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Thread: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

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    Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    Ok, if any of you have read my previous posts you know I must have failed high school chemistry. But I think I'm on the right track now - at least I hope! I've emptied my pool AGAIN to try and start from scratch with the chemicals b/c I'm tired of playing around with the chemicals.
    I used a TF-100 test kit
    These are the test readings I got from the water I am filling my pool with . . . I need help with what to do next.
    FC = 1.5
    CC = 0
    TC = 1.5
    pH = 7.5
    TA = 100
    CH = 360 (The color never turned "red" it only turned Light Pink - at 18 drops it turned violet and at 36 drops it turned blue.)
    CYA = I filled the tube with the black dot all the way to the top and I could still see that black dot. What does that mean? That the CYA level is zero? Is there any other way to test for CYA? Will the CYA change as I play with the FC or does it only change by adding cya acid? it is an indoor pool and it doesn't get much sun light so I'm not too concerned that the CYA is low.
    Temp = 50 degrees F (we live in Chicago)
    I am going to enter these numbers into the pool calculator, but I want to make sure I add chems in the right order?

    I was planning to test the water again when it was filled completely and the pump was running for at least 12 hours.

    In the past we've had problems with high TA (190 to 220) and high CYA. It looks like we already have high CH and high TA before I'm even starting. So, where to start. The pH looks good already. Yea! At least that's something. But FC is low.

    I know Pool School says to start with pH, but since that is already 7.5 should I just move on to FC? Also, do I need to do something about the high TA and high CH before I play with the FC?
    25x15 ft; 11,200 gal; indoor/in ground; plaster (redone 2006); cartridge filter; +40 years old original with the house;
    pool has a cover and we cover the pool half way b/c when it is covered all the way our numbers get screwed up;we don't use the pool very often; only indirect sunlight; Chicago area

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    There should be no CYA in tap water, so a zero is expected. You'll need to add some.

    And now I'll bow out and let the experts address the rest.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    It sounds like you did all of the tests correctly (give or take some details on CH). Your CYA level is zero, which is to be expected for tap water. Your CH level might well be 18 or 19.

    On the CH test, if the color changes significantly from the starting color, and then you add a drop which doesn't change the color any further, then the test is over and you don't count the drop that didn't change the color. Alternatively, it may be that you are not mixing throughly enough when doing the CH test. Insufficient mixing can sometimes lead to incomplete transition colors that last a number of drops.

    There are two ways to manage an indoor pool. The traditional approach is to keep CYA at zero. We advocate raising CYA to 20.
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    I think Jason meant your CH might be 180 or 190 (18 or 19 drops). The CH test is one of the harder test to perform because it requires a lot of swirling between drops and that gets old quick. Follow Jason's advice and swirl till you're sick of it, then you'll get more readable results.

    Swirling by hand is perfectly adequate, even though tiring. I bought a magnetic stirrer and don't regret it one bit. I use it for all my tests. TF Testkits now sells one if that's something you want to consider. Just something to think about.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    Yeah, fresh starts always lift one's spirits!

    Okay, with zero CYA and a FC of 1.5, that's right about where you want it. The issue is it won't remain that way for long especially when you use the pool.

    So I would add enough CYA to reach 20 ppm and then maintain your FC level according to the CYA chart. Good think with the CYA level and the indoor pool you won't need much bleach daily. But you should test daily so that you don't get too much chlorine in there.

    The PH and TA are fine, you don't need to adjust them if that's where they end up when the pool is full. Try the CH test again if you like, and make sure you swirl enough to thoroughly mix the solution in between drops.

    So, add some CYA, test and add bleach as needed and post back if you have any questions!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    Yes, I do admit I feel a huge cloud lifted off of me now that I get a fresh start!
    So, you are saying to add the stabilizer first and then the bleach for chlorine? Or it doesn't matter? I don't want to screw it up this time.
    And just to double check - the stabilizer and the bleach won't directly effect the CH . . . will it?


    Thanks,
    Cissy
    25x15 ft; 11,200 gal; indoor/in ground; plaster (redone 2006); cartridge filter; +40 years old original with the house;
    pool has a cover and we cover the pool half way b/c when it is covered all the way our numbers get screwed up;we don't use the pool very often; only indirect sunlight; Chicago area

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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    No the CYA and the bleach will not affect the CH. And it doesn't matter which order you add the CYA or the bleach.

