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Thread: ZERO Chlorine reading

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    ZERO Chlorine reading

    Newbie to pool and this forum. First post. I really appreciate all of the knowledge on this site!
    I just moved into this new house 11 months ago and trying to learn pool maintenance. Last summer I was able to enjoy the pool for about a month before winter time. Since last summer, I have installed a SWG. Our neighbors just recently told us that the pool was black (dark green) from the previous owners who traveled a lot. The water is typically clear. Being new to the Taylor K-2005 kit I have been running a sample down to Leslie's to check my numbers. I am not sure what to do to get my Chlorine level up from ZERO. I have superchlorinated the pool a few times and currently have it set to 100%. I run the pump for 8 hours a day; typically late at night. However, it is on during the day when the kids or wife swims (but not for the 8 hour cycle). The pool is in the sun early in the morning and most of the afternoon until about 4:30.
    I have a few questions, but my primary concern is the chlorine level. It's been reading zero for weeks.
    Is the Taylor K-2005 acceptable or does the 2006 offer an additional test I need?
    Is there a hierarchy of tests? In other words, what needs to be within its particular range before I move on to the next test/adjustment? I realize there's a harmony between all factors but what to tackle first?
    Todays results I have so far (from Leslie's):
    pH - 7.8
    TA - Total Alkalinity - 120
    FC - Free Chlorine - 0
    TC - Total Chlorine - Not provided
    CH - Calcium Hardness - 300
    CYA - Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer) - 70
    An additional test that Leslie's provided that I did not see on your list:
    Total Dissolved Solids - Max (Definition: 2500-3000 ppm Maximum. Exception: Chlorine generators. Partially drain and refill when TDS is 1500 ppm above the salt level Use salt test strips)
    Salt - 2900

    Is there a way I can "kick-start" the chlorine? I saw the forum's BBB approach which I thoroughly favor instead of spending excess money at the pool stores.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
    Richmond, Texas
    12,800 Gallons - Compu Pool CPA SWG
    Hayward Cartridge Filters (4), Residential Flow Rate - 150 GPM
    IG Blue Plaster Pool
    Hayward Pump 2.0 HP, 3450 RPM

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: ZERO Chlorine reading

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need to shock the pool until you can maintain a non-zero FC level. There is a good article on how to do this in Pool School.

    When shocking you need to add chlorine manually to supplement the SWG. A SWG adds chlorine to slowly to get ahead of the problems and clear up your water.

    The Taylor K-2006 has the FAS-DPD chlorine test. It is very handy when shocking, though it isn't absolutely necessary. You can purchase the FAS-DPD chlorine test to supplement your K-2005 from a variety of source.

    Your current levels are basically fine. Long term you might want to lower your TA a bit, but there is no rush on that at all.

    Shock the pool and do some reading at Pool School and you should be fine.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Carolina

    Re: ZERO Chlorine reading

    Hi PGPool,

    Jason, of course, has given you great advice!

    Your first post not only contained all the necessary information, but a very nice sig too! Thank you!

    Welcome to the forum!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    South Eastern PA

    Re: ZERO Chlorine reading

    I am a little confused by your post you indicated that the pool was black but is usually clear. However you indicate that you were able to enjoy the pool last year. So my question is, when was the pool black, this year, or last year? If it was last year then apparently you had cleared up the pool last year, so then I would question if you had algae this year as well?

    As for your FC level you indicate that you've superchlorinated the pool several times are you using this function on the SWG or are you using another chlorine source when you do this?

    As others have already said you need to chlorinate with another source until you can maintain your FC levels and the SWG can catch up and maintain your target level.

    However, I would question if your FC really is truly 0 since you are indicating that the pool has had a 0 FC for several weeks now but mention nothing of currently having algae. I know there is a possibility of extremely high FC levels bleaching out the FC test, but I don't know what levels that occurs at and if there is a way to tell if that is what is happening for sure. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about that topic can chime in.
    8200 Gal Vinyl 18' AG Vogue Pool
    150lb Hayward Sand filter with 1-1/2 HP Maxim Pump
    Intex SWG
    Some of the most helpful links for pool owners: Pool School | Pool Calculator | The best test kit | Chlorine/CYA chart

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: ZERO Chlorine reading

    Thanks for the replies, Jason, Joyce, and jugger! I know the pains of people not reading the info first and I sure don't want to waste everyone's time. I did check out the Pool School - I was not even sure where to start or what I needed to do! This will all come to me as I read more and you fine people chime in like you do.

    OK.. The "shock" level (from the Pool Calculator, last section, "Suggested FC") was throwing me until I read some other TFP threads. I now know I need to keep my FC at level 20 until I hold my FC loss to 1.0 or less overnite and CC test .5 or less and I have sparkling water.
    Thanks to the Pool Calculator.

    jugger - The pool was black/dark green before we moved in, so 12 or more months ago it could have been in nasty condition. The previous owner cleared it up somehow when we looked at the house. I have never had a pool before and with the blue plaster finish I thought the water was clear. I have since learned what clear water is, and hopefully it's going to get sparkling! There's no telling what kind of condition the pool was in last year when we were swimming in it. At that time, I kept chlorine pucks in the chlorinator as the the previous owner instructed and that's all I ever needed to do (ha!). My superchlorination has only been through the SWG.
    *TIP* for future homeowners.. take a pool sample to the store! :P

    I will get back to you shortly after I run the bleach through the pool.
    Thanks again everyone.
    Richmond, Texas
    12,800 Gallons - Compu Pool CPA SWG
    Hayward Cartridge Filters (4), Residential Flow Rate - 150 GPM
    IG Blue Plaster Pool
    Hayward Pump 2.0 HP, 3450 RPM

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