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Thread: Please HELP! New to Site!

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Exclamation Please HELP! New to Site!

    Please tell me what I need to do to my pool to make it safe to swim in and also what I need to do to help me keep chlorine in my pool. These are my water results from yesterday:

    FC: .05
    TC: .19
    PH: 7.5
    Alkalinity: 67
    CH(Hardness): 173
    CYA: 40
    Phosphates: 0
    Copper: .4
    Iron: .1

    All season I have not been able to keep chlorine in my pool. I put 3 pounds of shock in Tuesday evening and 2 days later you see my levels.

    The pool store did not test for nitrates this time; however, last month, they did and they were very minimal and told me to shock my pool with a "non-chlorine shock" to neutralize the nitrates and then the next day to shock it normally and it should be fine afterwards.
    (I didn't know fertilizers had an effect on the nitrate level of my pool and my yard had been fertilized in early May -----It has not been fertilized again!!!)

    Yesterday, my copper level was also higher and I am concerned about that as well.

    So, My questions are:
    1) Is my pool safe to swim in as it is?
    2) What do I need to do to keep chlorine registering in my pool?
    3) What do I need to do to get the Copper/Iron out of my pool?

    I appreciate you help in advance!!
    Approx. 35,000 Gal; 20 x 40 Vinyl IG Oval pool, extra deep - Installed November 2007
    Waterco 1.5 hp SUPATUF Pump; Waterco Micron Side Mount Sand Filter (Model SM600);
    Blue Diamond Auto Pool Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    Welcome to the forum.

    1. Your pool is not safe to swim....it has no chlorine

    2. You will have to do a lot of reading and willingness to learn.....it is not a one, easy step.

    3. Removing metals from water is almost impossible but they can be dealt with another way. I suggest you ignore them until you get a basic understanding of the need for chlorine and where you chlorine levels need to be.

    I suggest you start by reading "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That's the basics and will get you started asking a lot of questions.

    To be swimmable, you would want your chlorine in the 3 - 5 ppm range.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    conservativ1,

    Step #1 - DON'T FREAK OUT. When I realized I had a problem with my pool water, I freaked out and frantically tried to correct something only to make a big dumb mistake trying to fix something I did not understand. If someone in your family is whining about not being able to use the pool, let them whine. Ask them what's more important - having good clean water to swim in or getting sick from swimming in sewage!

    Step #2 - Listen to the folks here and read, read, READ! Learn the simple ABC's of water chemistry. It's not hard as long as you put in the effort.

    Step #3 - Immediately purchase a Taylor K-2006 or TFTestkits TF-100 kit. ABSOULTELY DO NOT USE THE POOL STORES TO DO YOUR WATER TESTING!!! They do "free" testing as a way to hook you in and scare you into buying expensive chemicals that you do not need. They have no interest in helping you beyond helping to remove money from your wallet. You can buy chemicals from them but do not use them for testing. Get your own test kit, learn how to use it and do your own water chemistry testing. Again, it is not hard but you do have to take the time to learn.

    Step #4 - Once you learn about water chemistry and can confidently get your own test results, ask lots of questions here. The Moderators and Experts are awesome and knowledgeable and are totally willing to help you out.

    You can do this!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    You have been given good advice so far.

    You did not say how the water looks, clear - cloudy - sparkly - dull ect.

    For now:
    Don't swim
    Order a test kit

    I assume you have been going to the pool store and using granular shock and pucks for 7 years, so I'm leary to believe your pool store telling you your CYA is 40. That is the number they mess up the most.

    If you feel you must "do something" while you wait for your test kit go down to Walmart and buy some plain unscented 8.25% bleach. Pour a bottle in every day while you wait for your test kit. It really only makes you feel like you are doing something - but hey, it can't hurt.

    The one thing you must do is stay away from the pool store. They are going to sell you more shock, algaecide or other magic potions which only lead to more profits for them and a lighter wallet for you. The iron in your water may have come from the tap when you filled the pool, but the copper came from pool store snake oil.
    Last edited by tim5055; 06-27-2014 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Darn spell autocorrect
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    I suggest ordering the TF-100 test kit. It is a bargain compared to all the (often) unnecessary chemicals that the pool store would like you to buy.

