Analyze this!

tim_pool_newbie

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 6, 2009
165
Being a new pool owner, I'm still learning my way through the world of pool chemistry. Having listened to all of your advice and converted from test strips to liquid drop test kits (using the HTH version right now, but ordering my TF-100 today! :-D ), I feel I'm getting a better handle on my pool's chemistry. :party:

But now that I feel confident in the numbers I'm receiving, I'm not so sure I'm as confident with what to do about the numbers when they are low or high!! :?: I've started using some of the different pool calculators (got one from my PB and downloaded the Pool Calculator to my iPhone that is touted on this forum), but would like yet a 3rd (or 4th or 5th) opinion from this forum.

If anyone cares to comment on any chemical adjustments I should make, my numbers are as follows:

FC - 1
TC - 1.5
TA - 80
pH - 7.2
TH - 200 (was 120, then 240 after pool store measured and had me add something to bring up hardness, now down to 200 after 1 week and 1 backwash)
CYA - 40 (I think - I'm still getting used to this disappearing dot test!!)

It seems I'm just about borderline minimum on some of these numbers and the pool calculators are telling me to add some stuff - what do you all think?
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
Your FC level is too low for your CYA level. With CYA of 40, you never want your FC to go below 3. What are you using to chlorinate your pool? If you're using the Nature2 Sanitizer, I believe you are adding CYA, which will increase over time and may be adding silver and copper as well which are unnecessary in a properly sanitized pool.

Do you plan on switching to liquid chlorine? If so, I'd take the packs out of the Nature2 and start adding liquid chlorine in the evening to reach your target chlorine level. Also, since your chlorine is too low right now, I'd suggest an overnight FC loss test to see if you need to shock. How does your water look?
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
Things look pretty good, but...

Your FC is low. With CYA = 40 your minimum FC is 3. This means you never want to let FC go below 3. To ensure this you need to test every day and add enough chlorine so that with daily loss you still have over 3 the next day when you test and add.

Also, I see that you have a Nature 2. We do not recommend alternative "sanitizers". I put it in quotes because they aren't. I have never had one, but I am sure other member will chime in with horror stories of metal staining, etc.
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
(edited to leave all this info I just typed in despite SOME people being quicker than me!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Where's that dead horse smiley?)
Hi there!
Thanks for posting such good info..
The biggest thing I see is that your FC is too low for your CYA (stabilizer level). Check out pool school and the CYA/Chlorine chart for a good start. You can also use the pool calculator's recommendations once you plug in all your info. From the CYA of 40 according to the chart you should be maintaining 3-5 ppm of FC. Never go below 3 and shoot for 5 when adding chlorine each evening. Having a FC of 1 makes your pool water dangerously low and in prime position for organics to take over...ie, green, algae growth, cloudiness, and CCs (the difference between FC and TC is .5 in your case, so you have CCs). CCs are what give redness and irritation and that chlorine smell.
Since your CCs are .5 there's a good chance you may have to shock the pool, but it may be that if you pull your FC up to 5 the CCs will burn off.


What kind of chemicals/products are you using to chlorinate or shock with at this time? (whoops, missed the nature 2...disconnect.) Your CYA is good so if you are using trichlor pucks or dichlor shock, please stop now. What have you added recently?

Study pool school and use the pool calculator and you'll be well on your way to a clear pool. Post numbers and amounts and any questions and we'll be around to help you!
:wave:
 

tim_pool_newbie

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 6, 2009
165
Thanks everyone for the quick and thorough responses!! I'm learning more and more every day - just now understanding the Chlorine/CYA chart and the relationship between the two!

Unfortunately I didn't know better when the startup company indoctrinated me and handed me a boat-load of chemicals (and prompty mailed me an invoice for $400 for all of it!!). While all the discussion on this forum about liquid chlorine and the BBB method makes sense, I figure at this point I'm already invested in the chemicals I have on hand and so I was hoping to use them up and then look at making the switch to alternative methods. I figure what I have might actually see me through to the end of this swim season, so I can start anew next year.

With that said, yes I am using the Nature2 - I figured I already paid for the $125 cartridge - might as well use it. And my understanding is that with this in place, you can maintain a lower FC level. So how does that play into the analysis? With a CYA of 40, the chart says my FC should be at 3, but can I maintain a lower level with the Nature2 cartridge in place? Or am I really doing some harm by having it in place at all?

Thanks everyone for being so patient and for spending the time to help educate others like myself who are new to all of this!

P.S. Almost forgot....I'm using Trichlor pucks (A&S Syl-Clor) (about 3 per week) and Dichlor granules (A&S Super Pool Treat)roughly once a week to shock. I've also added other chemicals they instructed me on, such as an Algaecide and Les-Iron.
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
I'm not familiar with the Nature 2 so someone else can chime in...but my understanding is that it's bunk that it helps sanitize the pool. All I think (help someone!!) is that it adds metals to your pool that you don't need and could cause you problems. I don't think it can allow you lower FC levels.

I do know that the trichlor pucks and the dichlor shock especially will send your CYA through the roof if you keep putting them in the pool. If you have to shock this pool and you use dichlor, and you shock properly as a process (outlined in pool school) the amount of dichlor shock needed to do so will quickly get your CYA into the 100 range and then....you'll have to drain your pool. And, if you don't adjust your FC range according to how much CYA you have (which will continue to go up up up during the season) you will be at risk of an unsanitary pool. You are already knocking on that door with a .5 CCs.

