Helping the Mother in Law


Active member
Jul 8, 2015
San Antonio, TX
I haven't been over to my Mother in Law's house in a couple months, but she lives within a couple miles and my wife went over there this week and reported back to me that her pool was lime green. She knows how "particular" I am about our pool, so I have been voluntold to help out.

She has an in-ground plaster salt water pool.

Apparently the pool guy wants to replace her pump tomorrow so I guess there could be a pump problem. She has a salt pool and when I went over there tonight the panel had a warning light and the readout said the salt cell wasn't working and the salt level was extremely low. I don't have a salt pool so I don't have any salt tests. Are there any salt tests I can buy locally that would be TFP approved?

Here is what I did find using my TF-100:

PH - off the charts high - never seen that shade of purple before
FC - 0
CC - 0
ALK - 60
CH - 675
CYA - I'm guessing 0. I could still easily see the dot when the tube was completely full

I'm trying to find out the pool capacity from my mother in law, she wasn't home when I got the water sample.

The water is definitely green, and my wife mentioned that the pool guy apparently wants to do a full drain to clear it up. That seemed a little extreme to me.

Seems to me she obviously needs a SLAM, and potentially has some equipment issues. I've personally been following TFP methods since early in my pool's life so I've never had the pleasure of going through a SLAM before. I'm wondering, do I need to adjust ALK first before I try to get the PH down? I know getting the PH correct is important for starting a SLAM so I want to make sure I get that right. What would you all recommend for ALK target to get started? 80? Higher? I'm not as familiar with salt pool best practices.

When I was there I could see the pump was running and I could see the water was moving, so I wonder if along the way between my mother in law to my wife to me if the word pump could have been substituted for filter. I believe she has a canister filter.

I also noticed her equipment pad was pretty wet when i was there, not sure if the pool guy was there earlier and got everything wet or if the sprinkler system ran recently, but I'm hoping there isn't a leak. We are in Texas and it hasn't rained in a while, so any other sources of water would have been long gone by now in this heat.

I know that's a lot of information in one post, and it will probably be a couple days before I get the full story on what is going on.

Hopefully together we can get this thing sparkling again.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
FL panhandle
TA at 60 is fine. Lower PH to 7.2, per PoolMath and retest in 15 minutes and repeat until it shows up on the test. Once you get it reading 7.2 to 7.4 then test TA and bring it up to 60 with baking soda if needed.

Add 30 ppm CYA and SLAM away.


Active member
Jul 8, 2015
San Antonio, TX
Yeah, I was looking at that CH number. I want to test her fill water to see what it is. We have really hard water in San Antonio, but that is way higher than mine.

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Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 24, 2015
Central Valley CA
If she gets tons of rain and has to constantly drain you could wait till next spring before you actively replace water. I am at 600CH and just keeping CSI slightly negative and seeing what winter brings.