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Thread: I'm trying hard...

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    I'm trying hard...

    History is 12000 gallon in ground gunite pool
    New owner(2 months)pool built 2009
    No history of previous owner habits(other than they had pool service)
    No previous pool experience
    Have some water testing experience
    In the last 2 months have had problems controlling ph(keeps climbing) use muriatic acid to control goes down then back up to 8.0 range
    Chlorine is 12.5 added as needed(add an average of 70-90 oz a week) 4-5 ppm to 0 by weeks end
    Have had since owning white residue at water level on blue tile, diamond shape from grout line
    After reading on here got test kit(Taylor)
    Found cya was high 100+(off test kit range)
    Alkalinity has stayed around 70
    Calcium hardness has dropped 270 to 160 originally thought white deposits were from high ph(calcium) but ch keeps dropping
    Cya has dropped with adding of pool water due to evaporation(at least I think it has,85-90 test are so subjective to what the dot is you see)
    I am lost with ph constantly rising(adding acid to drop) and ch dropping.
    Just don't want to chase tail.
    Does it seem like I am moving in right direction?
    Also there was a nature2 filter that I removed cartridge from after noticing blue pellets in water fall pond area. Cartridge had nothing in it when removed
    Sorry for the long winded post
    By the way pool water has always been crystal clear and never had algae(for the last 2 months at least)
    12000 gallon
    Gunite
    12.5 chlorine

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Welcome to the forum!

    Post a set of test results on your makeup water please. The source of your pH rise is mostly from TA in your fill, but let's see what the other numbers look like.

    pH
    TA
    CH

    If we can see those numbers for your fill it will help us guide you. Do you have much aeration, such as hot tub overflow or waterfalls?

    Also, where is Eldorado Hills? Can you please add that to your Profile there?
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Welcome to TFP! Good work there!

    Be sure to keep your FC above the minimum level for your CYA level in this Chlorine CYA Chart or algae will start to grow.

    Here are some intro Pool School articles to read
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals to maintain your pool.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Welcome!

    Unlike some people, I know where El Dorado Hills is.

    The CH lowering is probably because it's sticking to the walls. Are you seeing greyish-tannish patches anywhere? Any rough spots? If you just keep adding acid to keep pH down to 7.2-7.3, some of that white crust will dissolve and you'll see the CH rise again. The stuff above the water line can be removed with 1:3 muriatic acid/water in a spray bottle and maybe some elbow grease with a pumice stone. It sounds awful and it leaves all kinds of grit in the pool, but it works.

    The chlorine is going to be a daily thing. If you have your own test kit, it's really easy. And you'll soon discover your pool's appetite and can just dump in a certain amount most days. But until that point comes, you'll need daily testing.

    CYA doesn't evaporate. If yours is going down and you can't blame it on backwashing or a huge amount of rain (not this year!) then you may have a leak. Do you have an autofill?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Welcome, motojager. Are your test results from your on kit, or the pool store? Pool store is unreliable especially in terms of cya, which is usually higher than reported.

    Richard, since you know where el dorado hills is, do they have water restrictions? What should motojäger do about the suspiciously high CYA?

    Moto, keeping a pool "trouble free" usually means having lower CYA -- see the FC:cya chart in my signature. Normally, a high cya level means a 30% or more water change is in order, but if you have restrictions, that can be difficult. Some people try to lower it with a series of water changes.

    If you leave it that high, you will need to be sure your FC never drops below the recommended ratio, which ultimately costs more and is less "trouble free" than we prefer Your FC level has been way too low for a CYA that high....at those cya levels you need higher FC to effectively sanitize. That's how to avoid chasing your tail

    Let us kno what you're testing with and what options are avail. To you in terms of water change, and in the mean time, do not allow FC to drop below the min. In the FC:CYA chart per link in my signature.

