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Thread: Looking for Guidance

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Looking for Guidance

    Hello!

    I wanted to see what you all thought about my next steps in getting my water back in balance versus what the guy at the water treatment store told me. Here's some recent readings (based on the TF-100 test kit) and steps taken:
    Date TC pH TA CYA CH Salt Water Condition Steps Taken
    6/18 6.0 7.2 110 25 Clear n/a

    * Had a pool party 6/20

    6/21 1.5 7.2 100 20 Clear n/a
    6/23 0 7.0 130 <20 160 Very cloudy Added 2 gallons of 6% bleach & 4 lbs CYA
    6/24 3 7.2 140 35 130 Very Cloudy Added a gallon plus 20 oz Muriatic Acid (to bring down alkalinity) *It had been running double what it should be for weeks.
    6/25 2 6.8 100 40 140 3200 Very Cloudy n/a

    Took the water yesterday to the water treatment store to get salt tested. His other readings were similar to mine although the sheet on which he wrote the results has the guidelines for a chlorine pool. He told me to shock the pool and raise the pH.

    Here's my take: Obviously the chlorine tanked because of the party. I added bleach but didn't add the concentrated kind like I had in the past because I was being cheap. Our CYA has been low all season (since mid-May). Our TA alkalinity has been at least double the range the entire season. I thought we should address the TA and so we added Muriatic acid. Now our pH is low (well it was a bit low before).

    I was planning on adding 2 gallons of concentrated bleach and more CYA.

    What are your opinions on my situation and what I should do next?

    Thank you very much for your input.
    26K, IG vinyl, Intelliflo VST 2, Intellichlor IC40, Tagelus TA60 sand filter, Pentair Easy Touch Control Panel, Automatic Pool Cover

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    Since it's a salt water pool you definitely need to get your CYA up.
    What is your SWCG set on percentage wise?
    How long doe it run each day?
    I also see that you use TC for the chlorine reading. Is that really TC or is it FC?

    Since I see that on the 23rd you had zero FC, I'd suggest that you run an OCLT to see if you need to SLAM the pool.

    Also, it's easier for us to read the numbers if you'll format them vertically instead of horizontally. The forum software messes with the spaces and they don't line up horizontally. See below

    Date = 6/21
    pH = 7.2
    FC = 1.5
    TA = 100
    CH =
    CYA = 20
    Salt =
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    First raise FC above 10 and Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT).
    If you don't pass then SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain - your pool.
    If you do pass then get CYA up to 70 and keep your FC at 10ish for a while to help clear it up.

    Here is how we do pool parties. Add bleach to raise FC to 10ish before the party, add bleach to raise it back to 10ish after the party and add bleach to raise it to 10ish one more time 2-3 hours later. This will keep you ready for the next party, hopefully the next day!

    Here is the Recommended Water Balance for SWGs
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    A cloudy pool and low FC means you need to follow the SLAM process.

    Do not add any more CYA until after the SLAM is complete.
    First thing is to raise the pH to 7.2-7.4 range with borax.
    Then add bleach to raise the FC to SLAM level and maintain it there. It most likely will require more than a few gallons of bleach.
    Run an OCLT the first night to see how much chlorine is lost during the night. If you pass the OCLT then maintain the FC at the SLAM level until you pass the two other requirements, CC<.5 and the water has cleared up.

    After the pool is back to where you want it, add enough CYA to target a level of 70.

    The last thing you will want to adjust is the TA. You will need to follow Lowering Total Alkalinity.
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Looking for Guidance

