First Taylor test results - drain pool or ignore it until the summer?

Hey folks,

With the weather finally turning "cold" here in Los Angeles, I finally let my pool guy go and am learning how to take care of my pool myself. I want to keep it covered for the winter, but I've read that in LA I should still maintain the water chemistry so I don't open up to an algae pond in the spring.

So I got my TAYLOR K-2006 test kit last week and spent some time doing all the tests yesterday. Here are my results:

Date: Dec 1
Pool temp: 60 degrees
pH: 8.0
Free Chlorine: 16 ppm
Combined Chlorine: 0.5 ppm
Total alkalinity: 70 ppm Ca CO3
CYA: > 100 (120?)
Calcium hardness: 680 ppm.

I'm new to this, but the pH and CYA jump out as pretty off, right? I'm not sure what my previous pool guy was doing. It has rained quite a bit recently, so maybe this did something too.

Should I just cover this sucker up for the next 6 months, or drain it and practice fine tuning it all over the winter?

Thanks for the thoughts,
Last edited by a moderator:


Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum! :handshake:

I suspect your CYA is far higher than 100. How have you been chlorinating? Do Step 8 in Pool School - CYA

You should be maintaining your water chemistry year around in Los Angeles.

Test your fill water CH and TA. You are most likely due for a water exchange.

I suggest you read Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Trouble Free Pool School book.


Well-known member
Jun 8, 2015
Rocklin Ca
I live up in Sacramento I maintain my pool year around no matter how cold the water gets. After I found TFP I started maintaining my pool myself I always relied on the pool stores for advice and supplies. When I got my TF100 test kit the pool was just out of whack on every level very frustrating. out of coincidence I was selling something on Craig’s list a fella came over Retired water engineer long story short best advice ever “sometimes it’s best to start fresh” drained two thirds of the water followed TFP pool looks better than ever before cost a whole loot less $60 a month in height of the hot season. I think if you do a search of water cost in your area you will be surprised in my area it was under $2 per 1000 gal. 5 years ago.

I give you some other advice looking at your pool equipment I would consider changing out your pump to an IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump It a real money saver in your pool cost.
Wow thanks everyone for the great advice!

I think I will end up draining the pool partway and mostly starting over. I'm going to a well rated pool supply shop and will peruse their chemicals this coming weekend.

I'm taking over for the pool guy and so I'm not sure what type of chlorine he was using.

I also have to figure out how to clean the pool. There are about 200 dead worms in there from the recent rain. I'll start a new post another part of the forum to ask about that, though. Once the pool is clean and balanced I'll definitely look into upgrading my equipment. It all looks 20 years old.

Thanks everyone!



Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