Another newbie - some help please

dewdrop519

Active member
Aug 13, 2010
26
St.Louis, MO
New here - love this site - sorry for the long post, but I need help please! Brand new small pool owner, just filled up the pool Sunday night and started with the BBB. First 4 nights added "pool shock" but chlorine levels would be 5 in the morning and drop to nothing after 1-2 hours of sunlight, so we've been adding extra bleach per the pool calculator. Finally did more checking and reading and realized yesterday the hth product we bought was cal-hypo, not dichlor, so we weren't getting any CYA. So yesterday (Thur) DH went to the pool store and came home with 1.75 lbs of granular CYA. The pool guy told him to add the whole thing and that would raise the level to about 100. DH asked if that was too high and he said no its only a problem if over 200. (!!) This morning I'm reading the directions on the empty container and it says to add 1 lb per 3000 gallons of water to provide initial level of 40 (and to run the pump for 24 hours).

So he and our son swam yesterday evening and son came out with a dirty swim diaper. Great. We didn't do anything last night but get out of the pool. Evidently we shouldn't check the CYA for a week, but I checked it this morning (about 14 hours after adding) to find out chlorine shock level and the CYA is over 100 - maybe 120?. I've only got enough CYA reagent left for one more test - will have to order more online. I've got the hth 6-way drop test from walmart.

So my first question is do I bother shocking the pool with a gallon of bleach, or are we going to have to drain half the pool first to get the CYA down?
After that, how long do I need to maintain the shock level? Do I need to buy the kit to test the FC drop overnight to determine when to stop shocking? How long before the high CYA becomes a problem?

pH has been good. It was high the first morning, but brought it down and its been 7.2 to 7.5 ever since.

Thanks so much - love this sight. Its overwhelming at first, but I'm finding it interesting. Just hope we can figure it all out soon!
 

dmanb2b

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Apr 4, 2009
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I'm usually against doing this, but with a 1,700 gal pool you are probably better off draining the whole thing and starting over. The additional water cost and another dose of CYA will be far cheaper than trying to shock with CYA levels at 100 and what is likely not a great filter to clear up any biological matter.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Good Morning. Welcome to the forum. :lol:

I agree with dman to drain the pool. Get a good start by reading and asking lots of questions up in pool School....particularly the ABC's of pool water chemistry.

With a clean start, you'll probably not have to shock for the rest of the pool season. In fact, if you have not purchased any more CYA yet, you could keep the pool chlorinated with about 30 cents worth of Clorox each day since there's not too much of the season left.
 

dewdrop519

Active member
Aug 13, 2010
26
St.Louis, MO
Darn, I was afraid of that. I can't believe the pool guy told him to add that much CYA - that didn't even match the instructions on the container. At least its only a small pool, relatively speaking, but I still hate to have to fill it twice within a week. :cry:
Next year we will probably upgrade the filter pump. I'm aware Intex pumps are usually undersized, but was hoping it would take care of us if we kept our water in check. Oh well.
Thanks so much for the quick replies. I really appreciate it. This is a great site and I've learned a lot already considering I knew absolutely nothing a week ago.
 

dewdrop519

Active member
Aug 13, 2010
26
St.Louis, MO
Dave, I figure we've got another month or so to swim, maybe til end of Sept, and we don't have anymore CYA on hand. However the chlorine seems to burn off in no time in the sunshine. You really think we could get by without adding CYA in some form again? Would we need to keep checking and adding chlorine throughout the day if needed? Is it okay if its gone each night?
It's basically just me, my DH and son who'll be using the pool, and the likelyhood of another diaper incident is possible.
 

duraleigh

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Dave, I figure we've got another month or so to swim, maybe til end of Sept, and we don't have anymore CYA on hand. However the chlorine seems to burn off in no time in the sunshine. You really think we could get by without adding CYA in some form again?
YOu've got a good recognition of the situation. Here is a strategy you can consider.

1. each evening, add 1pint of Clorox....that'll raise your FC by 6ppm and kill all the organics in your pool. You should be somewhere around 5ppm in the morning assuming you are starting off with algae-free water.

