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Thread: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    What can I say but THANK GOODNESS I FOUND THIS SITE!!!

    We built our pool 5 years ago and only started having problems toward the end of last season. By problems I mean lots of stubborn green algae. I've been attending your Pool School and am now taking matters in my own hands.

    My test results from yesterday (pool store test):
    pH 7.3
    Adj. TA 72
    FC .8
    TC 2.6
    CH 120
    CYA 76

    After some good and bad advice from Pool Store Lady I went home, cleaned the filter, then added 4 lb baking soda, 16 oz muriatic acid, and 5 bags calcium hypo shock.

    Today my water is water-colored (not green!) and only slightly cloudy. I do believe I'm on my way to a TFP! I have read a lot but I have a few questions.

    My dinky test kit tests for "chlorine residual." Is that the same as total chlorine? Today it is off the chart (above 3.0) as expected. My pH is 7.6 and my TA (1st time I ever used this test) is 60. I wonder how accurate these tests are.

    Brings me to my next problem: ordering the TF100 test kit. When I go to order on the tftestkits site it doesn't let me enter my payment info. Are other people having this problem? Is there another site that sells this kit?

    My test from yesterday says TA 95 and Adjusted TA 72. What does this mean, adjusted?

    My CYA was 76, is that a little high? Because I used to shock with 3 bags of dichlor but this season 6 bags wasn't enough. Also I used trichlor tablets; now should I switch to liquid chlorine so I don't raise the CYA any higher?

    The lady said I need to add calcium because we have a water softener and don't get enough calcium. I thought if I use calcium hypo for awhile it would help with that. How important is it to raise my calcium?

    The most helpful thing the lady said was to clean the filter with a pressure washer. I got gunk out of that thing that must have been in there through many cleanings with the hose! I just hope it's not too hard on the filter with repeated cleanings.

    My most important concern is regarding safety. I won't use algaecides because I don't understand what is in them and therefore don't want them on my kids. When the pool store tells me something is safe I am usually skeptical, considering they're selling it, and considering that most people use household toxic chemicals without giving it a thought.

    I was always told not to swim unless the chlorine level is 3.0 or lower. Now I know this "chlorine residual" is not necessarily the same as FC. Which one has to be below 3.0? Also I was told if you can smell the chlorine it's too high to swim. Is this a myth? Now that the pool's pretty we want to have a pool party asap.

    Bear with me while I'm learning all this - I was not a chem major in college!

    Jill
    Mike
    • 20k gallon InGround pool, vinyl liner
      Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter
      Sta-Rite pump
      Raypak Versa 155B heater (rebuilt 2011)

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    I didn't read your whole post, but in regards to your CYA stop using the pucks and start using bleach or liquid chlorine. Your don't want it to get much higher or you will end up having to drain and replace some water to get the leve back down. At this point if you stop adding CYA (by using pucks etc.) you will be ok in regards to CYA.

    just remeber that shocking is something you do, not something you buy. For CYA of 80, raising the FC level of your pool (by adding enough bleach or liquid chlorine) to 31ppm is shocking the pool.

    Edit
    your FC is way low. You need to get it to 31 and keep it there until your TC is equal to your FC. You also need a good test kit, get one of the two mentioned in pool school. You don't want to depend on the pool store test. Your numbers will be more accurate with your own test kit and you will know what you need instead of the pool store selling you a bunch of stuff everytime.

    Edit 2
    Welcome to TFP! give Pool School a read if you haven't already, and if you have, read it again!!!
    18k Inground Plaster pool / TriStar Variable Speed Pump and Controller
    48sq ft Hayward DE filter/ Swim pure Plus 40k cell / Kreepy Krauly
    Solaxx Ph-Tek

  3. Back To Top    #3
    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    dravenone has you covered on the cya - don't add anymore.

    as you can see here: pool-school/recommended_levels 250-350 is your CH range. adding it via cal-hypo will work, or you can buy it separately. it is very important to raise it in a plaster pool, as the water can start leeching calcium from the plaster and making pits in your plaster. when I bought my house there were large chunks missing from the palster due to low CH. see this article for more info on what to buy if you want to add it separately: pool-school/recommended_pool_chemicals

    the person who makes those kits at www.tftestkits.net is a contributor here, so I'm sure he'll be along shortly to correct any problems.

    adjusted TA is adjusted for the CYA level. don't worry about it. use your TA number and ignore adjusted TA.

    chlorine levels of 1-3ppm or 2-4ppm are based on indoor pools with 0 cya. cya buffers chlorine's ability to work, so if your cya is high, your FC needs to be higher. see the chart here: pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock I would use the 80ppm number for your pool. so your FC needs to be at 9ppm at all times and never below 6 or you risk getting algae. these levels allow for about a 0.1 concentration of free chlorine, which is a much lower concentration than indoor pools with 0 cya. it is very safe and used by most everyone here. I started this using the chart when my daughter was 10 months old. she's now 13 months and hasn't melted yet my cya is 70 so I keep my fc at 8ppm.

    don't use a pressure washer anymore. follow the advice in this thread: how-to-clean-a-cartridge-filter-t4465.html

    what you can smell is combined chlorine. that is the CC's. CC's are bad and indicate a problem. a CC level of 0.5 or less is ok, but more than that indicates the need to shock.

    because you have algae, you need to be shocking. it will be 1000x easier when you get the fas-dpd chlorine test kit (part of the test kit from www.tftestkits.net) so you can measure chlorine levels up to 50+ppm cause your shock level is 31ppm. read these two pool school articles:
    pool-school/defeating_algae
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    Hi Jill....

