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Thread: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

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    Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Well, cleared the swamp (Thanks everyone!) through SLAMing, then we had a flood that put a lot of debris and sludge in the pool. I've finally got it pretty much clean. Deep end is just slightly more greenish than I'd like, water is a bit dull. I raised the chlorine to SLAM levels a few more times during the cleanup. The flood was the result of 2 feet of rain in one day, plus a lot of dirty water flooded in, and I have had to change a lot while vacuuming to waste, so my chemistry is very wonky.

    I tested this morning.

    pH is 7.8
    the CL/Br test is almost invisible, definitely below the .5/1 levels
    TA is 90
    CYA can't be read ... I filled the tube completely and could still see the black dot, so it's less than 20. It was starting to cloud the water by 30, so I don't know if that means the CYA is not zero for sure. I don't know enough about how that test works.

    I don't see any indication of algae, btw. But there are some spots that need to be scrubbed better (corners) - I need a different brush. Just slightly dull patches. Oh, and if it matters, the water temp hangs around 74-75F.

    We're also forecast for more heavy rains and flooding, but I HOPE that it won't end up in the pool again. The flooding last week was kind of freakish - that hasn't happened here in many years. The risk is over the next 3 days or so.

    So, is there I way I can tweak the CYA test? Can I go ahead and add chlorine to prevent problems, but if so, how careful do I need to be? I'm not positive of the volume of the pool - tests seem to indicate it might be a little smaller than 18K gallons. (It's an oval but with steep angles.) (BTW, the last time I tested the CYA was a little over a week ago and at that time it was about 38 iirc.)

    Help GREATLY appreciated. I really don't want to get back to the swamp, or more problems. I've been spending hours a day on the pool for over a month now, and I need to get it right and hopefully get to swim, LOL.

    Thanks!!!
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    I know someone else is going to respond quickly but I'm just going to quickly say, get some chlorine in there asap. Pool math says 1-3 for 0 CYA. Seems like you should be safe to get it to 3 right now while you figure out everything else. Don't let it stay that low on chlorine or you're going to be in for trouble especially with warm water.
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Thanks, done.

    Wow, I'm not used to measuring chlorine THAT carefully. I may need to buy a pitcher or something. Usually I just pour it and go by the marks on the container.

    Added enough to raise it to somewhere between 3-5, depending on how big my pool actually is and how much I actually added.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    I have a 2 1/2 measuring cup that I use for my bleach. I usually add around 25 oz a day. I marked the 10oz line and the 20oz line on my measuring cup with sharpie because it was always hard for me to see it. I add an extra step because I want to make sure I never get it on my clothes (again) so what I do is, first I put on my bleach shirt. (lol I make myself do this no matter what) Then I measure my bleach into my bleach bucket. I keep mine in the kitchen. I just pour the bleach into the measuring cup and set the measuring cup in the bottom of the bucket and carry it outside that way so I don't have to worry about spilling or splashing. No more bleach on my clothes since I started doing it this way.

    I know a lot of people with larger pools or more to add in a day do it differently. I like the precision of the measuring cup. If I have to add 30 oz, I'd fill cup to 10, dump to bucket, then fill to 20 and set in there to carry outside. I also use the measuring cup to pour it in front of the return so I don't add it too quickly.

    Just be careful with the low/no CYA and don't go any higher on FC so you don't damage anything. I'm wondering if you have something starting to happen in there now since the water is dull.

    Experts...come on in and help...I'm just hanging out here to read the advice and learn more!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    If flooding is an issue, depending on the water level, you may want to invest in some sand bags.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    I think this was kind of a freak thing - the pool is behind the house, we got a flash flood through the gate. The pool is raised up and about 15 or 20 feet from the path of the waters.

    But yeah, after going through ALL THAT WORK to clean the sludge, I have no idea how high my water bill is going to be, and running the risk of another algae outbreak - I'm still thinking sandbags. It's just not worth it.

    But the flood was bad. In the city, there are roads that collapsed and slid down ravines - with cars on them. Places flooded that have never seen it, and 7 days later I drove into town, and water was STILL running at water-fall rate into storm drains. I think the only reason they are warning us now is not because it's going to rain so much, but because things are so over-saturated.

    They say once-bitten-twice-shy though, so yeah, I'm thinking about it, even if it the chances should really be less than 1 in 1,000 for it to happen again.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Thanks for the measuring ideas. I need to come up with something. My CYA used to be 88 when I SLAMed, so I would be adding gallons of bleach at times. And yeah, ruined some clothes. But I can't accurately measure in cups or even by the quart, so it looks like I need something.

    Having a CYA I can't even measure does worry me. I'm not sure how the test works to know if cloudy water means it's not zero? Or if I can do half the amount to get a different reading. I should have a bucket of those chlorine pucks ... thinking of loading that thing up but not sure if it will work fast enough to raise CYA.

    The dullness of the water does't worry me. It's BEEN dull since the flood. And I've kept some chlorine in it - anywhere from standard to shock levels. I just had a pretty big water change within the past 24 hours (3 vacuum sessions, plus a good backwash). But I had added chlorine yesterday.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Since you mention having a CYA test, do you have one of the recommended test kits?

