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Thread: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

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    Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    Hey everyone,

    Just to explain the background issues, I recently had all of my pool equipment destroyed by a falling tree. It took me a while to replace the pump and filter due to some other building issues that were going on. My pool guy lent me a pump with a suction pipe that went to the bottom of the deep end and a return that shot the water on top of the pool over to the shallow end. We were putting a lot of chlorine in the pool to keep it relatively clear. New pump is up and running which is an intellflo VS+SVRS (pentair "upgraded" me from the VS to the VS+SVRS for free) and the filter is the clean and clear plus 520. It has been filtering for a few days and I tested my chemsitry around noon today. One other note, it has been raining a lot here. I have an intellichlor IC-40 ready to go and want to know if I can add my salt or if folks suggest taking some type of action first. Here are my numbers:

    FC 11 (This has fallen dramatically in just a day or two)
    CC .5
    TC 11.5
    CYA 65 (this has fallen as well)
    TA 80
    PH between 7.2 and 7.6
    CH 350

    What does everyone suggest?
    36000 gallon pool with SWG and Cartridge Filter

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    has it been raining the last day or two along with the FC drop? If so, you may want to do an overnight FC loss test to make sure you do not have to bring the water back up to shock....eitherway you can add the salt whether you need to shock or not....set it for your target FC level and enjoy...check out pool school and the FC/CYA chart for suggested FC levels.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    Your numbers look good. I would let the FC level fall a bit before turning on the SWG, but you ought to wait 24 hours after adding salt before doing that anyway, so that will work out.

    Yes, add salt. Just keep in mind that your salt level isn't going to start at zero, so either get your current salt level tested, or add only say 2/3rds of the amount you would need if your salt level was zero.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    Thanks to both of you. It has been raining a long with the free chlorine drop. Obviously, I want the free chlorine to come down so I was happy to see the drop.

    Jason, the salt level is currently at about 400 (I added two bags yesterday to see what it was like). Here is a silly question. My whole system is set up with the EasyTouch Panel. How do I "turn off" the intelichlor? Do I simply set the easy touch panel to "disable" rather than "enable" on the intelichlor settings menu? Does that mean it is "off"? Or does that "disable" the easytouch's interaction with the salt cell?

    Thanks.
    36000 gallon pool with SWG and Cartridge Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    To "turn off" the SWG, you enable it and then adjust the percentage down to zero.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    Once your intellichlor has been running for a few days post back here and let us know if it thinks your salt level is close to the level that you get when you test with a strip.

    There have been a number of posts about the newer IC-40 and variable salt readings. I suppose that we mostly hear about the ones that are wrong. Few people post about how their stuff is working perfectly. I know that there must be a few out there.
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    Good morning everyone. I added my salt late Friday afternoon and turned on the Intellichlor yesterday. The salt cell reads the salt level at 3300 while my test strip this morning shows 3730. I checked the salt cell reading last night as well and it was showing 3300 then as well. Here are my numbers:

    FC 6.5
    CC 0
    TC 6.5
    CYA 70-80
    TA 90-100
    PH 7.4
    CH 340
    Salt 3730

    Does anyone think I should try and raise my ph or should I just wait and see if the salt cell does that on its own? Also, I have my salt cell set for 40% and whenever I check on it the cell light is blank but the status on the EZ touch panel shows OK. Is the cell light on for only the period of time that the cell is running which should be for only 40 percent of every hour? Or is something up with my cell? Thanks in advance.
    36000 gallon pool with SWG and Cartridge Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    You should be fine. 40% means the cell is on 40% of the time the pump is running. So seeing it turned off is normal. The SWG is reporting the average salt level over the last 24 hours. It takes it a while to catch up after you add salt.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    I have an IC-40. The cell light is only on when it's generating chlorine. I wouldnt worry if the IC-40 reads 3300 and the strips read 3700. You should have a green light on the IC-40 for "good" salt. Mine reads "check salt" with the yellow light on but i have ~3300 ppm salt by strip measurments. Its only a problem if the red "low salt" light is on. If that happens, it wont make chlorine. If that ever occurs, you can field calibrate back to the right status.

