Hailing from Florida

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
Hello All.<br><br>We just relocated to sunny Florida from NC to enjoy endless days of golf and a pool. Pool ownership is new to us, although I vividly recall my father always struggling with our 24' AG pool water chemistry as I grew up.<br><br>Our pool spent the last year as a bank owned property, and their maintenance consisted of throwing pucks into the pool, so our water chemistry is not great at this point. However, after reading this forum, the ABCs, and the rest of the Pool School articles, I feel I have more than enough information to get this pool in crystal clear shape in no time. It is also very clear that there are many, many experts on this site who are more than willing to help solve any problem that may arise. You will either see my success thread, or a thread with a plea for help, but at this point, I am optimistic on the former. <br><br>Future plans for the pool area are a possible conversion to SWG, and I would also like to add a controller with valve actuators, so I can isolate the spa, for jets and heater, or set up various input and output combinations for the pool and/or spa circulation. I want to be able to use the spa without taking the trip to the filter/pump/valving station before and after taking a soak.<br><br>This site is an incredible treasure trove of information, and resources (experts). I look forward to my interactions here, and to the inevitable support badge that I anticipate getting.
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
Hmmm, it appears I also need to learn how this site formats a post. I saw that in the preview but thought it was going to look correct. Mo' learning :)

Hi Tim,
I didn't want to be THAT guy, but looks like I am. The day we bought the house, I also bought a simple hth test. Turns out the kit did not have FC capability, which is kind of important in TFP land. It did have CYA test, which I have recorded as 110, while the evil poolstore has told me 80. We are under water restrictions so dumping water for a refill is not an option at this point.

Unfortunately, I decided I needed a new kit BEFORE I spent hours reading through TFP, so I had already ordered the ColorQ Pro 7, which has FC DPD testing, but not the FAS/DPD. Debating now on if I should order the standalone FAS/DPD kit.
Input?
 

duraleigh

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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,518
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Yeah, get the FAS/DPD and you'll be okay. The ColorQ has some issues with the CYA test and the CH test. It is certainly not the best for what we teach. Others on here have it and they get by, however.
 

Jimrahbe

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TFP Expert
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Jul 7, 2014
21,270
Bedford, TX
Gordy,

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all golf loving pool owners... :snorkle:

Since you brought up adding a SWCG and Automation, I thought a heads up might be in order.

Before you go off and start individually buying things, please keep in mind that for an automation system to work smoothly, any variable speed pump, the SWCG, and the automation system all need to talk with each other.

As a general rule, this means buying the same brand of equipment.. All Pentair, all Hayward, all Jandy, etc. There are a few exceptions, but not many. It is never a good idea to mix and match between brands.

Also, the SWCG needs to be rated for 2 x the volume of your pool other wise it will not be able to keep up in the summer.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.

Glad you decided to join our group
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,117
Franklin, NC
Unfortunately, I decided I needed a new kit BEFORE I spent hours reading through TFP, so I had already ordered the ColorQ Pro 7, which has FC DPD testing, but not the FAS/DPD. Debating now on if I should order the standalone FAS/DPD kit.
Input?
Yes, you want the FAS/DPD.

I'm going to get long-winded here (note my comment about the CYA, the pool store told me I was at 80 also)-

Please do not confuse the specificity of the results the ColorQ gives with accuracy. We have had members attempt to use the ColorQ to follow our methods and almost all have abandoned its use due to inaccuracies and inconsistencies. We even had one member test the same sample of water three times in a row and ended up with three different sets of results. Here is an example of a ColorQ post: ColorQ vs TF100 and here is a review where the Color Q was used alongside a TF-100. Test Kit Comparison

You have already seen that not much credence is given to pool store testing. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing. In my case two different pool stores told me my CYA was "fine", around 70 or 80. When I tested myself I found it over 200.

But, between the two (ColorQ or Pool Store), I will take the ColorQ all day long. Realistically, with the ColorQ you are using the Lamotte version of a Taylor K-2005 DPD Test Kit, but the ColorQ "interprets" the colors/readings for you. As calibration is part of the start up sequence (for those that I have read thru the instructions) that is not an issue. What may be an issue is failing to keep the tube(s) clean. Additionally, should you ever have the need to SLAM Process the pool you will be unable to do so with the ColorQ due to the limitation of testing FC up to 10. After 10 the ColorQ just says "High" which may be a problem for you, with 100+ CYA you will need to keep your FC above 10 regularly.

