Combined Chlorine- grrr!!!

carlydoehler

Member
Oct 8, 2020
9
Colorado Springs
Hello. I am a new pool owner that’s ready to fill it all in with concrete because despite the awesome knowledge I’ve gained from this site, I’m at my wits end.

Pool is chlorine with a UV light filter, cartridge filter, ozonater, and gas heater. Water sits at about 84 degrees. Pool has a vinyl liner, is *indoor* and is 17,000 gallons. Deep end is 8.5 feet. Pool is finally clear for the first timeIn over a week today.
The pool sat untouched for over a year as the house went through a foreclosure and my husband and I purchased/remodeled it. Because there was all kinds of unknowns including dead mice that were fished out (or shoveled out), we had a pool company drain the pool completely and refil it when they did the filter/uv light/heater/ozonater install.

I have been battling the water chemistry and spending more time at the pool store than with my family these last two weeks. I believe I have most of the water chemistry down but I can’t seem to figure out what the heck is going on with the chlorine. TA is 110 (I plan to drop this once things balance out), pH is 7.4, calcium is normal, and chlorine is coming down from a shock currently sitting at 8.2. The pool store tested it yesterday saying my FC and TC were both 10.2. Hooray! Today my Taylor 2006 test kit arrived and three times the test told me my CC was .4. I want to cry. Yesterday the store told me it was 0 after taking a week to shock (several times) it completely (Or so i thought). I’m losing my mind.

Can someone please help me? I’m seriously fantasizing about buying a bunch of Quikcrete and making a giant garage out of this all. Do I need to shock my pool *again*? Why isn’t this going away? Could my CC be elevated because my free chlorine is so high? Am I dealing with Chloramines from Mars?

If I do shock, should I use chlorine-free shock?

I know this is a total 1st world problem but I’m struggling and would appreciate any help. Thank you in advance!
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,589
Spring Valley, NY
Yeh, your finally at the right place and don't go back to the pool store EVER. Read pool school and trust only your own testing. Get us a complete set of test results and we will be glad to take you under our wings.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,796
Bedford, TX
Carly,

Any CC that is less than .5 ppm is ok and not a sign of the world ending..

I suspect that with an indoor pool that your CC's might be a little higher because you lack the sun burning off the chloroforms..

Yes, I know you have a UV system, but they are not as robust as the sun...

Just leave your TA alone!! As long as your pH is somewhat stable your TA does not matter as long as it is above 50..

You have a vinyl pool so your CH is not a huge concern either

I see no mention of CYA.. I know you have an indoor pool, but we still suggest a CYA of 20 or 30 ppm...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

carlydoehler

Member
Oct 8, 2020
9
Colorado Springs
Yeh, your finally at the right place and don't go back to the pool store EVER. Read pool school and trust only your own testing. Get us a complete set of test results and we will be glad to take you under our wings.
Thank you so much for your quick replies!

I am so sorry. I thought I had given you a full test report. Please don’t hesitate to tell me what I’m missing if you need more info.

pH: 7.4
TC: 8.2
CC: 0.4
TA: 110
CH: 200
CYA: 5 (I know this low but I had read here on this site that I could raise it slowly as I use chlorine pucks until the CYA got to 20, then just maintain with chlorine... maybe I’m wrong?)

Thank you for any input!
 

carlydoehler

Member
Oct 8, 2020
9
Colorado Springs
Carly,

Any CC that is less than .5 ppm is ok and not a sign of the world ending..

I suspect that with an indoor pool that your CC's might be a little higher because you lack the sun burning off the chloroforms..

Yes, I know you have a UV system, but they are not as robust as the sun...

Just leave your TA alone!! As long as your pH is somewhat stable your TA does not matter as long as it is above 50..

You have a vinyl pool so your CH is not a huge concern either

I see no mention of CYA.. I know you have an indoor pool, but we still suggest a CYA of 20 or 30 ppm...

Thanks,

Jim R.
Would a low CYA cause an issue with the combined chlorine or make it form more quickly? I’m sitting at a CYA 5 but was hoping to raise it with chlorine pucks until it reaches 20, then maintain with liquid chlorine. Bad idea?

