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Thread: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

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    Thumbs up New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    I've been reading as much as I can and think I know where you will be pointing me (extreme chlorine demand test? shocking with bleach?) but I've already wasted 2 weeks worth of time and energy before finding this forum and gotten nowhere so I'd appreciate a little personal guidance...as a new pool owner, there have been more tears shed than I'd like to admit.

    Pool is approximately 25000 gal, vinyl liner. Pool company installed a new offline Hayward CL 220 chlorinator when they opened the pool 2 weeks ago. No free chlorine in the water and many trips later, they tell me it's a water chemistry issue and not the Hayward, which has been cranked up all the way since it was installed 2 weeks ago (filter running between 8-24 hours a day, depending on what the pool company had advised I try that day). 3" chlorine tablets are dissolving at what pool company says is a "normal" rate (about 10 tablets in 2 weeks). Pool company claims to be getting a total chlorine reading of 1 ppm but no free chlorine.

    Yesterday (Monday) I brought a sample of water to Leslie's to get a second opinion. Pool hadn't been shocked since previous Tuesday, using Super Shock 73. Here are my results:
    FC: 1 (although I have never gotten a reading above 0 ppm myself)
    TC: 1
    Calcium hardness: 180
    CYA: 60
    TA: 80
    pH: 7.2
    TDS: 400
    Pho: 500

    They sent me home with directions to use Phosfree to lower the phosphates (which from my research shouldn't be impacting my chlorine anyway) and instructions to shock with 3 lbs of the Super shock 73 after sundown. Today when I got home from work I tested the chlorine and found I'm back at 0 FC (about 18 hours after shocking...filter running entire time) and at 1 TC using a Taylor DPD kit. Is this normal?!

    If you're going to point me to the shocking with bleach, a few questions...Looking at the CYA/chlorine chart with my numbers, I want my FC level up to 24 ppm...How long do I need to hold it at that level? My kit only goes up to 5 ppm...I'm fuzzy on how I'll be able to measure up to 24. And how exactly does the extreme chlorine demand test factor into this?

    I feel like I've found all the pieces, I just need help putting them together. Thank you in advance for any guidance, this has been very frustrating.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    Welcome to the forum, really glad you found us.

    With the amount of chlorine products you are putting in the pool, the only reason it isn't showing up is because something in the water is consuming it as fast as it hits the water. A good SLAM will fix the issue, but we need more information before you can do it, namely, you need a good test kit that can get you reliable, accurate test results. Most of us use either the TF100 or the Taylor K-2006. The FAS-DPD test can measure chlorine accurately up to 50ppm, and this is the only way you can raise the FC high enough to get ahead of your problem.

    If you read the article in Pool School about how to SLAM your pool, it will tell you how long to hold the FC at an elevated level. The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry (see the link in my signature) will help you understand the other parameters to maintain in your pool, how to do it, and why to do it.

    Get a good test kit, read Pool School until your brain is swimming, then post a full set of test results and we can help you SLAM this thing into shape.
    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
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    Has cya/stabilizer/cyanuric acid been added to the pool since it was filled? I suspect your CYA level is way lower than they report and you are losing all of your chlorine to sunlight each sunny day. You can confirm by adding chlorine in the early evening and then testing the FC level later in the evening. If I am correct you will have no problem maintaining FC levels with the sun out of the picture.
    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 kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    First step to being a good pool owner--------Find TFP done!
    Second step--------buy a good test kit----------see my siggy at the bottom
    Third step--------post test results
    Forth step------follow directions given

    This will get you to a Trouble Free Pool!

    It can be done!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    Welcome!

    It sounds like you've been doing some reading, the way you're bandying around our lingo! If so, you know what's coming. Get your own test kit. You can't SLAM or do the extreme demand test without the right kit. Spring for the XL option and a speedstir. It's way cheaper than a couple truckloads of dirt to fill the thing in! What is your sanity worth, anyway?

    Order tonight, it'll be on the truck tomorrow, you might have it in time for the weekend. So don't delay! LINK

    Now, to address your questions... You can measure FC up to 50 with the right FAS-DPD test kit. How long depends on how green and chunky the pool is, how devoted you are to testing, dosing, and brushing, and how hardy a strain of algae you have. Typically a couple weeks from sludgepit to pristine. Hazy water can be fixed in a day or two. It all depends on what the test results say. It's like looking at a teenage boy and asking, "How much more is he gonna eat?" You won't know until he's done.

