Chemical Advice?

jeharley

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2017
45
Lexington, SC
I am a new pool owner and just wanted some advice from this forum before going to the pool store to fine tune my chemicals.

I have a 12,000 gallon gunite white paint/plaster pool with a sand filter.

My current readings using my TF100 kit:

pH 7.5
TC 5.5
FC 5.5
CC 0
CH 250
TA 130
CYA 20

I have successfully completed shocking the pool back from cloudy green to clear blue in the last week and also increased the TA and PH. The CYA, pH, alkalinity, and possibly CH were are allowed to be too low for a month or two. I am noticing when I run my finger a long the steps or wall that it leaves a significant layer of white substance on my finger. I think this is "chalking" from the pool chemistry being off. I am also noticing some minor cracking in the paint/plaster. I want to fine tune my chemicals in order to resolve this and protect my plaster/paint.

So, it looks like I need to get my acid up by about 20, and maybe go ahead and get my alkalinity down closer to 100 and CH up a little bit to give me some room for error. What do you all think of this plan and what recommendations would you give to attain optimal chemical balance? I am still learning what chemicals interact with others and which ones are optimal for my type of pool.

Also, There is still fine debris at the bottom of my pool that my sand filter is not picking up after multiple brushings and running the filter 24/7 for a week. I would like to avoid vacuuming to waste. Would a skimmer sock and vacuuming to filter eliminate most of this fine debris? If not, would deep cleaning the filter and/or adding DE possibly resolve it?

Thanks in advance!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,410
Evans, Georgia
Hey there JEHarley :) Are you in SC? Can you add your state to the "Lexington" over there on the left?? It makes it easier for us to answer your questions if we know your climate.

Is this a brand new plaster pool? How do you sanitize it? What have you added up to this point? If this is new you should be brushing it daily to get all the loose plaster dust into circulation and filtered. How is your filter pressure?

Your CYA is low. You need it to be 30-40 if you use liquid chlorine to sanitize, but if you have a SWG it needs to be about 80.

Your TA is a touch high, but not a vital thing to alter at this point. Calcium is low also and being so it can be hard on your plaster. Take it up to 325-350.

Have you tried PoolMath yet? Make sure you enter your gallons at the top, and how you sanitize and whose advice you want to take at the bottom and it will offer you suggested ranges. Then add your current test results in the far left column and where you *want* to be in the "target" column. Take a look at the CSI number at the bottom because that's important for plaster pools.

Bring back any new questions- Also have you read PoolSchool yet??

Yippee :flower:

Addendum: Please fill out a signature under "Settings" which tells us about your pool and equipment
 

jeharley

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2017
45
Lexington, SC
Thank you so much for the prompt response! You are correct that I am in SC. I will definitely update my profile soon with more information.

I have read pool school, but could not figure out how to get Pool Math to work until you explained it to me... thank you very much. I chose TFP recommendations and they are:

CH: 160 oz weight or 128 Oz volume calcium chloride or 212 Oz weight or 243 Oz volume calcium chloride dehydrate

CYA: 24 Oz weight or 25 Oz volume of stabilizer or 62 Oz liquid stabilizer. Also says solid stabilizer will lower my PH.

I'm not sure the difference between weight and volume when looking at product labels at the pool store. Also, not sure of the differences in the product options here and if there is any ideal combination of these products to avoid throwing off the rest of my chemical balance. I'm assuming I should get liquid stabilizer then if "solid stabilizer" lowers my ph. My PH is 7.5 so I don't really want it any lower.

Also, it's my understanding that the TF100 kit is more accurate than the pool stores test they run with the fancy electronic spinny thing and the computer. Is this correct? I was planning on having them test my water also and comparing theit results to mine.

Again, any advice is much appreciated!
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
Test your own water and trust the results, once you've learned good techniques. Pool stores are often sloppy with procedure or they have electronic devices that are not calibrated, run poorly or just not that good. It's more of all that than the test reagents themselves being better, as many stores use the same Taylor reagents that we do.

If this were mine, I wouldn't be overly concerned with CH 250, and I might opt to use Calcium HypoChlorite for Chlorine at least sometimes since you need both. It will add CH to your pool as you go, and its an option if your fill water is pretty soft.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,410
Evans, Georgia
The difference in weight and volume is the first uses a scale (like a diet scale) and the latter is if you were just using measuring cups.

