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Thread: What test are important in cold weather?

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    What test are important in cold weather?

    Water temp is below 60. I assume the most important test are pH, FC, and CC. Are there other test that need to be performed when the water is this cold?

    Also my CYA is 20. I am using pucks right now to try to get the CYA up some, but it does not seem to change really. At this temp is my CYA going to change any at all. I am guessing I should get it around 40-50 or so. Is this correct or am I doing things the wrong way? When I am using the pucks at what temperature will it start to raise the CYA Level?

    Thanks.

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Great questions. I'll bet a lot of people, including me, "really want to know".

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    Great questions. I'll bet a lot of people, including me, "really want to know".

    gg=alice
    The only reason I ask is if the other test are not that important, no reason to waste solution on them if they do not change much. And the test I mentioned, as long as you are not shocking, do not use too much of the chemicals.

    Another question is I saw at Home Depot they had pH up and pH down in powder form. I know Borax and Acid will do the same thing. Do you more use out of the pH down and up then you would if you used acid and borax. What I mean is do you use less of the pH down with regards to the amount as you would if you use acid. Hopefully that all made sense.

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Once it gets cold down here and the water temp gets below 60, the only testing that I really do is pH and my chlorine levels. And because I have gotten pretty good at predicting what my water does, I generally only test these things about once every 4 weeks and sometimes less often than that.

    For the most part, I want to make sure that my plaster and equipment doesn't suffer damage because of a high pH swing that goes unnoticed and that my FC never goes to zero. With regard to FC being present at all times, I am not so worried about algae. Rather, I want to make sure that I have the residual there to prevent the possibility of losing all of my CYA to an unchecked bacterial bloom as has been known to happen to others on this forum.

    I find that muriatic acid is cheaper and easier to work with from a measurement perspective than the pH down powders out there. Some of the ready-made pH down powders, most of which are sodium bisulfate (I think), can also add "extras" to your pool water that may cause issues over time. There are people though that get nervous working with the full bore 31% HCl and the powder pH down products are the only other option in that case.

    As for your CYA not climbing when the water is cold, have you been allowing the test sample to rise to room temperature prior to checking the CYA? As I recall, a cold CYA sample will not yield an accurate result.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    The pucks probably are dissolving very slowly in the cold water. And for each 10ppm FC you get out of the pucks, you get 6ppm CYA. If you're shooting for around 40ppm CYA, you'd need to use pucks for a total of around 30ppm FC. That takes a little while even in warm weather. Your chlorine demand is probably very low in the cold weather so this method of adding CYA is slow (but steady). Time to break out the POP (pool owner patience).

    The reaction in the CYA test is inhibited at colder temps (like most chemical reactions) so you want to let the sample warm up to room temperature, otherwise the reading will be too low.
    --paulr
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    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    The pucks probably are dissolving very slowly in the cold water. And for each 10ppm FC you get out of the pucks, you get 6ppm CYA. If you're shooting for around 40ppm CYA, you'd need to use pucks for a total of around 30ppm FC. That takes a little while even in warm weather. Your chlorine demand is probably very low in the cold weather so this method of adding CYA is slow (but steady). Time to break out the POP (pool owner patience).

    The reaction in the CYA test is inhibited at colder temps (like most chemical reactions) so you want to let the sample warm up to room temperature, otherwise the reading will be too low.
    --paulr
    I will try that next time I test for CYA. Even when I was able to test the CYA when it was warmer, it was still arond 20.

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    The reaction in the CYA test is inhibited at colder temps (like most chemical reactions) so you want to let the sample warm up to room temperature, otherwise the reading will be too low.
    --paulr
    Well thanks a heap, Paul

    My initial CYA readings were off the scale, even diluted 2:1. With a couple good rainstorms and a backflush, I was patting myself on the back because the other day it was down to 160. After reading your post, I went out this morning and tested again, but my dilution water was hot this time, which made the sample maybe 85F. And now I get 200, time after time consistently. Grrrrrrrr.

    Makes me wonder what my initial readings were, with the pool water being 58-59 most of the time.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by laurandavid09
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    The pucks probably are dissolving very slowly in the cold water. And for each 10ppm FC you get out of the pucks, you get 6ppm CYA. If you're shooting for around 40ppm CYA, you'd need to use pucks for a total of around 30ppm FC. That takes a little while even in warm weather. Your chlorine demand is probably very low in the cold weather so this method of adding CYA is slow (but steady). Time to break out the POP (pool owner patience).

