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Thread: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

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    Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    I have an 18,000 gallon AG pool being installed in the next couple weeks. I just received my TF-100 test kit today and tested our water. We're on a well, and the water I used is before our softener and filter. It is the water I plan on filling the pool with.

    A note is, we have some iron stains in our toilets so I know there is some iron in the water. Not sure how much. The color of the water is a tiny bit tinted, but not much.

    FC: 1.5
    TC: 0
    pH: Slightly less than 6.8 (it appeared a lighter orange than the lowest amount on there -- 6.8)
    TA: 200
    CH: 360
    CYA: 0 (filled the whole tube and could still clearly see the dot)

    If I did these tests right (I'll do another to help verify this)... and I want to chlorinate with bleach, it looks like I need to add bleach of course to raise my FC. I will need to add some borax to raise my pH, which will also raise my TA slightly. The recommended level says 70-90+ for TA ... will 200+ be acceptable? My CH is slightly high at 360 (recommended level 0-350)... do I need to do something about this? The pool school doesn't say how to lower it on the recommended chemicals page. Finally, CYA should be 30-50... so I will have to add some.

    Does that sound right?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    All assuming your test results are correct

    You will need chlorine, but don't raise the PH with chemicals. Raise the PH with aeration, as an initial step on lowering the TA. If you haven't already, read about lowering TA in the How To part of Pool School.

    Tap water CYA is always zero, no need to test it.

    Given TA and CH levels, you won't want to let the PH get too high until you can get TA down.

    Long term you are going to be lowering TA frequently, as CH will tend to go up on it's own. Evaporation does not remove CH, while topping of the pool adds more CH.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Thanks for your response...

    Trying to understand this. I've read the lowering TA article. It said I shouldn't do this unless I experience one of the two problems. Are you saying the high TA will cause a high calcium saturation index, and that coupled with my high CH might cause calcium scaling? What would be a good target TA for me to reach? It says to try not to reach a certain level, but I need to know when to stop aerating... I'm assuming somewhere between 70-90?

    So, when I get the pool filled, I will add enough bleach or liquid chlorine to raise the FC level. The chart says 3-7, based on CYA level, but I have 0. Do I need to add a stabilizer? If so, what kind and what should be my target CYA & FC? At the same time as doing this, I'll start the aeration to raise pH from around 6.6 to around 7.5 and check the TA level again? If it's still too high, add muriatic acid to lower the pH back down to around 6.8 and repeat the aeration process until my TA level lowers enough?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Because your TA and CH levels are both high (assuming test results are correct) you are at risk for calcium scaling. With TA at 200 you want to keep the PH at or below 7.5. You want TA below 120 to not worry so much about PH, perhaps lower if constantly rising PH is an issue. With high fill water levels you will need to keep an eye on TA and CH levels to a greater extent than others would. I expect that your CH will go up over time and managing TA and PH will continue to be an issue, but only time will tell for sure.

    Raising PH with aeration will not affect the TA. Adding acid will lower both PH and TA. Since you can't lower PH too low, you aerate so you can add more acid to continue lowering TA.

    Add enough CYA to get to between 30 and 50. The first two evenings add 2 ppm of chlorine in the evening. After that measure FC and add chlorine to bring FC back up to the target level for your CYA level, see the chlorine/CYA chart in Pool School.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    It said I shouldn't do this unless I experience one of the two problems. Are you saying the high TA will cause a high calcium saturation index, and that coupled with my high CH might cause calcium scaling?
    Exactly.

    JasonLion has suggested a technique that will accomplish two birds with one stone. It is a bit advanced but perfect for your particular situation.

    Re-read Lowering TA in Pool School and ask lot's of questions. Again, it's pretty advanced for a newbie and it doesn't fit most pools but yours is perfect for it.....we'll all help you get it correct.

