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Thread: I need help... New SWG and no chlorine???

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    I need help... New SWG and no chlorine???

    I don't seem to have any chlorine. I tested yesterday with my new ColorQ test kit, then today took a sample to Ace Hardware, and tested again with my kit. I bought a ColorQ kit because I was having a hard time differentiating the shades of yellow. I also tested with my Ace hardware drop based kit which showed no chlorine (didn't post those #s). Heres my numbers:

    06/29 - ColorQ Kit test:
    FC - 0.03
    CC - 0.11
    TC - 0.14
    PH - 7.6
    TA - 75
    CH - 38
    CYA - 8
    Temperature - 78

    06/30 - Ace Hardware Store test:
    FC - 0
    CC - 0.03
    TC - 0.03
    PH - 7.6
    TA - 51
    CH - 20
    CYA - 30
    Temperature - 79

    06/30 ColorQ test:
    FC - 0.03
    CC - 0.19
    TC - 0.22
    PH - 7.6
    TA - 71
    CH - 46
    CYA - 17
    Temperature - 79


    The questions:
    Why do I have no chlorine? I'm hoping its due to the CYA and my new Aqua Rite SWG isn't bad already....
    Why do my numbers on the ColorQ test vary (I thought CYA levels were a constant)?
    Who do I believe re the CYA, Ace or ColorQ. Note that ace is reporting the same as they did a week ago on this.

    Seems to me the only constant between all three tests is the pH which was one of the things I thought shouldn't be a constant.

    I've bought stabilizer but am unsure of house much to put in the pool due to the varying test results?

    Interestingly enough, the water has been nothing other than crystal clear since we first cleared it up (after moving in).

    Other pertinent info:

    Approx. 27000 gal. vinyl pool 18 x 36
    1.5 HP Pump
    Sand Filter
    AquaRite SWG

    I have been in this house with this pool for about 3 weeks now, and have still not been able to get this pool right. I am getting very frustrated.
    5,100 gallons, fiberglass, cartridge filters, suction side vacuum.

    Swimming pools.....the difference between **** and an Arizona summer.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    I dont know much about SWGs, but what is your salt level?
    18' Round ABG (8000 gallon)
    Hayward X-Stream Cartridge Filter
    1.5hp Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pump
    80 sq. ft. solar panels
    Goldline automated solar controller

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    I am suspecting my newly installed AquaLogic salt cell is the culprit for three
    reasons:

    1. AquaLogic is reporting salt levels about 500-600 ppm lower than what
    all other tests are indicating. Pool is 23,000 gallons and has had about
    600 lbs of salt added. My Aquacheck test strip and pool store tests show
    salt to be about 3300 ppm now yet AquaLogic display reads 2600 and
    the low salt/check system LED is on.

    2. I have not been able to get a reading above .5 for FC unless I "super
    chlorinate" for 24 hours. Then, the FC is around 3. Mind you, there is
    no CYA in the pool as it has to be partially drained in a few days to
    make a vinyl repair (PB didn't want to waste the CYA).

    3. Whenever the salt cell is on, the transformer (and thus the housing)
    gets very hot (too hot to keep your fingers on it) and there is a distinct
    overheated transformer smell (I can't describe it but if you've ever
    smelled it before, you know what I'm talking about).

    I would have thought that the FC would be much, much higher after super
    chlorinating for 24 hours. There is a solar cover on the pool during the day
    so I don't believe that sunlight is removing all of the FC. The cell temp
    reads 78 degrees.

    Since this is a new install, the PB has agreed to replace the cell. Hopefully,
    that solves the two problems. You may want to request the same if you
    just purchased your AquaRite system.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Chlorine is a consumable item. Two things consume chlorine....sunlight (that consumption can be diminished but never stopped completely) and organics in your pool.

    You may have both issues because your CYA appears a little low for adequate sun protection and, of course, your chlorine is low encouraging the growth of organics.

