Do I have too much chlorine?

karen1017

Active member
Jun 19, 2010
40
NE Oklahoma
Hi everyone. I am new to TFP but am quickly being converted to the BBB Method. I have a 16' x 32' ABG Doughboy pool that is 54" deep and buried 2', with a sand filter. We have been getting 0 FC readings since opening about a month ago. After numerous trips to the pool store and lots of shock (powder) nothing helped. After finding your forum I started adding liquid bleach over 2 days. First day, 5 182 oz bottles - no change. Next day (Saturday night) 10 182 oz bottles added slowly in front of the return. Within an hour the reading using an OTO kit was dark orange, same reading the next morning and again this morning. The water is clear and has been all along. Is it safe to swim? If not, how do I lower the FC level? I have 3" pucks in a floater, is this still necessary? My levels at the time I first added the bleach are as follows:
TC - 0.6
FC - 0
TA - 161
ph - 6.9
CYA - 40
TDS - 300 (not sure what this is)
I plan on taking another sample to the pool store today. I have ordered a testing kit from TF test kits. Hopefully, I will soon be able to figure all of this out myself. Thanks for hosting this site, it is invaluable.

karen1017
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
What did you use to determine how much chlorine to add? Based on my calculation you've added 77 ppm chlorine in 2 days not counting the powdered chlorine from the pool store. The pool store reading will likely max out on their scale and not be accurate (or bleach out and read zero). You need to not add any more chlorine until you get your TF-100 kit and can get an accurate reading.

After that, post results back here and we can help you get it under control. BBB is not about adding liquid chlorine to your pool, it's about knowing the effects of what you do add to your pool. If you haven't already, you should read "Pool School".

That much chlorine can ruin your liner. The experts may want to weigh in on what you might need to do in the meantime, but as long as the OTO test shows yellow, do not add chlorine to your pool, and remove the floater as well.
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
10,293
East Texas
Check pool school as to what to do to raise your ph to at least 7.2-7.4 so you'll at least have something to do until your test kit arrives. That's a ton of chlorine you've added, especially for clear water.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
22,969
SouthWest Alabama
Post back what the pool store comes up with. Hopefully your new test kit will be there soon and you can get good numbers. Since your water is clear you can swim up to shock level for your CYA which would be 16ppm. Since you have an OTO test kit we can tell you how to "guesstimate" the amount of chlorine you have. Take a sample of pool water and add 2 equal parts of chlorine free water to it then test and multiply your result by 3. In other 10ml of pool water and 20ml of chlorine free water mixed together then run the test.
 

karen1017

Active member
Jun 19, 2010
40
NE Oklahoma
Thanks loughps and woodyp for your quick replies. I feel really foolish now. I scoured the TFP forums for people with the same problem and sort of followed their lead. I assumed we had a build up of amonia in the pool and read that it would take a lot of liquid bleach to kill it. I will take your advice and work on the ph until my kit arrives. I did check out the Pool School, but didn't see an answer to this problem. Thanks again for your help. It makes me feel like I'm not fighting this problem alone.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
You're not alone and there's no need to feel foolish, we all began at some point. For ammonia or any other problem you need to shock for, you need to add enough chlorine to get to shock level and test hourly and do it again. It may be that it's consumed quickly, but giving it an hour and testing again keeps you from adding too much and risking ruining your liner or other problems from very high chlorine.

The good news is that it sounds like you want to learn and there are lots of people here that are happy to help teach. As Bama said, post pool store results if you get them, but don't buy ANYTHING until you post here, your results may be inaccurate from high chlorine and the pool store advice may not be what you need. Also, as Bama said, you should use diluted pool water in your OTO test (tap water often has chlorine, distilled water is best) and get an idea of what your chlorine level is while you wait for the FAS-DPD test. Remember, if you add 2 parts distilled water to 1 part pool water, your chlorine level is 3 times what the test shows.

