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Thread: 1st "REAL" Water Test

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    1st "REAL" Water Test

    Already learned more than I knew about pools just from finding and digging through TFP for a week.

    I am new homeowner/pool owner trying to figure out the chemistry thing.

    Followed the TFP recommendation and purchased one of the Taylor test kits and received it the other day.

    First Test Results. Water clarity at 8.5 (10 being crystal clear)

    FC - 7
    PH - 7.2
    Alk - 100
    Cal - 150
    CYA - 55

    I have an automatic chlorinator that takes 3" tabs.

    From what I understand (and how the pool looks), my test results are fairly decent. What I don't really understand is maintaining and tracking chlorine usage and requirements. Obviously don't ever let the pool run out of chlorine but how do I regulate and know what I have to add on a daily basis. As long as the auto-chlorinator has tabs in it, everything should be pretty stable, right???

    Before I found TFP, I wasn't even aware of CYA. I was always just using a simple test kit. From my readings, it sounds like the most important factor in the water test ends up being the CYA after all. From this you establish your FC goal and thus your shock and algae shock levels. So... where does CYA come from?? How do you know where to start?? How do I know if CYA of 55 is even good??

    TIA for your time and help.
    25K gal vinyl, hayward s200 sand, hayward 3/4 hp, newly adopted BBB pool care

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    The CYA comes from the trichlor pucks. They are also acidic, which explains your low pH. Your CYA is getting to the level where it can start to become problematic.

    Rather than type out a lengthy explanation, I'll just point you at some already typed articles you may have glossed over.
    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    How to Chlorinate your Pool

    The short answer is this:



    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    Thank you for the links to the threads. Although informative, they don't really answer my questions regarding establishing/achieving good CYA levels. Where is any pool owner supposed to start and at what CYA level do you want to get to? I guess what I'm trying to ask is is there a specific CYA level I should be trying to get to? It states the standard for outdoor pools is 30-50ppm. Isn't that a little broad?? Do I want to be at 30 or do I want to be closer to 50?? And if I'm currently around 55ppm how do I get it into that sub50 range? Lower the dial on the auto-chlorinator to reduce the chlorine into the pool?? It is currently set in the middle and that is where I have kept it since opening. At what time(s) should I be adjusting the dial to add more/less chlorine?
    TY
    25K gal vinyl, hayward s200 sand, hayward 3/4 hp, newly adopted BBB pool care

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    You have to turn the chlorinator off and stop using tablets or the CYA will keep rising.

    Your CYA is reasonable now.
    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: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    You have to turn the chlorinator off and stop using tablets or the CYA will keep rising.

    Your CYA is reasonable now.
    Ok thank you. So if i turn the chlorinator off/down for a day or two this will lower the CYA and I guess lower the FC because it will lower the amount of overall chlorine being added to the pool. Can we say that if im at these levels (FC-7, CYA-55) with the chlorinator at 50%, then I should back it off a little to maybe 40% or so to try and reduce FC and CYA slightly?
    25K gal vinyl, hayward s200 sand, hayward 3/4 hp, newly adopted BBB pool care

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    CYA doesn't go away. Water evaporates; CYA and CH do not. They just build up. If you stop using pucks and you're at 55 now, you'll be at 55 next week and the week after that all the way through. The only way to be rid of it is by splashout, backwashing, and draining. So you understand, CYA doesn't go away.

    One of those links I posted even warns: "2. Trichlor - Commonly sold as tablets or pucks that you simply put into an automatic container that passes pool water over them and they slowly dissolve - putting chlorine and CYA into your water and lowers the pH. They are incredibly convenient and incredibly insidious. The CYA that they put into your pool water doesn't get used up, and instead accumulates. Eventually the CYA level will build up to a point that renders your chlorine ineffective." You're rapidly approaching that point.

    The range is 30-50. Most people start out at the low end of the scale to allow themselves the luxury of using pucks when they leave town for a few days. But it's not exact. If it works out that one whole canister of stabilizer (Yes, it's sold separately, not just in pucks) leaves your pool at 31 or 42, it doesn't matter. It's broad to allow convenience and room to grow by occasional pucks. If you live in a hot, sunny climate like Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Palm Springs, you start out at the high end.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    Gotcha. Thank you. So basically that big bucket of pucks that I just bought is a waste?? I guess I don't want to continue to use them if my CYA level is already high. I thought I had to continue to use them throughout the season (June-September) to chlorinate the pool. Basically keep the chlorinator full with them and have it set to the middle setting.

    Sorry if sounding monotonous, new pool owner and nobody showed me the ropes. The pool guys/stores around here are a joke as well.
    25K gal vinyl, hayward s200 sand, hayward 3/4 hp, newly adopted BBB pool care

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    Now you need to switch to adding bleach every day to chlorinate.
    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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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    Pucks have their place but in your case, for now, you shouldn't be using them. Each puck adds CYA and your level is high enough. From here on out, you need to chlorinate daily with liquid bleach/chlorine.

    Pardon me if this is information you have already learned but I'll give you some helpful links:

    Pool School is the beginning of all things pool. The TroubleFree method teaches you what is in your pool, how each element intertwines with the others, and how to manipulate those levels to keep a clear, sparkling, and sanitized pool without costly pool store chemicals.

    TFP dictionary has some handy terms and explanations of all things pool to help you speak the language.

    ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry are the things you test for using your new kit.

    The Chlorine/CYA relationship chart is a very important concept to master. The amount of free chlorine is determined by the type of pool you have in conjunction with the amount of CYA you have. The higher the CYA, the higher your constant minumum free chlorine level should be.

    This explains that all forms of chlorine are not created equal. Yes, chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. It will sanitize your pool. It's the delivery mode that is important in order to keep all things balanced.

    Pool Math is the greatest invention ever! At the top of each page is a direct link to Pool Math. Enter your pool's information and the calculator will tell you how much of everything you need to add to achieve desired levels. At the bottom of Pool Math, you will also find a handy tool that will simply tell you the effects of adding various chemicals.

    Recommended levels is a chart that tells you how much of each thing you should have for your pool type. Developed by someone much smarter than myself but I do use it as my "pool bible."

    Should you have a water clarity problem or chemical balance problem or visible algae, this SLAM article will be very helpful for you.

    Welcome and good luck!
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Re: 1st "REAL" Water Test

    Thank you all! Thinking of going BBB for the rest of the season and see how it goes.


    25K gal vinyl, hayward s200 sand, hayward 3/4 hp, newly adopted BBB pool care

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