Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Troy, Ohio
    Posts
    30

    Question Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Hi! I read Pool School and the suggested articles (from this site and others) and I am still confused how to balance my chemicals. We have an approx 23,000 gallon in-ground pool which has turned green and cloudy (swampy?) over the winter. If it matters, our pool looked pretty good until about the beginning of May and then it started getting more green and opaque all of the sudden.

    My current situation: The guy who opened the pool yesterday added 4 gallons of chlorine. Today I tested the water and the pH & alkalinity are very high. I added some pH minus and have been stuck on the internet researching ever since.

    I can read the instructions on the back of the chemicals about how much to add but I am wondering:

    • What order to add the chemicals in?
    • How long to wait after adding chemical to retest the water?
    • Will the pool have to be "shocked" more than once during the opening? (Pool guy said the 4 gallons he added would shock it but I read an article that say not to shock it until after the other chemicals are balanced.)


    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio
    Posts
    12,947

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Pixie, welcome! The first thing many will want to know is what test kit are you using? Can you provide the actual results please? If you are not using one of the recommended test kits as noted on this site (see my signature link), you will need one to really be informed. It's the foundation for everything you do from here on. Your water probably started getting murky when the weather started to warm-up. You definitely need to "SLAM" your pool (see link below). That is basically making sure your free chlorine (FC) is at a specific level to kill the algae in your pool. How high you ask? It depends on your CYA level. That's why a good test kit is SO important. Do not reply on pool stores or anyone else without one of the recommended test kits to give you a good answer - they won't.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Start reading the SLAM procedure link, and be prepared to purchase a fair amount of "regular" bleach. This SLAM method will work. So to re-cap priorities:
    - Confirm test kit or obtain the recommended type
    - Start buying some regular bleach in preparation for SLAM
    - Read the SLAM link, and have handy the link below for chlorine/CYA chart
    - Get us all of your test results as soon as possible

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, we also need to know what kind of pool and equipment you have. Please go into your profile setting for "signature" and add your info there for everyone else to see later. Thanks!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,689

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Pixie what a cute name you came up with!

    Welcome!

    I just wanted to tell you that we know the pool store will test your water for you for "free" BUT is it really free if you have to buy all kinds of stuff to TRY to clear your pool???????

    If you get a good test kit (see my siggy below) we can help you clear your pool with bleach (yes bleach!). You might need to add a couple of other things but they can be bought at Walmart!

    The TFP way is SO much cheaper and easier than the pool store or pool boy way.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Defgufman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Savannah GA
    Posts
    577

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    The biggest thing you'll gain from TFP is control over your pool. The only way to that path is solid test results with a great test kit....there are only a few on the market to choose from. The T2600c and the one linked in my signature below.
    Welcome to the site, I hope you stick around and the folks around here will help you get your pool crystal clear again....hopefully for good.
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

    Pool School, Pool Math, CYA to FC ratio chart, Testing Kits

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Troy, Ohio
    Posts
    30

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Thanks to all of you for your quick and thorough responses!

    The test kit I have is a Poolmaster 22270 (this one: Amazon.com : Poolmaster 22270 5-Way Test with Case - Premier Collection : Swimming Pool Maintenance Kits : Patio, Lawn Garden) which I now understand does not have all the tests I'll need. Until I get a proper one (still trying to justify it to the hubby), here are my numbers:
    pH 7.2
    Alkalinity 140
    Chlorine - no reading registered

    I added 2 lbs of shock in bags to the skimmer last night but I haven't tested the water since then. The water is now blue but still very cloudy. Can't even begin to see to the bottom if the pool.

    So here's my big question at the moment... The guy at the pool store (I know, I know!!!! I'm hanging my head in embarrassment.) said that there is not any CYA in my pool unless I added it. I read the instructions for doing a SLAM and it talks about having your CYA in balance. From what I've read, it seems like CYA just causes you to have to add chlorine less often. At this point, I'm thinking that as a newbie, maybe I'd be best off trying to get the basics down pat before I start messing with stuff like CYA.

