Help!!! Yikes!

dw886

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Sep 19, 2016
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One good diagnostic for ammonia is falling pH while adding chlorine because oxidizing ammonia is acidic.

2NH4+ + 3OCl- --> N2 + 3H2O + 2H+ +3Cl-

When adding 12.5% sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine) to a pool to oxidize ammonia, every gallon of liquid chlorine will create the equivalent of 15 ounces of 31.45% hydrochloric acid.

Hydrogen sulfide will be oxidized to sulfur and sulfate. Sulfur will filter out and the sulfates will stay in the water.
The pen pH should not be effected by the FC. The ammonia elimination process increases your pH if I remember right -- Matt would know the chemistry better than I -----

I do not see why adding borax would bother. But hold off if your pH pen is showing higher pH. Add if FC under 10, your drop test should work.

I'm following this thread just for the learning. If I'm reading the above comment by James correctly, the ammonia elimination process is going to drive pH further downward, so you'll have to do something to correct it as you battle the ammonia further...
 
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tessv

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I'm following this thread just for the learning. If I'm reading the above comment by James correctly, the ammonia elimination process is going to drive pH further downward, so you'll have to do something to correct it as you battle the ammonia further...
Think that’s the next step... pH is definitely low...(see pic).

Just tested now and have our first fc reading of 5, ccs testing low—0.5... ran an ammonia test—first time since the initial one that was off the charts—getting a reading in the 4.0 ppm range now... back to that “mixed chemical” smell now (chl + ammonia)...

We’re ready to keep going, but I think we have to tackle pH now, first... because we could have 4 more rounds of this before the ammonia is eliminated, theoretically...

I’m just nervous adding Borax... never done it...
 

tessv

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@JamesW So, we definitely need to go get more—I didn’t anticipate we’d go that low... to be clear—Borax & “20 mule Borax” are the same thing, correct??? Just with brand specificity?
 
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tessv

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Sorry -- most here are on sewer systems --
My response to you got lost—😊... yeah, we aren’t... and the gutters drain to a lake, so we’re prohibited from draining there per our association requirements...

We’re on septic out here... everything’s already soaked... more rain later today and this weekend—4-5 more inches predicted last I read...
 

tessv

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(It’s listed both ways in the “effects of adding” tab on pool math, so I wasn’t confident that I knew the correct answer)
 

tessv

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Big pH changes in PoolMath are not very accurate. See the warning.

IF you need to raise your pH, do it in very small increments.
Will do... just getting started with that... after adding first 12 lbs, tested 30 mins later with no noticeable increase...

Just added 16 lbs... will test again...
 

tessv

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Latest ammonia test is at 1ppm!!!!! Going one more round of blasting!!! We might be turning a corner, folks!!!! 45 gallons of 10%bleach into this thing!

Can almost see the third step.
Color still changing...
still getting gelatinous blobs occasionally, skimming those out... So gross! Like brown jellyfish that dissolve into tummy yuck if not skimmed exactly right... 😊image.jpg
 

JoyfulNoise

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I bet you’ll be in for another 4 gallons of bleach to get the ammonia to zero which will put you roughly at 50 gallons of bleach. That much bleach is 130ppm FC which is enough to neutralize about 13ppm ammonia. Your test indicated higher but those aquarium ammonia tests are hardly very accurate.

You’re still going to need many more gallons of bleach to SLAM and clear the pool. This is a perfect, if somewhat unfortunate, example of how detrimental CYA conversion to ammonia can be. Your pool was complicated by plaster and drainage issues but, under other circumstances, draining a pool with that much ammonia in it would probably have been the cheaper route.
 

tessv

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You prescient soul,@JoyfulNoise! Yep... should be the last round at this level... Ammonia at 0.25... have 20 gallons left in our stash! With 0 cya at present, 10 fc is our slam target, too... we’re just gonna keep going as long as we can tonight or until the rain starts and will see what happens overnight... Tomorrow we thought we’d get an assist from Dichlor to get some CYA working, too... (only up to our target)....

FC=4
CC=2
TA=170

*have added 28# of Borax... not above 6.8 yet, but my hands can tell you it feels better and is moving up... adding 12 more now...
 

tessv

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IYour test indicated higher but those aquarium ammonia tests are hardly very accurate
@JoyfulNoise great way to sum this party up! I hope others can learn from us!!! With us!!!

I actually think both your estimate and my ammonia test were accurate—all I could garner from my ammonia test was that we were way higher than 8 (its max level)... we just had no way of knowing how much higher...

Ammonia test now reads 0.
Chlorine holds to an 8.5 in 15 minute increments...
Have just been adding a single gallon to get back to 10... but, we’re wrapping up for the night... closing it up and we’ll see what morning brings!!!

I cannot thank you ALL enough!!!!!! Much love!!!
 
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