First Test (ever...)

Hdwainwright

Member
Mar 4, 2019
23
Satsuma, Alabama
So I got a little giddy when my Taylor 2006C came in today! Watched the videos and did the tests and I’m afraid the solution may be expensive. :(

FC 0.4
pH 7.0
TA 30
CH 380
CYA 100 (maybe a little higher, uggh)

I added 4 lbs of 73% Cal-Hypo (it’s what I had bought at the pool store before I found y’all, lol) and 15 lbs baking soda (Pool Math said 17, but 15 was all I had).

Ok. The CYA and CH both say we’re going to have to replace a ton of water. Is this really the best/only/least expensive solution.

Thanks-Heather
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
830
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
You will probably need to do a diluted CYA test to nail down your true number. Here are directions from Pool School.

If your CYA level is 90 or higher, repeat the test adjusting the procedure as follows:
  1. Fill the mixing bottle to the lower mark with pool water.
  2. Continue filling the mixing bottle to the upper mark with tap water.
  3. Shake briefly to mix.
  4. Pour off half of the contents of the mixing bottle, so it is again filled to the lower mark.
  5. Continue the test normally from step 2, but multiply the final result by two.
Try to get an accurate reading and post results. Also confirm your FC number. 0.4 is way too low and you need some chlorine.

If the FC result is accurate, it means you're likely using a 25ml sample. You can save on reagents if you use a 10ml sample. Directions for the 10ml test can be found here: Trouble Free Pool

Good job on getting a good test kit!
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
How exciting @Hdwainwright ! The first test is fun!
  • So the first thing to is no more cal-hypo (it adds calcium your vinyl pool doesn't need) :) Sometimes unopened packages can be exchanged for credit at the pool store, or sold on FB or craigslist type site :)
  • Have you used chlor-tabs or other stabilized chlorine/shock sources? (high CYA)
  • Have you sourced your local liquid chlorine (pool 10% OR plain household bleach 6%)?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,654
Bedford, TX
Heather,

I can fill my whole 17K pool for about $50 bucks, so how expensive can it be in your area?

In my city, if you contact them and tell them what you want to fill your pool, they will waive the corresponding sewage fees that normally go along with the water bill.

Not sure if your city does this or not, but it is worth a phone call.

A drain and refill is the only thing that will fix your pool. Since you have to drain anyway, quit adding stuff to your pool that is just going to go down the drain.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
  • Like
Reactions: setsailsoon

Hdwainwright

Member
Mar 4, 2019
23
Satsuma, Alabama
Rancho - Thanks. I'll redo the CYA tomorrow in the light following those instructions and see if I can get more accurate readings. The FC is probably accurate. Its a new-to-us pool. We moved in October and the pool has been pretty neglected up until the last week. Took a water sample to the pool store and threw some shock in, but that's all that we've done besides scoop out tons of oak leaves.

SplashPad - OMG Duh! Of course that's what the CAL part stands for. I feel stupid. If the pool supply store has been selling the same stuff to the previous owners for years as their main shock, that probably explains the calcium levels then. Previous owners were exclusively using the Cal-Hypo as shock and a stack of chlorine tabs with ionizer system (which we haven't disconnected *yet*) as their chlorine source. That certainly explains the CYA levels and also why they couldn't keep the algae dead until they got the ionizer. I actually have a Sam's Club 3 pack of bleach to be delivered tomorrow and planned on using liquid bleach as my sanitizer, I just didn't have anything except the girly smelling stuff on hand.

Jim - $50? Really? You made me go back and look at my water bill. I did the math and a full change would only cost $125-ish. I don't know why I had it in my mind it would be so expensive. I was thinking >$1000!?! I know the previous owners had a second line installed that doesn't charge on the sewer, I'll have to go find out where that connection is.

So that's it then? Full drain and refill? Partial? Guess we need to nail down that actual CYA level first. I'll post again tomorrow after I retest.

THANK Y'ALL!
 
  • Like
Reactions: splashpad

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,463
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum.
You have a vinyl pool. You cannot drain and refill your pool at one time. You must do it in stages. Once you get your actual CYA level we can provide a process to lower your CYA, with one or two drain and refills.

You will need a submersible pump. Start looking for one at Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Amazon, etc. Typically a 1/3 or 1/2 hp pump at a cost of ~$100.
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
Rancho - Thanks. I'll redo the CYA tomorrow in the light following those instructions and see if I can get more accurate readings. The FC is probably accurate. Its a new-to-us pool. We moved in October and the pool has been pretty neglected up until the last week. Took a water sample to the pool store and threw some shock in, but that's all that we've done besides scoop out tons of oak leaves.
No more pool store test results, they will usually be conflicting. :testkit:

SplashPad - OMG Duh! Of course that's what the CAL part stands for. I feel stupid. If the pool supply store has been selling the same stuff to the previous owners for years as their main shock, that probably explains the calcium levels then. Previous owners were exclusively using the Cal-Hypo as shock and a stack of chlorine tabs with ionizer system (which we haven't disconnected *yet*) as their chlorine source. That certainly explains the CYA levels and also why they couldn't keep the algae dead until they got the ionizer. I actually have a Sam's Club 3 pack of bleach to be delivered tomorrow and planned on using liquid bleach as my sanitizer, I just didn't have anything except the girly smelling stuff on hand.
Don't feel bad, it's new :) And that is exactly what was going on! Have you checked the FC/CYA levels chart? (see link in my sig) Use PoolMath to figure out how much bleach you will need to add (once pool is "reset").

