Any way to reduce CYA without draining?

Jun 17, 2019
10
Barrington IL
Hi. I'm new to this forum, and a fairly new pool owner. I just found out (for the first time!) that I can't use Trichlor forever and just forget about chlorine. So I bought a more complete test strip and found, as I expected after learning a little about CYA, that my pool's level is 100 ppm. So, is there any way to reduce that without draining?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,058
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
The only way to substantially reduce your CYA level in your pool water is to remove some of that pool water and replace with fresh.
How did you test the 100 ppm CYA? That is the limit of most test devices, especially at pool stores.
Can you fill out your signature so we know what pool type, volume, equipment, etc you have?

I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,886
NW Ohio
Welcome to TFP!

First, congratulations on the lesson. A lot of people go decades without learning about the downfalls of trichlor pucks, so recognizing that is something to be proud of regardless of how long it took. To quickly answer the question: Not in Illinois. There are some Reverse Osmosis companies in areas which suffer from water user restrictions, but definitely not in the Midwest. Water replacement is the only guaranteed way to reduce CYA.

However, the longer answer is to not make any water decisions based on test strips. They are extremely unreliable and we have seen several people even in the past week who have asked why their test strips show 50 CYA on a new fill (which would have no CYA in it). It really takes a good drop based kit like the Taylor K-2006c or TF-100 to get a good read on your water chemistry and make educated choices on where to take it.
 
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Jun 17, 2019
10
Barrington IL
hi ed.....
how does your water look... clear, cloudy, green?
Thanks everyone for the quick answers. Actually, the water looks great. I've always used the Trichlor pucks, never liquid, so I'm now not surprised to find the CYA level is high, but it sounds like I need to get a Taylor test kit. I tested it with a brand new test strip Pool Check 6 strip from International Test Systems.
 
Jun 17, 2019
10
Barrington IL
Welcome to the forum!
The only way to substantially reduce your CYA level in your pool water is to remove some of that pool water and replace with fresh.
How did you test the 100 ppm CYA? That is the limit of most test devices, especially at pool stores.
Can you fill out your signature so we know what pool type, volume, equipment, etc you have?

I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
Thanks Marty. I just updated my signature. I tested with brand new Industrial Test Systems Pool Check 6 in 1 strips
 
Jun 17, 2019
10
Barrington IL
Thanks everyone for the quick answers. Actually, the water looks great. I've always used the Trichlor pucks, never liquid, so I'm now not surprised to find the CYA level is high, but it sounds like I need to get a Taylor test kit. I tested it with a brand new test strip Pool Check 6 strip from International Test Systems.
Sorry, Industrial Test Systems, not "International".
 
Jun 17, 2019
10
Barrington IL
hi ed.....
how does your water look... clear, cloudy, green?
Clear. I've had algae problems only a couple of times, when my chlorine feeder ran out. Then I would always refill it, shock the pool, and the problem would subside. My pool has just a little green tinge on the walls, very slight, but the water looks nice and clear.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,058
Laughlin, NV
TFPC cornerstone is pool owner testing with a proper test kit. Strips are essentially guessing.
Order the test kit.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,171
Morris Cnty NJ
Exchanging water isn't hard to do and you can do a little at a time like 6 inches a day or a foot etc. Can also drain down and setup tarps to collect rainwater and help slowly fill it back up if weather is wet. Lots of ways if you dont have city water
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
Just want to warn the OP. My CYA is high too and I have limited water resources for drain and refill. There is a new product that lowers CYA BUT I would highly recommend not using it. I read a story online about a guy that tried it. It lowered his CYA, but it caused his ammonia to go through the roof. He ended up spending hundreds of dollars dumping gallons of chlorine in to the pool to kill the bacteria that the product introduced into his water. And then he still had to deal with the ammonia.

Bottom line, listen to the experts here. They will help you in your current situation WITHOUT you needing magic potions that end up causing more problems than they solve.
 

shanebo

Well-known member
May 25, 2017
114
Southern NJ
CYA of 100 is not that bad, especially if your pool is clear and there's no SLAM in you immediate future. I would do like previous posters have said -- switch to liquid chlorine and exchange a little bit of water at a time until you get it to a more manageable level.

FWIW, with all the rain we've been having in NJ my CYA has been dropping about 10 ppm/month -- I'm struggling to keep it at 70 ...
 
Jun 17, 2019
10
Barrington IL
CYA of 100 is not that bad, especially if your pool is clear and there's no SLAM in you immediate future. I would do like previous posters have said -- switch to liquid chlorine and exchange a little bit of water at a time until you get it to a more manageable level.