Also CYA comes in granular form and liquid. They both are an acid so will only slightly lower your pH. It will be fine.
The liquid is more expensive (but I kinda like it these days) but the granular is easy to add by putting the desired amount in to a sock (tie it off) and let the sock sit in the skimmer basket to dissolve. Squeeze it now and then to speed it up, and keep the pump on until its gone.

Yeah, the fancy "electronic spinny thing" is only as good as its calibration (ha!) and the operator. Always go for the TF-100 instead as no one will care for your pool as well as you will.

Yippee :flower:
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
I am a new pool owner and just wanted some advice from this forum before going to the pool store to fine tune my chemicals.

I have a 12,000 gallon gunite white paint/plaster pool with a sand filter.

My current readings using my TF100 kit:

pH 7.5
TC 5.5
FC 5.5
CC 0
CH 250
TA 130
CYA 20

I have successfully completed shocking the pool back from cloudy green to clear blue in the last week and also increased the TA and PH. The CYA, pH, alkalinity, and possibly CH were are allowed to be too low for a month or two. I am noticing when I run my finger a long the steps or wall that it leaves a significant layer of white substance on my finger. I think this is "chalking" from the pool chemistry being off. I am also noticing some minor cracking in the paint/plaster. I want to fine tune my chemicals in order to resolve this and protect my plaster/paint.

So, it looks like I need to get my acid up by about 20, and maybe go ahead and get my alkalinity down closer to 100 and CH up a little bit to give me some room for error. What do you all think of this plan and what recommendations would you give to attain optimal chemical balance? I am still learning what chemicals interact with others and which ones are optimal for my type of pool.

Also, There is still fine debris at the bottom of my pool that my sand filter is not picking up after multiple brushings and running the filter 24/7 for a week. I would like to avoid vacuuming to waste. Would a skimmer sock and vacuuming to filter eliminate most of this fine debris? If not, would deep cleaning the filter and/or adding DE possibly resolve it?

Thanks in advance!
Welcome to the forum!

To save yourself some $$$, don't purchase your chemicals from a pool $tore if you don't have to. That fancy TA-up is nothing but baking soda, at 3X the price. If the local pool $tore carries bleach (liquid chlorine) that could be economical though, so check prices. This is my 3rd season with TFP, haven't set foot in a pool $tore for 3 years now :cool:.

What does the fine debris at the bottom of the pool look like? Is it so fine that it quickly dissipates into the water when you brush it, only to settle once again? If yes, that could be dead algae. How did you eliminate the algae? Did you SLAM the pool?
 

jeharley

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2017
45
Lexington, SC
Wow you guys are awesome. Very helpful.

1. So, I'm guessing the chemicals are labeled by weight so I should use that as my buying guide.

2. Calcium Hypochlorite sounds like a good idea. I have been using bleach, so I guess I could switch over to that temporarily until my CH gets up. Any idea how long that would take to get up in the 325 range?

3. I am trying to slowly move away from the pool store chemicals but I've only been treating the pool for a week and I wanted to lean on them initially to get water testing and some guidance until I could get the pool cleared up a bit and get my own good test kit. I think for acid and possibly CH increased I may still need to use the pool store?

4. The debris does dissipate and then return. I believe it is a combo of sand, dirt, dead algae, paint chalking, and other misc organic matter. I really hate vacuuming to waste so was hoping a skimmer sock would do the trick.

5. I initially dumped in two containers of smart shock that the previous owners had left directly into the skimmer and let the pump run on circulate for 2 hours and then ran to filter. I was told to do this by the pool tech who came to my house to repair the pump leak that had been preventing me from running the pump (the reason it turned green), but have since learned that it may have been bad advice. After that, I went to the pool store and they tested and gave a variety of chemicals and instructions to increase alkalinity, raise ph, and shock the pool. After I did all that, I started using the SLAM method on this site using liquid bleach.
 

jeharley

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2017
45
Lexington, SC
When I search Cal Hypo, most of the products are shocks. I see some tablets so I'm guessing that's the option I could use to maintain chlorine and boost CH by putting them in my skimmer.
 

jeharley

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2017
45
Lexington, SC
I did:

1. One pound of solid stabilizer granules in an old sock in my skimmer basket.

2. Six pounds of Bio Guard Balance Pak 300 calcium hardness increaser (pretty sure this is just calcium chloride with a brand name to make it harder for you to figure out for yourself). I just scattered this into the water as it said to do so on the bucket and specifically stated not to dissolve because it creates heat.

