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Thread: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

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    Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Hello, My name is Patty and I have an old pool and have never really known how to take care of it. I relied on pool companies and now a man that opens and closes it. This year I'm having a hard time with the pH and Chlorine levels. I have spent a fortune already this year. I'm hoping one of you knows what to do. Here is my info. Thank you so much for reading this.

    Gunite Pool Inground, Plaster, Built 1982
    20’ x 40’ paisley, 8’ deep end, 3’ shallow end, 26,000 gal - 30,000 gal ??
    Filter - Apolo Mode VA 38, 38ft, pressure 50lbs, flow rate 95 GPM, 22” lg., 40” deep, 20” wide
    Model No. C48K2PA105C5, 1 HP 115/230 *3450 RPM 60 HZ

    Last test at pool supply store:

    FAC - .75 Low
    TAC - 1.5
    CH - 140 ppm
    CYA - 30
    TA - 20
    pH - 7.2

    When the pool was opened lots of tiles around the top had fallen off. I though I had gotten them all scooped up, but not so and some clogged the piping, So I had to have the pipe dug up because of the right angle pipe. It could not be snaked. Snaked it and it was ok. Pool is old.

    The pool is nice and clear, looks great, but I can’t get the pH 7.2 or the chlorine .5-1 levels up. Per pool store, I put in Soda Ash in and they came up. They also gave me Hardness Plus because of the Calcium Hardness was low. I waited for the Soda Ash to do it’s thing, but didn’t put in the calcium plus because the pH and chlorine went down again. They told me to put in the following, but it is back to low both pH and chlorine:

    For two mornings I have put in the Chlor Brite from Leslie Pool (Sodium Dicloro-s-triazinetroine dihydrate 99%, available chlorine 55%). 1/2 package each morning and I have 6 hockey puck tabs of chlorine floating in the pool. The reading is the same, 7.2 pH and chlorine .5-1.

    The pool store personel say to shock the pool like this until the tabs kick in.?? Not to use the Power Plus shock I have (Calcium hypochlorite 73%, 70% available chlorine). Question: should I still use the floating chlorine pucks?

    I’m at a total loss of what to do. I don’t know who to believe. I have spent a fortune already this year on this pool. Can anyone help me figure this out. I’ve just registered with your site and read about SLAMing my pool. Is this what I’m doing and should I just keep doing this. Can I put in a full 1 pound bag to help speed it up?

    Thanks, Patty

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Welcome to TFP!

    First thing, since those numbers are from a pool store, they really cannot be relied on. You say you've spent a small fortune doing it the pool store way, and are not getting results. It is time to invest in a very good test kit so you can have numbers you can trust to be accurate. the TF-100 and the K-2006 are your best choices, with the TF-100 being the best value.

    Keep reading in Pool School, especially the section on the ABC's of pool chemistry.

    We can help you straighten out your pool.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Welcome to TFP!

    Chlor Brite contains what we call dichlor. Dichlor is very acidic and raises the CYA level unbelievably quickly. If you use dichlor to shock the pool your CYA level will be unmanageably high at the end and you will need to replace most of your water.

    Power Plus contains what we call cal-hypo. Cal-hypo adds both chlorine and calcium to the pool. If you use it frequently it will eventually raise the CH level too much, but just at the moment it would be a drastically better choice.

    You need to keep the PH in range, even if that means adding far more soda ash.

    Meanwhile, you aren't using nearly enough chlorine.

    If you want to get things under control I recommend you stop listening to the pool store, get your own top quality test kit, and follow the SLAM instructions in Pool School. The pool store has been giving you bad advice. There is no better investment in your pool than an excellent test kit.
    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Home testing with a good kit is worth it's weight in gold. Pool store testing is almost as bad as their prices and advice.

    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
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Thanks JasonLion

    How much and how often should I use the Power Plus? Can I use the Soda Ash at the same time? I need to order a test kit TF-100 which will take a while, should I use the Hardness Plus or return it to the store. I have 6 pucks floating in the pool now. How many more should I use. The pool lady told me that the pucks will pull down the pH. ???

    Thanks, Patty
    Gunite Pool Inground, Plaster, Built 1982
    20 x 40 paisley, 8 deep end, 3 shallow end, 26,000 gal - 30,000 gal ??
    Filter - Apolo Mode VA 38, 38ft, pressure 50lbs, flow rate 95 GPM, 22 lg., 40 deep, 20 wide
    Model No. C48K2PA105C5, 1 HP 115/230 3450 RPM 60 HZ

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    You can use PoolMath to calculate quantities.

    First, use baking soda (baking section of the grocery store) to raise TA to 50. After that has time to mixing, test and adjust PH to 7.5 (don't adjust until testing the level).

    You will want to raise the calcium hardness, but wait until everything settles down before doing that. You should keep the hardness plus as you will use it at some point.

