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Thread: just opened a swampy mess

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    just opened a swampy mess

    Good afternoon!
    We uncovered our pool today and it is a total wreck. I can only see the outline of the second step. I tested my water with my TF-100 and got the following results:

    PH=super high
    FC=1
    CC=0
    TC=1
    CH=75
    TA=40
    CYA=definitely less than 20. I ran the pool water through several coffee filters and filled the entire viewing tube and could still see the black dot in the bottom

    We have the filter going and raised the water level. I got the PH to 7.2. I added 6 lbs of trichlor since I have no CYA. I'm hoping that was the right thing to do. I will be SLAMming and re-reading pool school. I'm just wondering if I should keep going with the trichlor, get bleach, do both, etc. I'm still not sure about CYA and I would love to be more comfortable taking care of our pool. Thank you!
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Generally, it is better to use Liquid Chlorine for FC and separately add the CYA by itself. You cannot continue to add tri-chlor as your CYA will get too high and it is VERY difficult to get back down.

    PS - Your pH at "super high" and TA at 40 is quite unusual. If you have lowered pH and the TA really was at 40, it is now dangerously low and needs to be brought up around 90 or so. Retest your TA.
    Dave S.
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Welcome back!

    You raised your Cya by about 20 or so PPM. Don't add more than a couple more pounds at MOST if you do. Not right now anyway. I would move to bleach if it were me. Let us know how the new TA comes out, and we can go from there.
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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    I'll definitely go get a ton of liquid chlorine. I just retested my water and here's what I have now:

    FC=1
    CC=6
    TC=7
    CH=75
    TA=40
    CYA=20
    PH=7.2
    CL=1
    BR=4
    My calcium # is 48

    What action should I take from this point?
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Quote Originally Posted by Deanna Carroll View Post
    I'll definitely go get a ton of liquid chlorine. I just retested my water and here's what I have now:

    FC=1
    CC=6
    TC=7
    CH=75
    TA=40
    CYA=20
    PH=7.2
    CL=1
    BR=4
    My calcium # is 48

    What action should I take from this point?
    Are you quite confident that you performed the FC and CC tests properly? If your CC got that high, it suggests your CYA might have decomposed into Ammonia. And it takes massive amounts of bleach to break that down and eliminate it. Doublecheck how you ran that test. Watch the video to be sure.
    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: just opened a swampy mess

    Yay, I must have been doing something wrong! I just followed the video and here's what I've got NOW:
    FC=3.5
    Then it took 9 drops to get the water back to clear when checking for chloramines, so that would be a CC of 4.5, correct with a TC of 8? (so sorry for the misinformation. I don't know what I'm doing!)
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Quote Originally Posted by Deanna Carroll View Post
    Yay, I must have been doing something wrong! I just followed the video and here's what I've got NOW:
    FC=3.5
    Then it took 9 drops to get the water back to clear when checking for chloramines, so that would be a CC of 4.5, correct with a TC of 8? (so sorry for the misinformation. I don't know what I'm doing!)
    As long as that CC is going down, you're going the right way. You do need to keep replenishing that FC to keep it up around 10. What you're trying to do is to kill the algae off faster than it can reproduce. So it will take a lot of bleach the first couple days, and then the demand will ease up a bit.
    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: just opened a swampy mess

    Great news, thanks so much for the encouragement! I don't have any bleach tonight but I do have a lot more trichlor. Should I add trichlor or do I need to get to the store tonight? I tried to use the pool calculator to see how much bleach I need to add but when I hit "calculate" I don't get any new figures.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Please disregard the questions above. I'm going to go out and get bleach now and my husband showed me how to work the pool math calculator. Thanks for the help tonight!
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Quote Originally Posted by Deanna Carroll View Post
    Great news, thanks so much for the encouragement! I don't have any bleach tonight but I do have a lot more trichlor. Should I add trichlor or do I need to get to the store tonight? I tried to use the pool calculator to see how much bleach I need to add but when I hit "calculate" I don't get any new figures.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Please disregard the questions above. I'm going to go out and get bleach now and my husband showed me how to work the pool math calculator. Thanks for the help tonight!
    Excellent! You won't lose any FC to sunlight UV at night, so every drop you pour in can go to killing algae.

    Save the trichlor for later, when you DO want to raise the CYA level.

