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Thread: Chlorine and pH

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    Chlorine and pH

    First, I promise I did read Pool School and searched and read many previous threads. Sorry, but I think I got even more confused trying to digest it all. Just need some guidance for a couple next steps.
    Pool info is in signature line.
    I'm a part-year resident and had a supposedly weekly pool guy. We just let him go when we returned because he wasn't showing up. He said no worry, pool was in great shape...clear water, etc etc., but I decided to take over pool care. As reco'd here, I ordered a TF 100 test kit. Just checked water with the R-0600 for chlorine and R-0014 for pH. Chlorine color was brown and pH dark purple, both off-the-scale high. I checked the floating puck chlorinator and it had 3 pucks in it. Seems his approach was add a ton of chlorine and come back every so often.
    I removed the chlorinator and now trying to decide what the most sensible next steps are. Additional tests? Chlorine reducer? Muriatic acid? Sorry to be asking, the info here is really great, but I'm just a bit overwhelmed as I start into this.
    Notes...water T is 50-55deg, pool uncovered, I reset pump to run 5hrs/day@2650rpm and cleaned the filter, water is clear, pool surfaces are totally clean.

    EDIT: Just took sample to pool store. Their test indicates very high solids, high pH (told to add 3 cups acid), and "perfect" chlorine level. I'm now really confused. Back to Pool School....
    DanL, Las Vegas NV
    IG, 2009, 15kGal, 1.5kGal overflow spa, plaster, Pentair system, 420 cartridge filter, Intelliflow 4-160 main pump, Whisperflow feature pump, Poolvergneugen Pool vacuum, liquid chlorine and sometimes pucks, TF-100 test kit, city water autofill, gas heater, Aquatherm Ecosun solar 480sqft, EZ Touch panel with remote, system: Trouble Free Pool

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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    That's ok! There's a lot of info there and it can be overwhelming. We're just happy to have you here.

    The chlorine will burn off over time - the sun and the process of it doing its job killing bad things will bring it down normally and naturally. You can't test pH with any reliability until the chlorine level (FC) is at 10 or below - so for the moment, just sit tight and let that chlorine burn off. Make sure you leave any solar blankets or other pool covers off to assist in the process.

    Do you have your TF-100 yet? If you do, let's try a complete set of tests except for pH to see where you are. If you don't, sit tight until the TF-100 arrives and then give us a full set of test results (again, without pH until that FC level comes down). Let the water sample for the CYA test come up to "room" temperature before you test it - I understand cold water can cause it to read funny.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    If the OTO chlorine test is brown, the pH test will be invalid. I would just let the chlorine drift down while you wait on your kit, do a full test with it and go from there.
    32K gallon Plaster - CircuPool SJ-55 SWG - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL/K-1766
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    First, I promise I did read Pool School and searched and read many previous threads. Sorry, but I think I got even more confused trying to digest it all. Just need some guidance for a couple next steps.
    Pool info is in signature line.
    I'm a part-year resident and had a supposedly weekly pool guy. We just let him go when we returned because he wasn't showing up. He said no worry, pool was in great shape...clear water, etc etc., but I decided to take over pool care. As reco'd here, I ordered a TF 100 test kit. Just checked water with the R-0600 for chlorine and R-0014 for pH. Chlorine color was brown and pH dark purple, both off-the-scale high. I checked the floating puck chlorinator and it had 3 pucks in it. Seems his approach was add a ton of chlorine and come back every so often.
    I removed the chlorinator and now trying to decide what the most sensible next steps are. Additional tests? Chlorine reducer? Muriatic acid? Sorry to be asking, the info here is really great, but I'm just a bit overwhelmed as I start into this.
    Notes...water T is 50-55deg, pool uncovered, I reset pump to run 5hrs/day@2650rpm and cleaned the filter, water is clear, pool surfaces are totally clean.

    EDIT: Just took sample to pool store. Their test indicates very high solids, high pH (told to add 3 cups acid), and "perfect" chlorine level. I'm now really confused. Back to Pool School....
    Note: Don't let the pool $tore testing confuse you. They are rarely correct, and as you found out, they are often way off.
    Bob - INTEX 12x24 owner (not setup yet), 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    If all,the pool guy has been throwing at the pool are pucks and shock, I'd be interested in seeing what the CYA level is. The other levels,will have no effect on the CYA test". Just take a water sample and let it warm to room temperature before you conduct the test.

