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Thread: New to Pool Chemistry

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    New to Pool Chemistry

    Greetings forums,

    Background:
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater / Coming up on 1.5 years old (the pool, not me)

    Had a pool service person for the start-up and switch over from chlorine to salt. Maintained that relationship for a year+ until he decided to leave the pool service business. About the only problem we ever had was the water would get "slimy" (especially the hose for the cleaning mouse), he'd come over, dump in acid, and a few hours later it was fine. I always figured he knew what he was doing and never did any tests myself.

    Start of the swimming time year, he never came around, couldn't get a hold of him, turns out he sold his "route" to someone else. About the same time, we started having large micro-thin white flakes appearing in the water. Each flake (there were hundreds) would shatter into a thousand pieces if you tried to touch it. Mouse bag was caked with the stuff repeatedly. Asked new guy, he said he didn't know but would check into it. Next time still said he didn't know, so we called in someone else, T'was apparently calcium leaching out of the water. Pool chemistry was ridiculously off. At the time, TA was 300, Saturation Index was 0.8, PH was 8 with acid drop of 22 to get to 7.4, CH was 0, CYA was 0, FC was 1. New guy got PO'ed that we called someone else for help and quit. Said he was certified and could solve everything (but said he didn't know what the problem was and didn't even try to find out across 3 visits, so how could he solve it).

    So we took it over ourselves and have been doing a combination of testing ourselves and using the local Leslie's as well. We have slowly been wrestling the chemistry back into shape.

    Had a phosphate problem as it was up to 2500 and FC was 0. I've read a bunch of posts here while lurking, with significantly different opinions as to whether that was a problem or not. Seems to me (the newbie, so be gentle), that if FC was 0 and phosphates was climbing and CYA was 0, we had an algae problem, even if it wasn't showing as visible. First attacked TA and got that down, then CH, then CH, and then Phosphates. Did a SuperChlor cycle on the salt cell as well. (This paragraph covers probably 2 weeks of fighting to get pool chemistry back in control while learning about pool chemistry at the same time).

    Current readings are:

    FC = 5
    TC = 5 (yes I know it is supposed to be 0.2 difference, but every test from Leslie's has always been the same for both with the caveat note of they are probably 0.2 different.)
    Salt 2600
    CH 200
    TA 70
    CYA 60
    pH at time of test was 8 with an acid drop of 2
    Phosphates 0

    So perhaps my biggest question is what ranges should I really be going for? Leslie's state's theirs, the Taylor test kit book states theirs, I've seen a bunch of posts on here that say "We recommend..." Not sure who we is...pool service experts, home owners with many years experience, or what... And of course, they're all different.

    It's hard to know what to treat to tweak into the ranges, if you don't know what ranges you're really supposed to be shooting for.

    So long introduction perhaps, but that's the first question.

    The next one pertains to trying to better understand the relationship between sun, CYA, TA, pH and CH. I understand that TA rises with the sun, pH rises with TA (and the sun), CH not sure, CYA is sunglasses for pH but gets used up by the sun.

    Next one is better understanding FC/TC/pH/sun relationship.

    Next one is how to get rid of the scale on the tiles at the water line and all around the sconces in the spa deck wall. Been using pumice stones...was hoping there was something that you could wipe over it to at least start to get it to dissolve and break up. Pumice is back breaking scrubbing efforts not to mention the resulting **** in the water.

    Like many forums, I expect there is likely to be a ton of expertise and a ton of attitude. Looking for advice and expertise, NOT attitude. Been on the internet since it was Bitnet and Gopher, so if you give me attitude, I won't be afraid to give it right back.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    EQBob
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pool Chemistry

    Welcome to TFP.

    Boy do you have a lot to learn. It's a good thing we've got Pool School. You're going to love it here. One thing though... You must not mix Pool Store Advice with TFP Advice. Pick one and stick to it (You're better off here)!

    First thing is first, if you want to learn everything there is to know about your pool and care for it, you need a reliable test kit which you can find here Test Kit Comparison. The TF100 is the best kit for the money as you will get more reagents than the K2006 but they're both great kits.

    Now, some recommended reading.

    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Chlorine CYA Chart

    CYA is sunscreen for your chlorine. It keeps the sun from gobbling it up.
    FC+CC=TC (Free Chlorine, Combined Chloromines, Total Chlorine)
    TA and pH work together. The sun does not raise pH.

    Please read and get informed so you can have your gorgeous pool back. Ask any and all questions. We're here to help you.
    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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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pool Chemistry

    your current readings, if they are from the taylor kit are spot on
    just add some muriatic acid to bring ph down between 7.4-7.8
    salt may be a little low, how was that tested
    total chlorine = free chlorine + combined chlorine
    so if total = free that is a good thing
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
    50,000 litres 13,000 gallons
    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
    Taylor K2006-C test kit, Taylor K-1766 salt test, Dolphin M500 pool cleaner
    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Re: New to Pool Chemistry

    Thank you aussieta. They were actually from pool store, but we double checked with our test kit and came up same/very close. Muriatic has already been added to bring pH down.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: New to Pool Chemistry

    Article from first response post likely nails one of the problems we've seen.... 'High PH can lead to calcium scaling. Many pools will drift up towards higher PH over time. This is particularly true for fresh plaster (particularly in the first month and continuing for perhaps a year) or when TA is high and the water is being aerated (because of a spa, waterfall, fountain, SWG, rain, kids splashing in the pool, etc).'

    Initially! our TA was way high and acid drop for pH was 22 drops. Definitely have the scaling. So apart from scripting the **** out of the tiles with pumice stones, how do I get rid of the calcium scaling? Is there some chemical that will dissolve it or make it software and easier to remove?

    I understand that the key to keeping it away is maintaining the proper chemistry in the first place.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pool Chemistry

    You can use a diluted muriatic acid solution on the tiles with scrubbing to try to remove it. Or you can use an air blaster (like sand blasting) with something better for pools (like soda, plastic beads, etc)
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: New to Pool Chemistry

    I'm not cursing in my posts....the word starting with c and ending like a genre of music is apparently a bad word?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    You can use a diluted muriatic acid solution on the tiles with scrubbing to try to remove it. Or you can use an air blaster (like sand blasting) with something better for pools (like soda, plastic beads, etc)
    Thanks....what would the proper solution mix (dilution) be and how would that affect the grout lines between the tiles?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pool Chemistry

    I think I recall reading a 4:1 solution of water to MA ... although admittedly I an not positive. The build up should be more susceptible to the MA than the grout.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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