Today’s Test Results:
FC – 5+
TC – 5+
pH – 7.8
TA – 160
CH – 200
Me, using DPD Deluxe Test Kit, 3 hours later
FC – 2
TC – 5+
pH – 8.0
TA – 180
CH – 210
Salt - 5,000 according to my SWG
Ammonia (2-part sodium salicylate/sodium hydroxide test) – 8+
The SWG manufacturer says the optimal chemistry for the SWG is:
FC – 1-3
pH – 7.2 – 7.8
TA – 100-200
CH – 200 – 300
CYA – 30 – 60
Salt - 3,000 to 5,000, 6,000 max.
For the past two seasons, I have had huge problems getting any FC in my pool. The pool would eat through tablets voraciously, and constant shocking with 73% calcium hypochlorite would barely bump my FC, which consistently hovered at about zero (as measured by the local pool store and by me using test strips purchased at Lowe’s). The pool would get hazy and I’d shock with a few bags of calcium hypochlorite, the pool would clear some and then in a few days the hazy/shock cycle would start anew. In short, I foolishly kept asking the local pool store for help, and it has now dawned on me after finding this forum that the ladies there, while nice, are blissfully ignorant of pool chemistry. Doh!!
I use a mesh safety cover during the winter, which I removed on May 1. I vacuumed the silt and debris (fewer earthworms this year than normal!), back-washed, and shocked with two lbs. of 73% calcium hypochlorite, and added a quart of non-copper, non-foaming algaecide. The pool cleared fairly well in a couple of days, and the TC chlorine stayed high, but the FC dropped to about zero. I did not have the SWG turned on for the first week. The water stopped clearing at about slightly hazy, so I turned on the SWG and hit the super chlorinate button (100% for 24 hours). The pool cleared some more, to the point that it was close to completely clear, but then hazed up within a couple of days after I set the SWG to 60%, running 16 hrs. per day. This time the haze had a slightly green tint to it. Last night I turned off the SWG and shocked again with 2 lbs. of 73% calcium hypochlorite. It cleared up very nicely over night and looks pretty good, but after having read some of the threads in the forums here I came across 1. CYA and “chlorine block,” and 2. the problems with ammonia. A light went off over my head--albeit a dim one. So my questions are:
• What do I do about the ammonia?
• If the answer is massive additions of bleach, should I worry about the copper heat exchanger in my pool heater getting corroded? I do not have a bypass arrangement for the heater.
• I’ve read on the boards that to shock you need to get the FC to 13, but how do you test that high? My test kit only goes to five. Even Spinal Tap’s test kit only goes to 11!
• Should I drain ~50% of the water out of the pool to get the CYA down?
I appreciate any help you can offer, and thanks.