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Thread: New user looking for some assistance in getting balanced...

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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Austin, TX
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    Question New user looking for some assistance in getting balanced...

    Hello all! I've been reading through the forum quite a bit, but it's about time that I post some results and get a little bit of direction. This is our second summer with a pool that was built by our home's previous owner. We're still rather new to this, and just trying to get a handle on it all.

    Our in ground pool is kidney shaped, about 15k gallons, and sits in direct Texas sunlight with just the shallow end shaded by a large Oak tree. We have another VERY large Live Oak tree that hangs over most of the house, so when it rains, both of them shed all sorts of goodies down into the pool. Other things that may help: We have an automatic chlorinator tube (Rainbow something) that doesn't seem to work very well. We had put a few pucks in it last year because the pool store seemed enthusiastic that we had one installed, but the chlorine remained there for the entire summer. I can't remember if it was 3 or 4 pucks, but a little bit of a couple were still there after 5 months, which didn't seem right. At this stage, I understand that I shouldn't really be using the trichlor pucks due to my CYA levels, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong!

    Our issue has been that I've never been able to keep chlorine in the pool! I had NEVER been able to get a FC reading of more than 2ppm, even if I dumped all sorts of bleach or shock into the pool, so I recently bought the Taylor FAS-DPD kit to make sure my old one even worked. It looks like it was accurate, but this new kit has been awesome in getting a broader picture of what's going on. Below are my pool readings from three different times throughout today (not sure if that helps or not, but you can see how it sways). I was trying to overcome a high Combined Chlorine number (yesterday read 1.8ppm) by superchlorinating, and had used various websites to come up with the same result, that I would need approximately 4 gallons of 8.25% bleach to hit the mark. I dumped 4 gallons of bleach into the pool last night around 8:30pm and let the pump run...

    6/24 @ 8:30am
    FC - 2.6
    CC - 1.4
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 110
    CH - (didnt test at this time)
    CYA - (didnt test at this time)

    6/24 @ 12:45pm
    FC - 1
    CC - 1
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 110
    CH - (didnt test at this time)
    CYA - (didnt test at this time)

    6/24 @ 2:15pm
    FC - 0.4
    CC - 1
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 110
    CH - 230-450?? (This test is tricky for me, as it says it should turn to red if calcium hardness is present, and yet it only ever really turns pink. Then, it's supposed to change to blue, but I never see a true blue. Instead, it clearly changes colors at the 23 drop mark, to purple. No doubt about it, this is purple, not blue. I'm just not sure if this is how the test is supposed to work, and after a little bit of Googling, it looks like I really should be seeing a bright red and blue? Either way, I kept adding drops until 45, and it stayed purple through it all. Again, there was a very clear point where it changed colors, but not to what the directions suggest.)
    CYA - 80 (where the dot really seems to disappear, but I can still see it, barely), or 65 (when I really can't see it, even with focusing harder on the black dot)

    Based on what I'm reading, my CYA levels are a bit high, but maybe not so bad considering the amount of sun we have throughout the day, and how hot it can get. I understand that I would need to drain something like 47% of the pool and replace with new water to get down to 50ppm.

    The pool water looks like glass at the moment, and is normally clear and appealing. What really prompted this post was a small amount of a pink something forming on the side of one step in the shallow end. I'm not yet sure what that is, but my brush just broke and another should arrive in a day or two.

    Aside from the pink stuff, is my issue the high CYA level, and the amount of sun the pool sees? Or, because of the sun, does that 65-80ppm reading sound okay? Based on what I've read, 20-50 seems to be ideal, but that each pool is different still.

    Right now, I'm just trying to determine (after a failed attempt) how to rid myself of the combined chlorine and get back to a higher free chlorine reading, which according to the FC/CYA chart on this site, should be closer to 5ppm. Was 4 gallons of bleach just not enough? I had used the formula on the PPOA.org site on their Superchlorinating webpage.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance, yall!


    Michael

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    Jun 2014
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    Re: New user looking for some assistance in getting balanced...

    It may also help to know that we have a 36sqft DE filter that was backwashed yesterday afternoon before adding all of that bleach into the pool.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: New user looking for some assistance in getting balanced...

    Your description of the CYA results suggests that the actual CYA level is around 65.

    The CH test is done when the sample turns anything remotely in the red family, i.e. pink is just fine. The rule is: wait for it to turn anything remotely related to red, then keep adding drops until the final drop doesn't change the color any further. Do not count the final drop.

    You need to SLAM the pool, see the instructions in the how to area of Pool School. Most likely you have a low level algae problem, though there are some other possibilities. Regardless the answer is to SLAM.
    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: New user looking for some assistance in getting balanced...

    Okay, so I went out and purchased 15 gallons (121oz jugs) of bleach (which I just put the last of into the pool!), and I'm not yet sure that I'm on the right track. I've followed the directions in the Pool School SLAM article, but it doesn't really provide me with any indication as to what I should expect the readings to be throughout the process. I started yesterday afternoon, and you can read each of my bleach additions and FC/CC readings below. My issue is this: At what point does the CC drop down to .5 or below? I keep seeing the same reading, about, regardless of how much chlorine I put in. And for what it's worth, I'm always putting a little more in than the calculator suggests. Am I still not putting in enough to get over the CC levels, or does that just take time?
    FC CC
    6/26@3:30pm .2 .6
    +6 gallons of 8.25% bleach
    6/26@4:45pm 28.5 2.5
    +1 gallon
    6/26@6:30pm 20 2
    +2 gallons
    6/26@7:45pm 26 2
    6/26@10:50pm 25 1.5
    +2 gallons

    6/27@9:30am 16 2
    +3 gallons
    6/27@12:10pm 31 .5-1 (the water wouldn't reach the same clear as before during the test, so less sure about this one!)
    6/27@4:45pm 18 1 (the sun definitely came out in the afternoon, but it's been a pretty cloudy day otherwise)
    +1 gallon

    So, with all of that above, does anything just stand out that I'm doing incorrectly? I'm all out of those 15 gallons of bleach, in a 24 hour window, and I'd happily add as much as I need, I just don't know if I'm even on the right track. The water looks great, and I've been brushing the pool at least a couple of times a day, so any extra help really would be appreciated! Thanks, y'all!


    Michael

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Current: Singapore Previous: Clayton, Victoria, Australia
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    Re: New user looking for some assistance in getting balanced...

    Can you please add your pool details to your signature? That way we don't have to keep scrolling back.
    CC will drop once organics in the pool are killed off. It takes time.

    Everything looks in order.

    Brush under and around any ladders, ladders should be removed if possible. Remove lights (if any) and brush behind them.

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