Getting balanced after new liner, initial levels

drharris

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2016
275
Walhalla, SC
#1
Last year we bought a house with a salt water pool and had some issues. For the most part, I spent all season just trying to keep up, and used the pool store to get it done. Thankfully, my pool store is not very evil, they just get the numbers and tell you what to do, it's up to you if you buy chemicals there or not. The previous owner got a new liner under warranty due to excessive fading, but hadn't put it in. Since the pool is 6 years old we decided to just go ahead and do it, since we never did get everything well-balanced our first season. I got a ton of salt and chemicals from the store to get things started, and the results were decent.

This year, I decided to go the full TFP route, with maybe an occasional checkin at the pool shop this first year just to make sure I'm not doing something completely wrong. I ordered the TF-100 kit just yesterday and it came in today! So pleased with the service. I finally sat down and ran some samples through it, and it was about what I expected after my initial balance from the pool store numbers. Here are my levels before and after my initial setup:

FC: 4.1 -> 8.0
CC: ??? -> 0.0-0.5 (there was just maybe a tinge of pink before)
PH: 6.2 -> 8.0
TA: 34 -> 130
CH: 67 -> 225
CYA: 0 -> 30 (though need more experience with the test)
Salt: ??? -> 2500

Looks like the main mistake the store made was in TA. I just added CYA (slowly into skimmer) on Sunday 5/7, so should I bother correcting any more until the full week is up? I've been avoiding backwashing and shouldn't need to for several days. I also just dumped 18-20oz of 20 baume muriatic acid to try to get pH back down and start working on excessive TA. Is there anything else I should be doing other than a few more bags of salt? How long after adding acid should I retest pH to see if it's getting better?

Pool when we bought last year (realtor pic), sorry no pics of the messed up version:
ISphatbalcfebi0000000000.jpg

Pool after new liner:
376380005U_IMG_0762.jpg

Deep end picture:
376380005U_IMG_0764.jpg
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,327
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#2
Give the CYA a few days to completely dissolve and mix before you waste any more reagent testing it.

pH and FC should be tested daily for a while, which is why the TF100 comes with that handy little blue box kit. If you're unsatisfied with that FC test, then use the FAS-DPD. You should anyway, so you can calibrate your eyeballs.

The pH test block gets capped and inverted once or twice to mix, then take the reading. If you need to add acid, you'll need to also run the TA test to calculate the dose.

CC .5 or less is treated as zero. Some municipalities use chloramines to sanitize and they will show up. The sun will burn it off.

Your TA may not be that high. Before you start dumping acid, recheck it. Wipe the tip of the R-009 off with a damp paper towel before titrating.
 

drharris

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2016
275
Walhalla, SC
#3
Give the CYA a few days to completely dissolve and mix before you waste any more reagent testing it.

pH and FC should be tested daily for a while, which is why the TF100 comes with that handy little blue box kit. If you're unsatisfied with that FC test, then use the FAS-DPD. You should anyway, so you can calibrate your eyeballs.

The pH test block gets capped and inverted once or twice to mix, then take the reading. If you need to add acid, you'll need to also run the TA test to calculate the dose.

CC .5 or less is treated as zero. Some municipalities use chloramines to sanitize and they will show up. The sun will burn it off.

Your TA may not be that high. Before you start dumping acid, recheck it. Wipe the tip of the R-009 off with a damp paper towel before titrating.
Unfortunately it looks like TA really is that high on a second test awhile later. They had me dump 41 lbs of baking soda in there, and it looks like their calculation was trying to get me to 110-120 range. I really should have started TFP from the get-go, just thought it'd be easier if I had it fairly close first. Live and learn.

I'll wait until next Monday or so to take the next CYA reading. FC readings were 8.0 via the FAS-DPD , but maxed out the blue box test at 5.0. I bumped my SWG down a notch, but I wanted to keep it a bit elevated while getting CYA up so it keeps stable.

Thanks for the tips, I've been lurking here a good bit waiting on my liner. Have to get used to some of these tests (CYA was probably most difficult), but I think it won't take long to get up to speed! Really appreciate all the help in this forum.


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