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Thread: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

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    SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    Hi all,
    Got my pump circulating water 2 days ago. Pulled cover off 1 day ago. Water is crystal clear. Today vacuumed pool, brushed sides. I need a little assistance getting started this year, as I always forget what to do first.

    P.S. I do have Borates in my pool but did not test them yet. I use Haviland Salt Support to add Borates I know that they will be low because I lost 24 inches of water from a slow leak around the light fixture over the winter. So the pool did have 24+ inches of make up water added over the last 3 months.

    1st test results: Vinyl Liner Pool, IntelliChlor IC-40 SWG
    FC - 0.5
    PH - 7.1
    TA - 30
    CH - 100
    CYA - 20
    Salt - 1100

    After vacuuming & brushing sides I added 6 lbs of 73% Cal-Hypo & 3 Sticks of Tri-chlor to shock for 48 hours. Also added 520 pounds of Salt to bring level up.

    So what should I do next and in what order to get everything balanced? I have a TF-100 test kit (that I store inside over the winter) - what test chemicals should I reorder & do they all have to be fresh each year?

    Thanks!
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    Your test kit should be fine for another year, unless you are running out of something.

    Assuming the water is clear and clean at this point, all you should need to do is to raise TA to between 60 and 70 and raise CYA to between 70 and 80. Everything else looks fairly good.
    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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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    JasonLion,
    Thanks for the quick reply. What is the shelf life of the Aqucheck Salt test strips? I ask because I got mine from the Forum last year, and when I tested Salt today the little yellow line ant the top that is supposed to turn dark never did. But I got a reading of 4500 (about 600 higher than I expected per the iPhone Pool Calc). What is the shelf life of Borate Test Strips? I have two types Aquacheck & Proteam, both give different readings.

    Here's a bit more info. Yesterday, I forgot to mention that I put 3 sticks of Tri-chlor in the skimmer in addition to the other stuff mentioned. When I added the Cal-Hypo 73% (6 lbs) the water did not change colors, other than the minor bit of cloudiness due to tossing in chemicals. However, when I added the 520 lbs of salt the water turned green within seconds. Not a lot of green just a little in the deep end where I added the salt. I brushed the salt around to dissolve and left it over night thinking the green would disappear by morning, it did not - pool was still a bit green today.

    When I added the 6 lbs of Cal-Hypo 73% - I expected it to raise the FC to about 20ppm (according to the iPhone Pool Calc app), but today the FC was only at 5ppm

    2nd test results: from today (1:00pm) after adding 6 lbs Cal-Hypo 73%, 3 sticks of Tri-chlor & 520 lbs salt yesterday.
    Disclaimer - theses results are from Leslie's Pool Store, as I just located my TF-100 test kit late tonight. I am a bit distrusting of these results because the PH should not have changed, nor should the TA, also I don't think the CH should have increased by 70 and the CYA tested 10 points higer. The only thing that would have raised the CYA would have been the Tri-chlor, but 3 sticks would not have raised it 10 points, would it?

    I want to raise my Borate level, when is the best time to do it - now or after I get everything else balanced? I seem to remember for last year that I wanted to have my TA & PH low before adding Borates and then balance them after.

    FC - 5.0
    PH - 7.8
    TA - 50
    CH - 170
    CYA - 30
    Salt - 4500 - Aqucheck test strips
    Borates - 30 - ProTeam Test strips
    Borates - 80 - Aqucheck test strips

    After these test results, I wanted to get the FC up to Shock levels (due to the green tint of the water) so per the iPhone PoolCalc, I added 205 ounces of 12.5% Liquid Chlorine to bring the FC up to 13ppm Shock level.
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    Test strip lifetime depends a lot on how much humidity gets into the storage tube. If you keep a new pack sealed, they can last a long time. If they have been opened in high humidity air a couple of times they will die around the expiration date.

    All of the borate test strips are fairly approximate. The LaMotte strips seem to be the best, but even they leave a lot to be desired. Thankfully, the exact borate level doesn't matter.

    If you are seeing a clear transparent green in the water, try adding some sequestrant. If it starts getting at all cloudy or murky or the FC level starts falling rapidly shock the pool.

