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Thread: Can't get the water chemistry right

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Can't get the water chemistry right

    HELP.

    Okay, where can I purchase a good kit so I don't have to keep going back and forth to the pool store, other postings say they are not reliable anyway.... they don't sell much there except strips and digitial readers, 2 dropper tests...

    24' round AG 52", cartridge filter, laars lite 2 heater, pool frog ion system about to go in trash (empty cycler-removed mineral cartridge and tri-chlor pac, in the garbage now...)

    Pool store readings:
    FC .18
    TC .09
    PH 7.32
    CH 173
    TA 147
    CYA 76 (this is an improvement-down from 111 a week ago!)
    .21 Copper (looks like my son will have green hair for awhile
    .71 Iron (this is new, either they weren't testing for it before or the water I added today was full of iron....

    Thoughts?

    The water is clear, you can see my bottom drain and the lovely stain that Charlie 'the pool store expert' said was Black Algea....who knows what it is anymore, kept coming back after mutliple treatments for black algea last year, stain fades with high chlorine numbers.

    So you can see, clear water but the above numbers. What are the experts thoughts? Any advice/information is appreciated.
    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

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    Hi frustrated,
    One thing I can see is your CL is to low, with a CYA of 76 you should keep CL at 5 - 10 PPM and shock at 20 PPM

    . The following chart is from the sister site PS's owner BEN. It is called Bens best guess CYA chart.
    BTW your pool store sure does get percise with numbers , going all the way down to .18 Someone else will chime in on any other thoughts


    Stabilizer . . . . . . Min. FC . . . . Max FC . . . 'Shock' FC
    0 ppm . . . . ... . . 1 ppm . . . . . 3 ppm . . . . 10 ppm
    10 - 20 ppm . .. . . 2 ppm . . . . . 5 ppm . . . . 12 ppm
    30 - 50 ppm . .. . . 3 ppm . . . . . 6 ppm . . . . 15 ppm .
    60 - 90 ppm . . .. . 5 ppm . . . . . 10 ppm . . .. 20 ppm
    100 - 200 ppm ... . 8 ppm . . . . . 15 ppm . . .. 25
    Almost forgot to answer your test kit question, you can get a really good one by going to the main forum page and click on "NEW AREA - TF Test Kit

    Hope this helps
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    testing the water

    precise...I know isn't it funny?! I just about slugged the 19 yo girl who worked there when she said my CYA at 76 was "not a problem" and the only way to lower it is to "completely drain my pool" followed up with "when's the last time you shocked your pool?"....

    I'm gonna order my kit and avoid pool stores at all costs.....
    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

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    Re: Can't get the water chemistry right

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    HELP.

    Okay, where can I purchase a good kit so I don't have to keep going back and forth to the pool store, other postings say they are not reliable anyway.... they don't sell much there except strips and digitial readers, 2 dropper tests...

    24' round AG 52", cartridge filter, laars lite 2 heater, pool frog ion system about to go in trash (empty cycler-removed mineral cartridge and tri-chlor pac, in the garbage now...)

    Pool store readings:
    FC .18
    TC .09
    PH 7.32
    CH 173
    TA 147
    CYA 76 (this is an improvement-down from 111 a week ago!)
    .21 Copper (looks like my son will have green hair for awhile
    .71 Iron (this is new, either they weren't testing for it before or the water I added today was full of iron....

    Thoughts?

    The water is clear, you can see my bottom drain and the lovely stain that Charlie 'the pool store expert' said was Black Algea....who knows what it is anymore, kept coming back after mutliple treatments for black algea last year, stain fades with high chlorine numbers.

    So you can see, clear water but the above numbers. What are the experts thoughts? Any advice/information is appreciated.
    "Mom",

    Well, first the good news! While the pool store numbers are embarassingly precise (embarassing for them), the fact that your water is clear is a great sign. Secondly, your pH is virtually perfect, the CH is just fine, and your TA and CYA, while somewhat high, are certainly in a manageable range.

    Now, I would say there is practically NO bad news. However, you need to get some chlorine in your pool very soon. Bring that Cl up into the 5-8ppm range and keep it there the rest of the summer. That'll keep your pool sparkling and I doubt you'll need to do little else.

    Disregard the copper and iron tests. While I'm no expert, I'm pretty sure those numbers are low enough that they will not affect the quality of your pool water.

    Over time, you can start to adjust your CYA and TA downward but I simply don't think they are crucial to making your pool sparkling.

    Lastly, (pardon the self-promotion) I sell a test kit @ www.tftestkits.com that will perform all the tests you need and save your drive to the pool store. Sean and all the Mods here are familiar with the test modality and I will be around to answer your questions as well.

    In summation.....clear pool water is hard to beat and you're already there. Secondly, what you need to work on (chlorine) is easy to do.....you're in good shape. As an aside, be sure to down load "bleachcalc"...it's a great tool to help you figure all your quantities.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    I feel much better....thank you all. I'm going to buy the test kit as the ones in the store seem pathetic by comparison...plus I have the benefit of this forum for questtions...