    The answer is to bring the chlorine up to a high level (about 15ppm in your case) with bleach in the evening, test a couple of hours after adding, then test again before the Sun hits your pool water in the morning. If the chlorine doesn't hold overnight, you got algae. If it does but disappears during the day, you have inadequate CYA.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Thanks Dave.

    I turned the pump on this morning and am letting it run. It normally only runs for 3 hrs in the afternoon and 5 hrs. at night. After it has run for many hours (at least 8), I will then test for chlorine. I will also try the bleach/shock thing this evening. How much bleach would it take (I will need to go buy some).

    If there is chlorine, then I will assume its the CYA. In that case, how much would I add? Based on my test results, I am really unsure of how much is in there now. Then keep testing a couple of times per day to make sure I'm good.

    If none of this works, then I will assume its the SWG, have it checked out, look in to warranty, etc. (pool is not new, SWG is). My salt level is 2900 and the Aqua Rite says its generating...
    5,100 gallons, fiberglass, cartridge filters, suction side vacuum.

    Swimming pools.....the difference between **** and an Arizona summer.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    test kit

    I know nothing about the rest of what you are asking but I too have the Color Q test kit and although I find it is very accurate for Chlorine, pH and Alkalinity. I had issues with CYA and CH.
    I wrote to LaMotte and they had a stability issue with the calcium hardness regeant so are sending me new ones.
    With the CYA, the Color Q was reading under 30 when in reality my levels were 100.
    So you might want to have your water tested somewhere else before you start adding chemicals, just to be sure.
    Deena
    http://www.lindbrookstargazer.ca
    100,000 liter IG vinyl liner
    Rolachem Chlorine & Muratic acid Auto feeders/Pool Perfect Auto feeder
    Pentair 30" filter (Tagelus) Sand filter/Centruion switchless pump 1.5/.25 HP

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Sunsoaker,

    Go to any post by Jasonlion and link to his nifty calculator down in his sig. It'll tell you the quantities you need. I would use the Ace hardware test for CYA. rereading your first post, I think that one may be the most accurate and you may not need to add any CYA but I'm guessing along with you. If you use the Ace result, I'd like to rethink my earlier post.....your CYA may be adequate so don't be in too big of a hurry to increase it....it's very tough to get rid of.

    Let us know what you find out after you shock....my bet is you've got some algae in your pool.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Most SWG prefer a CYA level of between 50 and 90. You should check the manual on your particular model and see what they recommend. When the CYA is too low it is common to have trouble maintining a chlorine level. If the ColorQ is right about your CYA, which is not at all clear, sunlight would wipe out all of your chlorine very quickly

    Test results vary, that is the way of things. As you develop experience with a particular test kit/machine you will learn which of the tests can be relied on and which need to be taken with a grain of salt. One thing to try is to run the ColorQ twice in a row with water taken from the pool all at once in a larger container and see how much variation you get. You can get a good CYA test kit very inexpensively (around $10 with shipping) from Leslies through their web site to compare the ColorQ to.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that your pump run times are fairly short. The SWG can only run while the pump is running so that limits how much chlorine it can generate.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Thanks Jasonlion. I know my pump run times are short, but it was working out well until just a couple of days ago. Had the SWG set on 40 which is considered low by some also. That may be where the problem came from to start with... just not enough to keep the pool up to par.

    After reading here and thinking about things, it is probably algae eating it all up. I have been having to vacuum my pool at least every other day, and probably should have been daily, due to what I thought was oak tree pollen on the bottom. And lots of it. I might not think twice about that except that my pool is in a screen enclosure and I wouldn't think I'd get that much in there.

    So from the numbers I see here. I need to:

    first - shock the pool
    next - bring up the alkalinity
    next bring up the CYA

    If this doesn't sound like a correct plan of action, please let me know!

    I appreciate all advice as this is my first pool, and it wasn't in the greatest shape when I got it. I do think I'm beginning to understand what each chemical does though.... finally
    5,100 gallons, fiberglass, cartridge filters, suction side vacuum.

