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Thread: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

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    New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    With Pool Math and Aquachek 7 test strips, I have everything as it should be, give or take the accuracy of the Aquachek 7 test strips. Water is crystal clear, and this just doesn't seem very hard. Yet, I see Amazon reviews on the test strips saying that you still need a 'real' test kit. Why? I feel like I've got everything in near perfect harmony with the help of Pool Math. Maybe you need a test kit if you don't use Pool Math? Just wondering if I am missing something.

    By the way, my pool is approximately 31000 gallons with a deep end, an 8 foot round spa, a grotto/waterfall, and a tanning ledge with bubbler if that makes any difference to the ease or difficultly of adjusting pH, Chlorine, and related items.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Hi there Robininni

    Can you tell us these results-
    FC
    CC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    One thing to be aware of is that "Guess Strips" tend to report results in a range, like CYA will say 20-50ppm. Well that makes a HUGE difference if you're trying to clean up an algae outbreak. So that is one example...there are others. Do your strips tell you how contaminated your water may be? If lots of kids pee'd in your pool, our test kits will tell us that yet the water *looks* clear. It gives us the notice that something is in there that's going to eat up our chlorine and we may risk an outbreak if we don't treat it.

    We want to protect our expensive pools and equipment by knowing exact amounts.

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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Today's readings:

    FC 3ish ppm
    CC 3ish ppm
    pH 7.2ish
    TA 80ish ppm
    CH 500ish ppm
    CYA 0-30 ppm

    A little more about my pool: Only my family swims in the pool and I expect some pee . My pool is filled with well water and has no overhead trees, in fact none within 30 feet, and is fully in direct sunlight all day long.

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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Why do all your readings end in "-ish"?

    Also, is your CYA level zero or 30?

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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by robininni View Post
    Today's readings:

    FC 3ish ppm
    CC 3ish ppm
    pH 7.2ish
    TA 80ish ppm
    CH 500ish ppm
    CYA 0-30 ppm

    A little more about my pool: Only my family swims in the pool and I expect some pee . My pool is filled with well water and has no overhead trees, in fact none within 30 feet, and is fully in direct sunlight all day long.
    Man, with a CC of 3ppm you must have some nasties growing in that water. And there is a big difference between a CYA of 0, and a CYA of 30ppm.

    If you were to get an algae bloom, how would you know if you eliminated it? Do your test strips measure FC to 0.5ppm resolution?

    It's your choice how you manage your pool, but I know I don't want my family swimming in clean-ish water.
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Why do all your readings end in "-ish"?

    Also, is your CYA level zero or 30?

    Sent with Tapatalk on HTC Ten
    ish because if I had said pH 7.2, FC 3 ppm, etc, than someone would have said the test strip isn't that accurate. My CYA is in the 0-30 color on the test strip, sometimes in the 30-50 range. Are you not familiar with the Aquachek 7 test strip?


    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Man, with a CC of 3ppm you must have some nasties growing in that water. And there is a big difference between a CYA of 0, and a CYA of 30ppm.

    If you were to get an algae bloom, how would you know if you eliminated it? Do your test strips measure FC to 0.5ppm resolution?

    It's your choice how you manage your pool, but I know I don't want my family swimming in clean-ish water.
    Seriously? Nasties in my water? I have no algae in my water. 3 ppm FC/CC is within a good range for the pool and spa with CYA I gave. Lower CYA will make the chlorine disappear faster in the sunlight so I will have to add more sooner, but as well water is auto-fill added to the pool, the CYA increases. Also, yes, the test strips doe have a .5ppm FC and TC color reading along with a 0 ppm.

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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Like I said, you are free to manage your pool as you like.

    A CC of 3ppm is not an acceptable level. CC's should ideally be 0, but 0.5ppm or less is fine. CC's are the by-product of your chlorine being oxidized by something, most likely organic material in your pool.

    And no, I am not at all familiar with your test strips, I've never used them.


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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    With very little reading around here, you will quickly see that we just do not trust test strips to be accurate enough to truly understand the state of your water.

    Paramount is the ratio of the FC level to your CYA level. Your CYA level determines how high you need the FC level to prevent algae from growing and to kill off bacteria/viruses/etc.
    So far you have indicated that the CYA could be anywhere from 0pmm to 50ppm ... well, that leave a pretty large range where you do not know what the FC should be.

