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Thread: Newbie tests are zilch!

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    slawton's Avatar
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    Newbie tests are zilch!

    I just received test kit today (TF-100).

    This is the first year we are trying a saltwater chlorinator (because it came with
    our 12' x 24' x 52" deep, 8,000 gallon Intex rectangular pool).

    We have been running the chlorinator for about a week now for 6 hours per day--the
    recommended amount of time for the number of gallons our pool holds.

    I also purchased the sodium chloride test (salt) and that registered at
    5.8 (3,520 ppm) which is at the top of where the saltwater level should be,
    according to Intex so I think I have, pretty much, the correct level of salt
    in the water.

    My other test numbers were....interesting:

    FC: 0 (the water never did turn pink--remained clear.
    CC: 0
    TC: 0
    pH: 7.8
    T/A: 130-140 (First time using the test kit and wasn't sure how "red" the water had to get).
    CH: 0 (the color red never appeared after adding the R-0011L)
    CYA: 0 (The black dot was always present, although it did get slightly smaller in size).
    Temp: 69F

    I would appreciate any advice you can give here. I guess I was thinking that the SWG was going to simply do everything but by the reading I have already done here on the forums, my dream has been crushed....

    Where do I go from here?
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Welcome to TFP!

    You should add 2 ppm of chlorine with bleach tonight. You never want the FC level to be at zero. You will probably need to continue to supplement the FC level for a couple of days with bleach, until the CYA level comes up to a more reasonable range.

    You need to get your CYA level up to between 70 and 80. Without any CYA you are losing all of your chlorine to sunlight during the day.

    I would lower the PH to 7.2.
    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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    slawton's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Thanks!

    And now, for my stupidity...

    When you say, "2ppm of chlorine with bleach"

    A) How does one measure 2ppm?
    B) Doese "chlorine with bleach" mean to use liquid bleach as my chlorine as opposed to chlorine granuals or that I should use both types of chlorline together?
    C) Doesn't CYA get raised by adding a "Stabalizer" or shock or something like that, or are you suggesting that adding the chlorine with bleach will hlelp with that as well?
    D) How do I begin to lower the PH?
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Use the Pool Calculator to figure out how much chlorine bleach to add. I would not use granules. You purchase CYA from the pool store or Wal-mart/similar stores with pool departments...look for "Stabilizer" or cyanuric acid on the label. You add CYA by pouring some in a sock and tying it off in front of your return, where it dissolves. You may need to add it a little at a time to reach your target. Bleach/liquid chlorine do not add CYA or any other unwanted additive, that is why we recommend it so often.

    You use Muratic Acid from the hardware store to lower ph, also use the pool calculator to determine how much. You don't want to add bleach and muratic acid at the same time.
    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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    slawton's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Thanks so much for the advice. I found using the pool calculator a bit tricky and I got a few strange results.

    Here is what I discovered, and the results that followed adding chemicals:

    As far as FC, I currently registered zero. I entered in zero (under the Now category) and 5 (target category). The calculator suggested adding 89oz. of 6% bleach. This didn’t seem like much to me in a pool of 8,600 gallons to go from a 1 to 5, but that is what I did.

    I found the stabilizer (cyanuric acid) but the conflict between the bottle and the pool calculator was confusing. On the container, it suggested one pound (16 oz.) for 10,000 gallons.

    With the pool calculator, I put in Now-0, Goal-70 and it suggested adding 84 oz. of stabilizer! That was a big difference!!
    So, after adding the 96 oz. of bleach, I then did the put the stabilizer in a sock thing and hung it in front of my outlet. I decided to go with 9 oz. to start, as the bottle was suggesting 16oz for 10,000 gallons and I am only at 8,600 gallons. It sure didn’t seem like much in a pool this big.

    This morning, I did the quite test and I had did see a change. The chlorine went from 0 to around 5! ( I have a hard time seeing the difference, on the quick test kit, between a 3 and a 5 reading).

