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Thread: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

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    Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    I just went out and bought the complete test kit from Leslies Pool and tested my water. Let me start by saying I am completely clueless as to what I am doing. I am in desperate need of this forums expertise. I have been reading as much as I can on here trying to learn. I started out with my pool looking very much like the Dismal Swamp I live near. After we removed at least a foot of leaves and muck I started trying to clear the water. I have gone from blackish green to a light blue cloud and cannot seem to progress any further. Not to mention it has been very expensive. I would like to try the BBB method but I don't even know how to begin. I am listing the numbers I got about an hour ago. Please note that I am showing 0 FC thanks to hurricane Bill which skirted the coast last night and dumped about 5 in. of rain. Any help anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated.
    AGP 15' round 4400 gals.
    Sparco CC100 cartridge filter
    Hi-Flo 3/4 hp pump

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    Sorry I had a blonde moment and forgot to post the results of the test.

    FC- 0
    TC- 1
    CC- 1
    PH- 7.4
    TA- 120ppm
    CH- 30ppm
    CYA- 40ppm
    AGP 15' round 4400 gals.
    Sparco CC100 cartridge filter
    Hi-Flo 3/4 hp pump

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    The BBB method basically means taking charge of your pool and paying attention to it. You are clearly trying to do that.

    When you get stuck while trying to clear up a mess, usually that means you aren't using enough chlorine (or less often, something has messed up your filter). As a rule, the cheapest chlorine source is regular bleach or pool-store "liquid chlorine" which is basically double-strength bleach. So dump in some chlorine and tell us what the test numbers are.

    What Leslie's calls "complete" usually means you test chlorine with a couple sets of drops that turn the test sample pink, and you match the color against plastic color blocks. That's called a DPD test, and it's okay but the color blocks only work up to about 5ppm. With the high levels of chlorine you need to clear a mess, it will tend to "bleach out" i.e. read too low. That is why we prefer the FAS-DPD test, where you put some powder in the sample to turn it pink and then use another kind of drops to make the pink go away. You can get the FAS-DPD test from various places online, including direct from Taylor or from tftestkits.net; it's conceivable that Leslie's carries the R-0870 powder and R-0871 drops, but you have to ask and be prepared for disappointment. Online the test runs about $25.

    Let us know what's happening with your pool (like, those test numbers you mentioned) and we can try to help.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    Thanks for the reply. I purchased the complete DPD kit which was the most comprehensive kit they had. That cost me $50 From reading on here I thought I was getting all the numbers I would need. Should I have bought a different kit? And is there something else I should be testing for? Also, how do I know how much bleach to put in? I warned you I was clueless!
    AGP 15' round 4400 gals.
    Sparco CC100 cartridge filter
    Hi-Flo 3/4 hp pump

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    What you got is probably the most complete kit they actually stock in the store. Leslie's also carries something called the FAS-DPD Service Kit which uses the FAS-DPD chlorine test and otherwise is basically the same as what you got; but it is generally available only online. So if you find just the FAS-DPD chlorine test online and get that, you'll have pretty much the same tests as most people here have. And yes the kits are pricey but they will really let you take control of your pool.

    Your second best online pool friend will be the Pool Calculator which will tell you how much bleach (or anything else) you need to add. There's an informative article in Pool School (big button in the upper right of every page on this site) that you might want to read first.

    You ran all the tests that we usually ask for. I am astounded by the low CH number but everything else is totally reasonable. In a vinyl pool it's no problem but I wonder if you did the test correctly. We've found that you really need to swirl constantly and allow at least 20 seconds between drops of R-0012.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    I retested the CH level and got the same reading. I was very careful to follow the instructions because it was the first time I had ever used this type of kit.

    CH- 30ppm

    Should it read differently ie. higher or lower?

    I used the calculator and got the amount I need. I am going to the store to get bleach and borax. I can say I am a little nervous. I have a liner with a coral reef and dolphins on it and I am terrified of ruining it But I am going with it! I will repost the results later. Thanks again for being patient with me. It can suck being a newbie but you gotta start somewhere.
    AGP 15' round 4400 gals.
    Sparco CC100 cartridge filter
    Hi-Flo 3/4 hp pump

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    CH levels are typically in the 100-300 range, that's all. In a vinyl pool a low CH is not a problem.

    When you add bleach (or anything, really) best to pour it slowly in front of a return with the pump on, so it dissipates throughout the pool as quickly as possible. I usually add from a measuring cup and pour in a few ounces at a time, giving it a few seconds between dollops for the jet to push it around. Some people advocate brushing afterward, to help stir things up and keep chems from "puddling" on the bottom.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    I am going to the store to get bleach and borax.
    You certainly need the bleach but you don't need borax. Borax raises pH and your pH is fine where it is.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    Cleaning out the leaves and muck is really important, so be sure that you got it all clean. Go back over it with the leaf rake and whatever nets you have to be sure that is all out. That stuff just absorbs chlorine and so it has to be all gone to attack the green water.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Newbie: first self test HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by arussgirl
    I retested the CH level and got the same reading. I was very careful to follow the instructions because it was the first time I had ever used this type of kit.

    CH- 30ppm

    Should it read differently ie. higher or lower?

    I used the calculator and got the amount I need. I am going to the store to get bleach and borax. I can say I am a little nervous. I have a liner with a coral reef and dolphins on it and I am terrified of ruining it But I am going with it! I will repost the results later. Thanks again for being patient with me. It can suck being a newbie but you gotta start somewhere.
    If you got the Taylor kit at Leslie's there are on the chlorine side of the comparator, three hash marks...on is 9mm that is at the top...there is a 4.5 mm that is in the middle and a 2.5 (I think) mm mark near the bottom...There should be instructions that help you to figure out how to measure chlorine all the way up to 20 ppm. If you use the 4.5 mm comparator mark you fill with pool water up to the 4.5 mm mark and then fill the rest with tap water to the 9 mm mark or just regular distilled water if you tap water has lots of chlorine...mine does not...then I add the drops the way I normally would...if it show up as matching the 3 ppm color I multiply by two and my chlorine is relatively close to 6 ppm. It is not as accurate as the FAS-DPD kits, but it will work in a pinch...If you have the Taylor kit go ahead and look for the instructions...It should be in the top of the lid of the box if not in the booklet. If you don't have that let me know via pm and I will get them to you...I recently ran out of FAS-DPD drops and that is what I have been using, it will get you by in a pinch...I would however, get the TFP Kit...It is the most accurate.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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