CYA so very high, very low ph, and very low chlorine

Vaquita

New member
Sep 18, 2019
3
tucson, arizona
Hello Everyone,
Recently (about 3 weeks ago) a family member used the pool (complained about how strong the chlorine smelled while in it) and has been sick with a serious systemic infection ever since but getting better now. Realizing that she just used the pool when she got so very sick, about a week later, I tested the pool water at a local store. The store said the pool was very low in chlorine but nothing else, even though I asked about the CYA levels. The following week I had a licensed pool guy come out and inspect the pool. He said the pool had a very, very high CYA level and the pool would have to be emptied. But his price was so high that I had someone else come today. This professional pool guy also said the pool had an extremely high CYA level ("off the chart") and very, very low levels of chlorine and equally low ph level. Now all along I have had another pool service and they have never said anything about the pool chemistry and other problems, such as pool pump filter basket being broken, high filter pressure (20+) reading, filter leaking with worn out "O" ring, and broken screw on motor pool pump filter cap, etc. Of course, I will fire him. For now I need your advise and answers, please.

I read that high CYA levels block the effectiveness of chlorine and causes the pool to be unsafe for your health because bacteria and viruses cannot be killed off. Both of the "new" recent professional pool guys disagreed with me. One even told me to stop reading the web. He further stated "you never get the right info" and that he has been in the pool business for so many years that he knows better than anyone else. To emphasize his point he then said you could jump in this pool right now and not get sick. He has an ROC license, too. He did clean out the DE filter and then (back) flushed the filter tank plus fixing minor mechanical problems. Eventually, he added about 1/2 gallon or gallon of pure bleach and DE to pool. He recommended using bichlorinator 3" tablets instead of tricholinator 3" tablets. I asked if it were better to use some form of liquid chlorine or something better than the tablets. He told me "no". He said he will be back on Friday to test the water and I think add something to raise the low ph and more liquid chlorine until CYA levels go down.

I asked both of these licensed professional pool techs what could be the reason for this problem. I asked if too many chlorine tablets caused the problem or perhaps the type of chlorine tablets my regular guy was using but neither seem to have an answer. I do realize that my regular guy probably never measured the chemistry of the pool but that doesn't explain everything, does it? I think I have to find another pool professional but first I would like to know what you think. I am so overwhelmed by this situation and by my daughter having gotten so seriously sick. BTW, I asked her doctor and PCP if there was anything strange passing around; both said "no". So I can only think it must have been the pool.

Thank you in advance for any helpful answers or advise you provide. Believe me, I will be so grateful. Sincerely, Vaquita.
 
Last edited:

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
388
Spring Valley, NY
I think you found the pool professional, YOU. I think you have to get involved with your pool and don't expect good answers from these guys. Read all you can here and get the TF-100 kit. Fill in your signature so we can further help you. By him putting in a half gallon is nothing for the high CYA you have
 

Vaquita

New member
Sep 18, 2019
3
tucson, arizona
Thank you, Wireform! You made me laugh even though this is no laughing matter.
I would have answered sooner but I am not familiar with how this website works and finally came back to "forums" only to find out that I had an answer.
OK....I am older than you by many years (May 10, 19--). My pool is about 18 yo. It was plaster originally as I understand. Later it was re-done with pebble tec.
It holds approximately 10K to 12K gallons and is a chlorine pool. It has 3 jets, 1 skimmer box, a vac port, an old Hayward DE filter and an old 1 HP/1Speed motor pump - both probably 18 years old. I don't know the model numbers and now it's dark out so I can't tell you right now.

BTW, I wrote Leebo asking how do you fill in your signature. I went to "Signature" and clicked but didn't get anywhere. Can you tell me how to do that?

Thanks so much, Vaquita
 

Vaquita

New member
Sep 18, 2019
3
tucson, arizona
:)
Wireform,
I have to run out to store but I'll keep this up so when I come back I can read your reply.
TFP is a great find. Thanks again for replying to me. Talk later, Vaquita