First Pool Test-Vero Beach Florida (Southeast Coast)

jclaydds

Member
Feb 24, 2021
7
32963
Pool Size
13000
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Hello!
I did my first pool test today. I have owned my home/pool here for 4 years. Pool and home built in early 90’s but home and pool completely redone in 2014. We have been here part time for last 4 years. I would average being here for a week every 2 months. I got pool water tested at Leslie’s every 2 months and followed their recommendations and seemingly did pretty well managing the pool. I just decided I wanted to take more control of my pool so I ordered the TF-100 test kit and will do all my own testing going forward.

The first Pentair Intellichlor IC40 installed by original owner lasted 4.5 years. I replaced it with the same model 2.5 years ago and it died a couple weeks ago. I decided to go another route and now giving a Circupool RJ-45 SWG a try. I installed it 4 days ago and per instructions ran it at 75% for first couple days (pump running 9 hours a day) and unfortunately got my FAC up around 6+. I have had SWG turned off for last 2 days. I used TF-100 test kit ( see pool logs) that just arrived today and I got a FAC of 6.5. I’m guessing I should patiently wait for the sun to help reduce the FAC and when I get down in the FAC of 2 or so...turn SWG back on at around 10-20% and start testing every few days? Is that a good plan?

Obviously I need some conditioner to raise my CYA. Pool math app is calling for about 4.5 lbs.

My salt is a bit high. Can I just wait that out or do I need to drain some water and refill with fresh water?

Would you recommend I address the high TA level of 100 (target of 50-90)?

just getting my feet wet and just looking for someone to “hold my hand a bit” since I’m not getting advice from my local Leslie rep.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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Hey J and Welcome !!

I would average being here for a week every 2 months. I got pool water tested at Leslie’s every 2 months and followed their recommendations and seemingly did pretty well managing the pool.
Go dig the old SWG out of the trash right now and kiss it. It is the only reason your system worked like it did. They are amazing things.

I used TF-100 test kit ( see pool logs) that just arrived today and I got a FAC of 6.5. I’m guessing I should patiently wait for the sun to help reduce the FAC and when I get down in the FAC of 2 or so...turn SWG back on at around 10-20% and start testing every few days? Is that a good plan?
Technically yes but no. Treat the lower level of 'in range' as a cliff you never want to go over. Stand back a safe distance and take pictures while enjoying the scenery. Once you know it all backwards and forwards you can dance that dangerous line as close as you want, but until you do, give yourself some safety net FC. Many of us started this way and never looked back. The initial dosing to get to slightly above the high end of the range is the only thing you lose. Once you are at any FC, the 3-4 ppm is the same no matter what the FC is.

Obviously I need some conditioner to raise my CYA. Pool math app is calling for about 4.5 lbs.
We recommend shooting for 75% and creeping up on the target. You can't take it out if you go over. You can wait for rain to slooooooooowly dillute it and it loses about 5 ppm per month on its own from the sun. So yeah, undershoot the target. :)
My salt is a bit high. Can I just wait that out or do I need to drain some water and refill with fresh water?
Its because you didn't floss. :p
(You would have to drain about 1/4 to get back to the 3200ish range. Do this before adding the CYA or you'll be draining that too.
Would you recommend I address the high TA level of 100 (target of 50-90)?
Nope. Anything below 120 is fine as long as the PH remains relatively stable. Especially under 100, the TA will settle where it wants to be on its own. You are wise if you listen to it.
just getting my feet wet and just looking for someone to “hold my hand a bit”
We got you. Ask away anytime and folks will be glad to help, from one enthusiast to another.
I’m not getting advice from my local Leslie rep.
Keep. That. Up. (y)
 

jclaydds

Member
Feb 24, 2021
7
32963
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Technically yes but no. Treat the lower level of 'in range' as a cliff you never want to go over. Stand back a safe distance and take pictures while enjoying the scenery. Once you know it all backwards and forwards you can dance that dangerous line as close as you want, but until you do, give yourself some safety net FC. Many of us started this way and never looked back. The initial dosing to get to slightly above the high end of the range is the only thing you lose. Once you are at any FC, the 3-4 ppm is the same no matter what the FC is.