Let us know what you find and we'll help you get it all under control.
 

karen1017

Active member
Jun 19, 2010
40
NE Oklahoma
We took samples to two different pool stores, one did a strip test and checked results on the computer and said everything is great, the other one just did the strip test and said we didn't need anything. Neither one would give us a print out. That was Monday. Today we received the TF100. Here are the results:

FC - 5 ppm
CC - 1ppm
TC - 6 ppm
ph - 6.8
TA - 170
CYA - 110
temp - 90
That all sounds wrong to me from what I have been reading. Again my pool is 16 x 32 ABG and is 54" deep. The water is clear.
Any help on what I should do next would be greatly appreciated.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
I'd trust your results over the pool stores.

With CC over .5 ppm, you need to shock your pool. The bad news is shocking with CYA at 110 is next to impossible. Which brings me to my next question, how did you get CYA - 110 ppm? The test only reads to 100 and if your reading is 100, it could be even higher. I'd suggest taking a sample that is half pool water and half tap water and doing the test again and double the result you get. You need to get your CYA down in the 40 - 50 ppm range (if you plan on switching to liquid chlorine) and that's going to mean doing a partial drain and refill. How much is going to depend on your true CYA level and since the test only goes to 100, yours could be higher, or much higher.

First, do the CYA test again like I mentioned above and post the results and then I would suggest beginning the drain and refill process and then we can get the water balanced.
 

karen1017

Active member
Jun 19, 2010
40
NE Oklahoma
Thank you loughps for a quick reply. Oh My Gosh! I did the retest with 1/2 tap water and the reading is 80ppm before I doubled it. So you are saying the first thing I should do is a partial drain and refill? Should I add anything before or while doing that?
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
You'll want to start stocking up on liquid chlorine. After you've finished the refill process and gotten your CYA down to 40 or 50, you're likely going to need to shock the pool. You could do some pricing and buy several large jugs (10 would likely not be too many to start with.)

Also, don't stress over it. It's going to be a pain for a little while to be doing all this while you'd rather be swimming, but you'll be surprised how easy it is once you're through it. Enjoy whatever nice cold beverage makes you happy and read TFP. :)

The drain and refill is going to be your first step and then a full set of test results so you can get everything balanced again.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
According to http://www.poolcalculator.com, to go from CYA = 160 ppm to 40 ppm, you need to drain 75% of your water. I have an inground vinyl pool, so I would drain it to within a foot of the shallow end, refill and do that again. I don't know how far you can drain your Doughboy without risking any structural damage, but someone should be along to tell you soon.

In the meantime, I would err on the side of caution and drain about a quarter and then fill it back up and do that two more times and see where you are. Since the new water and old water will mix, you'll be higher than 40, but you can test then and see how close you are.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
With a buried above ground pool, you shouldn't drain more than perhaps four to six inches below ground level. Going lower than that risks ground pressure pushing the walls in. Even though that isn't all that likely, there isn't any reason to risk it.
 

karen1017

Active member
Jun 19, 2010
40
NE Oklahoma
I have now partially drained and refilled my pool three times in the past two days. Here are the current readings:
FC - .5
CC - .5
TC - 1 ppm
ph - 7.2
TA - 100
CYA - 55

According to the Pool Calculator, I think I am now supposed to add 109 oz chlorine bleach, 27 oz 20 Mule Team Borax. That doesn't seem like near enough chlorine. Am I figuring something wrong? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
I would bring FC up to 10 for the moment, it can be lower later. In a 13,700 gallon pool that would be a little over two gallons of 6% bleach.

Leave the PH where it is. It will probably come up on it's own over time.
 

karen1017

Active member
Jun 19, 2010
40
NE Oklahoma
Thanks JasonLion. I added the liquid chlorine this morning. I appreciate all the help of everyone that responded. Switching to the BBB Method can be confusing, but everyone has been great. We have a bucket of 3" stabilized pucks. Will I ever need them, or should I return them? I'm not sure what to do next on my pool. I'll check the levels tomorrow and post them.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
What to do next? Go swimming of course :)

There are occasional uses for trichlor tablets, like when you are on vacation they can be handy, but I doubt you will ever use up a bucket full. I would return them if you can.
 
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