Fixing a neglected pool's chemistry

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
I'll admit I have been negligent with regular testing and keeping pool chemistry correct for almost a year. Last summer, I added 55lb Boric Acid to the pool and since then have only been brushing and adding 8 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine every so often to keep the water clear. No one has used the pool during this time.
I've washed the pleated filter cartridges. There was a lot of dirt accumulated. We've removed 2 very large Sycamore trees that were dumping leaves and all kinds of debris in the pool year round.

Tried to run tests today and here are the results:
Basic test for Chlorine shows no Chlorine and a pH higher than 8.2.
Could not perform the Chlorine Drop test for FC, CC and TC because water color did not change to pink after adding R870 powder.
Total Alkali tested at 310.
CYA: Below 20 because the black dot at the bottom remained clear even after filling the tube to the top.

I realize that I need to bring up CYA, lower Alkalinity and raise chlorine level.
Where should I start?

Thank you.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,895
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Chlorine is the name of the game, then followed by PH. CYA can be added before or after chlorine. Dont worry about TA just yet. Get this right first. If your Powder did not turn pink the water sample then this means 0FC. You will probably need to slam(How is your water?), make sure ph is 7.1-.2 before you start the slam. You should really consider a Stenner for dosing FC or a SWG if you want a less hands on approach .

Felipe
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
Chlorine is the name of the game, then followed by PH. CYA can be added before or after chlorine. Dont worry about TA just yet. Get this right first. If your Powder did not turn pink the water sample then this means 0FC. You will probably need to slam(How is your water?), make sure ph is 7.1-.2 before you start the slam.
Felipe
About a week ago, I did the following:
Brushed the walls and added
- 4 lbs of Chlorox Cyanuric Acid powder,
- 6 gallons of liquid Chlorine,
- 2 gallons of 14.5% muriatic acid.
Water has been clear but I tested today and there is no Chlorine left in the pool (also no FC). The CYA is now at about 30 and TA is over 240. PH is still over 8.4. I've added 2 gallons of Chlorine today but am concerned about the speed at which Chlorine is being consumed. I also noticed that the pool water has a slimy feel on the arm I dipped for collected water sample.
Is there something else going on? I want to get this right and think about how to "close" it since it will not be used until next summer.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,326
Northern NJ
Your pool needs more attention than you are giving it. You need to check and add CL every day or two.

What type of liquid chlorine are you using? I hope it is not Clorox bleach. I suspect your water has a slimy feel due to the additives in the bleach you are using.

Your PH is high because your TA is high. Lowering your TA will keep your PH from rising rapidly.

Have you read:
Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
Pool School - Recommended Levels
Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
Your pool needs more attention than you are giving it. You need to check and add CL every day or two.

What type of liquid chlorine are you using? I hope it is not Clorox bleach. I suspect your water has a slimy feel due to the additives in the bleach you are using.

Your PH is high because your TA is high. Lowering your TA will keep your PH from rising rapidly.
<SNIP>
I've been using the HDX brand "Pool-Care Chlorinating Liquid" 10% Sodium Hypochlorite and the same brand Muriatic Acid for the past 7 years. Only last year I added 55 Lbs of Boric Acid powder.
Never had this slimy feel in this pool.
Thank you for the referrals. I'll review the Pool School materials this week and work on becoming a better informed pool owner.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
I've been using the HDX brand "Pool-Care Chlorinating Liquid" 10% Sodium Hypochlorite and the same brand Muriatic Acid for the past 7 years. Only last year I added 55 Lbs of Boric Acid powder.
Never had this slimy feel in this pool.
Thank you for the referrals. I'll review the Pool School materials this week and work on becoming a better informed pool owner.
Added one gallon of 34% (20 baum?) Muriatic Acid and let pump run for hours. pH is still over 8.2 so will add more acid in the morning.
This evening FC tested at 11 but CC is at 0. Will check again in the morning to see if there was any loss overnight.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
Maybe minimize your hot tub / water fall pump times if possible to slow down the PH rise.
Thanks for pointing out. Didn't think about the aeration affect of daily hot tub discharge to the pool on pH rise. I've diverted most of the daily pump output directly to the pool.
Overnight drop of FC was 2 (from 11 to 9).
I added another half gallon of 34% Muriatic Acid and found no lowering of pH or TA after a few hours of water re-circulation.
Should I wait until FC drops to 3-4 before testing for pH and TA or should I add another half gallon of Muriatic Acid? So far, I've added 2 gallons of 14% Muriatic Acid and 1-1/2 gallons of 34% Muriatic Acid.
Incidentally, when I tested for water hardness, the color turned clear after 25 drops but did not change to blue even after 50 drops.