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Thread: First test with TF-100, what next?

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    First test with TF-100, what next?

    Hello from a very soggy Houston, Texas. I don't know how much it rained yesterday and overnight but when I got concerned about the pool overflowing, with 1" to spare, I set out a bucket near the window so I could watch without going out again in the rain. That bucket has 5" in it now.

    So, I have been circulating the pool to be sure all the rain water mixed in. I know some dirt got into the pool from landscaping, and the color and clarity is off a bit in the deep end, but normally it is clear and sparkling as I've kept it clean and chlorinated all winter. I'd been needing to lower the CYA anyhow and free rainwater should have helped the pH, I'd have thought.

    Test results...

    FC = 5 (test strips said maybe 2)
    CC = 0
    TC = 5 (test strips said maybe 2)
    pH = 8.0 (test strips said 7.8 )
    TA = 210 (test strips said 120, called that high end of OK)
    CH = 140 (test strips said Total Hardness 250, called low end of OK)
    CYA = 75 (maybe lower, generally couldn't see the dot, but a little more would have totally covered it) (ttest strips said somethng between 50 and 100)

    So, CH is a bit low? pH a bit high? Does that make sense, I'd have thought that CH and pH would both be high, and I'm not sure which is in need of work, or which first. Pool temp 75 and I don't know how long until it is swimming temps but it felt pretty decent to step into so I want to have the water balanced when we are ready to swim.

    When the pool did overflow, we watched it go away from the house, down a paved pathway to the street out front; so the PB and the landscaper did a decent job. Nice to know that after 5 months of worrying about which end of the pool might be the first to spill over, since my overflow grate is a fake. Quite a dip from the pool toward the back door.

    So, any advice on the pool chemistry before I set off to get more chlorine and maybe some muratic acid?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First test with TF-100, what next?

    You will need some Muratic Acid, you should lower the PH first. Eventually you want to raise the CH to 250, but take care of the high ph first. Your TA is high end too, so if you see your PH drifting up and having to add acid daily, you can read about lowering TA in Pool School, as you may need to bring it down. But first, do me a favor? Repeat the TA test and wipe the tip of the dropper with a damp cloth in between drops (I'm curious about something). Your CH test....you are swirling for a full 20-30 seconds between drops, correct? The CH test takes longer than the rest of the tests...to ensure accuracy.

    With all that rain, etc., keep an eye on the FC so that it doesn't drop rapidly and expose you to algae.

    Here's a hint for doing the CYA test:
    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Ch...P?ContentID=44

    So assuming your CYA is around 70 make sure you keep your FC levels according to the CYA chart.

    P.S. you can toss your strips. They are totally unreliable, so don't bother with them.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: First test with TF-100, what next?

    Added one galllon of muratic acid, in two parts over an hour or so. pH went from 8.0 to 7.2 as predicted by Pool Calculator. Ran the waterfall and spillover for several hours to aerate -- I'll see what TA and pH are in the morning with full test.

    Added 40 oz by volume of calcuim chloride to ever-so-slightly adjust CH. That number surprised me at first, but somewhere it says that Calcium Hardness is about 2/3 of Total Hardness so 140 CH vs 250 TH is not too bad, given the vagueness of the strips values.

    Topped off the chlorine by adding a few cups of 10% to the spa, brushing a touch of green tint at the steps and then letting it circulate to the pool through the spillover - but if Leslie's Powder Power Shock does not contain CYA I may use that for awhile to get calcium hardness up over time as I add chlorine that way.

    I will do the full test again tomorrow to check TA as you requested, and retest CH with 30 second swirl (I didn't see that in the instructions, it just said to mix it, so I swirled maybe 5 sec or 10 or more if there was any hint of color change.) With my fish tank tests, I always capped and shook really well, so just swirling seemed sort of strange.

    The link you added was helpful, will retest CYA and wait until "cannnot distinguish black dot at all" point, as per photo.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First test with TF-100, what next?

    Yes, with the CH test it's extremely important that you count for 20 -30 seconds while swirling between drops.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: First test with TF-100, what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    but if Leslie's Powder Power Shock does not contain CYA I may use that for awhile to get calcium hardness up over time as I add chlorine that way.
    It's cal-hypo, no CYA. I had half a box lying around and tweaked up my CH that way too. It took a while 'cause I didn't want to overdo the FC, but I wasn't in any hurry.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: First test with TF-100, what next?

    Second full test; FC 6, CC 0.5, TC 6.5, pH 7.4, TA 180, CH 140 -- so TA is down from 210 and pH is down from 8.0 but CH is unchanged. I suspect the CC is a reminder that I did not empty the Polaris bag or the skimmers today, too dark now, will do in the morning.

