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Thread: So, another noob question.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Boynton Beach, FL
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    So, another noob question.

    A little background; we recently bought (closed in January, move-in in March) a new house in Florida, with a pool (it was a requirement for me as we have 2 young girls who love swimming in the pool). The house and pool were, let's just say, neglected. We had a pool guy come out to check on the pool equipment and get rid of the nastiness that was our water. As far as I can tell, he did a good job in getting the pool clear. He also taught us about our pool equipment, clearly labeled the flow control area for us, explained some things about keeping the SWG going smoothly, etc. He even found a (albeit old) fiber-optic pool lighting system that we didn't know existed, and was able to "fix" it (needed a bulb) for us.

    Anyway, things have been going ok until the past month or so. Now I've found myself in this terrible cycle where I can't get the chlorine and pH under control. I've been reading this site for the past couple of weeks and trying to follow the guidance found here. With the old test kit, and using the pool calculator linked from this site, I had added bleach to get the chlorine up and muriatic acid to get the pH down, as well as baking soda to get the TA in line. It seemed like, no matter what I did, nothing was working. I had the SWG turned up to 100% (super-chlorinate) without any measurable improvement in chlorine (old test kit, mind you). Even though I cleaned out the filters, inspected and cleaned the T-9 cell (no visible scaling), I was having no luck.

    I recently ditched the old $20 test kit and picked up a Taylor 2006 last week (I liked the box better...I know, silly, but whatever). After receiving that via Amazon last week my numbers were thus:

    .4 ppm Free Chlorine
    .4 ppm Combined Chlorine
    8.4 pH
    70 ppm Total Alkalinity
    70 ppm Calcium Hardness
    0 CYA (yup, 0)

    Again, punched the numbers into the calculator, went out to Target (for bleach and baking soda) and the pool store (for liquid stabilizer and a 25 lb box of calcium chloride). The liquid CYA was costly, but I'm only in town every other week (work takes me away often) and needed to stabilize the pool quickly so my family can use it. After the past couple of days of adding the chemicals and re-testing, my numbers are now:

    1.2 FC
    .4 FC
    7.0 pH (***?)
    80 TA
    220 CH
    60 CYA

    The water was clear, but with those numbers the calculator says "corrosion of plaster likely" (assuming that's from the low pH).

    Earlier this morning, I added about 5 lbs of calcium chloride and 2 lbs of pH UP (bought it a while ago before reading this site and how much pool chemical prices are inflated). I want to give my SWG a chance to start generating some chlorine.

    Sorry for the long lead-up. Here are the question(s) I wanted to ask:

    First, after adding the calcium chloride to bring the CH up, the pool is now cloudy. I waited a few hours and checked again and it is still cloudy. Will that clear up? The water was pretty clear this morning. Not so much now.

    Second, if my chlorine tests this afternoon don't show a significant increase, should I drop in another gallon of bleach? If that's the case, how do I know the SWG isn't kaput? It has the two green lights, and I checked the diagnostics the other day and everything seemed in line (salt levels, voltages, etc.) I'll check that again tonight and post those numbers if needed.

    Third, I have some leaf stains on the bottom that will just not clear up. Any thoughts on what I should do to clean those out short of an acid wash?

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. We're at the point that we're just ready to hand over the reins to a local pool service and pay the monthly fee just so we can start enjoying it instead of it ruling most of my down-time from work just trying to maintain it. (Not to mention the wife has mentioned, only half-jokingly, filling it in with dirt so we can have a back yard instead.)
    13,500 Gallons, In Ground w/ Spa, DiamondBrite (Aqua Quartz), Hayward Cartridge filter, 1 1/2 HP pump, Hayward Swim Pure Plus SWG with T-9 Cell, Hayward Heatmaster pool and spa heater, Zodiac Barracuda G3 pool cleaner

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: So, another noob question.

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    How did the water look before you added the CH and clouded it up? Was there ever any sign of algae or haziness?
    I am wondering if it would be a good idea to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process to ensure there is nothing in the water consuming the FC. At a minimum, I would suggest you raise the FC up to shock level and Perform the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if anything is in the water.

    Much easier to diagnose the SWG after the pool is confirmed clean. A SWG will not work to battle algae.

    Higher FC levels should reduce organic staining.

    With a little more reading and some guidance, I am sure we can get you straightened out and for a LOT less money than you would sink into a pool service.
    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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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
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    Re: So, another noob question.

    Thanks Jason,

    The water was pretty clear, actually. Even when the old test kit was showing low FC and high pH. Otherwise, I have noticed that there is some pitting on the stairs that has a green tinge. Nothing else.

