Chemical Question - new pool - Help

Jul 7, 2012
We now have our 16 x 48 Intex Ultra Frame pool set up and filled. So two nights ago we started to tackle the water balancing. The PH was high so we added PH minus. That brought the PH down to 7.4. So then we shocked it let it sit overnight. In the morning the chlorine was 8-10. By the time we got home from work the chlorine registered 0 and the PH was up to 8.2 again. So another round of PH minus, let it circulate for 30 minutes. PH back down to 7.4. Added Bleach and let it circulate for an hour so the kids could swim. Last night around 10:00 I shocked it. This morning the chlorine was off the chart. I figured it might be since we did the bleach and then the shock. But stopped by home on lunch and chlorine is already down to 0 and PH is high again. TA is also high. Am I missing something? Why do the levels keep dropping during the day? Any suggestions?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
pH keeps climbing because TA is high. Keep adjusting pH and each time the acid demand should go down and eventually it will find the sweet spot and stay steady for a few days at a time.

FC keeps dropping because you have something growing in the water and/or your CYA level is too low and sunlight degrades it. There's also the possibility that CYA is too high, rendering your FC useless against whatever's in the water, but I'd expect to see some FC left.

You need to get a proper test kit first. Save time, just go to and order a TF100, I recommend the XL option because you'll likely need to perform the shock process. Then start reading Pool School.
Jul 7, 2012
CYA levels are good according to the test strips. I picked up a 6 way drop kit last night. I'm not sure the brand..HTH I believe. I'll test everything later when I get home and let you know.

I've read a bunch on Pool School. But it's a slew of info and hard to process it all. I went by the section for intro to temporary/seasonal pools. Hey, at least the water is clear right?
Jul 7, 2012
Test results as of 6:45 tonight. This is after adding PH minus around noon.

PH 7.2
Chlorine .5
TH 160
TA 310
CYA 30+ I could still see the black dot on the bottom.
Jul 7, 2012
duraleigh said:
CYA 30+ I could still see the black dot on the bottom.
You are misinterpreting the CYA have zero if you can see the dot when the view tube is full.
I could be. The instructions are not very good. The tube was full and I could still see the dot. How do I raise the CYA. My chlorine is gone by the time I get home from work. The pool does get a full sun all day.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
CYA acts as an umbrella to protect chlorine from being burned up by the sun. You don't have any so your chlorine is burned up every day.

read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School.

CYA is available at a pool store or any place that sells pool chemistry...WalMart HD, Lowe's, etc.
Jul 7, 2012
I was just at Walmart and looked at the Stabilizer/Conditioner and almost bought some. But I didn't want to spend another $20 if I didn't have to. Guess I'll get some tomorrow.
Jul 7, 2012
Okay, I added Stabilizer/Conditioner and the FC is holding thruout the day. That's the good news. The bad news is my water is getting cloudy. It was clear. After adding the stabilizer/conditioner it seems cloudy. FC is holding right around 3/4. I'm not sure what my CYA level is now as I ran out of the reactant in my test kit. So I'm going to take it into the pool store to get a good accurate test. Do you think I might have added too much stabilizer? Would that make it cloudy?


Well-known member
Jun 28, 2012
Butler, PA
If you added CYA it will take about a week to register so you do have time to get reagent and test (next week). With just adding it even if you were to take a reading (provided you had the reagent or took it to a pool store ~ the reading will be off because it hasn't had enough time in your water to be detected). Also note: After a week's time if you took a sample to a "store" they will likely give you an inaccurate reading as they use the strips to test & the strips are inaccurate. We test with the reagent here and have had a variance in readings. Yesterday I tested mine for a second time ~ with my back to the sun / tube at waist level. I emptied the tube 3 times and triple-checked myself and am going with that number. This is the most difficult test to "nail" in my opinion. But in saying that you can reuse the solution (empty the view tube back into the bottle and see if you get the same number or have someone else get the reading and compare ~ you can do this a couple times to decide).

If you know the amount of stabilizer you added to bring you to level "x" for now assume you have achieved level "x" and chlorinate based on that figure (you'll use the Chlorine/CYA Chart to get you FC levels for shock and/or maintenance. If you are unsure you'll have to make the best guess you are able to based on the numbers of bottle(s) you used / remainder left. And then try from this point forward not to blindly dump & it's pretty helpful to use a spreadsheet or even a tablet to note what you did in your pool each day so you can reflect a day / week or so later when memory fails.