First time pool owner and I'm over my head

GreenCrawfish

New member
Apr 9, 2019
4
Houston, TX
Full disclosure: I'm using Clorox Pool Strips. I'll see what I can do to move up to y'all's recommended TF-100. To be honest, I'm not sure I can trust these things to see if there's water in the pool! ;-)

Current numbers as of 3:15pm:
TH: 500
TC: 0 (Even after I added 3 packages of shock yesterday.)
FC: 0
pH: 6.2
TA: 240 (I did add 1 gal of muriatic acid this morning.)
Stabilizer: 0

I don't even know where to start. House was empty for a year but pool was clear when we bought it. Chemistry has always been off but we had so much to do to get moved in, the pool wasn't a priority. After the significant rain we had this weekend, the pool is now green and cloudy. We did open the DE filter 2 weeks ago and found that the grids needed to be replaced (holes and broken areas of grids). We've ordered those and hope to spend some time this weekend getting the filter back in order. The waterfall pump won't come on, so aeration doesn't seem possible at this point until dh looks at it. The pool has a chlorinator but it was unplugged when we bought the house and we have not plugged it in yet because dealing with another system right now seems daunting. I certainly realize this a lot, but I would appreciate any wisdom you all can share.

Thank you so much for your time.
 

scdaren

Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
332
Clovis, CA
Add a few gallons of the liquid chlorine they sell at Home Depot or Lowes, or at least some jugs of liquid breach. Get a generic brand, not clorox or anything with any kind of fragrance, splashless, or other additives.

Then wait for your TF-100, and post some proper test results, and plenty of folks on here will help you go from there. Not much to do unless we know what state the water is really in.
 

justinc

Member
Apr 3, 2019
10
Texas
I have used the Clorox strips as a friend of mine uses them and the accompanying app to read them. I bought a pack and compared to my Taylor K2006, and the numbers were way off. I through them in the trash and would not trust them one bit.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
4,463
Northern NJ
Full disclosure: I'm using Clorox Pool Strips. I'll see what I can do to move up to y'all's recommended TF-100. To be honest, I'm not sure I can trust these things to see if there's water in the pool! ;-)

Current numbers as of 3:15pm:
TH: 500
TC: 0 (Even after I added 3 packages of shock yesterday.)
FC: 0
pH: 6.2
TA: 240 (I did add 1 gal of muriatic acid this morning.)
Stabilizer: 0
Why did you add 1 gallon of MA with your pH at 6.2? That pH is acidic enough to damage things.

You say your DE filter is inoperative. Is the pool pump running?

You need to get your pH up into the 7's ASAP. Forget about your highTA. High TA does not damage anything. Low pH does. Raise your pH using Borax. Read the pH section in Recommended Pool Chemicals - Trouble Free Pool Use PoolMath to determine how much to add. You need around 288 oz of borax. Add 2/3 then retest pH after an hour.

Read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and get your TF-100 Test Kits

Add stabilizer to get CYA 30-40 and add liquid chlorine to get a FC of 5-7.

The way you are going you can do permanent damage to your pool and equipment.
 

scdaren

Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
332
Clovis, CA
Assuming your pH is actually at 6.2 and it's not just a problem with the test strips. You can probably go to a pool supply and get a proper drop pH test kit while you wait for your TF-100. The low pH should def be resolved asap as ajw22 said.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,546
Tallahassee, FL
Hi and welcome! You can get a cheap pH test from Walmart to tied you over until the "grownup" kit comes in. I agree you need to KNOW what your pH is just in case it is that low. If it is lets push it up and move from there.

Like stated above, add a gallon of liquid chlorine/bleach (plain!!) to the pool each day to keep it from getting any worse.

We can help make your pool a sparkling 🌟 and oh so easy to care for!!

Kim:kim:
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
4,463
Northern NJ
With that high of ta your pH should not be low, don't do anything untill you get a test kit.
I wouldn’t believe the high TA any more then the low pH.

I agree getting at least a pH test kit at Walmart and checking pH should be done before any chemicals are added.