    Okay lets start with the TF test kit - send them an email and they'll get it straight, usually going thru Paypal I believe (I had the same problem when I ordered and emailing took care of it).

    I won't address the little kit you have, just wait for your TF100 to come and you'll be amazed at how quickly you can regain control of your pool.

    The Pool store....

    I don't know why they told you to add Muratic Acid. Both PH and TA were fine where they were, Muratic Acid lowers TA and Baking Soda raises it so it's kinda silly they told you to do both. Anywho, I don't think it's that much of a biggie....

    Power washing the cart is a bad idea. Reebok has you covered there...use those instructions in the future.

    I agree right now your main issue is the high CYA and low FC.

    Refer to the CYA chart for your chlorine levels. Since you have a cart, you won't have alot of water replacement like a sand filter would, so it will hold pretty steady at 70. You can manage with it for now, I assume you winterize? In the spring when you refill the level should be lower.

    You need to shock the pool, read "How to Shock your Pool" - Reebok gave you the link.

    5 bags of Cal-hypo only raised your chlorine level to between 11-17 (depending on the % strength) so you didn't reach shock level. Raise it up to 31 and hold it there, testing hourly if you can, adding bleach or cal-hypo until the FC holds overnight (you will need the FAS-DPD chlorine test to complete the shock process, it's part of the TF100). 8-12 bags of cal-hypo (depends on the % strength) will raise you to 31, once.

    Learn how to use The Pool Calculator to determine how much of each chem to add.

    You can use cal-hypo to raise your calcium levels, but that will take a while to go up. You do want the calcium to be at least 200 very soon to prevent problems with the plaster. Perhaps bump it with 10 lbs of calcium increaser and then use Cal-hypo for shocking to get it into range.

    If you "smell chlorine" you are smelling Combined Chloramines and it simply means the pool is not maintained properly and doesn't have enough Free chlorine to oxidize waste/organics. Maintaining your FC according to the CYA chart - which will be easy to do once you have the good kit - will prevent problems and you should rarely if ever have to shock. It also means algaecides are not necessary (I haven't added anything except bleach and CYA in 2 1/2 years.)

    Industry standards of 1-3 ppm for FC are based on indoor pools with no CYA.

    You can safely swim at any of the levels listed for your CYA, even up to shock level.

    I would not recommend swimming if CC's are high (irritating) and if PH is not in range.

    Hope this helps.

    Its overwhelming, I know and alot of information is being thrown at you at once. Just take your time and post back if you need clarification on anything.
    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: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    lilredhen,

    Check your PM. It will appear in the upper left of your screen and says "1 new message"

    For others:

    Yes, we are having a software issue that we have been unable to resolve. When you attempt payment, Paypal tells you you have already paid!! If you get this error please email us @ tftestkits@hughes.net and we'll provide a simple work-around.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    When you attempt payment, Paypal tells you you have already paid!!
    I have ordered 300 more kits. please expedite.


    Dear TFP members,
    I am happy to announce that I have a limited supply of name brand TF100 test kits available for $40!!! that's right, for half the price you too can be the proud new owner of a TF100 test kit!! take control of your pool today!!

    payment accepted in gold bullion only. shipping times are dependent on when that slug duraliegh gets around to sending me the 300 kits I just ordered.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    Recently I had ordered and paid for 1 chlorine kit and forgot I wanted a cya kit as well. When I tried to order it Paypal told me the invoice had been paid. This went on for a couple of days. I deleted all my cookies on Firefox and then I was able to order without a problem. Try deleting cookies from your browser and see if that helps.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Rubygrrl's Avatar
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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    Apparently it saves your last order--so zea3 is right--if you delete your cookies--it will clear your shopping cart for you!
    In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    21,000 gallons
    Sand Filter
    1 1/2 hp pump

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    Thanks for all your help - you are awesome!

    My pool looks beautiful now, but I'll have to wait for my test kit (thanks duraleigh) to decide when it's ok to swim, right?

    As soon as I have a handle on things I want to treat with borax to help prevent algae in the future. I love it that I can use products from the grocery store in my pool now!

    That pool calculater sure is cool. I was playing with it and found that each bag of cal hypo only raises my calcium by 2. So I will have to add some calcium chloride. Should I do this now or after I finish shocking?

    I can't wait to get my kids and all their friends in that water. Besides all the water they splash out will help lower my CYA.

    Jill
    Mike
    • 20k gallon InGround pool, vinyl liner
      Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter
      Sta-Rite pump
      Raypak Versa 155B heater (rebuilt 2011)

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    Quote Originally Posted by lilredhen
    I can't wait to get my kids and all their friends in that water. Besides all the water they splash out will help lower my CYA. Jill
    You should see the looks I get from their parents when I encourage my 3 3/1 year old's friends to splash (my TA is a touch high).
    20,000 Gallon kidney sort of a sand filtered gunite in ground pool w/ hot tub.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Just crawled out of a murky green swamp

    Go ahead and raise the CH.

    You may see some cloudiness when you add the Cal Chloride, but don't worry about that.
    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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