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Thread: No Free Chlorine?

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    No Free Chlorine?

    Hi guys, I'm Steve. New here. My Fiancee and I just recently closed on a house last week and have since been having issues with the pool. It's a 27,000 gallon inground pool, vinyl liner, DE filter + heater + Polaris. So anyway, for the water issues.

    My Dad who has had a pool for years has been trying to help me out but his pool seems to always just kind of test perfect and have no issues and neither of us could figure out what is going on with my pool. The numbers seemed to fluctuate daily with the test strips he had purchased, the only constant was no FC. So, after researching a bunch I went out and bought the Taylor K-2006 which came today. So I did the tests after work and came up with the following numbers:

    FC - 0
    CC: 0.14
    CYA - 100
    PH - 7
    TA - 60
    CH - Unsure, I was really confused by this test as it tells you to just keep adding drops until it turns blue and I had added about 20 drops and it wasn't turning blue and I didn't wanna waste the whole testing bottle as I bought the smaller kit for now. I realized after that I could do a 10mL test instead of 25mL and use a lot less solution. So I'm going to rerun this one tomorrow morning. But I really wanted to get this post out there to see what I should do.

    I used Poolcalculator.com which pretty much said drain 60% of your water and try again. My main worry is draining like 15,000 gallons of water into a neighborhood I just moved into at risk of flooding half the neighborhood. Cause that's A LOT of water.

    From what I can understand, besides the fact that my PH is pretty low, my CH is probably pretty high I'm guessing (I got to at least 350 on the drop count before I stopped with no signs turning to blue) and my CC is high I think? I essentially have to drain the pool because there's no way to get rid of the CYA short of draining the water.

    Luckily, I do have a well that my outside hoses utilize, so I won't be paying for the water which is nice. But I'm just trying to figure out if there's anyway to fix this issue without draining half the pool, mainly cause I was really hoping to use the pool this Memorial Day weekend as it's supposed to be really nice Sunday, Monday & Tuesday (off Tuesday). Currently the pool isn't green or cloudy or anything. It actually looks perfectly clean, it's just not testing well. I'm guessing it's not getting very dirty yet due to the fact that before today when the testing kit came we just kept dumping shock into the pool trying to get the FC level to break open.

    Any help would be much appreciated, even if the help is "Sorry bud, drain it or keep dumping gallons of bleach into the pool every few days".

    Thanks a bunch,
    Steve

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Welcome Steve! Congrats on your test kit!
    You need to get some bleach in there to raise FC
    Your PH will probably rise on its own
    Unfortunately the only way to lower CYA is partial drain and refill. Maybe drain 20% and recheck so you don't flood the neighborhood all at once.
    CC do .5 or lower is good

    - - - Updated - - -

    Do you have a SWG? If not you want your CYA to be 30-50. If yes then lower it to 70-80
    When you add bleach don't blindly add. Use pool math to figure out how much you need to add.
    My well water has a very high CH 550
    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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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Azgirl71 View Post
    Welcome Steve! Congrats on your test kit!
    You need to get some bleach in there to raise FC
    Your PH will probably rise on its own
    Unfortunately the only way to lower CYA is partial drain and refill. Maybe drain 20% and recheck so you don't flood the neighborhood all at once.
    CC do .5 or lower is good
    Thanks, it's a pretty intimidating kit. Took awhile to understand what it was asking. Once I realized the bottles were color coated snd in order it made stuff a lot easier though.

    How much bleach do you think? Pool calc said like 2 gallons of 6%? I guess is that fine or would I be better off adding one to start and testing again? Also, I read on another thread that the chlorine pucks add CYA, so should I stop using those?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Azgirl71 View Post
    Welcome Steve! Congrats on your test kit!
    You need to get some bleach in there to raise FC
    Your PH will probably rise on its own
    Unfortunately the only way to lower CYA is partial drain and refill. Maybe drain 20% and recheck so you don't flood the neighborhood all at once.
    CC do .5 or lower is good

    - - - Updated - - -

    Do you have a SWG? If not you want your CYA to be 30-50. If yes then lower it to 70-80
    When you add bleach don't blindly add. Use pool math to figure out how much you need to add.
    My well water has a very high CH 550
    Just saw your edit, had to Google SWG. I don't think so? It's not a Salt water pool so I'm assuming the answer to that is no.