    You need to find a way to create some bubbles......more are better.
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    One more thing the pH test only goes down to 6.8, anything lower will read as 6.8, so it could be 6.7 or 6.3 or even lower. As to target CYA level, this depends on where you live and how much sun exposure the pool gets, in general we suggest a minimum level of about 40 for a shaded non sun belt pool, 50 for a pool with high levels of sun exposure in most areas, and maybe as high as 60 for more tropical locations (south Florida, etc.) with intense sunlight.
    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: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Thanks again for your responses. I think I have a grip on it. I'm somewhat of a handy guy and I'm sure I can build a PVC aerator like those linked in the article. I'm in Central FL so we see lots of sun, but it will be in a mostly shaded portion of our backyard, so I guess I'll shoot for 45 CYA. At what point is the pool 'safe' to swim in? Do I have to wait until the TA and pH levels are stabilized, or just the chlorine level? I ask because we have a kid who will be anxious to hop in as soon as she can, regardless of the water temperature.

    Any recommendations on the iron? I think it is a very small amount... although definitely present. It is enough to stain my toilets. We replaced one shortly after we moved in, and if we clean it regularly it doesn't stain.You might notice a small shade of difference if you hold up a bottle of the well water next to bottled water. After reading the metals article in the Pool School, I know I can use sequestrants regularly to prevent the iron from staining the liner and steps, but would rather not (additional expense & maintenance.) Would a smart course of action be to not add any sequestrants at first, and see if the pool stains with normal use? If so, remove stains and then use sequestrants?

    This is a great resource here. I can't wait for our pool. I just finished running the electrical yesterday. Hope to have the pool installed within a week or two. Next phase will be a deck a few months down the road, followed by a paver patio leading from the back covered patio to the deck, with a fire pit.
    ~16,200 gallon 18x34 Doughboy AG pool. Fully above ground (not buried, no deep end). TF-100 test kit. Variable speed pump. Cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    It is safe when you can see the bottom and the FC is in range.
    pH adjustment is more for comfort ... assuming it is in the ballpark of the recommended ranges.

    You are filling it with the same water you bathe in ... so it is "safe" as soon as you fill it. Then just get some chlorine in the water to keep it safe.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Alright... pool is being installed, I hope to throw a hose in it tomorrow or Friday. I re-tested my fill water and got similar test results. My FC was 0 this time, and TA at 190 instead of 200 and CH at 350 instead of 360. So I'm guessing my tests are pretty accurate, but I'm going to buy that magnetic twirly thing to make it easier for me to count and watch at the same time. I don't think I'm coordinated enough to watch color, count drops, and swirl at the same time!

    So... because I'm anal retentive, this is what I'm doing? Using PoolMath I determined the pool contains 17,400 gallons (18x34 oval pool, it has a 54" sidewall but I put in a height of 52" as I'm assuming the water level will be 2" below the wall.)

    1. Fill pool.
    2. Add enough CYA to bring the level up to 45. This would be 105oz by weight of solid stabilizer.
    3. First night, add enough regular liquid bleach to bring it up to 2. This would be 72 oz of liquid at 6%.
    4. Second night, add enough regular liquid bleach to bring it up from 2 to 4. This would be another 72 oz of bleach.
    5. Begin the process of aeration to raise pH from my low 6.8 to 7.4-7.5.
    6. Add muriatic acid to bring the pH back down to 6.8.
    7. Measure TA, repeat steps 5-7 until TA is below 120.

    Then onto a routine of testing pH and FC daily, TA & CH weekly.

    Is that about right?
    ~16,200 gallon 18x34 Doughboy AG pool. Fully above ground (not buried, no deep end). TF-100 test kit. Variable speed pump. Cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    4. Your FC will be gone so you will need to add the full 4+ppm

    Forget about TA until you are comfortable with everything else and are bored.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    This pool will likely take a while to fill, so once you get it to about half full, I would go ahead and give it a partial dose of chlorine, just to make sure you start off on the right foot. This does not have to be too exact, just a little to keep anything from starting to grow.
    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: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Thanks guys. My well is a beast and filling the pool quicker than anticipated. It is not up to the skimmer yet so I have been unable to run it thru the filter yet. The water is quite a bit discolored, more than I had hoped. It is a green because of the yellow iron and blue liner.

