Couple of newbie questions on TA CYA, etc

zrtman

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2022
28
Wilmington NC
Pool Size
6050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Newbie here - cool forum.. been reading a lot on here just had a few questions at the bottom of this post. Sorry for long post - trying to be thorough...

We just put up a 12x22 Bestway 6000 gallon above ground pool (kind of a trial run... we hope to put in an in-ground in a couple years). It sees a lot of sun and we are on the coast of Wilmington NC.

Pool has been up and running for 6 days. Water is very clear. Was using Clorox 6 way strips. I realized these are not great and ordered a K-2006 kit and the basic Taylor kit which both came in today.

With test strips I was getting:
FC 3
TC 3
PH 7.2
TA 120
Total Hardness 250
Stabilizer guessing 30ish it is not 0 and not 50.

Taylor Kit (I realize these are correct numbers):
Free chlorine 4ppm
Combined chlorine 0-.5ppm (more like 0)
CYA 55 (test strips mislead me on this)
PH 7.3
TA 140 (tested twice..)
CH 225

Going by ideal levels page on here my TA is way out and CYA is getting borderline. PH is also very borderline.

Long Story if it helps:
Pool was filled from our well (decent water slightly hard @ 8grains I think, we do have a hydrogen sulfide issue but it is run through a filox filter with air injection which eliminates the smell). All I have done so far was to add CYA (Clorox stabilizer) 1.5 lbs, then 1 lbs of HTC Advanced shock. After 24 hours chlorine settled to 3, stabilizer looked closer to 0 than 50 (test strips) so I added another 1 lb of CYA. Stabilizer still looked low, but was waiting for real test kit to come before adding more CYA ( glad I waited as it was actually 55).

Questions..

I do have a floating chlorine tablet dispenser with (2) 3" HTC TriCloro which I should probably remove? I believe it adds to CYA?

Was going to switch to "Pool Chlorinating Liquid". It is 10% @$4.50gal which is less than Clorox.

Are test strips ok for day to day testing of chlorine and PH? They seem to be in the ball park..

I was going to raise PH to 7.6 but since my TA ia high at 140 I am guessing just leave both alone or? I did read about using muriatic acid to drop TA which also drop PH. Then aerate pool? Or just keep an eye on it?

The Chlorine/CYA chart on here suggests FC of 6-8 with a CYA of 50 (FC 7-9 with CYA of 60). Should I try to drop my CYA level by dumping some water and refilling? Or bump up my FC from 4 to 6ish? My concern about higher FC is I have girls with "highlighted hair" and they are already concerned about the chlorine doing funny things to their hair. LOL.. dad life...

Thank you!
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 10, 2018
3,980
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pool Size
18375
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Welcome to TFP!

Congrats on the new pool! You've made some great decisions and seem to have a good grasp on testing. You've done your homework.
Are test strips ok for day to day testing of chlorine and PH? They seem to be in the ball park..
No. Throw away the test strips. They're worthless and will just confuse things. You've got a great test kit. Stick with it.
I do have a floating chlorine tablet dispenser with (2) 3" HTC TriCloro which I should probably remove? I believe it adds to CYA?
Save them for when you need to raise CYA or when you're away from the pool and can't dose liquid. The liquid chlorine you've selected is the right choice.
I was going to raise PH to 7.6 but since my TA ia high at 140 I am guessing just leave both alone or? I did read about using muriatic acid to drop TA which also drop PH. Then aerate pool? Or just keep an eye on it?
With a vinyl pool, don't worry so much about TA. Keep within Recommended Levels. If TA begins to rise, you can work on forcing down TA, but for now, when pH rises to 8.0 ppm, lower it to 7.5 ppm. Each time you add acid, your TA drops too. TA can increase due to higher TA fill water. You can test the water you plan to use for top offs to give you idea of what your TA will do.
The Chlorine/CYA chart on here suggests FC of 6-8 with a CYA of 50 (FC 7-9 with CYA of 60). Should I try to drop my CYA level by dumping some water and refilling? Or bump up my FC from 4 to 6ish? My concern about higher FC is I have girls with "highlighted hair" and they are already concerned about the chlorine doing funny things to their hair. LOL.. dad life...
Follow the CYA/Chlorine chart. You can lower CYA if you wish, but there's really no need. Higher CYA levels will do a better job of protecting FC from UV degradation. Your concern about your girls is valid. I had the same concerns about my (now) 6 year old blonde with sensitive skin. CYA buffers the more aggressive effects of chlorine. Assuming you follow CYA/FC recommendations, it's not the level of FC that makes it aggressive, it's ratio of FC to CYA.

