Fired Pool Guy, Ran TFTests from kit, now where to begin?

Jukinmama

New member
Oct 5, 2014
3
Fernandina Beach, FL
#1
We moved into a home with a plaster pool in August. Since we have never taken care of a pool we used a pool service for the first few months. The pool guy last came Friday, the same day I received my TFTest kit! (We are taking this on ourselves now.) I am posting the test results below. I have purchased all of the liquid bleach, borax, soda ash, CYA, acid, etc that this forum recommends but I would like some expert opinions on where to begin with the numbers below??? I have not added anything yet. I did test for borates just to see if the pool guy was using them and they were 0. This forum is amazing and thanks for creating this great resource!

10/31/2014
FC 15.5
CC 0.5
pH 8.2
TA 90
CH 475
CYA 90
Temp 71

11/2/2014
FC 12.0
CC 0.0
pH 8.2
TA 110
CH 475
CYA 75
Temp 63
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,185
Longview, Texas
#2
Hi,
a couple of comments.

Your CYA tests shows a difference of 15ppm over a couple days. It takes a bit of time for a new user to get used to testing CYA and get repeatable results. I suspect your 'real' CYA is somewhere between 75 and 90. Always test outside in direct sunlight, with your back to the sun, and the test tube at waist level. You can use the same test mix and test several times, just pour the mixture from the tube back into the bottle and give it another go. Several times should give you a more accurate indication of your CYA, than just testing it 1 time.

CYA doesnt go away except with dilution, the only way to lower it is to drain some of the water and refill.

So, with that said, and if you decide not to drain and refill to get your CYA down...

First, get your PH down to recommended levels. 7.4 would be a good target. Use Pool Math to determine how much muriatic acid or dry acid to add in order to obtain your target. Let it mix in for 30 minutes or so.

Your High PH is likely effecting the accuracy of your FC test. So after your Ph is down retest your FC.
Refer to the recommended levels and adjust your FC to your CYA level. If you need to raise the FC, use Liquid Chlorine to do it. If your FC is too high for your CYA level, then dont do anything. The FC will drop due to UV, so test it daily until you reach your recommended FC level. Then maintain your FC there. Use Pool Math to determine how much liquid chlorine is needed to maintain the FC level.

CC is good!
TA is good!

your CH is higher than recommended. The only way to get it down is again, drain some of the water.
Hi CH is manageable, a lot of people do it, but its a bit of a pain. Recommend to search the forum for "managing high Ch" or something of that nature if water replacement isnt an option for you.
Managing high CH means keeping a sharp eye on your Ph and the CSI (see pool math, it will tell you what your CSI index is). High CH can lead to calcium scaling at water level and its hard to get off! Given the right chemical conditions of the water, the calcium can also precipatate out of the water turning the water a milky white color. You make a determination as to how much your CH may increase over time by testing your tap water, which is used to replinish the water lost to evaporation and backwashing. If your CH in the tap water is high, well... the CH in the pool will just increase over time.

Overall though, you test results look not too bad except for the PH that definitely needs to come down asap.

I would recommend, if its an option for you, to get your CYA and CH down closer to recommended levels.
http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/134-recommended-levels
http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html


I hope this helps!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,674
#3
What has previously been used for chlorine?

Can you post test results for your tap water? pH, TA and calcium hardness?
 

pwrstrk

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2012
4,758
Elverson Pa.
#4
For your CYA test you can pour the sample solution back and retest a couple of times to get a better feel on your reading. It takes some practice as the test can be tricky. Do the test like Dave suggested.
Now if you leave your CYA level where it's at, your target FC range for 90 is 12 and never below 7. If it's 75 the FC range is 11 and never below 6. Dipping below the min level is asking for algae and with high CYA levels it takes a whole lot more bleach to SLAM a pool.
You may want to lower that level and your CH will also get lowered with water replacement. Make sure to keep your PH in check to prevent scaling. 😎
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
#5
Welcome to the forum Jukinmama :wave:

If you have questions or when you catch up with the recommendations post again. Feel free to add pictures as show and tell is always interesting and it's fun to see other members layouts !!
 

Jukinmama

New member
Oct 5, 2014
3
Fernandina Beach, FL
#6
Thanks so much for the help! DivingDave, I will add the acid today based on the pool calc calculator. Now I have a game plan! Then I will add the liquid chlorine 8.25% after that is lowered.

JamesW, The pool guy was using chlorine tablets weekly. He was placing them in the skimmer basket. Here are the results of our tap water tests:
Tap water:
pH 7.2
TA 140
CH 300

pwrstrk, Thanks for the great tip on being able to repeat the CYA test multiple times.

I'm sure I'll get the hang of this pool thing soon enough.
 

Jukinmama

New member
Oct 5, 2014
3
Fernandina Beach, FL
#7
Sorry for the duplicate post. Here are a few pictures. Our pool overlooks the saltwater marsh which is really neat. We saw a huge buck running through the marsh today while we were fishing. IMG_7566.jpg
 

pwrstrk

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2012
4,758
Elverson Pa.
#8
Your tap water is a little high in TA and CH. You'll need to keep your PH in check with acid. When it gets to 7.8 lower it. That will also start to lower your TA albeit slowly. At some point your TA will fall inline and your PH will become more stable. Keeping your PH in check will also help to avoid scaling from high CH. 😎
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
#9
Switching away from chlorine tablets to just plain bleach will also let you better control the CYA. I learned the hard way the the tablets contain CYA and as you keep adding tablets for the needed FC which is constantly being used up you are driving your CYA up and up as it doesn't normally dissipate, just keeps building.
 

pwrstrk

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2012
4,758
Elverson Pa.
#10
A Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWG) would be another way to go for chlorination. Lots of folks on the forum use an SWG and love them. If you go away from home, vacations and things like that you don't have to worry about manually adding bleach or finding somebody to look after the pool. 😎
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2012
35,539
Tallahassee, FL
#11
You are on the right track! The test kit and questions will allow you to take control of your pool. GOOD job!

Your pool is so pretty! I bet it was neat to see the deer.

The others posted what will get you going in the right direction. Please feel free to ask any questions you have so we can help you out.

Kim
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,723
Hudson, WI
#12
If you still have some of those tables sitting around vacations and times you're gone for a few days are a good time to use those (up). But it is better to use them in a floater than to toss them into the skimmer. When the pumps off the chlorine concentration inside the skimmer spikes way high and that amount of chlorine can damage the pipes at the skimmer and over time they can crack or even crumble. That's another lesson I learned after the fact as I was told by the owner (my GF) to just toss them in the skimmer. Finally ran out of tablets early this year !! They can also be used in the spring when you open as usually you do loose a little CYA over the winter and tossing in a couple tablets to get some FC and CYA then is a good thing.

You need to check out the video of this guys skimmer pipe !!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoenWLw5VCg