    I'm sure there is a huge flaw in my thinking. I'd love it if someone could shed some more light on this please!

    Also, I'm going to need to add water to the pool in the next few days. It's well water that has a lot of iron in it so are there any special considerations there?

    Thanks in advance! Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Welcome!

    That test kit works for what it tests - it's world's better than a test strip or trusting the pool store - but it doesn't test CYA, and that's critical to know. You have to know the CYA level to know what is "shock" level for your pool, and what is the minimum level you need to keep algae at bay.

    Your pH is good right now. Ideal is 7.2>7.8. It will slowly rise given your TA level. Don't sweat the TA. Each time you add acid to lower pH, you'll also lower TA. The problem is how much bleach do you need?

    When the water was clear, were there piles of debris on the bottom? If not, you're well ahead of a lot of people.

    Until you know what your CYA level is, you really can't do anything decisive. The best you can do is sort of stall things where they are. To do that, target 10 for your free chlorine every day. That's shock level for no CYA. It might be inadequate to kill yours off, not knowing the CYA level, but it should halt the progression. It went clear to green in a month. Another couple weeks unattended and it might go black and start smelling, or it will get thick enough you can walk across it. YOu don't want that.

    My one freebie: to get from zero to 10 on the chlorine will require just under three full jugs of clorox laundry bleach - the plain unscented, not splashless stuff. Or the cheaper store brand 8.25% equivalent. Figure 2 121 ounce jugs.
    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!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Troy, Ohio
    Posts
    30

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Thank you, Richard320... very helpful info! I think I am finally kinda sorta starting to understand some of this.

    So... I have a TF-100 test kit ordered. Woohoo! I'm pretty sure my CYA is at zero because we rehabbed the pool last year just in time to close it and I don't remember adding anything like that. While I anxiously await my test kit, I have a few more questions:

    1. What is the best kind of CYA to use to get my reading up? Should I use diclor or something else?
    2. A family member bought us algeacide and a clarifier. Should I use these or no? (The water is cloudy blue right now & sand filter has been running 24/7 for almost a week. pH is 7.6, TA is 150, & CYA is probably zero. I can't get a chlorine reading yet. I assume it's just not staying in the pool long because there is no CYA.)
    3. When can I put the solar cover on?
    4. We have well water that I think is high in iron. When I add water, are there any other special chemicals I'll need to counteract that?

    I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate the help! It's SO EXCITING to feel like I'm starting to understand my pool and get control of it! My hubby says I'm obsessed... and I kinda am. LOL
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Thank you, Richard320... very helpful info! I think I am finally kinda sorta starting to understand some of this.

    So... I have a TF-100 test kit ordered. Woohoo! I'm pretty sure my CYA is at zero because we rehabbed the pool last year just in time to close it and I don't remember adding anything like that.Are you sure? Pucks and powdered shock both contain CYA. While I anxiously await my test kit, I have a few more questions:

    1. What is the best kind of CYA to use to get my reading up? Should I use diclor or something else? Whatever is cheapest. Dichlor will raise CYA, but it's also highly acidic, so I'd advise adding CYA alone. Do you really want to juggle 3 parameters simultaneously?
    2. A family member bought us algeacide and a clarifier. Should I use these or no? (The water is cloudy blue right now & sand filter has been running 24/7 for almost a week. pH is 7.6, TA is 150, & CYA is probably zero. I can't get a chlorine reading yet. I assume it's just not staying in the pool long because there is no CYA.) No. They just tend to gum up the filter. The water is cloudy and not holding FC because of algae.
    3. When can I put the solar cover on? Your choice. If it blocks sunlight, it will slow algae growth. On the other hand, you will then get algae spores on the cover that could keep reinfecting the water. And the cover should be off when you start SLAMming the pool to kill the algae.
    4. We have well water that I think is high in iron. When I add water, are there any other special chemicals I'll need to counteract that? Probably. When you start the SLAM, the Iron may precipitate out as rusty sediment, or turn your pool lime green. There's an article in pool school on metals. If the stuff settles out, that's great - you can vacuum it up and filter it out and backwash it away. Let's wait on that.