    The reaction in the CYA test is inhibited at colder temps (like most chemical reactions) so you want to let the sample warm up to room temperature, otherwise the reading will be too low.
    --paulr
    I will try that next time I test for CYA. Even when I was able to test the CYA when it was warmer, it was still arond 20.
    Using the Pool Calculator with 20,500 gallons, I get 100 oz trichlor to raise CYA by about 20. So, a dozen or so 8-oz pucks, more if you have smaller ones.
    --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
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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    The reaction in the CYA test is inhibited at colder temps (like most chemical reactions) so you want to let the sample warm up to room temperature, otherwise the reading will be too low.
    --paulr
    Well thanks a heap, Paul
    Always happy to "help"!

    I should mention, while we're on the subject, that pH should be tested right away, because warming/cooling the sample will change the result (can affect pH by up to a few tenths, at usual pool temps). Other than pH and CYA, temp doesn't really seem to affect test results, although I've notice the CH test is kind of sluggish in cold water.
    --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: What test are important in cold weather?

    Kinda following this thread with some interest and a bit (maybe more than a bit) of LOL!!

    Us folks who close our pools down for the winter, blow the lines and cover them up dont think a thing about this all winter. When we open up in late April to early May, the water, for the most part, is pretty clear, MAYBE a wee bit of FC left, but mostly not, and 45 degree water. All you guys fretting over it this time of year, and really all winter, make me glad I button mine up for 6 months
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    My water temp will probably go over 50 this week as we are finally getting a few days of sun. I've been bringing my water inside before testing but haven't tested pH prior to warming water so great to be reminded of that. I put the pool water container in hot water to bring the temp up to mid 80s as we keep the house temps much below what most people prefer.

    We are all electric. We keep house temps, except for DH's "command center" corner, between 58-65 F (during cold/cool weather, of course - it varies all around the house - small heater for bathrooms while bathing - small heater in kitchen for DH when he's cooking - multi computers and entertainment center keep the living area temps up; that is when we have power - when we had our record snow and no power for 43+ hours, a couple of weeks ago, downstairs, inside temps didn't go below 50 F - used a small LP catalytic heater for "command center" and one for pet snake in only separate downstairs room) (Since I've started keeping house temps down so much and basically closed off the upstairs {empty nesters}, I've knocked several hundred $$ off our electric bill during winter - now only heat one wall of converted garage, with ceramic heater, when temps stay below mid 20s instead of keeping the whole area warmer. Besides I'm usually dressed for working outside and can't tolerate inside temps much higher with working clothes on. Our main furnaces, with super duper multi stage filters, rarely come on {even less upstairs-extra bedrooms/bathrooms} so I do run a big multi-stage, hepa air cleaner, centrally located in main area. It is a bit of an energy hog though.)

    Pretty much reverse much of the configuration, in summer, with point of use AC for DH's "command center" area. House stays a comfortable 85, even with outside triple digits and > 85 F night time temps, with main AC rarely coming on, ceiling fans all over. It wasn't unusual to have electric bills close to $1K mid summer before. Since I "wised up" it hovers between $500-$650. That's running old, big, single speed, pool pump/way undersized filter, usually 24/7 and booster pump > 12 hours per day. I should see some savings this year with new filter and pump and Aquabot.



    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Kinda following this thread with some interest and a bit (maybe more than a bit) of LOL!!

    Us folks who close our pools down for the winter, blow the lines and cover them up dont think a thing about this all winter. When we open up in late April to early May, the water, for the most part, is pretty clear, MAYBE a wee bit of FC left, but mostly not, and 45 degree water. All you guys fretting over it this time of year, and really all winter, make me glad I button mine up for 6 months
    When I had to partially close, by draining all at pumping station, and heat taping/insulating exposed pipes, getting ready for our BIG FREEZE, this winter, it sure was nice to not worry about many pool things. But then I had the added job of trying to keep the water circulated and somewhat filtered/cleaned of blowing silt/sand/leaves/plant debris. That did, though, give me a chance=challenge of trying out all kinds of alternative ways of managing the uncovered pool. I've learned a lot.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Kinda following this thread with some interest and a bit (maybe more than a bit) of LOL!!

