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Thread: Generator not working. Shock pool?

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    Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Hi everyone,
    I have someone coming out to service my salt water generator next week because all the lights are off and it is not producing chlorine. I was told by the guy who set up my appointment that I should shock the pool asap (before the generator is repaired). I have never done this and am not sure what the best way/product is for a salt water pool. The pool currently has zero chlorine but high levels of everything else (calcium, salt, CYA, TA). There are no phosphates which surprised the guy at the pool store on Friday (I had a dead bird in the pool on Wednesday). My understanding is that it is already too hot in Phoenix to drain the pool. I have been adding MA every few weeks for the last month and a half and the pool store told me is because I have old water. Any thoughts? The pool is not green, just cloudy.
    New pool owner as of November 2013.
    Salt water pool, Saline Generating Systems' Breeze 540

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Can you post a complete set of current test results? It is almost impossible to give meaningful advice unless we know more about your pool water.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    I see in your signature that you are a relatively new pool owner. The best thing you can do is get yourself a good test kit (I use TF100). While waiting for that to arrive, read pool school. Then read it again, specifically ABC's of pool water chemistry and water balence for SWG's. Stay clear of the pool store they're testing is almost never as reliable as your own. People here on this forum are very supportive. I found this forum when I was a new pool owner and am so glad I did as I never became "pool stored."

    You really need to know all the test results before knowing what to add. Can you at least post the numbers they gave you? While we here generally don't trust pool store testing, it is better than nothing. Order your test kit next.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Can you post a complete set of current test results? It is almost impossible to give meaningful advice unless we know more about your pool water.
    Sorry; here it is!
    FAC 0
    TAC 0
    Salt 3300
    CH 570
    CYA 115
    TA 280
    pH 8.0
    Acid 10
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    Phosphates 0

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by AimeeH View Post
    I see in your signature that you are a relatively new pool owner. The best thing you can do is get yourself a good test kit (I use TF100). While waiting for that to arrive, read pool school. Then read it again, specifically ABC's of pool water chemistry and water balence for SWG's. Stay clear of the pool store they're testing is almost never as reliable as your own.
    I will make sure I get a test kit. I have a simple one but was told the stores can to it best. My husband was joking that I live at the pool store because I am there so often; if much rather do it at home myself!
    New pool owner as of November 2013.
    Salt water pool, Saline Generating Systems' Breeze 540

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    The money you spend on a quality test kit now will pay itself back multiple times over by keeping you out of the pool store.

    Welcome to the forum!
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    I'm not an expert here but that CYA number is alarming if true (one test pool stores most often get wrong). So I'm not sure I would say go ahead and drain some water to correct CYA (draining being the only way to reduce it). Or to proceed with lowering your PH with acid and getting chlorine in that pool. Use bleach to chlorinate until your SWG is fixed. Use the pool calculator to determine your needed chlorine level. http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Better advice than mine should come along shortly on this great forum.

    You really really need to get a good test kit to get an accurate Readings. The amount of chlorine needed to disinfect or slam your pool is dependant on knowing what your accurate CYA is.

    What have you been adding that got your CYA so high if you have a SWG?....out of curiosity.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Correction to what I said above.......use the chlorine/CYA chart in pool school to determine the minimum and slam values needed for your pool then use the calculator to determine the amount of bleach you will need to get there.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Thank you got the warm welcome, everyone!
    Quote Originally Posted by AimeeH View Post
    What have you been adding that got your CYA so high if you have a SWG?....out of curiosity.
    The only thing I've added is MA at the amounts recommended by the pool store (twice at 16 oz each time). When we moved in, the salt and chlorine were already high and the pool store guys told me to lower the percentage on the generator. It was set to 75% when we moved in which I can only imagine was the previous owners' attempt to keep it clear while they were selling it. In early February, I lowered it to 25% and it recently stopped working but I didn't realize because the chlorine was still high up until this week. In February, CYA was 60. In March, it was 110.
    In February and March, they said to just add MA and we should be good for this swimming season without draining. When I went on Friday, a different guy was working and I asked him why I had to keep adding acid and he said it was because the water is old and I should drain it. *But* he said not to drain it after the temps are at 85 degrees because the pebble tec will crack.
    So.. Flash forward to my getting a tech scheduled to come out to fix the generator and the guy scheduling it told me not to drain because it will crack the pool (we are up to 84 degrees today). He said just to shock it.
    I think I will be consulting the experts here from now on!
    New pool owner as of November 2013.
    Salt water pool, Saline Generating Systems' Breeze 540