0.4 is still approaching the 0.5 threshold, which I find strange if my shock was done correctly and no one has been swimming in it. Should I re-shock?

Dang, my Pool Math app says TA between 60 and 80 is ideal. You’d leave mine alone?

I read the same thing that you said about the UV light and chlorine. We installed garage doors on the sides of the indoor structure but the pool remains under shade for pretty much the entire day. Should I do anything special to help this along?

I’m sorry for all the questions. I appreciate your help more than I can say right now. My husband has pretty much left this part up to me and right now I feel like if I read one more thread about pools, I’ll scream!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,796
Bedford, TX
Carly,

While a TA of 60 to 80 may be ideal, we also say to not screw with your TA as long as your pH is stable..

I don't believe that low CYA would cause your CC "non-issue". Think of your CC level like you would a kids temperature.. You don't get very concerned when the temp is 99 for a day or two.. But if you see it spike to 105, you would be concerned.

If I had your pool I would just monitor your CC's daily for a week or so, and see what the trend is.. If your CC's stay around .5, I would consider than normal and use that as my baseline.. Even if my CC's went up to 1 for a day and then dropped back down I would not get too excited.

That said, I am not sure you fully understand our system.. We don't "shock" by throwing a bunch of Pool Store magic powder in our pools. If we think we have algae, we bring our FC level up to a SLAM level using Liquid Chlorine, and hold it there until we pass our criteria to call it complete. Please check out this link... SLAM Process

It appears to me that you are trying to make pool care like a game of darts, where the only thing that counts is a bullseye. In reality, pool care is more like a game of hand-grenades, where close is plenty close enough.. I suggest that you try to relax and enjoy your pool and learn how to enjoy taking care of it. :mrgreen:

What does your water look like?? What does the pool room smell like?? Is there a heavy smell of chlorine in the air?

Your data lists TC, which we generally do not use.. Just tell us what your FC is and what your CC is.. If we want to know your TC we know how to add.. :)

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,707
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Carly, first off, you are doing a fine job. And your pool is also fine. You are being "pool stored." Does this sound familiar: you take some water in, they test it, show you a fancy computer print out, that just happens to have a bunch of recommendations that are suggested to "fix" what is wrong with your pool. You don't quite understand, so the "helper" describes the dire straits your pools is in and then points to the computer "solutions" and you pretty much don't know what else to do so you buy all the recommended stuff. Which you then pour into your pool. And you repeat this process, each time mysteriously having the same and/or different problems, and you keep spending more and more on the "solutions" and still aren't getting any great results. So you think it's you or that you just have a troubled pool. How am I doing? The common thread here: you're getting advice to buy things from the store that sells those things! The very definition of a conflict of interest. Pool stored.

Your numbers are pretty much fine. Bring your CYA up a little, try 20. And then keep your FC level at that recommended for that level of CYA. And then go swimming. Because you're done. And you're fine. And your pool is fine. Elevated CCs are not a red flag for an indoor pool. And even if they were, 0.4 is not elevated. That's normal! (Something, I'm sure, the pool store neglected to tell you.) I have CCs in my outdoor pool all the time. About every third test session. They're never quite 0.5, probably 0.2 - 0.4 if I had to guess. So what. CCs are the byproduct of chlorine doing its job. It means there were some organics in the water and they're being taken care of. Normal! Humans leave organics in a pool, even if they don't pee in it: sweat, suntan lotion, skin, hair, "other stuff." We're disgusting in terms of keeping a clean pool! The chlorine goes to work on all that, and CCs are the result. The only way to get to 0 CCs all the time is to never use your pool! Now if your CCs go crazy, or your pool room stinks of chlorine (which, by the way, is not chlorine but rather off-gassing CCs), then you might have some algae. Which is easily fixed. But shocking a pool will only sometimes work, usually it just inhibits the algae for a short time, which then comes right back (also sounding familiar?). The fix for algae is a SLAM. And it works. So even if you do get a problem, there's a simple straight forward fix.

Stop listening to the pool store. Their goals and yours are not compatible. Listen to your Taylor K-2006, which, right now, is telling you your pool is fine.

