 50% mark, only a 40 and 60. So I guess the remote is used to dial in an exact percentage. According to the PC, I need to add 141 lbs. of salt!? The Intellichlor says everything is fine. I'll do the salt test again.
    Run your salt at about 3200-3400 ppm with your intellichlor. It will be happiest there. It will work with less salt but you will shorten cell life and higher salt levels can increase corrosion concerns.
    I read the links but it still doesn't answer my question of whether or not I add the full amt. of acid at once, or should I do it in stages.
    You add enough acid to drop the pH to 7.0. Use the calculator to get a ballpark figure, add it, wait about 30 minutes with filter running and retest pH. Because of your high TA you will need more acid than the calculator will say. Even an acid demand test will have problems at the very high TA of your water so the best course is to add acid, wait, and retest until you get the pH to about 7.0. Adding no more than a quart at a time is for normal TA ranges and is usually when lowering pH. You might need to add more until you get your TA down.
    On the bottom of the acid demand chart the PB gave me is says not to add more than a quart at a time. I guess that's my answer. I've got my bottle of P.O.P.

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    Re: First test results

    I've added approx. 3/4 gal of MA since last night, got the Ph down to 7.0 as best I could tell. Aerating for 5 hrs. with waterfall brought it back up to 7.5. TA is down to 180 (as of this morning and I've not added more acid yet) I imagine another round like this and all should be well.

    I checked the salt again with test strips and got same reading of 2650, but the ET-8 reads 3400. Should I take a sample to Leslie's? I also adjusted the output down to 40% and will check it after 24hrs. per Intellichlor manual. My TC and FC are still way high.
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    Re: First test results

    I guess it's a longer process than I thought! TA is down to 130 after another round of acid this morning. I ran out so I got some more at Leslie's. Took a sample for them to check salt and the reading was 3300. Not taking what the guy said as gospel, but is it possible the Accucheck strips went bad from the heat? (in transit, I store them inside) He said they are very heat sensitive. ??
    No Cover Charge
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    Guest

    Re: First test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegasmom
    I guess it's a longer process than I thought! TA is down to 130 after another round of acid this morning. I ran out so I got some more at Leslie's. Took a sample for them to check salt and the reading was 3300. Not taking what the guy said as gospel, but is it possible the Accucheck strips went bad from the heat? (in transit, I store them inside) He said they are very heat sensitive. ??
    How long are you letting the strip sit in the sample? Sample should only be about an inch high in the cup or whatever you are using and you need to wait long enough for the little strip across the top to darken completely. This can take up to 10 minutes sometimes. Also, remember that the strips are a chemical test for chloride ions while the readout on your SWG and meters that the pool store is probably using test conductivity. If you have high TA, high CH, etc. all these (collectively called TDS--total dissolved solids along with your salt) will increase the conductivity so it is possible that the chemcial test for chloride will read lower.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: First test results

    The AccuChek salt test strips mostly only go bad from moisture getting into the strips before you are going to use them.
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    Re: First test results

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    How long are you letting the strip sit in the sample? Sample should only be about an inch high in the cup or whatever you are using and you need to wait long enough for the little strip across the top to darken completely. This can take up to 10 minutes sometimes.
    I'm using a medicine dose cup. I let it sit a little longer today and if I look for the tiniest spot of white on the level, I guess it reads closer to 3120. I'm finding the results sometimes tricky to read. I'm looking for exact #'s, but the way some things are marked, it seems to allow room for guesswork. A digital readout would be very cool


    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Also, remember that the strips are a chemical test for chloride ions while the readout on your SWG and meters that the pool store is probably using test conductivity. If you have high TA, high CH, etc. all these (collectively called TDS--total dissolved solids along with your salt) will increase the conductivity so it is possible that the chemcial test for chloride will read lower.
    Ahh, ok. I wondered if my high #'s would have an effect in some way.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The AccuChek salt test strips mostly only go bad from moisture getting into the strips before you are going to use them.
    Looks like I got pool-stored They told me to bring my water in and they'd test everything for me. I smiled and said thanks, but I have a really good test kit at home.
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  13. Back To Top    #13
    Guest

    Re: First test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegasmom
    I'm using a medicine dose cup. I let it sit a little longer today and if I look for the tiniest spot of white on the level, I guess it reads closer to 3120. I'm finding the results sometimes tricky to read. I'm looking for exact #'s, but the way some things are marked, it seems to allow room for guesswork. A digital readout would be very cool
    Digital meters ARE very cool BUT you do need to keep them calibrated with a standard solution (proabably about monthly). If you are going to get one I would recommend the Goldline salt meter or a MyronL salt meter. Stay away from the LaMotte and Hanna ones!
    The strips really ARE the easiest test for salt. There are titiration tests from Taylor and LaMotte BUT they are much harder to use properly and the silver nitrate reagent will cause permenant black stains on your skin and nails if you get any on you! With the strips you do want to read the highest part of the white color, it's usually about half the width of the rest of the white part of the strip (you should understand what I mean). I ususally put the strip in the sample first (I use a small styrfoam cup with 1" of water), do all my other tests (I do the CYA test second so it can sit before I read it also). then when i am finished with all my other tests I read the salt strip. BTW, when you are doing the calcium hardness test be sure to swirl the vial for aobut 20-30 seconds between drops or get a magnetic stirrer, it can really make your testing even easie!. portable-magnetic-stirrer-from-apollo-pools-t1489.html

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: First test results

    Ok, I understand the salt strip test now..I was actually joking about the digital, I didn't know they made them. I was more referring to how it can be tricky to know the chlorine and Ph readouts based on the level of color. For ex. I'm shooting for 7.0 Ph, but there's only a 6.8 and 7.2. I know it's not 6.8, that's easy enough to tell, but is it 6.9, 7.0, or 7.1. Am I trying to be too precise and overanalyzing?