    Us folks who close our pools down for the winter, blow the lines and cover them up dont think a thing about this all winter. When we open up in late April to early May, the water, for the most part, is pretty clear, MAYBE a wee bit of FC left, but mostly not, and 45 degree water. All you guys fretting over it this time of year, and really all winter, make me glad I button mine up for 6 months
    Oh, I don't know bk, after the water dropped below 50 I have done almost nothing to my pool. Added chlorine twice, acid once, run the pump once a week for a couple of hours. Here's a pic taken this morning:[attachment=0:rtk1kigu]a winter morning.jpg[/attachment:rtk1kigu]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    after the water dropped below 50 I have done almost nothing to my pool. Added chlorine twice, acid once, run the pump once a week for a couple of hours.
    Thats kinda my point
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Yea I have not done much either and my pool looks so inviting. I have tested pH and chlorine every 2-3 weeks. With the pucks it helps keep about 1-2 in it and pH has gotten up to around 7.8 or so. Need to test this weekend.

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    All you guys fretting over it this time of year, and really all winter, make me glad I button mine up for 6 months
    Well, I wouldn't say that I "fret" over it. I just don't abandon the cause.

    Actually, there are times that I do think that it would be nice to just close it from October to March. But then again, I really have to do so little to the pool over the winter that it would seem to be more trouble to winterize it than to not. But for those of us who are well to the north, there is just no option.

    One fun thing to come out of staying open over the winter though is that it is really neat to see a turquoise pool in a yard with 6 inches of snow on the ground.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    I'd like to add a caution here. I picked up a not too large bucket of pucks at Wally World, a couple of months ago, for easy Cl and CYA addition, needing to build up CYA. After using one floater full I noted on container that the pucks contain COPPER. I would love to give this away, but I wouldn't wish the copper on even an enemy. How do I dispose of these? At the hazmat center?

    So, a couple of weeks ago I looked closely at all chlorine sanitizing products my close-by WW stocks. They had stocked the shelves for Spring by then. Every tab and powder/granules, including the individual packaged pucks, contain COPPER. With one exception.... the "3 in 1 Chlorinating Skimmer Tablets #2" which is cal-hypo. My pool needs addition of calcium so no problem with added Ca. Bad thing about these tablets, though, is that used in a floater, in cold water, (I don't know about in swimming temp water) with only circulation/filtration coming from the Aquabot (3K+ per hour filtering/circulation, moving around the pool) with fine filtering bag, these tablets are a mess in the floater and for the pool. They get mushy and clog up the openings of the floater and when you lift the floater out of pool, which I have to do to run the SolarBreeze, all of the water that you can get to come out of floater is almost viscous. After a week or so of use the debris, caught in the fine Aquabot bag, has a very high white particulate content that is very discernable from the various colors of silt. And the pool water looks much cloudier. BTW... I have kept Cl above minimum amounts for my CYA level, all winter, using 6% bleach.

    The container says "3 in 1" but there is no listing or mention of "stabilizer" other than it potentially being in the "other ingredients 52.4%". It is hth brand.

    Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    after the water dropped below 50 I have done almost nothing to my pool. Added chlorine twice, acid once, run the pump once a week for a couple of hours.
    Thats kinda my point
    I think it's Beez's point also. Fretting with the pool is minimal for most during the off-season.
    18k gal inground, everbrite finish, 505 sq ft; 1.5 hp two speed whisperflow; rheem 5100ti 100k btu heat pump; 3 sheer descent falls; DE filter; swg (cell out and using trichlor for now)

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    Re: What test are important in cold weather?

    Hey Alice, I remember hearing that the HTH brand was introducing copper into just about all their chems, maybe that's what WW is stocking. So you do want to stay away from those.

    Re cal-hypo, for a powder it doesn't dissolve so fast and probably less so in cold water. Maybe hold off on tweaking the CH until things warm up a bit.
    --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: What test are important in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Hey Alice, I remember hearing that the HTH brand was introducing copper into just about all their chems, maybe that's what WW is stocking. So you do want to stay away from those.

    Re cal-hypo, for a powder it doesn't dissolve so fast and probably less so in cold water. Maybe hold off on tweaking the CH until things warm up a bit.
    --paulr
    Thanks, Paul. That's a really good idea. I'll save the few remaining cal-hypo pucks till it warms up a bit.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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