    The results using the TF-100 were a bit less encouraging:
    FC-4, CC-2.5, TC-6.5, Ph-7.8 and T/A 140.

    The CYA is still not registering at all. So, should I have ignored the bottle and went with the calculator and put in the 84 oz. of stabilizer? If so, I know you had suggested a little at a time. How much at a time, like 12 oz or something?I have been running the filter/SWG in the evening, and my testing has been late in the day, not long before the filter/SWG kicks on. So it is likely the chlorine has been burning off by then.

    Today, I tested right away in the AM, as I was hopeful about the junk I put in the previous night. I am thinking that may have something to do with the more positive it as well.

    I wasn’t able to find the muriatic acid at the grocery type store I went to, but I will get to a hardware store today and try and find that. What section would I look in? So, my Ph remained the same today-7.8. You sure don’t see much in the grocery type stores for lowering things! Everything seems to be for raising it!

    Also, how do you lower your T/A reading?
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Quote Originally Posted by slawton
    The calculator suggested adding 89oz. of 6% bleach. This didn’t seem like much to me in a pool of 8,600 gallons to go from a 1 to 5, but that is what I did.
    For reference, 1 gal of 6% in a 10,000 gal pool will raise FC by 6ppm (same as the % hypochlorite). So what you found is in line with that.
    Quote Originally Posted by slawton
    I found the stabilizer (cyanuric acid) but the conflict between the bottle and the pool calculator was confusing. On the container, it suggested one pound (16 oz.) for 10,000 gallons.

    With the pool calculator, I put in Now-0, Goal-70 and it suggested adding 84 oz. of stabilizer! That was a big difference!!
    The Pool Calculator says 1lb of CYA in 10k gal is worth about 12ppm. For 70 you need more...

    Quote Originally Posted by slawton
    The results using the TF-100 were a bit less encouraging:
    FC-4, CC-2.5, TC-6.5, Ph-7.8 and T/A 140.
    So, you need to keep shocking, and eventually it would be good to bring down the pH and maybe TA.

    Quote Originally Posted by slawton
    The CYA is still not registering at all. So, should I have ignored the bottle and went with the calculator and put in the 84 oz. of stabilizer? If so, I know you had suggested a little at a time. How much at a time, like 12 oz or something?
    The CYA usually takes several days, sometimes we say up to a week, to register on the test. This is the slowest of any chemical you add to the pool, requires much patience.

    Quote Originally Posted by slawton
    I wasn’t able to find the muriatic acid at the grocery type store I went to, but I will get to a hardware store today and try and find that. What section would I look in?
    Try the paint section. If it's somewhere else they'll be able to tell you.

    Quote Originally Posted by slawton
    Also, how do you lower your T/A reading?
    See Lowering Total Alkalinity but you should get your CYA and chlorine fixed up first. Lowering TA can wait.
    --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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    I agree, lowering the TA can wait, and adding CYA may also lower the PH/TA.

    Keep shocking until your FC holds overnight and the CC is .5 or less.
    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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    slawton's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Thanks so much for the advice.

    One last thing for now...

    What, exactly do you mean when you say, "keep on shocking"?

    Would that be keep adding CYA or keep adding chlorine bleach or keep adding both?

    The chlorine reading was pretty high this AM.
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Quote Originally Posted by slawton
    Thanks so much for the advice.

    One last thing for now...

    What, exactly do you mean when you say, "keep on shocking"?

    Would that be keep adding CYA or keep adding chlorine bleach or keep adding both?

    The chlorine reading was pretty high this AM.
    Pool School! Read "How to Shock Your Pool" and post back here any questions you have.

    Link to Pool School in my sig and top right of every page.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    slawton's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    After the suggestion to keep shocking the pool, I added 1 gallon of bleach that night. I also began, with the sock over the outflow method, the addition of stabalizer. I have added 2lbs. of stabilizer at this point and it has been a bit short of a week since I completed that process.

