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Thread: Chlorine too high?

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    Chlorine too high?

    As a new pool owner (old pool but new to me), I am still trying to figure out the basics of pool chemistry. Since we moved in December 15th, the chlorine has been high (at least 5 and has not come down a bit since). From what I am hearing from others, this isn't something to be worried about but i wanted to put it out there just to see if I am missing anything.

    Here are all my other test results:

    FAC 5
    TAC 5
    pH 7.6
    TA 90
    CYA 90

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
    35k in ground plaster pool, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE Filter

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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Best of luck to you!!!! There are great people here to help!
    Last edited by MarianParoo; 02-02-2015 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Doofus Reply

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    hi Glintontx,
    the FC level should be based upon your CYA level. At least if you are using the TFP method of pool care.
    Here is a recommended levels link.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels

    And a FC to CYA chart
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock

    We cant stress enough to use your own high quality test kit. Pool Store testing is notoriously unreliable.
    www.tfteskits.net

    And, if you want to learn more about he chemistry, which is what TFP is all about,
    here is a link to Pool School.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/

    hope this helps get you started
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Welcome to TFP Glinton!

    Dave has given you a great place to start. I hope you continue to explore, and enjoy the forum. If you're interested in DIY pool care you found the right place.
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Thanks everyone. I am learning a lot on these forums. So i have a test kit and i tested CYA tonight and it is off the charts. I start dropping in the solution and i cannot see the black dot before it gets to 100. Plus, the free chlorine test is "tweety bird" yellow. The only thing i can think is that the previous owners shocked the pool right before we bought it.

    And according to the chart that Divin Dave shared, the FC to CYA is not recommended. Do I need to do a partial drain and refill?
    35k in ground plaster pool, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE Filter

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Quote Originally Posted by glintontx View Post
    Thanks everyone. I am learning a lot on these forums. So i have a test kit and i tested CYA tonight and it is off the charts. I start dropping in the solution and i cannot see the black dot before it gets to 100. Plus, the free chlorine test is "tweety bird" yellow. The only thing i can think is that the previous owners shocked the pool right before we bought it.

    And according to the chart that Divin Dave shared, the FC to CYA is not recommended. Do I need to do a partial drain and refill?
    You have two choices: figure out what your CYA level really is using the dilution method (Post #8, step 9) and maintain the appropriate FC level for that, or lower the CYA level to something reasonable.

    I started with a pool with CYA in the 220 - 240 CYA range. Draining was not an option due to water restrictions. So I will say, maintaining a pool with super high CYA can be done. But it's not easy and I don't recommend it to anyone who has any choice. For starters, your pH readings will always be suspect with the high FC levels you need to maintain. And if you do get algae, you'll essentially have no choice but to drain because enough bleach to kill it will come like this:
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Richard320, thanks so much. That definitely helps. I personally don't own a tanker truck full of bleach so i think i will try the dilution method for CYA. If that still shows a high CYA reading, i will drain it. I have a feeling i will be doing the latter.

    However, i am still baffled as to how the CYA got that high. I may try to call their previous pool guy and find out.
    35k in ground plaster pool, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE Filter

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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Quote Originally Posted by glintontx View Post
    Richard320, thanks so much. That definitely helps. I personally don't own a tanker truck full of bleach so i think i will try the dilution method for CYA. If that still shows a high CYA reading, i will drain it. I have a feeling i will be doing the latter.

    However, i am still baffled as to how the CYA got that high. I may try to call their previous pool guy and find out.
    It got that high because anytime the previous owner used a tablet or granular chlorine shock it added cya. 1+1+1= a whole bunch of cya. Good thing you found this site. It's like winning the pool lottery. I'm glad I found it before we took possession of our pool.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Quote Originally Posted by glintontx View Post
    Richard320, thanks so much. That definitely helps. I personally don't own a tanker truck full of bleach so i think i will try the dilution method for CYA. If that still shows a high CYA reading, i will drain it. I have a feeling i will be doing the latter.

    However, i am still baffled as to how the CYA got that high. I may try to call their previous pool guy and find out.
    That's easy. And common. Here's a cut-n-paste from last year. This might help explain it. I wrote this last year.

