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Thread: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

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    Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    My frustration knows no bounds at this point.
    We had our 10,000 gallon in-ground pool with vinyl liner and SWG installed in the fall of 2012, the first few months chemicals were no problem - chlorine stayed good, everything was good. In 2013, first full summer it was a battle all summer long - rarely saw chlorine levels up were they should be and had a few bouts with algae that some super shocking solved. Fast forward to 2014, opened the pool and everything looked great pretty quickly - very clear water, tests (from pool store and sticks) all good. Then had a birthday party with 4 11-12 year olds in the pool for a few yours, cloudy the next day, then 12-14 eight year old and unders in the pool for several hours water very cloudy at the end of that party. Over the next several days things slowly got better. But I finally broke down and bought the LAMOTTE COLOR Q PRO 7-PLUS KIT to get better readings without trips to the pool store (which isnít all that close to us) and love that thing! But, I canít get anything that consistent, pool water is very clear after shock but I just canít seem to keep it that way. Any help is greatly appreciated. I feel like I have a decent understanding of how all this works, but clearly I donít.

    Here are the recent days readings and steps, my main questions are why isnít FCL staying up and why canít I seem to keep the CYA level up?? Any advice/info is greatly appreciated!!

    10,000 gallon, in-ground, SWG, vinyl liner, pump runs 24/7, sand filter

    June 18 - water still a bit cloudy, Iíve been shocking and a few backwashes up to this point.
    Water 88 degrees
    FC 0.02
    Ph 7.5
    TA 155
    CH 232
    CYA 33
    Salt is at 3200 ppm
    Added Ph Minus in an effort to get TA down I aerated with a bit of rain, kids splashing and return jets breaking the surface of the water.

    June 19 - water a bit more clear
    Temp 88
    FC 0
    Ph 7.3
    TA 161
    CH 327
    CYA 32
    Again added Ph minus and attempted to aerate water to bring TA down.

    June 21 - still not 100% clear water but close
    Temp 88
    FC 0.03 (still, despite SWG on and seemingly working (I can see chlorine getting made in the tube) and turned to Ďboostí)
    Ph 7.5
    TA 151
    CH 267
    CYA 27
    Shocked in evening with 2 lbs of 68% Cal Hypo, also added approx 2.5 lbs of CYA by putting in socks and putting socks in skimmer basket for slow release.

    June 22 (about 16 hours after last nights shock)
    Temp 89
    FC Ďhií reading on my Color Q
    ph 7.3
    TA 137 (this reading is adjusted by subtracting 1/3 of CYA, all other TA readings straight from Color Q)
    CH 278
    CYA 44
    By end of this day pool is again crystal clear (certainly 2 lbs of shock paying off in that regard)

    June 23 - pool losing some of itís clearness again, not cloudy - Iíd say merky and again getting some blackish gunk lines around skimmer basket, especially inside.
    Temp 89
    FC Ďlo'- seriously! I went from Ďhií to Ďloí in 29 hours!?!?!
    TC 0.39 (I donít normally record that simply because the app I use to record doesnít have a place for it)
    Ph 7.3
    TA 131
    CH 279
    CYA 57 - finally thatís looking closer, added another .75 lbs via a sock.

    June 24 - still not clear at this point.
    Temp 88
    FC Ďloí
    TCL Ďloí
    Ph 7.3
    TA 112
    CH 281
    CYA 49 - what??? Back down??
    Added 1 lb of shock

    June 25 water is okay but not sparkling
    Temp 89
    FC 0.06
    TCL 0.36 (is this same as CC -combined chlorine?)
    Ph 7.6
    Ta 151
    CH 308
    CYA 45


    I'm guessing at this point that I need to SLAM, it seems I probably have an algae problem as I simply can't maintain FC. Also is TCL and CC the same thing or do I add FC and TCL to get CC?
    Thanks again in advance for any help!

    Scott

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    TC = FC + CC ... we do not much care about TC as it is the other 2 that are important.

    FYI, we do not recommend the ColorQ ... search the forum and you will find many dissatisfied owners. It can be terribly inaccurate and inconsistent for some readings (see your CYA results) and need calibration often. The drop based tests in the Recommended Test Kits are just more consistent.

    We also do not use adjusted TA. You need to put the TA reading into PoolMath for any calculations.

    You need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process and start using liquid chlorine (bleach). BUT, you are now going to run into another problem ... the Color Q only tests up to 10pm FC and you need to maintain higher than that according to the FC/CYA Chart.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Hi, Welcome to the forum.

    Yes you need to SLAM, yes you probably have algae beginning. CC is the difference between FC and TCL, so if FC = 0.06 and TCL = 0.36, then CC = 0.30. At least per the math..... those tests are not accurate to that degree so let's just say that FC = 0, and TCL = 0.5, and CC = 0.5.

    Although that test kit is not one that I am familiar with, and I think that it is not one of the two that is recommended here in Pool School, let's assume that the values are correct. Like you I am very suspicious that CYA is shown to have declined from one day to the next, but I suspect that we are seeing what happens when you try to call a number accurate to "one" when it is accurate to "15". So take that 57 to 45 variation in CYA as within test accuracy. So let's call your CYA 50 now and go from there.

