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Thread: Test Results Questions

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    Test Results Questions

    Hello all, and thanks in advance for any help.

    This will be my xx year of opening my pool. I thought I had it down but this year it seems like I have issues.

    I have a 44K gallon gunite pool. Pool is about 3/4 filled and have all running but the skimmers. I also have an Aquabot helping out.

    In the past, I cleaned and threw shock in it and in less than a week, things looked good.

    This year, I threw in the shock and after a handful of days, the water was brown in color. Like sand or dirt.

    I cleaned out the Cartridge filter 3-4 times already and the Aquabot cleaned a few times a day.

    I started doing my water testing and didn't seem to understand my results. I just came back from the pool store and they ended up with almost the same results.

    My Chlorine is off the scale (high). Over 40

    My Ph is off the scale low. Less than 7

    My Total Alkalinity Test (after step #3), never turned green, it was blue-ish. After step #4, it didn't turn red only orange.

    My Calcium Hardness Test never turned red. Only a pinkish color after step #3. It also never turned blue, only a light blue.

    My Cyanuric Acid Test showed at 80 when the black dot disappeared.

    The Pool store said they couldn't tell much until my Chlorine # went down. Never gave me results of other areas.

    So in reading the posts, I think I need to get my Ph up first. So I need some Borax. Would this be the first corrective step?

    Anything else I should do. I ordered a new test kit as my other one was a few years old and didn't know if the chemicals were still good.

    Thx again,

    Golfer

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    Azgirl71's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Yes, PH needs to come up.

    Is this a pool store test or do you have your own test kit? I recommend the TF 100 with speed stir if you need to order your own.

    How does your water look?

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    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results Questions

    The TA going blue>yellow instead of green> pink is normal with elevated FC. The results are still good. It's just when it stops changing colors.

    The pH test is unreliable at high FC levels. Typically, it reads higher than it is. In your case, you may have bleached out the reagent. I would be wary of messing with it now.

    I hope you ordered the right test kit, with a FAS-DPD chlorine test. Until you get reliable test results, there isn't much you can do. You don't want to end up like this after blindly dumping chemicals in.

    Best thing to do now is keep filling, filtering, and running the cleaner while you wait for the FC to drop. While you wait for the kit, spend a little time in Pool School. Start with Read This and fill out the signature and where you live. Then move on to the ABCs so we're all speaking the same language. Then move on to How to Chlorinate and Recommended pool Chemicals.
    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: Test Results Questions

    I have my own test kit (Taylor K Type) and its a few years old. I just ordered the TFT Test Kit with speed stir. I also took a water sample to the pool store because I didn't understand the readings. I never had my Chlorine read off the charts like this. My water is brownish in color. like a sandy look.

    In reading a few links, recommendations are to get Ph up is a priority before anything else and I wasn't sure if that was the also true in my case. The pool store told me to run the pumps to get the Chlorine down. But my pumps are running 24/7 when I open the pool anyway.

    Thanks for your reply,

    Golfer

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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Thanks for the reply. I ordered the TF-100 with Stir.

    The ironic thing is that many of my neighbors think I am the pool wiz because I am hands on.

    Been a member here for a while, I don't post much but I do read a lot. Thanks for the links.

    This year was a bit weird in that I did everything as I have in the past. but things didn't look right and I dumped a lot of chlorine into the pool, instead of coming here first for some refresher info.

    Mainly because I rewired all my electrical and put in new lights, so that took up a lot of my time caring for the pool. Thought the chemical process would take care of itself while I focused on other areas.

    Thanks again for your help.

    BTW, I am in Maryland.

    Golfer

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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Took another set of reading this pm. Mostly the same as earlier today.

