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Thread: What to do when

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    What to do when

    I just got my pool running and know pretty much what needs to be done, but am not sure just what order to do it in.

    First of all it's cloudier than it has ever been. I studied up about what to do to fix that, add lots of bleach and keep adding it basically. My PH looks to be about 7.2 on my walmart test kit (I'm ordering the one I've read so much about here on the forum soon).

    My CYA was 151 when I closed last fall and all last season for that matter, this has never caused me a problem, it was high as a result of constant use of chlorine sticks before I discovered this forum. I used the CYA calculator a few minutes ago, it said I need to replace 47% of my water.

    I am wondering if I should first get the cloudy situation resolved before I worry about the CYA issue, I would like to get that down this season. As I said it didn't seem to cause much problem last year. Mostly all I did all season was add some bleach everyday or every other day and some muratic acid 2 or 3 times a week(and not much of that-I think over the whole summer I used about 2 gallons.

    I'm also wondering what is the max chlorine level the TF-100 kit shows?

    Thanks, you guys are the best!
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There is at least some chance your CYA level fell over the winter.

    If you have a serious algae bloom it can be almost impossible to fight with high CYA. But if you can keep the algae away, high CYA is manageable. If the clouding is the start of algae you have a small chance of getting it right now before it gets out of control. Of course it might be something else. An easy way to tell is to add some chlorine tonight, circulate the water for an hour, then measure the FC level tonight and then again first thing tomorrow. If all the chlorine vanishes you have algae, if FC holds steady then it is something else, and if only a portion of the chlorine goes away then you are probably fighting algae but have a hope of getting it under control.

    The FAS-DPD chlorine test is know to work reliably up to at least 50. It probably works even higher than that, but raising FC that high isn't such a great idea so no one really has much experience above 50.
    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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    That would be nice if even a little of the CYA went away, I'll be measuring that tomorrow.

    I've added about 12 gallons of clorox and am going to do as you have suggested. I've never had algea and don't want to start now.

    Another question. When I had the pool installed they told me to leave the auto cover open for 4 hours after shocking, using the powdered lithium shock. Is there any rule about using high levels of bleach and leaving the cover open? I put in some borax tonight to start bringing up the PH, it's supposed to rain tonight and we have an acid rain here...I usually close it.

    Thanks again
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Using a standard turbidity test, your CYA will read high with cloudy water.

    It's not a bad idea to leave your cover open after shocking, whether with bleach or another shock.
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    Good to know. I'll just concentrate on getting the water cleared up for now then.

    Gotta love the breadth of knowledge available here! Thanks fellow Indianaian (is that a real term??)

    Perhaps that's why the name "Hoosier" came into existence??
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

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    OK. Since opening yesterday I have added about 12 gallons of bleach (6%) and 3 lbs. of lithium shock. I just retested the chlorine level with my walmart tester and it would be a stretch to say it is at 2ppm.

    The pool was already cloudy when I opened it in February to add some chlorine. When I closed in October everything was great. (except for the high CYA-which I've had for a long time and really have had no issues with).

    Since reading Jason's algae post a step or two back on this thread it sounds like I'm fighting algae?? I've begun brushing, anything else to do? (besides keep adding chlorine?)

    The battle continues..
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    There are two possibilities. You might be fighting algae or you may be dealing with ammonia and/or organics that built up over the winter. Either way the treatment is the same: keep adding bleach, brush daily, and keep an eye on the filter pressure.
    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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    I'm still at it! We have been getting drenched with rain, so I guess it's 2 steps forward and 1 step back. I'm trying to leave the cover open except when the rain starts but the forecast yesterday was off target.

    What is the water temperature at which algae isn't supposed to grow? I've seen it somewhere. My water is still about 60.

    Any thoughts on how long it takes for the cloudiness to resolve? I still can't see any deeper than about a foot. My wife thinks this happened because I used BBB last year for the first time, and we have previously opened to very clear water. I told her all these people on the forum can't be wrong.
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Algae can still grow (very slowly) at extremely low temperatures. Most times, algae won't get started below 60.

    It would be a big help if you could post a full set of test results.
    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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    Sorry, I know the numbers are the key to everything, I've been procrastinating on going to the pool store. I'm going this afternoon and will post the results ASAP.

    I hate going in there, the first thing they ask is "how does the water look"? As soon as the cloudy word is even hinted at...the tour of chemicals begins...
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

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    I try to limit these self-serving posts, but, man, you sure sound like a pool owner in DESPERATE need of a good test kit. You would be amazed at how simple your pool care would become.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    I know some that say it takes too long to test the water, but I find the drive to the pool store, waiting for them to test, then the drive back takes a lot longer than doing my own testing.
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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    I agree with the last two posts completely. I will be ordering the test kit ASAP. I'd rather test at home for the reasons stated by lovingHDTV and one more, the gas it takes to drive over to the store!

    I was told there is ammonia in my water, though my printed report doesn't say anything about it, I think it was a separate test aside from the computerized one.

