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Thread: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

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    vtowntom's Avatar
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    VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    OK, so technically, this is the second test as the first one was done during pool school last Friday. Here are my results.....

    FC=5ppm
    TC=5ppm
    Br=7ppm
    Ph=8ppm
    CH=240ppm
    CyA=100ppm
    TA=180ppm

    Water temp was 67F at the time of the test. Both chlorine levels were on the high side, not sure if test results are accurate being a novice at this. I did put in about 2 quarts of muriatic acid as a result of the test. The test kit supplied by PB is a Taylor K-2005 and the little water balance calulating wheel said I have a Saturation index of approximately 1.3. But I couldn't find in the little booklet how to rectify that. I realize it is a possible precursor to cloudy water and/or deposit scale (according to the little wheel). By the way, this is a chlorine pool that uses the tri-chlor tablet chlorinating system (as of right now anyway).

    Would the high SI explain the white stains on the stone work near the sheer descent waterfall and the spa spilloff?

    Any comments, suggestions are very welcome. Thanks in advance...
    Freeform 24' x 31' IG gunite, chlorine pool, 3'-4.5'-6.5' deep, 15K gallons, 8' Dia. Spa, Pentair CNC Plus 420 cartridge filter, IntelliFlo 4160 pump, WhisperFlow WF-30-2.5 HP Spa pump, Pentair .75 HP booster pump, Pentair MasterTemp 400 Heater, MDX Debris Removal system, Intellibrite Color LED lights, Tropical Breeze PebbleTec, Pentair Legend Platinum pressure side pool cleaner

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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    The most important thing is to keep the PH below 8.0 at all times. It sounds like you have a brand new plaster pool. The PH can go up very rapidly for the first three or four weeks with fresh plaster. You need to test the PH and bring it down probably once a day, perhaps more often.

    Your CYA level is unusually high for a brand new pool. You really don't want CYA to be that high. Trichlor (pucks) add CYA, which you really don't want to be doing right now. You should stop using trichlor pucks and think about replacing water to get your CYA level down. As long as the CYA level is that high you want the FC level to be rather high, around 10. It is a little tricky to measure FC levels around there with the DPD test included in the Taylor K-2005, though it is possible.

    Your TA is noticeably too high, but it will be tricky to bring it down till the PH rise slows down. In the mean time, the high TA level makes it even more important to keep the PH under control.

    Br stands for bromine. You aren't using bromine so there is no need to keep track of your Br level. The chlorine is simply reading as if it was bromine.
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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    The white deposits near your waterfall may be efflorescence. This is simply the condition of a salty deposit being left behind after water has evaporated from the surface. I have it from time to time on the surfaces beneath and surrounding my waterfall, mainly on the mortar between the stones and also on the tile. I have found that removal is relatively easy with a stiff brush and a very dilute acid mixture. Since I tend to keep my pH on the lowish side of the normal range (from where the previous owner had kept it) and keep my CH in check, I tend to have fewer issues with it. It is still there, but less than it was before.
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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    Jason, thanks for the information. My PB told me that the PH would be high because its a new pool. If I stop using the pucks and go with only bleach, will there be side effects to doing this? I mean, the stabilizer is in those pucks for a reason right? Will going to bleach make it easier to lower PH or will there be no real affect in that respect?

    Test daily? OK. Maybe I should perform a test on my tap water as well to get an accurate read on the CH of that. I really don't want to start emptying pool water if I don't have to. Is that the only way to lower CYA? I mentioned some of this to my PB at pool school and he didn't subscribe to replacing water as a means to lower CYA.

    Hopefully, my brain doesn't explode from all this data. I really do not want to have to go to the local pool supply store to get water readings. Seems silly. The info here is a tremendous help.
    Freeform 24' x 31' IG gunite, chlorine pool, 3'-4.5'-6.5' deep, 15K gallons, 8' Dia. Spa, Pentair CNC Plus 420 cartridge filter, IntelliFlo 4160 pump, WhisperFlow WF-30-2.5 HP Spa pump, Pentair .75 HP booster pump, Pentair MasterTemp 400 Heater, MDX Debris Removal system, Intellibrite Color LED lights, Tropical Breeze PebbleTec, Pentair Legend Platinum pressure side pool cleaner

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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    257WbyMag-

    Thanks for the tip. I recall reading that somewhere on this website about using a diluted acid wash and stiff brush. Will try that this weekend. I'm trying to get my PH levels down, but patience is not one of my strongpoints. We have hard water here so I'm thinking that has something to do with it as well. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I' gonna perform a test on my tap water and see what kind of readings I get.

