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Thread: Over-Chlorinated Pool

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    Over-Chlorinated Pool

    Hi all -- I have a pool that seems to be continuously overchlorinated, and I'd love some thoughts/ideas on how this could be happening. Note - I do not do chemicals myself, but use a maintenance company.

    Maintenance company #1 did our chemicals for a month and a half. On a whim (well, I was feeling itchy), I decided to test the water. Both strips and Taylor tests showed chlorine levels at well over 10ppm (Taylor showed it at 15ppm, days after service).

    After firing company #1, we hired company #2 and told them our concerns, and requested chlorine levels always be kept LOW. We had them for about a month, and this week I decided to check chlorine levels to see how they were doing. The pool had normal levels of everything *except* chlorine, which was at 11ppm. The maintenance company came to take a water sample and confirmed these crazy chlorine levels with internal testing.

    Company #2 seemed mystified as to how this could be. Their only explanation is that perhaps our chlorine feeder is set too high. Or that the tabs used are "burning off" more readily than tabs they are used to.

    Any views/thoughts from the experts on this forum?

    Chlorine tabs being used are the same for both companies: Eastern Leisure 3" Giant Chlorinating Tablets, purchased at the beginning of the season.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Over-Chlorinated Pool

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    You have to decide, do you want clear water or low chlorine? You can not have both when a company only comes once a week ... and if you are only using tablets, why bother with a company at all? It is cheaper and easier to maintain the chemistry yourself ... now that you have found TFP

    You need to learn a bit about the chemistry and we can help. Trichlor tablets add chlorine (FC) and stabilizer (CYA) and lower the pH. The FC is consumed, the CYA builds up. To keep a clear pool, you have to maintain an adequate FC amount that is a function or your CYA level. That last part is what most pool professionals do not understand. Check out the FC/CYA Chart.

    Have you discovered our Pool School? Start with reading these:
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    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Over-Chlorinated Pool

    Thanks for the response. While I may look into doing chemicals on my own in the future, I'm just perplexed how it could be that two companies in a row are accidentally chlorinating our pool over shock levels? Company #2 was told to specifically keep chlorine levels low (no concern/issue about cloudiness), and all technicians acknowledged that they were trying to maintain levels between 1-3ppm. So just curious: if the intent is to keep a pool 1-3ppm, how could two companies in a row mess up so terribly? Is something else at play? Bad tabs? Broken chlorinator?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Over-Chlorinated Pool

    You are still missing the point. How do you know they are over "shock" level when you have not reported a CYA level?

    There is absolutely NO WAY your pool will stay clear trying to maintain a FC level of 1-3ppm using tablets that are going to make your CYA climb. You need to learn and understand the CYA/FC relationship and part of that is the "3ppm max" is non-sense. I could have a FC of 30ppm in my pool and there would be less active chlorine than in a public pool with 0 CYA and 2ppm of FC. That means the public water will feel more harsh than what I have in my pool.

    For your FC to be climbing, the tablets have to be dissolving. So could be a problem with your chlorinator. But fixing that will not likely solve your chemistry problems.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Over-Chlorinated Pool

    Please fire these people. I thought my water looked clean in the beginning but boy it looks just totally amazing.

    I have a friend who has been trying to clear up algae for over 3 months. He did not want to learn about TFP and their methodology. So I decided to help him yesterday after hiring so called professionals and over $1,000 later and no pool this summer. I tested his levels with the TF-100 kit, sent a long e-mail to him and his wife and sent him off to the Pool Store. He had a cc of 1.5 TC 6 FC 4.5 CYA "zero" which was raised to 30 overnight, which I tested.

    He went to Leslie's and they told him nothing was wrong with his pool so he walked out. I screamed and sent him to another pool store. His levels for both places were completely different then my testing with the kit. He has listened to the pool stores for 3 months and has not made any progress as the summer is over here in NJ. (What a shame). I can not baby sit this person either.

    So these so called professionals are "kids", whether adults or not. They just want to go home. They do not know your pool. Only you will know your pool. Probably what they are doing is shocking the pool so you do not wake up with a green mess which causes problems for them. You may want to take out the tabs a few days before they show up. Test each day to determine what your levels are at. Then wait until they leave and then a few hours later test the levels to determine what they are doing and if your levels have changed significantly.

    Once you get the hang of your pool you will be amazed how easy it is to understand what is going on. I have completely eliminated the Frog System with the bac pacs and mineralizer. My levels have stayed perfect all summer long only with a small amount of bleach (liquid chlorine) daily.

    I remember my brother in law stating that he had to replace his liner because his Pool Guy used tablets from Costco and ruined the liner. I said to him that you need to get rid of the pool guy who clearly does not know what they are doing. A liner after 4 years because it fell apart from all the extra chlorine and high levels to make sure that he did not wake up to the green mess. Having low levels will not keep the pool sanitary.



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    Re: Over-Chlorinated Pool

    Bawnie15,

    Welcome to TFP !

    I think you get the gist by now from the above posts that the problem is this - you are using pool service companies.

    Let me spell it out for you - you think that if you pay someone money to take care of your pool, that they will seek to do the best job possible and follow your requests and considerations. While that may be true is some limited instances, the vast majority of pool service companies are untrained and unlicensed guys with trucks and a skimmer pole. Even if they are big regional pool companies, the people actually doing the service are not trained or certified pool operators, they're guys paid minimum wage to run around in a truck and "service" as many pools as possible. Most just use test strips to check a customers water and, if they do test, most will take a water sample, drive to a local pool store and let the pool store workers tell them what to add.

    Also, if you think about it, the entire pool service business model has it's financial incentives totally misaligned with your pool care needs. It makes a service company MORE money, not less when your pool water is less than perfect. It's not like a pool service company gets a bonus for doing a good job all season, right?

    In the end, only you can properly take care of your pool and your pool water. If you adopt the TFPC Method and get your water chemistry balanced, then you're talking at most a few minutes of eyeball checking everyday and perhaps an hour's worth of water testing split over two different days per week. Throw in some wall brushing and spot vacuuming and that's about it. If you maintain the proper FC/CYA ratio, your water will stay clear and swimmable.



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