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Thread: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

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    Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    Hi, Everyone!

    I have just ordered my TF test kit, and it should arrive in a few days. Since I don't have that yet, I am relying on the pool stores water test results. I recently had a huge pool party, and since then the pool water was turning a slight green color and was extremely cloudy. Before I found this forum, I listened to the pool stores advice and added a bunch of overly priced chemicals (Shock, TA increaser, Calcium Phosphate remover, etc...) Since then, the pool has returned to a beautiful blue color; however, the test results are still coming back with low chlorine levels, and off the chart phosphate numbers. The pool store is telling me that because the phosphate numbers are so high, the Chlorine is not able to get to the levels they need to be. Here are the test results as of today (After the shock, super chlorination, TA increaser, phosphate remover and Calcium)

    Free Chlorine: 0PPM
    Total Chlorine: 0.4PPM
    Combined Chlorine: 0.4PPM
    PH: 7.5
    Hardness: 191PPM
    Alkalinity: 122PPM
    Cyanuric Acid: 38PPM
    Copper: 0PPM
    Iron: 0PPM
    Phosphate: OVR 4280ppb
    Salt: 4250

    They are recommending I lower PH, wait 2-3 hours, add 2 quarts of phosphate remover, run the pool for 24 hours, backwash, then super chlorinate.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!

    --18,000 Gallon Inground Salt Pool - Plaster - Pentair DE Filter - Pentair SuperVlow VS Pump - Built in May 2017 - Pentair test kit - Pentair IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator - No water restrictions
    Last edited by mizzamouse; 07-12-2017 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Didn't have signature listed

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    AftonJeeper's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    Here is a link to the recommended levels, notice phosphates are not listed because you don't need to worry about them. Being no one trusts pool store results around here it is really just guess work until the kit shows up. If the pH is correct it is perfect, don't mess with it.

    For your size pool you can add one gallon of 8.25% bleach each day until your kit shows up.

    And for backwashing your filter do it when the PSI rises 20-25% above the clean pressure.
    20'x48' 40,000 gal. Vinyl, Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, Sta-Rite PLM300 System 2 Cartridge Filter, and a Pentair Mastertemp 250 heater all controlled by Pentair Easy Touch with Screen Logic. Dolphin Premier pool attendant.
    I've got iron stained well water. TF-100 and Speed Stir

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    The money you'd spend on phosphate remover would be better spent on bleach.

    Interesting bit of trivia.... Phos-free instructions even say not to use it if you have visible algae! Of course they hide that way at the bottom. Phosfree | Backyard Water Care | Natural Chemistry The pool stores ignore that because it doesn't generate the sales they want.

    If I believed those pool store results, I'd do nothing but add bleach, following the SLAM instructions. To do so correctly requires a better chlorine test than color-matching or pool store testing.

    Once your pool is sparkling and balanced and you're enjoying it again, then if you want to lower phosphates -- say you already bought the stuff and can't return it -- that's the time to do it. If you add it while the pool is cloudy, it'll get cloudier to the point that you'll be describing it as milky.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    Thanks, Guys!

    I'll hang tight until my TF Kit comes in. Until then, I'll add a gallon of bleach every day.
    --18,000 Gallon Inground Salt Pool - Plaster - Pentair DE Filter - Pentair SuperVlow VS Pump - Built in May 2017 - TFP test kit - Pentair IntelliChlor IC20 Electronic Chlorine Generator - No water restrictions

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    Re: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    Hey, Guys!

    The test kit came in! I've been adding chlorine daily while I waited, and was taking my test results to the store for testing. I was planning on following the SLAM process today since I knew the kit was going to arrive this afternoon, so I added 1 3/4 gal of chlorine based on the FC/CYA test results from the pool store. Here are the TFP test results post 1 3/4 addition (started at 4.35FC with .47CC 46CYA from the pool store this AM) That was added this afternoon at 12 PM EST. Given the results, I would assume the SLAM process is complete?


    FC - 9
    CC - 0.5
    Ch - 375
    TA - 100
    CYA - 30

    I do have some CYA that I was planning on adding today since it appears to be a little low.

    Given that my FC is below the shock level relative to the CYA chart, should the pool be OK for swimming tomorrow? The water looks crystal clear this afternoon.

