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Thread: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

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    Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    I'm a new (well...new to me) pool owner. I have been adding liquid bleach (8.25%) to my pool for the last 4 days. So far I have added around 20 gallons of bleach and cannot seem to get the chlorine up to shock level (shooting for 10). The water clarity has definitely improved, but I can't get the levels up. Maybe this is not unusual, but 20 gallons seems like a lot of bleach to me. I am using a K-2006 test kit. Yesterday I was able to get the level up to 6, but by this morning it was down to 3 again. Any advice?
    20,000 Gal, IG, Vinyl, 1hp Pentair challenger, Pentair Triton sand filter, natural gas heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Can you post up a full set of test results?
    What does your water look like?

    If you started with a mess, it is going to take a lot of bleach to fix the pool. Test results will help figure out what is going on.

    Are you trying to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process?
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Here is what we are looking for, What we need to know to answer your questions
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Okay, here's what I come up with:
    FC: 6
    CC: 1
    CYA: 0 (which I know is strange from reading other posts...this is an 8 year old pool)
    TA: 140
    CH: 290
    PH: 7 (it was 7.2 when I started the process)

    Yes, I am trying to follow the SLAM process. Also, I have an electronic cover on the pool so it does not get much direct sunlight. The water is much clearer than when I started but it is still a little green in the deep end.
    20,000 Gal, IG, Vinyl, 1hp Pentair challenger, Pentair Triton sand filter, natural gas heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    With 0 CYA, the sun will destroy all your FC in less than a day.

    Is the test completely clear or is there any cloudiness to it?
    I would raise the CYA up to around 30ppm and then continue the SLAM process.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    The test water is almost completely clear. Okay, I bought some stabilizer the other day so I will put some in. Thanks.
    20,000 Gal, IG, Vinyl, 1hp Pentair challenger, Pentair Triton sand filter, natural gas heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Put it in a sock and place it in your skimmer. Squeeze it fairly often if you can to speed up the dissolving.
    Assume your CYA is at your target and SLAM accordingly.
    After a week, test and confirm the CYA level.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott123 View Post
    The test water is almost completely clear. Okay, I bought some stabilizer the other day so I will put some in. Thanks.
    Use Pool Math to figure how much you will need and target a lower number. Better to add twice than to add to much and overshoot the target.
    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: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    I think I would add 25-30ppm of CYA. Even if you have some in there already, at worst you would be up around 50ppm which is still within acceptable range.

    How much CYA did you buy? If it is 4 pounds, that would add about 24ppm which might be almost enough to get a reading on the test.
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    I used up my 4 pounds of CYA and bought some more. The water is cloudy now when I test for it, but it's still less than 30. I added some more this morning. The pool is still devouring bleach like mad. I poured 4 gallons more in last night and my reading this morning was 1ppm. There keeps being a lot of dirt on the bottom and I keep vacuuming. It has not been very sunny here lately and I have a retractable cover that I keep on it all the time, so I can only conclude that the pool must have been filthy. I don't think the former owners used it much last year and it appears they didn't maintain it very well. The water has cleared up dramatically so I keep thinking I'm getting close, but then I go out and check the FC and get a 1!
    20,000 Gal, IG, Vinyl, 1hp Pentair challenger, Pentair Triton sand filter, natural gas heater

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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Do not add more Cya. It takes a while to register.

    Clearing a nasty pool does devour Chlorine, so this is normal. Keep hammering it, don't let the FC fall below SLAM values.

    How much more Cya did you put in?
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    I put in about a pound and half more.
    20,000 Gal, IG, Vinyl, 1hp Pentair challenger, Pentair Triton sand filter, natural gas heater

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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    You did well.

    That ought to stick you right around 40 CYA. Perfect. Don't worry about testing it again until late next week. Assume it is there.

    Increase and maintain your FC for 40 Cya as per the chart. Do your level best to keep it as close to there as possible. Be relentless in that, and things will go your way. Keep us updated, and good work!
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Just wanted to post a quick update. I have a happy ending. I finally got my chlorine up to shock level and now it has stabilized. I appreciate your help...I just needed a little hand-holding (and a good dose of patience). Here are my current levels:
    CYA 35
    FC 3
    CC .5
    TA 125
    CH 375
    PH 7

    I just added a couple of boxes of Borax to try to get the PH levels up a little bit. I've already put in 2 boxes a couple of weeks ago but they didn't seem to budge it much. Anything else I need to worry about or am I all set? I believe it eventually took around 50 gallons of bleach to get it up to shock level. I thought I was going to have to buy stock in Clorox! I don't think there is much I can do about the water hardness. We have a well and the water is very hard even with a softener. Thanks again, you guys are great!
    20,000 Gal, IG, Vinyl, 1hp Pentair challenger, Pentair Triton sand filter, natural gas heater

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Good job working through that! Nice!

    Keep working to get your ph up above 7.2. 7 is the bottom of the range so it could be lower than that. Remember that ph test need to be done with FC below 10.

    You should have gotten the truckload discount on bleach! LOL
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Wait, did you just get the FC up to shock level once? Did you maintain it there until you passed the 3 criteria to stop the SLAM process?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    These three criteria?

    You are done when:
    CC is 0.5 or lower
    You pass an OCLT (ie*overnight FC loss test*shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less)
    And the water is clear.
    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    Yes, I passed the three tests. The pool is crystal clean. I'll keep working on my PH level. Thanks!
    20,000 Gal, IG, Vinyl, 1hp Pentair challenger, Pentair Triton sand filter, natural gas heater

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Can't Get the Chlorine Levels Up

    We like crystal clear sparkly pools around here!
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