    I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate the help! It's SO EXCITING to feel like I'm starting to understand my pool and get control of it! My hubby says I'm obsessed... and I kinda am. LOL[/QUOTE]
    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!

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Troy, Ohio
    Posts
    30

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Thank you! My test kit arrived today... so happy!

    My current numbers:
    CYA 10 or less
    pH 7.8
    TA 180
    Chlorine 0

    I put a little bit of pH Down in it tonight. Tomorrow I'll start slowly adding CYA. Once the CYA has been raised to a decent level, then I can SLAM the pool, right??? Also, how often can/should I test the CYA levels after I have added the cyuranic acid?
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by pixiedustbelly View Post
    Thank you! My test kit arrived today... so happy!

    My current numbers:
    CYA 10 or less
    pH 7.8
    TA 180
    Chlorine 0

    I put a little bit of pH Down in it tonight. Tomorrow I'll start slowly adding CYA. Once the CYA has been raised to a decent level, then I can SLAM the pool, right??? Also, how often can/should I test the CYA levels after I have added the cyuranic acid?
    You don't need to wait.

    Shock level for zero CYA is 10 ppm FC. Add that. Then fumble around with the CYA and the sock and add enough to raise it to around 30. Just keep maintaining 10. The next day, assume the CYA is there even if it isn't all dissolved yet and SLAM for 30 CYA, which is 12 FC.

    It's all in the SLAM article
    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!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Troy, Ohio
    Posts
    30

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Thanks, Richard! I wasn't quite sure how important it was to have the CYA levels up before the SLAM.

    OK... I have my sock of CYA in and am starting my SLAM. Wish me luck. Thanks to everyone for your help... you guys rock!!!
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    296

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    If you've used pucks up to this point and have low CYA now, don't be surprised if it takes many, many gallons of bleach to get the chlorine up to where it needs to be. One of the early things I learned here is that the CYA can cause, or turn to, ammonia, which consumes chlorine.
    20000 gallon vinyl liner in ground pool
    16' X 34' rectangular diving pool
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter
    Hayward 1 hp Super Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit Stenner 45MPHP10

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Troy, Ohio
    Posts
    30

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    SOOOO... long story short, I've been shocking my pool on and off for a week while I was learning and waiting on my TF-100 test kit to arrive. As suspected, my CYA was nearly non-existent. Two days ago, I put 32 oz by volume of CYA in a sock and started SLAMing the pool. All the CYA had dissolved last night, so I refilled the sock with another 32 oz of CYA.

    I'm passing all the tests EXCEPT the OCLT. The water is clear and the CC has been between 0 and .5 the entire time I have been slamming. The pool looks great! BUT during my OCLT the last two nights, I've lost 3 ppm of FC.

    Why am I failing the OCLT? Could it be because the CYA is still low? (CYA test this morning still showed less than 20.) If there's no sunlight and no CC, where is the FC going overnight?
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by pixiedustbelly View Post
    SOOOO... long story short, I've been shocking my pool on and off for a week while I was learning and waiting on my TF-100 test kit to arrive. As suspected, my CYA was nearly non-existent. Two days ago, I put 32 oz by volume of CYA in a sock and started SLAMing the pool. All the CYA had dissolved last night, so I refilled the sock with another 32 oz of CYA.

    I'm passing all the tests EXCEPT the OCLT. The water is clear and the CC has been between 0 and .5 the entire time I have been slamming. The pool looks great! BUT during my OCLT the last two nights, I've lost 3 ppm of FC.

    Why am I failing the OCLT? Could it be because the CYA is still low? (CYA test this morning still showed less than 20.) If there's no sunlight and no CC, where is the FC going overnight?
    Even with zero CYA, you shouldn't lose any FC in the dark. Something is still in there. Check out posts 30-38 in this thread. It's not a lot of reading and the picture says a lot.
    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!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Troy, Ohio
    Posts
    30

    Re: Chemical Help for First Time Opener

    Great... thanks for the info! I'll keep plugging away.
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •