1st Test with TFP Test kit and have questions......

Jul 1, 2007
NW Minnesota
I had to go out of town for 4 days for a funeral and brushed/shocked my pool with bleach before I left. Before I had left I had 1.7CC according to the pool store so I was working on getting rid of it. It was cloudy with a hint of green. I have a 4k gal pool and my test kit that I was using didn't give me any readings above 10 but I know it was pretty high when I left. I had kept the pool at shock level for the prior 3 days. I left the pump running on 2-3hrs/1 off using a timer while I was gone and when I got back the pool was clear and the water looks the same color as the liner now.

There was alot of stuff lying on the bottom of the pool. My automatic vacuum arrived while I was gone as did my TFP test kit. I have hooked up my vacuum and it has been vacuuming when the pump turns on past day and a half. It has stirred up the stuff at the bottom of the pool and now the water is a bit cloudy but I can still see the bottom. I have a sand filter on my pool and the pressure is only up about 4 over the starting pressure. I haven't backwashed the filter yet. I have a high iron content in my well water and when I backwash it drains alot of water out of the pool. Then I'm back to adding iron water back to fill it back where it needs to be.

Here are my first set of numbers from the TFP kit.

FC 1.5
CC .5
TC 2.0
Ph 7.7
T/A 320
CH 260
CYA 40
Temp 78

Here are my questions....

Should I leave my automatic vacuum on until the pool is no longer cloudy?
Do I need to shock it again to get rid of the CC?? If so, how long?
With my T/A so high, what is the best way to get it down? The pool store told me to use Muriatic acid.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I feel like a scientist with the test kit - I hated it when I was kid!



TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
First, with a CYA of 40 I suggest you try to keep you FC level somewhere between 3 and 6. CC of 0.5 or below can usually be ignored. An appropriate FC level (3-6) and sunlight will get rid of small amounts of CC fairly quickly.

You bring down you TA by adding acid to bring the PH down to 7.0-7.2 and then aerate the pool to bring the PH back up. Repeat this process as many times as needed, probably quite a few. Adding acid will also lower the TA, while aeration will leave TA constant.

The vacuum will mostly take care of things on the bottom of the pool. The filter will eventually get everything still suspended in the water. It doesn't usually hurt to leave the vacuum on, but it isn't crucial.


Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
I agree with Jason about the vac and maintaining 3-6ppm of FC and would go further to suggest shocking to at least 10ppm since the water is still cloudy. Keep it up until the water clears then allow it to come back down to 6 ppm. Also, Skimmer Socks work great and I would highly recommend putting them in the skimmer as this will also help to catch the larger debris and extend the time between backwashing, reducing the need to add your "iron water". You can get them at Wal Mart, on line or at any pool store.

As far as lowering your Alk, here is a link describing the procedure. It seams a little complicated at first but it is actually quite simple. Just be patient because as Jason mentioned, it will take quite a few times to lower your TA from 320 ppm. This is by far the best way to lower Alk so be patient.

PF Lowering Alk Guide

If you don't have a Waterfall or some spa jets you can use my patented "Red Neck Aerator" to expedite the process. I place a piece of garden hose into each return eye so that it will protrude above the water. Then I wire tie the exposed end to an empty water bottle with the cap on so it floats and keeps the end pointed up. Walla, a mini waterfall.



Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida

I have nothing to add to the posts from Dave and Jason other than to reinforce what they're suggesting. It's all good advice.

I feel like a scientist with the test kit - I hated it when I was kid!
Yeah, that "scientist" thing pops up frequently about the kit. I actually liked chemistry.....we used to heat up quarters over the Bunsen burners and then drop them on the floor hoping one of our classmates would pick them up!! It never worked and we ended up getting caught.

During your next party, have that kit out plainly visible to your guests. Somebody will comment on it and you can start dropping terms like "Cyanuric Acid", "carbonate Alkalinity", " etc. Your guests will be incredibly impressed.....just don't invite Chemgeek, Jasonlion, Waterbear and a few others.....they'll steal your thunder.
NOW I know why I never get invited to parties! :cheers:
(I have nothing to add about your pool. You have been given excellent info!)