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Thread: Help with chemistry

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    Help with chemistry

    Split by moderator from HERE. Please start a new thread to ask your own questions. Thanks, jblizzle

    Borax? You have my attention. Low ph!!!!! I have the intex 5000 gallon pool. JUST put a 1500 filter in. (Had to cut the pool!!) ((Totally worth it, it really sucks. )) Ok. I am rural and have well water. We have very low to no ph. I use chlorine tabs in a floater, baking soda, and have used shock when I need it. What is the best way for me to keep the ph correct. I did use baking soda tabs in a floater year before last, but can't find them now. Also, what is the best way for me to keep it chlorinated? Tablets, chlorine bleach, or granulated chlorine. How is the best way for me to test my water? I have strips and the bottle tester. I have had this pool for years, and fought it every summer, and of course no one uses it. I figure now that I have a "real" pump, its got to be easier to keep it clean. Thanks!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    Chlorine tablets are made of trichlor, and will constantly lower PH and raise the CYA level. As long as you are using chlorine tabs you should be raising the PH regularly to keep up with their lowering of PH. The best chemical to use with chlorine tabs is soda ash, often sold under names like PH Up, though borax is acceptable.

    We recommend using liquid chlorine (same thing as household bleach) for chlorine instead of tablets. When using liquid chlorine the PH will either be stable or go up slightly, instead of constantly going down with tabs.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    I will also add that test strips are generally considered worthless ... they are just not accurate enough. These are the Recommended Test Kits that will help you understand your pool and easily maintain it.

    And here are some of the articles in Pool School that will help get you started on your understanding:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    Not only do test strips lack accuracy, the ranges they suggest are "OK" or "high" are quite inaccurate and ignore the interplay between different factors. And thus, they do not recommend a correct course of action. I ran my pool with test strips for about 5 months before getting a proper test kit and fixing the algae I was developing due to not-quite "high" CYA and "OK" chlorine levels.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Help with chemistry

    Ok. as to using liquid chlorine, how much do I use? My husband says no to the liquid. The company where he works makes chlorine. (wish that we could buy it there BUT, he doesn't do the pool. My strips say that my chlorine is high, but the ph is good. I plan on taking it by a pool store and get it tested. None around here.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    Pool Store testing generally worse that test strips ... not only is it also inaccurate, but also inconsistent AND you have to put up with their high pressure sales pitch on a bunch of junk that at the best you don't need and at the worst will give you even worse problems.

    If you do not use liquid chlorine, then you are going to have to test your CYA often and likely replace a significant portion of your water often. Or enjoy a green pool and spend $$$$ at the pool store trying to fix it.

    There is absolutely no reason not to use the liquid ... especially if he is not even the one dealing with it.

    Keep reading and learning.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    I'm going to say yes to liquid chlorine. Pool math will tell you how much. http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html
    Now I'm going to say absolutely no to test strips and pool store testing. You need to do yourself a huge favor I get yourself one of these test kits. I use the TF-100. No other way to get accurate and consistent test results.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...its-comparison.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    Keep in mind the OP's pool is 5000gallons. The best first step is to drain and refill. If you've used tabs more than a handful of times odds say your cya level is too high. A drain will lower and allow for a fresh start. Next find yourself a basic OTO test kit. These test your chlorine and pH level only, but for small pools often this all you'll need to test. Next, add enough CYA (sold as stablizer at walmart) to reach a 40ppm level. Last, add 4cups of bleach to the water.

    After each swim test using your kit. Keep the chlorine level around 5 and your pH between 7.2-7.8 at all times. You've got the advantage of being able to easily drain/refill your pool if the chemistry goes wrong. Don't be afraid to use it.

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    Re: Help with chemistry

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/HTH-6-Way-Test-Kit/17043668 I bought this before I found the site. I found it to work for my pool. But like many I never new about CYA until I found the site and used up the test up very quickly. But since I bought my TFTestkits TF-100 I would never use anything else. Also if you can get the speed stir it is awesome. I also read pool school over and over again. And still refer back to it many times. But with out accurate test results no one can help you.
    1) The size of your pool in gallons 4440.
    2) The type filter you have is an Intex 2500 gph and it has a re-useable fabric filter
    3) If your pool is an AG (above ground)
    4) Intex 15 by 48 metal frame.
    5) If you know, tell us the size pump 2500gph and the size (flow rate) of your filter.
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    I think a big part of the initial aversion to using liquid chlorine (bleach) is that it is mainly marketed as a cleaning solution whereas the tabs and powders in pool stores are marketed as pool sanitizers. When people ask me how I keep the pool so clean, I often get strange looks when I tell them I use liquid bleach. At the end of the day, liquid bleach along with the tabs and powders sold at pool stores and in the pool care section of big box stores are all forms of chlorine. All these forms of chlorine will safely sanitize your pool, but liquid bleach does so with the fewest side-effects (no CYA or calcium build-up).
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    Liquid Pool Shock is marketed for pools and it is 10% strength bleach. Maybe buying that at the pool store, labeled for pool use, will overcome the husbands issue.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Help with chemistry

    I strongly agree with all said, first things first best purchase you will make is the TF-100 test kit. The aversion to liquid bleach is unjustified while understandable. I only use BBB bleach baking soda and borax. I live in az my season goes from April- oct sometimes nov if use solar cover. Walmart sells 10% two gallons for $6.47. I buy bulk for my borax and baking soda my entire season costs me about 400.00. Plus my kids swim in an environment that doesn't burn their eyes, bleach out their bathing suits or make them itchy. Can swim with eyes open underwater all day and won't have a sore eye. I feel good about that most of all noting harsh chemical wise is required to have a beautiful pool. Once you read and re-read pool school and get it down you will know what your pool needs less frustration feel more in control. I would never again let a pool store test my water, did one time before I found this site walked out with $600 worth of chems and equipment that only made things worse. Then they were happy to sell me more stuff to fix issues they caused. The TFP site, the BBB method using them I promise you will have a much more relaxed season and can feel good about what your kids are swimming in and the amount of money you will save will shock and amaze you. I would hate my pool if I had not found this site just another aggravation on an endless to do list with little actual time spent enjoying my pool.



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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help with chemistry

    Note the BBB name is not really used in this forum any more because most people never need the baking soda or the borax.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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