    FC = >2.5
    TC = >2.5
    Ph = <7
    TA = Step #1 - Blue-ish Green (not Green), Step #2 - Orange (Not Red)
    CH = Step #1 - Pink (Not Red), Step #2 - Light Blue (after 30 drops)
    CYA = about 80

    Pool is about 1/2 - 2/3 filled. Water truck delivery tomorrow to fill

    Pump on 24/7 - Filter Cleaned Daily (Brown Sediment) (Filter = 10-15PSI with all valves on)

    Aquabot on 24/7 - Cleaned every few hours. (Just a lot of brown sediment in filter bag)

    Well Water to fill empty pool. Did an acid wash this year.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Golfer
    Thanks, Golfer

    35K Gal Gunite Pool, Starite Cartridge Filter (S8M150), Lochinvar 400K BTU Propane Heater, Pentair 3HP Intellipro VS + SVRS Pump, Hayward 3HP Pump (Waterfall), Dolphin M-500 Pool Cleaner, Well Water, TFT-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by golfer38 View Post
    Took another set of reading this pm. Mostly the same as earlier today.

    FC = >2.5
    TC = >2.5
    Ph = <7
    TA = Step #1 - Blue-ish Green (not Green), Step #2 - Orange (Not Red)
    CH = Step #1 - Pink (Not Red), Step #2 - Light Blue (after 30 drops)
    CYA = about 80

    Pool is about 1/2 - 2/3 filled. Water truck delivery tomorrow to fill

    Pump on 24/7 - Filter Cleaned Daily (Brown Sediment) (Filter = 10-15PSI with all valves on)

    Aquabot on 24/7 - Cleaned every few hours. (Just a lot of brown sediment in filter bag)

    Well Water to fill empty pool. Did an acid wash this year.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Golfer
    So how many drops did the TA test take to turn orangish? And were you using 25 ml or 10 ml on the CH test?

    The chlorine test results are useless. The CYA test shows high, but when you dump in a bunch more water, it should get into some kind of respectable range. I'd hold off messing with pH until after the pool is full and the water is all mixed.
    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: Test Results Questions

    Thanks for keeping me in mind...

    It took 40+ drops to get to the light orange.

    I used the 25ml on the CH test.

    What baffles me is the brownish color water. I am not sure if my well pump is pulling some sediment from my well. In the past, it was always an algae issue I had to deal with. But the wind is blowing and there are lots of trees in my yard but I have been hand skimming, pumping and robot cleaning non stop the past 2-3 days.

    Thanks again.
    Thanks, Golfer

    35K Gal Gunite Pool, Starite Cartridge Filter (S8M150), Lochinvar 400K BTU Propane Heater, Pentair 3HP Intellipro VS + SVRS Pump, Hayward 3HP Pump (Waterfall), Dolphin M-500 Pool Cleaner, Well Water, TFT-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Those results tell me you have really hard water. I'm wondering of there's Iron in it, too? That could tint the water and possibly skew the pH test result colors. We'll just have to see what happens when the rest of the water is added and gets mixed. Is the water clear but tinted, or brown and murky like it's full of sediment and the robot is kicking it up?
    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: Test Results Questions

    Yes, we do have hard water. Most well systems do here in Maryland. The water is clear tinted brown. The robot is picking up sediment but less and less with each cleaning. Thx again
    Thanks, Golfer

    35K Gal Gunite Pool, Starite Cartridge Filter (S8M150), Lochinvar 400K BTU Propane Heater, Pentair 3HP Intellipro VS + SVRS Pump, Hayward 3HP Pump (Waterfall), Dolphin M-500 Pool Cleaner, Well Water, TFT-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

  11. Back To Top    #11
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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by golfer38 View Post
    Yes, we do have hard water. Most well systems do here in Maryland. The water is clear tinted brown. The robot is picking up sediment but less and less with each cleaning. Thx again
    Based on prior years' posts, I'm predicting that when you add a bunch of bleach, it will look even worse. You'll probably need a metal sequestrant. Think of it as the hard candy shell on an M&M; the chocolate (iron) is still there, it just can't make contact with anything. There's an article in Pool School on metals and stains. I'll also suggest you start using the search box for Iron or Rust and paper Towels or Pillow Stuffing.

    Not kidding. People have had a lot of success layering polyester pillow stuffing or layers of paper towels in the skimmer basket. A whole lot of Iron gets trapped that way, and then they just toss it. I know somewhere there's a picture of some orange wads of stuffing, and another that shows someone rinsing a film of rust dust off a cartridge filter. It will take a while to find it, which is why I'll let you do it if you;re interested.
    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: Test Results Questions

    Thanks for the tip.. I will search for it..