    That is the single most important takeaway from TFP! Enjoy your new-to-you pool!
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  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    El dorado hills is in northern CA, and yes huge water restrictions right now.
    All testing done with Taylor test kit and hach hq30d
    Ph 7.84
    Ch 160
    Ta 70
    Free chlorine 2.5
    Cya out of reagent to test but was 85 last test.
    I added water to pool and forgot water was on and returned home from store to full pool. Since drained back to normal level
    There is nothing on walls that I can see. water has always been clear. Been trying to bring ph down. But keeps creeping up.





    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Welcome!

    Unlike some people, I know where El Dorado Hills is.

    The CH lowering is probably because it's sticking to the walls. Are you seeing greyish-tannish patches anywhere? Any rough spots? If you just keep adding acid to keep pH down to 7.2-7.3, some of that white crust will dissolve and you'll see the CH rise again. The stuff above the water line can be removed with 1:3 muriatic acid/water in a spray bottle and maybe some elbow grease with a pumice stone. It sounds awful and it leaves all kinds of grit in the pool, but it works.

    The chlorine is going to be a daily thing. If you have your own test kit, it's really easy. And you'll soon discover your pool's appetite and can just dump in a certain amount most days. But until that point comes, you'll need daily testing.

    CYA doesn't evaporate. If yours is going down and you can't blame it on backwashing or a huge amount of rain (not this year!) then you may have a leak. Do you have an autofill?
    12000 gallon
    Gunite
    12.5 chlorine

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Well......I see a water feature that's helping to make your PH rise. Do you also have a SWG?
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  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    Well......I see a water feature that's helping to make your PH rise. Do you also have a SWG?
    Nope chlorine 12.5 every2-3 dAys 100 ounces
    KiOiloooo
    o
    12000 gallon
    Gunite
    12.5 chlorine

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Gorgeous pool! Lets keep her that way

    The accidental overflow might not have been good for California, but it will have helped a tiny bit on the CYA.

    Let's assume your CYA is 80. According to the chart I referred you to, you min. FC would be 6 ppm, and you would dose it EVERY day to around 9 ppm -- so that it wouldn't get below 6 ppm at any time. That is how to effectively sanitize your water and completely avoid algae at your CYA level.

    With that gorgeous water feature, you will also have to periodically use muriatic acid after determining from either your test kit and or the Pool Calculator how much to add to bring your ph down to 7.2 to address the CH issue and maybe later 7.5 ish for optimal bather comfort and chemical behavior

    So, priority one to avoid future problems is to test FC and ph daily, and add enough chlorine to stay above 6 ppm (or whatever number in the chart corresponds to your current cya level if you're able to keep diluting it) and enough muriatic acid to control your ph.

    The splashing from your waterfall will be one reason your ph rises so much.
    And as Richard suggested, that higher ph is likely causing your CH to precipitate -- form white on your walls. Follow his tips on that and over time, learn about CSI index (in pool school and using pool calculator) to better understand the relationship of your pool surface with water balance.

    Hope that helps you feel more confident in your new pool management! You will not regret this leaning curve because as you will come to find, its awesome to have and maintain a trouble free pool! Cheers!
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  10. Back To Top    #10
    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Awesome pool, as Swampwoman said never let your FC drop below the min for your cya. I keep mine at target.
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

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  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    What a pretty pool! I bet it is nice to sit in and listen to!

    Kim
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  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    So I'm getting the numbers down, keeping free chlorine up higher than I normally would its due to CYA around 80-90. Ph floating in 7.8
    Now I want to tackle some staining. One that was previously mention on the blue tile(see pic)
    I heard mix of muriatic acid and some scrubbing can make look new. The other is some rust stains at bottom that a uniform almost squares. (See pic)
    12000 gallon
    Gunite
    12.5 chlorine

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Am I better of shutting th water feature off?
    Ta has stayed around 70
    ch has been lowering to 150
    12000 gallon
    Gunite
    12.5 chlorine

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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    Yes, turning the water feature off will slow or maybe even halt the pH rise.
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  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    So fc was 5-6. Had lots of kids over and a lot of splash and what not for memorial weekend. Checked levels after weekend.
    Prior to adding Chemicals after weekend was.
    0 fc
    0 cc
    Ph 7.9
    Ch 150
    Ta 60
    Cya 70-80