    So, the galllon of acid did lower the TA some, and I can do that again tomorrow, will check the Pool Calculator to see how much to use next time to get to pH of 7.0 - 7.2 then aerate well.

    All the calcuim increaser I used did pretty much nothing, so I'll do some more and go to the Leslies Powder Power shock for chlorine for awhile instead of the Liquid Shock (10%) from Warehouse Pool Supply.

    I'll admit I did not wipe the bottle between drops, but I was careful and the bottle was totally inverted for each drop, no splash back to contamine the surfaces, so I think it was correct. I did swirl really well between all drops.

    Now my question is; What is my target here? I can get Calcuim up to level pretty easily, just use a lot more of the stuff I have, pounds instead of ounces. Basically what is left in the container ought to get this pool up something better than 50 ppm. At 200 ppm maybe I can relax and let the Powder Power Shock carry it to 250 - 350 over time.

    I read that reducing TA should not be done just to hit some number but 180 is still twice the TFP suggested goal. However I think if it needs adjusting, better to do it now, before we are wanting to swim every day. Where do I need to go with this TA?

    Another question; when I am playing with the pH, adding muratic acid, do I need to take the Polaris out of the pool? I try to add the acid when it is not too close by, and only over a return so it is dispersed well. I know the Polaris instructions say to remove it when you shock the pool but I don't recall anything about pH limits.

    What is most imporatant here? And should I change one parameter at a time or is it OK to do several things at once?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: First test with TF-100, what next?

    Leave the PH alone for now.

    The TA is not an issue that would keep anyone from swimming. What happens is in some pools, mainly pools that see a source of aeration, a spa/waterfall or foutain, etc., if they have TA like yours they tend to see the PH drift up over 7.8 almost daily, having to add MA every day or so. By lowering the TA to the recommended levels, that PH becomes more stable and you have less acid demand.

    In new plaster situations, the PH can rise frequently just from the new plaster, not necessarily from a TA standpoint.

    In your case, you can continue the routine of adding acid when the PH goes above 7.8, and over time the TA will lower too, because acid lowers both. By doing the MA/Aeration method to lower TA, it simply does it quicker. The only thing is when you add the muratic acid you have to wait to swim, but that can be done at night after everyone is out of the pool, shouldn't interefere with anything.

    However, all that being said, what I meant about the drops, is we had this issue last year, with several members reporting inconsistent drops coming out during the TA test, and TFtestkits - Duragleigh gave this advice to a fellow member:

    If your drop size is particularly inconsistent with the T/A test, wipe the dropper tip with a damp cloth in between each drop. I know it's a PITA but Taylor recognizes that problem (as static electricity) and wiping the tip each time is the only solution available.
    So since your test and the strips (even though they are unreliable) results were so different, it made me wonder if your TA result was high because the drips were inconsisent as a result of the static situation that many had reported last year.

    So when you do the test, it's important to wipe with a damp cloth between drips because of the static electricity, not anything you might have done wrong. This may yield you a different result. It may mean you don't need to do anything about the TA level at all.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: First test with TF-100, what next?

    I am not at all concerned about differences between the strips and the tests. First, I was just sweeping the strip in the water, not getting a sample 12 to 18" below the surface, and it had been raining, so the surface was probably dilluted in spite of the circulation going. Then, the tests have such large ranges; TA is either 80, 120, 180, or 240 and the difference between the shades of deep green is really a tough call.

    I've added a bit more acid this morning, pH was 7.2 after some circulation, and a lot more calcium product and some cal-hypo. After an hour of waterfall and circulation I will test everything all over again.

    Supposed to be another Big Rain day today, so guess I'll go back to cleaning closets.

    After almost 1 hour aeration, after adding a bit of acid, a lot of calcuim increaser and some cal hypo, pH = 7.3, CH = 200, TA = 170, FC = 12, CC = 0. So, that ought to be fine, in light of the expected rains.

    Now that I am pretty sure what the calcium increaser is based on how it changed with the volume I added (God Bless the Pool Calculator!), I can add more tomorrow and get to the 250 minimum mark.

    Yeah, I think I just might have gotten the hang of all this stuff.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: First test with TF-100, what next?

    Test this AM;
    pH 7.4 (fine, will aerate this afternoon when waterfall comes on)
    FC 8, CC 0 ( range based on CYA 60 is FC 5 - 9)
    CH 210 - so added the last of calcium chloride, 80 oz should bring to 235-ish)

    Will wait for more rains before considering adding tap water to dillute the CYA, hope to get to 50-ish for free.
    Will begin using Cal-Hypo for chlorine additions to add CH, but not CYA, until I get toward the middle of the range for CH -- Thanks so much for THAT tidbit!
    Will keep pH on the lower end, to eventually wear away that TA value a bit.

    Can't wait for guests this evening, the pool looks great and maybe they will ask why.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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