    As Bob said, stay away from the pool store. Ignore "solids", that is just a way for them to sell you stuff you don't need.
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Summary of Day 1 (see first post):
    All results with new TF 100 test kit.
    Yesterday, on day1, I used the TF100 test kit to test Cl and pH. Both were off the scale high.
    Took water to pool store. They confirmed hi pH, but said Cl level was fine. Also said pool needs water change due to high solids.
    Told me to add 3 cups muriatic acid. I added the acid.

    Day 2:
    Rechecked Cl and pH. Cl was dark orange, still off-scale high. pH is now down to 7.8 after adding acid yesterday. (new kit, fresh reagents dated 5/18, water T=60F)
    Ran CYA...result much greater than 100....rough extrapolation about 130.

    Going back to research here on TFP, but any helpful comments welcome.
    DanL, Las Vegas NV
    IG, 2009, 15kGal, 1.5kGal overflow spa, plaster, Pentair system, 420 cartridge filter, Intelliflow 4-160 main pump, Whisperflow feature pump, Poolvergneugen Pool vacuum, liquid chlorine and sometimes pucks, TF-100 test kit, city water autofill, gas heater, Aquatherm Ecosun solar 480sqft, EZ Touch panel with remote, system: Trouble Free Pool

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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    You have your TF-100- awesome!

    Please run the FAS-DPD test using a 10ml water sample (divide the number of drops needed to change color by 2 to get your results) and let us know what that test says the Free Chlorine is please.
    Please also run the CYA test using the dilution method, first letting the water temperature rise to something approximating room temperature. To dilute it, mix one part pool water and one part tap water, then use that mixed water sample to put in the little snuffer bottle. Multiply the results by 2 to get an approximate CYA result. Anything under 100 on the view tube is invalid, so we have to dilute it to get a better approximation.

    Please do not add any more acid until the FC level is below 10, the pH test does not work with an FC over 10.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
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    Post Re: Chlorine and pH

    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    Summary of Day 1 (see first post):
    All results with new TF 100 test kit.
    Yesterday, on day1, I used the TF100 test kit to test Cl and pH. Both were off the scale high.
    Took water to pool store. They confirmed hi pH, but said Cl level was fine. Also said pool needs water change due to high solids.
    Told me to add 3 cups muriatic acid. I added the acid.

    Day 2:
    Rechecked Cl and pH. Cl was dark orange, still off-scale high. pH is now down to 7.8 after adding acid yesterday. (new kit, fresh reagents dated 5/18, water T=60F)
    Ran CYA...result much greater than 100....rough extrapolation about 130.

    Going back to research here on TFP, but any helpful comments welcome.
    im sure that if the CYA is over 100 then a partial water drain will be required. Im sure there will be some one else along soon to provide more in depth advice.
    Outdoor Inground Heated Concrete Tiled Pool - 25ft x 12ft and 3ft 4" to 6ft 6" deep - 45k Litre Water Capacity
    Valve - Hayward Vari-flo 711-13 ------ Pump - Sta-Rite 5P1R
    Filter - Hayward S244T -------- Test Kit - Taylor K2006C

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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    Summary of Day 1 (see first post):
    All results with new TF 100 test kit.
    Yesterday, on day1, I used the TF100 test kit to test Cl and pH. Both were off the scale high.
    Took water to pool store. They confirmed hi pH, but said Cl level was fine. Also said pool needs water change due to high solids.
    Told me to add 3 cups muriatic acid. I added the acid.

    Day 2:
    Rechecked Cl and pH. Cl was dark orange, still off-scale high. pH is now down to 7.8 after adding acid yesterday. (new kit, fresh reagents dated 5/18, water T=60F)
    Ran CYA...result much greater than 100....rough extrapolation about 130.