Jim - $50? Really? You made me go back and look at my water bill. I did the math and a full change would only cost $125-ish. I don't know why I had it in my mind it would be so expensive. I was thinking >$1000!?! I know the previous owners had a second line installed that doesn't charge on the sewer, I'll have to go find out where that connection is.
Yes find this! :)

So that's it then? Full drain and refill? Partial? Guess we need to nail down that actual CYA level first. I'll post again tomorrow after I retest.
  • Not quite! With a vinyl liner you have 2 safe options for refilling::
    • partial drain, top off, partial drain, top off (rinse repeat)
    • "Tarp" method (basically use a "barrier" between the pool water and the new water (I would think a bubble solar cover might work well), you'll have to match the input to the output)
So your To Do List:
1) Decide the way you want to handle draining the pool (do not make it empty)
2) Once the pool is refilled fresh, use pool math to find out how much CYA those chlor-tabs will add and take that into consideration (if any additional stabilizer will be needed)
3) Once the pool is fresh filled, test a new sample and share the results here, and we can point you to pool school guides & info :) to get you setup for trouble free pool season!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Hdwainwright

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,557
Tallahassee, FL
You can also go ahead and test your house/fill water. Do NOT bother testing for CYA as there will be none as it has to be added.

You got this! I can't wait for you to see how good your water can look. You will have to wear sunglasses to look at it after we get done with it!!

Kim:kim:
 
  • Like
Reactions: splashpad

Hdwainwright

Member
Mar 4, 2019
23
Satsuma, Alabama
Here are today's results:
FC 10.5
CC 0.0
pH 7.3
TA 70
CH 600 (I've never been more unsure in my life of the difference between purple and blue)
CYA 120 (using Rancho's method)

I think the pump/top off (and repeat) method will be the better choice - I can't imagnine trying to handle a tarp that would be big enough for the 20' x 40' pool! I have access to a couple pumps that my parents use - one that he uses for the hot tub that can do 1000 gal/hr and another that he uses under the house when a natural spring gets too high.

So, my cursory YouTube research says we drain enough to leave about 12" of water in the shallow end, then refill, test CYA levels and go from there. Is this an appropriate approach?

THANKS!
 

Gene Clean

In The Industry
Aug 19, 2018
40
Modesto, CA
You would need to drain 58% of your water to bring the CYA to 50. I'd recommend doing a 30% drain, then another 30% that way you compensate for the extra water left in pipes and filter. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Did you happen to test your fill water? Quite a few people have a tough time with the CH test. You should see a definite change to blue. It does go from Purple, Purple/Blue, then blue. Its all about finding the end point of the test. If the endpoint doesn't come there are a few methods to help.

I also ask about your fill water because that also has a CH level(Usually) so finding that out will help you get the numbers you need for a drain.
 
Last edited:

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,557
Tallahassee, FL
Okay we are set with goals now! Lets work off the CH number since it is higher than the CYA. Use Pool Math and see what is says to get your CH to 300 and go from there. Slow is better to be on the safe side.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hdwainwright

Hdwainwright

Member
Mar 4, 2019
23
Satsuma, Alabama
Okay we are set with goals now! Lets work off the CH number since it is higher than the CYA. Use Pool Math and see what is says to get your CH to 300 and go from there. Slow is better to be on the safe side.
To get CH to 300, Pool Math is saying 54% change.

So if we do 25%, then another 25% that actually changes out about 44% of the original water. A little less than what PM suggests, but we can retest and see where we stand from there.

How long should I wait between refilling and draining the second time?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,557
Tallahassee, FL
Once the pool is filled turn the pump on high and brush it good to get the water mixed up good.

Do you have a drain on the bottom of the pool? If so turn the valves so 80 percent bottom drain to really mix it up good. I would let it run for about an hour.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,463
Laughlin, NV
Is your pool water and fill water different temperatures? If at least 10 degrees different, you can consider using this:

You can exchange some water without draining.

If you place a low volume sub pump in the deep end and pull water from there while adding water in the shallow end (through a skimmer or into a bucket on a step so you lessen the water disturbance) you can do a fairly efficient exchange. That is assuming the water you are filling with is the same temperature or warmer than your pool water. If your fill water is much cooler than your pool water, then switch it. Add the water to the deep end (hose on bottom) and pull water from the top step.

The location of the pump and fill hose may change if you have salt water, high calcium, etc.
In my pool, with saltwater and high calcium when I drain, I put the pump in the deep end and hose in shallow end. The water in the pool weighs more per unit volume than the fill water from the hose.

Be sure to balance the water out and water in so the pool level stays the same. Also be sure your pool pump is disabled during this process. Once started do not stop until you have exchanged the amount of water you wish.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hdwainwright

Gene Clean

In The Industry
Aug 19, 2018
40
Modesto, CA
Given you do indeed have a vinyl pool, using the method mknauss provided here would be the way to go. It will allow you to exchange the percentage you need while protecting your pool from potential problems hard draining could cause. Water tables are unforgiving for most pools, if not all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hdwainwright