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Thread: CYA is off the charts

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    CYA is off the charts

    Hi everyone. I recently bought a house with an inground pool. I previously had an above ground pool at my old house so I'm not new to the chemistry, just the inground equipment.

    I am guessing that the pool holds around 15,000 gallons, but I have not gotten the specs on it yet to be sure. It has a cartridge filter and a salt water generator. I had all intex stuff previously with a salt water generator and Hayward skimmer. Everything I know I learned here.

    When I first moved in, I did a cursory test of the chlorine and found it was 11ppm with no CCs. Yay no CCs I thought. The pump was running 10 hours a day so I scaled it back to 6. The timer is new to me so I've been researching it. It's the dial type.

    I just finished running a full battery of tests using my Taylor test kit. All tests were performed using the drop tests, not strips, and OMG. Here are my results:

    Salt: 4200 high if memory serves
    FC: 4.5 - ok
    CC: 0 - good
    PH: 8 - a little high, but not unmanageable
    TA: 200 - high if memory serves
    CYA: waaaaaaay over 100. hmmmm I mixed half tap water and half pool water and it was still waaaay over 100 and yes, I know how to do the test properly.
    Calcium/Hardness: 2000 (that is not a typo)

    I tested the tap water and hardness is 125. I expected it to be over 200 so I'm good with the tap water number.

    I think I need to tackle the CYA first. I know it will come down some naturally because the water will evaporate and the new water added won't have any CYA so it will dilute what's left, but I suspect that will take 10 years with these numbers even in the desert in the summer. I have to do it slowly so I don't end up with a huge water bill though. I haven't sold my old house yet.

    I read somewhere that the calcium will come under control once the CYA is brought under control. I assume that's because you are diluting both. What I'm wondering is how the calcium even got that high. Is it artificially high because of the CYA? Could the CYA reading affect the salt reading too?

    Have I missed anything important besides getting the specs on the pool?
    Intex Ultra Frame pool, 16' X 48", Intex SWG, Intex 2650 Sand Filter/Pump

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    Quote Originally Posted by AZLynn View Post
    Hi everyone. I recently bought a house with an inground pool. I previously had an above ground pool at my old house so I'm not new to the chemistry, just the inground equipment.

    I am guessing that the pool holds around 15,000 gallons, but I have not gotten the specs on it yet to be sure. It has a cartridge filter and a salt water generator. I had all intex stuff previously with a salt water generator and Hayward skimmer. Everything I know I learned here.

    When I first moved in, I did a cursory test of the chlorine and found it was 11ppm with no CCs. Yay no CCs I thought. The pump was running 10 hours a day so I scaled it back to 6. The timer is new to me so I've been researching it. It's the dial type.

    I just finished running a full battery of tests using my Taylor test kit. All tests were performed using the drop tests, not strips, and OMG. Here are my results:

    Salt: 4200 high if memory serves
    FC: 4.5 - ok
    CC: 0 - good
    PH: 8 - a little high, but not unmanageable
    TA: 200 - high if memory serves
    CYA: waaaaaaay over 100. hmmmm I mixed half tap water and half pool water and it was still waaaay over 100 and yes, I know how to do the test properly.
    Calcium/Hardness: 2000 (that is not a typo)

    I tested the tap water and hardness is 125. I expected it to be over 200 so I'm good with the tap water number.

    I think I need to tackle the CYA first. I know it will come down some naturally because the water will evaporate and the new water added won't have any CYA so it will dilute what's left, but I suspect that will take 10 years with these numbers even in the desert in the summer. I have to do it slowly so I don't end up with a huge water bill though. I haven't sold my old house yet.
    CYA doesn't go down with dilution. As the water evaporates, the CYA becomes slightly more concentrated in the water. Then when you add more water, it returns to close to the original level.

    I read somewhere that the calcium will come under control once the CYA is brought under control. I assume that's because you are diluting both. What I'm wondering is how the calcium even got that high. Is it artificially high because of the CYA? Could the CYA reading affect the salt reading too?

    The CH probably got that high from the previous owners use of cal hypo shock treatments on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, you will have to do several drain and fills to bring both the CYA and CH to more reasonable levels.

    Have I missed anything important besides getting the specs on the pool?
    I'm sure others will pop in with more info for you.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    The CH will not drop and the CYA does not evaporate. Given the high CYA and high CH, i think a near full drain and replace is needed. But, with the intense heat now, draining may not be good for the plaster. You may have a reverse osmosis treatment as a possible solution, depends on your location.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    Good point about the evaporation. I knew that. I guess I was thinking if I'm adding water it's diluting it but that is incorrect. It's been a long two weeks trying to move. I haven't thought about a pool in months. I closed my above ground pool last fall. Caring for one year round is going to be new. I will have to do some mini drains I guess to get it back under control. The house was rented for about a year and a half so it was probably the renters.
    Intex Ultra Frame pool, 16' X 48", Intex SWG, Intex 2650 Sand Filter/Pump

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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    "Mini" drains (anything less than 10-12 inches) will drag out the process and cost you more in time and water in the long run. Removal of the greatest amount of "offending" water, with quick replacement of good water, is what you want here. Stated in another way, replacing 2% of the bad water is still going to leave you 100% of water that is outside of what you want.

