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Thread: water testing

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    Smile water testing

    Hello all - I am New and Confused! I am not even sure I am doing this posting thing right, so forgive me if I am in the wrong place. We just installed a Sentinelle 24 foot 52 inch above ground pool. We have a cartridge filter (and disconnected the Zodiak Vision system b/c of what I read here) most of you were not in favor of it. Anyway...I am stressing out about the balancing of chemicals. I feel like I need a phd to run my pool! I just purchased the TF-100 testing kit and am using test strips right now. So far I have 0 chlorine too much ph and alkalinity is off too. We threw in a packet of shock two days ago and it cleared up the pool right away. My question is how do you know how much of each chemical to put in? I believe we have 13,600 gallons of water in our pool. The pump seems to be working okay except for today the release valve on the top is not spewing water as forcefully as it did when we first cleared the air out of it. The psi is also not very far above zero even though it seems to be running fine. We turned it off for the night and while we are at work, but will turn it on again tomorrow around 5:00. Any advice would be helpful. I didn't realize how all consuming this adventure would be! I should probably change my name to New and Confused and Freaking Out!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Its easy to be overwhelmed at first but we will help you get past that stage. Could you please post the results of your tests? "Too much pH" and "alkalinity is off" are very vague and doesn't give us the information we need to be helpful.

    Start by reading ABCs of pool water chemistry . Use PoolMath to see how much of each chemical needs to be addedto the pool.
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    Re: water testing

    i can only use test strips right now since i am waiting for my test kit, but according to the strip:

    ph 8.4
    FC 0
    TA 240
    Stabilizer is 30-50

    we added 3lbs of sodium bisulfate and waited an hour then added a gallon of bleach
    hope I didn't screw anything up

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    You are on the right track. Lowering PH and raising FC are indeed the correct things to do.

    I know pool care can be intimidating at first, but you will get used to it quickly enough.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    Hi, welcome to TFP. no need to be confused any longer. We can help you out.

    For the time being, IF and this is a big IF, the test strips are anywhere near correct, You need 2 things right now.

    Get your PH down. Use muriatic acid. The PH test only go to 8.4, so you very well may be above that. Your PH target is 7.5.
    Add 60 ozs and wait 30 minutes and then test again.

    Use Pool Math to determine next if any other addition is necessary. At the top left, enter how many gallons of water is in your pool. In the left column add your test results. In the next column, add your targets. Then click the calculate button.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html


    Get some liquid chlorine in the pool asap. With CYA of about 35 ish, use a Target FC of 4.
    Add 81 oz of 8.25% regualar, no frills non-scented bleach. Doesnt matter which brand. Whatever is the least expensive you can find. YOu will need to continually add chlorine every day to maintain your FC level. A target of 5 would not hurt anything.

    Please do not add any more powdered shock and if you have chlorine tabs in a floater or in the skimmer, take them out. Dont use anything other than liquid chlorine (bleach) until you can test properly.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels

    When you test kit arrives, test teh water and post a full set of test results and we will go from there. Dont worry about any other levels other than Ph and FC till you get the test kit.

    hope this helps for now....

    EDIT: Due to the lack of a proper test kit yet, my recommendations may or may not improve your water parameters.
    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.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    Welcome!

    So far, nothing you've done will end in disaster. The bleach sounds okay, the acid might be okay. With pH that high, you might actually be off the tester, so if it doesn't come down in a day, you might need more acid. It doesn't mean you did something wrong.

    If you can follow the directions on a box of hamburger helper or a cake mix, you can maintain your pool. You run the tests. There are directions in the box, there are extended directions if you have an oddball situation, and there's even videos showing how to do it.

    Then you plug your pool size and your pool surface and how you plan to chlorinate into Poolmath and it tells you how much of each to add. Warning: don't just rush out to the pool and start dumping stuff in because poolmath said to. The recommendations are only suggested. They are not absolutes. Just post your results and someone will be along soon to guide you.

    It would help us a lot if you fill out your signature. The directions are here.