    Here are my most recent readings:

    FC = 6.5
    CC = .5
    TC = 7.0
    pH = 7.5
    T/A = 135
    CH = 110
    CYA = 20
    Temp = 80

    After adding that first lb. of stabalizer and bleach, the next day my FC level went from 0 to 6.5, where it has stayed pretty steady. According the "water balance for SWG's", this level of FC is pretty high.

    I was running the filter 6 hours every evening and moved down to 5 and then now to 4 hoping to lower the FC. "Site Admin-The Lion" had stated that a low CYA wouldn't be enough to keep the chlorine stable and high enough but it seemingly is.

    I was planning to try and get the CYA up to the recommended 70-80 but with FC levels this high I am wondering what I should do next. Do I need to? Will doing so make the FC go up even more?

    Thanks for any advice!
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Adding CYA will not increase FC.

    If you are running the SWG to maintain FC 6.5 at CYA 20, it must be going pretty flat out; with a higher CYA you'd be able to run it at a lower percentage. If you're supplementing with bleach then we don't know what the SWG is doing.
    --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: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Have you read Water Balance Tips for SWG's?

    It helps explain where your #'s need to be.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    With the Intex SWG adjusting the percentage is not an option.

    It is either On or OFF.

    I only added the 1 gallon, one time. Since then, I have not supplemented with any more.
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    I have read the "Water Balance for SWG's". That article helps alot!

    I was just curious as to how I could be having consistently somewhat high FC levels with a pretty low CYA level particularly since I am down to running the SWG only 4 hours per day (the Intex SWG cannot be adjusted percentage wise).

    Wasn't sure if FC could be raised by continuing to raise my CYA to the 70-80 recommended in WB for SWG's.

    Thanks for the answer on that one Paul.

    Also, I have been putting the stabalizer in a sock in front of the intake. I have been finding some of the stabalizer later in "crumb form" in "small gatherings" (a bit smaller than the size of an open palm) on the bottom of the pool in about three different places-especially corners. Is it normal for the stabalizer to "crumb and gather" on the bottom like this? If so, should I remove it from the pool? Is there a better way to distribute it so this doesn't happen?
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    If you are putting stabilizer in a sock, you shouldn't see any residue from it, try a sock with a tighter weave?....can you vacume it up into your filter? You really don't want it sitting on the liner at all. It's mildly acidic.
    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: Newbie tests are zilch!

    I went back and reread the whole thread. You started with zero CYA and zero FC; you added a little bit of CYA, and some bleach which kicked up the FC to 6.5 where it has been holding steady since. Then you added some more CYA.

    The instructions on the CYA container, 1 lb per 10,000 gallons, will get you a pretty low level. With an SWG we are recommending a much higher level. You said you've added about 2lb, which got your CYA to around 20; the Pool Calculator suggested 5lb to get to 70, so I think your experience suggests that the PC is probably correct and you should go ahead with the rest of the 5 lb.

    I think what happened with the FC is that you bumped it up with bleach, and since then the SWG has been able to maintain the level. It's a little surprising that 4 hrs per day will maintain that level with CYA 20, but then all I know about SWGs is what I've read on the forum.

    --paulr

    P.S. In your sig you list your filter as your SWG... is that right? Filter and SWG in one unit? Just curious.
    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: Newbie tests are zilch!

    Yeah, it's kind of wierd. The sock is an athletic style sock--not real old with a pretty tight weave. In fact, I wondered how the chemical would even escape the sock when I first tried it. That is why I was also wondering if it could be anything else too. It just looks exaclty like the stabalizer. I was actually pondering whether the sock is too thick, and somehow the stuff is not coming through the sock thinly but is somehow chunking up and escaping somehow.

    ...kind of depressing when you are spending your time discussing sock weave eh?

    Actually, I did try and vacumn it up and almost all of it came out and was captured in the Intex filter bag. I was a bit unhappy to see that much chemical get taken back out of the pool, as I am trying to raise the CYA! It was probably a nice handful, in total.