    Add the CYA (via "sock method") and then just test the chlorine each night and add enough to keep you above 2 at all times.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    No the CYA and the bleach will not affect the CH. And it doesn't matter which order you add the CYA or the bleach.

    Add the CYA (via "sock method") and then just test the chlorine each night and add enough to keep you above 2 at all times.
    I feel like the sock method will give me the least control over how much CYA I am adding. Since I've had problems with high CYA in the past - will the liquid form give me more control?
    25x15 ft; 11,200 gal; indoor/in ground; plaster (redone 2006); cartridge filter; +40 years old original with the house;
    pool has a cover and we cover the pool half way b/c when it is covered all the way our numbers get screwed up;we don't use the pool very often; only indirect sunlight; Chicago area

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    No, and you'll just spend more.

    The Sock method is just the way to apply it, you have total control of how much to add. You still have to measure the appropriate amount to put in the sock. Use the pool calc to determine the amount - I came up with 30 oz by weight, 31 by volume - so use a dry measure cup to measure out 31 oz of granular into the sock. Tie a knot in it, and hang it by a return or set it to the side in the skimmer, so it doesn't block the water flow. Leave it there to dissolve. After it's dissolved from the sock, "assume" your CYA is 20 but don't retest for it for 5-7 days cuz it can take that long for it to register on tests.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    If you had issues with high CYA in the past - you must have been adding it unknowingly, perhaps thru the use of trichlor tablets and/or "dichlor" shock bags?

    Truly, doing it this way you won't end up adding too much and you'll save a lot of money by not using the liquid.
    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: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    So we finished refilling the pool yesterday and I tested the water again . . .
    FC = 1 (went down, to be expected)
    pH = 7.8 or 8.2 (went up . . . why?)
    CH = 180 (went down - as many of the other comments said I probably did the previous test wrong)
    TA = 110 (also went up - probably b/c pH went up but again WHY?)

    I put the pump on and I added 3 qts of bleach as instructed by the pool calculator. I'm getting some granular stabilizer today or tomorrow to add CYA. But any thoughts on why the pH is going up?

    Cissy
    25x15 ft; 11,200 gal; indoor/in ground; plaster (redone 2006); cartridge filter; +40 years old original with the house;
    pool has a cover and we cover the pool half way b/c when it is covered all the way our numbers get screwed up;we don't use the pool very often; only indirect sunlight; Chicago area

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    The PH probably went up because of the aeration involved in filling the pool. It isn't a big deal, just bring it back down to around 7.5.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    Hey, Cissy,

    But any thoughts on why the pH is going up?
    When you first start reading the pH test there is a lot of "operator error". It's really not an error on your part but the test is frequently tough to read prescisely. You'll get better at it as time goes on.

    That's the best explanation I can give as to why. I would simply get some muriatic acid and bring it back down to the mid 7's. Test it again first and make sure it still looks like 7.8+
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    pH is definitely 7.8 - can I leave it at 7.8 or should I bring it down?
    TA is now slowly going up! Why? it started out at 100 -> 110 -> 130 (today).

    thanks,
    Cissy
    25x15 ft; 11,200 gal; indoor/in ground; plaster (redone 2006); cartridge filter; +40 years old original with the house;
    pool has a cover and we cover the pool half way b/c when it is covered all the way our numbers get screwed up;we don't use the pool very often; only indirect sunlight; Chicago area

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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    When your pH hits 7.8, you should lower it to around 7.5.

    When you do the TA test, you should wipe the the dropper with a damp cloth about every other drop or so to prevent static electricity. Have you been doing that?
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    When you do the TA test, you should wipe the the dropper with a damp cloth about every other drop or so to prevent static electricity. Have you been doing that?
    No, I have not been doing this. Does static electricity cause inaccurate pH readings?
    25x15 ft; 11,200 gal; indoor/in ground; plaster (redone 2006); cartridge filter; +40 years old original with the house;
    pool has a cover and we cover the pool half way b/c when it is covered all the way our numbers get screwed up;we don't use the pool very often; only indirect sunlight; Chicago area

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Test results of water entering refilled pool . . . now what?

    No, the PH test is not affected. Usually it is only the TA test that is affected, but every once in a long while the CH and FC/CC tests can have the same problem.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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