CYA before SLAM?

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
Hi, all. I have been lurking and reading since 2015. I previously owned a concrete pool that we kept going all year long in the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Now, we are in Oklahoma and I have lots of problems with my pool. Some problems involve plumbing so I will post those issues in the appropriate forum, but I need some advice about getting the chemicals right. Currently using Trichloro-s-triazinetrione (99%) and 1% inert ingredients in tablet form. Calcium Hypochlorite granulated shock. Never had any problems with CH being too high. Almost finished with the buckets of shock and tablets. Planning on using bleach if I can find 10-12% strength where I live.

TF-100 test kit

Cl = 1
pH = 7.2
FC = 2 ppm
CC = 1 ppm (needs lowered)
TC =3 ppm
TA = 40 (target goal 100-120)
CH = 150

So do I need to get the CYA up to 30 before I SLAM? I will put the stabilizer in a sock (just like you taught me). Is 30 a good number for my CYA since I have 0 now?
Then do I wait one week for the stabilizer to dissolve before doing anything else? I just got rid of the sludge, tadpoles, blood worms, frog skeletons, one fast swimming snake, and algae so I don't want to have to deal with that again. Water is cloudy, but I know I need to do the SLAM process to fix that.

Any suggestions or corrections? Thanks for your help.
 

drharris

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2016
275
Walhalla, SC
I'd be surprised if the CYA is truly 0 if you're been using Trichlor. I might start with enough to raise it just 20ppm and then measure again, just in case there's some amount there that's not registering well on the test. At any rate, you can get the CYA going (in a sock put in the skimmer or hanging near a return, squeeze often) while you work on the FC side. And yes, if you had junk in the pool and cloudy water now, you'll need to SLAM. pH looks good and you have the right test kit, so you can start as soon as you find some bleach!
 

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
Trichlor tabs and calcium hypochlorite granules for shock. I have tested it every day for a week and it shows 0. I can still see the black dot at the bottom when the tube is full. I am also carefully measuring everything. Test kit is under a year old.

So is it okay to work on the FC before I get the CYA where I want it? Is 30 a good number?
 

drharris

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2016
275
Walhalla, SC
Yes, you can work on FC, but if you're SLAMming you'll need to pay close attention to it, especially during the day. CYA of 30 is a pretty good target, especially for a SLAM. Just be sure that as your CYA is rising you keep up with the proper FC levels for that CYA number. So right now you could SLAM at FC of 10, but as CYA is added to 30ppm you'd need to adjust up to 12. Just re-measure CYA after a few days to make sure it hasn't gone to 40 instead (either through pool volume miscalculation or having a residual amount up=front).
 

domct203

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LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
Trichlor tabs and calcium hypochlorite granules for shock. I have tested it every day for a week and it shows 0. I can still see the black dot at the bottom when the tube is full. I am also carefully measuring everything. Test kit is under a year old.

So is it okay to work on the FC before I get the CYA where I want it? Is 30 a good number?
Every 8oz trichlor tab will add 2.2ppm to your CYA in a 15300 gallon pool. 14 tabs would get you to 30ppm CYA.

How many tabs have you used in that pool?
 

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
Thanks. I will keep checking the chart.

I have been putting in 4 tablets every 3 days for about eight or nine days. Shock has been added 3 or 4 times, but of course the sun is eating it up because of the low CYA.

It doesn't seem like the circulation is enough for some reason. We had to move the filter and pump quite a distance away because of lake flooding. We had a Hayward 1.5 hp pump and changed it to the Intelliflow. Electric bill went from $500 + per month to about $150. The sand was changed 3 years ago in the filter. I know the pump is more powerful than the filter, but we keep it below 2000 rpm. Usually 750 running 24 hours a day keeps everything sparkling. This year we are keeping it at 2200 for 24/7 and it just doesn't seem to be moving enough water. Not sure if that is a problem or not.

I don't care how many times I read about the plumbing and head loss or gain, I just don't understand it. Our plumbers moved the pipes then later said they had no experience with pool plumbing. When I asked them if they could tell me the flow rate or gain/loss of head they didn't know the answer. I hesitate to raise the rpm since I don't understand the head/pressure aspect. Maybe I just need to give it more time for the CYA to show up since water movement is not good this year. Water movement, plumbing, etc will be a post later after I get the pool SLAMmed.

thanks for your help.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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I have tested it every day for a week and it shows 0.
Stop doing that. It won't change from zero unless you put some in.

So, is your mixture clear when you do the CYA test? You can see the black dot when the view tube is filled to the top, right?

If so, buy enough CYA to get to 30 ppm and put it in the sock....squeeze the sock as often as you can.

The next day you can assume your CYA is 30 ppm.

SLAM the pool.
 

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
I have been using shock and tablets that should be adding CYA. Plus I have been adding stabilizer. Probably too conservatively since I don't want to raise it too much.
I can still see the black dot even with the tube completely full.

Wednesday morning- Put 4 new tablets of Trichlor in.
Wednesday night- Used 2 bags of shock and 2 bottles of 8.5% bleach after sun went down. Tested chlorine and pH an hour later.
FC was 15, pH was 7.5, CC was 1 ppm.

