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Thread: No free Chlorine

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    No free Chlorine

    We have had our pool for 7 years now, but past 2 years it has been a money pit. Everytime we go to the pool store we get different answers as to why we have ammonia. Right now pool is clear, but still registering a small bit of ammonia. I also have not had FC in 2 years. I would appreciate any help, before I fill it in.

    24,000 gal.
    IG, SAND
    last pool store test:

    TDS: 2000
    CYA: 66
    TC: 1.6
    FC: 0
    PH: 7.7
    TA: 188
    TH: 339

    Brandy Sandberg, Indiana

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    In the Industry

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    Mar 2007
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    Re: No free Chlorine

    Hi Brandy, and welcome! This is the place to get pool help.

    Before you do anything else, get a good test kit! Pool store tests are often unreliable, and of course it's a pain to have to take in a water sample. The TF-100, sold on this site, is recommended. The Taylor K-2006 (FAS-DPD complete) is a good one also.

    Your pH and TA are on the high side. You may want to fix that now, or wait until you've got the other cleared up. Add acid to lower the pH to around 7.0, then aerate until the pH rises to a normal level (7.5ish). Repeat until TA drops to around 100-120.

    I don't know much about ammonia, just that it's a fairly rare problem. I think it's related to organic wastes in the pool. Other folks here know more about it and will surely drop in to advise you. There was a recent thread on someone's ammonia problem, tho, so try a search of the forum if you haven't already.

    IIRC, the solution is chlorine. Refer to the CYA/chlorine chart for the shock level corresponding to your CYA level. Your CYA is slightly high for a non-SWG pool, but not high enough to cause problems.

    Stock up on bleach!

    Add bleach to raise your chlorine to the shock level. You will need to do this a couple of times a day, which is another reason not to depend on pool store testing! Raise your chlorine to shock level again after each test. The ammonia will "eat" your chlorine, but eventually the ammonia will be gone.
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: No free Chlorine

    Hi Brandy and welcome to the forum!

    How much is a "small bit of ammonia"? The shock level needed for ammonia is a bit different, so a more accurate test # is needed.

    You can get an inexpensive ammonia test kit from a pet/fish/aquarium store. (WallyWorld)

    It will be helpful if you add your pool & equipment info to your signature. Go to User Control Panel (upper left, under TFP Logo) select "Profile", then "Edit Signature".

    I agree, stock up on bleach!

    You will need some POP (pool owner patience), but your pool will get cleared back to sparkling!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Re: No free Chlorine

    If a pool is "let go" and gets to zero FC, say over the winter, then soil bacteria (blown into the pool) can break down CYA into ammonia where every 10 ppm CYA can produce 3 ppm ammonia. It takes around 10 ppm FC to get rid of each 1 ppm ammonia (measured as ppm Nitrogen) so it can take a lot of chlorine. As suggested above, get an inexpensive ammonia test kit and then we can go from there.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: No free Chlorine

    Don't give up on the pool yet. I was at a similar frustration level with my pool this year. Algae attacked my pool when I "knew" that the chlorine level was perfect. The problem was not what I knew but what I didn't know. My water was no where near being good, much less perfect. This site saved my pool from my ignorance. I purchased the better test kit and began taking control of my pools water condition. Now when something tests out of spec I have the tools to know what to do and my water actually changes as expected! I now love going out to my pool to test it and make adjustments knowing that actually will work.
    18' AG Vinyl Pool (7,500 gal)
    1.5 HP Hayward pump and sand filter 150#
    Using the BBB Method
    Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Re: No free Chlorine

    Thank you so much for replying to my question. My husband went to pool store today and levels were different from yesterday without us putting a thing in the pool. I promise to get better at my signature when I get the hang of the website, but for now I have to buy a better test kit.

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    BLEACH = LIQUID CHLORINE

    [Merged threads:Butterfly]

    I have seen several posts about bleach. I'm trying to figure out if they are talking about "clorox" or any other name brand.
    I was told by my pool store that I needed 89 bags of shock or 46 lbs of Super Soluable to my pool to get rid of level 1 ammonia and raise my FC. I would much rather buy bleach or liquid chlorine. Any help with my chemistry ignorance would be so appreciated.

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    Re: BLEACH = LIQUID CHLORINE

    Bleach means unscented or original/regular scent plain old chlorine bleach found in the laundry aisle. No thickeners, no detergents. It can be clorox or store brands. Just check the label for "6% Sodium Hypochlorite" If there is not a percentage listed, pass, since it may be half-strength or less! Pool store liquid chlorine or liquid 'shock' is the same stuff, just in 10-12% concentration (twice as strong as clorox).

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: BLEACH = LIQUID CHLORINE

    Exactly how much ammonia (as ppm Nitrogen) did they say you have? It takes about 10 ppm FC for every 1 ppm ammonia to get rid of it. The amounts they quote sound like a lot more chlorine since 46 pounds of Cal-Hypo 65% would be 178 ppm FC in 20,000 gallons!
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: BLEACH = LIQUID CHLORINE

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Exactly how much ammonia (as ppm Nitrogen) did they say you have? It takes about 10 ppm FC for every 1 ppm ammonia to get rid of it. The amounts they quote sound like a lot more chlorine since 46 pounds of Cal-Hypo 65% would be 178 ppm FC in 20,000 gallons!

    chem geek ..... Interesting thread. I have two questions.

    1) So if the ammonia reading was 7ppm, you would have to have 70ppm in chlorine?

    2) If you had to go to 70ppm of chlorine to get rid of the ammonia, is there a time factor involved with holding that level?
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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    Re: BLEACH = LIQUID CHLORINE

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotrod30
    1) So if the ammonia reading was 7ppm, you would have to have 70ppm in chlorine?

    2) If you had to go to 70ppm of chlorine to get rid of the ammonia, is there a time factor involved with holding that level?
    In your example, the 70 ppm FC is the total cumulative amount of chlorine needed to get rid of the ammonia. It is not necessary to add it all at once though it does tend to go faster if you do. To prevent overshooting too much, you can add chlorine in smaller doses. Regardless of how you add the chlorine, the Combined Chlorine (CC) level will rise as monochloramine is formed almost immediately. After you've added around 35 ppm FC cumulatively, additional chlorine will break down the CC until eventually you end up with no ammonia and no CC. In practice, some of the CC breaks down before getting to this mid-point, but you get the idea.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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