Chlorine not found

May 23, 2020
5
Maryland
This is the first year that I had chlorine issues with my pool. I usually open my 20,000 gallon inground pool throw in 2 bags of shock and I get a reading of 3.0 to 4.0.
Unfortunately, this year, I threw in
Some algecide and then shocked it and got no reading of chlorine.
Thought that was weird, so over a 3 day period added 12 bags of shock and still got no reading.
Decided to get the water tested and they got a reading of .05. They sold me alkalinity upper and copper remover due to the algecide and more shock. Ok, so now I’m out 150 dollars in chemicals.
I follow instructions and go back to see if copper was removed and same results.
Decide to have it tested at a different place and they get a reading of .08 for the chlorine after now putting in 15 bags of shock. They find alkalinity is low and sell me that. Tell me to turn the chlorinator up and shock with 2 bags of shock.
Do that and finally this morning I get a rating higher than 5 on the chlorine.
I think pool stores are staffed by people who are just there to sell chemicals and have no idea what they are talking about.
It has been an extremely frustrating and expensive 4 days.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,589
NW Ohio
Welcome to TFP!

Well, your opinion of pool stores is dead on, unfortunately.

Odds are you had a CYA to ammonia conversion over the winter. Ammonia reacts with chlorine almost instantly and they destroy each other. Odds are your initial reading wasn't chlorine but Combined Chlorine. Unfortunately the normal chlorine test can't tell the difference between Free Chlorine and Combined chlorine and just shows Total Chlorine. Which is why we use more advanced testing which can differentiate between the two and give accurate readings down to 0.5 ppm.

If your alkalinity is really that low (we don't trust pool store readings, but it could be) then that could point to other more troubling issues with the water. It also is something that can be corrected far less costly, TA increaser is just repackaged and marked up baking soda.

Best place for anyone to start is right here: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry. We use a lot of acronyms and terms that can confuse someone, so that helps fill in that info.
 
May 23, 2020
5
Maryland
Welcome to TFP!

Well, your opinion of pool stores is dead on, unfortunately.

Odds are you had a CYA to ammonia conversion over the winter. Ammonia reacts with chlorine almost instantly and they destroy each other. Odds are your initial reading wasn't chlorine but Combined Chlorine. Unfortunately the normal chlorine test can't tell the difference between Free Chlorine and Combined chlorine and just shows Total Chlorine. Which is why we use more advanced testing which can differentiate between the two and give accurate readings down to 0.5 ppm.

If your alkalinity is really that low (we don't trust pool store readings, but it could be) then that could point to other more troubling issues with the water. It also is something that can be corrected far less costly, TA increaser is just repackaged and marked up baking soda.

Best place for anyone to start is right here: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry. We use a lot of acronyms and terms that can confuse someone, so that helps fill in that info.
Thanks, apparently, I have more to learn
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,050
Franklin, NC
I don't know what thy sold you, but there is nothing that removes copper from the water.

Therir idea of low TA is generally wrong. They want 120, we like it much lower to keep pH from going up so quickly.

How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:





So, welcome to TFP!!
 
May 23, 2020
5
Maryland
I don't know what thy sold you, but there is nothing that removes copper from the water.

Therir idea of low TA is generally wrong. They want 120, we like it much lower to keep pH from going up so quickly.

How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:





So, welcome to TFP!!
Thanks, I will read up
I believe it was something organic in a bottle to remove the copper.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,050
Franklin, NC
I believe it was something organic in a bottle to remove the copper.
But that's just it, copper is a metal - there is nothing that will remove it. It must be removed physically.

First, pool store employees primary goal is to sell stuff, not necessarily get your pool in perfect condition. As to whether that is because of improper training, lack of knowledge or just to sell stuff I will leave up to you. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their advice and testing. The pool store want's you to have "a shed filled with white bottles of pool chemicals that had mysterious names and purposes". Unfortunately the pool industry has evolved into sales by scare tactics, misdirection, misinformation and marketing hype. Go in to the store and tell them your Total Alkalinity (TA) is low and they are going to sell you baking soda in a fancy package at four times the cost of WalMart. Do they have a right to make a profit, yes - but lets be reasonable. Heck, even their definition of "low" can many times put you on a pH roller coaster that's hard to get off of. Is that lack of knowledge or a sales technique to sell you more chemicals to control your pH????

