AQ Cheat Sheet

Chemicals can be safely added to the pool 10 minutes apart from each other with the pump running for good circulation. Exception – Pools that recently increased Calcium Hardness (i.e. added Calcium Chloride) should wait at least 24 hours before trying to increase pH or TA by adding Bleach, Borax, Soda Ash, Baking Soda. Doing so can put the pool at risk of clouding the water by precipitating Calcium.

The FC level should be at a minimum of one’s target level.

High chlorine should have no influence on the CH test. FC over 10 ppm causes some inaccuracy (it’s progressive) on the pH test but has no influence on the CH test

 will usually cause at least some staining on plastics (brown/yellow on steps/skimmers etc.). A pinch of ascorbic acid can confirm.

Copper can be tricky. It does not always stain so can be difficult to diagnose. If it does stain, the stains can be very difficult to impossible to clear. Slamming could precipitate some nasty stains. Not always but it’s risky. Calcium hypochlorite is the most likely to cause copper staining.

Iron stains will usually resolve with ascorbic acid so Slamming to clear a green pool and dealing with stains later is a viable solution. 

Adding sequestrant and algaecide and putting tabs in the skimmer can help. Tabs in the skimmer slowly raise the fc and oxidize metal before the filter. Using algaecide, some chlorine and physical removal of algae is probably the safest method when high copper is suspected.

High copper levels and algae are definitely a bad combination.

High copper will usually leave some clues. Cartridge filters will usually have a blue color that is associated with copper. Tests for copper can show copper, but they’re not super reliable.

Iron is easy to oxidize and unoxidize. Copper is harder to oxidize and unoxidize.

In this article we’ve got a detailed list of various pool related subjects and members whom are very knowledgeable in each field.

A quick discussion why we suggest using more CYA for SWG’s

Why preform the OCLT only at the end of a SLAM?? Why not during???

Stabilizer dissolves very slowly in water. It can be added either using granular or liquid CYA (liquid CYA products are only 30% available CYA). Liquid CYA should be added to the skimmer. Granular CYA should be measured into a sock or nylon and then hung in front of a return with the pumps running until dissolved (good circulation is key). Once the product is fully dissolved, the stabilizer change can be measured in about 24 hours. Small changes (<15ppm) may not show up on the CYA test due to test tolerance.

So, just for a Sunday discussion, should TFP alter it’s position of equality on the three types of filters?

But once 24 hours has passed, and the pool is full of water, the plaster has indeed hardened sufficiently to allow people to swim around in their new pool without damaging the plaster. Our recommendation should be changed to reflect that.

Placing acid (either MA or Dry) underwater against a typical plaster pool would be the best way to determine if there was calcium scale on the plaster surface. I suggest using a 50/50 solution of MA, but not 100% acid due to it being too strong and would cause etching rather quickly. Even then, a 50/50 solution should not be allowed on the surface any longer than about one minute, maybe two minutes at most. One can double that time for quartz finishes, which is slightly more resistant to acid. Dry acid might work better than liquid MA for wall areas. Even a plastic squirt bottle (50/50 solution) can be used very effectively to remove scale. But remember, scale is usually deposited throughout a pool uniformly. It shouldn’t occur in small isolated spots. 

Technically the two regents are not “interchangeable”. “Interchangeable” would mean using one in the exact same way you used the other, which will clearly not work very well as the color saturation/intensity will vary quite a bit. “Interchangeable” does not allow for scaling the amounts based on concentration.

You don’t want to add CYA right up front. Whatever ate the old CYA could well eat the new CYA. It shouldn’t take very many cycles of adding chlorine to change that to safe to add CYA, though I’m not confident enough to pick a specific number. You do want to add CYA by the time you have a measurable FC level, otherwise you will be losing chlorine to sunlight starting at that point.

Before I start it’s safe to say ALL users agree that the use of a phosphate remover is NOT needed to maintain a clear pool regardless what one’s phosphate level is. I think it’s also safe to all agree that a phosphate remover will NOT help one clear a green pool despite what the local pool store says. In fact, almost every manufacturer of phosphate remover prints in their instructions that the pool MUST be clear of algae and the chemical level MUST be balanced. These products are not the magic bullet some stores have labeled them as to clear a green pool. The question I myself kept having however is does the pros outweigh the cons and here is where I feel TFP may have some details slightly flawed. I’m not sure still if these flaws will alter our stance on phosphate removers, but I feel it’s correct to discuss…….despite how “closed minded” this forum gets labeled as.

Most OCLT tests are done during a SLAM and the pump should be running 24/7 during this process, however OCLT’s are also used to determine if one needs to SLAM or not. The pump should be running to make sure the entire plumbing system is factored into the test results if one is trying to figure out if there is some sort of organics consuming chlorine.


  1. CYA = 0
  2. OP doses FC to 10 ppm and performs a 30-minute chlorine loss test. OP reports losing 80%+ of FC in 30 minutes
  3. CC is > 0.5
  4. Optional: An ammonia test indicates the presence of ammonia


  1. Follow the SLAM procedure by dosing pool to SLAM level of 10 ppm
  2. Advise OP not to add any CYA until chlorine begins to hold
  3. Test FC every 30 minutes until chlorine begins to hold. Add FC as needed to get back to SLAM level.
  4. When chlorine begins to hold…We settled on a definition of an FC >= 3 ppm after a 30-minute FAS-DPD chlorine test. Put another way, we are looking for a pattern that is analogous to a hockey stick when the 30-minute FC test results are plotted on a chart. When beginning the SLAM, the initial series of 30-minute FC tests should be at or close to zero, representing the blade of the hockey stick. At some point during the SLAM process, the FC will show a significant jump from the prior test. This FC jump represents turning the corner and going from the blade up onto the shaft of the hockey stick. When this happens, CYA can be added back into the pool. Would suggest limiting the CYA to 30 ppm for the duration of the SLAM and adding it all at once for simplicity’s sake.
  5. At this point, bump the SLAM FC target to 12 ppm and continue the SLAM as directed in the SLAM article until the criteria of “Done” are all met. Test FC as per the SLAM article – no longer a need to test every 30 minutes at this stage.

With chlorine percentage in bleach going down we highlighted the benefits of a drain/refill for users wishing to convert from Baquacil to Chlorine. While the process would need to still be preformed due to not being able to drain all the water plus Baqua still likely being present in the plumbing it will be quicker and cheaper for the user. The idea of also pushing the conversion off until Spring was discussed to help users enjoy their pools for the longest amount of time possible. Additionally users pushing the process off until spring gets the benefit of a lower Baquacil sanitizer level due to fresh water being added over the winter due to rain and snow. Users also can save some money by only adding chlorine at night in the later stages of the conversion to reduce the burn-off by the sun but they need to be aware this may extend the conversions time ever so slightly. Lastly the guide Baquacil publishes was discussed and it was agreed we’ll review its pro’s/con’s once we return home.