    Inspiration:
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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    Thanks, I will be SLAMing once my test kit arrives. To answer the stabilizer question, about 4 pounds have been added via socks in the skimmer since the pool was opened 2 weeks ago. When I was initially having problems with the chlorine and thought it was the chlorinator, the pool company thought it was the stabilizer so had me rapidly adding it by squeezing the socks in the skimmer.

    According to my mini test kit, my TC is still only at 1 (and of course FC=0) even after shocking less than 48 hours ago with 3 lbs and running my filter with chlorinator at full blast the entire last 48 hours. Is this weird that my TC isn't higher? It has rained some during that time, not sure if that matters.

    Also, in the SLAM instructions, it says to backwash as needed..does this just mean based off the pressure gauge as usual?

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    Yes, when you have a 20% rise from clean pressure it is time to backwash. How does the water look? Is it cloudy, green, or just dull?

    Rain is usually only an issue when the pool overflows and you lose some of your chemicals in the process.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    It's becoming more cloudy, but we did just have very high winds that blew a bunch of debris in, and had a greenish dust on the bottom in parts today which is making me nervous. I'm hoping it's just pollen..it brushes away easily into a cloud.

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    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/76172-New-pool-owner-can-t-get-FC-above-0

    My FC is, and has been, at 0 (read that backstory here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...get-FC-above-0).

    Topics merged. Please keep everything relating to one project or question together in one place. JasonLion

    After adding a bottle of PhosFree (to a clear pool, as per Leslie's) and shocking with 3lbs of 73 shock on Monday, Tuesday I had a bit of green dust on the bottom of the pool that brushes away into a cloud easily. Yesterday there was more dust. Last night I shocked with 2 more lbs (I am still waiting on my test kit so I can't SLAM yet)..FC never rose above 0. I teach high school science so I brought a pool sample to work and looked at it this morning...here's what I saw at 400x magnification.

    photo 1.jpg
    pool2.jpg

    Is this algae? Obviously there's not a ton of it yet. What can I do to hold off a full blown algal bloom while I wait for my kit to SLAM? I've been running the filter 24/7 with chlorinator on full blast hoping that would help.

    I've asked the mods to merge this back into your main thread to keep the conversation in one place.

    The best thing you can do while you wait for a test kit is to not add any more powdered CL. In addition to CL you are either adding CYA or CH which can exacerbate matters. Start chlorinating with liquid (bleach or liquid chlorination).

    When should your test kit be in?

    I ordered the Taylor 2006-K with expedited shipping so hopefully Friday or Saturday. Sorry about switching threads, I'm new to this. How much liquid chlorine should I add while I wait for the kit?
    Vinyl inground pool ~25,000 gallons - Hayward DE Filter - New pool owner 2014

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    Re: Is this algae??

    No worries - its a normal thing around here. WEith peaks of 2000+ users at any given point in the busy season it's just easier for us to have the story all in one place.

    In your other thread you specified 60 as the "supposed" CYA (can't trust the pool store). Using that as the number in pool math for a 25K pool I get 2gal 3 quarts of 8.25 bleach to get you to the high end of maintenance (FC9). Until you have a confirmed CYA number I would be hesitant to go any higher than that. It should be enough to keep the battle in stalemate.



    The biggest thing you can do is read ... a lot. Play with pool math, look at what the results of adding particular chemicals and compounds are.

    And ... because its just a fun smiley:

    as soon as you have you kit
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/76172-New-pool-owner-can-t-get-FC-above-0

    As someone who is fighting high CYA I can attest to the fact that pool stores are lousy at their testing. Two stores told me that my CYA was either 90 or 130. When I tested it it was well above 200. The previous owner just dumped in powdered CL and floated tabs. Believe the folks here, liquid chlorine is your friend. I just wish you could get the "high test" CL in South Carolina. I'm stuck with 8.25

    Plus, if you keep going in the pool stores you will hear stuff like "at this point in the season you really need to add this (insert product here) as it will help your pool". The only thing most of these things help is the pool stores owners ability to make his next boat payment.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    Can you guys see the pics I took through the microscope? Does that even look like algae?
    Vinyl inground pool ~25,000 gallons - Hayward DE Filter - New pool owner 2014

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - can't get FC above 0

    Quote Originally Posted by cfjax View Post
    Can you guys see the pics I took through the microscope? Does that even look like algae?
    I see the pictures just fine, but I have no idea what algae is supposed to look like under a microscope! This sounds like a job for google!
    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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