    Quit testing CYA so much, save the reagents for when you have done something that has affected it. Or a few months have passed. So it is not that you are not keeping CYA stable, you are hoping for more accuracy in the test than it actually has. Round those values to the nearest 10 and quit obsessing.

    Now, what happened was you had the CYA at about 30 or so and had a big pool party and hoped to let the SWG take care of that load. It did not, so now you are behind and need to do a proper SLAM to get the pool back to perfect. Easy enough.

    Stop adding CYA products. You want that CYA lower while you SLAM. You will have to begin where you are at this point.

    First, I know you tested CYA at 45 but let's do the math to see if that is all you have. So tally up all the lbs of products that you have used and use Pool Math to see what that added to your size pool. Use that calculated value for CYA with the FC/ CYA chart to determine your FC for shocking the pool.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Then, when you have your calculate CYA and your target FC for a SLAM, get some plain old bleach (I like Clorox from Sam's or Liquid Shock from Leslies) and use Pool Math to find how much you need to add. Turn off the SWG while you SLAM.
    Add bleach, circulate an hour and test FC to be sure you got to your target. Get to the target, wait awhile (how long? I dunno, just guess for the first time, maybe a few hours or overnight) and retest to see how it is holding up. Add more to get FC to stay above target based on how fast it fell. Then keep it above target by testing and adding and circulating. Brush while you are doing all this to be sure all surfaces are clean.

    Since the water looks OK, you may just need to do this for a day to get everything all cleaned up. Maybe two, I'm just guessing. You are done when you pass the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test.

    At that point you will increase the CYA to the recommended value for your location and turn on the SWG to maintain everything as it is. In the future, when you are going to have a party, you will dose the pool with a bit of bleach in advance to bump up the FC to something below shock level, then afterwards bump the FC up to shock level and either do an actual SLAM or not.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Thanks for the quick responses. A few follow up questions and of course additional responses still welcome.

    Why straight liquid bleach over granular shock? Cheaper? Better? Both?

    What test kits are recommended (I see 5 on the chart on the site but people mention 2?) - is there a recommended digital test kit, that's the big reason I went with PRO Q was digital and some good reviews (not here apparently however).

    Should I consider adding borates after I get back to good with something like Proteam Supreme Enhancer ?

    THANKS AGAIN!

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Responses in Red:
    Quote Originally Posted by sendsley View Post
    Thanks for the quick responses. A few follow up questions and of course additional responses still welcome.

    Why straight liquid bleach over granular shock? Cheaper? Better? Both?
    Because it is usually cheaper $/ppm of FC and there are no side effects like the solid forms of chlorine. See: How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    What test kits are recommended (I see 5 on the chart on the site but people mention 2?) - is there a recommended digital test kit, that's the big reason I went with PRO Q was digital and some good reviews (not here apparently however).
    There are no digital test kits that I know of that we would recommend, maybe if you spends $1000s. The best value is the TF-100, the most common is the K-2006. So those are the 2 most people get. The K-2006C just has bigger bottles than the K-2006. The TF-50 is just a smaller kit than the recommended TF-100

    Should I consider adding borates after I get back to good with something like Proteam Supreme Enhancer ?
    That should not be on your radar now at all. It is an option for when you are bored with everything else being in range. Really the point of it is to slow the pH rise if it rises faster than you like. There are much cheaper options than the Proteam.

    THANKS AGAIN!
    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: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    What kind of bleach do I buy? Claro concentrated? Can I buy generic? Am I looking sodium hypochlorite 8.25%

    Just poor in through the skimmer, all 100 or so ounces for first dose?

    Thanks again

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Just plain old bleach which is usually 8.25% now. Or liquid chlorine from the hardware or pool store which is 10% or 12.5%. You can use the calculator here to find the best deal: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ine-calculator

    Pour it slowly in front of the return jet. Read: Recommended Pool Chemicals

    Use PoolMath to calculate how much you need to add to reach your desired FC level.

    Did you read all the links in my first post?
    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: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Yes you want sodium hypochlorite. Plain unscented bleach. I get mine at Walmart.

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Clorox is fine, the newer 8.25% is fine. Be sure to select the correct jug size and concentration when you are using the Pool Math calculator.

    Generic MIGHT be fine, grocery store brands tend to be OK but do check the strength. Dollar store brands may be OK and might be so weak or old as to be useless. For now, I would suggest sticking to either Clorox (unscented, no outdoor versions or such, just plain old bleach) or Liquid Shock from a Pool Store. (Clorox at Sam's in the 3 pack is the same cost per unit of bleach as the stronger liquid shock in my area last time I checked) You might later check all the local stores and prices to see that you have some deals at a hardware or grocery store.

    Pour slowly through the skimmer is fine while circulation is going, that's what I do. Very slowly, like a pencil thin stream.

    Add the amount that Pool Math tells you to add to get from your tested FC to the target FC, was that 28 based on your CYA?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Can't thank everyone enough! I really appreciate it!