FWIW, with all the rain we've been having in NJ my CYA has been dropping about 10 ppm/month -- I'm struggling to keep it at 70 ...
TFPC cornerstone is pool owner testing with a proper test kit. Strips are essentially guessing.
Order the test kit.
Got a Taylor test kit, K2006. It's actually at 160 CYA! But my water looks good. I'm currently using liquid chlorinator to keep FC at around 12ppm (i.e., 7.5% of CYA). My pool guy thinks I don't need to drain it, says he has customers who use nothing but Trichlor, ever, and their water is fine. From what I read now, I'm surprised I don't have more algae problems, as I had been keeping the Chlorine at about 2-4 ppm. Any thoughts?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,058
Laughlin, NV
I would personally drain at least 75% of your water and replace with fresh. But, as others have said, you can manage high CYA if you want. Testing your pH is the issue. Getting an accurate pH test with FC above 10 ppm is problematic.

Your 'pool guy' doesn't swim in the brew that others have. Once you have true TFP water, you will never go back to the chemical brew of trichlor, 'shock', and algaecides ---
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
Yeah your pool guy is incorrect. I had trichlor all last year, and the water was clear. But I kept getting black algae blooms. Just spots here or there. I'd brush them away, but then later they'd show up again. Finally used algaecide (bad idea). The problem was my CYA was skyhigh.

Came here, learned the TFP way, and the pool is so much better off for it!
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Got a Taylor test kit, K2006. It's actually at 160 CYA! But my water looks good. I'm currently using liquid chlorinator to keep FC at around 12ppm (i.e., 7.5% of CYA). My pool guy thinks I don't need to drain it, says he has customers who use nothing but Trichlor, ever, and their water is fine. From what I read now, I'm surprised I don't have more algae problems, as I had been keeping the Chlorine at about 2-4 ppm. Any thoughts?
You DO have algae problems. "My pool has just a little green tinge on the walls, very slight, but the water looks nice and clear. " Will it still be nice and clear after you brush the walls?

Your pool guy may have been dumping algaecides in the pool. Maybe even using the "blue" trichlor pucks with copper added. There's no denying copper is a great algaecide; it just doesn't kill bacteria and viruses fast enough and tends to build up and stain the walls and turn blonde hair green.
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
260
Michigan
You DO have algae problems. "My pool has just a little green tinge on the walls, very slight, but the water looks nice and clear. " Will it still be nice and clear after you brush the walls?

Your pool guy may have been dumping algaecides in the pool. Maybe even using the "blue" trichlor pucks with copper added. There's no denying copper is a great algaecide; it just doesn't kill bacteria and viruses fast enough and tends to build up and stain the walls and turn blonde hair green.
Plus the combination of copper and CYA can create copper cyanaurite, which causes purple staining and can even turn the entire pool purple.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,886
NW Ohio
The majority of people on this site managed our pools that way for a while without problems. I mean, sure, we got algae but never an "algae problem". A little green on the walls is perfectly normal, especially in the heat of summer. Just gotta spend a little money on algaecides, that's just how things are done, right? And sometimes you needed a clarifier because the water was a bit cloudy, but it didn't look like algae.

And then the big one hit, the one we couldn't quite figure out how to fix, and we started searching online. And stumbled upon some forum talking up crazy looking test kits and odd sounding chlorine levels. And a lot of people turned right away there, but some of us were ready to give something a try. And then we see it, one day we see the sun hit just right. That sparkle. And someone asks us if we use some low-chlorine system because they don't smell chlorine, and we are afraid to tell them we bumped up the FC to 8 before the party. A number we thought was dangerous to swim in just weeks before.

And then one day you hear a pool pro say something incredibly dumb, and it clicks that you recognized what they said and why they were wrong and that they might not be as smart about pool chemistry as you once believed they were. Which is a day you remember.
 
Jun 17, 2019
10
Barrington IL
I would personally drain at least 75% of your water and replace with fresh. But, as others have said, you can manage high CYA if you want. Testing your pH is the issue. Getting an accurate pH test with FC above 10 ppm is problematic.

Your 'pool guy' doesn't swim in the brew that others have. Once you have true TFP water, you will never go back to the chemical brew of trichlor, 'shock', and algaecides ---
Thanks a lot Marty, and everyone, for the quick responses. Guess I know what I have to do now!
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
1,063
Milwaukee, WI
Sometimes, we get lucky and stumbled across something that worked for us for the few months we've had the pool, find this page, and find out we've pretty much been doing this without even realizing it. :)