Chlorine is ok, other stuff out of whack

Samiam

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2009
32
Southeast Iowa
What do I do when my water hardness is perfect and my chlorine level is a little high, according to the chemical indicator strips, but my CYA, PH and Alkalinity are all so low they don't even register. Where do I start?

Unfortunately, we live 45 minutes away from any official pool store water testing. I have used the kits and they have turned out to be very accurate when I have compared it to the pool store readings. But right now all I have are the strips.

Not sure how to add a signature, but I have a 20 x 40 in-ground (approx. 36,000 gallons), vinyl liner, in Iowa (only open six months out of year).
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,624
SouthWest Alabama
The best place to start is ordering a good test kit and tossing those strips. Strips are not to be trusted.

With a good test kit (see my sig) you can be sure of your numbers and not be guessing at what they may be.
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
10,576
East Texas
Get some pool store numbers and post them up for us. Edit your profile with a sig line and give us your pool specs so folks here can help. We will.
 

Samiam

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2009
32
Southeast Iowa
Re: Shock Level For CC Buildup

My total chlorine is 1.2 and FC is 0. My CYA is 103 and pH is 7.6. Total alkalinity is 165 with adjusted alkalinity at 134 (whatever that means...I'm just reprinting what's on my print-out analysis). Should I shock or leave it alone? The water is clear. It's an outside, in-ground pool about 36,000 gallons.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,624
SouthWest Alabama
Still haven't ordered that test kit huh?? :mrgreen: Just kidding you.

If you don't have and swcg you need to drain about half of your water to get the CYA down to about 50ish. Once you've done that you need to begin the shock process.
 

Samiam

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2009
32
Southeast Iowa
I actually did order a test kit, but the results I gave you aren't from the kit. They are from the analysis that I received from the pool people. They said the chlorine is too high but the free chlorine is 0. They said to leave everything alone, but I wanted to see what you thought. Thank you.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,829
Sebring, Florida
I would ignore their results and do your own testing. I simply have become completely jaded with pool store test results. Especially this year, they just seem to be completely unreliable.

However, assuming they are valid (which I would never assume), your CYA is too high to successfully manage your pool. Additionally your chlorine is w-a-a-y too low at any cYA level let alone a level that is excessive.

I would put their advice right about on par with what we've seen this year as pool store test results.....just about worthless.....sorry to be so negative but keep reading on this forum and draw your own conclusions.
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Most CYA tests can only test up to 100 and things get really subjective near/at that point. You can do the 50/50 dilution method (one part pool water and one part tap water and multiply the result by 2) to test your CYA to determine how close to 100 it is.

I hope you will post test numbers from your kit. There are Extended Test Kit Directions here: extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html
Let us know if you need any help.
 

Samiam

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2009
32
Southeast Iowa
Can my pool be crystal clear and feel and smell ok but still have problems? Even though the numbers seem wacky, the pool feels and looks great. I am so grateful that you all are here for me!!
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Samiam said:
Can my pool be crystal clear and feel and smell ok but still have problems?
Yep, it can. That is why you have a test kit, to be in control and know what is going on with the water. :wink:
Even though the numbers seem wacky, the pool feels and looks great. I am so grateful that you all are here for me!!
We're all glad to be here for you. Now, what are your test results? :-D
 

Samiam

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2009
32
Southeast Iowa
The results of the test kit are:
chlorine: 0
pH: 6.8
Total alkalinity: 230
Total hardness: 410
Cyanuric acid: 20
Since I have done nothing because I'm not sure what to do, the water has turned cloudy overnight. The temperature of the water is 86 just because it's been so hot here in Iowa. It looks to me like I definitely need to shock. What are your recommendations? Thank you.
 

Smykowski

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Samiam said:
Should I add algaecide? Is it ok to aerate the pool to increase the pH and lower the alkalinity in addition to the borax?
I would do what Butterfly said first.
Butterfly said:
First, use borax and raise the pH to 7.4 ish.
Then shock the pool using Pool School directions.
Post back if you have any questions.
Worry about alkalinity later.
 

crek31

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2009
877
Do not use algaecide. Bleach is what you need, after you get the pH adjusted. Re-read pool school, and particularly the article on shocking. It may take a bit to get the pool in shape, but now that you have your test kit and this forum, you'll get there and never look back! Gone are the days of needing to rely on someone else to tell you the status of your water or what/why you need to make corrections to the chemicals.

On another note, how in the world do you swim in Iowa 6 months a year with no heater!?!?
 

Samiam

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2009
32
Southeast Iowa
Crek31, We have had the pool since 2005 but only used the heater for a few days the first fall...then propane prices soared, and we learned to enjoy the invigorating cool waters in April and October! I've read that cold water therapy is good for you! Actually the pool is in the sun most of the day, so it gets a lot of natural heat, but we don't cover it, so it loses heat at night, but we just "swim and bare it!" LOL.
 

Samiam

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 17, 2009
32
Southeast Iowa
Need help determining course of action with combined chlorin

Without any prefacing comments, I will just give you my numbers, and you can let me know what I should do because what I have been doing isn't working. pH = 7.0; Base demand is 15 drops to get to 7.4;
Free Chlorine = .5; Combined Chlorine = 1.5;
Alkalinity = 120; Calcium Hardness = 300; Saturation index = -0.3