Not sure I understand ....especially the last sentence or two. (The initial dosing to get to slightly above the high end of the range is the only thing you lose. Once you are at any FC, the 3-4 ppm is the same no matter what the FC is.)

Could you elaborate or explain again? Is FC and FAC the same thing? Sorry....a newbie that is just learning the jargon. :)

(You would have to drain about 1/4 to get back to the 3200ish range. Do this before adding the CYA or you'll be draining that too.

My salt level is at 4200 which is obviously high. I just checked the manual of my Circupool RJ-45+ SWG and it recommends a range of 3000-4000 with a target of 3500. Getting to 4000 only requires me to drain 5%. You mentioned getting to 3200 which would indeed require me to drain nearly 25%. Of course, the 3500 target is somewhere in between. Since I am only 200 ppm above the high end of the range, should I sit tight? I am in South Florida and we are seeing temps in the 70's most days with some occasional days in the low 80's. Not sure how long it would take to correct by evaporation and adding water to account for evaporation loss.
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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Could you elaborate or explain again? Is FC and FAC the same thing? Sorry....a newbie that is just learning the jargon
Some think being on the higher end of the scale wastes FC. It doesn’t. It’s just there until you need it. A weather event, high swimmer load, raccoons pooping overnight (long story). The sun and your environment will consume the same FC whether your target is 3 or 10. The only difference is the gallon or to that got you to 10. When you are new that safety net is worth it’s weight in gold.
My salt level is at 4200 which is obviously high. I just checked the manual of my Circupool RJ-45+ SWG and it recommends a range of 3000-4000 with a target of 3500. Getting to 4000 only requires me to drain 5%. You mentioned getting to 3200 which would indeed require me to drain nearly 25%. Of course, the 3500 target is somewhere in between
GREAT !!! You get this part. Well done. I shoot for 3k. If you want to try it as it is that’s fine too. Or start now around 3500 and definitely not have to adjust it again anytime soon. There are 100 ways to skin this cat and none are wrong.
Not sure how long it would take to correct by evaporation and adding water to account for evaporation loss.
CYA and salt take a long time, even with our east coast rain. Most memebers in our climate need a mis season adjustment and that’s it.

You got this.
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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NY
Sorry....a newbie that is just learning the jargon. :)
Also, Please ask at any point if you need further clarification. It is soooooooo much easier to get on the same page before there are *two* problems to fix. :)

We are very patient and friendly, I promise.
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
6,239
NY
*edit. I was just given a maths refresher lesson. Your FC will drop by a certain percentage based on your CYA. Let’s say your loss is 30%. Running at 3 ppm FC you would lose roughly 1 ppm. At 9 ppm you would lose roughly 3 ppm. So ‘running hot’ in this example would ‘cost’ you 2 extra ppm.

IMHO that 2ppm is of such little cost that it is worth it to have the extra wiggle room while you learn. Once you know your pool and how it behaves, What to do and how to do it, dance that minimum FC line as close as you wish. Many of us choose to still keep the wiggle room afterwards. :)
 

jclaydds

Member
Feb 24, 2021
7
32963
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
My two biggest concerns are the salt level and the CYA levels right now. I decided to retest them this morning since I just got my kit yesterday and I wanted to make sure my results were repeatable. I started with the salt test using the K-1766 kit. Yesterday, I got 4200....Today, I got 3800. I wonder if I made an error yesterday. Looking at the directions a bit closer today...Step 1 Rinse and fill 25ml sample tube to 10 ml mark with water to be tested. I am wondering if I glanced at that line and ended up filling it to the 25 ml mark instead. I imagine adding an extra 15 ml of pool water to my test would alter my results but I'm not sure which way it would push the result. In any event, my recommended range for my SWG is 3000-4000 and the test shows 3800 today. I've decided against draining down a percentage of the pool and refilling for now. I'll wait a week or so and test salt again, see where I am at and then make a decision.