    I got my first 6K water tonight. I waited an hour and retested.

    FC = >2.5 but it is lighter than previous tests
    TC = >2.5 but it is lighter than previous tests

    PH = <7.0

    TA = Turned Green this time (was blue-ish green previous tests). 15-20 drops = Turned Red (Last time was Orange) So TA = 150-200

    CH = Darker Pink than previous, was light Pink previously. Now Pinkish to Redish. 30 drops = Light Blue

    CYA = 60. Previous test = 75

    Will get second 6K water fill in the am. I will let pump run and test it after work.

    Thanks again for sticking with me.

    Golfer.
    Thanks, Golfer

    35K Gal Gunite Pool, Starite Cartridge Filter (S8M150), Lochinvar 400K BTU Propane Heater, Pentair 3HP Intellipro VS + SVRS Pump, Hayward 3HP Pump (Waterfall), Dolphin M-500 Pool Cleaner, Well Water, TFT-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Welcome to TFP!
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    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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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Thx for the welcome.
    Thanks, Golfer

    35K Gal Gunite Pool, Starite Cartridge Filter (S8M150), Lochinvar 400K BTU Propane Heater, Pentair 3HP Intellipro VS + SVRS Pump, Hayward 3HP Pump (Waterfall), Dolphin M-500 Pool Cleaner, Well Water, TFT-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Hello everyone. Thanks again for any feedback.

    The second 6K gal waterfill came this am and I just took some measurements.

    Pool looks a lot clearer, but not sure if that is due to the dilution of the brown-ish water. But I can see the floor drains pretty clearly. Still a bit darkish.

    FC = >2.5 (Still the same, but the color is much lighter than previous tests)
    TC = >2.5 (Still the same, but the color is much lighter than previous tests)

    pH = <7.0 (same as previous tests, but there is a bit of darker shade)

    TA = Turned Green (first time), 7 drops (to Red) 70ppm.

    CH = No Red, stayed clear (Pinkish before), So no Calcium Hardness??

    CYA = 35-40, which is good??

    Ok, so it looks like I may be heading in the right direction.

    In my reading and feedback, I need to get my pH up... So would that be Borax? If so, how much? I can use the pool calculator but not sure if I would be doing it correctly.

    Should I do anything else or just one step at a time?

    I guess my next after step is to SLAM, correct?

    Thanks again everyone.
    Thanks, Golfer

    35K Gal Gunite Pool, Starite Cartridge Filter (S8M150), Lochinvar 400K BTU Propane Heater, Pentair 3HP Intellipro VS + SVRS Pump, Hayward 3HP Pump (Waterfall), Dolphin M-500 Pool Cleaner, Well Water, TFT-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

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    Re: Test Results Questions

    I hope these new readings were taken after the water had a chance to mix well.

    Yes, you need to get the pH up using Borax or Washing Soda. If you have any pH up left over from past seasons, use that. It's the same as Washing Soda. If you're unclear on how to use poolmath, read the detailed directions.

    Your CYA is good for now.

    Rerun the CH test and use 5 drops of the R-0011. It might have just been too pale to see the color.

    You can't SLAM your pool. You don't have the prerequisite chlorine tester. >2.5 is not precise enough. You'll be working blind, wasting bleach. What tester are you using, anyway? If it's colormatching and the comparator uses shades of pink, super high FC can actually bleach it out and make it read lower than it is!
    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!

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Test Results Questions

    The water was delivered this am and I tested when I got home. Pump going full time.

    I am using a Taylor K DPD Test Kit. Its a few years old.

    I ordered the TF-100 which will be here tomorrow.

    The reason I mentioned Pool Calculator is because I was playing with it a tad and it asks what end results you are looking for...

    In reading the forum, I came across the #'s of FC = 3-7, pH = 7.5-7.8, TA = 70-90, CH = 250-350 and CYA = 30-50.