You say that your CYA is 110. Did you get that through testing or by saying it's just a little past the line? If it's the second you could be way off, the tube is not calibrated for such extrapolations.

100 is the limit of the CYA test, so you have to do a diluted test. While the full instructions are in the Pool School, here is the short version. Mix 50% pool water with 50% tap water. Use this mixed sample as your test water. If still at a 100 you will need to dilute more. The problem is that when doing a diluted test not only do you multiply the rage of the test you multiply the error rate of the test, so results are a ballpark - not an absolute. Here is a great chart by JamesW to explain dilution rates and what you multiply the results by to get an approximation of your CYA level.

Pool water......Tap or distilled water.........Multiply result by

....1...................1................................2
....1...................2................................3
....1...................4................................5

Please do not read this to say that we are "down" on the ColorQ. To quote Dave, Site Owner of TFP:
Throughout TFP, you will read that we suggest certain levels that good science and practical experience has taught us fall within safe ranges.

Further reading of posts here will draw you to the inescapable conclusion that these guidelines work.......in thousands and thousands of pools worldwide.

You may or may not choose to use these methods and guidelines or you may use some and not others. Our goal is to teach you what has been proven time and time again and then let you use that information to your benefit.

We have found that drop based testing using Taylor reagents provides accurate and repeatable test results. These are what we need to make reasonable recommendations for pool chemical additions.

I would recommend comparing your results to the "gold standard" testing at least a few times during the pool season. You could use a TF-50 Test Kit. Then, continue to test with your ColorQ and prove us wrong. Keep a log and let us know how it's going. You could be the one to make us feel comfortable about the device.
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
Thanks everyone for the warm welcome.
Jim, when I said automation, I was primarily meaning electronicly activated valves, so I can press a button to use the spa, and my valves will turn to bring on the spa jets, open the spa drain, and shut off the pool in/out flows.
Automation sounds better than saying I am too lazy to turn valves....;-)
Thanks for taking the time to post that info though. It has me thinking that I better decide how far I am going to take this project before I head down any particular path.

Tim,
Of course I extrapolated my CYA of 110, (but you already knew that). I had previously stumbled across the method to cut the sample size to get a more accurate CYA , but I have not yet done so. I wish I had done more reading on TFP before I ordered the ColorQ. I am suprised that the results between kits would be way off, unless it is operator error. I learned a very long time ago to RTFM (read the flaming manual). They are written for a reason. So not calibrating a unit correctly, and hazy sample tubes could certainly skew results.
Your idea of side by side testing with logged results is intriquing to me. I was only going to order the FAS/DPD FC test, but maybe I will get the whole kit so I can really compare results across all tests.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,117
Franklin, NC
Your idea of side by side testing with logged results is intriquing to me. I was only going to order the FAS/DPD FC test, but maybe I will get the whole kit so I can really compare results across all tests.
Like I said, maybe you will be the one to prove when used correctly the ColorQ is acceptable.

- - - Updated - - -

Tim,
Of course I extrapolated my CYA of 110, (but you already knew that).
No, folks have proven me wrong too many times, so I really don't jump to conclusions :oops:
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
Just ordered the TF-100 as well as the FAS/DPD kit. Since we have swimming year round, I suspect the kits will get used up before they expire. Of course, the only true way of testing the kits accuracy would be with verified sample concentrations. And now I am breaking a cardinal rule........
Never go to sea with 2 compasses. Take 1 or 3. Looks like I need a 3rd test kit.... NOT. Hopefully I get similar results from both kits.

Just noticed my signature line was not included when I replied from my Android. This post is from my PC which has me wondering if the format error will return as well.
 