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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    Okay, here is an update after one week. The guy who installed all of the equipment recomended having the pump run for six hours a day at 2300 rpm and then 17.5 hours of the day at 11 RPM. He recomended having it all switch off for .5 of an hour. He set the intellichlor at 40%. These are my numbers as of this morning:

    FC 9
    CC .5
    TC 9.5
    PH 7.6-7.8
    TA 100
    cya 70
    CH 320
    Salt 3730 by strip and 3200 by intellichlor
    Temp 85

    After I ran these test this morning I went and dropped the intellichlor to 20% to see what impact that has. Not sure why my CYA seems to be falling. Everything else seems to look pretty good. I plan on taking a water sample to the local Pinch a Penny and letting them run it to compare there numbers versus mine. I will update everyone when I have their numbers. Does anyone think that my pool guy's settings are a poor suggestion? Also, is there a more exacting test for PH then the one that comes in the blue box?
    36000 gallon pool with SWG and Cartridge Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    That sounds like more pumping than you really need. I would try having two shorter periods, perhaps an hour each, at the higher speed, instead of one fairly long period. You might also try lowering the speed used for the higher speed just a little and see how things go. There is no way for use to give exact run time advice, because every pool is different. So you need to experiment and see what works for you.

    Some points to keep in mind: The less time you run the pump on a high speed, the more money you save. However, you still need to move enough total water and have at least some periods with higher flow rates so the skimmers will work correctly.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    I took my water to pinch a penny today and there salt test came back as 3400. My salt cell reading has never gotten above 3200 and in fact this afternoon, the low salt light came on. The pinch a penny test did say my PH was high (around 8.0). Could that lead to the salt cell having a false reading? I added some acid to combat the high PH and will test again in the morning. Is there a better PH test then the simple blue box one that comes with the basic testing kit? I am never quite sure where I am on the color scale and it is a little frustrating. The rest of the pinch a penny numbers were:

    FC 5
    CYA 90
    TA 110
    CH 260
    PH 8
    Salt 3400
    36000 gallon pool with SWG and Cartridge Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    Salt tests are +-400 even when they are properly calibrated (which is surprisingly rare).

    No, the PH would not affect the salt reading.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    Thought I would drop in and update everyone. The pool is great and I love the SWG. Here are my current numbers:

    FC 4
    PH 7.8
    TA 130
    CH 320
    CYA 90
    Salt 3300

    There was one poster who wanted an update on my salt readings versus the IC40's readings. The IC40 seems to consistently be at least 300-400 PPM below Pinch a penny's readings and are 400-500 PPM below my strip readings.

    I recently added some acid to try and bring the PH down. Should I mess around with the alkalinity to try and get it down or should I just live with it?

    Here is another dilemma, the pool person I hired to clean it once a week and who is supposed to test and maintain the chemistry long term is making me think that I should just use him to clean and not to handle the chemistry. I am pretty sure all he does is use test strips for everything. The other day he told me I had no Chlorine in the pool even thought I knew I had at least 3.5 ppm as I had just tested it that morning. He also told me my TA was low and he was going to add baking soda which made my eyes go wide since I know my TA has consistently be on the high side. I actually told him about this site and suggested he spend some time reading this in regards to SWG water chemistry recommendations.

    All in all, I am very happy with the pool and we are using it a ton.
    36000 gallon pool with SWG and Cartridge Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Here are my chemistry numbers; Can I add salt now?

    With your TA level, the PH will tend to drift up. There are two approaches, you can either lower the TA now, so that PH stops drifting significantly. Or, you can simply add acid any time the PH gets high.

    Things can get very confusing when two different people are maintaing the chemistry using two different approaches. It is probably best if you take care of the chemistry by your self.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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