Help! What to do?

jaduck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2013
422
Arab, Alabama
Could be bad reagents. You could check that by filling a 5 gallon buck with water add 1.5 ml of bleach and test the mixture...you should get a FC reading.

You could have a ton of ammonia in your pool. Get an ammonia test kit for fish tanks.

You chlorine levels could be very very high.

I'm about to be at a loss as to your problem, sorry! The big guns can chime in anytime!
 

Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
Ok. I will do the bucket check tomorrow morning. So its safe to say for now to hold off on doing anything else. I just ordered the ammonia test kit and it should be here Friday. I do have to say that the pool looks much more blue this afternoon. Perfect actually.
 

Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
So just for reference. I don't know if these past numbers would help or not. It looks like my pool was not really in balance last year as well. Water samples taken to the pool company and done digitally:

5/26/16
CYA 104
Total Chlorine 1.3
FC .3
PH 7.4
TA 45
CH 291

Based on these numbers they had me add 74.5 Lbs of Balance Pack 100 for TA, 5pts of acid for PH, and 57 bags of Burnout. I brought the water back on 5/31/16 and these were the results:

CYA 103
Total Chlorine 1.4
FC .1
Ph 7.9
TA 170
CH 298

Based on these numbers I added 4.3 pts of acid and 14 bags of shock. The next set of numbers I have are right before closing on 9/6/16 and here are the results:
CYA 151
Total Chlorine .2
FC .2
PH 7.7
TA 95
CH 277

My reading this week for the CYA is between 30-40 and the pool company said it was 50 when they opened it two weeks before. Is any of this info helpful? Has the water been off for awhile. It should also be noted that I dumped 1/2 the pool water last summer to help.
 

jaduck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2013
422
Arab, Alabama
Yes, I would probably hold off, man that pool looks as clear as any pool I've seen. Adding 1.5 ml of 12.5% bleach to 5 gallons of water should give you a result of 10 ppm. BTW, API makes an easy to read ammonia kit.
 

Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
Sounds good. Lets just say that the FC is really really high. How long do you predict before we will be able to swim?

- - - Updated - - -

I am also wondering about the blue color in the weak plaster spots of the pool. Is that algae or something else. I can't seem to brush it away and it was def not there last year. Also the pool looks a little streaked almost like there is a slight pink tinge that again can't be scraped off. I remember in the past when we had red algae I was able to brush it off. Is this how plaster ages?
 

Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
I wish it would show up in a picture better. But I have added two pictures that show the blue spots I am talking about. Is that algae?
 

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jaduck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2013
422
Arab, Alabama
If the chlorine is very high, it should burn off pretty quickly, hard to say how fast. I'm not sure about the pink/blue stain, could be metal staining (copper). Somebody should be able to better direct you on that problem, sorry!
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
Well if you are diluting 10:1, even if you are at an FC of 180, you would only be 18, so it would be OK.

But try this. Keep adding till it stays clear for 20 seconds and constant swirling. When I did a SLAM, the pink would not come back for maybe even a minute.

Also, you are making sure you are using a heaping spoonful, right?
 

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Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
Will do xyz. Jaduk. I think you are right about the metal staining. I will read up on how to remove. Will report back tomorrow with numbers. Thanks all.
 

Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
I have added two pictures of the pool. One from yesterday and the better one from today. All the bleach from yesterday definitely made a difference. Maybe the readings were right and the pool has been out of balance for so long. Will retest soon.

- - - Updated - - -

The top picture is the one from this morning. Looks pretty good.
 

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Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
So I added 1.5ml of 12.5% bleach to 5 gallons of water and tested. The FC was 13. I also tested my water sample this morning and the FC was 1.5 after adding all that bleach yesterday. When I added the scoops of powder yesterday I got a bright pink color. Today only a light pink no matter how many scoops I added. Today the FC 1.5 was with constant swirling and the sample being clear for 20 seconds of swirling. Now what? Is my FC really only 1.5? I also did the CC and that was 2.5. Please advise and see above pictures. There was a def change in color after adding all that bleach yesterday.
 

jaduck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2013
422
Arab, Alabama
Your reagents are good and you are testing correctly. It appears that ammonia is the problem! I would add enough bleach to get your FC to 16, wait 15 minutes then test your FC. Post those results.

