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Thread: Eyes Burning

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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Eyes Burning

    Swimming last evening and my eyes were burning like crazy:

    FC 7 (keeping here because mustard algae creeps back in)
    CC .5
    TA 60
    PH 7.5
    CYA 60

    How do these number look? I'm getting mixed signals about what the TA level should be and in some remarks it appears mine should be at least 100?? Should I raise it? Also, I was thinking of adding borates. I don't know what that level is and I am being test strips for that today.

    Please let me know in what order I should change these.

    Thanks!
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Have you ever completed a SLAM? I see a couple of previous threads where it was suggested and/or you started but I didn't see a conclusion.

    Don't worrry about bortates until you get the algae under control.
    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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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Have you ever completed a SLAM? I see a couple of previous threads where it was suggested and/or you started but I didn't see a conclusion.

    Don't worrry about bortates until you get the algae under control.
    Oh yes, everything is great in the pool right now! I completed slam, algae is under control, I just read that the minimum FC level to keep mustard algae from returning should be around 7-8, so that's where I've been keeping it, and all has been well.

    how do all my other levels look, and is the high chlorine level the reason for the eye burn?
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    All your test results are picture perfect.
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Quote Originally Posted by elainerader View Post
    Oh yes, everything is great in the pool right now! I completed slam, algae is under control, I just read that the minimum FC level to keep mustard algae from returning should be around 7-8, so that's where I've been keeping it, and all has been well.

    how do all my other levels look, and is the high chlorine level the reason for the eye burn?
    You FC isn't "high", it's right at your target for CYA 60. Due to my high CYA I keep mine at 9, and in the past kept it at 14. The only time I have ever had eyes burning is if my pH is off.

    You numbers look good, so I'm stumped.
    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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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Chloramines, besides unbalanced pH can make the eyes sting. Your CC is at 0.5, so try an OCLT to see if you are losing CL to organics, which can cause CC byproducts that make the eyes burn.
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Sorry to appear dense, how and what is an OCLT. Ive been trying to search that in the forum so I wouldn't have to ask but not really finding anything about how to perform it and what it is.
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) Basically you test after the sun goes down and before it comes up the next morning. If you have FC loss during that time is shows organics in the water as opposed to UV loss of FC.

    Never be afraid to ask questions. We want you to learn.
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Did the burning eyes happen after a heavy bather load?
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    If you've never done a OCLT then you never have completed the SLAM procedure. The 3 criteria for finishing a SLAM are:
    1. CC is 0.5 or less.
    2. Overnight free chlorine (FC) loss is 1.0 or less.
    3. Water is crystal clear.

    I would perform the OCLT and if you have a loss of greater than 1 overnight for FC, you need to complete the SLAM procedure.
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Exposure of the pool to sunlight will help get rid of CC that may be the cause, especially after a heavier bather load.

    As for the TA, do not raise it if your pH is already stable. Where did you read that it should be 100 ppm? Don't mix advice from other places and this site.
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT) Basically you test after the sun goes down and before it comes up the next morning. If you have FC loss during that time is shows organics in the water as opposed to UV loss of FC.

    Never be afraid to ask questions. We want you to learn.
    Thank you for explaining this!! I will do that tonight.

    When you say "organics" would that include.....there is no delicate way to say this....frog poo in the pool? We have a bull frog that like to take a dip during the night several times a week. We wake up to poo in the pool in the morning. It's always in the same spot in the shallow section of the pool. My husband drags out the wet/dry vac and gets rid of it that way.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Smykowski View Post
    Did the burning eyes happen after a heavy bather load?
    No, just the two of us swimming.....and the overnight frog

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    If you've never done a OCLT then you never have completed the SLAM procedure. The 3 criteria for finishing a SLAM are:
    1. CC is 0.5 or less.
    2. Overnight free chlorine (FC) loss is 1.0 or less.
    3. Water is crystal clear.

    I would perform the OCLT and if you have a loss of greater than 1 overnight for FC, you need to complete the SLAM procedure.
    Thank you for explaining this. While doing the slam procedure, I did test late in the afternoon, then in the morning with no loss for a few days so I thought the slam was done....but I never did it after sunset and before sunrise. And I didn't realize that was the OCLT test.
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Yes, organics includes frog poo and mowed grass clippings, and everything in between.
    IG gunite pool size: 12,500 gallons - includes spa with spillover, Polaris vacuum cleaner, Ultrapure Ozonator, inline tab chlorinator that I no longer use
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Quote Originally Posted by yardoasis View Post
    Yes, organics includes frog poo and mowed grass clippings, and everything in between.
    Did OCLT last night/this morning before sunrise, FC loss .5 does that indicate slamming again??
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    No, an FC loss of <= 1 ppm is acceptable for the OCLT.
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    Exposure of the pool to sunlight will help get rid of CC that may be the cause, especially after a heavier bather load.

    As for the TA, do not raise it if your pH is already stable. Where did you read that it should be 100 ppm? Don't mix advice from other places and this site.
    I got that from the literature inside the TF-100 test kit which this site recommends. From the Total Alkalinity test paragraph and I quote: "TA has a buffering affect on pH, preventing it from moving suddenly. Good TA readings will be around 70-90 for salt pools and 100-120 for normal pools." end quote. I don't have a salt pool therefore I assume I have a "normal" pool. I assumed that this test kit was simpatico with this site and I could use all of the recommended info in the kit.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    No, an FC loss of <= 1 ppm is acceptable for the OCLT.
    Thanks!
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    The TA ranges are the "loosest" parameter. With the exception of people in extremely hard water areas, as long as you monitor pH appropriately, TA will find an equilibrium.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    elainerader's Avatar
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    Thanks @Smykowski.
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    Re: Eyes Burning

    That Total Alkalinity test paragraph should really be changed to be made consistent with the Pool School Recommended Levels that says 70-90+ for non-SWG pools and 60-80 for SWG pools. Though you might be able to be OK with a higher TA, in general when using a hypochlorite source of chlorine such as bleach or chlorinating liquid, a lower TA can reduce the rate of pH rise from carbon dioxide outgassing.
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