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Thread: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

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    Question Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    I ordered a TF-100, and am waiting for it to show up; in the meantime, I had my water tested twice this week by the local pool store and have made some modifications to the chemistry based on those numbers:

    3/31/2015:
    FC:10+ (the pool store tester doesn't show real numbers past 10)
    TC: 10 (not real numbers, just more than 10)
    pH: <6.2 (again, who knows what it really is, just under 6.2)
    TA: 47 (there was also a data point called "Adjusted total Alkalinity", which they say adjusts for pH...that datapoint is 43 if it matters)
    CH: 359 (This is actually Total Hardness, there isn't a datapoint for Calcium Hardness, so I dunno what to say about that)
    CYA: 12


    So, based on those numbers, I was advised to use chems to raise the Alk, use more chems to raise the pH, and add stabilizer. I said thanks (said I had some chems at the new house, which was true, but I wasn't sure what I had), and walked out and went down to walmart and bought some baking soda to start on the Alk, since that was what they seemed most concerned about (after reading around, I think I should have been more concerned with the pH, but more on that in a bit). I added a full 13.5lb bag over the course of a couple of days, running the pump continuously. I finished adding this morning around 9am, and this afternoon I took a sample back to the pool store...here's the numbers I got today:

    4/2/2015:
    FC: 10+
    TC: 10+
    pH: 8.1
    TA: 107 (adj alk 62)
    CH: 349 (as mentioned, total hardness)
    CYA: 151

    The good news, I think I have the alk in the range where it should be...which is funny, since I only added 13.5lbs of baking soda, where their original calculation called for 23.5lbs....wow.

    The CYA has skyrocketed, which caused me to question the calibration of their machine, which resulted in a blank stare...ugh. Anyway, the CYA seems a huge jump, though the pool was filled with trichlor tabs when we inherited it this weekend. Since the CYA is up there now (higher than I think I ought to be, but not oppressively so) I pulled all the tabs from the pool and hope that the FC will drop over the weekend to a suitable level, at which point I'm going to try to go the liquid chlorine route if I can find an easy supply of the higher percentage stuff in my area.

    The pH taking that big of a swing (of course, I don't really know what the original pH was, other than "<6.2") concerns me, and I'm hesitant to toss MA into the pool as I am now suspicious of the pool store readings. Could adding 13.5lbs of baking soda in 18k gallons make the pH swing that wide? I mean, assuming that the pH was just under 6.2 (who knows?) to 8.1 seems too much for that amount (based on the poolcalculator site, that's impossible). It was probably 6 hours after adding the last batch of baking soda that I took the sample, is it possible that had to do with the reading and I should wait longer before getting a sample?

    My gut says let it sit like this until I can test with my own kit that's in the mail, but unfortunately, I'm going to be away from home all next week for work. I don't really want to put the trichlor tabs back in as I don't want the CYA to rise anymore than it has, but I'm not sure my wife is going to stay on top of it if I start slinging LC immediately. How long do you think it could sit this way with filter running 12hrs/day (6 high speed, 6 low speed) before the FC drops to acceptable levels/would need more added? The pool is clear right now for what that's worth...

    My pool: 18,000gal inground plaster with attached spa that overflows into pool
    My pump & filter: cartridge filter, 2HP 2 speed pump

    edit: also, I forgot to mention---I started to check other things out equipment-wise, and found the cartridges were completely shot...before I started adding baking soda, I replaced all four cartridges...not sure if that's relevant, but didn't want to leave it out.
    Last edited by gilbee; 04-02-2015 at 06:38 PM. Reason: added more info at end

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    A classic example of why you can not trust pool store testing.....Your results are just crazy.

    Rather than try to sort out all that's wrong, I would suggest you simply sit tight until you get your kit and perform your own testing. You'll be amazed
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    The CYA test is the only one where one of the two results absolutely must be wrong. CYA simply doesn't change that dramatically in a few days unless you added a huge amount manually.

    Several of the other results are doubtful, but not all the way to totally implausible. Still, given the CYA result was that wrong, I am inclined to believe that several of the others are wrong as well. The PH "could" have changed that much as a side effect of the TA being increased, but it would have required a massive amount of aeration of the water. If you have a negative edge or massive waterfall, that might be right, but otherwise one of those two test results is wrong.

    Likewise the FC level could be 10+, and still be 10+ two days later, especially if the CYA level is actually high, but given the other errors, it is difficult to trust that result.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    aussieta's Avatar
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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    you need the pool store wheel of fortune
    SWG inground peanut shaped eco-bright concrete pool
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    Lincoln Salt Chlorinator, 25 gram cell Sand Filter with glass media
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    are you taking care of your pool or is the poolshop taking care of you

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    At least you are going in the correct direction now----------good test kit of your own!