    Do you know where the metals in your pool came from? Do you fill from a well, or have you used algaecides that contain copper?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    Wow thanks for the replies.
    First - I am not technically a beginner to pools. I purchased my house in October 2009, the pool was already there. I have opened, performed the maintenance and closed my pool every year that I've lived there. I have learned everything from either the pool store, or by Google (which led me to this site many years ago). I have not had any problems with my pool's readings until this year. And for some reason, I can not get any good readings on my FC this year.

    Also, sorry for not mentioning what the pool looks like - It is CRYSTAL CLEAR!!!

    Tim5055 - I have been using granular shock (73% cal-hypo) and 3" chlorine tabs. But I also add stabilizer if needed, like this year, I added about 8 lbs because my reading was 0 when I opened the pool. I also use Baking Soda to raise my alkalinity and I also use a 90 day algaecide by Sea Klear (I use a bottle and a half every 75 days or so because of the heat down here). I have also heard that it contains minerals - so that may be why my copper is at 0.4 and the iron is at 0.1 - I don't know. Are these levels unsafe to swim in?

    I have my water tested at 1 of 2 pool stores. The main one is where I purchase my shock - I normally buy a huge container of 3" chlorine tabs at Sam's due to bulk price being cheaper. Actually I am still using tabs that I had left over from last year. Could this be part of my problem?

    Also, I have a Nature 2 Zodiac Cartridge system; I used it in 2010 and 2011, but in 2012, the cartridge was so expensive, I took it out, so now it is just empty.

    I have read and understand the ABC's of Pool Chemistry - all except the TC/CC. It states that the CC should never be above 0.5? I thought that the normal range was 1-3? Could someone help me understand? And also on the Chlorine/CYA Chart - what is Shock FC?

    So, my pool is not safe to swim in right now because I have no chlorine? But if I were to shock it tonight, I would have a chlorine reading of about 1.5 tomorrow and it would be gone by Sunday. No one could swim in it tomorrow?

    Could I go and buy some liquid chlorine from the pool store to up my free chlorine? Would that make it safe to swim?
    Approx. 35,000 Gal; 20 x 40 Vinyl IG Oval pool, extra deep - Installed November 2007
    Waterco 1.5 hp SUPATUF Pump; Waterco Micron Side Mount Sand Filter (Model SM600);
    Blue Diamond Auto Pool Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    Hi again!

    Sorry, I don't think anyone intentionally meant to call you a novice. If that's what my post came across as, then I am truly sorry and apologize for the offense.

    I am a novice, but I know this much - you need to stop going by what the pool store says and you need to do your own water testing. The $50 or $100 you spend on a test kit may seem like a lot, but it is well worth it.

    Let me put it this way by an anology - would you ask the kid that works behind the McDonald's counter how to grill a perfect steak for your spouse and serve it with a fancy dinner? No, of course not. The kid at McDonald's is, at best, a part-time worker with no experience in cooking a good meal. That kid behind the counter is your local pool store clerk measuring your water. They know nothing! Most of the time, they are using simple test strips to measure your water and those are horrible inaccurate. They are coached to hand you the results and then give you a list of all the special chemicals you need to buy to make your water "perfect". It's total bunk and they have no interest in your water quality whatsoever. And I agree with the poster who wrote that they screw up CYA measurements all the time. My CYA was way over 100ppm and you know what the pool store kid told, "that's totally ok."

    SO you need to get yourself a testkit and, at a very minimum, learn to measure your FC and CC and pH for a couple of days to see what is happening. If your add bleach to a suffucient FC level and it's gone in a hour or overnight, then something is consuming it big time and it's most certainly not a few ppm's of Cu or Fe. Chances are you have excessive CYA levels (since you're using tri-chlor pucks) or these algae/biological somewhere in your system eating up all the FC.

    You also mentioned that you took out your cartridge from the filter and did not replace it....what is filtering your water then? Are you just circulating water with no filtration??
    Last edited by SunnyOptimism; 06-27-2014 at 03:37 PM. Reason: more thoughts.....

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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    Sunny - I am purchasing a test kit. I only have an OTC at home and some test strips. So I am purchasing one with a FAS-DPD Chlorine Test. It does sound like I need one. Especially if I want to SLAM my pool, which may be what I have to do.

    But I do understand your analogy - and I do know that there are pool stores like that - but I definitely stay away from them!!