    By the way, where is Flower Mound in relation to Houston?
    Freeform 24' x 31' IG gunite, chlorine pool, 3'-4.5'-6.5' deep, 15K gallons, 8' Dia. Spa, Pentair CNC Plus 420 cartridge filter, IntelliFlo 4160 pump, WhisperFlow WF-30-2.5 HP Spa pump, Pentair .75 HP booster pump, Pentair MasterTemp 400 Heater, MDX Debris Removal system, Intellibrite Color LED lights, Tropical Breeze PebbleTec, Pentair Legend Platinum pressure side pool cleaner

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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    Tom,

    Flower Mound is a bedroom community of Dallas. It lies due north of the DFW Airport.

    Like Jason was saying, you are really going to need to keep tabs on your pH. The fact that the plaster is new means that it is curing and for the first year at least, your pH will tend to want to rise. You will have to be extra vigilant in making sure that your pH stays in check. Sustained high pH levels can and will damage the plaster and equipment and can void your warranty. Unfortunately, this will demand patience as you have to "babysit" your pool water, or so to speak.

    You are right on track in thinking that it might be a good idea to test your fill water as to the CH. Testing the TA on your fill water can also give you good information. You might want to do this once now and then do it again in another 6 months or so as these levels can vary based on environmental changes throughout the year. I see that you have a cartridge filter. Your PB may or may not have installed a "backwash" line to waste. Most cartridge filter setups don't have this option. Mine does but I think that is an exception to the rule. The point being is that because most cartridge filter systems don't have the ability to send water to waste, cartridge filter owners often find themselves chasing their tails when CH or CYA levels are high as the only water loss you really have is by splash out or by siphoning. Evaporation doesn't help you here since calcium and CYA both stay behind in your pool in that process. Your CH looks okay for now but every time you add water from the tap, you will be adding calcium as well. Your CYA is high and needs to come down. In order to do this you are going to have to drain some and refill.

    Yes, the stabilizer (CYA) is definitely there for a reason. But when you have too much, the chlorine becomes so stabilized that it ceases to do its job. You can keep a higher FC based on the level of CYA in your water, but this ends up being an expensive solution to a easily fixable problem. Lower your CYA by replacing some water and switch to unstabilized chlorine sources like plain old unscented generic bleach.
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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    If I start using regular bleach, in the long run, won't I have to eventually add stabilizer? If so, in what form does one normally buy stabilizer?

    Now I gotta figure out how to drain the pool if I decide to do that. I know there must be a way to do it with the panel in service mode or something like that. That panel will take me awhile to learn.

    Thanks for the tips....
    Freeform 24' x 31' IG gunite, chlorine pool, 3'-4.5'-6.5' deep, 15K gallons, 8' Dia. Spa, Pentair CNC Plus 420 cartridge filter, IntelliFlo 4160 pump, WhisperFlow WF-30-2.5 HP Spa pump, Pentair .75 HP booster pump, Pentair MasterTemp 400 Heater, MDX Debris Removal system, Intellibrite Color LED lights, Tropical Breeze PebbleTec, Pentair Legend Platinum pressure side pool cleaner

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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    Also, you really shouldn't have to go to the pool store to get your water tested. The Taylor kit that you have is a good one, but like Jason was saying, the DPD component of that kit is limited in what it can do. It would be a good idea to get a FAS/DPD kit for testing your chlorine levels. It is easier to read and can test for levels above 5 ppm (up to 50 ppm I think). This helps you when you need to shock. Taylor makes one that can be purchased online but you will get more mileage for your money by getting one from Trouble Free Test Kits here: http://www.tftestkits.com/index.php?act ... oductId=23. Once you burn through your Taylor kit, you might consider getting a TF-100 kit from the same site. They are top-notch and you will get more for your money.
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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    Quote Originally Posted by vtowntom
    If I start using regular bleach, in the long run, won't I have to eventually add stabilizer? If so, in what form does one normally buy stabilizer?

    Now I gotta figure out how to drain the pool if I decide to do that. I know there must be a way to do it with the panel in service mode or something like that. That panel will take me awhile to learn.

