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Thread: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

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    PeteMorris's Avatar
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    I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    I'm confused now . . . . . but not to worry that happens quite regularly.

    I am about to add borates to my pool, and have read the articles in pool school diligently.

    In the thread on balancing a SWG pool, it tells me the second step is to adjust my CYA to 70. Further down in the thread it summarizes:

    FC 4-6 ppm
    PH 7.5-7.8
    TA 60-80
    CH•50-300 for vinyl
    •220-320 for fiberglass
    •250-350 for plaster
    CYA 70-80
    Salt 200-400 ppm ABOVE recommended optimum level
    Borates 30-50 ppm (optional)

    I currently have my CYA at 55 and have been trying without success to raise it to 70. Now if I read this thread correctly I am ok leaving my CYA at 55 and just adjust my targeted FC to7?

    I know that I want to adjust my PH and CYA to optimal numbers before adding borates, as they will be harder to adjust afterwards. Am I over-thinking this whole process?
    15' x 30', 13,500 Gal, Inground Plaster Pool . . . Florida Gem Exposed Aggregate Finish . . . Agua-Rite T-3 SWG
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Confused FC/CYA

    I don't understand why you can't raise your CYA level. It's easy to raise. What are you using to raise it ? You should be using granular stabilizer. Are you confident when doing the CYA test ? It can be a bit tricky. After a CYA addition it can take up to a week to fully register on a test. It's important to have your CYA level at 70-80. You get better protection from the sun at that level for your FC using an SWG.

    I would wait for doing borates until you have a grasp on keeping your water balanced now. What is the reason for using borates ?
    Also you need to start your own thread to ask questions in. This is technically high jacking branch fly's thread. Hopefully a mod see's it and can split it off into your own. 😎
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    I'm sorry if I was hijacking a thread, that was not my intention at all. In the thread that I was originally posting in there was much discussion as to keeping the CYA in the 40 to 50 level. As I stated above, everything I have read here tells me that my CYA should be at 70 for balancing a SWG pool as well as prior to adding borates. As stated I'm just confused as to what TFP considers a proper CYA for my situation.

    As far as your other questions, I am trying to raise it using a granular stabilizer. I believe that I am reading it correctly, I follow the same procedure all of the time, ( 7ml pool water / 7ml R-0013, shake for 30 seconds and use view tube), and my readings over the past several weeks have been constant. My reading 10 days ago was 50. The pool calc instructed me to add 28 oz. stabilizer in order to raise it to 70. I added 24 oz. and now I get a reading of 55.

    I have postponed adding borates until I get it to 70, as it is my understanding that it is harder to adjust PH and CYA after adding borates, but when reading the thread that my post has been moved from all discussion centered around the FC level when keeping the CYA in the 40 to 50 range. TFP appears to be sending a mixed message.

    I believe that I have a good grasp on keeping my water balanced, and I'm thankful to this site for helping me free myself from the pool stores. As for why I want to add borates, I am constantly fighting my salt level, as well as adding MA in an attempt to keep my PH from climbing through the roof. My understanding is that adding borates will help with both of these conditions.
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    how much time did you give it after adding the CYA until you measured the 55 reading? Those granules can take up to a week to show up on the test.

    No mixed messages. SWG pools recommended ranges are a bit different than us bottle tossers.

    Borates shouldn't make adjusting the CYA level any more difficult AFAIK.
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    It's been 6 days between readings, and I have also allowed for water run off, as we have had a good deal of rain during that time frame. I understand that you do not get instant results of CYA, but I expected a higher jump in my readings of a 6 day period. But that is not the purpose of my post right now.

    In the original thread that I posted in, http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...onfused-FC-CYA, there certainly was a concern over a mixed message, in fact some of the discussion was concerning the updating of sticky notes. IN fact one the post from a Moderator stated that he keeps his CYA at 40.

    Simply put though, I have avoided adding borates until I achieve a CYA of 70. A number of posters yesterday were recommending keeping your CYA in the 40 to 50 range. There in lies my confusion.
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    First, I have no idea where you got the idea that CYA and borates have anything to do with each other. They don't. The only prerequisite before added borates (which are completely optional) is that you have your TA down.

    There are not mixed messages about the CYA level, the general recommendations are here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels
    For a non-SWG: CYA 30-50
    For a SWG: CYA of 70-80
    But there are other circumstances that can affect what a person may want to do.

    BTW, the discussion in that thread was about what FC level to target based on your CYA level you set. So not at all related to what you are asking.

