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Thread: Should I worry about CH?

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    Should I worry about CH?

    I am new to this pool stuff with the purchase of a house this spring. I was fortunate enough to start trying to figure things out by finding these forums, but sadly that happened at the same time that I had already decided I better have the pool store that had always serviced the pool open it since I knew nothing about it. They added some sort of algecide, of which type I do not know and they added a pile of chlorine shock.... The pool needed the chlorine badly, but it would have been nice to have not paid so much for it... Lessons learned are something anyway.

    So, nearly one month and lots of reading later, my pool is now perfectly clear and holding CC at less than 0.5. My cya was 0 or nearly so when I started so I am working on getting that up (FC is dropping around 4 per day, but that is not surprising with low CYA) ...My TA is now adjusted to 90 from somewhere around 110-120 (my test kit didn't come until more recently and I really don't trust what the local pool store told me at all).. My ph is now at 7.2 but I put it there to get my TA down so everything seems so-far-so-good.

    All of the above is mostly for background. My concern at the moment is that my CH is up at 525. My pool is vinyl, but I understand it should not be that high. My question is how much do I worry about addressing that? Shouldn't it come down with rain and such over time?

    Also, I have no idea what the various forms of algae look like, but one section of the pool has a brownish redish stain on the vinyl that is the exact same color as the sludge that originally coated the entire pool (after the green stuff was killed off). It is either not coming off, or is doing so more slowly than I can see. Is this likely something I need to focus on, or is it possible that the vinyl itself is actually stained somehow?
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Your calcium levels may come down slowly thru water replacement, that kind of depends too on your CH in your fill water from your hose.

    Provided you keep your PH below 7.8, you can manage it. Don't add any Calcium Hypo, that's probably the kind of shock they used.

    For the red stain, if you hold a vitamin C tablet on the stain - to see if it's an iron stain, it will fade away if it's iron. Give that a try and report back. Otherwise it's sounds like you're doing ok.

    How are you getting the CYA up?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Your calcium levels may come down slowly thru water replacement, that kind of depends too on your CH in your fill water from your hose.

    Provided you keep your PH below 7.8, you can manage it. Don't add any Calcium Hypo, that's probably the kind of shock they used.

    For the red stain, if you hold a vitamin C tablet on the stain - to see if it's an iron stain, it will fade away if it's iron. Give that a try and report back. Otherwise it's sounds like you're doing ok.

    How are you getting the CYA up?
    My PH was high when I first started, but that seems to be responding as predicted... I don't think I'll have a problem holding it there from the way it has been responding so far. Don't worry, I plan on staying far away from anything that might add more calcium...for now, sure sure!

    I had only seen references to the vitamin C test that I didn't understand so far...I will try that tonight, if I can find a way to reach that far down.

    I am just adding stabilizer from Walmart in a sock in the skimmer. After adding the first 4 lbs the test are showing the dot fading at 30 (Taylor K-2006)...I still have a ways to go...
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Ok, I am not sure whether the vitamin C test can be messed up, but assuming it is pretty straight forward I don't think it is iron because it had no effect on the color at all. The only thing was that I couldn't actually rub the area because it is too far down so I let the thing sit there for a while and then I tried to brush it in some and then it sat some more. Would that approach have worked for this test?
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Yes, if it is going to work at all, simply placing a vitamin C tablet on a stain for 30 seconds will either remove the stain in that immediate area or dramatically change it's color.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Alright, we will assume it isn't iron then. If it is some form of algae would I likely see hints in various routine tests such as CC being too high? Should I worry about it?
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Quote Originally Posted by WATERWORT
    Alright, we will assume it isn't iron then. If it is some form of algae would I likely see hints in various routine tests such as CC being too high? Should I worry about it?
    If it's organic, try a trichlor puck on the stain, or confirm algae thru Overnight FC loss test. If it's algae, your FC won't hold overnight.

    It could be a copper stain. Neither Vit C or trichlor would affect a copper stain.
    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
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    I'll try the trichlor, as soon as I can, but in the meantime I'll check my FC drop tonight and report back, but we have been getting quite a bit of wind lately and there are an assortment of leaves and annoying bugs and whatnot in the pool each day. Some amount of chlorine would be burned attacking these other contaminates, correct?
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Quote Originally Posted by WATERWORT
    I am just adding stabilizer from Walmart in a sock in the skimmer. After adding the first 4 lbs the test are showing the dot fading at 30 (Taylor K-2006)...I still have a ways to go...
    I guess the mods missed that part... 30 is fine. You don't need to go way up. Maybe another 5, to be on the safe side
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_man
    I guess the mods missed that part... 30 is fine. You don't need to go way up. Maybe another 5, to be on the safe side
    I think they were just giving me the benfit of the doubt this time. Don't worry I am not shooting too high...Thanks for pointing that out though!
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_man
    Quote Originally Posted by WATERWORT
    I am just adding stabilizer from Walmart in a sock in the skimmer. After adding the first 4 lbs the test are showing the dot fading at 30 (Taylor K-2006)...I still have a ways to go...
    I guess the mods missed that part... 30 is fine. You don't need to go way up. Maybe another 5, to be on the safe side
    Nope, didn't miss it, it still dissolving and we recommend waiting 5-6 days before testing after CYA additions.
    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: Should I worry about CH?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom

    If it's organic, try a trichlor puck on the stain, or confirm algae thru Overnight FC loss test. If it's algae, your FC won't hold overnight.

