First Testing - Need feedback

dogmatix

Member
Jul 28, 2011
7
San Diego, CA
Got the water tested at Leslie's and tested it myself for the first time using a TF-100 as well.
Leslie's results
FC - 6
TC - 6
CH - 300
CYA - 125
TA - 220
pH - 7.6
TDS - 2600
Pho - 1000

They recommended draining the pool. When we didn't want to do that, they recommended using muriatic acid to lower pH as an immediate next step but mentioned that there is not much that can be done without draining. So, today after 1 gallon of muriatic acid in the pool and using my kit, here are my results:
pH - 7.2
Cl > 5
FC - 25
CC - 0
TC - 25
TA - 210
CH - 650
CYA > 100

Free Chlorine and Calcium Hardness are way off from Leslie's tests - not sure which ones are accurate (there could definitely be beginner's error in my tests!)
We've been using the pool with no complaints - water is clear, no algae, no skin/eye irritation. As I mentioned before, I've used 1 gallon of muriatic acid and I removed the floater with the chlorine pucks.
Anyway, bigger question is what can I do to balance the water?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,725
Hudson, WI
Welcome to the forum :wave:

Not sure what their rush in dropping the pH was as 7.6 isn't bad. I prefer 7.2-7.4 but everyone has what they think is best for them. It wouldn't be an emergency until you peg the test at it's upper limit of 8.2 THEN it's important to drop it down as 8.2 is telling you it might be worse 8.6, 8.9 or 9 something but it doesn't go that high. If you get up to 7.8 under normal conditions you'd want to bump it down some as the normal range is 7.2-7.8 with owners picking their best range usually within those limits.

You do need to do a dilution test on that CYA to get a solid number on where you are at.

Let us know if possibly there was a mistake in how you did that FC test - - > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQG4tgQsFE&list=UUNFkPFCkt9Y_YYNAeLtUr1g

Other helpful how to testing videos - - > https://www.youtube.com/user/tf100testkit?feature=results_main
 

dogmatix

Member
Jul 28, 2011
7
San Diego, CA
I went back to Leslie's and here are the numbers from today's test
FC - 8
TC - 8
CYA - 140
TA - 140
pH - 7.4
TDS - 3700
Pho - 300
Again they recommended to drain the pool at least 1/2 way to get the CYA under control.
 

RobbieH

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 30, 2010
4,052
Dallas, TX
I would run the CYA test as described above before taking drastic action. The pool stores are notorious for not getting the CYA test right. You need to have a good idea of where you are before you drain. But, if your CYA is at 100-140, you do need to drain at least half your pool.
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
3,048
Long Beach, CA
Since you have a top quality test kit, don't bother with Leslie's testing, it will only confuse you.

Have you tried to do the CYA test with dilution?

With your test value for CYA and Leslie's test confirming high CYA you will need to drain some of the pool water. We can not give you an answer to how much to drain until you do the dilution test as the test only goes up to 100 and any number above 100 is just a guess with either your test or Leslie's test.

Make sure you are following the directions for the amount of water to use when testing the FC. I like to use 10ml of water and each drop of reagent counts as .5 ppm of FC.

Try reading, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry to get more of an understanding of how the chemicals effect the pool water.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,725
Hudson, WI
With your test value for CYA and Leslie's test confirming high CYA you will need to drain some of the pool water.
I would call that an understatement to say the least. :roll: If you had a CYA level of 100 you should remove around 60% depending your location. You don't have a location in your profile so if you are up north you might shoot for CYA 30 and you'd need to dump out 70% or Texas and want CYA 50 and then only half the water would need to go.
If that 140 is correct you'd need to dump 70% to get down to something reasonable like 40. And that would be if you actually did a one for one drain and fill. If you drain at the same time as fill it will take longer and use more water.

Use the 10ml test tube to take 10ml of pool water and 10ml of distilled water, mix in a bigger container and then pour 10ml of it back into the 10ml tube to test. Now you just double your results and it gives you a firm believable CYA level to work from.
 

dogmatix

Member
Jul 28, 2011
7
San Diego, CA
I used the extended test instructions and my CYA reading was 200!! I tested it several times and it was consistently 200 - probably got 180 once. However, I used tap water instead of distilled water as the instructions mentioned. (I see kiss4afrog has mentioned distilled water). Should I retry with distilled water?

I also retested FC and it came up 22. 44 drops * .5 before the pink turned clear. Watched the video and I was doing it right.

I used the CYA numbers in the PoolMath and it came up with an 80% drain for my approx 23,600 gallon pool :-(
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
3,048
Long Beach, CA
If you know the water table and the pool is safe to drain all the way I would go ahead and drain 90-100% of the water or else you will be fighting this endlessly. Once the drain and fill are complete post the test results and we can guide you from then on. Search on how to do an OCLT, overnight chlorine loss test, as this will determine if you will need to SLAM the pool after the fill.

If you drain 100% you will need to add 5 lbs of CYA, about $25ish, but you will know what the CYA level will be from the start. The dilution method is a very rough guess in your case and the CYA level might still be a lot higher than your number. Myself, I would drain it all and start over.
 

Kiss4aFrog

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 22, 2013
2,725
Hudson, WI
I wish I had something brilliant to say about what you can do but it's either dump almost all the water or if it's available in your area have a reverse osmosis treatment. http://poolservicestech.com/testimonials/
I'm not recommending that company, no idea about them just posting the link to give an idea of what RO is about.
You just need to choose the least painful way of doing it and then move on.

Distilled water is just a "cleaner" source. For other tests it would be important as tap water does have a CH value, pH value, ... that would need to be added to the calculations and may have metals that might interfere with some tests. For CYA the tap water is OK.

Instructions on the OCLT :lookhere: http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/136-perform-the-overnight-fc-chlorine-loss-test-oclt

With FC above 10-15ppm the pH test is unreliable so it's not worth doing or reporting and you do NOT want to use it to make adjustments until you drop the FC down to or under 10ppm.