    You decide on a CYA level and then use the chart to determine the required and minimum FC levels.
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteMorris View Post
    Simply put though, I have avoided adding borates until I achieve a CYA of 70. A number of posters yesterday were recommending keeping your CYA in the 40 to 50 range. There in lies my confusion.
    As mrcarcrazy said above, there are different recommendations for folks with Salt Water Chlorine Generators (SWCG/SWG) and those that manually dose with chlorine. You have a SWCG thus a higher recommended CYA. The folks talking about a 40 - 50 range were talking to a poster that manually chlorinated. This is why the thread was split off because the answers become confusing talking about two different issues.
    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: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    Jason, sorry for being confused, but that's why I asked the questions. I now realize that the posters who spoke of keeping their CYA at 40 were not speaking of SWG pools. Understanding that clears up my misconception.

    I understand that there is not a correlation between CYA and borates. I was simply asking because there is a target range for CYA prior to introducing borates to your pool. I saw the chart for SWG stating 70. I saw others speak of a CYA of 40, and I saw where a senior member stated that the chart needed to be update to reflect the current train of thought. I intermingled all of these thoughts in my mind, and it didn't make sense. I now see the error of my thought process.

    I'm just trying to cross all t's prior to moving forward.
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteMorris View Post
    I'm just trying to cross all t's prior to moving forward.
    That is always a good move. You can't "un-add" chemicals form the pool easily.
    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: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    PeteMorris, please post a complete set of current test results.

    Your answer to why you want to add borates has me thinking something might not be right. Fighting salt levels doesn't ring a bell with me and the pH rise could be caused by many things. I just want to make sure you are adding borates so that they will help with those issues.
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    Ping;

    TA = 80
    FC = 9.8
    CC = 0.4
    PH = 7.5
    CH = 250
    CYA = 60
    Salt = 2900

    My pool was re-plastered about a year ago, and while the plaster was curing, we constantly fought a rising PH level, but I expected that. Now it doesn't rise as quickly, but it still rises continuously. I adjust to a 7.2 to 7.5 range and within a few days it is back up over 8.0 and climbing. I am adding a 40# bag of salt about every two weeks, and after reading here I assumed that my CYA was to low, thus forcing me to generate chlorine, and thereby depleting my salt level. Additionally with using only the SWG, my FC level was usually around 1 to 1.5

    As part of my daily routine now I add 16 oz. of bleach and this plus my swg running 8 hours a day has risen my FC to the 8 to 9 range.

    If I have read correctly adding borates has many advantages amongst them keeping my chlorine in check, which in exchange will decrease the amount of salt I have to add. Additionally it is my understanding that the borates will play a big role in controlling my PH level.

    You kind folks have done more to help me understand water chemistry in the past month than I had grasped in the 5 years that I have owned this pool.
    15' x 30', 13,500 Gal, Inground Plaster Pool . . . Florida Gem Exposed Aggregate Finish . . . Agua-Rite T-3 SWG
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    Do you have an auto-fill for the pool?
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    The salt does not get depleted by the SWG generating chlorine. The only way for your salt level to drop is by removed water from the pool (backwashing, splash out, or a leak) and replacing it with non-salt water. You should not have to add a bag every few weeks ... you should only need to maybe add a bag once a year.

    I think borates are way down the list of things to worry about right now.
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    OK . . . . so now I'm even more confused. I have first hand knowledge of 4 other SWG pools within my same neighborhood, and all have to add 5 to 8 bags of salt per season. My pool does not have an auto-fill so I have to manually add water. During the summer months when the humidity is high I don't need to add more than 2 to 3 inches every 3 to 4 days. During the spring and fall when the air saturation point is lower I may have to do it more frequently.
    My salt cell is less than a year old, I have had it tested and confirmed that it is generating salt. My pool is in complete day light all day long. My pool water sparkles and I stay on top of my chemical balance.

    It is my impression that borates will help keep my PH in check, which is an ongoing issue, as well as reduce my chlorine usage. I've always had a difficult time keeping my FC above 1.5 using just the SWG, and it wasn't until I started adding 16 oz. of bleach a day that my FC levels began to rise and level off.

    A genuine question. If you feel that borates are way down my list right now. What should have a higher priority? I'm happy with my water quality, I don't have stains or scale issues. What should be on my list?
    15' x 30', 13,500 Gal, Inground Plaster Pool . . . Florida Gem Exposed Aggregate Finish . . . Agua-Rite T-3 SWG
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    The salt level should stay fairly stable throughout the year unless you are backwashing fairly often. That would be one way for you to be losing salt. To give you an example, my pool is 4 years old and I've only added 4 bags of salt since I've got the SWG running 4 years ago. I only need to backwash a couple times a year at most and the pool was overfilled twice in that time, once by rain the other by me.