    This article explains which chemicals do what and how to add them.
    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.
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    Re: water testing

    Thanks everyone - I REALLY appreciate the quick feedback. I will be in touch. Richard320 thanks for making me laugh; it was much needed. Although I am not much of a chef. Opening a can of tuna sometimes befuddles me

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    Quote Originally Posted by New and confused View Post
    Opening a can of tuna sometimes befuddles me
    If you happen to be blonde and one day your hair turns green, its because of copper in the water! .... hahaha!
    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: water testing

    Well my chlorine level is up to 5 right now and my stabilizer is 30-50, but the ph is still 8.4 and the TA is 240. I am at work right now, but will purchase some muriatic acid tonight. Hopefully my test kit arrives this afternoon.

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    Re: water testing

    I just received my kit and nothing is working!! The tests results are: 0 chlorine ( put in a gallon last night!)

    0 chlorine ( I put in a gallon of bleach last night)
    0 CC
    20+ Cya ( the black dot never disappeared)
    320 TA
    This is only as accurate as my testing abilities so.... I sent my daughter to the store for muriatic acid and to have the pool store guys test my water, and my husband just put in another gallon of bleach. Anything else?

    BTW - the FC was normal on my test strip this morning.
    I was also wondering how long before I test again between chemical additions.
    Can the kids go in the pool during all of this?
    When I tried to pool math it said I would need 33oz of 31.45% - 20 degrees Baume. What does all of that mean?
    Last edited by New and confused; 06-05-2014 at 07:07 PM. Reason: adding more questions

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    Re: water testing

    Your kit is probably working just fine. If the black dot never disappeared, it means you are a bit low on CYA. Since CYA protects the chlorine, having less allowed the chlorine to be eaten up quickly. A nice sunny day will destroy chlorine rather handily. You sent your daughter for muriatic acid, what was your pH reading?
    27' round AG
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    Re: water testing

    i just offer words of encouragement. This system does work.... Yes at times it is "work" but the crystal clear shining pool are worth it. And the results are not only repeatable but are in your control.. No waiting on the pool store to solve your problem. Everyone here is sold out on the results you can control... It is a good feeling to be in control of my pool. Carry on and overcome!
    17500 Gal Above Ground, 1.5HP Dynamo Pump, 250# Pentair Sand filter with ZeoLite. Diver Dave Cleaner. TFP test kit w/SpeedStir, 7 Grandaughters and 1 Grandson swimming every week WooooHooo!!

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    Re: water testing

    That is the funny thing my pool is crystal clear with the exception of dirt accumulated on the bottom of the pool. It looks really inviting. I did forget to check the ph before we added the bleach. Should I still test the ph?

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    Re: water testing

    Don't worry, the testing will become very easy, very soon. The CYA test is by far the most frustrating and it will have you questioning your eyesight, but even that will become easy after a time. While you are in the learning phase, don't waste your CYA regent. If you are not confident in your reading, pour it all back in the little testing bottle and then back to the tube for a second or even third try. When I was new, I blew through the whole bottle because I wasn't sure about my reading and used fresh regent every time!
    27' round AG
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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    I would let the water circulate for a while and then test again with the little double vial before you add any muriatic acid. High levels of chlorine will throw off a pH test, but I am not sure you added enough bleach to achieve a high level of chlorine.

    SORRY... I just read that your pH was still 8.4 today, yes, you will still need to lower that. Have you tried the Pool Math button yet? It will tell you how much to add based on the specifics that you enter in for your pool.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
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    Re: water testing

    Yes, I did, but that wasn't clear to me either. It said I needed 33 oz of 31.45% - 20 Baume. I am not sure what that means? I was also wondering about swimming in the pool. The kids are dying to go swimming it looks crystal clear except for little pools of dirt on the bottom.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    I am not surprised your pool is clear. Is there some reason it shouldnt be? If algae is not blooming, it will remain clear.

    If you tested with your TF 100 test kit, then I believe your test results. The TF 100 is as accurate as is reasonably possible to use which is available outside of a science laboratory.

    FC of 0 doesnt surprise me since you are yet to be adding chlorine on a regular basis. FC burns off during the daytime due to exposure to the UV rays from the sun. You have to maintain FC every day. I have a question. Did you test FC with the powder and using 10ml of water?
    When you added a heaping spoon of powder, it stayed completely clear? It did not turn pink or red? If it did not turn pink or red, then your test result is correct. The FC would be zero.
    You need to get chlorine into the pool, use a target of 4 in pool math to determine how much liquid chlorine to add.

