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Thread: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

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    I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    Hey guys,

    I've been reading a lot on this forum the past couple of days and learned a lot already. I'll try to make it short.

    Our pool was built last year in the fall, never had a pool before. I thought I could maintain it myself without any help and I actually think I was doing okay. Or maybe I just got lucky, haha!

    So all went well up until last week. I'm using Tri-chlor tabs to chlorinate my pool and suddenly there was no more FC or TC in the pool. I did not understand. I had no clue about CYA , the lady at Leslie's didn't tell me either! First time she tested end of February (I did not have any trouble yet back then) CYA was 90. She sold me product to raise CH (it was at 160 ppm) and lower Phosphate (300 ppb).

    Anyway, I went back on Monday with my chlorine problem. They told me to shock, that would help. Because they did not want me to drain my pool just after I bought so much stuff. Of course it didn't. Found this forum and read that the only solution = add new water. So I added about 7150 gallons to my pool yesterday, bought liquid chlorine and am trying to get it to at least 4ppm right now as there hasn't been any FC in the pool for almost a week now. Btw, the liquid chlorine is much easier as I can finally control how much chlorine goes into my pool. How do you do that with those tabs?

    Alright, here are my questions:

    - Did I read correctly that I do not have to worry about the phosphates as long as they're not over 1000 ppb? Leslie's wants me to keep it under 100 ppb. ( funny thing, it went up from 300 (end of February) to 500 (last Monday), so I their product added in stead of removed.

    - I was told by my pool builder that 2-3 ppm of FC is enough for my pool. PoolMath says a minimum of 5?

    - I have these yellow/green stains in my pool. I think they're from pollen. Some of these stains have been there for a while and do not go away. I brush daily and I've shocked a couple of times but they're still there. Any idea how I can remove them?

    Although I bought my testkit (Taylor K-1004) recently, I understand I should get an one that tests everything. Anyway, I tested this with my current kit just now:

    FC: 2
    PH: 7.6
    TA: 80
    CYA: don't know exactly, but should be around 50 I'm guessing.

    Thanks for all the great advice on this forum!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    blu,

    Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all those people who have been "Pool $tored"...

    You are not unlike the rest of us here at TFP. We have all been there...

    We try very hard to not "guess" about what our chemical levels are.. The whole point of TFP is knowing exactly what our levels are and then only adding just what is necessary to keep our pools clean, clear and sanitized..

    Check out this chart... It will tell you what FC level you need for specific levels of CYA.. https://www.troublefreepool.com/cont...art-slam-shock

    You can see that if you have a CYA level of 90, you will need to keep your FC at about 11 ppm to prevent you from getting algae. This is exactly why we do not recommend high CYA levels for most non-Saltwater pools..

    Here is a quick overview of TFP... https://www.troublefreepool.com/cont...at-is-tfpc-bbb

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    triptyx's Avatar
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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    To expand on Jim's post, phosphates are generally ignored here - if your pool is above minimum FC for your CYA level, having "algae food" around isn't going to matter - there's no algae to show up for the feast. Generally phosphates are Leslie's hail mary move to get you to buy their expensive "phos-free" potion. You can, generally, safely ignore phosphates numbers.

    The pool industry hasn't, for whatever reason, kept up with the science. CYA buffers chlorine - the higher your CYA, the less chlorine is "free" and able to destroy bacteria and algae. We now understand that FC has to be kept at a percentage of CYA - hence the awesome chart that Jim linked for you. Chlorine that is buffered by CYA isn't available to bleach your clothes/hair, liner, etc. While the amount of FC you need to maintain with high CYA seems crazy, it's perfectly safe for you and your clothes/equipment.

    The stains need to be tested. Try rubbing them with a chlorine tablet and see if that changes it. If not, try rubbing them with a vitamin-c tablet to see if that does anything. Based on that, we can start to help you diagnose what is causing them.
    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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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    Hey there BlupBlup Glad you and your pool found us here at TFP.

    You have a decent sized pool, in a very hot challenging environment. I would highly recommend you order the TF-100, its the best tester for the price and does the most tests of the ones you need to do the most. So it ends up saving you money in many ways.

    If you got that 90 CYA number from the pool store....well.... we don't trust them to do most chemistry test well. Either the clerk running the test is barely trained, or they don't take their time to run the test properly (I've seen them outright squirt reagent in, not add it drop by drop...) so you can get different results each time you test yet nothing has changed in your water.

    The test kit gives you *exact* values for FC,CC,pH, TA, CH and CYA. Not ranges like strips do, but exact numbers. So you'll have the information necessary to act upon those results.

