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Thread: Too much amonia!

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    Too much amonia!

    I need HELP!
    My pool won't hold chlorine. Two weeks ago my local supplier sold me $350 worth of chemicals. Nothing. My water was still really cloudy. Since then we've found you and I hope that you can help. These are my numbers:
    Temp. 82
    CYA 140
    TOT Chlorine 1.6
    free chlorine 0
    PH 7.6
    tot alkilinity 214
    adj tot alk 172
    tot hadness 218
    optimizer + 86
    copper .5
    ammonia 8ppm

    It seems that I need to lower my CYA. How do I do that? I've been using borax, ableach and baking soda. This has helped some but it's still cloudy and can't hold chlorine. The pool store is recommending that i do a partial drain and use another $55 in thier chemicals. I'm affraid that if I emty that will throw all of my other numbers off too. What does anyone think?
    Daniel

    47000L (12500 gal)
    IG Quartzon Interior
    Rolachem Acid & Chlorine dosing
    Paramount In-floor cleaner
    1.5HP pump + Sand filter
    Solar heating under the great Aussie sun!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
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    Re: Too much amonia!

    The only way is for you to do a partial drain and refill. You can adjust your other numbers with the BBB method if necessary. That much CYA and your gonna have to drain and refill 2 or 3 times. But it's the way to go.

    Don't buy any more chems from them for now. Get yourself a good test kit like the TF100 and take control, you are being pool stored!

    I'm sure you are feeling quite overwhelmed and frustrated but you should read the articles in pool school to get you started, while you wait for your kit to arrive.

    Can you update your profile to include your pool equipment/specs in your signature? That will help future responders.

    Can you please list the $350 in chems and tell us which ones you added, or if you added all of them. That will help us understand why your numbers are what they are. Like the copper reading. Is that from an algaecide or does your fill water have a metals problem, etc. Did you buy metal sequesterant, and did you add it, etc.

    (Note to guru's out there, isn't it odd to have that much ammonia and high CYA? I thought the CYA converted to ammonia under certain conditions or am I remembering wrong?)

    We are here to help you get control of your pool. First things first, go order that test kit, you won't regret it!
    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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    ktdave's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, TX
    Posts
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    Re: Too much amonia!

    Welcome RSS!

    You wil find a wealth of useful info here. If you heven't done so, I suggest reading THE POOL SCHOOL to bgin with.

    You WILL need to lower your CYA by draining and refilling (30 to 50 ppm is optimum). It seems you will need to replace about 65% of your water to get it to 50ppm, assuming the pool store number is correct. That brings me to my next suggestion: get a good test kit, either the TF-100 or the Taylor k-2006.

    I would not use anything other than the bleach, borax, and baking soda you've been using, especially until you get your CYA down, otherwise you'll lose it all when draining. Also be careful about draining to much at one time if you have a vinyl liner and/or high groundwater.
    11,000 gal. gunite w/midnight blue and white pearl PebbleTec
    Intelliflo 4x160 pump
    Intellichlor IC-20 SWG
    Pentair cartridge filter 420 sq. ft.
    Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Legend Platinum cleaner
    Pool School
    JasonLion's Pool Calculator
    TF Test Kits

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
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    Re: Too much amonia!

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    (Note to guru's out there, isn't it odd to have that much ammonia and high CYA? I thought the CYA converted to ammonia under certain conditions or am I remembering wrong?)
    When soil bacteria get into a pool that has been "let go" (usually over the winter) with no chlorine, they can convert CYA into ammonia and do so where every 10 ppm CYA produces a little over 3 ppm ammonia. Not all of the CYA has to get converted and ammonia is a little volatile so can escape from the pool depending on the conditions.

    At any rate, since a partial drain/refill is required in this case to lower the CYA, that will also lower the ammonia level. That's good since 8 ppm would take around a cumulative FC or 80 ppm to get rid of. After a drain/refill to lower the CYA, the ammonia should be down to 2-3 ppm which will be easier to eliminate using less chlorine. So, RSS, go ahead and get started on your partial drain/refill which you may need to do in small steps draining no lower than one foot below the skimmer and then refilling if you've got a vinyl pool.

    By the way, the "optimizer +" is probably Borates.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
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    Re: Too much amonia!

    Thanks for clarifying that Richard!
    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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