    Pool stores are well known for giving inconsistent test results. You should get your own top quality test kit and ignore what the pool store thinks.
    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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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    Jason,
    I do have my own TF-100 test kit, just couldn't find it until late tonight. That is why I took sample in to the pool store. Sorry about the long post it was buried in there that I have the test kit. I just need to do all my own testing and forget the darn pool stores - they frustrate me to no end.

    What is sequestrant? - I am not familiar with that term.
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    Finally did my own test with my TF-100 test kit.

    FC - 19
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.4
    TA - 90
    CH - 90
    CYA - 35
    Salt - 4500
    Borates - 30

    Added 50 lbs of Haviland Salt Support (Borates & CYA) to bring my Borates up to 50-60ppm. This should also bring my CYA up 25-30 points then I can adjust from there.

    I think I am on track............ Thanks Jason
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    I got a question about my FC level dropping so much over a 24 hour period. Pool was left covered with a solar cover for entire 24 hour period. Yesterday my FC was 19 ppm today it is 12.5 ppm. I am trying to make it so I get zero loss overnight. I do have a tiny bit of organic material (dead material) that is collecting in the corners of the hopper in the deep end. I noticed this on 2 consecutive days and vacuumed it up right away. Is this possibly the reason for the Chlorine consumption? Possibly some organic matter living in my pool and the high FC is killing it?

    After today's test, this evening I added 1.5 gallons of 12.5% liquid Chlorine to bring my FC level back up to shock level. I think this should bring the FC up to 20.5 ppm, per the iPhone Pool Calc. Am I doing the right thing?

    Today's Test results with TF-100 kit

    FC - 12.5
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.2
    TA - 90
    CH - 110
    CYA - ?? - did not test because the Haviland Salt Support I added yesterday has CYA in it and I think I need to wait a few days for it to stabilize. I also only have enough R-0013 for one more test.
    Salt - 4500
    Borates - 50+ (but less than 80)
    Temp - 75
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    I am still having an issue holding Chlorine Shock levels over night. Last night I added 1.5 gallons of 12.5% liquid Chlorine to bring my FC level up to 20.5 ppm, this afternoons test results using the TF-100 test kit are below.

    FC - 11.5
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.5
    TA - 90
    CH - 110
    CYA - 50
    Salt - 2900 - Per Calibrated Goldline Salt Meter - gave up on the Aquacheck test strips
    Borates - 50+ (but less than 80)
    Temp - 76

    After this test I added 3.5 gallons of 12.5% liquid Chlorine to bring my FC shock level up to 29 ppm, thinking that I have something in my pool eating chlorine. I will say that my Liquid Chlorine is 1 year old and was stored in a pool shed in sealed, unopened 5 gallon containers. I know that the liquid Chlorine would have lost its full 12.5% strength - but how much? Highest temps in the pool shed would have been about 100 degrees
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Trouble holding FC shock level overnight

    I got a question about my FC level dropping so much over a 24 hour period. Pool was left covered with a solar cover for entire 24 hour period. Yesterday my FC was 19 ppm today it is 12.5 ppm. I am trying to make it so I get zero loss overnight. I do have a tiny bit of organic material (dead material) that is collecting in the corners of the hopper in the deep end. I noticed this on 2 consecutive days and vacuumed it up right away. Is this possibly the reason for the Chlorine consumption? Possibly some organic matter living in my pool and the high FC is killing it? Pool is crystal clear.

    5-26-2010 -Test results with TF-100 kit - After today's test, this evening I added 1.5 gallons of 12.5% liquid Chlorine to bring my FC level back up to shock level. I think this should bring the FC up to 20.5 ppm, per the iPhone Pool Calc. Am I doing the right thing?


    FC - 12.5
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.2
    TA - 90
    CH - 110
    CYA - ?? - did not test because the Haviland Salt Support I added yesterday has CYA in it and I think I need to wait a few days for it to stabilize. I also only have enough R-0013 for one more test.
    Salt - 4500
    Borates - 50+ (but less than 80)
    Temp - 75

    5-27-2010 - I am still having an issue holding Chlorine Shock levels over night. Last night I added 1.5 gallons of 12.5% liquid Chlorine to bring my FC level up to 20.5 ppm, this afternoons test results using the TF-100 test kit are below.