Bottom line is that for a CYA of 40 your minimum value is 3 and you should start out with 5 every day. So, you'll need to add chlorine to get there. You have a wonderful CYA level right now...many around here would love to have it. Please don't do anything to increase it. Even my local bioguard dealer subscribes to the notion of CYA of 40... :shock:

Make a list of what you have. If there's anything you can exchange or return, do so. Exchange for liquid chlorine. See what chems the stuff is and much of it we can probably advise best on how to use it up.
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
tim_pool_newbie said:
With that said, yes I am using the Nature2 - I figured I already paid for the $125 cartridge - might as well use it.
I wouldn't

tim_pool_newbie said:
And my understanding is that with this in place, you can maintain a lower FC level.
No, you can't

tim_pool_newbie said:
So how does that play into the analysis?
It doesn't

tim_pool_newbie said:
With a CYA of 40, the chart says my FC should be at 3, but can I maintain a lower level with the Nature2 cartridge in place?
Nope

tim_pool_newbie said:
Or am I really doing some harm by having it in place at all?
You are introducing chemical that doesn't give a real benefit and may cause issues in the future

tim_pool_newbie said:
P.S. Almost forgot....I'm using Trichlor pucks (A&S Syl-Clor) (about 3 per week) and Dichlor granules (A&S Super Pool Treat)roughly once a week to shock. I've also added other chemicals they instructed me on, such as an Algaecide and Les-Iron.
Isn't it interesting that with this great system that supposedly allows you to use less chlorine that you also have to do regular shocks and use algaecide?

Using the TFP method with the appropriate ( for a given CYA level) FC level maintained with liquid chlorine you don't need weekly shock or algaecide (or flock or clarifier or ...). This is because the method we promote causes proper sanitization.

I hope that you can see through this as the marketing gimmick that it is.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Poolgirl22 and svenpup are right on all counts. The Nature2 adds metals which could stain) and has no benefit whatsoever. Maybe you can get some $ on eBay for it.

BTW, I don't know if the title is purposeful, but if any of you've never seen "Analyze This" with Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal, you should!
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
The nature 2 is junk...my neighbor has one and although we argue that it can improve filtration, his water is crystal clear but has a greenish tint...no thanks...I haven't shocked in a year and a half, since finding TFP...except for shocking the water at pool closing and opened to a perfectly clear pool. Bottom line you need FC to sanitize a pool. Using Pucks and shocking once a week will only raise your CYA level and increase your FC requirement.

I like pool girls moto...chuck the pucks, be a jug dumper...otherwise use a swg :goodjob:


Almost for got Welcome to TFP :wave: and please take the time to read through pool school...it will open you eyes to what really going on with your pool
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
I just read about the Nature 2 a bit...and I stopped at copper.

You know the color of grass??

Yah, that's the color my daughter's hair turns whenever there's copper in a pool. This issue, alone, is 'just say no to nature 2'. Even if you have no blond children in your family, if one comes to swim in your pool....you'll have a mom like me swearing under her breath... :mrgreen:
It's really ugly when my brunette niece's hair turns green too.

I know you've invested some cash in things, but I assure you, if you chuck the pucks, ditch the dichlor, and disconnect the nature 2 and follow the common sense methods here, you'll be so happy...

Here's how I know this to be true....check the pic out..
 

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tim_pool_newbie

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 6, 2009
165
@Poolgirl22 - SOLD!! I think you just single-handedly convinced me to switch IMMEDIATELY to the BBB method!! :-D

As I sit here and ponder all the info provided in everyone's responses, I realize that while adding additional Dichlor will help raise my FC level, my CYA levels will rise as well (too high). So really, my only alternative is to add liquid bleach to raise the FC level without also raising CYA. Am I understanding this all correctly?

I've also just read some additional info on the Nature2 (including some of my own Internet research on other forums) and I think I'm going to go pull the cartridge out and put it back in the box!

Are my TA (80) and pH (7.2) levels OK though? Seems like they might both stand getting raised up a bit.

Is there a general rule of thumb for the order in which you treat your symptoms? I've read how some adjustments can cause other numbers to change as well, and even the pool store recently had me adjust the TH before tackling the CH levels.
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
Welcome to the cult...ain't that kool-aide delicious? :wave:

Your pH and TA are ok where they are (pH is right on the edge of low). Trichlor is net acidic, so when you use it your pH will usually trend down. When you switch to liquid chlorine your pH will usually drift up.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Your TA and PH levels are fine unless you are using trichlor or dichlor.

Generally speaking, get PH roughly into range first, add chlorine second, and do everything else third.

TH usually means total hardness. Adjusting CH also changes the TH, so doing TH before CH doesn't make sense.
 

poolgirl22

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
595
Stephens City, VA
:party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: (dancing to the tune of boom boom pow...black eyed peas)

Yah. That's what I'm here for...

And svenpup thought I was just showing off.....hah!!!

TA looks good and your ph at 7.2 is fine so long as it doesn't go down anymore...

I always say...the proof is in my backyard...

(I just added salt the other day so I'm particularly joyous this week!!)
 
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