    Your description suggests that you haven't actually completed a SLAM. What levels you've posted suggest to me that you need to get your CYA back up to at least 30, using the sock method.

    Do get some FC in there ASAP, and once your CYA is dissolved, adjust your pH to 7.2 then bring the FC up to SLAM level appropriate to your target CYA.

    Continue to SLAM until your water is clear, and you pass the OCLT.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R View Post
    Since you mention having a CYA test, do you have one of the recommended test kits?

    Your description suggests that you haven't actually completed a SLAM. What levels you've posted suggest to me that you need to get your CYA back up to at least 30, using the sock method.

    Do get some FC in there ASAP, and once your CYA is dissolved, adjust your pH to 7.2 then bring the FC up to SLAM level appropriate to your target CYA.

    Continue to SLAM until your water is clear, and you pass the OCLT.
    I have the TFT-100 I think it is, bought at the very end of last season, so it should be fresh.

    I added chlorine as soon as I saw Beens' suggestion, and it should be around 3-5 FC right now.

    It kind of complicated matters. The SLAM was taking time to completely clear because my plumbing was packed with leaves, so I was still losing a little FC overnight. I finally got the plumbing clear (afaik) and I wasn't losing chlorine overnight, water looked good, and so on. I was still having a trace of dirt that would line the liner seam in a few places after running the filter. Then within like a day or so, we got the flood.

    I can SLAM again, but i'd have to order chemical refills and wait for them to get here. I know I don't have enough left to do a full SLAM testing FC as often as I'd need.

    You are meaning solid stabilizer? (Sorry, I've never used anything but chlorine so far.) It says it can take a week to dissolve, so that would give me time to get more test chemicals. You put it in a sock in the skim basket, right?

    I filled the tube to the top, and I could still see the black dot, but not clearly. Sooooo ..... my CYA may be (very loosely guessing) around 10-12ish? I really have no idea.

    Ah, darn, I need to maybe target stabilizer to about 40, from about 10? If I under-shoot it, then that's a long time BEFORE I can safely SLAM, and if it needs it, then I run the risk of an algae bloom (which I do NOT want again).

    I know it's probably a bit guesswork sometimes, but is that on the right track of taking your advice? I worry about delaying things if I DO need to SLAM again.

    Thanks much.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    You can use PoolMath (link at top of page) to determine how much stabilize (CYA) you need to add for a target of 40, and put only 2/3 of that amount in a sock. Hang the sock in front of a running return. Give it a squeeze now and again, to help it dissolve.

    Once you have the sock hanging, and mostly dissolved, you can start your SLAM.

    Once you pass the OCLT, recheck your CYA and recalculate how much you need to bring it up to your intended target.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    OK, thanks much. I can start this. I'm not sure how many FC tests I can do with what I have left. If I'm careful I can maybe make it last until more test chemical gets here. I'm hoping the Pool Math is for the powdered (I think it is - sold by the pound anyway) stabilizer they have at the pool store. Hopefully I can go get some this afternoon, and I'll get started the SLAM tonight if I can get it dissolved.

    Thanks!
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Stabilizer going in. It said 1 pound every two hours? That's about all that fits in the sock anyway. I'll try to get that all added overnight. If that's accurate it's going to be 6 hours. (Adding about 4 pounds)

    Added more chlorine to get it up to SLAM level, and got everything nice and clean again. Running filter continuously for now. I just did a backwash this morning, so out of curiosity I'll do another one tomorrow and see if I'm picking up any yuck. What I don't have experience with is how often I'll need to add chlorine with the CYA at this level, but I'll start checking tomorrow. I've got to conserve the chemicals that test FC. I can test, but not more than a couple times a day while I wait for more chemicals.

    Considering how it went last time and what I saw, I'm optimistic this won't take long. (Not compared to how long it took before at least!) What I think I'm mostly dealing with is cleaning a flood and the fact that my CYA got so low with huge amounts of water change.

    Thanks very much.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Hi Trishana,
    I remember you when you first found the forum. I was following your thread of trying to get rid of the swamp ... then you sort of disappeared for a while. Glad to know you are still hanging in there and have learned a lot.

    You can slam with lowere CYA, there isnt any problem doing that. Lower CYA actually means you dont have to use as much Chlorine to get to SLAM level, so that can save some costs on bleach. Lots of folks here recommend that if CYA is below 20, to bring it up to about 30 and hold it there until the SLAM is finished. Then at that time, bring your CYA on up to recommended level.

    I hate to hear about your troubles with the flood and I hope those 2 magnificent Sego Palms you have are still just as magnificent ... you've had a hard time it seems like from day 1 and I hope things look up for you soon and you will finally have and enjoy a troublefree pool.