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sligoth View Post
    Thanks, it's a pretty intimidating kit. Took awhile to understand what it was asking. Once I realized the bottles were color coated snd in order it made stuff a lot easier though.

    How much bleach do you think? Pool calc said like 2 gallons of 6%? I guess is that fine or would I be better off adding one to start and testing again? Also, I read on another thread that the chlorine pucks add CYA, so should I stop using those?
    Do you have 6% bleach? Most is 8.25% and you can change the percentage.
    You catch on quick to the tests. I can do mine without direction at all now...lol
    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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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    I have no bleach right now, I'll have to run to Target or Wal-Mart tomorrow after work to grab some.

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Be aware that MOST regular bleach nowadays is 8.25% (unless it's the dirt cheap stuff for chicken coops and such) and you can type that in where the 6% is in that block........OR...........use the bottom where it talks about he effects of adding chemicals and it's in that list.
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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Yeah noted, ill make sure to look at the bottle when I stop tomorrow to buy it.

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Ok lower to 30-50 range then
    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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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Welcome!

    Doublecheck your math or your typing on that CC test result. I'd believe 1.4. As an aside, you can also do the FC test with 10 ml of water and count each drop as .5 and save a bunch of reagent that way, too. On scoop of powder is enough, usually. As long as you have one or two undissolved crystals, you're good.

    You probably ought to recheck that CYA test using the dilution method in Extended Test Kit Directions, step 8, note 9.

    The quick answer is bleach. It's not the SLAM process, and it won't do anything for the high CYA, but if your CYA is really and truly at 100, then you should have at least 8 FC in the water. It won't bleach swimsuits or anything. I've swam in my pool with FC at 20 because I was stuck with 240 CYA and draining wasn't an option in dry California.

    You'll also want to raise the PH a little. Borax or Washing Soda, or any leftover pH up or Soda Ash you have will take care of that.

    Like I said, it's not a SLAM, and if you have the option of a partial drain you should take it. But there are probably millions of people who will be jumping into much worse pools this holiday weekend. Get the pH fixed and raise the FC and keep your fingers crossed. Next week you can attack it properly.
    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: No Free Chlorine?

    Make sure you do not get any scent, easy pour or splash less. Just straight household bleach. Make sure you also check the date. If it has a 15 after the letter or two at the front then it is this years and should be fine.
    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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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Welcome!

    Doublecheck your math or your typing on that CC test result. I'd believe 1.4. As an aside, you can also do the FC test with 10 ml of water and count each drop as .5 and save a bunch of reagent that way, too. On scoop of powder is enough, usually. As long as you have one or two undissolved crystals, you're good.

    You probably ought to recheck that CYA test using the dilution method in Extended Test Kit Directions, step 8, note 9.

    The quick answer is bleach. It's not the SLAM process, and it won't do anything for the high CYA, but if your CYA is really and truly at 100, then you should have at least 8 FC in the water. It won't bleach swimsuits or anything. I've swam in my pool with FC at 20 because I was stuck with 240 CYA and draining wasn't an option in dry California.

    You'll also want to raise the PH a little. Borax or Washing Soda, or any leftover pH up or Soda Ash you have will take care of that.

    Like I said, it's not a SLAM, and if you have the option of a partial drain you should take it. But there are probably millions of people who will be jumping into much worse pools this holiday weekend. Get the pH fixed and raise the FC and keep your fingers crossed. Next week you can attack it properly.
    All of this noted, lll try the alternative testing method tomorrow before I pour in anything just to make certain that's my CYA. As for my CC, pretty sure I did the math right? I forget the exact numbers and how I got to that though to be honest. I only noted the final numbers, not the process in obtaining them lol

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Also, thanks a bunch for everyone's help. It's good to know that if I chose I can let this go and just keep a higher chlorine level from the sounds of it. Is it possible I could just keep adding more chlorine than usually throughout the season and drain the pool in the fall? Or would that be a bad idea for winterization and stuff?