    But I will say this in defense of the pool store I use, they don't try to upsale. There is not any "part-time" people there. It is a small pool store and there are only 4 employees for the sales, the rest is an installation and pool cleaning team. And I only deal with the owner - and they don't use test strips. They test with all the reagents.
    Approx. 35,000 Gal; 20 x 40 Vinyl IG Oval pool, extra deep - Installed November 2007
    Waterco 1.5 hp SUPATUF Pump; Waterco Micron Side Mount Sand Filter (Model SM600);
    Blue Diamond Auto Pool Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    Quote Originally Posted by conservativ1 View Post
    Sunny - I am purchasing a test kit. I only have an OTC at home and some test strips. So I am purchasing one with a FAS-DPD Chlorine Test. It does sound like I need one. Especially if I want to SLAM my pool, which may be what I have to do.

    But I do understand your analogy - and I do know that there are pool stores like that - but I definitely stay away from them!!

    But I will say this in defense of the pool store I use, they don't try to upsale. There is not any "part-time" people there. It is a small pool store and there are only 4 employees for the sales, the rest is an installation and pool cleaning team. And I only deal with the owner - and they don't use test strips. They test with all the reagents.
    Well, I guess it's the DIY'er in me. I only have retail pool stores around me here and, given their hard-sell approach during water testing as well as conflicting and erroneous information, I do not trust their test results. If you've got the owner's ear at your local shop, then only you can say for sure if you trust them or not.

    Still, doing the tests yourself means that you can do them anytime day or night and on schedule that best let's you debug the problem. If I had to grab a bottle of pool water and drive down to my local store to get testing done, then I'd probably never be able to correct the problems I have had.

    Good luck to you and good luck SLAM'ing your pool if that's where you have to go. Hopefully you can get back to swimming real soon ...
    Last edited by SunnyOptimism; 06-28-2014 at 02:28 PM. Reason: Wanted to modify my statement regarding trust in retail pool store testing results

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    If you have CC above .5 you have something in your water you do not want. Most of the time it is algae waiting to take over.

    Shock FC is the level you need to have and keep your FC at to SLAM the pool.

    You can buy your chlorine/bleach wherever you want. Just make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Check price and %. Wal-mart great value is 8.5%. My local ACE hardware is 12%, the closest pool store is 11%. For me I use the ACE as it is closest and highest in %. The pool store it a little cheaper but the gas/time does not make it worth it for me.

    Get some chlorine, bring your FC up to the level your pool needs for your current CYA and you are good to go to swim. Just know you need to add chlorine every day unless you have a SWG.

    Good luck and happy swimming!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    My TC/CC was at 0.19 - and my FC was at .05 yesterday.

    If I am understanding the CC correctly - my level is Good. I was always thinking that my TC/CC was supposed to be between 1-3. I guess I have been wrong!!

    So, all I need to worry about is my FC right now? So I can throw some bleach or liquid chlorine in the pool and bring it up to around 4 or 5 and be good to go?

    What do I need to do about my copper (0.4) and iron (0.1) levels? How can I get that out of the pool? Are those bad levels or are they still safe to swim in?
    Approx. 35,000 Gal; 20 x 40 Vinyl IG Oval pool, extra deep - Installed November 2007
    Waterco 1.5 hp SUPATUF Pump; Waterco Micron Side Mount Sand Filter (Model SM600);
    Blue Diamond Auto Pool Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: Please HELP! New to Site!

    Quote Originally Posted by conservativ1 View Post
    My TC/CC was at 0.19 - and my FC was at .05 yesterday.

    If I am understanding the CC correctly - my level is Good. I was always thinking that my TC/CC was supposed to be between 1-3. I guess I have been wrong!!

    So, all I need to worry about is my FC right now? So I can throw some bleach or liquid chlorine in the pool and bring it up to around 4 or 5 and be good to go?

    What do I need to do about my copper (0.4) and iron (0.1) levels? How can I get that out of the pool? Are those bad levels or are they still safe to swim in?
    Total Chlorine = Free Chlorine + Combined Chlorine. FC at the appropriate level for your CYA reading is what keeps your pool sanitized. CC is the byproduct of organic (sweat, debris, algae, etc) breakdown in the water. If CC level is > 0.5, it's an indication that you have something going on in your pool that you need to treat with the SLAM process. It's a process, not a one time treatment.

    Copper/Iron/Metals can be handled in two ways: either drain the pool and refill with a known metal free water source OR use an approved sequesterant as outlined HERE. You can swim with metals in the water safely. However, if you have blond hair, be prepared for it to develop a green discoloration.
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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