    There's a lot of neat features in poolmath. Check out the how-to in Pool School.
    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: just opened a swampy mess

    Good work Deanna, you'll be pleased how this turns out. A little work at first, but the results you will love.
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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Good morning all!
    I'm SO happy to report that my pool is much more gray than green today. I just tested my water and here's what I've got right now:
    FC=15.5
    CC=1.5
    TC=17
    CH=100
    TA=30
    CYA=20
    PH=7.5
    It's a bright, sunny day here so I'll keep checking my FC. How long in between should I wait before retesting? Also, can I just test the FC and CC today or do I need to do each test every time for now?
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Recheck and replenish FC every couple hours if you can manage that. And during the SLAM process, just ignore everything but FC & CC. The other stuff is easy to fix after the water is clear.
    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: just opened a swampy mess

    Will do! Sending big high fives to everyone!
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Hi, re-re-re-reading some stuff, and I saw this:

    SLAMing an outdoor pool is most effective when CYA is around 30 to 40. Below 30 you lose too much chlorine to sunlight. As CYA goes up, SLAMing requires more and more chlorine, which starts to get impractical around 80 or 90. With CYA above 90 we recommend replacing water to get CYA down before you start the SLAM process.

    My CYA is currently 20. Should I use trichlor in a few hours when I need to add more FC to the pool? I have multiple one pound packs.
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Quote Originally Posted by Deanna Carroll View Post
    Hi, re-re-re-reading some stuff, and I saw this:

    SLAMing an outdoor pool is most effective when CYA is around 30 to 40. Below 30 you lose too much chlorine to sunlight. As CYA goes up, SLAMing requires more and more chlorine, which starts to get impractical around 80 or 90. With CYA above 90 we recommend replacing water to get CYA down before you start the SLAM process.

    My CYA is currently 20. Should I use trichlor in a few hours when I need to add more FC to the pool? I have multiple one pound packs.
    You could, but I wouldn't. I tend to err on the side of caution when new people start testing CYA. Even with several years' practice, I seldom get exactly the same result on two back-to-back tests using the same sample. You might already be at 30.

    Be aware that trichlor will lower the pH and TA some aside from raising FC and CYA. Your TA is already low, and the most recent pH reading will not be accurate due to the high FC level. If you stick to bleach, you'll only be changing one parameter at a time. Are you prepared to juggle three or four at a time?
    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: just opened a swampy mess

    Definitely NOT prepared to juggle anything more! I just wanted to ask since I was reading everything again. Thanks!
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    Good afternoon!
    My pool is looking blue and I can now see the outline of the 3rd step, after only 2 days! TFPM rocks! I also found out that the skimmer wasn't working last night but luckily my husband has fixed that. I tested the FC and CC this morning and added bleach about 8 am. I just went out and tested the chlorine and PH with the little cheapie tester I had from last year. The chlorine was still good and high but the PH was completely clear. I retested to make sure that I did the drop count accurately and it was still clear, so I tested fully with my TF-100 and have the following results:
    FC=28
    CC=1
    TC=29
    CH=75
    TA=40
    I'm definitely not going to add any more bleach until my FC falls below 10 again. I'll test that level again in a few hours. Just wanted to post these results to get some reassurance (if you don't mind) that I'm not ruining anything with that FC being so high and my cheapie PH test being clear.
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    If the cheapie tester is the pink FC test, the dye has bleached out from the high FC. That's why for colormatching, we recommend the yellow OTO FC test. It gets darker and darker as the FC increases. It's not accurate at high FC levels, but it won't erroneously read zero when it's anything but, the way the tester you're using will.

    For the SLAM, the FAS-DPD test is the only way to measure the high FC with any accuracy. That's why it's listed as a prerequisite in the SLAM article.
    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: just opened a swampy mess

    That is a good plan, and I think it's more than safe to say, nothing is getting damaged. With a couple of bright sunny days, and your Cya, it should come on down pretty quickly.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: just opened a swampy mess

    (The cheapie test has the yellow OTO and it is showing high chlorine.) It's the PH part of the test that scared me. The test that shows a range of oranges and pinks. When I tested it the PH results were basically clear. I just retested the PH with the blue box kit that came in my TF-100 test kit and it showed my PH to be about 6.8. Should I just now worry about PH until I'm finished with my SLAM?
    In-ground pool with a vinyl liner in Ladson SC. Sand filter newly installed in 2013. 18'x24'. 18,000 gallons. We now have our TF 100 kit. This is our third year having the pool and we're interested in learning how to have a trouble free pool.

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