Balancing Help

Jbthompson

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2019
51
Texas
Hi everyone! I am a new pool owner (well since October) and could use some help. When we opened our pool in October, I was given a Pentair test kit and told to monitor chlorine and PH weekly. Add more pucks or shock if chlorine was low, add muriatic to level PH. I have done that faithfully and our pool has looked great with clear water every since. About a month ago, I started noticing my chlorine levels were staying low and started seeing algae pop up. I started shocking the pool weekly with granule shock, and started researching which led me here! I got the Taylor test kit (almost returned it because I was so overwhelmed) and did my first test today. Here are my numbers!

FC: 2.0
PH: 7.6
TA: 120
CH: 220
CYA: 90

I am buying calcium chloride for the hardness, should be here tomorrow. I know CYA is high and I have read that draining the pool is the solution. I am not super excited to do this and honestly I don't know how. Thoughts? I also bought a 40lb tub of chlorinating pucks last month but should I no longer use those? Do I need to pull them out of the chlorinator since they are causing CYA to increase?? I have soured liquid chlorine and pool math says I need about 2.5 gallons. TIA!
 

anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
587
Berks County, PA
I'm going to chime in here, not from the perspective of the CYA issue - since I know very little about that - but rather thoughts on draining. since this is something I've been considering doing also. Your signature doesn't mention whether you have vinyl or plaster. If you have plaster and are going to drain during the hot part of the summer, it's best to do it as quickly as you can - keep the plaster wet as the water is draining - and then fill it as fast as you can. To that end, best to rent a trash pump that does 200-300 gpm, and then have the water supply close at hand so as to start filling it right away. If you could do it on a cloudy, overcast (even a bit rainy) day - all the better so as not to have the hot sun dry out the plaster as quickly. Others here may suggest that you don't need to completely drain the pool in order to add enough water to lower the CYA level sufficiently. If you do plan to drain all the water, and your pool has pressure relief valves at the bottom, I was told those need to be opened prior to the water level reaching the floor. You can also use various submersible pumps, but they take a lot longer (many are under 100 gpm). Since you have 27k gallons, I'd get a trash pump with a 3" discharge hose. My local hardware store rents one for $38/day. The other consideration, of course, is where you're going to go with the water. You might want to check with the local regulations in your municipality, unless you have a big enough yard to do it.

Best of luck.
 

Jbthompson

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2019
51
Texas
I'm going to chime in here, not from the perspective of the CYA issue - since I know very little about that - but rather thoughts on draining. since this is something I've been considering doing also. Your signature doesn't mention whether you have vinyl or plaster. If you have plaster and are going to drain during the hot part of the summer, it's best to do it as quickly as you can - keep the plaster wet as the water is draining - and then fill it as fast as you can. To that end, best to rent a trash pump that does 200-300 gpm, and then have the water supply close at hand so as to start filling it right away. If you could do it on a cloudy, overcast (even a bit rainy) day - all the better so as not to have the hot sun dry out the plaster as quickly. Others here may suggest that you don't need to completely drain the pool in order to add enough water to lower the CYA level sufficiently. Best of luck.
Thank you. Yes it is a plaster and gunite pool. Yeah I was worried about draining half of it and hurting the plaster if it dries out. It is HOT here, and my pool is in full sun literally all day, there is zero shade.
 

anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
587
Berks County, PA
I've read on many sites (and talked to several people) who advise against doing it in the summer. I have a replastered pool - renovated 6 years ago. So in my case, I'm even more susceptible to possible damage being that there are rarely bonding issues on an original coat as it is applied directly over the gunite shell, which creates a superior bond. When doing a re-plaster job, however, a bond coat is applied, which is good, but not as good. So, I'm really trying to avoid it yet this summer if at all possible. In your case, figuring an approximate discharge rate of 250 gpm, you could drain approximately 15k gallons in an hour. The water company I used 6 years ago -Aqua Duck - is able to transport about 6000-6500 gallons in one truck load. I don't recall how long it took to fill, but they also had a large hose. It went in pretty quick. If you're on municipal water supply and plan to do it yourself, have to figure on taking a few hours to refill - all time that you'd have to keep wetting down the plaster.
 
Last edited:

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,309
Laughlin, NV
Great job on the test results.
I would not add any calcium until you decide if you wish to drain some water or not.
You really need to follow the SLAM Process as you have algae. But you will need to drain about half your pool volume and refill.
What is the pool water temperature versus the water you would fill it with?
If you rent a high power sump pump from Home Depot, you can drain what you need in 3 or 4 hours and start refilling. If you start late afternoon, you should be able to have it mostly full by mid day the next day.
Draining does entail risk. Read Draining - Further Reading

You do need chlorine in your pool water. See FC/CYA Chart
 
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Jbthompson

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2019
51
Texas
Great job on the test results.
I would not add any calcium until you decide if you wish to drain some water or not.
You really need to follow the SLAM Process as you have algae. But you will need to drain about half your pool volume and refill.
What is the pool water temperature versus the water you would fill it with?
If you rent a high power sump pump from Home Depot, you can drain what you need in 3 or 4 hours and start refilling. If you start late afternoon, you should be able to have it mostly full by mid day the next day.
Draining does entail risk. Read Draining - Further Reading

You do need chlorine in your pool water. See FC/CYA Chart
Thank you. I think I am going to not drain at this time. I am very busy at work for the next month or so and I am worried about damaging the pool. Is it ok for me to add the liquid chlorine and calcium to address these deficiencies? Should I take out the puck chlorine completely?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,309
Laughlin, NV
If you do not wish to drain, you can attempt to maintain like a normal Pool Store pool. You will have algae. Just keep it at bay with lots of bleach. You should remove the puck. Add calcium or cal hypo. You will go through a lot of chlorine.
 

Jbthompson

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2019
51
Texas
If you do not wish to drain, you can attempt to maintain like a normal Pool Store pool. You will have algae. Just keep it at bay with lots of bleach. You should remove the puck. Add calcium or cal hypo. You will go through a lot of chlorine.
Ok I will try that. I could for sure see draining at some point in the future.
 

Jbthompson

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2019
51
Texas
Well I attempted to drain the pool and started yesterday. I drained about 40-50% of the pool, I really didn't want the plaster to be baking dry in the hot sun (its over 100 today). Pool is filling back up and my CYA is still over 100. So frustrating.
 

Jbthompson

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2019
51
Texas
Ok, so the pool filled back up last night. I added 3 gallons of 10% bleach last night. This morning, I tested the chlorine and could not get a reading. I added 2 more gallons, still nothing. CYA looks like its at 80. Will have to test it again tomorrow as I ran out of the reagent. What do I do now? Concerned there is no chlorine in the pool. The water is crystal clear.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,309
Laughlin, NV
How are you testing your FC? You add 11 ppm FC worth last night and 7 ppm this morning. Even a green swamp would still have chlorine in it.
 

Jbthompson

Well-known member
Oct 13, 2019
51
Texas
How are you testing your FC? You add 11 ppm FC worth last night and 7 ppm this morning. Even a green swamp would still have chlorine in it.
thank you. I am using the DPD Taylor kit. I just tried again, where it calls for two scoops of the reagent to turn pink, I did two tests with 10 scoops and the water just turned cloudy with no color change. I also have a basic Pentair kit and I’ve tested twice and it is showing no chlorine.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,309
Laughlin, NV
That is very strange. The liquid chlorine is fresh? Use your K1000 OTO kit. Yellow comparison. It will tell you for sure if you have chlorine in the water or not.