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Thread: No free chlorine reading on my test strip

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    No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    Hello, I am new!!

    I have battled algae since 4th of July. The water will be balanced, but never clear and then the algae comes back and I go through a cycle again. So I assume, I never really killed it?? I went through an algae kill again this weekend. Yellow out followed by 3/1lb shock cycles of dichlor granular chlorine. After each chlorine shock, my free chlorine is reading 0 on my test strip (yes, I now know I need a real test kit, please tell me wich one would be best for my scenario). But, my pool looks the best it has ALL summer...so maybe I killed it??? So why am I not not getting a free cholorine reading but my pool actually cleared up and what do I do next? Pool store said add a non-chlorine oxidizing shock to free up chlorine. Vinyl pool guy I got a number from off the internet said wait until tomorrow and add 1 gallon liquid chlorine. What do you think and thank you in advance!!! It has been one heck of a pool cleaning summer.
    8500 gallons, Intex Ultra Frame above ground vinyl pool, Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump 14" model SF15110, I have had the pool up and running since 6/2013

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    To follow the pool care methods taught here you need to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to care for your pool.

    The tools are not limited to the brushes, vacuum hoses and other stuff you use around the pool, but include the most important item - one of the recommended test kits. You can buy a kit at a pool store, but again the pool store kits generally won't cut it. 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.

    The knowledge is condensed in the Pool School link at the top of every page. It is a great community here, but we do ask that you read and try to understand the information being taught. Questions are always welcome and folks will try to direct you and teach you the methods.

    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    Follow the recomendations and you will be swimming rather than fighting algae.

    So, welcome to TFP!!
    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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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Re: No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    You will need to decide if you want to join the thousands of pool owners who use the tools and methods recommended here, and learn how to manage your own pool. That means accurate testing with a good test kit learning that you only add what the pool needs, and rejecting any advice from pool stores. It starts with ordering a good test kit (the TF-100 is highly recommended), and reading the info contained in "Pool School". That's the button on the upper right of this page.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    Yes, I have been reading and trying different things all summer, but what do I do in the next 24 hours so I don't get an algae bloom again. My pool actually looks good today! Could the chlorine actually be locked up somewhere in the pool...I don't quite understand that. I let my daughter go in the pool yesterday because the test strip said 0 chlorine, but she complained of her eyes burning last night and that has never happened.
    My numbers this morning were:
    Free chlorine--0 (Leslie's got .5 maybe)
    Alkalinity-- 120
    pH--7.8
    CyA--149

    Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    8500 gallons, Intex Ultra Frame above ground vinyl pool, Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump 14" model SF15110, I have had the pool up and running since 6/2013

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    You have to get your FC up and your CYA down. CYA shouldn't be above 50 for a non SWG pool.

    If you have read around here much you have probably seen that not much credence is given to pool store testing. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing. The test they mess up the most is the CYA test, and they usually read it low.

    Burning eyes is usually an issue with pH rather than FC.

    As I said above, you need to get your own test kit and take control.

    For now all you can do is add more liquid chlorine. Any solid chlorine products are just going to raise your CYA more.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    Welcome to TFP!

    The burning could also be CC which were not reported.

    You need a good test kit.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    @corabell78,

    you to need to buy either a Taylor K-2006C (available on Amazon for ~$90) or a TF-100 with XL option (available through TFPs web store TFTestKits.net). I purchased a Taylor kit through Amazon and got it shipped fast.

    You won't know how to fix your pool water and no one here can accurately help you until we see test results from a Taylor reagent kit. The strips you have are essentially worthless because your chlorine could be 0 OR it could be quite a lot higher than that because test strips can bleach out from high chlorine levels. The Taylor test kit reagents are the only ones capable of measuring a wide range of both free chlorine (the chlorine you want in your pool) and the combined chlorine (the chlorine by-products you don't want in your pool water).

    Also, chlorine lock is a myth, don't listen to anyone who preaches that nonsense.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    What they all said, I wish I could tell you more on what to do until you get your test kit, I would suggest the TF-100 with XL option, you never know how old stuff might be coming from amazon, or if the reagents were exposed to temperature extremes, Dave at TF Test Kits has plenty of turn over so you know what you are getting is fresh.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: No free chlorine reading on my test strip

    +1 to Isaac-1.

    You are in the right spot. TFP will clean and clear your water. IT takes time, and a viable test kit. Time, because you will not only be fixing your problem, but you will be balancing your pool to a new set of goal chemistry. Follow the TFP method, and you wont have to spend any more money on expensive fixes, just regular maintenance items. Yes, you have to buy a seemingly expensive test kit. If you buy it now, the reagents should not spoil before they are used next year. So in some respects, its a trade off. "You can pay me now, or pay me later."

    The TFPC method emphasizes prevention, rather than quick fixes, though I find the SLAM process the most effective and cheapest way to clean an algae bloom. I invite you go "all in" and "lets do this"
    16x32 DiamondBrite kidney, 12,500 gal. (circa 1985) 3/4hp Hayward SII, Harmsco BF84, Taylor K-2006, Hayward SwimPure Plus / Tcell-15
    Boca Roton, Fl. USA.

    prior 17k gal. vinyl, Sand filter

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