What do we propose? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. Which leads to

TFPC tenet - Never put chemistry in your pool when you do not know the outcome

For almost everything the pool store sells, there is a generic "twin" that you can get at your grocery store or big box store. Alkalinity low like I used as an example? You can go to the pool store and buy Alkalinity Up in a fancy bottle or you can stop by Walmart and pick up baking soda.

So, to control your pool you need to know what is going on. Many folks have a Saturday morning ritual, dip a bottle of water out of the pool and take it to the pool store (they give you the bottle for free). They test it and sell you what they say you need to "fix" what ails your pool. But, you will find not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Plus, the results of their "testing" is used to convince you that you need to buy things. Why do you think that testing is free?

But, what can you do?? You need your own accurate test kit! Order a TF-100 Test Kit ™. The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006-C. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.

While entirely optional, I also have the Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer and Sample Sizer Measuring Tool. They speed testing and accuracy.

Please don't go to a pool store for a test kit. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. The TF-100 Test Kit ™ and the K-2006 have this test while very few other kits do. The kits sold at the pool store generally won't won't cut it, but be careful pool store employees are known to say “it's the same thing”.

Generally it's not!
 
May 23, 2020
5
Maryland
But that's just it, copper is a metal - there is nothing that will remove it. It must be removed physically.

First, pool store employees primary goal is to sell stuff, not necessarily get your pool in perfect condition. As to whether that is because of improper training, lack of knowledge or just to sell stuff I will leave up to you. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their advice and testing. The pool store want's you to have "a shed filled with white bottles of pool chemicals that had mysterious names and purposes". Unfortunately the pool industry has evolved into sales by scare tactics, misdirection, misinformation and marketing hype. Go in to the store and tell them your Total Alkalinity (TA) is low and they are going to sell you baking soda in a fancy package at four times the cost of WalMart. Do they have a right to make a profit, yes - but lets be reasonable. Heck, even their definition of "low" can many times put you on a pH roller coaster that's hard to get off of. Is that lack of knowledge or a sales technique to sell you more chemicals to control your pH????

What do we propose? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. Which leads to

TFPC tenet - Never put chemistry in your pool when you do not know the outcome

For almost everything the pool store sells, there is a generic "twin" that you can get at your grocery store or big box store. Alkalinity low like I used as an example? You can go to the pool store and buy Alkalinity Up in a fancy bottle or you can stop by Walmart and pick up baking soda.

So, to control your pool you need to know what is going on. Many folks have a Saturday morning ritual, dip a bottle of water out of the pool and take it to the pool store (they give you the bottle for free). They test it and sell you what they say you need to "fix" what ails your pool. But, you will find not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Plus, the results of their "testing" is used to convince you that you need to buy things. Why do you think that testing is free?

But, what can you do?? You need your own accurate test kit! Order a TF-100 Test Kit ™. The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006-C. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.

While entirely optional, I also have the Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer and Sample Sizer Measuring Tool. They speed testing and accuracy.

Please don't go to a pool store for a test kit. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. The TF-100 Test Kit ™ and the K-2006 have this test while very few other kits do. The kits sold at the pool store generally won't won't cut it, but be careful pool store employees are known to say “it's the same thing”.

Generally it's not!
Thank you so much, I have a test kit that I bought from Amazon. I’ll invest in a better kit and come back here for advice.
I spent enough on chemicals that really didn’t do anything for my pool this year.
I did do something right, I always buy baking soda in large bags from Costco to raise my PH.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,050
Franklin, NC
I did do something right, I always buy baking soda in large bags from Costco to raise my PH.
Well........

Baking soda doesn't raise pH, it raises total alkalinity, Higher TA make pH rise faster on it's own. If you need to raise pH Washing Soda is the better product.

Stick with us, we will get you up to speed!

 
May 23, 2020
5
Maryland
Well........

Baking soda doesn't raise pH, it raises total alkalinity, Higher TA make pH rise faster on it's own. If you need to raise pH Washing Soda is the better product.

Stick with us, we will get you up to speed!

I didn’t realize how little I knew