Thursday- 5:00a.m. before sun came up- tablets are half gone. CYA still 0. FC was 15 and CC was 0.5. No FC loss from previous night. Removed newest frog. Pool starting to turn green again. I thought the tablets would have raised the CYA a little by now. Added more stabilizer, but I moved the sock to the output that seems to move more water. (The sock was in the skimmer.) It seems to be dissolving faster by the jet.
This is the first year I have had trouble getting it clean. We also had some heavy rain for several days that I had forgotten about. That might have been part of the problem plus I started cleaning it 2 weeks later than I normally do.


How soon should I check the CYA again? After the sock is emptied? I know to not backwash for 2 days. New chemicals on order, so I don't want to run out of the CYA testing chemicals.
Thanks all for setting me on the correct path. It is much appreciated.

Edit: 8:00 a.m. FC was 15. CC was 1.
 

spinPHD

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2017
501
Phoenix
This is why I recommend just using stabilizer to get your CYA up. If you try to raise it with pucks or "shock" you end up testing it over and over hoping you don't add too much. You end up spending more in CYA reagent than you would in a $12-$15 bottle of stabilizer.

For now, you should just be using liquid chlorine and stop with the pucks and shock bags. Since you're unsure how much you have added, use the sock method and raise CYA in increments of 10. After each addition, wait at least 2 days and test.
 

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
Thanks. I decided to do that right after my last post. I filled knee-high nylon hosiery with stabilizer and put it in front of a jet then squeezed it. It dissolved really quickly. Added more later. Then I started adding bleach.

I am still waiting on my CYA reagent order. I have enough to test for CYA one more time so I will do that today. Hopefully my order will come in next week.

June 1 FC=15, CC=1, pH=7.5
June 2 FC=15, CC=1, pH=7.5
June 3 FC=14, CC=1, pH= 7.2

Pool still cloudy and slightly green. I am starting to see down deeper into the pool. I can see about 12" deep now so it is getting better. Will add baking soda to raise pH today.

Will post CYA levels if I have enough chemicals. Thanks for all the advice.
 

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pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
Ok thanks.


Just tested CYA

CYA still 0, but now I can't see the black dot. I removed a couple of drops and I could see the dot. Added the drops back in, and dot was gone.

So after adding 4 lbs of stabilizer on June 1st, the CYA is getting better. I need to go buy more stabilizer.

Should I wait a few days longer before adding any more stabilizer? Have I given it enough time?

- - - Updated - - -


Why is my chlorine staying high with zero CYA? It is cloudy today, but it has been sunny the last few days.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,108
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Please read Pool School on the CYA test. You may have it backward according to your last post. If the dot disappears that is the CYA level. The way I read it your CYA is way over 100. Hopefully I am wrong.
 

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
Well.... I should have said that the tube was filled to the top before the dot disappeared. So that was above the 20 mark. So maybe it has 5 or 10ppm. Hard to say since there is not a black mark on the tube to indicate 5 or 10.

As to 100 ppm, that number is way on the bottom of the tube so I don't think that is right.

I reread "Turning Your Green Swamp Back Into a Sparking Oasis" again. Under... Be Prepared...second paragraph, it says "don't depend on a CYA test done while you have algae." Maybe that is why my CYA is not showing up. I thought the SLAM process is what gets rid of algae. So how can I do it without the correct CYA levels? I added 4 lbs so far. What comes first...the chicken or the egg...scenario?
 

domct203

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Jun 3, 2015
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Wednesday morning- Put 4 new tablets of Trichlor in.
Wednesday night- Used 2 bags of shock and 2 bottles of 8.5% bleach after sun went down. Tested chlorine and pH an hour later.
FC was 15, pH was 7.5, CC was 1 ppm.

Thursday- 5:00a.m. before sun came up- tablets are half gone. CYA still 0. FC was 15 and CC was 0.5. No FC loss from previous night.
You can't perform an OCLT with tablets dissolving in the pool.

You should really stop using tablets & establish your CYA using granular CYA.
 

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
Oh, very helpful. I had not read about tablets dissolving skewing the tests. Makes sense though.
I am only using bleach now.
I have been using stabilizer granules since June 1st. Waiting on new order of CYA reagent that I ordered Thursday. I ran out this morning when I tested.
I did not have any tube socks so I used a nylon knee-high sock. Dissolves very quickly in the jet.
 

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
I can still see the black dot in the cya test tube. I looked at the beginning, mid, and end test pictures for the Taylor test kit posted on TFP, and I can see the black dot on their end test picture.

Is it supposed to completely disappear? My test tube is as full as it can get and the dot can just barely be seen.

My chlorine is high and pH is good. Pool is still cloudy.

Do I need to add more stabilizer? I don't seem to be losing chlorine at all, but the pool is still cloudy.
 

pypeke

Silver Supporter
Jul 31, 2015
274
Southeastern Oklahoma
My cya is finally on 30. FC has been 13 since 7:00 pm tonight. Stayed at 13 when i tested at 8:00, 9:00, and 10:00 pm. I am finally getting somewhere.

So if I keep it at 13 that means I am actually Slamming?
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
37,108
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Yes. An FC that is 40% of the CYA value is your shock FC. You maintain that until you pass the three criteria for a successful SLAM.

Take care.
 

GinaLovesSummer

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
85
Whitesboro, TX
When you get ready to buy bleach and muriatic acid I would try Atwood's because there is one in McAlester and Checotah, Ok. Their bleach is labeled "Pool Shock" which is 10% sodium hypo. They run specials often where it is $1.88 a gallon and acid is $2.88 a gallon when on sale. That's the best deal I have found.
 

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