5 Day Old SWG Pool with Odd Chemical Levels

simo711

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2017
71
Macon, GA
#1
Well, I just had the pool filled about 5 days ago. Had my pool school yesterday from my builder and he only tested pH and Chlorine. He didn't seem concerned about either. The salt level was 3800 on the display and he said to add a few inches of fresh water and test again. So...I took a water sample to my builder to have it checked because I'm still brushing up on the TF-100 kit I received a day ago. Here are the results:

FC .8
TC .9
pH 7.7
TA 59
CH 27
CYA 2
Salt 3400
Shock Treatment .1

With these numbers, I was informed that I need to add 11lbs of alkalinity up, 2 lbs of pH down, 1 lb of shock treatment, 3 lbs of uv shield, and 21lbs of calcium up.

They said this wasn't bad...seems bad to me. No CYA, low chlorine, low alkalinity, and very low calcium hardness.

I was under the impression my builder would balance the water and then I would maintain. Am I under a bad impression?

Would love advice.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,330
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#2
Start from scratch and use your TF100.

It's not hard. Let the pump run half an hour or so before you draw a sample so it's well-mixed. What I do is carry a plastic cup over, rinse it a few times in the pool, then invert it and reach in and down as far as I can before righting it. The air escapes and the cup fills from down deep. Then I carry it over to the patio table and use that sample to test. You don;t have to be uncomfortable and squat poolside to test. ;)

Do the pH test first. You might as well do the drop chlorine test, too, since you have plenty of that reagent. It's not real accurate, but you can start practicing your colormatching that way since you'll have an accurate FC test to compare it to.

Then do the FC CC test.

The rest can be done in any order. The CYA test needs bright light. Wipe the tip of the R-009 TA reagent with a damp paper towel before using it to remove any static charge.

If any test result seems weird, check Pool School - Extended Test Kit Directions.

If the directions seem confusing, watch the videos. https://www.youtube.com/user/TF100TestKit/videos

Once you have test results we trust -- yours -- then we can advise.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,924
Bedford, TX
#3
Simo,

Pool builders are very good at building pools and not so good about maintaining them.

I recommend that you stay with using your TF-100 and stay away from any place the tests your water and then tries to sell you chemicals...

Your FC is very low, so you should add liquid chlorine ASAP so that you don't get algae...
Using pool-math add 1/2 a jug of 8.25% plain bleach will bring your FC up to about 3 ppm.. With no CYA this will not last long...

The problem is that with no CYA your chlorine will burn off very quickly. You need to get your CYA up to at least 30 and later up to 70 or 80 for a saltwater pool.
Using pool-math, I see that if you add 4 lbs of Stabilizer (CYA) that will bring your CYA up to about 35 ppm.

You have a vinyl pool so you do not have to worry right now about calcium.

Your pH is fine and for now, I would leave your TA alone..

You need to run a full set of tests using your TF-100 and report back to us what your readings are..

Hang in there.. everything will be ok..

Jim R.
 

NeedMoreSun

LifeTime Supporter
#4
Reading things like this are the highlight of any time I spend reading here. My house came with a pool, but the previous pool service I inherited was the same way. They have a little chart and go with it, with no thought about the relationships between each. I was just starting to convert to SWG, having put together a 100% new equipment pad, and pool guy came and jacked up my TA I had just spent money on reducing!!!

An SWG tends to cause PH to rise, and they are telling you to reduce PH, but at the same time wanting you to jack up your TA. Makes no sense. Every pool is different, but you may end up liking your TA just as it is!!! With a vinyl pool you also don't have to worry about CH much, other than extreme lows which can cause foaming. I'm "assuming" their "UV Shield" is CYA, but curious what on Earth they are testing for "Shock Treatment".

Once you have your own, reliable test results Richard and the experts here can for sure help you then. Not only to get things initially in line, but to help find the balance that works best for your pool. A lower TA combined with borates, for instance, worked magic for mine and even with an SWG PH is rock solid all Summer. May need a little MA once or twice a year.
 
OP
OP
S

simo711

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2017
71
Macon, GA
#5
Your FC is very low, so you should add liquid chlorine ASAP so that you don't get algae...
Using pool-math add 1/2 a jug of 8.25% plain bleach will bring your FC up to about 3 ppm.. With no CYA this will not last long...
Jim and others, since I have the Hayward Aqua Rite AQR15 PL-PLUS system do I still need to add plain bleach or can I just bump up the pool chlorinator (set at 55% and runs about 7 hours throughout the day) or can I run the super chlorinate?

Also, is my FC / TC low because my CYA is super low? Appears to be from what I've read...the SWG cannot keep up when CYA is too low.

Thanks...I'll go test with the TF-100 now.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
#6
It will be quicker (and easier on the cell) if you stabilize your FC with manual dosing first, then use the SWG to maintain the target.
 
OP
OP
S

simo711

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2017
71
Macon, GA
#7
New results using the TF-100 kit:

FC - .5
CC - .5
TC - 1
pH - 7.4
TA - 180
CH - 175
CYA - Too low to get a reading
Salt - 3800

I swam in it today and it definitely tasted salty...not that it bothered me. I love the ocean.

I noticed quite a bit of stuff floating even with the pump running at 2700 RPM for 3 hours. I ran the robot cleaner while the pump was running...still floating things in the pool (bugs, pollen, etc.). I checked the water circulation and it's all pointed in a single direction. I have the water filled up to the 2nd screw from the top of the skimmer boxes.

Thanks for any advice.
 

dsmith99

Silver Supporter
Jun 18, 2016
236
SW, Iowa
#9
You need stabilizer in the pool, the sooner the better.

The sun is burning off the FC as fast as the SWG produces it. You should add about 5-6 pounds of stabilizer by putting it in a sock and hanging it in the pool directly in front of the return. Squeeze the sock occasionally to help it dissolve quicker. This should give you 50 ppm or so and you can add from there if needed, the key is do it slowly, a little at a time to creep up on the desired level and not overshoot.

Your FC is very low, you should add some plain bleach, about 3/4 of a gallon. Add that all at once by pouring a thin stream in front of the return.

The SWG is really good at maintaining your chlorine level, but not so great at getting it started from zero quickly before problems appear. As the stabilizer begins to protect the chlorine the level may rise, you will need to test the water and adjust the SWG output to get the FC where you need it. You should maintain FC at about 4 ppm as found in the chlorine/CYA chart.

As for the floating debris, you may need to adjust the valves to draw more water through the skimmer or increase pump run time to allow the skimmer to clean the surface better.
 
OP
OP
S

simo711

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2017
71
Macon, GA
#10
Got it. Thank you dsmith99. I'll be doing this either tomorrow or Tuesday...getting this started has been a wonderful learning process so that I can keep it up and have a troublefree pool!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,233
Evans, Georgia
#11
I think that you need to dump some bleach in there before Tuesday unless you weather is really, REALLY cold still? Algae just lovessssss a chance to take over a pool.

Don't be a victim of Algae. FIght back! Show algae just who's in charge!!

Maddie :flower: