First Test of Season

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Results below. Some of them are a little confusing. Prior to closing I had CYA of 70, salt of 3500. I drained probably 8000 gallons at the very most. Where did the salt and CYA go? Did my test kit stuff expire? It's probably 9 months old.


Free Chlorine: 0.0
Combined Chlorine: 0.0
pH: 8.5 (guess, very pink)
Total Alkalinity: 70
Calcium Hardness: 125
CYA: 10 (guess, could still see full)
Salt: 1400
Temperature: 58°F
CSI: 0.23

Obviously I need to add some bleach. Do I do that first? Or acid first? Or cya? Salt I'll add so I can run the chlorinator to maintain after bleach shocks. The SWG is showing 2500 ppm, so I'm not sure which to trust.

Not as good looking as I was hoping. Although the pool looks relatively clean except for about a million dead worms.

Thanks.
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
So I added salt and enough acid to get to maybe 7.5, but now I'm regretting that because my CH is so low that now my CSI is down to like -0.7 maybe.

How quickly does plaster degrade? Do I need to fix the CH quickly now?

I need to buy bleach, should I shock before adding cya or after?
 

Texas Splash

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Hi! :wave:
Not as good looking as I was hoping. Although the pool looks relatively clean except for about a million dead worms.
Because of that statement, I'm assuming a SLAM is in order. That said, we know your CYA was low. SO if it still is, add only enough stabilizer to get the CYA to 30. At the same time, increase the FC to "12" and begin your SLAM. Normally we would lower the pH just a little more, but because of your low CH, I think you can afford to leave it that way for now. From this point forward, don't do anything else until you pass the SLAM. Follow all the instructions on the SLAM page (link below) and hopefully you'll pass the 3 SLAM criteria soon. After the SLAM, we can help you fine-tine all the other chemicals, to include adjusting the CYA higher for your SWG. Good luck!
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Hi! :wave: Because of that statement, I'm assuming a SLAM is in order. That said, we know your CYA was low. SO if it still is, add only enough stabilizer to get the CYA to 30. At the same time, increase the FC to "12" and begin your SLAM. Normally we would lower the pH just a little more, but because of your low CH, I think you can afford to leave it that way for now. From this point forward, don't do anything else until you pass the SLAM. Follow all the instructions on the SLAM page (link below) and hopefully you'll pass the 3 SLAM criteria soon. After the SLAM, we can help you fine-tine all the other chemicals, to include adjusting the CYA higher for your SWG. Good luck!
Thanks, that's what I was thinking. Raise CYA to 30 and then SLAM.

Any concerns that my test kit is bad or something? I can't explain the CYA or CH dropping like they did.
 

Texas Splash

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Any concerns that my test kit is bad or something? I can't explain the CYA or CH dropping like they did.
CYA and CH drop when there is a water exchange, so unless there was a lot of swap from the winter, it's odd. For the CYA test, I would recommend making sure the water isn't too cold (below 60). If it is, let it warm up a bit inside then go back out under the sun to do the test. Other than that, double-check your tests if needed, but if you get the same thing, all you can do is adjust from there. :)
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Double checked and got same results.

Can I add 50 pounds of CH at once? The instructions say 3 lbs at a time.

Also, the CYA goes in a skimmer? All 4 lbs at once? It also says to backwash first.

Should I leave the acid (I added acid and I'm still very pink) and CH alone until after the SLAM?
 

Texas Splash

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Can I add 50 pounds of CH at once? The instructions say 3 lbs at a time?
Definitely go slow. Too much can make the water cloudy - you can wait until after the SLAM if you wish.
Also, the CYA goes in a skimmer? All 4 lbs at once? It also says to backwash first.
You can put as much as you want in a sock, and you can place it in the skimmer as long as it doesn't cut-off flow to your pump. If the skimmer is your only source of flow, you can hang the sock from the side of the pool or a floater. Squeeze the sock frequently.

For the pH, you need to lower it "before" starting the SLAM (increasing with bleach). SO do the pH and CYA at the same time, that's fine. Once the pH is down to about 7.2, then you can start the SLAM (FC of 12).
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Got started today. Got a bunch of CH in (about 35 lbs), 4.5 lbs of CYA, 5 gallons bleach, PH down to 7 (overshot a little, oh well).

Ran the SWG a bit to make sure it was still good.

FC was actually 14.5 tonight, turned off SWG obviously. I'll test before the sun is up but I have no doubt it'll pass. It's really clear and the bottom is pretty clean.

Might keep FC high a couple days so I can keep brushing and running the robot to try to get the winter stains off.

Need to buy some more CH tomorrow to finish getting that up.

Once the stains are gone I'll bring the CYA up and let the FC drift back down, and then it's just smooth sailing from there. Might try borate this season to keep the PH from climbing so quickly though.
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Surprisingly it didn't pass. Got to it about 630 am, about 30 minutes after sunrise but definitely before any direct sun.

Down to 12, with 0.5 CC. Good thing I'm doing this I guess, there's definitely something I can't see (it looks really clear and clean).

Turned the SWG back on to provide the chlorine to maintain. Check in a few hours to make sure I'm not making too much or too little.
 

Texas Splash

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Good thing I'm doing this I guess, there's definitely something I can't see
Absolutely! That's why it's soo important to be 100% of your water. Now you know and can attack it before it becomes a big problem. Continue to maintain and inspect absolutely every area of the pool, behind light niches, any hollow steps/ladders, skimmer lid, etc. Leave nothing to chance so that the bleach can attack it.
 

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kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
So, not great. This morning about 630 am I got 12 FC. Turned the SWG to 50%, which is a lot since it's way oversized.

Tested now and was at 8.5 FC. Not sure where it all went. Does CYA expire? Maybe all the chlorine just burned off because I don't actually have as much CYA as I think? It's pretty sunny today.

Only had one more bleach jug so I put that in, brushed the pool, restarted the robot, and turned the SWG up to 100%.

I'll check in a while and see where I am. Pool looks gorgeous, so I'm not sure what's up.
 

Texas Splash

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One thing for sure, SWGs are not designed to hold-up to the demands of a SLAM. That's why in most cases we simply say to turn them off and stick to just bleach. The quick drop is probably combination of sun and organic consumption. Does CYA expire? .... are you asking about stuff you had on the shelf and recently added to try and reach a CYA of 30? Yes, there have been some cases where CYA did not reach the desired goal - sometimes due to age, but sometimes we've seen a bad batch that was just weak. Since you recently added it, and assuming it's all dissolved, I'd check the CYA again tomorrow to make sure it's at least to 30. Even if you bumped it to 40 it's not a horrible thing, just a little more bleach. As long as you're in that general area you'll be okay.
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Yeah, the CYA finished dissolving this morning, so I'll test it tomorrow morning to see.

I figured since my SWG normally has no trouble (I often run it at 5% when it's cool out) it could maintain after the bleach got it up to the right level. We'll see how it does on max.

I really don't know where the organics are, the entire pool and water look very clear. Brushing only gets a bit of stuff off the bottom.

It looks so good I'm having trouble not jumping in, until I remember it's 60 degrees.
 

Texas Splash

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It looks so good I'm having trouble not jumping in, until I remember it's 60 degrees.
Right! Ha. With water so nice, you're in the most difficult part of the SLAM - near the end. Hang in there. Perhaps tonight's OCLT will be better. Use anytime you have this evening to give one more look to anything that could hide algae. Your signature doesn't show anything of concern, but perhaps behind a pool light? Any other niches or tiny places where water could get stagnant. Other than that, keep pressing forward.
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Yeah, there isn't much. I checked in the pump filter and cleaned that. Not sure where else it could be. There's only one light, probably 4 feet down in the deep end. Not sure how I could get in there, and I can't imagine there's enough dirty water in there to affect a 26k gallon pool. I've got both skimmers plus main drain going so no water stuck in those.

I put in my last jug, plus the salt water running full out, and 4 hours later only picked up 0.5 FC somehow.

I'm out of bleach and can't get more right now, so I'm going to keep the SWG running until after sunset, get it back up to 12, then shut it off and do the OCLT.

I think it must be the CYA isn't as high as I think it is. I'll find out in the morning. Go get more bleach if I have to at that point.
 

Texas Splash

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There's only one light, probably 4 feet down in the deep end. Not sure how I could get in there, and I can't imagine there's enough dirty water in there to affect a 26k gallon pool.
Uh oh. :cop: If you've never opened it up before, now is the time. Light niches are notorious for growing algae because they are (by design) filled with water behind the light to keep it cool. The downside ....... algae. I would pull that light (breaker off), place it up on the decking, and scrub that niche. Be warned, you might not like what you see. Let us know.

PS - You might do your homework first to see if you need a back-up gasket or anything before pulling it just to be safe.
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
Passed last night. 0.5 loss. 0.5 CC. Obviously clear water.

CYA actually tested high, somehow. Might have taken a while to actually get in the water.

FC:**************** 10.0 (5 hours ago)
*** CC:**************** 0.5 (10 hours ago)
*** pH:***************** 7.6 (5 hours ago)
*** TA:****************** 60 (5 hours ago)
*** CH:***************** 300 (5 hours ago)
*** CYA:***************** 50 (5 hours ago)
*** SALT:************** 3600 (5 hours ago)
*** TEMPERATURE:******** 62° (5 hours ago)
*** CSI:************** -0.57 (5 hours ago)

I still have a few stains I'd like gone, so I might try to raise the FC up to SLAM level for 50 CYA for another couple days, and then I'll raise the CYA, raise the TA a bit, add a little more salt, add some more CH, and then just cruise.

My CSI always seems to be close to a bad level, even if I play around with really high CH, it seems like I have to keep my pH in a very narrow zone to not have issues.

I can't reach the light from the deck, so I'll do that once the water is a little warmer. Don't feel like messing with a wetsuit or my dry suit right now.
 

kchinger

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2017
220
Southeast PA
I think I found the last of the organics.

There was a stick lodged under the main drain cover, and I had been using main drain suction, so I turned it to return so that I could get that stick out, and a few worms came with it. I think they're stuck under the cover maybe.

I'll swim down with a suit on and try to remove those and clean under them, and do the light at the same time I guess.

I'm not a great depth swimmer, so working at 6 feet is going to suck.

Is it usually an Allen wrench or Phillips or what to remove those covers?
 

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