    Ideally, the CC should be 0 and anything above 0.5ppm is a sign of a problem ... more than likely yours is not really 3ppm, which is why we do not like test strips.

    You are welcome to use whatever you like to test your pool, but it is going to be hard to help you identify problems and correct them without real test results.
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by robininni View Post
    ish because if I had said pH 7.2, FC 3 ppm, etc, than someone would have said the test strip isn't that accurate. My CYA is in the 0-30 color on the test strip, sometimes in the 30-50 range. Are you not familiar with the Aquachek 7 test strip?
    I'm very familiar with them, unfortunately I have to tell people all the time that we can't assist them if they can't give us more accurate numbers than they are giving based on those strips. I'm only trying to help you see how worthless a range of "0-30 or maybe 50" is in figuring out what your FC level should be, and why "-ish" should never be a part of your test results.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    With very little reading around here, you will quickly see that we just do not trust test strips to be accurate enough to truly understand the state of your water.

    Paramount is the ratio of the FC level to your CYA level. Your CYA level determines how high you need the FC level to prevent algae from growing and to kill off bacteria/viruses/etc.
    So far you have indicated that the CYA could be anywhere from 0pmm to 50ppm ... well, that leave a pretty large range where you do not know what the FC should be.

    Ideally, the CC should be 0 and anything above 0.5ppm is a sign of a problem ... more than likely yours is not really 3ppm, which is why we do not like test strips.

    You are welcome to use whatever you like to test your pool, but it is going to be hard to help you identify problems and correct them without real test results.
    I'm sorry, I was giving my TC as CC. My TC and FC are both equal at 3 ppm so I understand it that I have no CC. Sorry for the confusion. My stats should read:

    FC 3 ppm
    TC 3 ppm
    pH 7.2
    TA 80 ppm
    CH 500 ppm
    CYA 0-30 ppm

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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Is your CYA zero or 30 ppm? It makes a difference
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Now is the time to make a decision, keep using test strips or follow our methods.

    The pool industry refuses to recognize the connection between CYA/Stabilizer and the ability of chlorine to do it's thing sanitizing the water. Others here can give you the scientific details if you want, but lets just say CYA locks the ability of chlorine to sanitize. The more CYA you have the more chlorine you need to keep in the pool to keep algae at bay. This is why folks keep asking if your CYA is 0 or 30.

    Until/unless you have your own test kit that we can rely on the numbers there is nothing we can really say.... It's your pool to play with how you like.
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Is your CYA zero or 30 ppm? It makes a difference
    I can't tell you except that it is lower than 30 but recently was in the 30-50 ppm range. The AquaChek 7 test strips give a color reading for CYA in ppm broken down at: 0 30-50 100 150 300. I use granular dichlor to increase the chlorine level because my inline chlorinator turned all the way up isn't keeping up. Won't the dichlor increase my CYA as well?

    Also, with low CYA is the problem excessive chlorine adding and the cost associated with this because it doesn't last long unprotected by the lack of CYA? I guess I am not fully understanding the CYA. If you have a higher CYA, you must have more FC to be effective, if you have a lower CYA, you can have less FC and still be effective, however the FC gets depleted faster? Is that it? If so, what's wrong with the latter if you add chlorine as needed?

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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by robininni View Post
    I can't tell you except that it is lower than 30 but recently was in the 30-50 ppm range. The AquaChek 7 test strips give a color reading for CYA in ppm broken down at: 0 30-50 100 150 300. I use granular dichlor to increase the chlorine level because my inline chlorinator turned all the way up isn't keeping up. Won't the dichlor increase my CYA as well?

    Also, with low CYA is the problem excessive chlorine adding and the cost associated with this because it doesn't last long unprotected by the lack of CYA?
    You are correct, with CYA too low chlorine is burned off by the UV rays of the sun quickly.

    But, if you are using an inline chlorinator I can say that if your CYA is actually low now (doubtful as test strips are prone to inaccuracies), it will not be low for long. Both Trichlor (tabs used in your chlorinator) and Dichlor are both almost 50% CYA. It doesn't show up on the ingredient list as it's chemically part of the Trichlor/Dichlor.