    How does the water look?

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    At least you are going in the correct direction now----------good test kit of your own!

    How does the water look?

    Kim

    The water is clear...though with me gone for a week and me having pulled the trichlor tabs out, I hope it stays that way until I return.

    The pool has a colored plaster (blue with brown highlights...I thought the brown was dirt/algae at first, but it's how the pool is colored), and I can see the pool is in need of a resurface in the near future. Of course having proper water balance is good in all cases, but I'm extremely concerned with getting balance back in check, as I've noticed the polaris in the pool has been picking up what looks to be colored sand...which I recognize is actually the polaris sucking up loose grains of the plaster, that I suspect has come off due to the water being so out of balance. A resurface is on my list of things to do after this season is over, assuming it can wait that long. Because of what appears to be the previous owner's lack of true maintenance, I've assumed a money pit, but I knew that was what I was getting into in this particular case, and I am positive I can turn it around.

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    The PH "could" have changed that much as a side effect of the TA being increased, but it would have required a massive amount of aeration of the water. If you have a negative edge or massive waterfall, that might be right, but otherwise one of those two test results is wrong.



    I wouldn't call this a massive edge, but here's what I got...it really only flows over the edge when the pump is on high, and even then it's just a small trickle (in this pic the pump is on high, and the spa drain is closed)...could this happening for 6 hours/day for three days be enough to raise the pH?


    IMG_4930_resdrop.jpg

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    To raise my PH I just turn my return up so it "gently boils" the water. So YES the water falling over the edge could push your PH up.

    Are you SURE it is plaster and not dirt? Have you been able to dive down and pick some up? I am guessing it is still too cold for that! LOL

    So long as you are holding water and it is balanced you should be fine for this season. Just think how much money you will be saving and how much you be learning with out any worries of messing up a brand new pool!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    To raise my PH I just turn my return up so it "gently boils" the water. So YES the water falling over the edge could push your PH up.

    Are you SURE it is plaster and not dirt? Have you been able to dive down and pick some up? I am guessing it is still too cold for that! LOL

    So long as you are holding water and it is balanced you should be fine for this season. Just think how much money you will be saving and how much you be learning with out any worries of messing up a brand new pool!

    Kim
    I'm thinking it is plaster, since it's blue and seems to match the color of the pool...the polaris is catching it in the fine mesh bag...I haven't ran a self vacuum yet, because I'd like to get a leaf canister and see if I can put some kind of extra filter in it to catch these types of particles so I don't clog up the pool filter with it, since with the polaris running, I have to clean the bag out at least a couple times a day thus far. I do have some jets that are turned up as you describe too, but all of that has been this way since forever I suppose (the jets are frozen in their positions right now, and I cant imagine the previous owners turned them up just before they signed the papers on the house). So, if those things are enough to raise the pH that much, I would never have expected to see such a low pH reading in the first place, no?

    I'm holding water (or at least if it's leaking it's not noticable after a week), but there are sections of thin layers of plaster missing in a couple parts of the pool, so I'd like to slow this down before it gets worse.

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    Quote Originally Posted by aussieta View Post
    you need the pool store wheel of fortune
    This "Wheel of Misfortune" at my local pool store must be broken. I seem to land on the "add Phosfree" every single freakin' time I walk in that joint!
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!

    Yeah you should have not seen a low PH for sure. That points to the pool store testing being oh so wrong!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    Ok, other thread has been closed to try to keep it all in one place (thanks mods), so here's an summary of where I was, what I've done, and we all know where I'm trying to go:

    4/18/2015
    Outdoor conditions - 75-85F, light rain...been raining pretty steadily for past 4-5 days
    FC:26
    TC:27
    pH: 7.2 (Of course with the FC so high, I don't know how (in)accurate this number really is)
    TA: 170
    CH: 1000
    CYA: 200+ (I used the method to cut the sample with tap water, and it was still slightly below the 100 mark in the tube)


    After this was posted here, I was advised to start draining...because a drain/refill any other way than gradually really isn't an option with the current water table, I started a gradual refill.

    On 4/24, I had completed my first set of replacement, and got these:

    FC 12
    CC 1
    TC 13
    CYA 200+
    CH Not tested
    Ph Not tested
    TA Not tested

    I added a gallon of 10% bleach after this one, so that I could keep the chlorine around 18 due to the CYA level...

    On 4/25, I was here:
    FC 17
    CC 0.5
    TC 17.5
    CYA 180-190
    TA Not taken
    Ph Not taken
    CH Not taken

    On 4/27, I'm now here:

    FC 5
    CC 0.5
    TC 5.5
    CYA 120
    Ph 7.2
    CH 425
    TA 130

    My draining for the first 23.5hrs was at 5gpm with the returns on. I've been draining for 18 hours since then with the returns off at 7.5gpm. I added about 3/4 of a gallon of 10% bleach in front of the hose this morning since there's no returns on, hopefully that will raise the FC a bit while I continue. I checked the Ph this time since I had a FC less than 10, so I guess that Ph reading is close to correct...