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by AimeeH View Post
    Correction to what I said above.......use the chlorine/CYA chart in pool school to determine the minimum and slam values needed for your pool then use the calculator to determine the amount of bleach you will need to get there.
    Should I use regular bleach? Like what would be used for laundry/cleaning?
    What are your thoughts on partially draining? Is there a risk of cracking if it's partially drained?
    New pool owner as of November 2013.
    Salt water pool, Saline Generating Systems' Breeze 540

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Welcome!

    Others have mentioned your own test kit for various reasons; I concur.

    The pH test is usually accurate at the stores, so you need to lower it some with acid.

    As for "shocking" the pool, that may not be necessary. In pool-store parlance, that means a one-time mega-dose of chlorine. If you have an infection and the doctor prescribes antibiotics, do you take the whole bottle at one go, or at intervals? Same thing with a pool. If the water is clear and there's no algae growing, then just maintaining the FC level for yor CYA level should be enough to keep it clear until the SWG is working again.

    But really, spend the $$ now and order a TF100 test kit. It's slightly more expensive than a K-2006, but it had more realistic quantities of the test reagents. I suggest the XL option becuase the FAS-DPD reagents are hard to find in stores if you suddenly run out. And no one who has bought a speedstir regrets it. So you'll be out over a hundred bucks. Go watch the people pushing hand trucks full of chemicals out of the pool store and think of what they just spent! It's an investment. Follow our methods and you can have a sparkling clear pool that will be the envy of the neighbors.

    Get yourself something to drink and start studying Pool School until you feel like this
    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: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    IF.....that testing can be trusted, your PH is high. The MA will lower your PH. Sounds like (as suspected) that CYA number cannot be trusted. It can't swing like that unless you are adding it (cyuranic acid) either directly or through the use of another stabilized chlorine product that contains it. If your CYA is where it SHOULD be (60 is closer) then there should be no need to drain to adjust CYA. Unfortunately I can't comment on the CH relevant to your type of pool as mine is vinyl lined and my fill water has negligible CH so I don't bother.

    Read pool school. Get a test kit and ask questions here.

    If your chlorine is 0 you will need to slam your pool (a process not a product) which you can proceed with even though the SWG isn't working as long as your pump is. You really will need good test numbers ( CYA in particular) to proceed with slamming your pool.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Richard said it better than I. But yes.....regular bleach. Unfortunately without knowing your CYA number, it is hard to determine your minimum chlorine needed.

    I wouldn't worry about draining until you get your own test numbers as there may be no need at all. If your CYA were really 115 then you would likely need to drain some. But you indicated wildly different CYA test numbers from the pool store although not having added any.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    So what I've gathered is that I should calculate how much bleach I need to up my chlorine and add that and hope that fixes my chlorine issue until the SWG is fixed and then add MA. Is that right?
    Also, everyone I've talked to has commented on how my pool must be getting green. It's not green at all, just cloudy. Any ideas on why this might be? I'm happy about it for sure; just trying to understand it. I'm in Phoenix and we had cooler weather last week. Could that be it?
    I am going to start reading pool school right now.
    New pool owner as of November 2013.
    Salt water pool, Saline Generating Systems' Breeze 540

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by saltysenorita View Post
    So what I've gathered is that I should calculate how much bleach I need to up my chlorine and add that and hope that fixes my chlorine issue until the SWG is fixed and then add MA. Is that right?
    Also, everyone I've talked to has commented on how my pool must be getting green. It's not green at all, just cloudy. Any ideas on why this might be? I'm happy about it for sure; just trying to understand it. I'm in Phoenix and we had cooler weather last week. Could that be it?
    I am going to start reading pool school right now.
    Cloudiness usually indicates the beginnings of an algae bloom. Or you added a bunch of powdered "shock" made of Calcium Hypochlorite. In Phoenix, you should never need to any any more Calcium, just so you know.