    On the CH I def. was not swirling that long! I will get a magnetic stirrer. Thanks for the tips!
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  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: First test results

    Here's my results from this morning, I think the CH is more accurate now. I wasn't mixing enough between drops.

    FC= 7.5 Is this more where I should be? SWG is running 8hrs. day @ 40%
    CC= 0
    TC= 5 Still too high?
    pH= 7.6
    TA= 100
    CH= 380
    CYA= 60

    Pool guy is going to be scratching his head wondering where all the MA went!
    No Cover Charge
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  16. Back To Top    #16
    Guest

    Re: First test results

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegasmom
    Here's my results from this morning, I think the CH is more accurate now. I wasn't mixing enough between drops.

    FC= 7.5 Is this more where I should be? SWG is running 8hrs. day @ 40%
    CC= 0
    TC= 5 Still too high?
    pH= 7.6
    TA= 100
    CH= 380
    CYA= 60

    Pool guy is going to be scratching his head wondering where all the MA went!
    For someone who was going to hire a pool service to take care of the pool you are becoming a pro fast! Good job! Your FC is a bit high. You want to shoot for between 3-5 ppm so you can turn the SWG down a bit more. TA is fine for now but your pH won't rise as quickly if you can get it down to about 70-80. CH is perfect!
    The TC test is never going to match completely with the titration test for chlorine. It's really for quick daily checks to see if the chlorine is about where it's supposed to be. If it's close you are fine, If it's off break out the big kit. You should do the titration test for FC and CC weekly or when the TC test shows that the chlorine is way off.

    As far as the pH goes...If you know it's between 6.8 and 7.2 then just call it 7.0...it's close enough. Remember, we are talking about a swimming pool, not a secret recipe for rocket fuel!

    Finally, in the desert you want to have your CYA closer to 80. 60 is fine for now but I would bump it up another 20 ppm.

    Overall, your numbers are great. Just keep them there and you should not have ANY problems with your pool chemistry. What you need to do now is enjoy it! Remember, we are here to help if you have any problems.

    Only caution I am going to give you is that new plaster WILL consume a lot of acid. Just keep your pH below 7.8 and you should not have any problems with scaling or your plaster becoming rough (common in new pools where people don't watch the pH. If you can test pH daily (and adjust if needed) for the first 2 or 3 months and brush the pool once a day. This will help with the curing of the plaster and help insure that you have a smooth, even colored finish on your pool.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: First test results

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    For someone who was going to hire a pool service to take care of the pool you are becoming a pro fast! Good job!
    Thanks I'm getting a good grasp on the basics and taking notes in pool school. In the words of Robert Plant..."many times I've wondered how much there is to know". I'm not going to fire the pool guy just yet. I look at that equipment out there and my eyes boggle. I couldn't figure out which valve was turned wrong that drained half my spa last week! Don't know if I want to maintain 4 pumps and a large cartridge filter by myself, but the water chemistry is not as scary as I thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Your FC is a bit high. You want to shoot for between 3-5 ppm so you can turn the SWG down a bit more. TA is fine for now but your pH won't rise as quickly if you can get it down to about 70-80. CH is perfect!
    The TC test is never going to match completely with the titration test for chlorine. It's really for quick daily checks to see if the chlorine is about where it's supposed to be. If it's close you are fine, If it's off break out the big kit. You should do the titration test for FC and CC weekly or when the TC test shows that the chlorine is way off.
    I'll adjust the SWG down another 10% and that should put it where it needs to be. I was reading about borates. The dog doesn't drink a ton of water but he does slurp some. Should I not bother with it? I don't know if the sparkle and added buffering is worth the risk.

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    As far as the pH goes...If you know it's between 6.8 and 7.2 then just call it 7.0...it's close enough. Remember, we are talking about a swimming pool, not a secret recipe for rocket fuel!
    LOL! It's the Virgo in me. I cannot help it.
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  18. Back To Top    #18
    Guest

    Re: First test results

    I have three dogs, a cat, and borates in my water. The cat likes to play with the water features and drinks water from one of the spillovers and it has not harmed him in any way. An occational slurp is not going to hurt. I always keep a bowl of fresh water outside and my dogs actually prefer that to the pool (although a bit of training did go into that. It wasn't hard and they caught on fast.)
    As far as Virgo goes, Know it well, it's my ascendant (rising sign) and it's in opposition to my Pisces Sun, Mercury, and Venus!

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