    First off, thank you for all the input. Here's what happened:
    Readings before doing OCLT test:
    Date = 6/27
    pH = 8.2
    FC = 3.5
    TA = 180
    CH = 140
    CYA = 50
    Salt = n/a
    The night of the OCLT test, I added 3 gallons concentrated bleach and 80 oz muriatic acid. A few hours later at midnight, the levels were this:
    Date = 6/27 (midnight)
    pH = 7.5
    FC = 12.5
    TA = 150
    CH = 150
    CYA = 50 (didn't retest)
    Salt = n/a
    Morning after OCLT test, 10 am reading:
    Date = 6/28
    pH = 7.5
    FC = 10
    TA = 150
    CH = 150
    CYA = 40
    Salt = n/a
    That day added 4lbs CYA, then readings the next day:
    Date = 6/29
    pH = 7.2
    FC = 9
    TA = 150
    CH = 150 (didn't retest)
    CYA = 60
    Salt = n/a
    We left everything as is for a few days, the SWG was set on 90%, pump ran 9 hours a day.
    Date = 7/4
    pH = 7.5
    FC = 7
    TA = 160
    CH = 150 (didn't retest)
    CYA = 60
    Salt =n/a
    So, we a run of bad weather days and didn't use the pool. 4 days later THIS!
    Date = 7/8
    pH = 7.2
    FC = 0
    TA = 160
    CH = 150 (didn't retest)
    CYA = 50
    Salt = n/a
    Pool was cloudy and we added 2 gallons of 8.25% bleach. Mind you the pump and SWG are still on the same settings. The cell looks fine, a new one was put in last summer.
    Date = 7/9
    pH = 7.5
    FC = 4
    TA = 160
    CH = 150 (didn't retest)
    CYA = 50
    Salt = n/a
    Didn't do anything else. Now, the past few days our chlorine is dropping. Here's just the TC values, everything else stayed the same
    Date = 7/10
    TC= 3.5
    Last night, put the SWG on 100% and it ran all night and all day. No one used the pool today. Chlorine dropped again, other values the same
    Date= 7/11
    TC= 2
    We contacted the guy who installed our pool and he wants to know if the water place tested our phosphates. We didn't have the water tested anywhere, we did it. And of course I've read here that the phosphates don't matter. Now I don't know what to tell the pool guy. My husband read elsewhere on the internet that algae feed on phosphates, the higher the phosphates = more food for algae and maybe that's why our chlorine is getting lower.
    I'm so confused. Any advice?
    26K, IG vinyl, Intelliflo VST 2, Intellichlor IC40, Tagelus TA60 sand filter, Pentair Easy Touch Control Panel, Automatic Pool Cover

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    Algae does eat phosphates. But a properly maintained pool does not allow algae to grow. That is why phospates don't matter.

    You did not pass the OCLT. That means you have algae growing in the pool and need to SLAM to kill the algae. Algae is cinsuming rhe chlorine faster than the SWG can produce it.

    Here is the process to Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain your pool.
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Looking for Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Algae does eat phosphates. But a properly maintained pool does not allow algae to grow. That is why phospates don't matter.
    Can you give me any insight based on my readings what we are doing wrong and why our pool isn't being properly maintained? Thank you for your help!

    I will be heading to Sam's Club for a huge amount of bleach today. Question though...does the pool have to be open to slam? We have an automatic cover.
    26K, IG vinyl, Intelliflo VST 2, Intellichlor IC40, Tagelus TA60 sand filter, Pentair Easy Touch Control Panel, Automatic Pool Cover

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    Pool maintenance is all about maintaining the chlorine level. Chlorine level is set based on the CYA level in the pool and the Chlorine CYA Chart. FC must be maintained at or slightly above target level at all times. FC should never drop below minimum level, ever. That is when the pool becomes unsanitary and algae can grow. As long as FC is above minimum and below shock level it is safe to swim and algae will not grow.

    If you are going to do a lot of swimming raise FC up several ppm above target level before and after to make sure it stays up.

    Be sure to buy plain bleach, unscented NOT splashless, etc. You can leave the cover on while slamming.
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    I would leave the cover off during the SLAM so the pool can air out.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
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  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    I will defer to Ping on the cover advice.
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  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Looking for Guidance

    A follow up...
    Started the SLAM 7/13
    TC=3
    pH=7.5
    TA=160
    CYA=50
    @7pm that night:
    TC=21.5
    @10pm that night:
    TC=18.5
    added bleach, then tested next day 7/14 @6:30am
    TC=22.5
    tested at 11am:
    TC=16
    added bleach, tested again at 7pm:
    TC=17
    added bleach, tested again at 10pm:
    TC=21.5
    this morning 7/15, tested at 6:15am:
    FC=22.5
    pH=7.8

    Now I have more questions. It didn't occur to me to turn off the SWG, thus it and the pump have been running continuously.
    1) Does that make my numbers inaccurate for the SLAM process?
    2) If readings are valid, I passed the OCLT, correct?
    3) If I passed the test, at what TC level can we swim in the pool?
    4) How do I know what to set the SWG at now? Or do I keep it off until TC reaches target level?
    5) Observation and question: my pool has been crystal clear even before the SLAM. I don't see algae. Why would this be? I assume from reading the forums that you can see the algae, i.e. the pool is cloudy, etc.

    Thank you again for all the support!
    26K, IG vinyl, Intelliflo VST 2, Intellichlor IC40, Tagelus TA60 sand filter, Pentair Easy Touch Control Panel, Automatic Pool Cover

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    I'll try to answer a few of these.

