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Thread: johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

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    johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

    Split by moderator from HERE. Please start your own thread to ask your own questions to avoid confusion. Thanks, jblizzle

    Hi, we recently moved to Las Vegas and we built a pool which was filled for the first time in February. We previously had (and maintained our own) pool in South Florida with a salt water chlorine generator. We had great success in Florida, but the builder here discouraged the salt water generator based on the extreme hardness of the water and because (he said) it would be ineffective in the winter. Therefore we followed his recommendation and installed an inline feeder with the 3" chlorine tablets. The pool builder set up the feed rate for the feeder, which I have been steadily decreasing because it has been burning up tablets like mad, and now -- six months later -- we already have CYA well over 100 and FC over 10. I didn't trust the pool store readings because the pool is crystal clear and thus far swimming has been fine, but I bought my own test kit and verified their readings. The pool store hasn't been helpful and the builder's position is that there is nothing wrong. To stop the negative trend, I simply shut off the inline feeder altogether for the last two days and my readings this morning are FC 5.55 and CYA of 101. PH is at 7.6 but the pool has never required much acid. ALK went from 128 two days ago to 65 this morning, but I have no idea what that means. My thinking is that I need to just start adding liquid chlorine to the pool until the natural evaporation and refill process brings down the CYA (this is Vegas, it's hot and there's a lot of evaporation).

    There are two other concerns I had that might be affecting things. First is "PhosFree." The pool store sold me this stuff and I've used it weekly. According to the pool store, some weeks I have high phosphates and sometimes I don't have any, which I attributed to runoff from fertilizing bushes and the occasional Vegas rain. I have never seen a bit of algae in this pool EVER and with my chlorine level being so high, I'm pretty sure this stuff is just a waste of money -- but might this also be affecting my CYA/FC levels?

    The last issue I have is the hardness of the water. We put in a natural stone waterfall and did the outside perimeter of the pool with large natural boulders. Within the six months time, we accumulated huge calcium (?) deposits around the edges. It's really unsightly considering the beauty of the pool as it was built. We considered bead-blasting immediately but it seemed like such a waste since the ring would be back in another six months. Since we plan to live here for 20 years or more, we hit upon the idea of putting in (another) water softener dedicated for the pool. I can't remember the CH from a few months ago, but it was somewhere around 450, as I recall. My plan (before encountering the CYA issue) was to use the softener until it lowered the CH down to levels that won't add a calcium ring, then turn it off for a while and alternate hard/soft water to keep calcium at optimum levels. I was planning to bead-blast the calcium later this year and hopefully with lowered calcium levels, it won't return. My question, though, is whether the soft water might be contributing the FC/CYA problem? And, now that I've got the calcium levels under control, what would you think about retrofitting a salt-water generator? We loved our unit in Florida and it seems like it would eliminate that darned CYA problem for once and for all -- but would it be a problem in winter or during the extreme heat here?

    NOTE that my pool gets lots of afternoon shade and the pool water temp never goes over 80 even when the air temps are over 110, unless I have the solar heating turned on. In fact with all that shade, the pool tends to be cold as heck without the solar running.

    Thanks for any help you can offer. I can't seem to find anyone around here that really seems to know anything much.

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    Re: johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

    Welcome to tfp!

    The answers to all of your questions and many more are in pool school ( upper right corner). I recommend starting with the abc's of pool chemistry.

    The short version to your questions:

    Cya doesn't evaporate you will only get rid of it by a partial drain and fill

    Get some liquid chlorine in there ASAP. Plain old bleach is the same thing as liquid chlorine from the pool store, just weaker. Use the pool math link to determine how much.

    Phos free is a pocket liner for the pool store, you don't need it.

    Swg is a great way to go. It would keep you from having to lug bleach.