    In reading the Chlorine/CYA chart, if CYA is 40, then MFC = 3, TFC = 5 and SFC = 16.

    So if my FC is off the charts, >2.5 and has been the same since I started testing then couldn't that be between 3-7.

    I know my pH is low and need to increase it. I am just not sure how much to put in.

    As well discussed in this forum is the balancing act of all the measurements collectively.

    So when I do the Pool Calculator, the results state to do a handful of things.

    I just don't want to tip one way and then have another issue pop in another area as I learn to understand the results of my measurements, work the pool calculator and then perform the recommended actions.

    Seems like my a few of my latest measurement tests are coming back into acceptable ranges.

    Thanks again for following through and working this with me.. I appreciate it.
    Thanks, Golfer

    35K Gal Gunite Pool, Starite Cartridge Filter (S8M150), Lochinvar 400K BTU Propane Heater, Pentair 3HP Intellipro VS + SVRS Pump, Hayward 3HP Pump (Waterfall), Dolphin M-500 Pool Cleaner, Well Water, TFT-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: Test Results Questions

    You are correct with "As well discussed in this forum is the balancing act of all the measurements collectively." That's why it's so very important to really know what levels you have. Check that CH reagent. If the bottle is discolored at all, it's gone bad, and you may have high CH. I'd bet on it, since you know you're in a hard water area. That rules out using Cal-hypo shock. But we really won't know until you get the new test kit.

    TA at 70 is fine. Whatever you add to raise the pH will have some effect on that, but nothing to get excited about. The target listed on pool math are what to target if you're raising TA. That's why it says 70-90+. If you're at 100, plug 100 in as the target and move along. In your case - and almost everyone else's, too -- TA is the last thing you monkey with.

    Your CYA is good, so don't add any more, and don't use dichlor shock or trichlor pucks. They'll raise it. They're also acidic and your pH is low already.

    It won't hurt anything but your wallet right now to add some bleach to get it to target FC if you simply must do something. As I mentioned before, it could make the pool look like coffee or deep green or even like a puddle of rust, if you have Iron.
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Just did the CH again and it turned red. with 25 drops it turned blue. So that equates to CH = 250ppm.

    The new test kit will be here tomorrow so all the chemicals, etc will be new and provide much better numbers.

    As for the pH increase, my number is way low. So should I just plug in 5.0 (which I did and it stated to add 2010 ounces of soda or 4000 ounces of borax) to start with?

    Same goes for my FC/TC. If its off the charts, then what number should I use as a "now". Also, why would I add bleach now if my FC/TC is high? As with the pH, how much bleach should I throw in the pool?

    Thanks again.
    Thanks, Golfer

    35K Gal Gunite Pool, Starite Cartridge Filter (S8M150), Lochinvar 400K BTU Propane Heater, Pentair 3HP Intellipro VS + SVRS Pump, Hayward 3HP Pump (Waterfall), Dolphin M-500 Pool Cleaner, Well Water, TFT-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by golfer38 View Post
    Just did the CH again and it turned red. with 25 drops it turned blue. So that equates to CH = 250ppm.

    The new test kit will be here tomorrow so all the chemicals, etc will be new and provide much better numbers.

    As for the pH increase, my number is way low. So should I just plug in 5.0 (which I did and it stated to add 2010 ounces of soda or 4000 ounces of borax) to start with?

    Same goes for my FC/TC. If its off the charts, then what number should I use as a "now". Also, why would I add bleach now if my FC/TC is high? As with the pH, how much bleach should I throw in the pool?

    Thanks again.
    No no no.

    A pH of 5 would probably leave chemical burns on your arm when you reach in to empty the strainer. pH is logarithmic, like the Richter Scale.

    You have the K-2005, so use the base demand test to get you into the ballpark. Otherwise, plug in 6.8 as your now pH and add what it asks for. And if it still reads low after 30 minutes of mixing, do it again and again as often as it needs until you actually get a color shift.

    For now on the FC, put in zero and target 5. I seriously doubt you're going to end up above shock level, so no harm will happen to anything.

    Fix the pH first.
    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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