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Your welcome. You should explore Pool School. It talks about winterizing your pool. No need to drain it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You will check your PH and FC daily and add if you need too.
    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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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sligoth View Post
    Also, thanks a bunch for everyone's help. It's good to know that if I chose I can let this go and just keep a higher chlorine level from the sounds of it. Is it possible I could just keep adding more chlorine than usually throughout the season and drain the pool in the fall? Or would that be a bad idea for winterization and stuff?
    It's a major PITA to have high CYA and use our methods. For starters, your pH test will always be suspect when FC is above 10. And with the two symptoms of high CC and won't hold FC, I'd say an algae bloom is in your future. And to kill that at 100+ CYA requires this much bleach
    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: No Free Chlorine?

    Yeah, so I'll be trying to drain some of the pool tonight then and just take some walks around the block to make sure nobody has a lake growing on their lawn or in the road. Sounds like it's the only way to go though unless as you said I wanna dump gallons and gallons of bleach in the pool.

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sligoth View Post
    Yeah, so I'll be trying to drain some of the pool tonight then and just take some walks around the block to make sure nobody has a lake growing on their lawn or in the road. Sounds like it's the only way to go though unless as you said I wanna dump gallons and gallons of bleach in the pool.
    How do you plan to do it? If you use the pool pump on waste, it will come out at a pretty good clip. If you use a small submersible pump, you can probably feed it into your sewer. You're not on a septic tank are you? Don't do it if you are. But as I was saying... I used a small submersible and fed it into the sewer cleanout behind my kitchen sink. It's a good bet a couple thousand gallons of water rushing down the pipes will remove any buildup in them.
    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: No Free Chlorine?

    I'm 99% sure there's no septic tank. I was thinking of just using the waste feature on the pool pump to conserve time. Also, I'm guessing it should be fine to drain like 5-10% and fill and then another 5-10% a few days later and fill etc. Right? Like that should still lower the CYA. Mainly to not flood the neighborhood and keep it usable in between those spurts.

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sligoth View Post
    I'm 99% sure there's no septic tank. I was thinking of just using the waste feature on the pool pump to conserve time. Also, I'm guessing it should be fine to drain like 5-10% and fill and then another 5-10% a few days later and fill etc. Right? Like that should still lower the CYA. Mainly to not flood the neighborhood and keep it usable in between those spurts.
    That works, but it takes a lot longer and wastes water.

    27000 gallons. CYA 100

    Replace 3000. CYA 89
    Replace 3000 CYA 79
    Replace 3000 CYA 70

    Replace 3000 CYA 62
    Replace 3000 CYA 55
    Replace 3000 CYA 49

    Replace 3000 CYA 44
    Replace 3000 CYA 39
    Replace 3000 CYA 35

    27000 gallons replaced. That's the whole pool. CYA still at 35. But what if CYA started at 150? Or 200? That's not beyond the realm of possibility. When I took over my pool, the pool service and their pucks had run mine up to 240! Pool stores don't generally mess around with dilution and all that. The tester goes to 100. Anything beyond that is reported as 100, or as "99," which is shorthand for "off the scale." Run the CYA dilution test and see what you get.

    You don't want to completely drain a vinyl liner pool, or the liner may shrink or shift and wrinkle. You'll need to leave at least a foot of water in the shallow end. But the faster you get things in line, the easier pool maintenance will be.
    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: No Free Chlorine?

    What's the goal for my CYA to be at? Pool calc told me to drain about half the pool. I'm just worried about draining that all at once. Which is why I was thinking to drain a little at a time.

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    Re: No Free Chlorine?

    I'm also gonna redo the CYA test when I get home just to make 100% certain the CYA is at 100. When I did it I really couldn't see the dot anymore and the line was hard to tell if it was 100 or more like 95ish

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