The CYA test seems to have some subjectivity in it so I decided to also test it again. I keep looking for that darn black dot in the bottom of the cylinder and after a while...I'm not sure if I am seeing it or not. :) My results were similar to yesterday. Yesterday, CYA was at 33 and today it was 30. I'll attribute that difference to my eyesight! The pool math app is calling for adding nearly 5 lbs. of conditioner. I think I'll start with 3 lbs. and see where that takes me. How long should I wait before testing for CYA again. I think I remember reading I should leave my pump running continuously for 24 hours after adding CYA. Is that correct?

Thanks Newdude for all your help and advice.
 
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Adamphotoman

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2018
290
Dieppe New Brunswick
Pool Size
91000
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Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I like the idea of a SWG . As it is a continuous chlorinator, it can run with less ppm. I manually dose usually once a day so my levels will be up and down. If you go with the pool store recommendations of 2ppm, then you will run the risk of algae. In fact you most likely will have algae even if you can't see it. Overshoot. You will be happy you did.
 
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Newdude

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Yesterday, I got 4200....Today, I got 3800
The test is +\- 200 as an acceptable variance. If you are actually 4K, both of those readings are ‘correct’. The other test methods leave even more room for error so the Taylor kit is the closest we have.

then add in the human factor..... lol. It should be fine where it is.

also you were correct about mixing the CYA. It can take days to show on the test (even longer if it gets trapped undisolved in the filter) so give it time to mix before adding more.
 
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Newdude

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And there are no individual #s for the CYA with a logarithmic scale. Just the 10s. 20/30/40/50 etc. 1+ over the 10 is the next 10. 33 is a 40 for example.
 

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Adamphotoman

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Aug 18, 2018
290
Dieppe New Brunswick
Pool Size
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Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Remember too that a CYA test doesn't work in too well if at all in cold water. I usually warm up my sink with hot water and let my sample warm up. Another thing that I learnt the hard way is that come spring I need to lower my pool. IF you throw in a sump pump and take the water from the bottom, then there goes last years chems. [They stratify and settle] to the bottomI Rain water and snow melt sits on top. Now I tie off the pump and drain the excess from the top.
 
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AUSpool

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... Another thing that I learnt the hard way is that come spring I need to lower my pool. IF you throw in a sump pump and take the water from the bottom, then there goes last years chems. [They stratify and settle] to the bottomI Rain water and snow melt sits on top. Now I tie off the pump and drain the excess from the top.

As far as I can tell jclaydds is in Florida where there is no snow melt and the pump is most likely operating as normal all year round; stratification is not likely to occur in a Florida pool. Stratification does occur but it’s topic that is probably better suited to the deep end.

@jclaydds, welcome to the TFP forums.

You must have done both salt tests with 10ml samples, if you had done it with a 25ml sample your result would have been out by 60%. Your result would have been 60% higher and you would have used over double of the titrating reagent. As Newdude said the test variance is +\-200ppm so as long as your SWCG is happy I would call it 4000ppm and leave it at that for now.

Go easy on your stabiliser. I would rather over estimate my current CYA so I have less chance to over dose. So I would call your current CYA 40ppm and work your estimated dose from that. From PoolMath adding 3lbs would bring you up to 70ppm. I would try for 60ppm to start and only add 2lbs via the sock method in your skimmer with the pump on. (I play with SI units and PoolMath gives results in oz’s where 16oz = 1lb. PoolMath says that @ 13,000 gallons adding 35oz’s will raise CYA by 20ppm).

FYI I’m using the Old PoolMath web page from the quick navigation link down the bottom of the page. I must change it back to my SI metric units before I go cross eyed, o_O

With a canister filter I would add CYA cautiously using the sock in the skimmer with the pump running method. There is more about adding CYA in the Wiki here.
 
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duraleigh

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IF you throw in a sump pump and take the water from the bottom, then there goes last years chems. [They stratify and settle] to the bottom
That is incorrect. All the parameters for which you should be testing are distributed evenly throughout your pool.
 

Newdude

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All the parameters for which you should be testing are distributed evenly throughout your pool.
Once the pump is running yes. Sitting there all off season collecting 36 inches of water ? My personal jury is out on that. I tested every year before and after getting the pump running and they were wildly different 30 mins apart.

Im not smart enough to explain the science behind it. Nor can I tell you if it was just the random spot I was testing, or the whole top layer VS the bottom layer. But there was a big testing discrepancy.
 