    The numbers:

    TDS-2400
    CYA-told me the water is to cold to get any kind of accurate test. When tested at close last fall it was 150+ (the test doesn't go any higher)

    tot chlorine-5
    free chlorine-0
    ph-7.8
    tot alk.-290
    adj alk-290
    tot hardness-339

    I was told my TDS level is too high, with the ammonia and the last reading of CYA that I should dump about 12"-15" of water and refill and watch closely while draining in an effort not to float the liner. Then shock.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    A question-where does the ammonia come from?

    Thanks all
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Take a look at this thread. It discuss some causes of ammonia in the water and how to deal with it.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/viewtopic.php?t=4419
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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    hokuli,

    Draining off some of your water is pretty logical if your CYA is too high....actually, a very good idea.

    I'm not sure why it couldn't be tested.

    Unless yours' is a salt pool, your TDS is a little high and while causing no real harm, could be improved by draining and refilling.

    Your Alkalinity is very high. It needs to be down around the 100 range. With your own kit, you can test the Alk of your fill water to know whether you will be able to lower your Alk simply by a partial refill. If not, there's other ways to do it.

    So, in your particular case, draining and refilling may be a very good idea....I'd still like to know your CYA reading.

    If you have excess ammonia (how did the pool store know that?), it seems that can frequently happen when you have a swampy pool over the winter and the organics simply die and decompose rather than thrive and turn your pool bright green. If that is the case, it is not uncommon for your CYA to have virtually disappeared. Run that CYA test and that'll reveal a lot.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    The pool store folks ask how your water looks and evidently if you say cloudy they do an ammonia test. This is the first time I ever said "cloudy" and thus the first time I've ever discussed ammonia in my pool. She had some sort of ammonia test she did in a small test tube.

    You mentioned organics in the pool and dying-I take it you mean leaves and such-I live in a fairly new area, not many trees. I seldom find anything in the pool. oh-yeah, what about worms? Over the winter those things like to drown themselves by the dozens, would that have anything to do with it? (really a disgusting mess-those darn worms!)

    As for the CYA she just said the water is too cold. I wonder if there isn't something wrong with their equipment, last season it seemed to be erratic.

    I'm going to go ahead with the partial drain, fill and shock and see what that does for my clarity.

    I've studied the method of lowering the ph and aeration to reducing the alk., we'll see if it's necessary soon. How long can you keep a vinyl liner at such a low ph (6.8 or so I think) with out damaging it?

    Man Dave, that's a massive pool!
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    The largest mass or organics in your pool is algae...I should've made that clearer.....Organics is all encompassing but probably 90% of organics in a swampy pool are forms of algae.

    I like the idea of partial drain and refill for your pool but I'd hold on the shock until you get the ability to test high levels of FC. A real issue that pool stores do to people is sell them a bag or two of "Shock" and folks assume that will clear the pool. Most likely, it won't. You'll need to sustain very high levels of FC over an extended period of time for your pool to clear. Typically to do that without testing is difficult, if not impossible.

    I feel a little squeamish giving this advice because I sell just what you need. The Taylor K-2006 is a good kit as well. Others will be along soon to offer more objective advice.

    Most CYA tests are not affected much by cold temps and, of course, your sample was at room temp or close when you brought it in. I'm not sure what she meant.

    Don't worry for now about your Alk. It can be dealt with cheaply once your pool is clear.

    Yes, it is a big pool. The construction method was pretty unique. I hope to post a sequential set of construction pictures that I hope everyone gets a kick from.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The TF Test Kit is excellent, the Taylor K-2006 is also good.

    Ammonia is tested with pond/fish tank test kits.

    Ammonia in the water is particularly common when CYA has broken down over the winter, though it can appear for several other reasons as well. Did they tell you how high the ammonia level was?
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    I for one would love to see the pictures of your pool Dave, I watched mine as they built it, but it's ever so slightly smaller than yours (14x28).

    The pool store didn't give me the ammonia reading, I thought it was on the written report, when I got home and looked for it, it wasn't there. Do either of the TF or Taylor test kits test for ammonia? If not it sounds like a trip to the pet store would be a good idea.

    Evidently I have an algae issue. Did this happen because the winter wasn't terribly cold? We had many, somewhat warm spells (low 40s). I opened the pool in February and put in a couple of gallons of bleach as a midwinter shock and stirred it around thoroughly. Thankfully this has never happened before.

    My current test kit (HTH)will check CYA, but I was told that with cloudy water the turbidity test would read high. I'll give it a try tonight anyway. I would be very interested to know if there is any CYA in there.

    I'm going do the drain/fill tonight. How do I get the free chlorine level to come up? Just keep running the filter,brushing and ensure I do have some CYA? Then add chlorine? The CYA only maintains the free chlorine, right?
    14'x28' in ground with vinyl liner and a new sand filter (2015).

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    No, none of the pool test kits includes a test for ammonia.

    To raise FC you need to add chlorine. Bleach is the preferred way to add chlorine, but there are a number of other possible choices, with various disadvantages, if you have something on hand you want to use up.

    CYA helps reduce the amount of FC lost to sunlight. It also reduces the effective strength of the FC, so you need more FC at higher CYA levels.

    It sounds like you are on the right track.
    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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