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Thread: can't balance chemicals

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    can't balance chemicals

    ok so my husband and I are new pool owners and have chosen the 16x48 intex ultra frame above ground pool. We get it up and filled. I had a really hard time getting the ph down within range, but the TA is way high according to the test strips (6 way). My big problem is I can't get any chlorine in the pool. It always reads white on the test strip. we first started with the shock that came in the starter kit and the yellow 3 inch tablets. nothing happened to the chlorine level at all. then we switched to the orange 3inch super tabs still nothing on the test strip just white. finally yesterday I started adding bleach hoping this would show me some color on the strip. the first half gallon didn't do any thing so I then added another gallon and a half wow this boosted it up to 10 ppm so now it needs to come down well within a few hours it was down to nothing when I stick the strip in the water it shows white again but when I stick the strip in the water further down in the pool it show a little color but only faintly. and another thing is we have what looks like granules on the bottom of the pool and when we put our leaf skimmer in to get it because it looks like dirt it fluffs up and acts like it dissolves, but a few minutes later it is back maybe this comes from the ph minus we put in to bring down the ph level. are we doing something wrong? are we putting in too much chlorine? someone please help.

    ph- 7.5
    ta- 180
    cya- 30-50

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: can't balance chemicals

    Welcome mecharmed.

    First, glad you found us and good to hear you are trying to maintain the pool on your own. Unfortunately, test strips are very unreliable at best. You cannot properly test a pool with any accuracy when using them. You will simply struggle and struggle just using those.

    The first step you need to take is ordering some proper testing supplies. I would suggest a TF100, and you can find the link in my signature. If this is too much, you need an FAS/DPD kit, and a basic pH/Chlorine kit at bare minimum. They can be purchased from the same site as well.

    Let's assume your strips are close. Your number one priority right now is to get some FC in the pool immediately.

    Your pH is likely ok and the TA is something you can focus on later. I'm not sure about the granules on the bottom, but I would stop using the pH minus for now, until you have one of the kits I mentioned. You may be way off on pH and making it worse.

    You can use pool math to more accurately dose your bleach for FC, or stick with something around where you have been to get it to at least 3-5 PPM. Keep it there, do not let it fall below, and when the kit arrives, you'll be better able to tell where you are with precision.

    Start gaining some knowledge. It is the core of what we teach, and with just a little of it, things will become much easier for you.

    Start with the ABC's of pool chemistry, and work on other articles in pool school as you can absorb the material. Write back when you have a question. As long as you are trying to learn, we are here to help.
    TFP Moderator
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