1st time posting, starting with high CLA test

cavey00

Member
May 6, 2019
9
Las Vegas
Hello all. I've browsed this forum here and there but until I recently purchased a decent test kit I didn't think it would be proper to ask questions. Well, I got my kit and the first thing I did was test CLA. It is off the charts high. Even diluted I get about half way to the 100 mark and I can't see the black dot. I bought this house from my parents and they've always done the minimum on pool maintenance. Chlorine tablets were their best friend, with them usually keeping 3 of them in the pool at a time. Well that probably explains the extremely high CLA. Looks like I'm going to be doing some draining but I need advise on technique. I read to not drain it below the lowest step. Pool water is very warm, so should I drain and then refill several times or should I drain while filling from the other side? When do I test again?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,040
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
You have a gunite pool, so the lower step thing on drain does not apply. But, this time of year you do not want to drain at all as the heat can damage the plaster.
I have an exchange process that is what I recommend. It will take a couple days. And you need a sump pump. Let me know if you are interested.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 

cavey00

Member
May 6, 2019
9
Las Vegas
I just realized that it’s CYA not CLA. Too many years with kids in a daycare abbreviated with CLA. I have a friend with a small pump and I can borrow that. It’s not the fastest thing in the world but if I’m doing an exchange, I don’t want fast. I’ll check the CH too but I’m guessing that is also very high.
 
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cavey00

Member
May 6, 2019
9
Las Vegas
Testing CH this morning. I’ve stopped adding the final drops because I’m at 750 hardness and still don’t have a blue measurement, it’s only a light purple or lavender color. Does it matter at this point? The CH is also very high.
Edit. Used more drops and got to 1250. Is this possible?
 

cavey00

Member
May 6, 2019
9
Las Vegas
Ok. I’ll grab my friends pump. Due to the temperature of the water and something I read in another thread, I should be draining from the shallow end and filling from the bottom of the deep end. Is this the correct method? After a couple days I should then check the CYA. If it’s good, get the pH to where it needs to be and then SLAM.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,040
Laughlin, NV
Read this carefully --
You can exchange some water without draining.

If you place a low volume sub pump in the deep end and pull water from there while adding water in the shallow end (through a skimmer or into a bucket on a step so you lessen the water disturbance) you can do a fairly efficient exchange. That is assuming the water you are filling with is the same temperature or warmer than your pool water. If your fill water is much cooler than your pool water, then switch it. Add the water to the deep end (hose on bottom) and pull water from the top step.

The location of the pump and fill hose may change if you have salt water, high calcium, etc.
In my pool, with saltwater and high calcium when I drain, I put the pump in the deep end and hose in shallow end. The water in the pool weighs more per unit volume than the fill water from the hose.

Be sure to balance the water out and water in so the pool level stays the same. Also be sure your pool pump is disabled during this process. Once started do not stop until you have exchanged the amount of water you wish.
 

cavey00

Member
May 6, 2019
9
Las Vegas
Well the hose water will be cooler than the pool water but we’ve already established that I have a high calcium hardness. I’m not using salt. Does the hose at the bottom of the deep end and draining from the top step in the shallow end still apply?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,040
Laughlin, NV
I doubt your hose water is much cooler. It sure is not here.

Your pool water is in the upper 80's/low 90's. Our hose water exceeds that this time of year.

I believe you should put the pump in the deep end and add water in the shallow end.

With a typical sump pump, you will get about 7 gpm through a garden hose. To to do a complete exchange of a 21K pool will take about 50 hours. Once you get the pump installed and the hose to your sewer cleanout, use a 5 gallon bucket to measure the rate you are getting.
 

cavey00

Member
May 6, 2019
9
Las Vegas
Well you and I are basically in the same area so I’ll take your word on that and do it as you’ve said. Thank you for your instruction. I’ll post back once I have things going.