    Thanks for your help!
    --18,000 Gallon Inground Salt Pool - Plaster - Pentair DE Filter - Pentair SuperVlow VS Pump - Built in May 2017 - TFP test kit - Pentair IntelliChlor IC20 Electronic Chlorine Generator - No water restrictions

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    domct203's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    Did you pass all three criteria to end a SLAM?


    Dom - TFP Guide
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    niteshift38's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    I would say it is safe to swim, but I would not say your SLAM is over until you can verify the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

    is passed. Should still be early enough to do that right now. Have fun tomorrow
    24' AG Pool-13,500gal w/Vinyl Liner; Hayward Pro.Series, Multi-Port Sand Filter w/1Hp Pump; Bleach-Primary Sanitizer; K2006 Test Kit

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    SLAM and OCLT question

    Hey, Guys,

    My pool has finally recovered from a chemistry nightmare; however, I don't think I'm out of the water yet.

    Before I got my TFP test kit, I was shocked to find that the pool had 0 FC when I took a water sample to the pool store. I was relying on my SWG to supply the correct amount of chlorine even after a party which was not possible. After finding TFP, I've learned a lot about pool chemistry and the proper things to test for (Thank you!). I have a question regarding FC and the SLAM and OCLT process.

    On Saturday I shocked the pool bringing my FC levels to 17 (based on 4.35FC and 44 CYA) By Sunday morning, FC dropped to 6.

    On Sunday (Yesterday) we had another party. By the end of the day, FC fell to 2! I shocked the pool again last night after the party bringing FC up to about 16. This morning FC tested at 7.


    My questions are below.

    1.) Should FC be dropping that fast? I'm planning on running an OCLT test this evening until the morning to see if I'm falling by more than 1PPM overnight, but something tells me I probably will considering how fast levels dropped already.

    2.) The SLAM process says:

    You are done when:

    • CC is 0.5 or lower;
    • You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    • And the water is clear.


    I pass criteria 1 and 3, however, I am losing a lot of FC during the SLAM process by morning and also the next swim day (I'm not sure if this is normal as stated above). When should the OCLT process happen? The day after the first SLAM when FC is within normal ranges?


    I was also going to add some CYA this morning after a backwash to bring levels up to about 50-60, then another boost several days later to reach 70.

    Monday's Test

    FC - 7
    CC - .5

    Saturday's Test
    FC - 9
    CC - 0.5
    Ch - 375
    TA - 100
    CYA - 35
    --18,000 Gallon Inground Salt Pool - Plaster - Pentair DE Filter - Pentair SuperVlow VS Pump - Built in May 2017 - TFP test kit - Pentair IntelliChlor IC20 Electronic Chlorine Generator - No water restrictions

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM and OCLT question

    First, don't add CYa until you pass the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test. If you fail and need to SLAM the higher CYA will just make it harder.

    I think you are confusing a SLAM with "shocking" your pool. The SLAM is a process that is continuous, not a one night addition of chlorine. You maintain the shock level of chlorine during the SLAM with multiple testing and addition of chlorine. The object is to keep the chlorine at shock level during the entire SLAM
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: SLAM and OCLT question

    Thanks for the quick reply Tim!

    So am I correct in assuming that a SLAM process should span a minimum of 24 hours at shock level and that OCLT should be measured during the SLAM process at high FC levels? If so, wouldn't FC levels stay at shock level (or close to it) for several days by the time it drops down to normal recommended ranges? I'm guessing that's probably OK because it's still safe to swim under shock level?
    --18,000 Gallon Inground Salt Pool - Plaster - Pentair DE Filter - Pentair SuperVlow VS Pump - Built in May 2017 - TFP test kit - Pentair IntelliChlor IC20 Electronic Chlorine Generator - No water restrictions

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    There is no minimum time, excepting that it must at lease span a night to conduct the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test

    Yes, you will have elevated chlorine levels after the completion as it slowly returns to normal
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Phosphates and Chlorine Levels

    Quick update. OCLT was less than 1PPM so the water should be in good shape!

    Next step, slowly increase CYA.
    --18,000 Gallon Inground Salt Pool - Plaster - Pentair DE Filter - Pentair SuperVlow VS Pump - Built in May 2017 - TFP test kit - Pentair IntelliChlor IC20 Electronic Chlorine Generator - No water restrictions

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