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Thread: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

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    Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Hi,

    I recently refilled my pool and am learning how to properly maintain it. This website has been a great source for information. Up until this experience, I trusted the results from Leslie's Pools. After what I've observed, I wouldn't believe any of their numbers!

    Here are my numbers current as of 6/6/14 @ 7:00 AM

    FC: 1.4 (after running SWG 5 hrs @ 100%, chlorinator removed for 2 days)
    CC: .2
    pH: 7.8
    TA: 110
    CH: 225
    CYA: <30 (probably near zero since I haven't added any CYA and only used chlorinator for ~1 week)
    Salt: 5200**
    Borate: 0 (never added and never tested for it)
    Temp: 81 at time sample taken/tested.

    CSI: .02

    Pool is crystal clear and has been since a day or two after refilling.

    After reading the SWG balance article, I know I need to drop the TA and get the CYA up. I've been adding muriatic acid and aerating over the past 2-3 days to bring it down. It started at 130, now down to 110. I've got some CC that needs to go away also.

    Where should I begin on getting in balance for a SWG?

    Thanks,
    BT

    **Salt level is another story I decided to leave out for now.
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    TA is about the lowest priority and yet many new members seem to be fixated on it. Ignore it for now.
    You need to get your CYA up to at least 30-50ppm now and will want to raise it higher for the SWG eventually.
    Use bleach to supplement the FC until the CYA get up and the SWG is maintaining it.
    Keep the pH in the 7s.

    That is all you need to worry about, besides whatever is going on with your salt.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Thanks, I'll get the CYA going right away.

    Silly question...by "sock" in the skimmer basket, is that a sock from my dresser or a sock used to filter larger debris from the skimmer?
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    a sock from your dresser ... or a T-shirt or similar.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    a sock from your dresser ... or a T-shirt or similar.

    Don't you love how simple this is really? Can you imagine your pool store telling you to use a sock or T-shirt? But I'm sure they would have been more than willing to sell you a similar device for the bargain price of $29.95!

    Welcome!
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    OK, so the CYA is going to take some time, so I'll bring in the salt level thing I'm puzzled with.

    I drained the pool, refilled it and added 440 lbs of salt. My final goal was to have 4000ppm. Ecomatic says my cell needs 3000ppm minimum and 6000 is the max. It also states that the higher the salt level the more efficient the cell runs.

    According to the Ecomatic manual, 440 lbs should have resulted in a little over 3200ppm (assuming the fill water was salt free). So after filling, I had the wife bring a sample to LPS (before I learned the real deal about them) and they reported back it was 3000ppm. I'm thinking...ok, all is as expected...so I add 2 more bags....which should have brought the level just below 4000ppm. It's worthy of note that PoolMath predicts a higher salt level, but doesn't account for the level I'm at.

    The first time I tested with the Taylor kit, I got a 5400 ppm reading. Repeated and got the same thing. I noticed some clumps forming on the first few drops of reagent, so on the 3rd try (done a few hours later) I swirled a lot more between drops. This reading was 5200.

    I've verified that my pool is indeed 15,000 gallons. Ecomatic predicts 3700ppm and PoolMath predicts 4140. My city's water quality report states a range from 68-110ppm with a value of 90ppm on the most recent test (2011). This would only raise the level by ~100ppm, so that's not the source. My pool was down to a couple of inches and I actually diluted and continued to drain. The only thing I haven't mentioned is that I soda-blasted the calcium ring...which is why I added water and diluted and continued to pump out the pool. When I was done, there was nothing but clear water in the pool.

    So, my question is, do I believe the Taylor test or was there some alternate source to account for > 1000ppm of salt?
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    The Taylor salt test is +-600 for levels around 5,000. I also assume you have added some other chemicals between refilling and the recent salt measurement. Several common pool chemicals put some salt into the pool. That wouldn't be a whole lot, but it gets us closer. It is also possible that the city water was a little higher than normal, and some of the leftover water from the nearly complete drain would also have added a little salt. All in all it is a bit of a stretch to account for what happened, but not out of the question.
    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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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    The 5200 measurement was taken when only salt and the chlorinator with trichlor tabs had been in the pool. Since then, I've only added muriatic acid in an effort to reduce TA. I will put the CYA in tonight after the power rates go down.

    Should I test another sample since the 5200 reading was 2 days ago?

    What should I be concerned with at 5200ppm? From what little I know, the risk is relatively low?
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    TA is about the lowest priority and yet many new members seem to be fixated on it. Ignore it for now.
    You need to get your CYA up to at least 30-50ppm now and will want to raise it higher for the SWG eventually.
    Use bleach to supplement the FC until the CYA get up and the SWG is maintaining it.
    Keep the pH in the 7s.

    That is all you need to worry about, besides whatever is going on with your salt.
    Added 3lbs CYA yesterday evening and an additional 1 lb this morning. Pump on over night and will continue all day.

    This morning's results:
    FC: 5.6
    CC: 0.2
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 90
    Temp: 82
    CSI: -.51

    Per Pool School, I'll wait a few days to test CYA. Should that be one full week?

    Thanks,
    BT
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Salt at 5,200 is as high as you should let it go. As long as the SWG is happy there is no need to lower it. The level will tend to drift down slowly over the course of the swim season.

    Wait a full week after the addition before testing CYA.

    Your numbers look good. You will want TA a little lower, but that will tend to happen on it's own anyway.

    By the by, there is no point in testing FC/CC by 0.2. Use the test in the 0.5 steps mode as that will save on reagent and is all the precision you need for a pool.
    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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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Thanks for the tip on test accuracy.

