Balancing act

Midwestdude

Member
Jun 19, 2020
9
Indiana
As a newbie when it comes to pool maint. and chemistry I have to admit I'm struggling to get my head around how it all works. When we opened the pool this year (our first season) the water was surprisingly clear and the chlorine and Ph according to the liquid tests, and the water has stayed nice with minimal maint. till recently maybe a couple weeks ago we had a little cloudiness in our water and the Chlorine tested on the low side so I added granular chlorine according to the label. That and a backwash of the sand filter seemed to help as the water cleared back up.

We recently went away for an extended weekend and left the solar cover on. When we got back the water was cloudy with a bit of an aqua/teal cast (we're not talking thick cloudiness more like a haze especially as you look towards or down on the deep end). Not green but not blue. I'll try and list the things I tried as I feel I'm guessing at this now. With the cloudiness and color, I thought I should hit it with some Algaecide and I feel like I may have added too much, as the pool still has a cloudiness/haze to it the hue became blue. After allowing some time I retested the Chlorine and Ph and the Chlorine had dropped way down. So I added a dose of granular chlorine, that seemed to do nothing. The following day still cloudy I decided to do an HTH shock treatment to the water that claimed clear water in 24 hours. Well, 24 hours later still cloudy. I test the Chlorine and still low if not a little lower. At this point I begin to wonder if I had overdone the algicide and that was cancelling out the Chlorine I'd added through the shock or the granular. So I added an extra dose of granular chlorine mostly broadcasting it slowly and put some in the skimmer. After a couple hours or so I added a 3" tablet to the skimmer basket and put the floaters back in that had tablets left in them. I gave this another day and after retesting the Cholrine is where I want it to be. Could be that the excess algecide is slowly dissipating and no longer fighting against my chlorine? Ph is a in the acceptable range but I'd like it to be a little higher. The Algicide I uses was from Doheny's it's their Super Algicide.

From what I understand the most important number to get in range is total alkalinity. From what I understand if that is not where it should be balancing your Ph, Chlorine, etc. can be like trying to hit a moving target. Till I get a proper complete liquid knowing that TA number for sure. The previous owner just had a basic Chlorine/Ph liquid test kit and beyond that a couple bottles of test strips which as far as I can tell expired 5-10 years ago. The one I can read the expiration date is 5 years out of date the other the label is so warn it's nearly impossible to read. I've ordered a more comprehensive Talylor kit that I should get this week. Should give me a better idea where we stand with the balance. I definitely feel like it should be this much struggle.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,508
NY
017BDF4B-B508-4F82-9955-D0C58B27BB1A.jpeg

Sorry For the joke but I needed to get your attention. For the love of Pete stop everything you are doing. Add 3 ppm of liquid chlorine daily until your Taylor kit comes. Until then you are wasting your time and lots of money. Adding the chlorine will stop the pool from getting worse in the meantime.

start reading the basics.
ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
when you get your kit you will need toSLAM Process
but you can post your test results here and get guided along until you ‘get it’. It’s easy peasy stuff, Just a lot of terms and mumbo jumbo at first.
 

Midwestdude

Member
Jun 19, 2020
9
Indiana
An update, the day I posted this thread, I came home and saw my clarity had improved quite a bit, though still not completely clear the difference was noticeable. Yesterday it was even clearer, and today it's crystal clear. I should receive my test kit soon, but in the mean time I feel better about the condition of the water. I feel like the cloudiness that caused me to panic a little was probably due to the combination of overdosing the algecide, then hitting it with shock which I broadcast in straight from the bags (probably should have pre-disolved that in a bucket first), etc.

As a new pool owner it's easy to panic and start trying things before we fully understand what we're doing. Yesterday I retested the chlorine and it was back to where it should be. It's been a busy few weeks so I haven't had much spare time but I've been starting to read through the linked articles. While I know that once I get it this should be fairly easy. It is a lot of terms and a little overwhelming at first.

Reading through the SLAM process I've pretty much been doing most of the steps aside from doing the more complete test for FC, CC, CYA. Slowly adding chlorine since we got back from vacation has brought a daily improvement in overall clarity which is encouraging.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,508
NY
Glad it’s improving. Step one is the reliable test kit. Huge check mark off the list when it gets here. You need the true CYA reading to know where to properly keep your FC for the SLAM.

And you need to be able to test several times a day to do so. The more you keep the FC in target range each day, the faster the process goes. Testing once or twice just doesn’t cut it. Especially at first you can be under where you need to be in a matter of 30 minutes.

the ABCs take a few reads for most folks. I needed a few more than that even. Taking some time in between to digest and process helps it all sink in. In the end it’s some silly terms and you’ll smack your forehead when it clicks. Going to the pool store after that will be a different experience when you see their baking soda being called something fancy at $12 a pound instead of 50 cents. Or any of the snake oil potions designed to help for 3 weeks and bring you back with even bigger problems. They eventually make you drain the water and then they start you back on square one.

Post your #s when you get the kit and we will guide you until you don’t need us. We have nothing to sell you besides good will.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mdragger88

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,274
Hernando, Ms
The most important part is that you have no idea what your cya is so you cannot follow the FC/CYA Chart. So basically you’re just guessing as to what “normal range” for your free chlorine is. To add to that your various additions of chlorine
“ products”are likely raising your cya level. Like @Newdude said just add 3 ppm of liquid chlorine daily using PoolMath to calculate & read up in pool school. Also here’s some reading about algecides- they don’t do what you likely think they do. Algaecide - Further Reading
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newdude

Midwestdude

Member
Jun 19, 2020
9
Indiana
Hoping my test kit will arrive today, it was on back order. Pool is still clear as can be, but I know that doesn't mean everything's balanced like it should be. It'll be nice once I get the test kit and can get a true picture of our pool water. I'm sure thankful to have a pool it's been in the 90's lately. How did we ever get by without a pool? lol