    Added 128oz 12.5 chlorine
    16 oz of muriatic acid 29%

    Ok after adding chemicals
    24 hrs later.
    4 fc
    .2(maybe) cc very very slight pink
    Ph 7.5
    Ch 150
    Ta 60
    Had Leslie's do water test also(I know trust your own) off same sample water
    Their results.
    Fc 3
    Tac 3
    Ch 130
    Cya 50
    Ta 50
    Ph 7.4

    So thoughts are
    Raise water level
    Lower ph to 7.3(just because I am going to do scale removal as previously mentioned in thread)
    Shut off waterfall
    Raise fc back to 5-6
    Get ta up with baking soda(how long do I wait since dropping ph?)
    Wait on ch since I am going to do a manual scrub with ma mix and pumice stone after weekend party?
    Sorry so long winded just trying to make sure I am covering bases in the right order
    12000 gallon
    Gunite
    12.5 chlorine

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I'm trying hard...

    I'd leave pH where it is right now since scrubbing the waterline will add some acid that way. And adding Baking Soda will just drive the pH up again in a week or so. Your fill water will likely raise TA anyway. Chlorine is a daily thing no matter what else you're doing.
    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: I'm trying hard...

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    I'd leave pH where it is right now since scrubbing the waterline will add some acid that way. And adding Baking Soda will just drive the pH up again in a week or so. Your fill water will likely raise TA anyway. Chlorine is a daily thing no matter what else you're doing.
    So I already added the ma for ph 7.3 drop hopefully, prior to this post response. Also added 2lbs of baking soda shaken all over pool. I will retest in morning and prob. Add chlorine just to get back up fc to high level since cya is high. Let it just filter away and do MA solution spray and scrub after fri- sat party? That should hopefully bring ch up from its lower state? AS it falls in from water line and above,after scrub? Sound good? Thanks for the help Richard you have dumbed this down for me to understand...i think? Ch is the just tapped? Don't mess with it until after guest are gone and can get some of it to fall in pool.

    Side note would it be bad to use high pressure water 5000 psi to blast off scale etc after weekend swim is done? Or,will this tear up,grout on about water line tiles?
    12000 gallon
    Gunite
    12.5 chlorine

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    What to attack first?

    Start with water has always been blue and clear.
    Fc 4
    Cc 0
    Ph 7.75
    Ta 70
    Ch 150
    Cya 70-80

    So ch has stayed around the same for month now.

    Ta came up some(was 60) after adding baking soda a week ago. Only added 2lbs

    Ph is always on the rise. Add 20-26 oz ma every other week. Ph goes up to 7.9 I will add acid then drops to 7.4 then works its way back to 7.9(after week and a half or so). Thought it was water feature but have not had waterfall on and same pattern. We do have a lot of flowers,leaves, etc falling in pool daily, but getting cleaned up right away.

    I guess my question is which do I handle first?
    Fix
    Ta 70 to target of 100 ?(have baking soda on hand)
    Ch 150 to target of 220 ?(have hardness plus on hand)
    Then drop ph back down? Raise pool water.Go to maybe 7.2 for a bit to help with some scaling?
    Just make sure Fc stay around the 4-6 range?
    Any specific order to attack?
    Wait times between previous add on each?

    Thanks
    Tjay
    12000 gallon
    Gunite
    12.5 chlorine

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Scuba_Steve's Avatar
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    Re: What to attack first?

    Your TA is fine. Recommended range is 70-90, not 100. Recommended Levels

    Do you have a SWG? If not your CYA is way too high. Unfortunately the only way to fix this is drain and refill. That is what I would attack first. A 30% drain and refill should bring you around 50-60. If you retest and your above 50, do another 10-20% drain. Also your FC is low for that CYA level unless you have a SWG.
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  20. Back To Top    #20
    Scuba_Steve's Avatar
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    Re: What to attack first?

    After that I would target CH. Recommended is 250-350
    6425g Intex Ultraframe 18'x48" AG
    Stock 1500gph cartridge filter / Intex SWG CG-28669 with E.C.O.
    Install date: 5/26/2015
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