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Thread: Dealing with high ammonia

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    Dealing with high ammonia

    Can't believe i've had a pool for over 20 years and just found this site. Pool is 28000 gallons with a vinyl liner. My problem is my FC reading is pretty much 0. Tested for ammonia and it's dark green which states 8 plus.
    I just dumped in 15 gallons of 8.25% bleach I purchased from Walmart. Had a free chlorine reading for a bit but never came close to looking like a SLAM reading. Tested ammonia again after adding chlorine and it might have dropped a bit but still shows a 8 + reading.

    Money wise it's probably a wash whether I keep adding bleach or drain and fill the pool. My water cost's a good bit here. Basically i'm looking for an answer to which way is going to get the job done faster to get the ammonia reading down to a respectable level.

    Appreciate any advice,

    Tom

    I'm guessing this is the correct forum for this request. If not let me know and I'll move it.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with high ammonia

    Welcome to TFP!

    This forum is ideal for this kind of question.

    A fair bit hinges on how much above 8 the ammonia level is. Can you do the test again, but this time mix equal parts of pool water and tap water together. do the ammonia test on that, and multiply the result by two.

    It takes anywhere from 9 to 20 ppm of chlorine to deal with 1 ppm of ammonia. So that is a lot of chlorine. You can add it fairly quickly, add chlorine to mustard algae shock level, wait half an hour, test FC, and repeat until you have an FC level over 5. Still, that can be a great deal of chlorine to buy and carry around. Draining tends to take longer and poses some minor (or major) risks to the pool (depending on what kind of pool surface you have).
    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 jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with high ammonia

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    What test kit are you using? The FAS-DPD chlorine test is the correct tool for the job as found in all the Recommended Test Kits.
    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: Dealing with high ammonia

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

    What test kit are you using? The FAS-DPD chlorine test is the correct tool for the job as found in all the Recommended Test Kits.
    I'm still waiting for the FAS-DPD kit to arrive. I have one of the Taylor kits and some new test strips for testing FC. Took a sample to the pool place and they got a reading of .5.

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    Re: Dealing with high ammonia

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    This forum is ideal for this kind of question.

    A fair bit hinges on how much above 8 the ammonia level is. Can you do the test again, but this time mix equal parts of pool water and tap water together. do the ammonia test on that, and multiply the result by two.

    It takes anywhere from 9 to 20 ppm of chlorine to deal with 1 ppm of ammonia. So that is a lot of chlorine. You can add it fairly quickly, add chlorine to mustard algae shock level, wait half an hour, test FC, and repeat until you have an FC level over 5. Still, that can be a great deal of chlorine to buy and carry around. Draining tends to take longer and poses some minor (or major) risks to the pool (depending on what kind of pool surface you have).
    Thanks, I'll try the test with equal parts tap water and see what I get.

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    Re: Dealing with high ammonia

    Looks like with 1/2 tap water I'm still getting a reading of just about 4 or a bit below. Good guess is somewhere between 7 / 8.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with high ammonia

    Forget the test strips for FC and forget the pool store testing.

    I would suggest only adding a couple of bottles of bleach a day until you have the FAS-DPD test. You need to be able to differentiate the FC and CC.
    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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    Re: Dealing with high ammonia

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Forget the test strips for FC and forget the pool store testing.

    I would suggest only adding a couple of bottles of bleach a day until you have the FAS-DPD test. You need to be able to differentiate the FC and CC.
    Probably won't have it til the end of the week. Pool looks great. Before I bombed it with bleach yesterday I was starting to get see green algae showing up already and nobody's been in the pool yet. Just swept it and let the filter do the rest.

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