    We'll take a 16000 gallon pool, because that's what I have. On a fresh fill, prominent national pool chain recommends 2.5 pounds of stabilizer per 10,000 gallons, which works out nicely to 4 pounds which brings CYA to 30.

    With an average loss of 2 PPM/Day or 14 ppm/week, I'll have added 8.6 PPM/CYA if I used trichlor pucks perfectly. And they recommend a weekly "shock" of dichlor between 5 and 10 FC.... 2-3 oz per 10,000 gallons. Split the difference; I'll add 4 oz. CYA went up another .9.

    So..by the end of week one, I have added 9.5 more CYA. It is now 39.5. Mimimum FC for that is 3, so I'm probably okay.

    Week two, up to 49 CYA.
    Week three, 58.5. Minimum FC should be 5, but they recommend 3 as ideal, so the pool looks a bit hazy. So I'll toss in a little extra dichlor "shock" to jack FC up to 10. Which adds another 6.4 CYA. Keeping count? We're up to 64.9 now.

    That caught the algae just in time.. we had two weeks of good luck. A steady diet of pucks and 4 oz. "shock" each week only added another 19, up to 73.9 now.

    Week 6 it started looking funky, so we "shocked"it once again. CYA is up to 99.3. But minimum FC to keep algae at bay is 8, and we're still holding things to 3, because prominent national chain's preprinted sheet shows that as ideal. So algae got a toehold and the pool has a bit of a tint. So we throw two whole bags of dichlor in which jacks it another 7.6 by the time week 7 is over, we're at 116.4, because we had pucks in the floater the whole time.

    So...in 7 weeks, from 30 to 116.4. Let's say there are no more algae outbreaks because they sold me a huge bucket of phos-free and another of yellow-out monopersulfate "shock" Nothing but the pucks and the extra 4 oz of dichlor "shock" weekly. So the next 7 weeks added 66.5, which brings the total to 182.9 CYA.

    Now if we didn't understand this and things looked a bit hazy, we might throw an extra puck or two in the floater every couple weeks, which will drive it over 200 easily.

    If the pool is open year-round, you could easily be approaching 300 CYA.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Sorry to hear about your Cya Glinton, it's very common and just about the most frequent problem we see. It's unfortunate, but pool stores and service companies don't educate people on this even if they understand it. Sadly, many don't realize how rapidly Cya builds up. This is the downside of improperly using a product with side effects.

    I hate telling people they have to toss out water, but this is really the only practical solution. Now that you understand, it won't be an issue for you again.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Welcome to the best pool place in the world!

    We can and will help you "fix" your pool. You just need to read and ask questions. Right now it is overwhelming BUT with time and practice it will become second nature.

    You are on the right track-
    Find TFP-done
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    read ABC of pools-? Here is the link http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry


    Good luck and happy draining (sorry I know it is not happy but at least it works!)

    Kim
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Again, thanks for all the advice. So when i drain the pool...do i need to open the hydro-static valve?? I have no idea if i have one and where it might be. I have heard concrete pools can float and i am not really wanting to have that happen! I only am planning on draining 1/3 to 1/2 of the pool.
    35k in ground plaster pool, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    No, you don't need to do anything with the hydro-static valve. Assuming you have one, if you drain the pool below the ground water level, the valve will open on it's own, allowing ground water into the pool. If that happens you should stop draining the pool. Given that you are only draining 1/3 to 1/2 this is very unlikely to even come up as the ground water level is generally below that level in all but the swampiest areas.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Okay, so i just drained the pool about 1/3 of the way this weekend. However, I am still pretty high on the CYA...160. Unfortunately my FC went way down to 2. Since the FC to CYA chart doesn't have 160 on it...where should my FC be?
    35k in ground plaster pool, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE Filter

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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    Silly question. You said you drained. Did you refill?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine too high?

    The recommended minimum FC level is a % of the CYA, so you can scale it.
    A CYA of 80ppm would have a minimum FC level of 6ppm ... double it to 160ppm and your FC should be > 12ppm. Then you have 2 more problems: 1. The pH test is not valid when the FC > 10ppm and 2. You OTO test can not read a FC that high accurately.
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