1st Test: Confused but not Panicked


Jul 1, 2010
Pittstown, NJ
Thanks to the guidance offered here on TFP I ordered the TF-100 kit for my newly refinished and refilled pool. It was filled on Friday with 15,000 gallons of water from a truck and topped off with 2,000 gallons from my well (water softener on).

On Friday I added 1.4 gallons of WalMart bleach
On Friday I added 1.4 gallons of bleach plus four pounds of CYA
On Saturday I added 1.4 gallons of bleach
On Sunday I added 1.4 gallons of bleach plus 2 more ponds of CYA
The water is clear, shiny and the kids had a ball yesterday in the pool.

The TF-100 kit was delivered today and I was like a kid on Christmas! Here are the results:
FC 12.5
CC 0
TA 280
CH 250
CYA 28
PH 7.5
TC - crazy. Bright orange, way off the scale. Repeated with two instead of five drops - same thing
I also tested Combined Chloramines at zero, but don't see that on the Pool Calculator.

Using the Pool Calculator I seem to need to reduce TA by reducing the pH to 7.0 142 oz. of muriatic acid. Is that correct? Will it then bring the TA into line?

CYA looks pretty close to the calculator minimum of 30. Add a bit more?

FC is way high - inadvertent shock! Just let it leach out by itself? If yes, do I really want to add more CYA? Seems counterproductive.

TC - I have no clue what this means - Mayday!


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2010
Fleming Island, FL
TC stands for Total Chlorine and is the sum of CC (Combined Chlorine) and FC (Free Chlorine). CC is an indication of the amount of organics in the water. Since you took a reading and CC is 0 the TC level will be near the FC level of 12.5. The reason why FC is high and probably why the TC reading is bright orange is that your chlorine level is very high. You added almost 6 gallons of bleach (I assume all 6%) over three days. This a almost shock level. Where did you get the quantities to put in over the three days?

CYA of 30 is fine and on TFP it is recommended to be from 30 to 50 for non-SWG pools with the finish you have.

Reducing TA is a process and takes some time. You have it right that you have to reduce the Ph down to around 7.0 and then you should aerate to bring it back up, then repeat the process over and over until you reach your target.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Confused but not Panicked
"When confused, or in doubt
Run in circles, scream and shout!"
(not at all applicable but I have always liked it and post it at the slighest provocation)

Let me take your results in the very organized fashion you presented.

FC - It's fine. Let it come on down on it's own to around 3-5ppm
CC - 0 That's very good...even if it's .5ppm that's the same as zero.
TA - That's high but I suspect a testing error. When the R-0009 (the drops you count one at a time) is very fresh, static electricity skews the test. Redo that test and wipe the dropper tip with a damp cloth every 2-3 drops.....yuor results should be lower.
CYA - You put enough in there to get to around 45ppm....give it 3-4 more days and test again. It is slow to show up on the test. Meanwhile, assume you have 45ppm.
CH - perfecto!!!
pH - Perfecto again!!!

TC - orange! No worries!! The chlorine test in the blue box only goes to 5ppm. Use it on a daily baasis to see if your FC remains around the 3-5 range your targeting.....sort of like reassurance rather than precision. Use the FAS/DPD (w/powder) test when you need accuracy or when you suspect your chlorine is higher than 5ppm.

You already have the beginnings of a troublefreepool. You should 1) pat yourself on the back for having the foresight to be prepared in advance, 2) swim all you want, and 3)consume some adult beverages. Those can be done in the order of your choice.....if it's after 5:00pm. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Jul 1, 2010
Pittstown, NJ
You gotta' love it when the super-gurus jump right in to assist a green as grass newbie!

I will redo the TA test and monitor the rest daily for now. It also gives me a chance to play with the new test kit! As always, the great advice from the giants of TFP is much appreciated.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
Regarding the TA; you can either lower it fast or lower it slow. For it may actually be that high if your fill water was that high, my tap water is TA 340 so that would be reasonable for a fresh fill for me.

The slow way is to just test pH daily and when the pH gets to 7.8 add the calculated amount of MA (based on current TA) to lower it to 7.2. Repeat as often as required. Over time the TA goes down as long as you are not adding much water of high TA along the way.

The fast way is to test pH daily as before, and when the pH gets to 7.8 add the calculated amount of MA (based on current TA) to lower it to 7.0 and aerate to quickly raise the pH up. The pool would have done this over a span of some days, but you can force it to happen faster. Then repeat and aerate again, testing to see how much TA was affected since that will affect the MA needed.

Ive done it both ways, forcing it fast and aerating with the spa bubbles and waterfall and spa spillover, or just letting it happen with weekly MA additions and rain dilution.


Jul 1, 2010
Pittstown, NJ
Great info - thanks. My inclination is to go with the slow alternative. I ordered a pool fountain last week so tis will give me an excellent excuse to use it. I love justifying my toys! It occurs to me that I should also test my well water I use to top off to see what the TA is there.