Before adding the bleach, save a sample of pool water to test for ammonia!

Your FC at 1.5 and your CC at 2.5 tells me the bleach is starting to do its job! You are likely to need a lot of bleach. If your 12.5 % bleach guy is out use Walmart 10% Pool bleach or 8.5% Great Value PLAIN bleach. Just adjust your percentage in pool math. I think you are about to break through the ammonia. Only bleach will fix your problem. Also, recheck your CYA, because the bacteria you have in your pool is converting the CYA into ammonia. You have a huge pool and it can take tons of bleach to fix the issue...smooth sailing afterwards. The drop in your CYA from the high of 150 and then down to a manageable level makes sense. Normally CYA doesn't magically disappear!
 

Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
So I tested the ammonia and it is somewhere between 4-8. The API kit only reads in 2ppm up to 4 and then jumps to 8. I will try to add bleach to get up to shock level of 16. I will retest before though. Problem is with all of the bleach that I have been adding according to pool math, I have never been able to get to shock level. The highest that I have gotten it up to is 6 and that was adding a a ton of bleach. Am I correct that I only add the amount to get to shock level on pool math and no more even though it won't bring the level to shock. Best to retest in 15 min and add more? Also it is going to be 95 degrees today although the pool water is only 69. Should I wait until this evening or start now?
 

jaduck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2013
422
Arab, Alabama
4 - 8 ppm? WOW! Give me a minute and I will tell you what to do...8 ppm, I feel for you, I really do! It may cost you to get this problem fixed, but when it is fixed you are going to have a stunning pool that is cheap and easy to maintain!
 

Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
I just checked the CYA and it filled to the top of the tube and I could slightly still see the dot. I also checked FC and it was only .6. If my CYA has dropped so much should I use dichlor to shock so that it raises CYA?
 

jaduck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2013
422
Arab, Alabama
The reason you can't maintain a FC level is because ammonia almost immediately consumes the bleach, hence no FC. Bacteria, not algae, in your pool is converting your CYA into ammonia. This would explain the drop of your CYA over the winter. Typically with a CYA of 150 you would have to drain 60 -75 % of your pool and refill with freshwater to start the TFP method. The good news is the CYA is getting destroyed by bacteria, the bad news is the product of ammonia, the enemy of FC, so to speak. Make sense?

Here is what I would do:

1. Go get a ton of bleach...you could get a shovel and a plastic tarp if you want to have some fun, LOL!

2. Recheck all your levels pH, CYA, FC, CC, ALK, CH. Post a baseline set of numbers.

3. Based on that baseline get your pH to 7.2.

4. Assuming your CYA is 30/40 assume a shock level of 16. If your CYA is different use the corresponding shock level. See CYA/FC chart in Pool School.

5 Dump in bleach to raise your FC to 16.

6. Waiting 15 -20 minutes test for FC. If it is very low, like 0 - 2. Repeat this step until your FC starts to hold at 16. This may take some time, keep at it until your FC holds.

7. Once you get a shock level FC reading (16), start dancing!

8. Wait 2 hours and test your FC again. If your FC drops use pool math to get that level back to 16.

9. At this point you can do a normal SLAM until completion!
 

Tinkerpt

Active member
May 10, 2017
33
Arlington va
I will test the other numbers and post back in a few. When I tested the CYA level a few minutes ago I filled it to the top of the tube and could see the dot very very faintly. What CYA would that be? Also could I use some Dichlor to shock at the beginning to raise the CYA? Using 8lbs of dichlorvos I can raise my CYA by 14. Is that helpful?
 

jaduck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2013
422
Arab, Alabama
I just checked the CYA and it filled to the top of the tube and I could slightly still see the dot. I also checked FC and it was only .6. If my CYA has dropped so much should I use dichlor to shock so that it raises CYA?

No, just use bleach and don't worry about your CYA right now. The bacteria will just consume the CYA. Just start pouring in bleach until you FC chlorine holds at 12. Check your FC after 15 -20 mins, then repeat. Once your FC overcomes the ammonia we will increase your CYA to 30.
 

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