    Should I be working on any other aspects of chemistry while CYA fully dissolves?
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Not really, everything else seems fine ... assuming your water is crystal clear.

    Use 10ml of water for the FAS-DPD so each drop is 0.5ppm, plenty of precision and saves your reagent.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Still waiting to test CYA and seems like a good time to review a couple of things.

    Test results from yesterday evening:

    FC: 2.5
    CC: 0.5
    pH: 8
    TA: 100
    CH: 225
    Salt: 5200
    Temp: 86

    CSI: .15

    I did this to determine the minimum FC level. Then, this morning, I tested again to see what the peak FC is:

    FC: 3.5
    CC: Technically 0.5 but there was barely any color at all.
    pH: 8
    TA: 90
    CH: 225
    Salt: 5200
    Temp: 84

    CSI: 0.1

    I'm running the cleaner and filter for 4 hours with SWG @ 100%. I'm running from 4 AM to 8 AM, so I get an hour or two of sunlight on the water with SWG running. Do my FC levels seem OK?

    I'm expecting a CYA of 32-35 when I test. My target is 70-80. Should I dose with additional CYA as soon as I confirm the current level?

    Once I'm at target CYA levels, what's the next parameter to adjust? TA? Should I be concerned with a pH of 8?

    Thanks,
    BT


    PS: Water is crystal clear
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Keep the pH in the 7s at all times. That is highest priority right now.
    You should certainly raise the CYA as soon as you have an idea about how much more you need to add.

    I am not sure how you are only loosing 1ppm of FC during the day with no FC addition and low CYA
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    I will lower the pH now and repeat the FC tests as soon as possible.

    Thanks,
    BT
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    I'm following up on a repeat of the FC test to determine pump runtime and SWG duty cycle.

    Yesterday morning at end of pump run (6/12 @ 8:00 AM)
    FC: 3.5
    CC: 0 or nearly so
    pH: 7.8
    TA: 90
    CH: 225*
    Temp: 83
    CSI: -0.1

    Last night (6/12 @ 9:00 PM)
    FC: 1.5
    CC: 0.5
    pH: 7.8-8.0 (color seemed in between the two)

    This morning at end of pump cycle (6/13 @ 8:00 AM)
    FC: 3.0
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.8-8 (color seems in between the two)
    TA: 100
    CH: 225
    CYA: 42
    Salt: 5400
    Temp: 82
    CSI: .02

    Does the FC level seem OK? I"m running SWG for 4 hours @ 100%.

    I'm concerned about the pH....keeps climbing back up after dropping. 2 days ago, pH was at 8.0 and I added 32 oz of muriatic acid, dropped down to 7.6 2 hours later. CSI says the pool is balanced. Any recommendations on pH?

    CYA is now at 42. I'm thinking I should be targeting 70. PoolMath suggest 56 oz. I'm thinking of adding 75% of the recommended amount. What do you recommend?

    Water is crystal clear.

    Thanks for all the help.
    BT
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by BassTrix View Post
    I'm following up on a repeat of the FC test to determine pump runtime and SWG duty cycle.

    Yesterday morning at end of pump run (6/12 @ 8:00 AM)
    FC: 3.5
    CC: 0 or nearly so
    pH: 7.8
    TA: 90
    CH: 225*
    Temp: 83
    CSI: -0.1

    Last night (6/12 @ 9:00 PM)
    FC: 1.5
    CC: 0.5
    pH: 7.8-8.0 (color seemed in between the two)

    This morning at end of pump cycle (6/13 @ 8:00 AM)
    FC: 3.0
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.8-8 (color seems in between the two)
    TA: 100
    CH: 225
    CYA: 42
    Salt: 5400
    Temp: 82
    CSI: .02

    Does the FC level seem OK? I"m running SWG for 4 hours @ 100%.

    I'm concerned about the pH....keeps climbing back up after dropping. 2 days ago, pH was at 8.0 and I added 32 oz of muriatic acid, dropped down to 7.6 2 hours later. CSI says the pool is balanced. Any recommendations on pH?

    CYA is now at 42. I'm thinking I should be targeting 70. PoolMath suggest 56 oz. I'm thinking of adding 75% of the recommended amount. What do you recommend?

    Water is crystal clear.

    Thanks for all the help.
    BT
    Any help on my questions above is greatly appreciated.
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Your FC got too low by evening, raise the output.
    Yes raise the CYA and thus also the FC.
    Add acid as needed to keep the pH in the 7s.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Thanks!

    I was at 100% on SWG so I added an additional hour of runtime to the pump. I also added 32 oz of acid.

    OK, so PoolSchool lists the FC target level for SWG as 2 (at my current CYA level). Is this the minimum level over the course of a normal day that I'm targeting? (...and I assume the lowest FC level is after the longest period since last time SWG ran, but after sun is off pool is a good approximation?)

    Also, I've been stuck at TA of ~100 for (what seems like) a while now. Is it normal to keep adding acid on a regular basis? I was under the impression that TA would eventually stabilize? Should I consider adding borates once TA is in the target range?

    Thanks again,
    BT
    15k Pebble Tec (2002), Ecomatic ESC-16 SWG
    Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter Model CC420P (150GPM/420sqft/50psi)
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pumps x3, AO Smith 1 HP single-speed motors x3,
    Paramount IFCS, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit w/SpeedStir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Puzzled with salt level after Drain & Refill & need general balancing advice

    Yes that is the absolute minimum the FC should ever be allowed to get.

    If the TA is not changing, then that appears to be stabilized, just not where you want it. The SWG will drive the pH up, adding acid should lower the pH and the TA some. But if your fill water has a high TA, that may be why the TA is not really dropping.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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