    Quote Originally Posted by Trishanna View Post
    Stabilizer going in. It said 1 pound every two hours? That's about all that fits in the sock anyway. I'll try to get that all added overnight. If that's accurate it's going to be 6 hours. (Adding about 4 pounds)

    Added more chlorine to get it up to SLAM level, and got everything nice and clean again. Running filter continuously for now. I just did a backwash this morning, so out of curiosity I'll do another one tomorrow and see if I'm picking up any yuck. What I don't have experience with is how often I'll need to add chlorine with the CYA at this level, but I'll start checking tomorrow. I've got to conserve the chemicals that test FC. I can test, but not more than a couple times a day while I wait for more chemicals.

    Considering how it went last time and what I saw, I'm optimistic this won't take long. (Not compared to how long it took before at least!) What I think I'm mostly dealing with is cleaning a flood and the fact that my CYA got so low with huge amounts of water change.

    Thanks very much.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Ideally you would want to test and dose every hour or so, but with your reagents being low, that will be a problem. A suggestion would be to test several times at two hour intervals, and log the results to give you an idea of how fast your FC is being depleted. Using that rate, you could then just dose every couple of hours and check once in the morning and once at night to make sure you aren't going below SLAM level. It will become obvious when the FC depletion rate starts to slow down, as it will start to climb a bit between tests.

    Meanwhile, you should get the reagents on order from TFtestkits. They should arrive in only a couple of days, as Dave is in NC.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Thanks, Dave, you are very kind.

    And it has been a hard winter to boot. The sagos froze. One of them is coming back, but the really pretty one shows no signs of life. I also have two palm trees, they are at least still alive, but all the top is brown.

    Ah well, will keep at it. I keep getting sick, and it's hard to keep up with the pool.

    I do have a question - is there any relationship between the simple chlorine test and the FC I normally test while SLAMing?

    The stabilizer is going in more slowly than I expected, not quite all in yet. I have been adding chlorine to get to near-SLAM levels anyway, since it's not taking nearly as much and I want to stay ahead of the game. Pool is bluer every day, and really looks not that bad at all. I'll get a pic tomorrow.

    But when I test for chlorine using the yellow drops in the simple test, it's still showing plenty of chlorine (at the highest level or even darker) even after some hours of overcast sunlight. And there's a bit of pollen in the pool. I cleaned out every bit last night, but it drops in continuously. I have to scoop about 3x a day.

    So ... does that test not show what I'm thinking of in terms of chlorine? Or am I really keeping chlorine that well?

    Thanks much!
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    If you are using the color comparison and it is consistently close to the same shade above the 5ppm shade, you are staying close to your target.

    I trust you have your FAS-DPD reagents ordered and on the way?
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Trishana,
    Sorry to hear about the palms.

    The thing about the chlorine tests. As you know, you only really measure to 5 with the OTO *yellow* one. Also, you cannot measure CC with it, so those are the 2 main things. At this point, you prolly really dont have to measure for CC since you know you sill need to keep slamming. With your CYA so low, you might be able to squeeze by with the OTO till you can get more regent. Just keep it yellow as it can get.

    Charlie's idea is a good one and hopefully you will get some regents real quick.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    Thanks.

    I need to double-check. My husband was supposed to have ordered them.

    What I do know then is that I'm not losing chlorine nearly as fast as I was. I know that's not saying much. But before adding the stabilizer, I would run completely out of chlorine. Now it is staying over 5 consistently. Since a couple hours after I started adding stabilizer, it hasn't dropped below that. Of course, if my CYA is going up, I actually need higher levels.

    I just wanted to know what that test means, and I guess I can see where it's useful to keep an eye on chlorine in general just for maintenance levels. But it does show me that the stabilizer is doing its job, compared to the other day.

    Thanks very much.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    I haven't read your entire story but I have a couple sump pumps at my house in Houston. It has flooded several times in the past 5 years but I've been able to pump water away from my pool to lower levels of my neighborhood. I at least try to pump dirt and sludge before it reaches the pool. I normally don't worry about CYA as the pool overflows. I just wait for the rain to stop then shock the pool until it clears.

    Best of luck.
    36,000 gallon IG Gunite (40 x 20), 1.5 HP Hayward pump, Pentair Nautilus NS-48 DE filter, 2 skimmers, 12 - (2 x 20) Fafco Solar Panels (Goldline controller not hooked up yet), Hayward Swimpure Plus SWG, Blue Pearl Robot cleaner. New Dr. Wellness X-12 standalone Lifestyle Spa.

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    Re: Clearing flood - need help with chemistry - CYA VERY low

    That's an idea. I have a pump my husband had converted to help me vacuum, but now I am able to do a decent job vacuuming to waste now that the plumbing is clear.

    I don't think it would normally happen though. This was a flash flood. It ran through beside the house (which the pool is directly behind) but it was a pretty powerful flood. It knocked the privacy fence askew, pushed the back fence out, uprooted a few posts, moved the fencing that held my geese in, and carried a bunch of stuff. I guess it spread out enough to wash mud and debris into the pool. I didn't even know when it happened, just saw the aftermath and figured it all out.

    Lawn chairs floating in the pool ... (and garbage too )

    We've had some unusually bad weather this year overall.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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