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Thread: Help! Nitrates at 200ppm!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    San Anselmo, Ca

    Help! Nitrates at 200ppm!

    Hello! I'm in need of urgent advice.

    We switched to saline on May 1, 2015 and have been having trouble ever since. We haven't been able to get the chlorine up and the water recently turned green so we did a few water tests at the local pool store. First they told us to add CYA, then conditioner, then shock with powder chlorine. The most recent test told us:

    FC: 1
    TC: 1
    Salt: 3700
    CH: 280
    CYA: 70
    TA: 120
    pH: 7.8
    Copper/Iron: 0
    Phosphates: 0
    Nitrate strip test: 200

    They said we needed to drain the pool, but should we do partial or the whole thing and start from scratch? What do I need to know/do while doing the draining process?

    We have a 35-40k gallon plaster pool.

    Thank you!!
    35-40k gallon, in-ground plaster pool. Switched to saline May 1, 2015

  2. Back To Top    #2

    TFP Guide
    pabeader's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Dallas Ga

    Re: Help! Nitrates at 200ppm!

    Did you actually use any of their magic potions?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me) Goldline SWG Intermec 104 TImer Test kit K-2006-C

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Help! Nitrates at 200ppm!


    You've been pool-stored.

    Isn't this a great scam? They determine your problem, they sell you something to fix it - that doesn't. They make the problem worse. They determine it was another problem all along and the solution to their screwup is for you to drain and refill the pool. And I'll bet they'll sell you a "startup" kit that will start the same cycle all over again.

    I don't know why people put up with it. In the automotive industry, if someone brings me a problem and it doesn't get fixed, customers howl to get it put right for free. They call BBB. They call the Bureau of Auto Repair. They call AAA Approved auto care. If a doctor misdiagnoses something, you call him a quack and find a new doctor and possibly report him. But when the pool store messes up, you reach for the wallet to give them more money. And they get to cover their mistakes by telling you to drain. Why didn't they tell you to drain before they sold you stabilizer (you probably didn't need) and shock powder (that undoubtedly added unwanted byproducts)? Why did you let them?

    Why am I hammering away at this? You need to understand something very clearly: the pool store makes their money selling you overpriced pool chemicals! Their free testing isn't free at all. It's to get you on their merry-go-round where you go up and down and round and round and get nowhere.

    Step one: order your own test kit and get your own test results. If you are unwilling to invest in the kit and take control, there is nothing we can do to help you. There's a lengthy article in pool school, but I suggest you skip it and order a TF100. The XL option would be a good idea, but it'll take a week or so to get it all from North Carolina, what with the holiday. A closer source is poolsupplyworld The only acceptable alternative is the Taylor K-2006, which is hardly stocked anywhere. The pool stores will try to sell you a K-2005 and tell you it's the same. It's not. DPD and FAS-DPD chlorine tests are not the same. Don't fall for their lies.

    Step two: While you await your test kit, try to measure the pool to get an accurate volume. +/- 5000 gallons is too vague. We believe in accurate testing and accurate dosing. Can;t do that when it's +/- 14% Also leave the SWG running and supplement it with a couple of jugs of plain clorox 8.25% bleach every day. It won't clear the green, but it will stop it from getting worse.

    Step three: do some reading here. Use the search box for Nitrates and learn why they are irrelevant except as a sales tool. And check out some of the links in this thread. This is what you need to do. Do what they did and you can have what they have. Recovering my old inspirational links Start at the last page and woprk backwards to see the more recent ones first. Also familiarize yourself with Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals Pool School - PoolMath Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    You may still end up needing to replace some pool water, if the pool store really drove the CYA level through the roof, but you won't know how much if any until you get some accurate test results yourself.
    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!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Long Beach, CA

    Re: Help! Nitrates at 200ppm!

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need to slow down and not listen to a thing that pool store is saying. There is absolutely no reason to drain and start over with those test results.

    The first thing that is needed is to raise the chlorine level with liquid chlorine, aka around here as bleach. If you use Clorox you will need to add roughly 4 bottles. SWG's are not meant to raise chlorine levels by themselves hence the reason to add the bleach.

    What brand and size of SWG do you have? How many hours are you running it and what is the output % set at?

    Pool store testing is known to be very inconsistent to outright wrong. The best investment for your pool at the moment will be one of the recommended test kits, see my signature, so you can stay away from the pool store which will cost you much more than what we will recommend for you to buy.

    Some links to get you started:
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    Recommended Levels
    What is Trouble Free Pool Care?
    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
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Help! Nitrates at 200ppm!

    Welcome to TFP! First I have ever heard that nitrates are problem in the pool, they aren't even all that bad in a fish aquarium.

    Agree, no reason to drain at all. The numbers are not bad at all. If they are correct, which considering the source, is highly questionable, but we can get that into shape.

    Get some chlorine/bleach in there pronto. With CYA at 70 FC needs to be at least 8-10.

    Add some muriatic acid to lower PH to 7.2-7.4.

    Use PoolMath to calculate how much to add. Be sure to enter a TA number when calculating the PH numbers.

    Get a great test kit like the TF100 that I use and then SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain the pool.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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