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Thread: First Time Tester - OLD water....bad readings

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    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Orange County, CA
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    First Time Tester - OLD water....bad readings

    Background on the pool - it's old and the plaster is going in various places, but I'm hoping to get another season or two out of it (I've been saying that for years). We purchased the house in 2008 and at that time the guy at Leslie's was telling me our levels were high and that we should replace the water. Haven't done that (just added for evaporation over the years), and up until the end of last summer I had a pool guy. He moved, I decided I'd finally try to mange it myself.

    Stupidly, over the winter months I kept adding chlorine tablets to the pool. When I finally decided to test the cholorine it was a very DEEP orange - way off the charts. Until last weekend I hadn't added any chlorine for a number of weeks (hoping it would burn off) and I was able to get it down to the 5-10 Cl Br color chart and it's in the 7.8 range on pH. That said, I'm still getting patches of algae on some of the walls, so just today I kicked up the pump to turn the water 3x / day.

    Levels were as follow:

    Cl Br: 5-10 range
    pH: 7.8
    FC: 12.5 ppm (25 drops x .5)
    CC: .5 ppm (1 drop x .5)
    TC: 13 ppm
    CH: 1125 ppm (45 drops x 25)
    TA: 170 (17 drops)
    CYA: 60ish (I say ish because the tube leaks and I can't get a good reading...I need to seal the bottom w/ some epoxy or something later.

    So - clearly a lot of readings that aren't great, but given the drought I'd prefer not to do a major drain until I remodel (unless I'm harming people in the pool).

    I'll continue to do some research, but would love some guidance on how to improve things. Right now the only chemicals I have are chlorine pucks from Home Depot and the TFP test kit, so I'm essentially starting from scratch.

    Thanks for the help.

    Derek
    30k gallon in ground plaster pool.
    Pentair Intelliflo VF pump running @ 25 gpm (take that Edison!).
    Broken heater from 1980 that doesn't work.
    Probably some other stuff...

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    Re: First Time Tester - OLD water....bad readings

    That CH reading is worrisome. But the 60 CYA is encouraging. It's high, but manageable.

    There are three choices to deal with the CH: a partial drain and refill, reverse osmosis (expensive, only possible if the water is clear) or ignore it since you plan to resurface the pool next year. A partial drain is best done now, to lower the CYA along with the CH. But if you intend to go the R/O or ignore routes, draining would be sort of a waste. But it will take more bleach to kill the algae at the higher CYA level. If a partial drain is your decision, do that first. At least 1/3 of the water should go.

    Whatever the case, when the pool is full again or still full, what you want to do is to first lower pH to 7.2 using muriatic acid, and then SLAM the pool to kill the algae. That means take it up to shock level and keep it up there until all the algae is dead. All of it. It could take a week or more and lots of bleach, but not as much as it would take if the whole pool turns green, so don't delay. SLAM instructions.

    If you choose the ignore-the-CH route, you'll want to drive the TA way down to 60ish and maintain pH in the 7.2>7.4 range all summer, and you may still develop some scale.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Tester - OLD water....bad readings

    Richard is our resident expert on living with high CH conditions in the southwest, so I would go with his advice on this. I would also suggest at least looking into RO treatment if it is available where you live and decide if you want to spend the money on water you will likely be dumping next year, on the topic of the CYA tester leaking, tftestkits sells replacement kit hardware http://tftestkits.net/CYA-View-Tube-p61.html

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: First Time Tester - OLD water....bad readings

    Thanks for the replies - appreciate the help. I'll look into the Reverse Osmosis and consider it since I don't want to waste a bunch of water. That being said, outside of the calcium scaling on our tiles (they'll will be replaced when we do the pool since we already have years of scaling that doesn't come off w/ pumice/chemicals) is the high CH "bad" for people or unhealthy? What about the other high levels? In other words, if I SLAM and can get Chlorine & pH to reasonable levels should the pool be fine for kids and adults to enjoy? I'm sure some research will show me the answer, but outside of the RO or draining can I drive the TA down w/ other methods? Thanks so much.
    30k gallon in ground plaster pool.
    Pentair Intelliflo VF pump running @ 25 gpm (take that Edison!).
    Broken heater from 1980 that doesn't work.
    Probably some other stuff...

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Tester - OLD water....bad readings

    High CH won't hurt anyone. Once you pass SLAM, everyone is safe to swim once FC is below SLAM value.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Tester - OLD water....bad readings

    Here is an article on lowering TA.
    Lowering Total Alkalinity
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