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Thread: First test results and a couple of questions

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    Join Date
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    First test results and a couple of questions

    Hi All. We just bought a house with a pool (our first pool) and I've been spending a lot of time on this site to learn how to take care of it. I finished my first set of tests and am a little confused by some of the results.

    FC 2.0
    CC 0.5
    TA 140
    pH 8.0
    CYA 0 (I think)
    CH 200

    I was surprised by the CYA and CH results so I repeated those tests a few times and got the same results each time. For the CYA test I assume it is zero. The dot never disappeared and never even got hazy. I ran the test on the 50ppm sample from TF Test Kits a few times to practice and got in the 50-60 range so I think I was doing the test correctly.

    CH also surprised me as we're in Chandler, AZ and I believe we have high levels of calcium in our tap water. The house has a water softener so I also tested some of our tap water and it was 175. I Also tested some tap water from an outside hose that I assumed was not going through the softener and it was 200.

    The water is clear and the pool looks good other than some scale around the water line (which added to my confusion about the CH test results).

    A couple of questions:

    1. I have calculated the amount of CYA and muratic acid to add with Pool Math. I assume I need to get my pH in range, aerate to raise the pH and repeat until the TA and pH are in range. Is that correct?

    2. Does anyone have any thoughts on the CH results? According to the recommended levels I should add calcium to the pool but I'm reluctant to do that until I know if I'm possibly missing something with my CH test results.

    Thanks for any assistance!
    9100 gal (est), Pebbletec, Ecomatic ESC 36 SWG.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First test results and a couple of questions

    One thing about the CYA test - - you are aware that the scale is upside down, right? You mixed 50-50 and it never got cloudy? If so, believe your results. And if CYA is truly zero (or at least less than thirty) add some. Aim for 30, just in case there's already some in there. You can always add more later if you need it. Pour it in a sock, tie it up good, and hang it in front of a return or let it dangle off some kind of floating toy. Test CYA again a week or so after its all dissolved. Then go from there.

    Just adjust pH. Don't worry about TA. It will come down on it's own as long as you keep the pH in range.

    Since you're in Arizona, I expect your CH will climb dramatically from evaporation. I wouldn't add any more. It['s also unlikely you'll even find hardness increaser in the stores.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: First test results and a couple of questions

    Welcome to TFP Todd!

    1. Yes you should adjust your pH and just be aware it may well take a good long while to get the TA where you want it. Don't worry about that though, it wil work out fine. The pH is what is most important.
    2. Any time you are unsure of a test, re-run it to be certain. I am betting you are close though. CH is important, but you aren't far enough off the mark to really fret over it just yet.

    As for your "soft sample" inside being 175 it could be a few things. You may have too little capacity for your set up and be leaking hardness through before it regenerates. You could have a salt bridge in the brine tank and not be getting a good brine rinse during re-gen. Take an old broom handle and firmly (not violently) jam it down into the salt bed, and see if it feels like you punch through something. If so, keep punching around till everything feels well settled. Bridge is very common and something you should watch for regularly. At minimum whenever you add salt. You could be out of salt in the brine tank. I know it's an obvious thing, but I always check the simple stuff first.

    Check back after you go through all this and we can go from there.

    P.S. If I recall, there are people with surprisingly soft water in AZ. Mostly hard, but some areas not too bad at all.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First test results and a couple of questions

    I refilled my pool and had a CH of 130ppm ... knowing it was going to climb, I left it and just kept a higher pH so the water was not too harsh on the plaster. A year later and I am up around 260ppm. As the CH climbs, I will just start maintaining lower pH levels. You can see the CSI in PoolMath to see the where your water falls.
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: First test results and a couple of questions

    Welcome to TFP!

    You got good advice so far. I'd just reiterate the TA point. Of all of our recommended ranges, the TA range is the "loosest." Worry about it last; assuming you keep everything else (especially pH) in range, it will take care of itself.
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    Re: First test results and a couple of questions

    Thanks so much for the help everyone! I did mix 50-50 on the CYA test and it never got cloudy. Followed the same procedure on the 50ppm sample and got the expected results so I'll trust my results. I've started the CYA targeting 30 and I'll see where I am in a week. And thanks for the tip on the salt bridge. My issue was the obvious one -- low salt.
    9100 gal (est), Pebbletec, Ecomatic ESC 36 SWG.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: First test results and a couple of questions

    No sweat Todd, glad you found out it was something easy.

    You could call it the Sling Blade approach....I've learned it the hard way mostly.
    TFP Moderator
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