    Thanks for the tips....
    If you physically drain water from your pool and replace it, you will eventually need to add CYA. But with cartridge filter pools, most of which don't have to option of sending water to "waste", splash out or siphoning is the only way that you will lose your CYA. There may be an exception to that as it has been discussed within this forum from time to time and it has to do with CYA loss secondary to biological activity in a pool that is closed during the winter. I think that it is still a theory though. Since you are down in Katy though, you probably won't close your pool like folks to the north do. Stabilizer can be bought as simply "stabilizer". The key is to look at the ingredients on the container. Stabilizer is noted as cyanuric acid or CYA.

    Check with your PB to see if there is a waste option on your pool. He would know. You can also tell by locating your cleanout drain in your flower bed. Our PB installed a 2.5" PVC line directly into the side of our cleanout to satisfy this purpose.

    If you don't have a waste option, then look at your pipe between your pump and your filter. There is probably a little connection there with a knob on it that looks like a hose bib. With your pump on, you can open that valve and it should spray water. You can drain using this valve by connecting a hose to it and running the hose to the curb so it will drain into the storm water collection on your street. This is a slow process and the pump must be on in order for it to work. Also, if you go this route, be sure to open your floor drain and close your skimmers to avoid pulling air into the pump when the water line drops below the skimmers.

    Just to confirm, are your certain about your CYA reading being 100 ppm? If your pool is new and you have only been using 3" trichlor pucks for a short time, it would be tough to get that CYA up that high, that quickly. The sooner the black dot in the test tube disappears, the higher the reading is. If you can fill the tube up completely and still see the dot, your CYA is low and not high. I only ask because this is a common mistake people can make when they are first learning the ins and outs of testing the water in their new pool.
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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    Yeah, there's a regular hose bib spigot on the top of my pump discharge piping, they used that when they did the pressure test on the plumbing. I also have an overflow line that runs to the street. Not sure if I can use that line to "pump" drain the pool though. I could also run a hose from the spigot to behind my house, there's a man made bayou/drainage culvert behind my house.

    Anyway, concerning the CYA test, I'll test again tonight, especially to see if the muriatic acid addition changed my PH, but also to do another CYA test. Maybe I'll have to "really" look to make sure that black dot is "totally" disappearing because it seemed to disappear right when the level was right at the bottom tick mark on the tube (which is the highest reading). I'm also going to check out the local Walmart for bleach prices.

    So its safe to say that switching to regular bleach will help lower my CYA? Or at the very least, stop it from rising so quickly? I'm gonna have to shop around anyway, especially once I run out of muriatic acid and tri-chlor pucks. I went to that website you linked to, about test kits. They have the "liquidator", is thaty simply a means of storing large quantities of liquid bleach? Or does it provide a way to safely get it into your pool water?
    Freeform 24' x 31' IG gunite, chlorine pool, 3'-4.5'-6.5' deep, 15K gallons, 8' Dia. Spa, Pentair CNC Plus 420 cartridge filter, IntelliFlo 4160 pump, WhisperFlow WF-30-2.5 HP Spa pump, Pentair .75 HP booster pump, Pentair MasterTemp 400 Heater, MDX Debris Removal system, Intellibrite Color LED lights, Tropical Breeze PebbleTec, Pentair Legend Platinum pressure side pool cleaner

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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    It is generally a little easier, at least for me, to do the CYA test outside when the sun is out. The light is just better and I trust my readings more that way.

    Switching the bleach won't lower your CYA, but it won't raise it either since there is no CYA in bleach.

    The Liquidator is a system that you can install to actively feed bleach into your pool over a period of time. One thing about BBB is that it does require more attention than other chlorinating methods. I have to add bleach every two to three days in the summer. Some folks have to add more often than that. Having a puck floater makes chlorinating convenient but it has it's drawbacks (CYA buildup). With a Liquidator, the BBB user is afforded a little more freedom as bleach is slowly and consistently fed into the pool water circulation, thereby maintaining a fairly steady state of FC. They come in 4 gallon and 8 gallon sizes. I don't own one but people seem to like them. Makes it nice if you have to go out of town for a week and nobody will be available to add bleach to your pool.

    Yes, check around on bleach prices. Wal-Mart and Costco are good places to find deals. You can also find sodium hypochlorite (bleach) in concentrations of 10% and 12.5% at some pool stores and big box hardware stores. The pool stores call it "liquid shock" and some have it and some don't.
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    Re: VtownTom's First Water Test...Comments please?

    Hi Tom,

    It is hard to imagine CYA of 100 with a new pool. Should you need a visual, just for clarity, try this: (scroll to bottom)

    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Chemi ... ntentID=44
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