Can I trust this CYA reading?

vagrowr

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2010
13
Richmond, Virginia
I opened my pool about 2 weeks ago and had a bit of a green algae issue, nothing severe but the water was a solid green. I shocked the pool the way I was told (this is pre TFP unfortunately) with the granular type of chlorine. Shortly thereafter I discovered this fine site and switched over to the BBB method. The water is clean but cloudy and has been for a week now. I keep trying to shock but if my CYA reading is correct I know it's not enough. I read in the "turn your green swamp into a sparkling oasis" article not to trust a CYA reading from a murky pool. Just last night I drained about 7" and it's just about refilled now. My CYA reading is 20 ppm HIGHER! I did use about 32 oz of Algaecide 50% (because I had it). It's the alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride type. Did that affect it or is the cloudy water reading not to be trusted? The sample from the pool does not appear cloudy however. Here are the last test results:

pH - 7.2
TA - 110
FC - >5 (test kit only goes up to 5 and I just put in 6 gallons of bleach 6%; I know, get the TF100)
TH - 230?? (kit says add hardness indicator and sample will turn red if hardness present; it turned more like a pale yellow and when I added the titrant it turned a pale blue after 23 drops)
CYA - 110?? (was 90 before drain/refill)
 

coloeb

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2009
226
Ask the pool store to check your cya using water only, If they come back with a cya reading then the water is to cloudy to trust a reading.If the reading is zero then your cya is likely too high and I would do a partial drain.
 

PaulR

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
1,966
Cupertino, CA
He means, do a CYA test without adding any reagent, and see if there's any obvious cloudiness. That would interfere with the test, make it read higher.

Test results in the >=100 range are kind of unreliable anyway. Could be much higher. After you get your own test kit you can try diluting the sample to see what the level is really.
--paulr
 

vagrowr

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2010
13
Richmond, Virginia
I do have a drop test kit. The pool water by itself for the CYA test showed no visible cloudiness. I don't understand why my CYA went from 90 to over 100 (tube stops at 100, I'm guessing it's 110) after I drained 7" and refilled with well water. For good measure I tested my well water and not too surprisingly there is no CYA present. As I said earlier, I added about 32oz of a Algaecide 50%. Does that add to CYA too? The only other thing I added would be the 9lbs of tri-chlor shock but that was a week ago and before I read up on its side effects.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,713
Sebring, Florida
vagrowr,

You have a lot of things that need correcting so let me address just one of them to get you started....CYA.

The CYA test is simply not accurate at or above 100. That you drained 7" is not that much and it simply means you are in a range where your CYA is still too high to be measured within the accuracy of the test (+-10ppm).

Whether through one drain/refill of 50% or multiple drain/refills of a smaller amount, you need to continue to drain your pool until you can dependably measure your CYA at or around 50ppm. You will constantly be struggling if you try to manage that pool with it's current CYA.

Once you get CYA adjusted down to 50 or less, it will be much easier to manage your FC, which should be your next project.

We'll help and advise you all the way to balanced water but I think you would get a much more thorough understanding of your pool if you took it one step at a time.
 

vagrowr

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2010
13
Richmond, Virginia
Ok, I'll start the drain/refill process at a more significant level but I still don't get why my CYA went up after the drain/refill, even it was a small one.
 

vagrowr

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2010
13
Richmond, Virginia
Just wanted to revisit this. First, thanks for the help. I did a partial drain/refill and added some calcium. Latest readings:

pH - 7.5
TA - 110
CYA - 90
TH - 270

I know the TA and CYA should be lower but the water is crystal clear and my pH is steady. I add one 182oz bottle of bleach every other day and my Cl levels are good. Should I worry about lowering the TA and CYA levels?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
There is no need to worry about TA. Having TA around 110 is just fine as long as your PH is behaving.

CYA around 90 is livable, but it can cause problems. If you get algae, it will be very difficult to kill it all with CYA around 90. As long as you are careful to maintain the appropriate FC level and don't get algae you should be alright. Over time the CYA level should come down slowly.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
21,032
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Dilute your pool sample with tap water then test CYA. If you have a water filter or even one of those Brita filter jugs, use water from that. Carefully measure 50-50. Mix it good, then pour that into the CYA mixing bottle and proceed with the test as usual. Double your final reading.

The CYA test is affected by temperature, so be sure the sample is warm, especially if the dilution water came out of the refrigerator! You could even mix it and leave the bottle in the sun while you vacuum or something. Mix it real good then pour it in. Take a reading, pour it back into the mixing bottle, shake it some more, try again. Do it several times. I do mine on the patio, holding the tube about waist high with my back to the sun. So the tube itself is shaded but the background is bright. If you get the same reading +/-5 three times in a row, that's what I'd call it. Just remember you diluted it, so double the number.
 

Ladeda

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2010
15
Munford Tn
Thanks Richard!! This information should be on a sticky. I have wasted so much regent redoing this test, always questioning the results. This makes so much sense and saves on regent use.
 
Thread starter Other Threads of Interest Forum Replies Date
TulsaPool Just Getting Started 3
3asyB Testing and Balancing Your Water 7
C Spas and Hot Tubs 1

Other Threads of Interest