    It could be a copper stain. Neither Vit C or trichlor would affect a copper stain.
    My FC dropped from 5.0 to 4.4 overnight. The sun was up when I tested it this morning but it was still 45 minutes before any direct sun hit the pool.

    The sun brings up a point that I had forgotten to mention. This stain exists only on the walls that are last to see any sunlight. Due to the orientation of the pool these areas stay in shadow far longer than the rest of the pool. Also because our neighbor's house on the far side is higher up the hill than we are the sun "sets" very rapidly at the end of the day from the pool's perspective. The net result is that this area of the pool probably receives as much as 2 or so hours less direct sunlight than the entire rest of the pool which is visually completely clean. Does that have any meaning?
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    I don't think so. If it were live organics, your FC would have dropped more than that. Try the trichlor puck on the stain, and if it doesn't do anything, I think you can perhaps then assume it's a copper stain?
    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: Should I worry about CH?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_man
    Quote Originally Posted by WATERWORT
    I am just adding stabilizer from Walmart in a sock in the skimmer. After adding the first 4 lbs the test are showing the dot fading at 30 (Taylor K-2006)...I still have a ways to go...
    I guess the mods missed that part... 30 is fine. You don't need to go way up. Maybe another 5, to be on the safe side
    Nope, didn't miss it, it still dissolving and we recommend waiting 5-6 days before testing after CYA additions.
    Exactly!!!!!
    Don't waste your CYA reagent by testing before a week has gone by. It's not going to tell you anything useful.

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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I don't think so. If it were live organics, your FC would have dropped more than that. Try the trichlor puck on the stain, and if it doesn't do anything, I think you can perhaps then assume it's a copper stain?
    Ok, assuming the stain doesn't bother me too much is that a good thing? I understand that this means there is copper in the water, but it implies that my water is safe for swimming, correct? I will still try the puck as suggested, just clarifying what this means for now....I see in Pool School how to prevent further staining from copper, but can it actually be removed?

    On the CYA, I am going to start adding my second round in... probably tonight. At first I didn't have any way to know for sure whether there was really 0 or maybe 10 in there, but adding enough to raise it ~25 shows "almost 30" with my k-2006 test. Since the black dot is still visible, but fading without any doubt I figured I should shoot for another +10.

    The question is, does it make sense to assume the test is reading "a little less than 30" and thus shoot for a target of +10, or is the test not valid in this sense?

    ...I need to add to my sig that the pool has a mesh cover. When we opened this spring it actually looked and smelled like a pond. After reading about how things work, it would make sense that the "swap method" took care of any CYA the previous owners built up, correct? Is a final target of mid 30s high enough considering I don't intend to use stabilized chlorine and so it shouldn't build up?
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    Normally, you want to aim for a CYA level of around 50. It will then fall slowly over the course of the season, hopefully still being at least 30 by the end of the season.

    If you filled the vial full and the black dot was still visible, we call that a CYA level of zero, and it is very difficult to guess at what the CYA level really is. For your purposes, you could call it a CYA level of 10 and add more based on that.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    I still need to run the trichlor test on the stain, but I have new cya working into the system... I just wanted to send the attached picture over for two reasons. Regulars here have seen plenty of clear pools, but I honestly didn't know that pools were supposed to have water that looked like this. The second reason is that with a picture there might be additional advice/ideas... besides it is easy enough to do! I'll post real pictures in the proper forum when I have decent lighting and such.

    This one was taken with my cell phone with shade still on the pool. The lower right corner is the deep end, 8ft down. The stain in this area is running under the ladder. As it stands it is just a stain, the whole question is really just to make sure I am not growing anything unsafe in there.

    One last note on this picture, less than 30 days ago this pool was opened to a green slime that smelled like a fish pond. If I can do it, anyone can!
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    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    I finally got some trichlor pucks to test on my stain and I am not sure what the results mean. Last night I put one on the stain and the brushed it back and forth a few times with no noticable effect. Then I left it sitting on the stain for approximately 10-15 minutes while I tested the pool water and stuff... When I came back there was no effect on the stain whatsoever.

    At this point I decided I better fish the thing out of there and while attempting to do that I noticed what appear to be a small clear spot in the stain where I was working on maneuvering it with the brush I was using to fish it back out...it was late though so I figured I would check it in the morning.

    This morning I put the puck back in and forcibly scraped the thing on the stain as if it was a scouring pad. With this method I confirmed in three seperate areas that it does indeed affect the stain, but it takes something like 45-60 seconds of actual effort applied.

    What does this mean?
    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    That means that scrubbing worked, even though trichlor did not work.

    If you haven't already, try a Mr Clean magic eraser.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Should I worry about CH?

    The magic eraser test was somewhat inconclusive. It did affect the stain, but only barely so. It is hard to wipe down there though so in the end I called it as having "some" effect. I think I was just able to scour better with the puck because I could get a better angle on it. When the water warms up a bit more I can try from down in the water I guess.

    I am currently losing about 3.2 ppm of FC every 24 hours. The last of my cya is added and I amd going to test exactly where I am, but if I understand things correctly my next step is to add borates. I need to read more about that though.

    One final question... can anyone tell me what the blue thing in the picture below is? I have no idea what I am supposed to with with/to it.
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    20,000g, 18' x 36' IG, Sta-Rite System:3 cart. filter.

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