    CC of 0 is GOOD! If there were algae in your pool consumng the FC, the CC would be greater than .5

    CYA is low - it has not direct effect on water clarity - CYA protects the FC from being burned off by the sun. Its like suntan lotion for Chlorine.
    This needs to be raised to about 40. You can get Stablilzer at Walmart. The way to add stabilizer, is put it in an old sock and put the sock in the skimmer. Give the sock a good squeeze every now and then to help it along. It may take a couple days to dissolve and show up on the CYA test.
    We usually recommend to raise CYA in two steps.
    Step 1, aim for a CYA of just a bit below your recommended level. If I were you, I would aim for a CYA of 30. Use pool math to determine how much that is.
    Step 2. After a few days, test CYA again. If necessary, add a bit more to bring it up to about 50.
    When your CYA is up to recommended level, your FC will last longer!

    PH is high - It also has no direct effect on water clarity. Muriatic acid will bring it down. 31.45 - 20 baume is a measure of strength of the acid. That's the good stuff and is what you want. Since your TA is so high, you should bring PH down to about 7.2 Use pool math to determine how much to add.

    Your TA is very high, but again doesnt have a direct effect on water clairty and though important, is not as critical to keep algae away as some of the others. TA buffers the Ph and keeps it from rising so quickly. 320 is pretty high but is not going to kill your pool or prevent you from swimming in it....so to lower it, First get your PH to 7.2 as mentioned above, aerate the water. Aerating means creating bubbles in the water. The more bubbles, the quicker the TA will come down. It may take quite a while...
    As you aerate the Ph will rise slowly. When the Ph gets to 7.6, then use Muriatic Acid to bring it back down to 7.2 and continue to aerate. Repeat the process until you get your TA down to maybe 150 or so...






    Quote Originally Posted by New and confused View Post
    That is the funny thing my pool is crystal clear with the exception of dirt accumulated on the bottom of the pool. It looks really inviting. I did forget to check the ph before we added the bleach. Should I still test the ph?
    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 !!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    343 oz is just over a quart of acid. If you read the label on the jug or the box, it will give the strength. 31.45% is considered standard. Don't ask me why. And there's some archaic system that gives the strength as Baume. Ignore that. Just look at the strength on the jug; some of it is now diluted so it fumes less and generates more profit for the seller. If so, use that strength in poolmath. Pour what it says into the pool in front of the return stream.

    All you need is the little tester for this: If pH is in the middle three sections of the tester and the FC level looks like anything on that side of the colorblock, let the kids in the pool. Nobody tests lake water and river water before they jump in.
    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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    Re: water testing

    Thank you for the very thorough explanation. Can I add all these chemicals at once? AND let the kids in the pool? I have been working this week and adding chlorine at night just to keep chlorine in the pool. I have been adding bleach the past few days. I would like to do all of this when I am home for an entire day. It also looks like it might rain Saturday night. How does that effect everything? Or do I just test and add things as needed?

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: water testing

    Quote Originally Posted by New and confused View Post
    Thank you for the very thorough explanation. Can I add all these chemicals at once? AND let the kids in the pool? I have been working this week and adding chlorine at night just to keep chlorine in the pool. I have been adding bleach the past few days. I would like to do all of this when I am home for an entire day. It also looks like it might rain Saturday night. How does that effect everything? Or do I just test and add things as needed?
    Wait 30 minutes between chemical additions, with the exception of stabilizer granules because they take so long to dissolve.

    Kids can get in within minutes of adding stuff. A quick lap around the pool with the brush to get some cross-currents to disperse it all and they will do the rest.

    Just relax! As long as you show FC above minimum for your CYA and the pH is between 7.2 and 7.8 and the water is clear and the pump is running, things are okay. You can tweak things as you go along. If you add bleach every night at roughly the same time, you'll quickly figure out if you're targeting high enough. You want it to be above the minimum before you add again.

    A lot of this stuff makes more sense as you start doing it. You see the changes as you make them. By July, it'll be as routine as making coffee in the morning.

    Rereading some of the basic articles in pool school will also help. They make more sense now that you're actually measuring things.

    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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