    FC - 11.5
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.5
    TA - 90
    CH - 110
    CYA - 50
    Salt - 2900 - Per Calibrated Goldline Salt Meter - gave up on the Aquacheck test strips
    Borates - 50+ (but less than 80)
    Temp - 76

    After this test I added 3.5 gallons of 12.5% liquid Chlorine to bring my FC shock level up to 29 ppm (Max per Pool Calc for my pool), thinking that I have something in my pool eating chlorine. I will say that my Liquid Chlorine is 1 year old and was stored in a pool shed in sealed, unopened 5 gallon containers. I know that the liquid Chlorine would have lost its full 12.5% strength - but how much? Highest temps in the pool shed would have been about 100 degrees
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble holding FC shock level overnight

    It sounds like you still have something organic in the water. You are going to lose chlorine to sunlight as well, unless your solar cover is opaque. Do an overnight loss test by testing after dark and then before the sunlight hits the water in the morning. That loss will be almost entirely due to organics.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    Given it is hard to estimate how much your chlorine degraded in the off season...the proper way to do the test would be to test your FC level 30 mins after your last chlorine addition and let's say after 8:30pm (dark), then you want to test it in the morning before the sun hits the pool. Solar covers help reduce FC loss, some more than others depending on the color, but it does not eliminate FC loss. The overnight test is just that ...a measurment of the change in FC from dusk 'till dawn. You can use a solar cover and test FC 24hrs later...hopefully I did not misunderstand?
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    I am doing the overnight test right now. Going to test now (10pm) and then test in the morning (9am). I just was reading the thread about Bleach shelf life and think that the Liquid Chlorine I have is probably at about 5% or 6% due to me having it so long. It is not quite 1 year old (about 11 months) and was stored outside in my pool shed the whole time. Since I just tested the water at 5pm, then added 3.5 gallons of the liquid chlorine, it should give me a good idea of the strength it is now .

    I do have a opaque solar cover - it is a silver one (kinda looks gray) and I am leaving it on all day right now.
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    that would certainly cut down FC loss during the day...sounds like you may have stopped an algae bloom before it appeared in your CC reading. I would suggest bringing the water up to shock and properly perform the overnight test.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    After testing just now my FC is at 15. Which means my 1 year old 12% liquid Chlorine is only 3%. I am going to pour in the last 3.5 gallons I have, which, at 3%, should bring my FC up to ~19 (3ppm above shock level). My whole issue was the darn lost percentage of the liquid Chlorine. I was never getting to the FC level I assumed I would get to by using the Pool Calc!
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    So, here is what I just did.

    I added 3.5 gallons of 1 year old 12.5% Liquid Chlorine, that is actually now 3% Chlorine. Then I added 3 lbs of 73% Cal-Hypo Chlorine. The combination of both should get me to my highest allowed FC Shock level of 29ppm (per the Pool Calc for my pool). I will test check for FC level in 45-60 minutes. Once I added the Cal-Hypo in I brushed the bottom of the pool to stir up some residual power that collected in the deep end hopper. As I was brushing I noticed a minimal "dust cloud" of greenish brown stuff being stirred up by brushing. I now definitely do believe I had some organics in the pool, and that I was never reaching the targeted FC shock level. So now I am going for over kill. I had all this stuff left from last year, so I might as well use whatever I can to get it used up. Hopefully this will get me through to where I can finally turn on the SWCG cell. If not, then Walmart bleach aisle, here I come!
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    11:10pm - FC is at 26.5 ppm (I hope I waited long enough ~40 minutes, but had to test now as thunderstorm is rolling in & will be here any minute). I think this is close enough to max Shock level of 29. So let's see if it will hold overnight. I think I might get some loss due to any leftover organic matter it is trying to kill, plus may get some loss depending on how much rain we get with the thunderstorm.
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

  17. Back To Top    #17
    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    sounds like a plan
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    What do I do if I get more than zero (0) loss? Do I just wait and do another overnight loss test and keep doing it, making sure to keep my pool at "normal" shock level of FC 16 ppm, untill I get zero loss?
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    Yes.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: SWG Opening - with 1st Test numbers

    Hi, FrustratedPoolMom!
    Long time no type - I remember you assisted me last year. Nice to hear from you again!
    18' x 36' inground vinyl pool - 25,000 gallons - Salt (SWCG) Pentair Intellichlor IC40
    Whisper-Flo 3/4 HP full rated 2-speed pump
    Hayward Sand filter S244S (filled with Zeolite or Zeosand)

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