    With a balanced pool you won't see the ch scaling, it will stay in solution. Check out csi for more reading on the subject.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

    ... I just realized that I forgot to ask what kind of test kit you are using. 101 for CYA makes me suspect it is a pool store result (completely unreliable). If it is you need to order a test kit to take control

    See Test Kit Comparison or just order the TF-100 in my signature link, it is the best value.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

    Quote Originally Posted by karmabiker View Post
    ... I just realized that I forgot to ask what kind of test kit you are using. 101 for CYA makes me suspect it is a pool store result (completely unreliable). If it is you need to order a test kit to take control

    See Test Kit Comparison or just order the TF-100 in my signature link, it is the best value.
    I find I forget a lot of stuff when I post late at night....

    I second the recommendation to get the TF100, but you have to get one of the FAS/DPD test kits. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. All these kits contain that test while very few other kits do.
    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: johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    I find I forget a lot of stuff when I post late at night....

    I second the recommendation to get the TF100, but you have to get one of the FAS/DPD test kits. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. All these kits contain that test while very few other kits do.
    It's the LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7, but I bought it precisely because I couldn't believe the pool store results. I've used the test kit three times now V E R Y carefully, following the instructions carefully, and the results are very similar each time. This morning the water temp was 84 degrees and my results were:
    FCL: 5.73
    TCL: 6.01
    PH: 7.5
    ALK: 66
    CH: 346
    CYA: 117

    The inline feeder has been off since Monday. The pool builder is sending someone today to check the inline feeder. I am thinking that the basic problem is that the pool builder set my inline feeder at "5" from the beginning and I have been steadily decreasing the setting since then due to high chlorine, but nobody told me about the CYA buildup. My neighbor put in his pool through the same company at about the same time, and his inline feeder is also (still) set at "5" but he has no idea what his CYA level is because he uses a pool service. It seems like nobody here gives a darn about the CYA levels. Certainly the pool store never said anything; the only thing they ever said was that my chlorine levels were too high (on my last visit before getting the test kit, the chlorine level was over 10). Then they wanted to sell me something to reduce the chlorine level, which is how I hit on the idea of just shutting off the feeder altogether. In about 5 days, I've gone from 10 down to merely 5.73. At least the pool is still crystal clear.

    From all I've read here and elsewhere, I'm thinking of just finding someone to install a SWG, drain the pool, bead-blast off the calcium, then refill with 100% soft water from the softener. Hopefully that would end all these problems at once. I hate wasting money and water but I am not seeing any alternative. I am also thinking that maybe they can plumb the SWG so that I can choose either the SWG or the inline feeder. After all, I still have a bucket of tablets. If I have a valve to choose the SWG or the inline feeder, if my CYA ends up getting low from the SWG, I could just bypass the SWG and turn on the inline feeder to raise the CYA.

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    Re: johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimion View Post
    It's the LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7, but I bought it precisely because I couldn't believe the pool store results. I've used the test kit three times now V E R Y carefully, following the instructions carefully, and the results are very similar each time. This morning the water temp was 84 degrees and my results were:
    FCL: 5.73
    TCL: 6.01
    PH: 7.5
    ALK: 66
    CH: 346
    CYA: 117

    The inline feeder has been off since Monday. The pool builder is sending someone today to check the inline feeder. I am thinking that the basic problem is that the pool builder set my inline feeder at "5" from the beginning and I have been steadily decreasing the setting since then due to high chlorine, but nobody told me about the CYA buildup. My neighbor put in his pool through the same company at about the same time, and his inline feeder is also (still) set at "5" but he has no idea what his CYA level is because he uses a pool service. It seems like nobody here gives a darn about the CYA levels. Certainly the pool store never said anything; the only thing they ever said was that my chlorine levels were too high (on my last visit before getting the test kit, the chlorine level was over 10). Then they wanted to sell me something to reduce the chlorine level, which is how I hit on the idea of just shutting off the feeder altogether. In about 5 days, I've gone from 10 down to merely 5.73. At least the pool is still crystal clear.