Looks like you've already done a good bit of reading in Pool School, but here's a good set of topics we recommend you read:

 
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Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,167
NY
Hey Z and Welcome !!!
Was going to switch to "Pool Chlorinating Liquid". It is 10% @$4.50gal which is less than Clorox.
Chlorinating liquid is the way to go. Use no household bleach. They all have polymers (splashes, scents, color max technology) that will cause foaming. And they are 6% so you'll need almost twice as much.

Check the date on the bottle. There is a 22XXXXXXXXX # on it. 22 is the year and the first 3 digits is the day it was produced. Look up Julian date in the store. Today would be something like the 186 th day of the year so the # would be 22 186 XXXXXX. You want 3 months old or less. Preferably much less as it degrades pretty quick and then you add more to compensate.

Other quick notes :

Any 7.X Ph is equally fine. Adjust when when it is not a 7

CH is all but irrelevant for vinyl. Its fine where it is and not your concern.
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
2,765
Fresno, CA
Pool Size
27000
Welcome zrtman.
Beautiful spot Willmington NC. Home prices there are well undervalued, my opinion.
My son and family spent four fantastic years there, he is in the Coast Guard. They are moving back to CA this week for his final assignment, sure going to miss visiting them there.
You are in good hands here regarding your pool, not sure how you found TFP but this is the end of your search. All the information you need for your pool is here.
 

jeffchap

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
2,386
Edmond OK
Pool Size
27500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
It's not chlorine that turns hair green, it's the copper in most algaecides which is why we highly discourage their use. By maintaining proper chlorine levels, algaecides and phosphate removers are unnecessary.
 
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zrtman

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2022
28
Wilmington NC
Pool Size
6050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Welcome zrtman.
Beautiful spot Willmington NC. Home prices there are well undervalued, my opinion.
My son and family spent four fantastic years there, he is in the Coast Guard. They are moving back to CA this week for his final assignment, sure going to miss visiting them there.
You are in good hands here regarding your pool, not sure how you found TFP but this is the end of your search. All the information you need for your pool is here.
I found this site from Amazon. Was trying to figure out what test kit I needed and one guy had a really great review. He referenced the BBB method.. googles search turned up this site. Glad I found TFP... most other 'helpful' sites have links to Amazon products.. basically promoting items to make a buck.

Wilmington is nice but getting expensive here too. Homes have doubled in value in 2 years. Still cheaper than a lot of the west coast. We lost our Coast Guard ship, but still some Coast Guard facilities here.
 
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zrtman

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2022
28
Wilmington NC
Pool Size
6050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Hey Z and Welcome !!!

Chlorinating liquid is the way to go. Use no household bleach. They all have polymers (splashes, scents, color max technology) that will cause foaming. And they are 6% so you'll need almost twice as much.

Check the date on the bottle. There is a 22XXXXXXXXX # on it. 22 is the year and the first 3 digits is the day it was produced. Look up Julian date in the store. Today would be something like the 186 th day of the year so the # would be 22 186 XXXXXX. You want 3 months old or less. Preferably much less as it degrades pretty quick and then you add more to compensate.

Other quick notes :

Any 7.X Ph is equally fine. Adjust when when it is not a 7

CH is all but irrelevant for vinyl. Its fine where it is and not your concern.
Thank you for the info. Date code is interesting. I had already bought and opened it from HD. It was 12/21 so 7 months old.. not sure how much this will drop the potency of it it? Does it drop to say 9.5% or much worse?
I could start buying Clorox Extra strenght from Wally World. It is actually $2 more gallon (not a big deal) but fresher I assume.
Good info on PH. Makes sense. I do not want to be chasing it.
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,167
NY
I had already bought and opened it from HD. It was 12/21 so 7 months old.. not sure how much this will drop the potency of it it? Does it drop to say 9.5% or much worse?
There is a chart around here somewhere but if I recall correctly it was 6% at 6 months. No biggie, you just need almost twice as much. If the store let the pallet sit out in the sun for some time it could be weak regardless of the date code.

So you want the freshest ones you can find when the shelf is full of them, and then verify 15 mins after adding that you hit your target.

Also, check the chlorox label for color max technology, splashless, or scented. You want Plain Jane bleach with nothing fancy if it isn't chlorinating liquid. It's all Sodium Hyperchlorite but almost all Laundry bleaches have polymers in them that cause foaming and cloudiness with repeated use. Disinfecting bleach in the cleaning aisle is usually ok, but weaker like the Laundry aisle stuff.
 