Nothing should be done to a pool based on test strips!!!
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,100
Hays, Kansas
I also see that the calicum hardness (ch) is showing 500, so no Cal hypo for you. Shock is a verb so you have to say what product you actually used.

Use plain 6% bleach for clorine going forward, add it at a return slowly.

You could get just the oto kit at Walmart for $5-10 so you can see your clorine and pH levels today and order a kit to come in a few days.
 

GreenCrawfish

New member
Apr 9, 2019
4
Houston, TX
Thank you all for your answers. I only received an email alerting to the scdaren's response so I'm just now seeing them.

Test kit came in. Went and watched a video and did my best to follow directions. Here's what I have using K-2006 kit.

FC: 11 drops x .2 = 2.2ppm
CC: 4 drops x .2 = .8ppm
pH: 7.3 (Thankfully not as low as the strips had said!)
CH: 20 drops x 10 = 200ppm
CYA: estimating about 120 since lines stop at 100
TA: 15 drops to purple (150ppm), 16 drops to bright pink (160ppm); I wasn't sure if I was looking for a true red or not so didn't go further.
 

the_sphynx

Member
Feb 19, 2019
20
North San Diego County
Crawfish,
Just read your signature and noticed your pool depth comments. That means you have a "play pool" also known as a "recreation pool". It just means it was likely built with intention on playing pool games like volleyball or something like that. They are popular around here in SoCal.

As for your issues, there are most definitely others on this forum/thread that know more than I but you may need to try to retest your CYA by just trying to glance at the dot at the bottom. That test is a hard one to master (at least for me).
Hopefully the 2nd test gives you a better CYA number or else you may be looking at a partial drain or something of that nature.
Your FC needs to be brought up a little bit to whatever these levels are for your type of pool.
TA seems too high as well. Should be in the 60-90 range I believe (see the levels link above for that too).
Most of the other levels don't look as bad as the initial posting you had up there which is good.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
520
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
You'll need to complete a CYA test using a diluted sample. Follow the directions below (from Pool School) to get a more accurate number. I think a partial drain/refill may be in your future:

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.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,100
Hays, Kansas
Rerun the cya test with 50/50 pool water/tap water instead of just pool water and times the result x2 to get a rough cya level.

Is the pool clear? How much does water cost there?

Use the 10 mil test on all the other tests to save reagents.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,546
Tallahassee, FL
For the TA you will see the color FLASH the go back. Once it changes color AND stays changed you call it then. It is not a true red.
 

GreenCrawfish

New member
Apr 9, 2019
4
Houston, TX
Crawfish,
Just read your signature and noticed your pool depth comments. That means you have a "play pool" also known as a "recreation pool". It just means it was likely built with intention on playing pool games like volleyball or something like that. They are popular around here in SoCal.
Not sure if it is really a play pool or not. It is 3 feet at far edges and sinks to 6 feet deep at the center of the kidney shape. Does this mean it is a play pool? I've never heard that term before, but obviously, I haven't been living in the world of pools until recently.
 

GreenCrawfish

New member
Apr 9, 2019
4
Houston, TX
CYA: Testing 120-130 using both the regular and 1/2 and 1/2 CYA testing methods.

The pool is currently clear and beautiful. At least one of my sons has gotten in it for the past 3 days with no complaints besides temperature.

Thank you for the TA info, kimkats, I appreciate it.
 

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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
520
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
The next decision you need to make is how you're going to chlorinate your pool. If you've spent some time in Pool School, you probably know that the recommended CYA level is higher for SWG pools. Although you could probably manage a SWG pool with a CYA of 120, it would be best to do a partial drain and refill to get your CYA into the recommended range. If you're going to try out the SWG, test your salt levels to make sure you're in range. You can take your cell to Leslie's if you have one in the area for testing.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,100
Hays, Kansas
I would run the pool as is (cya wise), if it goes green or you need to slam I would perform a partial drain and refill and then slam.

Your cya is 120, so minimum FC is 7.5% or 9 ppm. Don't worry it's the same effective FC as in my pool with less fc and cya.

Use daily testing and bleach untill you fix the swg.

Fire up the swg and see what it says
 
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