    Your salt level is a tad on the low side at 2900, what test have you used to determine this number? I would compare it to the readout of the SWG and another source. If the salt level is decreasing then the CYA level should be decreasing by the same ratio. Have you noticed if both the CYA and salt levels been decreasing?

    Increasing the CYA to 80 will help the SWG by protecting the FC from the sun and the SWG will actually work less than having the CYA at 60 with your pool conditions.

    How did you add the CYA to the pool? I'm trying to guess why the CYA has only gone up by 5 ppm.

    Your SWG is somewhat undersized for that size of pool and will need to be run at full capacity for at least 12 hours a day to generate 2.6 ppm of FC each day. We suggest to up-size the SWG to 1.5 to 3 times larger than the pool size. This way it helps keep the run time lower which also helps with how fast the pH rises.

    What % are you running the system now with the 8 hours of run time? PoolMath calculates that you would only be adding 1.8 ppm of FC a day with 100% output running 8 hours a day. That is the main reason you are needing to add liquid chlorine daily to keep up the demand. That is a good way to deal with that size of SWG during the summer for your pool, but it is a pain.

    Just something for you to think about, upgrade to a T-15 cell and use it during the summer and then use the T-3 cell in the spring and fall when there is less chlorine demand. When the T-3 cell wears out, switch to using the T-15 continuously. I believe you would only have to switch the cells and program in the correct cell size when you switch them.
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    Ping;

    Thank you for the advice you have given me lots to consider, and I love this site because despite being here a very short time, I have learned so much, and the best part is not only learning what the numbers should be, but also having it explained in a fashion that everything makes sense, and how changing one variable effects everything else.

    I am getting my salt readings directly from the Aqua-Rite. I need to get some test strips in order to verify that the board is reading correctly. Is there a reagents test to determine salt levels? I am so much more comfortable reading test results than attempting to decipher colors on test strips. I realize that my salt number is a little low. I usually keep it around 3100 or 3200. It needs some salt, but a 40# bag raises my number by approx. 400 so I just haven't done it yet. I was just showing what today's level was in comparison to all of the other test results.

    I have no noticed my CYA dropping along with my salt readings. Quite frankly until a very short time ago I have been very lax on following my CYA at all. Since finding this site I have been trying to raise the CYA so even as my salt numbers have been going down my CYA has been rising, as I have been addressing that separately.

    As stated above I have been trying to achieve a CYA of 70. When I last went to the pool calc, I believe my reading was 50 and it instructed me to add 29 oz. of flake stabilizer in order to achieve 70. I added 24 oz., planning to so another test and then make a final adjustment. So far it has only risen to 55. We did have several days of rain after I added stabilizer. I sure my pool overflowed, but I can't believe that it did so significantly that the majority of my stabilizer was washed away.

    I added the CYA to the pool by putting it into a sock and placing the sock in my skimmer basket. I waited 6 days before taking another reading.

    I'm running my SWG at 80% and run the pool pump for 12 hours a day. I have only begun to understand the correlation between percentage of chlorine being generated, pump flow / gpm and run time in determining how much chlorine I can expect to generate. The entire salt system is currently 4 years old, with the salt cell being replaced two years ago.

    I also never knew the burden that I was placing on the T-3. I understood it was capable of handling a 15,000 gal. pool and thought that I was covered. I knew that I had to run my pool long enough each day to filter the entire volume of the pool, but did not consider that this may not be adequate time to generate the required chlorine. I will take a serious look at the T-15.

    Thank you for taking the time to go over all of these points and ask me additional questions. I am so happy to be out of the control of the pool store guys.
    15' x 30', 13,500 Gal, Inground Plaster Pool . . . Florida Gem Exposed Aggregate Finish . . . Agua-Rite T-3 SWG
    3/4 H.P. Century Centruion Pump . . . Pentair Triniton II, TR60 Sand Filter . . . Hayward AquaVav Tiger Shark Robotic Pool Cleaner
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    Re: I'm Confused --Raising CYA

    The salt test that uses drops is the Taylor K-1766, http://tftestkits.net/K-1766-Taylor-Salt-Test-p31.html. It is simple to use and easy to see the end point of the test.

    One thing that might lead to a lower than actual reading of the salt level is when the salt cell is starting to wear out or is not clean. Both of those conditions can cause the SWG to report lower than actual salt levels. The T-3 cell doesn't produce that much chlorine and it might be nearing its life span and could explain why the salt level seems to drop.

    The next step I would take besides keeping the FC and pH in good range is getting the salt level verified. You can continue to get the CYA up also.
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