    Unless Stephenville (you don't list a state) is in an area that has long winters that requires a large drain of water to close and snow melt that dilutes your pool each winter you will have CYA issues going forward.
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    You are correct, with CYA too low chlorine is burned off by the UV rays of the sun quickly.

    But, if you are using an inline chlorinator I can say that if your CYA is actually low now (doubtful as test strips are prone to inaccuracies), it will not be low for long. Both Trichlor (tabs used in your chlorinator) and Dichlor are both almost 50% CYA. It doesn't show up on the ingredient list as it's chemically part of the Trichlor/Dichlor.

    Unless Stephenville (you don't list a state) is in an area that has long winters that requires a large drain of water to close and snow melt that dilutes your pool each winter you will have CYA issues going forward.
    Okay, so high CYA is okay but you have to increase the FC for the chlorine to be effective. Low CYA is okay, and you can maintain a lower FC ppm but will be replacing depleted FC a lot? Any downside to the latter? And Stephenville is near Fort Worth, TX.

    Also, if the dichlor and trichlor will be always increasing my CYA, will I have to eventually drain and refill the pool every now and then or will the evaporation and autofill well water take care of this usually?

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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by robininni View Post
    Okay, so high CYA is okay but you have to increase the FC for the chlorine to be effective. Low CYA is okay, and you can maintain a lower FC ppm but will be replacing depleted FC a lot? Any downside to the latter?
    We recommend a mid point. If the CYA is too low you can actually loose all of your FC in a day. Unprotected chlorine (no CYA) will be gon in a couple/few hours. FC/CYA Chart


    Quote Originally Posted by robininni View Post
    Also, if the dichlor and trichlor will be always increasing my CYA, will I have to eventually drain and refill the pool every now and then or will the evaporation and autofill well water take care of this usually?
    CYA does not evaporate. As water evaporates the CYA is left behind, so it increases more. Yes, if it get too high you end up in a situation where you need to drain/refill.
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    And what you have now realized is why we do not recommend the exclusive use of trichlor or dichlor ... especially in an area of the country that does not partially drain for winter or get a ton of rainfall. We recommend liquid chlorine that does not have the side-effect of raising the CYA.
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    And what you have now realized is why we do not recommend the exclusive use of trichlor or dichlor ... especially in an area of the country that does not partially drain for winter or get a ton of rainfall. We recommend liquid chlorine that does not have the side-effect of raising the CYA.
    liquid chlorine AKA household bleach?

    Also, back on the CYA measurements, mine has gone down since pool start up a couple of months ago, and this is with the addition of dichlor every few days and constant trichlor inline chlorination. I was initially getting CYA in the 30-50 range by color and now the color is in the 0 range (could be less than 30 though, not necessarily 0). My FC does not disappear in a days time though, it will drop from 3 ppm to 1 ppm over 2-3 days in my 31000 gallon pool. How might this CYA decrease be happening given the method of chlorination? Does pH or alkalinity or water hardness after CYA?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Well, yes, but I did not say bleach so as to not scare you away :P

    Given what you are putting in the pool, there is no way your CYA should be dropping unless you have a leak in the pool and an auto-fill masking it.

    It is normal to lose 2-4ppm of FC EVERYDAY!!! Although since you are constantly adding it with the tablets, your should not be dropping unless they are dissolving too slowly. The FC could also be dropping because you have a low level algae bloom that is not visible yet that is consuming your FC.

    But, there is no way to confirm any of this with test strips.
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    Re: New Pool owner using Aquachek 7 and Pool Math only

    Well, I don't know what a slow dissolve would be, but it takes several days for 1 3" puck to disappear from the chlorinator and I have it all the way up. I've been adding about 14 oz or dichlor powder about once a week for 2 or 3 weeks. I'd like to keep my CYA low so I can keep my FC ppm low. That seems to be the best way in my mind to not need as much chlorine in the water but have the CYA high enough that it sticks around.

    I don't think it would make a difference to the above, but I had been adding a lot or muriatic acid (a gallon to 2 gallons every other day or so) to get my pH to 7.2 from 8.4+ after the initial pool fill which occurred about 2 months ago. I have put a total of 13 gallons in I believe in around 3 weeks time. My TA was 180 and is now 80 and I am letting the pH come up to 7.8 before adding any acid. Its also rained pretty good a couple or three time in the last few weeks and will probably do it again tomorrow and the next day.

    I appreciate the help from you guys.

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