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Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
Okay, I understand what happened with the formatting. I had created my account, created the signature line, and came here to post. After I wrote my initial post, it would not let me post it, saying I was not authorized, even though it showed me as logged on. So I copied all my text to the clipboard, and proceeded to log out and then back on. Pasted in the text and posted. I assumed the cursor control characters were going to be understood by the forum software, but that obviously was not the case. Going to press Post Quick Reply on this one to see if sig makes it
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,117
Franklin, NC
Just ordered the TF-100 as well as the FAS/DPD kit. Since we have swimming year round, I suspect the kits will get used up before they expire. Of course, the only true way of testing the kits accuracy would be with verified sample concentrations. And now I am breaking a cardinal rule........
Never go to sea with 2 compasses. Take 1 or 3. Looks like I need a 3rd test kit.... NOT. Hopefully I get similar results from both kits.

Just noticed my signature line was not included when I replied from my Android. This post is from my PC which has me wondering if the format error will return as well.
Well, the TF-100 includes the FAS/DPD kit, so you will have two. Using sailing analogies means you don't mind spending money as any boat owner spends a lot. Here are two more items to think about - the SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. They speed testing and accuracy.
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
Not a boat owner, and not really into spending money willy nilly, in spite of my start here. I got free shipping by adding in the extra $30 kit, so it cost me less than $30. THAT was why I added it in. Looking forward to getting this pool back in shape.

Besides the CYA level, I have had to remove the Hayward manifold to fix a broken water pressue fitting, clean a stuck bypass valve, and replace the 135* over limit sensor. Control board is also suspect. The heater works, but the temp display is not right, and I am afraid it isn't just the LED assembly.
Also, none of the plumbing had labels, so had to figure that all out. Final issue is pool rises, and spa empties, with filter off. I have been told it is probably the check valve, but only spa checkvalve i see is on the output to spa, and I am struggling to reason out how water could backflow through that, since it appears to be more elevated than the spa.

Let me know if I should put any of this in a new thread somewhere. All of my TPF forum time has been spent in water quality threads up to this point.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,117
Franklin, NC
Not a boat owner, and not really into spending money willy nilly, in spite of my start here. I got free shipping by adding in the extra $30 kit, so it cost me less than $30. THAT was why I added it in. Looking forward to getting this pool back in shape.

Besides the CYA level, I have had to remove the Hayward manifold to fix a broken water pressue fitting, clean a stuck bypass valve, and replace the 135* over limit sensor. Control board is also suspect. The heater works, but the temp display is not right, and I am afraid it isn't just the LED assembly.
Also, none of the plumbing had labels, so had to figure that all out. Final issue is pool rises, and spa empties, with filter off. I have been told it is probably the check valve, but only spa checkvalve i see is on the output to spa, and I am struggling to reason out how water could backflow through that, since it appears to be more elevated than the spa.

Let me know if I should put any of this in a new thread somewhere. All of my TPF forum time has been spent in water quality threads up to this point.
Keep everything here. We like the entire story together.
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
TF-100 Kit arrived today, so here come the test results. But before I get there, let me take the Paul Harvey route, and tell you "the rest of the story".

Using the HTH Walmart test kit, I knew I was dealing with high CYA. There was no FC test, only Total Cl/Br which was reading greater than 10 ppm (dark yellow). The bank had done nothing other than throw Pucks into the pool, staining the pool bottom in the process. The auto-chlorinator was at max setting of 5. The pool is in a screen enclosure, so I don't have to deal with much debris. My initial CH test with the HTH kit also read very low and TA was also low. pH was 7.5. I had not yet discovered this site, so off to the pool store, to get confirmation of my test results, and chemicals.
Pool Store testing on 05/01/2017
FC = 5.5
TC = Not tested
pH = 7.5
CH = 180
TA = 60
CYA = 105

Based on these results, they gave me 5lbs Sodium Bicarb and 8lbs of Calcium Chloride. They also noted the FC was too high, and we should not use the pool until it was down to 3.0
After treating the pool, I turned off the auto-chlorinator, and I retested with the HTH kit, since my numbers were in line with the pool test.
pH = 8.2
TA = 115
CH = 300

I left the pool like that, testing the Cl/Br level each day (I had no way to test for FC), until it was finally in the 3.0 range. That was about the time I found this site, and it also coincided with the day I noticed algae on the walls and steps of the pool. After reading a bunch here, I decided my safest bet would be to err on too much FC, as opposed to too little. I also put in a new cartridge in the filter.