    Is the Pool Math page the same as the Pool Pal app I have on my Android, it references TFP so I assume it's their app but maybe not?

    Also, once I've successfully slammed will low (and how low is low?) CYA levels prevent my SWG from keeping a 2-3 FC level?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    That app was developed by a member here. Likely similar to PoolMath.

    Your SWG will work much less hard with CYA up between 70-80ppm.
    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: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    So although the pool was mostly clear, not sparkling, and based on advice that made great sense combined with absolute inability to maintain close to 2ppm with my SWG I start the SLAM process tonight. Here's a recap so far:

    9pm
    FC 0.46 CC 0.53
    Added 363 fl oz of 8.25% bleach

    10:25pm
    FC 9 ppm and CC 1.2 according to Taylor K-2006 test kit
    FYI, color Q Pro FC 8.45 with TC at 9.95

    10:40 pm added 242 fl oz of 8.25% bleach

    1155 pm
    Using only the K-2006 kit FC 14.0 and CC 2.0
    Midnight - added 121 fl oz of 8.25% bleach

    Going to bed, out of bleach, head to Costco and/or Walmart in the morning for more bleach after I test again first thing in the AM.

    Am I on track?

    Thanks!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    So far so good.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Update
    First, going back I did brush the walls after first addition of chlorine.

    945am (not as early as I had wanted, maybe an hour of sun on the water by now)
    With Taylor K-2006 FC 1 ppm CC 1.21
    Wow - didn't expect it to be that lower overnight!
    FYI Color Q FC 1.28 ppm and TCL 2.76 thus CC 1.48

    1030am Added 363 fl oz 8.25% liquid bleach
    And dropped in my Baracuda MX8 - LOVE that thing!! Climbing walls and getting the dirt off the bottom that had accumulated overnight.

    To be continued......

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Still going.....getting better??

    2:00pm FC 8.5 cc 1.0 by Taylor K2006
    Color Q FC 7.3 TC 8.15 (thus CC .85)

    205pm Added 242 fl oz of 8.25% bleach
    Some light rain sprinkles

    325pm FC 15.5 CC 1.5
    330pm Added 121 fl oz of 8.25% bleach

    Baracuda MX 8 still working

    Heavy rain expected soon.

    To be continued......is this a normal progression?

    THANKS

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Yes, and you should see some, if even slight, improvement every day.

    What is the CYA level? Are you able to reach SLAM FC level when testing 30 minutes after dosing?

    I would take the Baracuda out during the SLAM. Rinse it off really good.

    Are you taking pics?
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    What is the CYA level? Are you able to reach SLAM FC level when testing 30 minutes after dosing?

    Are you taking pics?
    CYA levels were inconsistent in days leading up to starting this process (as you can see by my initial post) but I had added just under 4lbs of CYA just prior so they should be AT LEAST 40 as I had added CYA at the beginning of the season.
    Not taking pics - the water has been clear throughout this process - another reason I'm rather puzzled that this is taking SO long.

    Here's the update on readings:

    Heavy rain never made it, only about 0.08 inches.

    Day 2 continued:

    5:30 pm FC 16 CC 2.0
    5:35 pm Added 121 fl oz of 8.25% bleach, that's now 13 jugs in 20 hours! Is that normal?

    9:55 pm FC 14.0 CC 1.5
    Least loss of FC yet.
    10:00 pm added 121 fl oz of 8.25% bleach
    11:35 pm FC 19 CC 1.5
    Went to bed

    Day 3 begins...

    10:30 am some disappointing, although better than Day 2 AM, results:
    FC 5.5 ppm according to Taylor kit, because it was low enough I again also used Color Q Pro which said FC 5.49 - why don't people like this one?
    CC 1.5 by drops with Taylor and 0.95 according to Color Q, of course neither are below 0.5
    11:00 am headed back to the store for more chlorine

    Should I retest CYA at this point?

    Is this a normal progression? Can my water be this clear with this much algae? Any chance there is another problem at play?

    THANKS

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    Yes, water can be clear and sick at the same time. That is why we have three criteria to determine when the SLAM is done (see red lines in my sig).

    It would be helpful if you would add your pool and equipment specs in your sig.

    For the CYA, if it has been a week since adding, you can test. Otherwise, if it is dissolved, 'assume' it is in there and adjust FC levels accordingly.

    If you have lights, ladders, steps, etc. then all need to be pulled, cleaned and exposed to SLAM levels.

    So far, things sound normal. Keep SLAMing! It will get there. POP, pool owner patience
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Need Help - My Frustration Level is Nearing it's Boiling Point

    I gotta jump in for just a sec here....earlier in the thread I'm pretty sure I read someone suggesting to add bleach by pouring it into the skimmer.

    That is not the TFP recommended way of adding beach. It is safer (and less risk of damaging your pump seals and other equipment innards over time with a high concentration of chlorine/temp low pH) to pour the bleach slowly (pencil thin stream) in front of a return.

    I don't think I saw anyone mention this but I'm reading on my phone again so apologies if I am restating something that's already been said!

    *edit* I re read and saw that each method was mentioned but not mentioned that the skimmer method risks causing damage over time.
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