    From all I've read here and elsewhere, I'm thinking of just finding someone to install a SWG, drain the pool, bead-blast off the calcium, then refill with 100% soft water from the softener. Hopefully that would end all these problems at once. I hate wasting money and water but I am not seeing any alternative. I am also thinking that maybe they can plumb the SWG so that I can choose either the SWG or the inline feeder. After all, I still have a bucket of tablets. If I have a valve to choose the SWG or the inline feeder, if my CYA ends up getting low from the SWG, I could just bypass the SWG and turn on the inline feeder to raise the CYA.
    There are only two ways you can remove CYA from your pool, a water exchange or a reserve osmosis treatment. They claim to filter out the calcium, CYA, total dissolved solids, salts and other hardness minerals without draining the pool.

    If you do search here I think you will find that most report that the results from the LaMotte ColorQ is only slightly better than that received from pool stores.

    A SWCG is a great way to go and it can be plumbed the way you say so that either/or the SWCG or tab feeder can be used. The tabs don't go bad, so you can use them in the future. After I found TFP I gave my bucket of tabs to a friend. He has just been converted to TFP so he will be passing them on to someone.

    Pool stores and services don't talk about CYA for two basic reasons. Either they don't understand the relationship between the two or they don't care. My pool store told me that CYA up to 200 was OK and even at that level they wanted to see my FC at 2 - 4.

    If your CYA is 117 you need to get that FC back up. Your absolute minimum it should ever be is 9 and you should target 14.
    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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    johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

    Late to this topic, but here's my 2 cents -

    A CH of 346 is actually quite low. My pool water is 450-500 and I have no major calcium scaling issues (just white buildup on the tile which is easily acid washed).

    You're going to waste a lot of money, electricity and water by putting a water softner on your pool fill line. You are also going to be spending lots of money on water softner salt.

    In the SW, the water here is hard and there is just nothing to do about it. The best way to keep scaling under control is to keep your water chemistry under control. Salt-blasting the calcium stains every other year or so along with regular, dilute acid washing is a good way to keep tile looking fresh. Eventually, every 3-5 years, you just have to do a drain & refill of the pool.

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    Re: johnsimion - Can I use Chlorine Tabs??

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyOptimism View Post
    Late to this topic, but here's my 2 cents -

    A CH of 346 is actually quite low. My pool water is 450-500 and I have no major calcium scaling issues (just white buildup on the tile which is easily acid washed).

    You're going to waste a lot of money, electricity and water by putting a water softner on your pool fill line. You are also going to be spending lots of money on water softner salt.

    In the SW, the water here is hard and there is just nothing to do about it. The best way to keep scaling under control is to keep your water chemistry under control. Salt-blasting the calcium stains every other year or so along with regular, dilute acid washing is a good way to keep tile looking fresh. Eventually, every 3-5 years, you just have to do a drain & refill of the pool.

    Thanks, but I had already bought an outside softener for the feed line before I even "discovered" the CYA problem. I was just seeing the beginnings of scaling at the time. I mistakenly thought the softener would stop any further scaling. Wrong. I attributed everything to the hard water, but I agree NOW that it was imbalance in chemicals. It is disturbing that the scaling occurred within 6 months after the pool was built, since I was originally told that I would need to drain, bead-blast, and refill every 3-5 years. The only reason I can see for that is that my pool company set my inline feeder at "5" when they opened the pool and the FC and CYA have been steadily increasing since then. This was excessive but I was ignorant and nobody at the pool store told me. Part of the reason this is so upsetting is that we spent a fortune on natural stone boulders and a natural-stone waterfall and they were just gorgeous when built and now they already look crappy. That's why I never ever want this to happen again.

    To get rid of the existing problem, I am draining 75% of the pool next week and having it bead blasted and then I'll also re-seal the natural stone boulders again before I refill it. To keep the same problem from recurring, I'm going to refill with as much soft water as I can generate out of the outside AND inside softeners, and get the CH level down as low as possible -- I've read that I need at least 200 to prevent pool damage, so that's what I'm aiming for. I'm also getting an estimate for a SWG so I can switch between that and the inline generator. Between the low CH and saltwater, I'm hoping to approximate what I had in Florida, where I never had a scale problem EVER.

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