    So you drained and refilled about 7k gallons, right? That's a start, but until we get a good test we won't know if you're done. Until then I would add liquid chlorine daily and brush daily on those stains and see if they start to lighten. Did anyone add algaecides with copper in your pool ever? ANY algaecides??

    For future reference, 19 ounces of 8.25% liquid chlorine will raise your FC up by 1ppm. So if you know you want to raise your FC by 3ppm, add 57 ounces if measured, or half a jug of bleach and it will be done. Quick! Easy! NO additional ingredients to mess your pool up down the road.

    You can obtain the test kit from: TFTestkits.net or PoolSupplyWorld.com

    Holler back if you have any new questions

    Yippee
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    Thanks for your reply guys! Much appreciated.

    I just ordered the TF-100 kit, I hope it gets here soon. I know I shouldn't be guessing the CYA - I don't want to - but I didn't know of CYA's existence since Monday.

    Thanks for welcoming me and my pool, YippeeSkippy. Love that name by the way

    Thanks for the clarification on the free chlorine and phosphates, Triptyx. About those stains, I did the test. Had to rub very hard - almost half of the chlorine tablet is gone - but it did disappear. I guess this means it are organic stains and I need to shock the pool to get rid of the other stains?

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    No No No! We do *not* "shock" a pool as if its a one time addition of some mystery product. Instead we do a SLAM procedure. This means we take the FC up to SLAM levels (based on our CYA level) and maintain it there with frequent FC testing and re-dosing to keep the water at that SLAM level until its all clear.

    Pool stores sell lots of potions and bags of mystery ingredients and call it "shock" but if its granular or solid it also contains yet more CYA or calcium. They don't do a good job of telling folks that part though, do they? So it just compounds your problem more.

    Wait till you get your test kit (did you by chance get the speed stir device too? Way faster testing!) and lets see what your results show before we make big changes. Just add some bleach daily until it arrives, ok?

    Yippee
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    Oh yes of course, SLAM.

    I'll add bleach every day.

    Yes, I ordered the TF-start up.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    You are well on your way to getting the pretty pool back in shape with buying the best test kit there is! Good job!

    You just thought your water was pretty before. Wait until you see it the TFP way!

    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: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    I received my kit yesterday, YAY!!

    These are my readings today:

    FC - 3
    CC 0.5
    pH 7.5
    TA - 110 (I get different readings with the TF-100 kit and my Taylor kit. Taylor says 90)
    CH - 275
    CYA - 50

    If I understand correctly, all looks ok but I need to get my FC between 6 and 8 for this level of CYA. Used pool math and added 2 quarts and 1 cup of 8.25% bleach just now.

    Yesterday, after a day of medium heavy rain, the FC was 0. I added a gallon of bleach to get it back to 7 (I did not test again for FC after adding the gallon of bleach though).

    Is it normal that 18 hours later, the FC is only 3?



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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    What does the water look like? Gin clear or a little cloudy?
    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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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    The water is clear. Not cloudy at all.

    But I do have some organic stains in my pool, so will have to SLAM one of the coming days (when I have the time)

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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    Just remember that SLAM is not a one time thing. It's a multi day process that involves adding chlorine and testing FC many times over the course of the process.
    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 kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    Don't forget about the brushing as well. That will help knock the stains out with the higher FC

    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: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    Yes brush daily every area, very important!

    My last pool looked a lot like yours one time, during an algae out break.
    The slam process took 2 full weeks start to finish. The first week
    was the hardest part. And I went through about 32 gallons of bleach all told.
    That pool was 20,000 gallons though.

    How are you testing your CYA?

    Are you holding it at waist level, with your back to full sun?
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    So I started slamming Wednesday evening. And of course I've been brushing like a crazy dude, 2 to 3 times a day with the Wall Whale. That brush works pretty good, I must say. The stains are fading away, almost gone!

    Thanks for your cheers Kimkats!

    Borjis, yes, holding it at waist level and I test indoors. I don't think it's going to take 2 weeks here, the stains do not look like in the pictures I posted before anymore.

    The water is much clearer now. It was a little cloudy right after I started slamming, but it looks good now. I'm keeping it at 20ppm.

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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    You absolutely must test CYA outdoors in direct sunlight, with your back to the sun and the tube in the shade your body makes. It makes all the difference in getting an accurate reading. Without an accurate reading, you may be wasting time (or money in wasted chlorine) with the wrong FC level in your SLAM.
    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.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

    Quote Originally Posted by triptyx View Post
    You absolutely must test CYA outdoors in direct sunlight
    That is different info from what the testkit says: testing will be easier and more accurate indoors.

    Anyway, I did the test again outside. CYA is still 50.

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