Embarrassed by these Numbers!

ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#1
Hi Pool Experts!

We have a fiberglass pool (details in sig.), we survived our first season with the pool (barely) by using the basic kit the pool company provided us with and a few prayers. By the end of the summer we were battling algae and cloudy water as well as a white line along the water line of the pool.

The season ended, and here I am....FINALLY doing what I should have done last year and did my first test with the TF-100 kit a few minutes ago (Hallelujah!). I am ready to OWN the care of my pool this summer and not have the constant battle we had last year. We used the dreaded chlorine pucks in an automatic feeder that the pool company told us to use...sure, they were easy....but they didn't do the job well. I'm fairly confident they were the reason for many of our headaches. So, here I am absolutely determined to get this thing balanced and beautiful BEFORE the season comes. The pool is remaining open through the winter, but not being swam in (brrrrrrr)

#1 That test was easier than I expected it to be...I saw all those little bottles and got a little overwhelmed! Easy peasy with the instructions!
#2 Holy Moly my water chemistry is a DISASTER
#3 I have all the numbers recorded and even downloaded the Pool Math App (subscribed) so that I can get the hang of this.

My dilemma is this, the Pool Math App tells you what to add to fix each reading...but aren't many of them interdependent? Does Pool Math take that into account when it tells you what to add of each item?

Here are a listing of my (extremely embarrassing chemistry readings below):

FC .5
CC 2.5
TC 3
pH so low it was off the chart....my guess is around 6 or 6.2
TA 30
CH 50
CYA 110ish? (when we say not seeing the black dot anymore do we mean NOT AT ALL, or only see an outline or....?)


Any help with next steps are so greatly appreciated (also, if my readings are impossible, as in I screwed up one of the tests, please let me know and I will give it my best shot to re-do)

THANK YOU Pool Gurus!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,759
Laughlin, NV
#2
Welcome to TFP pool maintenance!

Your pH is in the damaging range. No doubt crashed by the puck use.

Please test your CYA by following Step 8 in Pool School - CYA

With the new CYA reading, you will be draining and refilling. With a fiberglass pool, precautions need to be taken and a process worked on so as your pool shell stays in the ground.

Let us know your extended CYA reading.

Take care.
 
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ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#3
Hi mknauss!

Thanks for the quick reply. I just followed the test per the instructions in the link you provided. New CYA reading is just below the 50 mark (per instructions, double that number). Leaves me with a new reading of 100.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,759
Laughlin, NV
#4
Ok - so double that to 120.

Now you need to investigate how you plan to drain water. I assume you are going to use liquid chlorine to sanitize from now on. Correct?

You should look at a 50% water exchange. Again, as you have a fiberglass pool, you cannot actually drain 50% and refill it. Your pool could float out of the ground.

A water exchange by slowly pumping water out of the pool with a sump pump while adding fresh water at the same rate it is being pulled out is the best method. Once you determine if that is how you want to go, we can provide you some guidance on how to accomplish that.

Do you have a test of your fill water? The pH, TA, and CH would be helpful. That will guide you on what items you will need after the water exchange to get your water balanced.

Take care.

I reread and you said something about algae. So you would be best to get your CYA down to 40 ppm. Or a 2/3rds exchange. That will make a easier.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,690
Tallahassee, FL
#5
We got ya! We will get you set on the right path now!

You can rent a pump or you can buy a cheap one at Harbor Freight for under $100. It may take a time or two of partial draining to get your CYA down to a good level. Better safe than sorry with a fiberglass pool.

Kim:kim:
 
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ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#6
Thanks Kim!

Could I lower the pool level the same way as when I backwash it or drain it when too full after a big rain or do I need to get a sump pump? We have a hose that we unroll and it goes out to the base of our driveway to drain. I'm happy to buy the pump if necessary...just checking!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#7
Could I lower the pool level the same way as when I backwash it or drain it when too full after a big rain or do I need to get a sump pump?
You can. Backwash to waste will probably pull water out faster than you can put it back in with a garden hose, but that's fine. Just keep an eye on the water level. Did they install a main drain in your pool? It's easier to pull water if you have a MD. Mine doesn't, so my only method to exchange water is slowly from the skimmer (in stages) or a separate sump pump. Thankfully with TFP, I never have to worry about the high CYA again, and neither will you after this. :wink:
 
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ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#8
Hi Texas Splash!