2. By noon or 1PM or so, add another 1/2 pint to the pool and that should keep you chlorinated until dark. So you would have to add twice daily but that shoud keep an FC residual in your pool making it safe and sanitary.

3. You should confirm that it's working by performing the OTO chlorine test for a few days and adjust your FC dosage as needed. At the same time double check your pH and adjust with muriatic acid (down) or 20 Mule team borax (up) as needed.

That's it. Next year you can start out right with CYA and lower your FC consumprtion but this will get you through the rest of this summer with VERY little expense.

PS - Keep the pool as clean as you can by vacuuming/brushing filtering. A dirty pool naturally promotes bacteria and algae growth.

There are some other ways of doing this but they all involve buying something else. YOu should be able to do this with what you have on hand at the house.
 

dewdrop519

Active member
Aug 13, 2010
26
St.Louis, MO
At 6:30 this morning the TC was 2, now its 1 after bright sunshine all morning. pH is still 7.2 Water is clear. Haven't been able to bring myself to drain it yet. Also not willing to get in. Still really bummed about the CYA overdose. We would have been fine except for that.
 

Peter_S

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2010
70
NE Ohio
How about a partial drain? It will still make things more manageable.

I'd go back to the pool store and demand another container of CYA - they gave the bad advice - you should' have to pay for it.

lol on the dirty swim diaper. Had the same thing last year. Not realising he was dirty I made it worse by playing with my little boy near the return line. He was enjoying the tickles on his tummy so I kind of rinsed most of it out of the diaper before I realised what was happening :oops:
 

dmanb2b

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Apr 4, 2009
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The partial (at least 50%) drain would certainly help, but you'll need to go through the shocking process, which even at a CYA of 50, you'll need a fas-dpd test kit to measure chlorine at shock level. Either will work...I HATE wasting water, but it just may be the more economical choice, given your pool volume and the fact that once the remaining algae is dead, it will take forever and a day to filter out the cloudiness with an intex cartridge filter. If we were talking 10-20K gallons...shock away, but you could be swimming tonight if you do a full drain.

Sorry for the disappointing news :cry:
 

dewdrop519

Active member
Aug 13, 2010
26
St.Louis, MO
Re: ".....you could be swimming tonight if you do a full drain"

Okay dman, you just convinced me to drain. Sigh. The pool took over 4 hours to fill, not sure how long it will take to drain and not looking forward to the swampy yard, but I guess it will be less work (chemically) overall and we're sure to have clean water in less time. It will probably be tomorrow before we're swimming though.
Thanks again to everyone for the replies. From now on, no one is adding ANYTHING to the pool without checking here and the calculator first - regardless of what we're told.
 

dmanb2b

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Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
dewdrop519 said:
Re: ".....you could be swimming tonight if you do a full drain"

Okay dman, you just convinced me to drain. Sigh. The pool took over 4 hours to fill, not sure how long it will take to drain and not looking forward to the swampy yard, but I guess it will be less work (chemically) overall and we're sure to have clean water in less time. It will probably be tomorrow before we're swimming though.
Thanks again to everyone for the replies. From now on, no one is adding ANYTHING to the pool without checking here and the calculator first - regardless of what we're told.

Good luck...and now that I'm thinking clearly...tonight would be possible, but the water would be awfully chilly :shock: ...either way it would be a minimum of 3+ days shocking/filtering the other way without a good test kit. Once your done filling, you can also use dichlor to chlorinate and bring CYA up a bit, but you do not want your CYA above 30-40ppm at this point in the season.
 

dewdrop519

Active member
Aug 13, 2010
26
St.Louis, MO
Drained the pool last night and it took forever!! Pulled the plug and hooked up the hose around 7pm and it was still probably 1/3 full when I went to bed at 11. DH used the shop-vac to empty the last of the water this morning and then vacuumed it out and put in a new filter. Then he filled it up and we swam right away. We'll test and make additions tonight. We may just try the CYA-free method that Dave suggested. We'll see if we can keep chlorine levels up in the bright sunshine. Cold front coming in tonight so it should be less humid and only in the low 90's tomorrow. If/when we need to shock it, I know it will take less bleach, but I'm assuming it will also be harder to keep at shock level. I think I still need to order the better FC test kit to check for higher levels and overnight loss.