    Going back to research here on TFP, but any helpful comments welcome.
    OK...repeated CYA with 50/50 pool/filtered water, about 70F. New result just over 100. So CYA is 100 x 2= 200+ (Note...tested dilution water...0 CYA....perfectly clear)
    Also checked chlorine reagent (R-0600) on city tap water. Got 1-2. City spec is 0.8 avg, max 1.6, so reagent is right on. Still wonder how I get orange brown chlorine result from pool water.
    Holding off on other tests...looking into draining the pool and refill.
    DanL, Las Vegas NV
    IG, 2009, 15kGal, 1.5kGal overflow spa, plaster, Pentair system, 420 cartridge filter, Intelliflow 4-160 main pump, Whisperflow feature pump, Poolvergneugen Pool vacuum, liquid chlorine and sometimes pucks, TF-100 test kit, city water autofill, gas heater, Aquatherm Ecosun solar 480sqft, EZ Touch panel with remote, system: Trouble Free Pool

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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Gah. Sorry to hear about the refill.

    I did it myself last April for the same reason, and it was totally worth it. Make sure you look into your local city and county regs on disposing of pool water, and I'd recommend the rental submersible pump from Lowes or Home Depot. You'll also want to do this before it starts getting hot (but after your annual sewer bill usage is calculated - if they do that in LV). The plaster can't be allowed to bake in the sun - it needs to be kept cool and moist during the drain/fill.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Your priority is the drain/refill, and your helpers will describe some things to be careful about, but definitely that's the priority.

    Later on, when you get back to testing FC... there are two chlorine tests in the TF-100. You're using the OTO test, which turns yellow, orange or brown. It's useful as a quick check for presence of chlorine, but not the better choice for determining your actual chlorine level.

    Once you get the CYA down, you can start using the other chlorine test, called FAS-DPD. DPD is a powder (R-0870) which is added first and which will turn the water pink when there's chlorine in the water. You then use the FAS titrating reagent (R-0871) drop-wise to determine the chlorine level.

    Sorry to hear that your pool guy went crazy with the pucks and wrecked your water with CYA
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, K-1106 and CCL test kits; Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWCG 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; Other family pools 10K SWCG and 15K on liquid; PoolMath app subscriber; | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Thanks everyone. Info much appreciated.
    Day 3: Rented pump at HDepot, pumping out now. Pump rated at 2700gph. I calculated volume of the water in the top 1ft layer of the pool....500sqft x 1ft = 500cuft = 3,700g.
    The pump lowered the water by 9" in the first hour. Doing the math...9"/12" x 3700g per 12" = 2775gal. Wow... really right on the rated pump rate.
    Plan to do almost 100% water change (hasn't been done for four years). Water cost will be about $65 and pump rental was $42.
    Next: de-scale...bad/thick line of white scale all around pool. Trying Descale-It 100% Biodegradable descaler followed after soak time by scraper and green pad. Soften/dissolves deposits a bit, but will not be the total answer.

    Now going to get chlorine at Walmart to wash pool surfaces before refill even though the below water surfaces seem very clean. Going to Pool School next on refilling steps, adding chlorine etc. Plan to use liquid chlorine bleach...no more pucks. City water for refill measures 1-2ppm chlorine, spec'd at 0.8-1.6.

    Any comments, advice appreciated.
    DanL, Las Vegas NV
    IG, 2009, 15kGal, 1.5kGal overflow spa, plaster, Pentair system, 420 cartridge filter, Intelliflow 4-160 main pump, Whisperflow feature pump, Poolvergneugen Pool vacuum, liquid chlorine and sometimes pucks, TF-100 test kit, city water autofill, gas heater, Aquatherm Ecosun solar 480sqft, EZ Touch panel with remote, system: Trouble Free Pool

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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    The white scale-1 to 4 muriatic acid to water in a spray bottle BUT know that m. acid will lower your PH. So long are you are aware of this all is good and you can "fix" it as needed when the time comes.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    The white scale-1 to 4 muriatic acid to water in a spray bottle BUT know that m. acid will lower your PH. So long are you are aware of this all is good and you can "fix" it as needed when the time comes.

    Kim
    Kim,
    Thanks!
    While pool is being pumped out, I will start cleaning. Plan to finish all cleaning and maintenance before refilling. I'll try the diluted acid.