    The amount of chlorine you need to add kind of depends on getting a current CYA level reading. The dichlor will have raised the CYA level, and the amount of chlorine depends on the CYA level.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Hello JasonLion,

    I ordered my FT-100 test kit and it will be here Wednesday. I've read a lot and some of it's sinking in. Can you tell me why my pool looks so good. crystal clear and no sign of algae. pH is 7.6, but chlorine is low. TA is 100. I just put a bag of Power Powder Plus in. I'll check it later and I plan on vacuuming the pool and cleaning the filter tomorrow. My pool is also in the direct sun all day long, so I know the chlorine is eaten up quickly. Thanks again for you help, I appreciate it.
    Gunite Pool Inground, Plaster, Built 1982
    20 x 40 paisley, 8 deep end, 3 shallow end, 26,000 gal - 30,000 gal ??
    Filter - Apolo Mode VA 38, 38ft, pressure 50lbs, flow rate 95 GPM, 22 lg., 40 deep, 20 wide
    Model No. C48K2PA105C5, 1 HP 115/230 3450 RPM 60 HZ

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Hello JasonLoin,

    Have my FT-100 kit and did all the tests.

    FC 1
    CC 1
    TC 2
    PH 7.5
    CH 325
    TA 110
    CYA 20 - 15? top of the bottle

    This tells me that I need to add CYA/conditioner 3 lbs. 12oz. Is that correct? Will this effect my CH which is up to 325 now? And I don't think I need the Hardness Plus that i purchased from the pool store.
    Gunite Pool Inground, Plaster, Built 1982
    20 x 40 paisley, 8 deep end, 3 shallow end, 26,000 gal - 30,000 gal ??
    Filter - Apolo Mode VA 38, 38ft, pressure 50lbs, flow rate 95 GPM, 22 lg., 40 deep, 20 wide
    Model No. C48K2PA105C5, 1 HP 115/230 3450 RPM 60 HZ

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    I calculate that you want to add about 5 lbs of stabilizer/conditioner/cyanuric acid. That would raise CYA by roughly 25. Raising CYA will not have any effect on the CH level. It will lower PH just a little, but that shouldn't be an issue.

    CH is fine right where it is. There is no need to add any calcium right now. Hardness Plus lasts a long time, as long as you keep it sealed. You will probably need it next year.
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Don't add all of the CYA at once. It is much better to sneak up on your goal with partial doses. If you can take the Hardness Plus back do it, you don't need it and use the cash back for bleach/chlorine.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Thank you, how much CYA should I add at a time and how frequently?
    Gunite Pool Inground, Plaster, Built 1982
    20 x 40 paisley, 8 deep end, 3 shallow end, 26,000 gal - 30,000 gal ??
    Filter - Apolo Mode VA 38, 38ft, pressure 50lbs, flow rate 95 GPM, 22 lg., 40 deep, 20 wide
    Model No. C48K2PA105C5, 1 HP 115/230 3450 RPM 60 HZ

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    I would start at half to 3/4. wait a week to retest and see what pool math says you need for the next dose. It took me over a month to get mine up. I was gun shy from all the high CYA horror stories I've read here.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    jmbradwell, I already allowed for that safety margin in my 5 lbs recommendation.
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Ok, sounds good. I'll go return the hardness plus. I need the money for the conditioner. Thanks for your help jmbradwell.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, JasonLion, I will be ok to add the whole 5 lbs at once?
    Gunite Pool Inground, Plaster, Built 1982
    20 x 40 paisley, 8 deep end, 3 shallow end, 26,000 gal - 30,000 gal ??
    Filter - Apolo Mode VA 38, 38ft, pressure 50lbs, flow rate 95 GPM, 22 lg., 40 deep, 20 wide
    Model No. C48K2PA105C5, 1 HP 115/230 3450 RPM 60 HZ

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    Hello JasonLion,

    In what manner should I add the conditioner to the pool. through the skimmer, directly into the pool, a little all around at a time, mix it with water to dissolve first?

    Thanks, Patty
    Gunite Pool Inground, Plaster, Built 1982
    20 x 40 paisley, 8 deep end, 3 shallow end, 26,000 gal - 30,000 gal ??
    Filter - Apolo Mode VA 38, 38ft, pressure 50lbs, flow rate 95 GPM, 22 lg., 40 deep, 20 wide
    Model No. C48K2PA105C5, 1 HP 115/230 3450 RPM 60 HZ

  16. Back To Top    #16
    ranger_ric's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get pH and Chlorine up.

    One of the best ways to add CYA is to put it in a sock, then tie a knot in it and hang it in front of the return jet, Or you can drop the sock in the skimmer. You can give the sock a squeeze whenever you think about it or when you walk by. Remember it might take a week for the CYA reading to reflect the new addition.
    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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