    I forgot to mention that, when the problems started a month ago, the pool pump stopped working for a few days. Initially, our "pool guy" diagnosed a bad pool pump, but in troubleshooting and installing a new pump found out that it was the timer switch that was the issue instead. While the pump was off, we had a slight green tinge to the water. Once the pump was fixed, I dropped a gallon of bleach in the pool and set the pump to run for 24 hours. Cleaned the filter the next day. That seemed to make the water clear, but the test numbers have never really been great after that. That's what prompted me buying the T-2006 test kit (should have bought that ages ago).

    I'll check out that overnight chlorine test first and see what we see tonight. Do you have a link for what the shock level should be?
    13,500 Gallons, In Ground w/ Spa, DiamondBrite (Aqua Quartz), Hayward Cartridge filter, 1 1/2 HP pump, Hayward Swim Pure Plus SWG with T-9 Cell, Hayward Heatmaster pool and spa heater, Zodiac Barracuda G3 pool cleaner

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: So, another noob question.

    Use PoolMath at the top of this page.

    More info on PoolMath here:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ool-calculator
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
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    Re: So, another noob question.

    If you had a tinge of green, I am sure you still have algae growing in the water that is consuming your chlorine. Yes, even if it looks relatively clear right now. You should go ahead and SLAM.

    In our area, it's hot and it only takes a day of low chlorine to allow problems to start. A properly completed SLAM will allow you to re-evaluate the function of your SWG after everything is cleaned up.
    10,000 gallon in ground diamond brite, Circupool si30+, Hayward C900 cartridge, 1.5hp Flotec single speed pump

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: So, another noob question.

    Thanks RobbieH and Buzzard302.

    I have new numbers. I let things lie for the day and decided to test again (except CYA, because I'm down to one bottle in the test kit...will buy more soon). Here's the numbers:

    3.4 FC
    0.4 CC
    8.0 pH (SMDH)
    110 TA
    260 CH

    SWG is set at 50%. I didn't add any chlorine in the past 24 hours, so I'm cautiously optimistic that the SWG is producing chlorine. I'm in South Florida and it was mostly sunny and hot today.

    Going forward, should I just plan on adding 2 1/2 cups of muriatic acid which should bring the TA down a bit and raise pH to where it should be. Or should I just SLAM and work it after that?

    The water is still cloudy, by the way, which is a concern. It hasn't changed much from the last time I checked (earlier this afternoon), but maybe I'm just being impatient.
    13,500 Gallons, In Ground w/ Spa, DiamondBrite (Aqua Quartz), Hayward Cartridge filter, 1 1/2 HP pump, Hayward Swim Pure Plus SWG with T-9 Cell, Hayward Heatmaster pool and spa heater, Zodiac Barracuda G3 pool cleaner

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: So, another noob question.

    When performing the FAS/DPD chlorine test, don't bother using the 25ml test method. There is no need to be that precise. The 10ml test is fine, and will save on reagents.

    Bring pH down first, then follow through.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Wink Re: So, another noob question.

    Thanks for all the input. Dropped in the muriatic acid and retested about 4 hours later. Numbers are now:

    Taylor 2006

    5.0 FC
    7.5 pH
    90 TA
    250 CH
    - CYA (did not test)

    Strip

    OK FC
    OK-High pH
    OK TA
    OK CH
    OK CYA

    Old 2-way test kit

    5.0 TC
    7.5 pH
    90-100 TA (one of the drops was a bit light, soooo)
    - CH
    - CYA

    I ran the other tests just for craps and giggles. Glad to see they weren't too far off the mark.

    At this point I'm pretty happy with the numbers. Just need to vacuum the bottom and I think my kids are good to go for this afternoon.

    BTW, the water was clear this morning.

    I'll keep an eye on the numbers until I leave for work on Monday. Then I'll have my wife check salt levels and run the test strips while I'm away for the week (I know, not very accurate, but it's something. She's not interested in learning the new kit. Enough on her plate.)

    Thanks for the input everybody. I'm sure I'll be back in the future. Have to figure out how to get my Baracuda G3 working properly. But that's for another thread.
    13,500 Gallons, In Ground w/ Spa, DiamondBrite (Aqua Quartz), Hayward Cartridge filter, 1 1/2 HP pump, Hayward Swim Pure Plus SWG with T-9 Cell, Hayward Heatmaster pool and spa heater, Zodiac Barracuda G3 pool cleaner

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