    Adjust the pH first, then ignore it if you have to SLAM the pool. High FC levels will react with the pH reagent and throw the colors off, making the test useless. So, acid first; aim for 7.2 because your high TA will push pH back up in a hurry. Pool Math can tell you how much. Then use liquid bleach (plain Chlorox , or the higher strength Pool Chlorine; same stuff) to raise FC up to at least 10; 15 might be better. I hesitate to say take it all the way to SLAM level because there is some question about the accuracy of your CYA reading.
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    I would lower your PH first then add bleach to chlorinate.

    Richard was correct when he said you may not have to slam your pool although I said you may need to if your chlorine is 0. If your water were clear and you weren't at risk of any algae, you would be fine getting your chlorine up to the minimum ASAP. If your water is cloudy, that could be indicative of the start of a problem where you will need to proceed with slamming your pool. It's not the end of the world, just a process to kill of organics (I like Richards antibiotics reference). I would add to that by saying that if you keep reading pool school until you feel like then you will be on your way to getting to know your own pools chemistry which is WAY better that getting to know the employee behind the counter at the pool store who needs you to open your wallet.

    What is troubling is that you don't really know your CYA number, which you need to know needed chlorine requirements.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Richard and Aimee, thank you so much for your help! I am going to take care of the acid and the do the chlorine/bleach. Since I don't knowmy CYA, is it better for me to gradually add the bleach and retest? I do have a Poolmaster 3 way test kit for chlorine, bromine, and pH. A friend told me it wasn't any good (bad advice again?) but it should be fine for testing the chlorine levels.
    New pool owner as of November 2013.
    Salt water pool, Saline Generating Systems' Breeze 540

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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Ultimately you will need the FAS-DPD test to accurately test chlorine, especially if you have the start of an algae bloom and need to slam. What you have should be accurate for testing your PH. The PH test becomes inaccurate at high chlorine levels which is why the recommendation is to lower your PH to 7.2-7.5 BEFORE proceeding with slam if your pool needs that.

    Check out tftestkits.net the initial cost might seem like a hard pill to swallow, but a good test kit and the knowledge on this site will save you a lot of money in the long run.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Oh and welcome to the forum.

    If it makes you feel any better I was a clueless new pool owner in 2011 when I found this site after googling why everybody's eyes were burning in the pool. My pool builder did a great job on the build but when it came to chemicals after his initial dose he said "just take a sample to the pool store and take their advice." Well my pool build was complete in 8/11 and I think I bought my test kit in 3/12. I have learned so much here and now just smile at my friends stories of spinning their wheels all summer trying to maintain a pool based on pool store advice.

    All the knowledge and advice you'll need is here but you do need to learn to test your own water with a good test kit.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Just to be clear here, you did not add any CYA stabilizer or Stabilized dry chlorine products (dichlor or trichlor) between the Feb CYA test showing 60 ppm and the March test showing 110 ppm? If you did not add any that points to testing error since CYA does not occur naturally.
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    Re: Generator not working. Shock pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Just to be clear here, you did not add any CYA stabilizer or Stabilized dry chlorine products (dichlor or trichlor) between the Feb CYA test showing 60 ppm and the March test showing 110 ppm? If you did not add any that points to testing error since CYA does not occur naturally.
    Yes, that is correct. I have not added anything to the pool except the MA. I just added some more a couple hours ago and will test to see if there are any results. I'm hoping the results at the store were off.a
    New pool owner as of November 2013.
    Salt water pool, Saline Generating Systems' Breeze 540

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