    I am out buying my chemicals and will put bleach in when I get home. I bought a bottle of Metal free from Leslie's. It's the sequestrant I think, designed to prevent iron staining. But what will get the water color clear? The lady said the cartridge filter should clean it up but I have to clean the filter regularly while it removes the iron. Should I wait to put my CYA in until after the water is clear because it says not to clean the filter for a week after putting CYA in?

    Is the metal free a good idea and if so do I go ahead and put all of it in when I get home? Or should I wait to see if stains before?

    Thanks guys. First time owner, lot of money invested and want to go the TFPC route but it's nerve racking right now.

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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    When you add the bleach, expect it to look worse. Check out some of the iron threads using the search box. And try the paper towel method, too. Scroll down on this thread until you see the picture.

    I think I'd try to get the stuff to precipitate (which it's already doing) and filter it out with the paper towels as much as possible and then add the metal free.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Well... calling it a night. The pool is filled. I've only added a single jug of regular bleach in it. I have not added the stabilizer yet because I am hoping I have to clean the filter a lot over the next couple days and it says not to clean the filter for a week after adding the CYA.

    I have the pump running at its highest RPM, I think 3750 or so. I'll leave it like that all night and I hope to see an improvement in the morning. If I don't see improvements I will try the paper towel or pillow stuffing method with the returns on the pool. They are hard piped, but thankfully they have a fernco coupling going from the pipe to the return fitting. So I should be able to disconnect it from there and connect it to some sort of DIY filter-traption as mentioned.

    Here's a pic. Love the install and pool, hate the water right now.

    photo.jpg
    ~16,200 gallon 18x34 Doughboy AG pool. Fully above ground (not buried, no deep end). TF-100 test kit. Variable speed pump. Cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Put the CYA in a sock and hang in front of the return jet. Then you can backwash as needed.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Pool water is just as green as yesterday. Took a look at the filter and it was horrible. So it's definitely getting the iron out. I am going to check it in a couple hours as I think it reached its maximum capacity rather quick last night.

    Also putting socks and stuffing in the skimmers to help.

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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Just finished cleaning the filter a 3rd time. I see small improvement in the water. The last two times I cleaned the filter it was after only a couple hours and it was still pretty full of murky yellow iron.

    I still can't see the bottom very well. I am hoping for that milestone by the end of tomorrow.

    The socks in the skimmer are helping. Not much, but every little bit helps.

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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    We can see the bottom! Barely, and the water still looks like ****, but it's getting there.

    I have added the stabilizer. My chlorine is 0 so I am going to add enough to bring it up to 4ppm. I tested pH and it's all the way up to 7.8! I measured it right after I added the stabilizer, should I remeasure later? I know I need to keep my pH at or below 7.5 because of my high levels of TA and CH.
    ~16,200 gallon 18x34 Doughboy AG pool. Fully above ground (not buried, no deep end). TF-100 test kit. Variable speed pump. Cartridge filter.

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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Go ahead and lower the PH now. The CYA will lower it just a little, so don't lower all the way to 7.2 (which is as low as you normally want to go).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Results of first TF-100 test ran on fill water

    Alright, another day. The pump has been running non-stop since late Friday working to get the iron out. It was running at it's max rate, but I turned it down yesterday afternoon to about half its speed. Not sure if it was a real concern, but after running at max rate for about 48 hours the motor was warm to the touch, hence why I lowered the speed down. The water is drastically better, a picture is below. It's kind of interesting looking at the pictures on my phone, it goes from dark green to this clear-ish blue. Still a long way to go, but it's a huge relief the progress so far.

    I checked pH and FC today. pH was down from 7.8 to 7.5 with the acid I added yesterday, so I added enough muriatic acid to bring it down to 7.2. FC was down to 0 again, even after adding enough bleach to bring it up to 4 yesterday (again). Is it normal for my pool to be consuming chlorine that much? I added a bottle of bleach on Friday as it was filling up just to get something in it. Then I added enough bleach to get it to 4ppm on Sunday. Tested today at 0 again, added enough to get to 4ppm.

    photo.jpg
    ~16,200 gallon 18x34 Doughboy AG pool. Fully above ground (not buried, no deep end). TF-100 test kit. Variable speed pump. Cartridge filter.

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