Using PoolMath, I set a goal of 40 FC, and I put in one gal of 6% Walmart bleach. I also vacuumed the whole pool and walls, and then cleaned the cartridge filter after the cleaning. Two days later, the algae was back. At least I THINK it is algae. It looks like light colored dirt, and when you hit it with a brush, it disperses into a small cloud. It was also green colored when I was flushing out the filter cartridge.
So now it is another day and I decide I need to get to shock level while I wait for real test kits to show up. So I dump the other 2 gals of 6% bleach into the pool. The next day I tried to put in 48oz of 31% Muratic Acid to bring my pH back down to 7.5, but I goofed up while adding the acid, and ended up putting in more like 80 oz. The next day my pH was 7.2.
The filter is running about 12 hours a day, between me vacuuming, and then the normal 8 hour cycle. I also pulled the cartridge today to clean it, and surprise, it had a lot of gray sandy like material ( plaster??? ) that I washed out. We also got about 1/4" of rain today. The TF-100 kit arrived and I tested the water.

7:45 PM - Air = 75* , Water = 82* TF-100 Kit
FC = 33
CC = 1
TC = 34
CH = 300
TA = 110 (sample started light green and went to faint yellow at 11 drops, due to high FC)
CYA = 200 (This was done inside with very bright DAYLIGHT LED bulbs, and using 1:2 dilution)

I will take a FC test first thing in the morning to see if there is any FC loss overnight.

However, I still saw some of that material I think is algae on the swimout seat today. Is that even possible with FC = 33 ?
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
The water is very clear, but every day I have this scum like material that floats on the surface of the water, along with black dots. There are hundreds of very tiny black ants that are on the deck area. I have used Ortho around the perimeter to get rid of the ants, but am hesitant to use it on the coping, so near to the water line. Not sure if these black specs are ants that fell in the water, or if it is something else. The scum is very light, and tends to stick to the sides of the stone tile at the water line, but if I watch near the skimmer, I can see it being sucked into the skimmer. But I can go around the pool with the net, and get enough in the net to cover most of the net.

The pool was unused for at least a year, and I have no idea if the previous owner used it before they left, so I don't know when it was last in pristine condition.

Is some small junk on the surface normal, or is it an indication that I still have some kind of issue?
If there was an issue, based on my reading here, I think the CC level would have to be higher than 1. IF the FC has dropped in the morning, that would also indicate that there is something still going on that needs investigation, correct?

This site is amazing. I have owned a pool for exactly 1 month. and this site has given me the confidence to tackle this water quality head on. Thanks
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
Waiting for the day to brighten so I can get another CYA reading. I took some pictures of the black stuff on the bottom, which I think is algae. Also, I was looking at the CYA/CL chart and realized that even at 33ppm FC, I am well below SLAM levels for water with a high CYA. Is it correct to assume that even at 33ppm, I could just be holding an algae outbreak at bay? I would have thought I would have consumed some FC overnight, but then again, since I am running the test diluted, I guess it could be inside the higher error margin created with the dilution?

I have some pics I will post when I figure it out.

I expect you are going to tell me to come back with my best CYA reading, and then raise the FC level to >40 or 50, depending on the CYA. Until I get an action plan though, I will just monitor the FC and not let it get below 30ppm
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
1495716429004.jpg

The black spots are what I think is algae. If I touch it with the skimmer pole, it blows up into a little cloud - - - Updated - - -

1495716615432.jpg

- - - Updated - - -

1495716733054.jpg

This is the stain that I believe came from chlorine pucks. If so, is there anything I can do to remove it?
BTW, the dark blue is water ripple. It is not on the bottom of the pool.
 

Golfnut

Member
May 21, 2017
14
St. Leo, FL
Filter has been running all day. It was cloudy in the AM, but finally turned sunny around noon. I had kept the CYA sample from last night tightly capped, so I went out in the sunshine, turned my back, and tested. 160, or possibly 140 is the CYA reading.
I also took another FAS/DPD reading at 5:15 PM, and got
FC = 28
CC = .5
 

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