    My next step is learning how to calc the amount of bleach I'll need to add to the new water.
    DanL, Las Vegas NV
    IG, 2009, 15kGal, 1.5kGal overflow spa, plaster, Pentair system, 420 cartridge filter, Intelliflow 4-160 main pump, Whisperflow feature pump, Poolvergneugen Pool vacuum, liquid chlorine and sometimes pucks, TF-100 test kit, city water autofill, gas heater, Aquatherm Ecosun solar 480sqft, EZ Touch panel with remote, system: Trouble Free Pool

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Got that covered on my siggy below! Look for Pool Math. There is a learning curve so play around with it to get used to it.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Don't forget while it's draining to remove the lights from their niches and spray/scrub the niches out. I got all kinds of nasty crud out of mine.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    You really only need to drain 75-80% or so, you will want some CYA in there.
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    You really only need to drain 75-80% or so, you will want some CYA in there.
    Day 4: Emptied pool yesterday. Did some acid wash and Descale-It on some areas....most of underwater surfaces looked vey clean. Rinsed thoroughly and pumped out all rinse water. Started refill at 7pm...2 hoses and autofill = 650gph, so 16,000g pool/spa should be full by 7 or 8pm today.
    Checked CYA (TF100)...water is clear. So domct, I will have to raise CYA as you say. I have a bucket of maybe 20 leftover pucks...will be looking at using those and see where CYA goes????
    Need to plan next steps on the water chem. Seems first step should be a complete range of tests to know starting point?
    DanL, Las Vegas NV
    IG, 2009, 15kGal, 1.5kGal overflow spa, plaster, Pentair system, 420 cartridge filter, Intelliflow 4-160 main pump, Whisperflow feature pump, Poolvergneugen Pool vacuum, liquid chlorine and sometimes pucks, TF-100 test kit, city water autofill, gas heater, Aquatherm Ecosun solar 480sqft, EZ Touch panel with remote, system: Trouble Free Pool

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    I have a bucket of maybe 20 leftover pucks...will be looking at using those and see where CYA goes????
    Great job on taking control!!

    As you fill add a little bleach to keep the FC up. I would save those pucks for vacations and fine tuning of CYA.

    As a CYA start from "0" they are too slow. You can pick up granular CYA at Home Depot or Lowes, usually the pool stuff is in outside garden. Use PoolMath to calculate how much CYA to add to get to 30 for right now. Pour that amount in an old sock and either hang it in front of a return, or as I do just put it in a skimmer (the CYA filled sock, not raw CYA granules). Every 15-20 minutes go by and squeeze the sock. Generally it's gone in a few hours.

    Test your pH and adjust

    While you are at Home Depot or Lowes pick up CH Up. Test your fill water and I think you will find it is a little high in CH, so this will rise over time - so don't start too high.
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    Re: Chlorine and pH

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Great job on taking control!!

    As you fill add a little bleach to keep the FC up. I would save those pucks for vacations and fine tuning of CYA.

    As a CYA start from "0" they are too slow. You can pick up granular CYA at Home Depot or Lowes, usually the pool stuff is in outside garden. Use PoolMath to calculate how much CYA to add to get to 30 for right now. Pour that amount in an old sock and either hang it in front of a return, or as I do just put it in a skimmer (the CYA filled sock, not raw CYA granules). Every 15-20 minutes go by and squeeze the sock. Generally it's gone in a few hours.

    Test your pH and adjust

    While you are at Home Depot or Lowes pick up CH Up. Test your fill water and I think you will find it is a little high in CH, so this will rise over time - so don't start too high.
    Ran tests on new fill water:
    71F temp, CH 300, TA 130, CYA 0, pH 7.8, Cl 0. A lot of Ca in Las Vegas water I guess...

    So, using Pool Math:

    Item/Now/Target/Action
    FC/ 0/ 4/ add 87oz of 10% liq. bleach
    pH/ 7.8/ 7.2/ add 58oz muriatic (29%)
    TA/ 130/ 90/ (take pH to 7.2, aereate using spa overflow)
    CH/ 300/ 300/ no action
    CYA/ 0/ 30/ add 68oz CYA

    Plan to add the CYA today (sock in skimmer). Add half chlorine and acid tomorrow AM. Re-measure and add more as needed in PM.
    DanL, Las Vegas NV
    IG, 2009, 15kGal, 1.5kGal overflow spa, plaster, Pentair system, 420 cartridge filter, Intelliflow 4-160 main pump, Whisperflow feature pump, Poolvergneugen Pool vacuum, liquid chlorine and sometimes pucks, TF-100 test kit, city water autofill, gas heater, Aquatherm Ecosun solar 480sqft, EZ Touch panel with remote, system: Trouble Free Pool

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