    Swimming pools.....the difference between **** and an Arizona summer.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You want to start bringing the CYA up right away and you can do that at the same time you are shocking the pool. Alkalinity can wait till shocking is complete.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    thanks

    Thanks again JasonLion.

    I will take care of shocking and CYA within the hour (it's almost sunset here). I'll let y'all know the outcome.
    5,100 gallons, fiberglass, cartridge filters, suction side vacuum.

    Swimming pools.....the difference between **** and an Arizona summer.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Sunsoaker
    did you change your covering practice?

    having the pool covered or uncovered will affect the rate of loss of your chlorine
    Brent
    "hobby farm" is an oxymoron
    16x32 IG Vinyl
    Technosolis solar panels
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  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Thanks Brent, but I don't have a cover for my pool. There is one in the garage (came with the house), but there is no way to attach it.

    I added bleach last nite. It wasn't near enough as DH had to go to a couple of stores to get it, and at one of the stores he bought the wrong stuff (scented and only 2%). I needed 838 oz by my calculations, and ended up with 622 oz. I put it in anyway. For this purpose, I turned off the SWG. Tested 2 hrs after adding the bleach. Tested at 8.13 FC and 8.71 TC. I tested this morning maybe 1/2 hr after sunrise (pool not yet in sun) and tested 2.07 FC and 2.66 TC. So, even though I have crystal clear water, I have algae.

    I also added 4 lbs. of CYA, but I believe I read that I needed to wait a week to test it again to see where I stand.

    I have turned the SWG back on, set it at 70%, am increasing my pump run times, and will see where that gets me. I will test again this afternoon.

    I will also take care of the alk at some point today.

    Can the pool be swam in if there is algae (even though you can't see it?)
    5,100 gallons, fiberglass, cartridge filters, suction side vacuum.

    Swimming pools.....the difference between **** and an Arizona summer.

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Guest
    A couple of points. The aqualogic/aquarite should have a CYA between 60-80 ppm. Also Goldline Controls says that a difference of up to 600 ppm bewteen the readings on the units and a chemical test is within tolerance since the units are not temperature compensated. If your Ace is using a LaMotte Waterlink Express for testing like the one I work at then your test results are basically in tolerance. The accuracy for the TA test is +10/-20 and the accuracy of the CYA and CH tests is +10/-25 on the Waterlink. The ColorQ is +/- 15 ppm on TA, and +/- 20 on CYA and CH so the test results you reported are certainly within tolerances! Realize that test results can vary even when tests are repeated immedately on the same water sample and can this can happen with ANY method of water testing. As long as the test results are within the test tolerance then this is normal and should be expected.

    FYI, the ColorQ has an accuracy of +/- .1 ppm on the chlorine and pH tests and the Waterlink has an accuracy of +.1/-.5 on the clorine tests and +/- .1 on pH so the numbers you got for these tests are also within tolerance.

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Thanks Waterbear. I know the CYA is low and I did add 4 lbs. last night, which is less than the container said I needed to add to bring it up 30 ppm. I'd rather not add enough than to add too much and have to try and lower it. Don't care to drain the pool even a little bit.

    As for the alk, am I understanding you correctly when you say the numbers are within tolerance, that I'm ok and don't need to raise it? I thought I needed to have it between 80 - 120.
    5,100 gallons, fiberglass, cartridge filters, suction side vacuum.

    Swimming pools.....the difference between **** and an Arizona summer.

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    I think that waterbear was saying that the numbers were plausibly within the measurement tolerances of the various testing systems.

    With a SWG a TA level of 70 is pretty good. I typically suggest 80, but others have been experimenting with lower numbers with some sucess. Lowering your TA helps keep the acid demand down, since it lowers the rate of CO2 outgassing. Levels above 100 are not recommended for SWG users. Pool stores, and many other sources, recommend higher numbers because they excpet you to be using trichlor pucks. Trichlor is acidic so you need a higher TA level to buffer the constant acid supply.