    With the rest of it, I took my hand skimmer and tried to agitate it around a bit, and then catch it and lift it out with the skimmer. With both of these methods, I got out most of it. I was also concerned with my kids swimming around and possibly stirring the stuff up, and then possibly ingesting it!

    I added another lb. of stabalizer last night, trying to raise the level to the illusive 80 range. We shall see if it happens again. after 4 hours in front of the outflow, there was still about 3-4 oz.'s in the sock still...maybe I should try a nylon stocking or something?
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    I'm not handson familiar with your equipment, so bear with me.

    The filter bag that caught the granules, if the water still flows thru there - back to the pool, can't you leave it there to continue dissolving? Or is this somekind of removable bag that doesn't stay in the pool equipment?

    It must be some kind of slow dissolving brand.

    When I added mine, everytime I was near the sock I'd squish the sock with my fingers to help it dissolve a little quicker....if the weave is tight it shouldn't matter what kind of sock.... not sure what to tell ya.

    What color is the sock? Just kidding.
    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: Newbie tests are zilch!

    I went back and reread the whole thread. You started with zero CYA and zero FC; you added a little bit of CYA, and some bleach which kicked up the FC to 6.5 where it has been holding steady since. Then you added some more CYA.
    Correct.

    The instructions on the CYA container, 1 lb per 10,000 gallons, will get you a pretty low level. With an SWG we are recommending a much higher level. You said you've added about 2lb, which got your CYA to around 20; the Pool Calculator suggested 5lb to get to 70, so I think your experience suggests that the PC is probably correct and you should go ahead with the rest of the 5 lb.
    I think you are right! Totally.

    I think what happened with the FC is that you bumped it up with bleach, and since then the SWG has been able to maintain the level. It's a little surprising that 4 hrs per day will maintain that level with CYA 20, but then all I know about SWGs is what I've read on the forum.
    Yup. I agree again. It is wierd though...at first nothing, then dump in 1 gallon of bleach and 2lbs. of stabalizer and wham- FC is 6.5 and stable....

    P.S. In your sig you list your filter as your SWG... is that right? Filter and SWG in one unit? Just curious.
    Yes. Here is a link to it: http://www.amazon.com/Intex-Saltwater-C ... B0013E0C32

    The filter bag that caught the granules, if the water still flows thru there - back to the pool, can't you leave it there to continue dissolving? Or is this some kind of removable bag that doesn't stay in the pool equipment?
    That won't really work because this vacumn parts and bag, fits into the skimmer and blocks any other water from entering while in use. I guess if I just left the vacumn in the pool it could continue to suck the water into the little bag/skimmer and into the pump. Still, the bag picked up other yucky stuff as well. In fact, I had to dump out the little bag several times...kind of a pain but hey, it's an Intex cheepy pool kind of thing...what can I expect!? Nothing against Intex mind you...I think they are a pretty sweet little alternative!

    When I added mine, everytime I was near the sock I'd squish the sock with my fingers to help it dissolve a little quicker....if the weave is tight it shouldn't matter what kind of sock.... not sure what to tell ya.

    What color is the sock? Just kidding.
    Good idea witht the finger squishing...I need to stop running my filter in the late evening....I don't like running it during the day, 'cause that's when we like to swim of course.

    The sock is simply, white....
    Pool Size/Type: 12' x 24' x 52" Intex AG Rectangular Pool
    8,400 gallons
    Filter Type: SWG combined with a 2,000 GPH pump

  20. Back To Top    #20
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie tests are zilch!

    I know you don't want to run the filter nonstop but that's what we advise while CYA is dissolving, FYI. I get that it shouldn't run while swimming. As long as there is some source of circulation wherever the CYA is dissolving. The point that you don't want the area to become concentrated with acidic water from the CYA. but if you are swimming that shouldn't happen, right?
    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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