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Thread: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

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    My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    Their results.

    Total chlorine .5 ppm
    Free chlorine .5 ppm
    Ph 7.4
    Total Alkalinity 50 ppm
    Calcium Hardness 125 ppm
    Stabilizer 0
    Total Dissolved Solids 1,800 ppm

    Their suggestion:

    21.9 lbs of Alkalinity increaser
    2.2 Gallons of liquid chlorine
    8.7 lbs of stabilizer
    35 lbs of calcium hardness increaser.

    I am currently adding 7 lbs of stabilizer. I first added some mixing it in a bucket and pouring it in front of return jets. I am adding the majority with the sock method I have read about on this forum. I have one in the skimmer basket and two floating.

    I do have a couple questions. I know the pool store is a business so I might be able to get chemicals cheaper elsewhere and they might try to sell me more than I need. But if their requirements are correct, it is okay to go ahead and add the stabilizer, sodium bicarbonate and calcium increaser at the same time? Their sheet says 10 lbs of alkalinity increaser every 2 hours and the same for calcium hardness increaser. So should I go ahead and add 10 lbs of each increaser every 2 hours or 10 lbs of one every two hours, while the stabilizer is still dissolving. And should I wait until all the other chemicals are in before adding the chlorine?


    Oh and any suggestions on where to get the chemicals cheaper?
    22,000 gallon in ground, gunite, Hayward pump 1.5 hp and 36sq DE filter. Pool installation date unknown, at least 10 years. Screened enclosure.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    You know that total alkalinity increaser is baking soda, and that grocery stores sell baking soda far less expensively than pool stores sell total alkalinity increaser?

    I would raise TA, but not as much as they say. Perhaps half that much for now.

    Stabilizer (CYA) is the most important thing. Otherwise you lose all of your chlorine to sunlight.

    It is best to not raise TA and CH on the same day. I would raise TA today, and leave CH for tomorrow.

    If you added any stabilizer directly to the pool you should vacuum it up. Left sitting on the bottom it can sometimes damage the pool surface.

    You can increase the calcium level more quickly than that, but still best not to do it all at once. I would add 1/2 give it an hour (or more), then 1/4, give it time, and then the final 1/4.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    You can increase you Alkalinity with Baking Soda. You can buy a 6lb bag at WalMart for what... $12 I think? Can't remember as I haven't used it in awhile. You can also buy Stabilizer and Calcium at WalMart. Oh and the unscented bleach... that's a WalMart deal too. You can buy all your pool supply needs at WalMart except your test kit. We recommend the TF100. If you don't have one, you should get one at TFtestkits.net.

    Also, Use Pool Math to calculate your chemical additions which you can find here PoolMath.

    I would make one addition at a time besides FC and CYA.

    Make you Calcium addition and once those numbers look good, adjust the TA. You don't want to dump all those chemicals in and cause a cloudy mess.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    Hi Ted B,
    Welcome!

    I am sure the pros will come along soon to advise you.

    First thing is to start reading pool school. You won't regret it.

    Don't start adding until you hear from one of the experts.

    Good luck.


    Edit. Guess they were typing as I was typing.
    AG 15x30 wall height 52" - 13,500 gallons install 05/2002
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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I am glad I came here first. The pool store guys said nothing about not adding sodium bicarbonate and calcium chloride at the same time and I told them I was just learning. I'm going to go ahead and buy the test kit this site recommends. I'm not going to trust those people.
    22,000 gallon in ground, gunite, Hayward pump 1.5 hp and 36sq DE filter. Pool installation date unknown, at least 10 years. Screened enclosure.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    I would really question those test results, unless the pool was just recently refilled. I can't imagine a 10 year old pool not having some CYA in the water.

    And I'd vacuum up whatever CYA granules are sitting on the bottom, since they are, after all, acidic, and can leave white freckles behind.

    Do you have a test kit? That, more than anything else, will save you money. Without it, you're working blind. It's like painting in the dark. You might get paint on the canvas, but you won't like the results, you'll have wasted a lot of paint, and you will have ruined a canvas.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    Yeah for you! Off to a great start! The test kit will save you so much money and time in the future!

    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: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    I would really question those test results, unless the pool was just recently refilled. I can't imagine a 10 year old pool not having some CYA in the water.

    And I'd vacuum up whatever CYA granules are sitting on the bottom, since they are, after all, acidic, and can leave white freckles behind.