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zrtman

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2022
28
Wilmington NC
Pool Size
6050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Welcome to TFP!

Congrats on the new pool! You've made some great decisions and seem to have a good grasp on testing. You've done your homework.

No. Throw away the test strips. They're worthless and will just confuse things. You've got a great test kit. Stick with it.

Save them for when you need to raise CYA or when you're away from the pool and can't dose liquid. The liquid chlorine you've selected is the right choice.

With a vinyl pool, don't worry so much about TA. Keep within Recommended Levels. If TA begins to rise, you can work on forcing down TA, but for now, when pH rises to 8.0 ppm, lower it to 7.5 ppm. Each time you add acid, your TA drops too. TA can increase due to higher TA fill water. You can test the water you plan to use for top offs to give you idea of what your TA will do.

Follow the CYA/Chlorine chart. You can lower CYA if you wish, but there's really no need. Higher CYA levels will do a better job of protecting FC from UV degradation. Your concern about your girls is valid. I had the same concerns about my (now) 6 year old blonde with sensitive skin. CYA buffers the more aggressive effects of chlorine. Assuming you follow CYA/FC recommendations, it's not the level of FC that makes it aggressive, it's ratio of FC to CYA.

Looks like you've already done a good bit of reading in Pool School, but here's a good set of topics we recommend you read:

Thank you for all the info. I did try to read up before I bought the pool. There is a lot of misinformation out there (like weekly shock treatments?). Honestly it is kind of interesting to me and I am having fun with it.

"Follow the CYA/Chlorine chart. You can lower CYA if you wish, but there's really no need. Higher CYA levels will do a better job of protecting FC from UV degradation. Your concern about your girls is valid. I had the same concerns about my (now) 6 year old blonde with sensitive skin. CYA buffers the more aggressive effects of chlorine. Assuming you follow CYA/FC recommendations, it's not the level of FC that makes it aggressive, it's ratio of FC to CYA."

So using the Chlorine to CYA chart on here - I keep my TC numbers where they should be for the CYA I have - the cholrine will not feel 'harsh' or anything like that? Right now you can hardly smell the chlorine which is nice. We have been to some pools were the chlorine smell is very very harsh.
 
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zrtman

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2022
28
Wilmington NC
Pool Size
6050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
There is a chart around here somewhere but if I recall correctly it was 6% at 6 months. No biggie, you just need almost twice as much. If the store let the pallet sit out in the sun for some time it could be weak regardless of the date code.

So you want the freshest ones you can find when the shelf is full of them, and then verify 15 mins after adding that you hit your target.

Also, check the chlorox label for color max technology, splashless, or scented. You want Plain Jane bleach with nothing fancy if it isn't chlorinating liquid. It's all Sodium Hyperchlorite but almost all Laundry bleaches have polymers in them that cause foaming and cloudiness with repeated use. Disinfecting bleach in the cleaning aisle is usually ok, but weaker like the Laundry aisle stuff.
Ok thank you for the info. I went to HD earlier and dug into the pallet of LC they have and all the dates are the same. All were still boxed so at least shielded from any light. Will try to search out other places that sell LC with fresher supply - seems like a better way to go than even unscented normal household bleach?
 

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Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,167
NY
keep my TC numbers where they should be for the CYA I have - the cholrine will not feel 'harsh' or anything like that?
Forget TC altogether. You want FC to match an appropriate CYA level on the FC/CYA Chart. Any level is less harsh than tap water with 0 CYA and up to 4 FC.

Any target level on thr chart will keep you sanitary with no CCs which is where the smells and red eyes come from in other pools. Not ours though, and not yours now that you found us.
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,167
NY
Will try to search out other places that sell LC with fresher supply
It's hit or miss and can vary week to week at the same store. This batch is fresh and when it's gone they pull one off a top rack somewhere that's much older. And the store that had an old supply last week has a good one this week.
seems like a better way to go than even unscented normal household bleach?
Chlorining liquid is easier to not worry about the adds. And if it's really old it's still as strong as the laundry bleach.
 
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zrtman

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2022
28
Wilmington NC
Pool Size
6050
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Forget TC altogether. You want FC to match an appropriate CYA level on the FC/CYA Chart. Any level is less harsh than tap water with 0 CYA and up to 4 FC.

Any target level on thr chart will keep you sanitary with no CCs which is where the smells and red eyes come from in other pools. Not ours though, and not yours now that you found us.
Excellent - thank you. Will stick to LC also. Thanks again for the info.
 
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