Yes, we have a main drain! It absolutely would empty faster than I can fill it, but perhaps we can do it in stages over the next few days. It looks like we are getting a decent amount of rain in the next few days, too....so Yay for free water! LOL

I can't wait to put this CYA thing in my past...I'm NEVER touching a chlorine puck again!!! :rolleyes:
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
504
Fresno, CA
#9
Looking forward to your success ny2nc and being the master of your own pool is priceless, stay the course. Folks here are happy to help and the information at this site is almost too good to be true.

On another topic my son and his young family are moving to Wilmington, NC from CA this summer (Coast Guard transfer). We are excited for them and looking forward to our first visit to NC.
 
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ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#10
Hi Oly!

NC will be quite a change from CA! I am originally from Long Island, but been here in the Raleigh area for a while. NC really is a wonderful place to call home - friendly people, beautiful beaches, beautiful mountains and the perfect area for a young family! Wilmington will be a lovely area for them. I hope they love it! If they could use any advice or have and questions I may be able to answer, feel free to contact me. :)

I can hardly wait to take over my pool. I LOVE our pool builder - but really shouldn't have used those pucks! (insert face palm here) :D
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#11
Yes, we have a main drain! It absolutely would empty faster than I can fill it, but perhaps we can do it in stages over the next few days. It looks like we are getting a decent amount of rain in the next few days, too....so Yay for free water! LOL
Perfect! You're in good shape then. Now if only the weather would cooperate and give you some free, fresh, non-CH/non-CYA water, pool life would be great. :)
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
504
Fresno, CA
#12
We went through this process last summer after buying a home with a pool, see our thread in the signature. We found TFP and experienced an epiphany and now a wonderfully clean pool that is so easy and inexpensive to maintain.

Thanks for the kind words and the neighborly offer, we may have some questions about NC as their move progresses. Keep us posted and post up some pics of your progress.
 

Alwayswantedapool

Platinum Supporter
Jun 22, 2015
202
York SC
#13
I am in sc and I know we got a inch of rain today and we are getting more this weekend. So I would take advantage of that. Plus my water temp is at 48, would expect yours is close to the same. So no crazy algea growth.

But while you are working on cya, you should take care of ta and ph asap. Use pool math to get details to adjust. I would take little steps to adjust, just so you dont go to far the other way.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,759
Laughlin, NV
#14
You need to drain over 2/3rds of your pool volume and replace with fresh water. Doing that in 4-6 inch pulls and then refilling will consume massive amounts of water. Now, if your water is essentially free, you can do it that way. But your best way is to get a small sump pump, determine the rate it is taking water out (typcially around 7 gpm) and put a hose in the skimmer that is putting water into the pool at the same rate as the sump pump is taking it out.

Let us know how you want to proceed.
 

bmoreswim

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 16, 2012
4,390
Central MD
#15
And to add to Marty's comments, the reason you will use more water doing small replacements is that in between, the water mixes and you are pulling out mixed CYA water instead of mostly high CYA water. Replacing 50%, more or less unmixed is not the same as pulling out 10% 5 different times with mixing in between.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,230
Evans, Georgia
#16
Yet another option is to siphon the water out with one hose (videos on Youtube if you need siphoning directions) and replace with another same size hose.

The siphoning hose in the deep end down low, the replacement in the shallow end up high.

Saves the cost of that sump pump, just slower.

Maddie :flower:
 
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ny2nc

Bronze Supporter
Dec 19, 2016
107
Raleigh, NC
#17
Hi all! You have been so helpful in getting this figured out. I did some balancing and here are updated numbers (although I am about to go out there and work on the calcium hardness, chlorine levels). It is 75 outside right now, so although it is February...it feels more like April and swim season! :swim:

Current stats:
FC 2.5
CC .5
TC 3
CH 100
TA 70
CYA 70(ish) Still perfecting my judgement on that test! LOL

So, I got a decent reduction in CYA...not enough, but the drain and refill we did this week did help things along!

My pool looks more sparkly already, or it could be in my head...but I prefer to believe! :cool:

Thank you all for your feedback and advice so far!!!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,690
Tallahassee, FL
#18
Look at you! Taking GOOD care of your own pool!!! :party:

CYA test-GLANCE at the dot then look away! Pour from one line to the next. When you look in the tube GLANCE only! Do not look for it or you will see it :roll: LOL
Start at 100, glance, go to next line, GLANCE, keep going like this until you do not see the dot with a GLANCE!!

Wait until you look out and see your pool *empty* :shock: BUT it is only because it is so clear you cannot see the water!!!! (yeah I did that one time LOL)

Kim:kim: