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Thread: Low FC, TA, and CH - Reccomendations? In what order should I balance the problems?

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Bakersfield, CA
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    Low FC, TA, and CH - Reccomendations? In what order should I balance the problems?

    First off, I want to thank you guys for what you do. Last year was the first year I owned a pool (first time I owned a home period... it was a pretty overwhelming year!), and I was getting pretty frustrated with the canned advice I was getting from "experts" at the pool store. I can't imagine the fortune and frustration I would have spent if I hadn't found you folks last May. I only had slight algae problems twice last summer (both times after some bad dust storms), and I got both situations handled quickly solely based on the education I received from your forums, before it turned into a swamp.

    So it took me a year as a new pool owner to come up with a question you haven't already answered, and it's a pretty simple one.

    I left my pool "open" over the winter (it's Southern California), but I didn't really pay it too much attention or tested it. Kept some Trichlor pucks in it (I was low on CYA at the end of the summer anyways), left the vacuum in all winter, and pretty much kept to the same filtering schedule I was on for the summer (cycle the whole pool once a day). The water stayed clear all winter, and now I'm just starting to run tests on it to get it prepped for swimming.

    Here are my first results for the year:

    FC: 0.5 ppm
    CC: 0.5 ppm (Total Chlorine was 1 ppm)
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 40 ppm
    CH: 150 ppm
    CYA: 50 ppm


    So I need some chlorine, I need to get the alkalinity up, and I need to get the hardness up. Since my FC is so low, and my CC is right at 0.5 (and because there's a subtle CC smell coming off my pool), I decided I'm going to shock it as well. Got my hands on some Cal Hypo since I need to get my CH up anyways. I figured I'd handle the chlorine problem first, before it becomes a problem, and then circling back around to the TA and CH problems.

    Any advice moving forward? The pool calculator recommends shocking it to 16 ppm; I have enough Cal Hypo to get it to 20 ppm, but I'm not sure how long I need to maintain that level since my CC is already 0.5 ppm and the water is clear. And after the FC goes back down to normal swimming levels, should I handle the TA or the CH first? I would think the CH, since (if I understand correctly) whatever I do to the the CH is going to affect my TA.

    In general, is there and order pool chemistry should be handled in?
    22k gal, IG Plaster, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter (Mdl S244FT), Hayward Super II 1.5HP 2-Speed Pump (Mdl SP3010EEAZ), Hayward/Poolvergnuegen "The Pool Cleaner 2x" Suction Side Pool Vacuum, Build Date Unknown (Possibly 1969?)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Low FC, TA, and CH - Reccomendations? In what order should I balance the problems

    Welcome to TFP!

    Chlorine is the first priority, TA second, and CH third. TA and CH have no direct relationship, changing one won't affect the other. But both of them low at the same time is a risk for your plaster.

    There is no reason to "shock", just raise the FC to the high end of the normal range. If you subsequently have any trouble maintaining the FC level there might be a reason to SLAM, but that is unlikely.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Re: Low FC, TA, and CH - Reccomendations? In what order should I balance the problems

    Thanks! If I wanted to handle them at the same time then, would there be any problems adding Baking Soda and Calcium Chloride to the pool at the same time?
    22k gal, IG Plaster, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter (Mdl S244FT), Hayward Super II 1.5HP 2-Speed Pump (Mdl SP3010EEAZ), Hayward/Poolvergnuegen "The Pool Cleaner 2x" Suction Side Pool Vacuum, Build Date Unknown (Possibly 1969?)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Low FC, TA, and CH - Reccomendations? In what order should I balance the problems

    You want some time, at least a few hours, between raising TA and adding calcium. Doing them one right after the other can occasionally lead to calcium clouding.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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