    1) Yes leaving the swg on adds FC to the pool so the OCLT is invalid with it on.
    2) Unfortunately not, see #1
    3) Once you really pass the OCLT, you can swim up to shock level.
    4) It's going to be a test and adjust situation. I'd turn it off until the FC gets close to the recommended level and then turn it on at some level and test the next day and adjust up or down from there.
    5) In some cases your pool will be completely clear and still have organics (algae) consuming the FC rapidly. It doesn't necessarily have to be green or cloudy to have algae.
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  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Looking for Guidance

    Hello!

    I am so frustrated! I have been SLAMing my pool since Monday and it's still not passing the OCLT! Last night the TC=22.5 and this morning TC=20. !!!
    My pool has been crystal clear even before the SLAM and I just don't get it.
    I have been adding bleach to hit the shock level of 20 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now I'm supposed to do it again?! I'm going broke on the bleach. It's ridiculous.
    Is there something else that can be going on? The filter is fine, the SWG is off, the pump is on, I vacuumed the pool.
    I mean, I could understand if my pool was green or had some rotting animal in it but this is unbelievable.
    I thought owning a SWG pool was supposed to be easier but this pool has been the bain of my existence for 2 years. I'm not a stupid person, I have a degree in Biology. This all doesn't make sense why this is taking so long.
    Sorry for the rant but I can't handle this anymore. I'm almost out reagent to test the flipping chlorine all throughout the day.
    Does this make sense that a crystal clear pool should have to be SLAMed this long??

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    My pool was clear for 3 years. I let FC drop to 1.5 due to laziness and tiredness after vacation. I saw a dozen algae spots and started SLAMing. Water stayed crystal clear the whole time. After a week the algae spots stayed gone but I still had issues. Turned out there was algae behind the light and in the automatic pool cleaner, took several more days to finish the SLaM. We swam every day during our slam. FC was 25-28 and CYA was 70.

    Go swimming and clean up any nooks and crannies that might be hiding algae. And brush daily.
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderbeansmom View Post
    Hello!

    I am so frustrated! I have been SLAMing my pool since Monday and it's still not passing the OCLT! Last night the TC=22.5 and this morning TC=20. !!!
    My pool has been crystal clear even before the SLAM and I just don't get it.
    I have been adding bleach to hit the shock level of 20 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now I'm supposed to do it again?! I'm going broke on the bleach. It's ridiculous.
    Is there something else that can be going on? The filter is fine, the SWG is off, the pump is on, I vacuumed the pool.
    I mean, I could understand if my pool was green or had some rotting animal in it but this is unbelievable.
    I thought owning a SWG pool was supposed to be easier but this pool has been the bain of my existence for 2 years. I'm not a stupid person, I have a degree in Biology. This all doesn't make sense why this is taking so long.
    Sorry for the rant but I can't handle this anymore. I'm almost out reagent to test the flipping chlorine all throughout the day.
    Does this make sense that a crystal clear pool should have to be SLAMed this long??
    I know its frustrating to have a clear pool and it still has algae in it... The last 10% is the hardest and longest part of passing the OCLT.. The problem with stopping to soon and not killing everything is it comes back and you have to start over and we do not want that.. The most likely places for greenies to hide are behind lights, ladders, skimmers, returns and the walls... Just because you can not see them in the water does not mean they are not there...

    I hope this helps
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  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Looking for Guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    My pool was clear for 3 years. I let FC drop to 1.5 due to laziness and tiredness after vacation. I saw a dozen algae spots and started SLAMing. Water stayed crystal clear the whole time. After a week the algae spots stayed gone but I still had issues. Turned out there was algae behind the light and in the automatic pool cleaner, took several more days to finish the SLaM. We swam every day during our slam. FC was 25-28 and CYA was 70.

    Go swimming and clean up any nooks and crannies that might be hiding algae. And brush daily.
    Thank you for your input! Since we have an in-ground pool, I have scrubbed the lights, the stairs, the built in stairs in the deep end. That was with the pool brush. Should I get in the pool and scrub it down with a stiff bristle brush?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboycasey View Post
    I know its frustrating to have a clear pool and it still has algae in it... The last 10% is the hardest and longest part of passing the OCLT.. The problem with stopping to soon and not killing everything is it comes back and you have to start over and we do not want that.. The most likely places for greenies to hide are behind lights, ladders, skimmers, returns and the walls... Just because you can not see them in the water does not mean they are not there...

    I hope this helps
    It does help, thank you! I haven't touched the returns. Should I get in the pool and scrub them with a toothbrush? And I haven't scrubbed the skimmer either. I might give that task to hubby.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Guidance

    I spent a couple of those days brushing all the nooks and crannies with a handheld brush.
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