    Turned the heater on last night and water is up to 82...yeah. The forecast is 85 and sunny so I may just be in there this afternoon, assumeing Cl readings are good. Thanks all!
    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

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    Re: Can't get the water chemistry right

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    HELP.


    Pool store readings:
    FC .18
    TC .09
    PH 7.32
    CH 173
    TA 147
    CYA 76 (this is an improvement-down from 111 a week ago!)
    .21 Copper (looks like my son will have green hair for awhile
    .71 Iron (this is new, either they weren't testing for it before or the water I added today was full of iron....

    Thoughts?
    The copper probably came from whatever you used to treat the black algae. Many of the treatments for it are copper based but your copper levels right now are not even considered high enough for algae prevention of green algae (usually about.3 to .6 ppm) so I would not worry about it. If the black algae comes back it means that you are not keeping the chlorine levels high enough. It can take very high chlorine levels to kill black algae. I have found that sodium bromide algae treatments work well but they are not easy and will require a lot of constant chlorine addition after use to kill the algae and to convert your pool back to chlorine after it becomes a bromine pool for a week or two.
    Your iron readings are a bit high. If you shock the pool and the water turns yellow (if you have a blue liner it might look green!) then you do have iron. You can add a metal sequesterant to take care of the problem but you will have to add it on a monthly or biweekly basis .

    If your son's hair turns green post it in the forum. I know how to remove it safely (in much the same way pool stains are removed). I am a licensed Barber and Cosmetologist in the state of Florida (even though I have not worked in that industry in quite a while) and used to work as a coloriist and have fixed many heads of copper green hair with sodium thiosulfate (photographer's hypo which is available in any photographic supply that sells darkroom chemicals, also used as a chlorine neutralizer in pools) and citric acid (a reducing agent similar to the ascorbic acid that is used to treat pool staining. Citric acid can be found in many grocery stores in the spice section as "sour salt"!) The procedure is a bit lengthy so I will not post it now.
    There is one hair product line on the market that I know of that contains these ingredients (and also EDTA, a metal chelating agent) that will work also if you don't want to 'mix your own'. It is Nexxus Aloe Rid treatment and Aloe Rid Shampoo. Apply the treatment (a green gel) to damp hair and let it sit for 5 minuts, rinse, shampoo twice with the Aloe Rid shampoo, letting each lather sit for 3-5 minues, then repeat the Aloe Rid treatment for 5 minutes. These products contain citric acid, sodium thiosulfate and EDTA and are the only ones that I have come across that will actually remove the green caused by copper. They work in exactly the same way as the formula I used to use in the salon.

    Edit: The procedure for removing copper from hair was developed by the late Jheri Redding, a pioneering cosmetic chemist who started Jheri Redding Products Company, Redkin, Jhirmack, and Nexxus. He introduced many firsts into the hair care/beauty industry such as pH balanced shampoos (Redkin), subsatantive protein and nucleic acid treatments (Jheri Redding Products/Jhirmack), the technique of "curly perming" Afro-American hair (Jhirmack) , using alphahydroxy acids and enzymes in skin care (Jhirmack) , Botancals and polymers (Nexxus) and many other firsts. Nexxus is now run and owned by his son. He sold all the other companies many years ago. He stated many years ago that green hair was NOT caused by chlorine, as was commonly stated back then, but by the copper based algaecides used!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    testing the water

    Thanks Waterbear! I will look for the Nexxus product, I like shortcuts, and if I can't find it I'll ask for the formula....yes, I have heard it was chlorine from several people who recommended swimout type shampoo which did not help the green, it helped with the condition of the hair from the chemicals but did nothing for the green, so it's nice to know there really is a solution out there. I may do the metal-free stuff next week but I'm tired of worrying about that...

    I bought a cheapy HTH 6 way kit from Wal-Mart today to tide me over till I get a better kit. Was going to test for CYA and it said to put it in the cya bottle with the black dot after mixing in the little plastic container with the squirty lid (like the technical terms?!) but I don't see a bottle with a black dot or anything else that looks/sounds like this in the instructions refer to as CYA parts...

    anyone got ideas?

    PH looked about 7.2 or so, should I increase, but won't that affect the TA?

    Also, it was 18 drops to turn the TA red, 17 slightly pink... this is higher than the pool store readings yesterday, should I be concerned? That means 170-180 ta right? Does it have to be red or will pink do?

    I put in two gianormous bottles of 6% ultra bleach from Wal-mart for $2.28 bottle, they were 1.47 gallons or something like that. Will test in an hour. Got in before bleaching and brushed and stirred all the gook toward the center drain, water was lovely at 90 degrees.

    24' round, AG 52" h, cartridge, heater
    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

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    testing the water

    another question....

    if my TA is 170-180, and I have an AG Vinyl pool, what about my heater?

    Is it too high, will my heater be damaged?
    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

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