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Thread: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

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    Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Hi, can someone help me on why I can't get a breakthrough on my shock? I added 4 bags last night but no indication of free chlorine this morning. Earlier this week I put in 2 gallons of bleach, same outcome. I've checked with both strips and a 6-way test kit. The drop test would show some chlorine after setting a few minutes. The water is clear and odor-free, TA, pH, hardness all show within parameters. Thanks for any help.
    20,000 gal. vinyl chlorinated pool
    Cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Welcome to TFP!!

    What drop test kit are you using? The phrase "all show within parameters" doesn't help. What are all of the readings?

    FC
    CC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    CYA
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    We have no idea what "breakthrough on my shock" means ... sounds suspiciously like pool store non-sense.

    As Tim said, we need reliable test results to offer advice. We believe in the chemistry and not buzz words for the sake of profit.

    You really need to invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits if you have not already.

    Almost certainly the solution to your problem is going to be following the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Welcome to TFP!

    I will warn you right away that because they are extremely unreliable we can't offer advice based on test strips. The best thing they can test is the depth of your trash can.

    Your 6-way test kit is more reliable but has an incomplete batch of tests. Specifically you can't measure Free Chlorine or Combined Chlorine with it. You really need a drop based test for that, which in included in the recommended test kits.

    Can you post your test results from your drop based kit? It can at least give us a basic (but incomplete) picture of your chemistry stands at the moment.
    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
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Welcome!

    Two things consume chlorine: organics and sunlight.

    You could have low CYA, which means the sunlight cooks off any chlorine you add within a couple hours.
    You could have high CYA, which means whatever chlorine you add is rendered ineffective, allowing algae to grow unimpeded which in turn consumes chlorine at an amazing rate.
    You could have had your CYA breakdown over winter into ammonia, which will consume chlorine almost as fast as you can pour it in.

    Which is it?

    Can't tell without complete accurate test results.

    With a proper test kit and reliable results, diagnosis is easy. And with a good diagnosis, a treatment plan is also easy. It might not be fast or cheap, but it will be relatively simple in most cases.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    I'm new to the forum so I realize now that I don't have the test kit(s) as recommended here. What I have been using is an Aqua Chem Professional 5-way test kit (not 6-way as I previously stated) and AquaChek test strips. I have also gotten a printout from the pool store that indicates as follows:FC=0.3ppm, TC=0.5ppm, CC=0.3ppm, pH=7.0, Hardness=180ppm, Alkalinity(with stabilizer correction)=118ppm, Cyanuric Acid=40ppm, Copper=0.2ppm and Iron=0.0ppm.
    20,000 gal. vinyl chlorinated pool
    Cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    If you have read around here much you have probably seen that not much credence is given to pool store testing. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing.

    Order a TF100 and at least include the XL option. That will give you what you need while you are clearing the pool, and probably enough reagents for a couple of years normal use.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    The previous responders have given you good advice. Nothing much to add but this...Once you take control of your pool through proper testing with the right kit and adding only those chemicals that are needed in the proper doses, you will not believe how liberating it is - not to mention how much $ you will save compared to the "traditional" methods.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Welcome to TFP!

    Order a good test kit and keep some chlorine in your pool. At least 5ppm at all times. Chlorine level is determined by CYA level and this Chlorine CYA Chart. You can go up to shock level.
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    I have ordered the Taylor K-2006 kit (sorry Tim, I had already placed the order). I added 3 gal. of 10% bleach last night. I checked an hour later with strip and drops and both were maxed out. This morning however, I can barely get a hint of yellow on the drop test. Still, the pool is clear and odor-free and I've flushed the cartridge almost daily. Soon as I get the new test kit I'll post the results but until then I'm going to get a test from a different pool store. I just don't want it to get out-of-hand before the new test kit arrives.
    20,000 gal. vinyl chlorinated pool
    Cartridge filter

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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Don't get fooled by the crystal clear water man... I'm going through same right now. For the last three weeks, my water was beautifully clear, but just like you I could not keep my FC to save my life. I've randomly dropped few pounds of shock here, 2 gallons of bleach there thinking that would resolve my issues and maybe it was something minor and not algae growing. But nothing helped, so I started the SLAM (Shock Level And Maintain) process yesterday. The pool ate through first 5 gallons of 12.5% chlorine like it was nothing, until I got 5 more gallons, it finally starting to consume less. Im now in the second day of the process and still loosing chlorine at the higher rate as it should, adding much more minor ammounts to maintain the shock level needed, but im starting to see the light lol... So definitely listen to all the advice above, get an appropriate test kit as advised and definitely read the Pool School section of the forum. But, most importantly stop wasting your money until you know exactly what you will need to do to combat your problem and the folks on here will most definitely get you going in the right direction.
    Welcome to TFP!
    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Thanks Azmp1 for the moral support (misery loves company). I'm finally beginning to see daylight myself. I put in one gallon of 10% bleach last night and for the first time I am getting a good chlorine reading this morning. Now, does this mean I'm good-to-go or do I now need to SLAM? My Taylor K-2006 kit is due in today, hopefully. I do have one suspicion as to what might have complicated things. Mid-May we took a weeks vacation while the safety cover was still on so prior to leaving I dumped in an initial dose of algaecide. After reading further this algaecide (dimetyhyl benzyl ammonium chloride) is not so good. When I removed the cover I put in another dose (3.2oz.) I would like to use some algaecide for insurance, where do I find Polyquat 60? The fliers I get for mail order doesn't state ingredients.
    20,000 gal. vinyl chlorinated pool
    Cartridge filter

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    northrn's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Motorin, you don't need algaecide and magic potions. You need bleach/liquid chlorine....whether that be 8.25%, 10%, or 12.5%....sodium hypochlorite is bleach is chlorine.

    You need good test numbers to know how to proceed with that and it sounds as if your kit is coming.
    27' AG 18K Gallons ~ Cartridge Filter ~ Pentair 1.5 HP Pump

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    Azmp1's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Motorin, the gallon of bleach you put in will likely just go to waste as it'll likely take quite a bit more to get your pool healthy. I'm at about 15 gallons so far (10gl of 12.5% and 5gl of 8.3%) and on the 3rd day of SLAM.
    What you need to do is, once you get your k-2006 kit, do the full range of tests (most importantly FC, CC and CYA) and then using the Chlorine to CYA chart in Pool School see what your required shock level is. You can then use Pool Math to figure out exactly how much chlorine you will need to put in. Then you can just use the SLAM directions.
    But, first, before you do anything, do a test and post your full numbers, so the experts on here (and im not one of them, as im still learning) can do an appropriate assessments and then advise as you on your next step. There's a possibility that you may need to readjust some other numbers, such as CYA, before proceeding with SLAM.
    As for the algaecides, sorry cant comment there.... don't use them and don't know much about them, other then, your best algaecide is your chlorine!
    Good luck!
    19200gl rectangular gunite/diamondbrite perl pool || Coverpools auto cover || Jandy variable speed 2hp e-pump & Polaris PB4-60 booster pump || Polaris 3900 sport cleaner || Jandy CV filter || Jandy AqualinkRS8 w/Aqualink touch || Jandy iAqualink2.0 || Jandy Watercolors LED || Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWCG || Hayward auto chlorinator (backup) || Raypak 117k BTU heat pump

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    Re: Can't get a breakthrough on shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Azmp1 View Post
    Don't get fooled by the crystal clear water man... Welcome to TFP!
    This is true. I had very clear water, but apparently ALOT of ammonia- it took about 50 gallons of bleach to correct. I assume the previous owners had a very high CYA due to use of the tablets. The pool was closed in August with plenty of time for the FC to go to 0.
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