First Tests with TF-100 - CONFUSED

jrsdws

Member
Jul 23, 2010
9
Hey all..first post after reading Pool School and tons of posts. I just got my TF-100 test kit and performed tests this morning and I'm confused about some results.

27' above ground pool using chlorine - fill out of shallow well

Just coming off an algae bloom so my chlorine levels are way up...I think...thus the first source of confusion:

I attempted the chlorine drop test 4 times - only once did the water stay pink after adding one heaping scoop of R-870 powder....the other three times it showed a little pink and went clear again while swirling to mix

The one time it stayed pink I was up to 60 drops of R-871 solution and it still wasn't turning back to clear...I gave up

The simple cheap test strips confirm chlorine level is very high....yet I don't have a true reading....the water is comfortable for swimming with no complaints of too much chlorine from any guests.

The rest of my readings:

Ph = 7.2 (using Taylor basic kit)
TA = 200
CH = 650
CYA = 100

Is there a better way to test Ph with the TF-100 kit?

Ok...where do I start? I know the TA is high...calcium hardness way high (from filling from well I assume)....CYA is maybe ok.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
When doing the FAS-DPD chlorine test, if the water goes pink for a moment and then turns clear again you need to add more R-0870 powder. This most commonly happens when the FC level is very high, as yours is.

With both CH and CYA very high, you should either replace water or get a reverse osmosis treatment to lower those levels down to something more appropriate. Keep in mind that CYA levels above 100 will read as 100, so you don't know how high your CYA level really is.

It is worth double checking the TA test by doing the test again, and this time wiping the tip of the dropper bottle with a damp cloth/tissue before starting and after every couple of drops. That will eliminate any static charge on the bottle, which can sometimes throw off the results.

With both TA and CH high you are at risk for calcium scaling. If the TA reading is correct, you need to keep your PH below 7.4 until you can get your TA level lower.

The color comparison test for PH is the best PH test available for a reasonable price. With a little practice it gets much easier. Make sure you are reading the color under bright lighting, ideally put a sun lit white surface behind the view tube when you are looking at the color.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jun 22, 2009
23,045
SouthWest Alabama
Welcome to TFP.
Where are you located? That'll give us a clue about the CH.
How much of what, have you added in the last few days? That should give us a clue to how high the FC could be.

<<< Typed the same thing Jason did >>>
 

jrsdws

Member
Jul 23, 2010
9
Thanks for the replies. I am in Central Illinois in the middle of the corn fields. I think the pollen is what caused my last algae bloom maybe...got caught with my chlorine too low I guess. Another bit of good info I suppose: I changed sand in the filter while trying to clear up this latest algae bloom. Pool looks great now.

New readings:

FC: 60
TA: 180 (both tests done with wiping tip every drop)
CH: ?? turned from red to clear at 58 drops...stopped adding drops at 90
PH: 7.2
CYA: 100

Latest additions: Sunday night 7/25/10 2 bags shock after 10-12 swimmers in pool all day
Tuesday morning 7/27/10 1 gal bleach before leaving town for a few days vacation
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
Your FC isn't making sense to me. It's been 3 days since you've added chlorine and then it was only 4ppm then 2 days before that you added 2 lbs of shock. Even if it were 73% cal-hypo, that's only 11ppm FC. You've only added 15ppm in a week and it's still 60ppm :scratch:

Even with a CYA of 100ppm you should have lost some FC so how high did you shock it and how long ago has that been?
 

jrsdws

Member
Jul 23, 2010
9
Well I don't know for sure as I just got my test kit. I was using the strips previously and maintaining high levels to blast the algae. I've also had the in line chlorinator cranking...and just shut it down this morning. I quit shocking last Wednesday...7/21/10
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
I'm a little less confused then. With what you've added, CYA 100+ and the chlorinator WAO your FC could be 60.

You need to begin draining and refilling to get your CYA into a managable level.
 

jrsdws

Member
Jul 23, 2010
9
Uggghh...Do you think any of the problems are from the well water or is the high calcium hardness due to the excessive shocking?

I'm reluctant to drain and refill as we won't have but another few weeks of swimming here before school starts for the kids again...and with our weather changes it can take so long for temp to recover from this.

How much draining are you suggesting? The whole thing? Below the skimmer?
 

loop_pea

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2010
156
England, UK
If it was me, I'd try doing the FC and CYA tests at 50:50 dilution to get a better idea of what's going on before going for a drain and refill. I assume you can still do that with the titration test? Just a thought.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
Just to be sure. That was 120 drops of R-0871 for a FC of 60 right?

If you only have a couple more weeks of swimming I'd probably try living with it till you winterize or open next year.
 

jrsdws

Member
Jul 23, 2010
9
Yep...120 drops.

Do you believe I will have to dump all of my water or will be able to get by with a partial?
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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There's no way to tell. If you wait till next spring, there's a possibility that your CYA may have been converted into ammonia. There's no way to garrantee that but it happens from time to time. If it does then you just have to have lots of chlorine to clean it up and start over. If it doesn't, you'll have to drain at that point. It's really your call whether you do it now or later.
 

jrsdws

Member
Jul 23, 2010
9
Ok...gonna wait till spring and see what happens...we live in the country and have a heckuva time keeping our winter cover on so we typically have a pretty dirty pool come spring....perhaps this will trigger the convert to ammonia.

Question though: Do you suspect it is the shock causing the big jump in the calcium hardness reading?
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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No way to know until you test your fill water. It surely added to it but it would take a lot of it to get your CH that high. Also by testing your fill water it'll let you know if a drain/fill will be worthwhile for CH.
 

jrsdws

Member
Jul 23, 2010
9
Original fill was using municipal water hauled in...but subsequent spring fills and top offs have all come from the well...5 or 6 summers now.

Run the same tests on my well water with the kit and post numbers?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
At least the CH and TA, Might as well check the pH too. at some point you might want to have it checked for metals.

I keep a record of my fill water.
 

jrsdws

Member
Jul 23, 2010
9
I guess I'll let it go this year...just making sure my FC levels don't go below recommended levels....that could be awhile with the levels I have now!! Perhaps the CH will drop some with the FC....maybe the CYA also. Either way it's getting too late to mess too much with it here...perhaps the sun and good ole mother nature and father time will help me out.
 
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