And I've never tried it, but I've heard that laying on a pool floatie, drink in hand, is not nearly as nice when done on a slab of Quikcrete!
 
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carlydoehler

Member
Oct 8, 2020
9
Colorado Springs
Thank you both for the reassurance and also for making me laugh. I was definitely “pool stored” in the beginning but found TFP about halfway through and have been trying to learn all I can. In all honesty I was returning to the store to have my water tested because my T-2006 hadn’t yet arrived at my house (even when I paid for extra shipping-gr!) and I needed some sort of numerical data to go off of because my pool was majorly cloudy for a week, then hazy for another week as I balanced the water out. I had no idea what to do.

My Pool room smells heavily of chlorine which is why I’m concerned about the CC. And I have read the SLAM protocol several times which is why I suppose I’m concerned about the CC- because in my mind I’ll swim in the water one time before the CC raises up to that 0.5 number and I’ll have to SLAM it again (sorry, I was using the word “shock”-not what I meant 🤪). I do want to sit on a floaty with a beer and not worry so much about all of this, but my mother is flying in from out of town in a couple of days and I’d like her to join me on a floaty without wondering if her eyes will be burning and skin irritated.. hence my panic or “dart throwing” pool care methods (good analogy by the way). I appreciate all of your input and help as I try and learn my pool.

I know TFP is all about simplicity and using bleach (SLAM method as well as maintaining the FC correctly) but being that this pool is indoor and doesn’t have the sun to help it, would there be another product that might work better for this situation? I read on this site about MPS. I know they won’t do much for CC that is already formed, but would it be helpful as a preventative? What do you experts think?

Thank you again for your help. I appreciate you helping my red alert go back down to a yellow and keep me from renting a concrete mixer 😅
 
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TexasBR

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2020
71
Houston, TX
Based on my experience to date, I would suggest trusting and implementing the TFP measurement-driven method 100%.
All the other methods have side effects, misery, costs, and mystery.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,522
I would turn the ozonator off to see if that helps.

What make and model are the ozonator and UV light?

What chemicals have been added?

Has any bromide been added? (Hopefully not).

Try increasing the CYA to about 30 ppm.
 

carlydoehler

Member
Oct 8, 2020
9
Colorado Springs
Hello,
I just wanted to share what I found to really work for my indoor pool troubles incase anyone ever is searching and finds this thread.

Because my pool is indoor and doesn’t see the sunlight, sometimes I need help with lowering the combined chlorine. The SLAM method works great for obvious reasons, but once it holds for 12 hours, I have found that a chlorine-free oxidizing pool shock brings my CC back down to a .2 or less. It’s magic. Link below:


Thank you all for your help as I stumbled through the first stages of owning a pool. I appreciate this site endlessly and seem to refer back to it often. Quite a blessing.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,850
Laughlin, NV
You are better off using chlorine instead of Potassium Monopersulfate. MPS messes with FC/CC testing. Also, it adds sulfates to your water. Which will destroy metals (I assume you have a heater, please add that to your signature).
 

carlydoehler

Member
Oct 8, 2020
9
Colorado Springs
I just did a basic google search a few times with a variety of wording related to your reply and couldn’t find any information on your response. Do you have any literature you could share or link to?

Im wondering if my reply wasn’t clear. I SLAM with chlorine only. Once it holds (following the method) and my CC is below .5, I’m “done”. However, I have sensitive eyes and skin so CC over .2 is aggravating. I’ve found that when my CC won’t go down naturally from .4, the product I shared does the trick. I’d be interested in any information you could share regarding why that product might still be a bad idea. Everything I’m reading, from blog posts to forums in other pool places like this, say that it’s safe for heated pools. Thanks for the help!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,850
Laughlin, NV
Do you have any literature you could share or link to?

Most references discussing sulfates are around SWCG damage. But heaters have metal internals and can be effected. Sulfate build up in Spas is not considered significant because one drains and replaces the water in a spa every few months.

If it works for you, great. Just wanted to point out the issues if others come here and decide the use of MPS in pools is something they want to do.