Went a little on the light side and will test again once the stabilizer is completely dissolved and go from there.

BTW, with these chemicals needing to circulate thru the filter until fully dissolved in the pool, would it be wise to hold on trying out the skimmer socks until after this process is complete? I'm leaning towards yes as I assume the sock could catch some of the chemicals and reduce their effectiveness.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped me.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
No worries, we are happy to help! :goodjob:

You could put the contained Stabilizer in a basket with no skimmer sock on it, and you should. Otherwise no worries about socks on baskets elsewhere, but it's best not to put any chems in those that have them. If you want to use Cal-Hypo bags or tubs of powders in the future its fine even though its called "shock." Simply use Pool Math for the correct amount/strength and use it as a regular dose of Chlorine. Down at the bottom of Pool Math, it will tell you the effects of adding anything to your pool that you select.

Generally, we don't suggest leaving any sort of Chlorinating products like tabs or powders in the skimmer. Leaving the stabilizer (in socks) there for a short time while it dissolves however, is no big deal though.

Don't hesitate with any other questions that happen to arise.
 

jeharley

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2017
45
Lexington, SC
Just did some follow up testing (6 days later) and now perplexed and annoyed.

My results:
CH: 200 (decrease of 50)
CYA: 20 (no change)

I added a pound of CYA that should have increased the CYA by 10 ppm
I added 6 pounds of CH increaser which should have increased it by approximately 40

I followed the instructions on the bottle for both chemicals. I first scattered the CH increaser directly to the deep end and then brushed shortly after.

I then inserted the CYA into the skimmer basket in an old sock. Some leaves n such got blown into my pool and sucked into the skimmer which depressed the sock and caused the CYA to release entirely in a matter of a few hours.

I waited 4 days before backwashing (the bottle said 48 hours, a poster on here said a week).

I have brushed and vacuumed over the last couple days which made the pool cloudy due to paint chalking and potentially other debris. The pool was still a bit cloudy this morning when I tested, so I don't know if that could affect my results.

I also have filled the pool with tap water from the garden hose a couple times since adding the chemicals... I'd say I have added 3 inches max total.

Any ideas about what I may have done wrong or what could be causing this? I want to get my chemicals balance right and this is very disappointing. I added about $20 worth of chemicals with no (or adverse) results.

HELP! Thanks!

P.S. I apologize for not updating my profile/sig with my pool info. It is contained in the original post. I will attempt to add it now.

- - - Updated - - -

FC is 4 and PH is 7.5... I did not test TA
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
Just did some follow up testing (6 days later) and now perplexed and annoyed.

My results:
CH: 200 (decrease of 50)
CYA: 20 (no change)


- - - Updated - - -

FC is 40 and PH is 7.5... I did not test TA
Why is your FC so high? You are at 200% of your CYA level!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Sammy2

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2016
378
Riverside, CA
Welcome to the forum!

To save yourself some $$$, don't purchase your chemicals from a pool $tore if you don't have to. That fancy TA-up is nothing but baking soda, at 3X the price. If the local pool $tore carries bleach (liquid chlorine) that could be economical though, so check prices. This is my 3rd season with TFP, haven't set foot in a pool $tore for 3 years now :cool:.

What does the fine debris at the bottom of the pool look like? Is it so fine that it quickly dissipates into the water when you brush it, only to settle once again? If yes, that could be dead algae. How did you eliminate the algae? Did you SLAM the pool?
I have found that MA is of 31.45% at Leslies and only 14.5% at Home Depot for the same price so it is cheaper at the pool store.
 

jeharley

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2017
45
Lexington, SC
So I put in 6 more pounds of CH increaser yesterday. I waited 24 hours and tested again just now. It now says my CH is 325 although the amount of CH increaser I added should have only gotten it to 240. Thus leads me to believe that the cloudiness of the water due to chalking yesterday diluted my test sample and caused it to be incorrect and the CH yesterday was actually already at about 290. Either that or I'm just testing high today because I just added the CH increaser yesterday. I'm going to assume 325 is correct since that puts me in a good range for a gunite pool haha...

I tested CYA again and it's showing about 25. I'm going to try and raise that to at least 30 and go from there. I think I lost 6 ppm chlorine in 24 hours so I need to get that to hold better.
 

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