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Thread: Chemically Frustrated!

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    N2ition's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Double Oak, Texas

    Chemically Frustrated!

    Hi folks! We bought a house with a pool in December and I have spent the last several months trying to understand how everything works. I think I finally have a handle on it...or at the very least an understanding of what things are supposed to be like. For a while I couldn't understand why I was burning through chemicals so fast...then I discovered that we were overfilling the pool so all of the chemicals were getting flushed down the drain. Once we got that situation resolved we still struggled to get the pH and TA under control. We finally tested our tap water and found that the TA was 310! Needless to say we go thru a lot of Muriatic Acid around here.

    Now on to my real frustration. I finally felt like I had a handle on chemicals and this morning I took my water in to Leslie Pools to just to confirm my test. I use the TF-100 test kit (purchased this spring...kept in a utility closet off my kitchen so away from light and heat) and the Taylor Basic pH and chlorine test. My results were as follows:

    FC: 3.0
    TC: 3.0
    pH; 7.5
    TA: 100
    CYA: 40
    CH: 180
    Salt: 3000 (per Aqua-pod Reading) Test strip: 3550

    I took a water sample in to Leslie's within 30 minutes of my testing and the results that the clerk got seemed to be very different. (I should say I hate this particular location as every time I go in they seem to want to sell me EVERY chemical they have. When I told the guy I already have everything I just wanted to confirm test result he could barely contain his irritation long enough to check out the $4 purchase I was making.) His results were:

    FC: 5.0
    TC: 5.0
    pH: 8.0
    TA: 100
    CYA: 25
    CH: 140
    Salt: 4100

    He of course wanted to sell me Muriatic acid and informed me I needed to add 3 pints as well as 25 oz of hardness plus and 8 lbs of CYA.

    The last couple times I had this location run samples they wanted me to add lots of stuff as well and MY pool service guy told me to hold off on everything but the hardness and do one thing at a time.

    I decided to take another sample to a different Leslie's. This sample was taken about 2.5 hour later than the first but no chems have been added since yesterday. these were their results:

    FC: 3.5
    pH: 7.8
    TA: 80
    CYA: 40
    CH: 130
    Salt: 3400

    I should say both Leslie locations showed phosphates at 300...although only the first one tried to sell me product. The other location was just concerned at this point with the CH and CYA levels.

    So here I sit a bit baffled as to which results I should use. My results have my pH and TA pretty much where I want them and I was hoping to start adding borates to help maintain them since I need something to buffer it when having to add fill water. But 80 seems a little low for TA and 7.8 is higher than I would like it. Especially because I seem to be having a scaling problem as well.

    I added 2 lbs of CYA yesterday and intended to add an additional 2 lbs today but was told to add the CH first...but that I could add the CYA 4 hours later.

    All this said...I am extremely confused on whose testing results I should be relying on to get and keep my pool in the best possible condition.

    Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated!
    Complete pool newbie in Double Oak, Texas (part of D/FW Metroplex)

    40'x24', 32k gallon, DE, In-Ground, Plaster/Pebble, Hayward Pro-Grid DE7220 Filter, 2 - 2.5 hp Hayward pumps (one for filter one for waterfall) addition smaller pump to run robot cleaner, AquaLogic PS-8 SWCG, Spa

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Chemically Frustrated!

    Forget the pool store testing. Spend a little time reading the threads around here and you'll find that the pool sotres are notoriously bad at testing. Your own adventure show that they aren't consistant between stores.

    Trust your own testing. Use those numbers for balancing and maintaining your pool.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Donldson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    NW Ohio

    Re: Chemically Frustrated!

    Always. Always. Always, Always, Always trust your own results against pool store results. Pool store results aren't worth the gas burnt to go to the pool store.

    EDIT: Oh, missed the SWG. Yeah, up the CYA a bit along with the CH. Looks like you are on top of everything, great job!!
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Chemically Frustrated!

    Like they said trust your own testing, if concerned you may not be doing the tests right, read up on them here and watch the tf test kit you tube videos. I am actually somewhat surprised that the pool store numbers were that close, so often we hear of truly insane variation when getting testing done at multiple pool stores.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    East Texas

    Re: Chemically Frustrated!

    I can drive a 3 mile circle, hit 3 different 'testers", average them together, and it's STILL way off!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
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