    I guess I need to just keep draining, hopefully by tomorrow I'll be at an adequate CYA level.

    Thanks for all the help, and if you've got other things I should be watching now that I have this going, I appreciate the input!
    17.4k gallon IG pool with attached spa (spa itself is 730gal), Super Blue Diamondbrite plaster, Circupool SI-45+ SWG, BH/Hayward Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2speed Hayward Super II pump, , Jandy Valves, Waterway Skimmers, Rheem 400k Heater, Polaris 360 cleaner, built 2000+-, replastered June 2015, TF-100 kit---Here's my pool test reading history

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    The storm that just came through was pretty bad (tornados in the area), and put a bunch of leaves and branches in the pool. I can't tell if it's just the leaves, but the pool seems to have a slight greenish hue---of course so does the sky right now. Without the returns going, I added some bleach just in front of the hose, but I don't know if that's adequate to do anything...should I turn on the returns again so I can distribute bleach, or keep pumping?
    17.4k gallon IG pool with attached spa (spa itself is 730gal), Super Blue Diamondbrite plaster, Circupool SI-45+ SWG, BH/Hayward Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2speed Hayward Super II pump, , Jandy Valves, Waterway Skimmers, Rheem 400k Heater, Polaris 360 cleaner, built 2000+-, replastered June 2015, TF-100 kit---Here's my pool test reading history

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    I didn't get any response from anyone, so I added some additional chlorine to the pool...good thing, because when I came out to test this morning, here's the readings I got:

    FC 9
    CC 0.5
    TC 9.5
    CYA 100
    I didn't bother to test pH, TA, and CH, no need to waste the reagents...

    Unfortunately, I have to go out of town today for business, so it's going to have to sit like this for a few days. I added another gallon of 10% bleach to raise the FC up to around 14-15, just over the target for CYA 100. My wife is going to watch the FC level and try to keep it between 12 and 15 while I'm away. I'll try to drain some more when I get home, and maybe we'll get there next time.
    17.4k gallon IG pool with attached spa (spa itself is 730gal), Super Blue Diamondbrite plaster, Circupool SI-45+ SWG, BH/Hayward Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2speed Hayward Super II pump, , Jandy Valves, Waterway Skimmers, Rheem 400k Heater, Polaris 360 cleaner, built 2000+-, replastered June 2015, TF-100 kit---Here's my pool test reading history

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    You need to continue replacing water to get your CYA level down. The common CYA test reports any level over 100 as 100, so there is no telling how high your CYA level actually is.

    In the meantime, you appear to have a low level algae problem. If you didn't you wouldn't be losing chlorine anywhere near that quickly. There is no good way to deal with that until you get the CYA level down to something more reasonable.
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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    Jason, it's 100---it was 50 with a tap water dilution.
    17.4k gallon IG pool with attached spa (spa itself is 730gal), Super Blue Diamondbrite plaster, Circupool SI-45+ SWG, BH/Hayward Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2speed Hayward Super II pump, , Jandy Valves, Waterway Skimmers, Rheem 400k Heater, Polaris 360 cleaner, built 2000+-, replastered June 2015, TF-100 kit---Here's my pool test reading history

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    And water is crystal clear again.
    17.4k gallon IG pool with attached spa (spa itself is 730gal), Super Blue Diamondbrite plaster, Circupool SI-45+ SWG, BH/Hayward Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2speed Hayward Super II pump, , Jandy Valves, Waterway Skimmers, Rheem 400k Heater, Polaris 360 cleaner, built 2000+-, replastered June 2015, TF-100 kit---Here's my pool test reading history

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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    Quote Originally Posted by gilbee View Post
    And water is crystal clear again.
    Even with clear water as Jason said you can have a low level algae problem hiding in the wings. Water replacement to get the CYA down and a SLAM to get rid of anything growing is the solution.
    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: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    Why not take FC up to shock level before you leave?
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    Re: Help with pool store readings until test kit comes in!--Continued

    Well, I've already left, but what would be the advantage of taking the water from 9 to 30-something knowing I'm coming home in a few days to drain a bunch more water?
    17.4k gallon IG pool with attached spa (spa itself is 730gal), Super Blue Diamondbrite plaster, Circupool SI-45+ SWG, BH/Hayward Cartridge Filter, 2hp 2speed Hayward Super II pump, , Jandy Valves, Waterway Skimmers, Rheem 400k Heater, Polaris 360 cleaner, built 2000+-, replastered June 2015, TF-100 kit---Here's my pool test reading history

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