    Do you have a test kit? That, more than anything else, will save you money. Without it, you're working blind. It's like painting in the dark. You might get paint on the canvas, but you won't like the results, you'll have wasted a lot of paint, and you will have ruined a canvas.
    I have a basic test kit that is several years old and can't test for CYA or CH. I wasn't sure how reliable it was (if there is a shelf life issue with the reagents), but my PH reading and what the store indicated were about the same. I went through 2 2.5 gallon containers of 10.5% chlorine in about two weeks trying to maintain a level above 2.0. So I think there could be an issue with the CYA. The water has been is nice and clear, though.
    22,000 gallon in ground, gunite, Hayward pump 1.5 hp and 36sq DE filter. Pool installation date unknown, at least 10 years. Screened enclosure.

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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    I can't say for sure if the reagents are still good. Some could be good for some tests and others have gone bad. If any are organic-based, they are more vulnerable to heat. But if you consider that the cost of a test kit should be recouped by avoiding excessive use of chemicals and multiple trips to the pool store to get samples tested, isn't it worth it to get a new one?
    Irregular shaped vinyl pool - about 22K
    Hayward DE 6020 filter, Hayward Tri-Chlor Feeder
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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    I have a basic test kit that is several years old and can't test for CYA or CH.
    Bluntly, it is barely worth the arm strength it would take you to throw it in the trash.

    There is really no point in testing your pool water and "hoping" you might get a good result. How will you know?

    Everything you will learn here will be based on the results you report so if you report bogus results, the subsequent advice will be bogus as well.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedb View Post
    I went through 2 2.5 gallon containers of 10.5% chlorine in about two weeks trying to maintain a level above 2.0. So I think there could be an issue with the CYA. The water has been is nice and clear, though.
    Yeah you need to get a good test kit as recommended. I just wanted to point out that with a 20,000 gallon pool you going through 5 gallons of 10% chlorine in 2 weeks was only about 1.75 ppm FC per day. That's better than the loss I get per day so it doesn't sound unreasonable. I'm curious where are you getting that chlorine and what brand is it? I haven't heard of 2.5 gallon containers and the percentages are usually 8.25%, 10%, or 12.5%.
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrock View Post
    Yeah you need to get a good test kit as recommended. I just wanted to point out that with a 20,000 gallon pool you going through 5 gallons of 10% chlorine in 2 weeks was only about 1.75 ppm FC per day. That's better than the loss I get per day so it doesn't sound unreasonable. I'm curious where are you getting that chlorine and what brand is it? I haven't heard of 2.5 gallon containers and the percentages are usually 8.25%, 10%, or 12.5%.
    It is from a local pool store refillable 2.5 gallon jugs of 10.5% @ $4.77 each (deposit on the jugs). It appears there was a problem with my old test kit getting inaccurate FC readings. There was a color change, but weaker than it should be. I bought a TF-100 and did the basic FC test and the change was much stronger than what I was getting with the kit I threw in the trash a few minutes ago.

    I will mention that I used less chemicals than what I was told by the pool store. I only used 7lbs of CYA, 20 lbs of Calcium Hardness increaser and less than 10 lbs of baking soda. I also added Borax and muriatic acid a few days ago to get some borates in there. It should come out to about 35ppm. I am awaiting my order of test strips from tftestkits.


    Here are my results from the TF-100. The water is nice and clear.

    FC 12
    CC 0
    PH 7.6
    TA 110
    CYA 40
    CH - 325


    Thanks to everyone for the replies and advice.
    22,000 gallon in ground, gunite, Hayward pump 1.5 hp and 36sq DE filter. Pool installation date unknown, at least 10 years. Screened enclosure.

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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    What were you using before to add chlorine to the pool? The CYA of zero is very suspect. If you had been using tablets or anything other than bleach, I would wait and get a decent test kit before adding anymore CYA.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: My first test from the pool store, apparently I need a LOT of chemicals.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmhjgh View Post
    What were you using before to add chlorine to the pool? The CYA of zero is very suspect. If you had been using tablets or anything other than bleach, I would wait and get a decent test kit before adding anymore CYA.
    I had a pool service and I took over doing it myself. Only liquid chlorine has been used to chlorinate. The reading I got was from a new TF-100 kit. It could be that this is my first time testing CYA and I misread it. I think the black dot was clouded out a little before 40, but I doubt it is over 50. I will try the test again to be sure.
    22,000 gallon in ground, gunite, Hayward pump 1.5 hp and 36sq DE filter. Pool installation date unknown, at least 10 years. Screened enclosure.

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