AUSpool

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Coming from the chemistry pool geek in me they’re both right but being in the ‘just getting started’ forum and Dave being an Expert, a mod and admin, he’s more right. There is an easy explanation but given there is a new member overhearing us ;) and his pool is in Florida it would best be a topic for the deep end. :)
 
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duraleigh

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There are some external forces which can temporarily take a solution out of equilibrium but that's not the topic. The topic is do pool additives settle to the bottom and/or stratify.......they do not

when you test pH, phenol red diffuses until it reaches equilibrium. Most all household dyes that I know of do the same thing.

Most soluble compounds will seek from high concentrations to low concentrations.....again, diffusing until equilibrium is reached
 

jclaydds

Member
Feb 24, 2021
7
32963
Pool Size
13000
Surface
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Thanks for all your responses but I admit that some of that latter discussion about stratification and equilibrium was way above my pay grade and gave me a bit of PTSD remembering my college chemistry classes 40+ years ago.

If anyone would care to take a look at my logs. I'm trying to get this pool "dialed in" and I have to admit I am pretty pleased right now until one of you "bursts my bubble" with a response of where I went wrong. :rolleyes:

I am testing more frequently now that I likely will in the future but let me explain why. I ordered the TF-100 test kit and it arrived a week ago. I was telling my brother about it (who also has a pool in South Florida) and he says I should have mentioned to him that I was ordering the test kit because he had one that he would give me....he ordered it last year and didn't like doing his own testing. I figured the kit would be some cheap entry level test kit and he pulls out a Taylor K2006C out of the cabinet and I was shocked. The trouble is he bought this kit May 2020 so it is already about 10 months old. Most of the reagents have 2021 expiration dates so I figure I have lots of extra reagents to use up as I learn to do my own testing and hopefully learn to get more repeatable results. I'm saving the reagents in my new TF-100 kit since they are fresher/newer and using my brother's kit.

I wonder if using the 2nd kit skewed my CYA result a couple of days ago. Over the last 4 days, my CYA result has been 30, 100, and 60 today. I had added 3 lbs of CYA after the result of 30. I thought I overshot the range a bit when I got the 100 result a couple of days ago. I know this test is subjective but I was using the view tube in the Taylor kit when I got the result of 100. I used the view tube in the TF-100 when I got the initial result of 30. I went back to using the view tube in the TF-100 kit today and got 60 which was closer to what I was expecting. I have to wonder if the visibility of that black dot is different in the two view tubes but it is more likely a result of "user error". :roll: I actually did the test twice today (remember I have lots of reagent that is going to expire before I use it). The first time today, I did it myself and I was closer to 50. I asked my wife to come and repeat the test to see what she was seeing and she was closer to 60. I added 3/4 lb of CYA today to try to bump my CYA level up just a bit but trying hard not to overshoot it. I have already learned that lesson on having excess salt and if I understand the concept....excessively high salt levels or excessively high CYA levels means drain and refill in order to correct!

I also added about 4 oz of 31% Muriatic Acid today and bumped my salt cell up to about 50% to run for a few hours today to hopefully bring my FC up a bit. I feel like I am getting close to where I want to be. This is a new salt cell (Circupool RJ45+) and I am still trying to figure it out and get it "dialed in". Once I get these results where I want them, I would love to hear some recommendations on how often you all test. Once a week? Are there tests you do daily?

If I get my pool in better shape, I'll take my brother's K2006C kit back to his house and help him get his pool in better shape also. He is back to taking pool samples to Leslie's. :(

Well...enough for now. I have thick skin so tell me where I am going wrong. :)
 

duraleigh

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please list your current test results like this....

FC= xxxx
CC= xxxx
pH =xxxx
TA = xxxx
CYA= xxxx
CH= xxxx

Tell us the city and state you are located
 

jclaydds

Member
Feb 24, 2021
7
32963
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
FC= 2.5
CC= 0.5
pH =7.7
TA = 80
CYA= 60
CH= 350
Vero Beach, Florida
 

duraleigh

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There ya' go.........very helpful. Those numbers are all pretty decent except for FC, which needs to be up around 7 ppm and kept there with a CYA of 60.

Is your water really clear?
 

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