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Thread: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

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    Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    I have been working in trying to get my chemicals right for about 2-3 weeks now. First reading I had to add stabilizer, shock, ph down, alkalinity and hardness increased. 2nd reading had to super chlorinate(salt water generator) 3rd reading had to add shock and stabalizer. Let pump run for at least 8 hours a day. Today's reading I need alkalinity, ph down and of course shock again.
    Current readings:
    pH: 8.2
    FC: 1.1
    Total chlorine: 1.1
    CYA: 92
    Total alkalinity: 65
    Total hardness: 222
    Salt: 3400

    These readings have been from pool place. Water is crystal clear. We have changed sand in filter. I am now at a loss and ready to put cover backbone it. We live in Ga. The pool is an 18x32 unground with vinyl liner. I believe total gallons is 24,000. We keep our SWG output on 72%. Any advice? Not sure how to put pic on here but I have some if that would help.
    18'X32' inground pool
    Saltwater System
    Hayward turbocell T-15
    Hayward sand filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    What test kit are you using?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    I am actually taking the water to the pool store to have it checked. The print out says Bioguard...... I don't know what the best test kit is to use. I am new to the pool thing. And I don't feel comfortable with the color changing strips and such.
    18'X32' inground pool
    Saltwater System
    Hayward turbocell T-15
    Hayward sand filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Forget the test strips ... that was good intuition. But the pool store testing is really no better (and perhaps worse).

    You should certainly invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits and then stop going to the pool store.

    IF (big if) those numbers are right, your CYA is getting too high (likely due to any "shock" you keep adding) and you may need to replace some of the water to get that back down. To clear up the pool, you should stick with liquid chlorine.

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Donldson's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Welcome to the forum gaddy!

    jblizzle has you covered and getting some reading in will help you understand what we are trying to explain to you. It will seem very overwhelming at first, but we all started out knowing nothing about this and learning the whole process can be quite shocking (pun absolutely intended)!

    What the pool store is doing is something we call "being pool-stored". It involves you bringing in water, them running tests, selling you a bunch of stuff to dump in your pool, hope for the best, and repeat. Does that sound familiar? If so, you are among friends who had the same situation and this site and forum has helped us break loose from that cycle.

    So if you want to learn the basics of pool chemistry, just enough to be able to handle it yourself, read the links jblizzle set out for you. I can promise you from my own personal experience that it is worth the time to learn. As you do that you will have many great questions and the entire forum is here to help you. If you are willing to take the leap, we are willing to help you swim!
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Ok.... so which of the test kits should I order? Which one is the easiest to use and accurate?
    The pool is actually VERY clear and beautiful!! I have added a total of 5lbs. of shock in 2 weeks time. pool 1.jpgpool 2.jpg
    18'X32' inground pool
    Saltwater System
    Hayward turbocell T-15
    Hayward sand filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Well, with the CYA level and the FC level they reported ... I would not expect the water to stay that clear for very long.
    The required FC level is a function of the CYA level. This is something that for some reason no one in pool stores seems to understand. See: FC/CYA Chart

    The link I provided shows the recommended test kits. The TF-100 is the best value from tftestkits.net ... they are running free shipping if you add one of the options to your order and meet the minimum purchase.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Also..... We had the pool completely re-done 3 years ago when we bought the house and had it changed to salt water. The man who did all of the work told us to add salt into skimmer. We did that for 2 years and I just found out this year that is incorrect. We are supposed to add it directly into pool water. Is there a chance we have damaged our SWG? We clean it regularly (2-3 months). However we have not chemically cleaned. it. Have not seen and build up or anything on it.
    Just a little picture of the improvement in 3 years. LOLpool.jpg
    18'X32' inground pool
    Saltwater System
    Hayward turbocell T-15
    Hayward sand filter

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    jcowart's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Your question about the kits. The TF100 is your best bang for the buck. The TF100 and Taylor K2006 use the same testing chemicals. The K2006 will come in a nice blue box and all the bottles are the same size. The TF100 has different size regents because you will use some faster than others. Pool stores are in the chemical selling business. They will test your water for free and sell you what they think my fix it. What this site teaches is accurate self testing and only adding chemicals for what's needed. Your alkalinity up was 100% baking soda that you can get for .42 a box at walmart everyday in the baking isle. It's like going to CVS and picking up Tylenol or CVS acetaminophen. They are the same chemical. What this site teaches is liquid chlorine. That can be 8.25% store brand bleach or 10 -12.5% pool store liquid shock. It's one and the same. Start with the links you were given and take it in small chucks. It may seem like a lot but it will become very easy. Welcome to the forum. Ask questions, that's what this place is for. The only dumb question is one not asked. I guarantee that someone else has the same question.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I am going to order me the TF100 tomorrow and see where we go from there. In the meantime I am going to be reading a lot of the information on here. I want to learn all I can about this pool because at this point I am ready to fill it in. I went with saltwater because it is supposed to be "cheaper and less maintenance. And I am staying away from the pool store from now on!
    18'X32' inground pool
    Saltwater System
    Hayward turbocell T-15
    Hayward sand filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    That is not necessarily true about the SWG. The long term costs are basically the same as maintaining the pool with bleach.
    A SWG is really about the convenience of not having to haul and pour bleach every day.
    With it come different maintenance items, like keeping the cell clean, having the correct salt levels, and usually having to combat rising pH and thus adding more acid.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical levels..... HELP PLEASE!

    Welcome to TFP! That is a pretty good before and after pic!

    Until you get your TF100 you need to maintain adequate chlorine in your pool to prevent algae growth. The only reason algae grows in a pool is due to insufficient chlorine.

    This Chlorine CYA Chart tells you what chlorine level should be maintained based on your CYA level.

    For now, we have to assume that your CYA is 92. Is your SWG running? If not, you can use bleach to chlorinate. If SWG is on then adjust it to maintain FC at 6ppm. If you are going to chlorinate with bleach then add bleach to keep FC at 12. Never let your FC drop below the minimum level on this chart or algae will start to grow. Don't let the clear water fool you, algae has been growing in a pool for quite a while before the water clouds and then turns green.

    Don't worry about any other levels until you get the TF100.

    Here is how we maintain pools at TFP.
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Your target water balance is Water Balance for SWCGs
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals to achieve those targets
    Use PoolMath to calculate how much to add to achieve the targets.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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