    Given the uncertanty in your readings, and that a SWG will often tend to lower TA over time, I would raise your TA by 10 or 15. There isn't any rush here, even if your TA is 50 it isn't going to cause any problems right away.
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    OK, I've had the pump running with the SWG on since early morning. The chlorine seems to be holding. Latest test shows 2.31 FC and 2.58 TC. Interestingly, my SWG now reads a salt level of 3000 (been at 2900 for 2 weeks)

    Can anyone suggest a good setting for the SWG and run times on the pump for me to start with. It's obvious that the 40% on the SWG and the 3/5 split on the run time was not a good one. I have currently increased the SWG to 70% and running the pump 24/7 while trying to clear this up, but am still a bit confused about the optimum run times (approx 27500 gal pool, 1.5 hp pump). I am trying to set run times to be able to take advantage of my power company's good cents program where electricity is much cheaper at night. But I still don't want problems with the pool.

    JasonLion, I will be addressing the alk today. I hadn't planned on bringing it up any higher than 90, was shooting for about 85, but I have not added chemicals to a pool before this ordeal, so I am going solely on the instructions off the container to know how much to add. The instructions are pretty detailed so I think I'll be ok there.
    5,100 gallons, fiberglass, cartridge filters, suction side vacuum.

    Swimming pools.....the difference between **** and an Arizona summer.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There is no ideal way to balance pump run times and SWG percentage settings. There are various constraints on the process and you try to balance them out as best you can.

    First, figure out the minimum pump run time based on filtering needs ignoring the SWG. You were running 8 hours, so I presume that was chosen based on filtering. Second, you want some headroom on the SWG percentage. We don't want to set it at 100% only to have a day where you need it higher than that. 70-80% seems like a good place to aim for on sunny mid-summer days. Third, you want to get your CYA level to the right place. I gather you are already working on this, based on previous discussion. The next step should wait till the CYA is at the desired level.

    Then you work your pump run time down from 24 hours a day, while leaving the SWG at 70-80%, till your chlorine is holding about even on sunny days. While doing this, if you get to the filtering based minimum run time stop there. If this is too much run time for your taste you can think about adding more CYA (up to 90). From then on you adjust the percentage, instead of the pump run time, to try and hold your chlorine level steady. If you get up to 100% you will need to increase the pump run time. If you go below 50% you can think about lowering the pump run time.

    If you want to do everything possible to save electricity you can run the SWG at a higher percentage and adjust your pump run time as needed instead of the percentage.

    This whole process is a little more complex than the usual adjust the percentage only approach, but it won't really take any more effort on your part than adjusting only the percentage would.
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    JasonLion, you have been such a tremendous help. I can't thank you enough! I plan on leaving my SWG at 70% and working my pump run times around that if at all possible. When we first bought the house a month ago, we had a pool service guy come out to balance the pool. He also installed the SWG and fixed the leak in our filter head. He originally had the SWG set and 70% and the pump run time at 12 hours. I started playing with it since the chlorine levels seemed to be go up and I wanted to cut the run times if possible. I think I probably should have left the SWG alone and just played with the run times. My thought was to run the majority of the pump time at night, and then have it run during the hottest part of the day, which around here is between 1 and 4, which would hopefully leave the pool fresh and clean when we got home at 5.

    With all the help/advice received here, I will get this right yet. Then I will keep my cotton-pickin' hands off of it.. I am so looking forward to the days when I don't have to babysit the pool so much.
    5,100 gallons, fiberglass, cartridge filters, suction side vacuum.

    Swimming pools.....the difference between **** and an Arizona summer.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    I think that waterbear was saying that the numbers were plausibly within the measurement tolerances of the various testing systems.
    Exactly, given the numbers you posted and the accuracy of the different testing systems used the numbers were within tolerance and are, believe it or not, essentially the same!

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