    If you have a good test kit and are confident in your test results, along with an understanding of how to use the pool math page, you will quickly realize that you need to do some big time replacements.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    I do have a good test kit and do understand the math. I know it will drag it out but I currently own two houses and adding a big water bill on top of all the expenses of moving and repairs to the old house might be cost prohibitive right now. Not to mention it's over 100 during the day now. How much can I safely drain at a time with those temps? Pool has pebble tech finish and pop up cleaners.
    Intex Ultra Frame pool, 16' X 48", Intex SWG, Intex 2650 Sand Filter/Pump

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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    How much can I safely drain at a time with those temps?
    That's pretty subjective....I would guess it's "how long?" rather than "how much?".

    I would drain/refill simultaneously with a siphon and hose so that the water level stays the same.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    If you have a safety type cover for the pool, that would help protect it some while you're draining/filling.

    Like Dave said, if you can set up a siphon hose draining water from maybe just a foot or two below the surface and fill with the same size hose with it placed at the bottom of the deep end you can simultaneously drain and fill without much change in your water level. Just keep an eye on it. If you drain off the top, fill to the bottom, you'll be mostly draining off the bad water without mixing it too much with the new good water. Cold new water will tend to stay on the bottom, warmer old water will stay on the top with some mixing but not much if you have your circulation system off.

    Knowing approximate gallons per minute on your fill water might be helpful with how long to do the simultaneous drain/refill.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    Does your local fire department offer fills for a donation?
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    I don't know if the fire department offer fills or not.

    I don't know much about my pool yet. I contacted the pool builder to get the specs, but they didn't call me back yet. I know it doesn't have a cover and has two drains. The main drain is in the bottom of the deep end. The deep end is only about 5 feet so it's not very deep. The other drain is on the wall in the deep end. The drain line is a pipe and you have to hook up a water hose to drain it. I assume it is hooked up to the main drain, but I'm not sure. If I'm right though, that means using it would drain water from the bottom of the deep end. I have a submersible sump pump, but the hose would be larger on it than a water hose, which is what I would use to refill it. I suppose I could hook up the water hose to the drain line and put a water hose in the shallow end and drain/fill that way. Then I would be draining from the deep end and filling from the shallow end. Do you think that would work? Draining in the evening when it's cooler should help too. It does have an auto fill but I don't know where the water flows in at nor do I know how to turn it off. I would assume it flows in by the float, but I honestly haven't looked to see.

    There is obviously more I don't know than I do know at this point.

    If I knew draining it wouldn't hurt the pebble tech even with the heat, I would be more inclined to just drain first so I could tell how much I was draining. Now that I think about it, I think I do know where the valve is that turns off the auto fill, but I haven't tried to turn it off yet.
    Intex Ultra Frame pool, 16' X 48", Intex SWG, Intex 2650 Sand Filter/Pump

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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    The auto fill valve is most likely at the top of your piping of the nearest water spigot. A quarter turn most likely will turn it off. Where in Arizona are you?
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: CYA is off the charts

    HI Azlynn,
    It really IS preferable to drain from the top side of the water and put new water in the bottom of the deep end.

    If I could make a suggestion... there are some aquarium pumps available that can pump upwards of 700 gallons / hr. at 4 or 5 heat feet which may me comparble to your flow rate from the water faucet.
    I know one more expense isnt what you wanted to hear.... but just thought I would through that option out there


    Quote Originally Posted by AZLynn View Post
    I don't know if the fire department offer fills or not.

    I don't know much about my pool yet. I contacted the pool builder to get the specs, but they didn't call me back yet. I know it doesn't have a cover and has two drains. The main drain is in the bottom of the deep end. The deep end is only about 5 feet so it's not very deep. The other drain is on the wall in the deep end. The drain line is a pipe and you have to hook up a water hose to drain it. I assume it is hooked up to the main drain, but I'm not sure. If I'm right though, that means using it would drain water from the bottom of the deep end. I have a submersible sump pump, but the hose would be larger on it than a water hose, which is what I would use to refill it. I suppose I could hook up the water hose to the drain line and put a water hose in the shallow end and drain/fill that way. Then I would be draining from the deep end and filling from the shallow end. Do you think that would work? Draining in the evening when it's cooler should help too. It does have an auto fill but I don't know where the water flows in at nor do I know how to turn it off. I would assume it flows in by the float, but I honestly haven't looked to see.

    There is obviously more I don't know than I do know at this point.

    If I knew draining it wouldn't hurt the pebble tech even with the heat, I would be more inclined to just drain first so I could tell how much I was draining. Now that I think about it, I think I do know where the valve is that turns off the auto fill, but I haven't tried to turn it off yet.
    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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