High CYA.

thebisch

Active member
Jun 27, 2020
39
Schenectady
Hello! Newb here! My pool is going on 4.5 years old. I believe I am having a problem. Here are the details and history...

21' x 52" round AG pool. (11274 gallons?)
Pentair Dynamo 1hp single speed pump.
Sta-Rite Cristal-Flo II 150lb
Hayward skimmer.
Hayward CL100 tablet feeder.

Since new we have loaded up the puck feeder with Clorox Active99 4in1 forumla tabs from BJs.

Never gave much (any?) thought about chemistry. My wife who grew up watching her dad maintain a pool said that if nothing grows, nothing stinks, and nothing feels slimy, that we were good. Fast forward to last season, upon opening of pool, there was a about 1'x1' blank spot on the bottom of the pool where the pattern had disappeared. I chalked it up to a cheap liner/pool. This season most of the print on the bottom is gone. This has led me to investigate why. Long story shortened a little, using AquaCheck strips (I will be ordering one of the recommended kits tomorrow) I find...
Total Hardness - 250
Total Chlorine - somewhere between 5 - 10
Free Chlorine - somewhere between 3-4 (I turned the feeder from 1/4 to 1/8 and that lowed the chlorine levels to where they should be.)
Ph - lower than 6.2
Total Alkalinity - below zero
CYA - 30 - 50.

From what reading I did, I think the disappearing print is due to no ph and alk (super acidic). This was about two to three weeks ago. So off to BJs to purchase Clorox pH up which is sodium carbonate. This was supposed to raise alk as well as pH. Over the next week all my numbers seemed to be reasonable except super high CYA. CYA went up to 150 (or even more maybe, will have to wait for new kit to be sure). Now this week chlorine and free chlorine have dropped to almost nothing, if not nothing. I cranked the dispenser up to 1/2 from 1/8. No change so far after a day. So now after doing some more reading, my CYA being so high, I think I am in the dreaded CYA too high to fix mode. I am also understanding that the exclusive use of the tablets are probably the cause of all of this. Here are my numbers from this morning...

Total Hardness - 250
Total Chlorine - 0
Free Chlorine - below 0
pH - 6.8
Total Alk - 120
CYA - 150 (maybe a bit higher)

So, it looks like I may be at the unfix-able drain a refill point? My plan is to do some more reading and discontinue use of the pucks once I have a game plan. For now though, any advice on how I should move forward? For the heck of it, should I dump some gallons of bleach in just to see what happens?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,429
Evans, Georgia
Oh mercy!! You're certainly on a chemistry roller coaster there, aren'tcha? None of those numbers really make a lot of sense. Bless your heart! We call test strips "Guess Strips" for obvious reasons.

Ok, that water must've been uncomfortable to swim in, huh? Low pH is really hard on the eyes and skin. I would say you need to hurry up and order TODAY the TF-100 test kit www.tftestkits.net
There is an alternative kit but its more expensive and may take longer to arrive. The TF-100 comes pretty quick out of NC.

Until then I'd suggest NO swimming. How does the water look? Any signs of algae??

With a liner that's been exposed to such harsh pH I would worry that a drain would damage it for good. So your best bet is most likely to fix your water after we get some reliable test results.

Can you manage this, and be patient till it comes? We're happy to help you but can't suggest a thing based on those test results.

Maddie
 

thebisch

Active member
Jun 27, 2020
39
Schenectady
I can be patient. No problems or complaints from swimmers. Not uncomfortable at all.

Oh mercy!! You're certainly on a chemistry roller coaster there, aren'tcha? None of those numbers really make a lot of sense. Bless your heart! We call test strips "Guess Strips" for obvious reasons.

Ok, that water must've been uncomfortable to swim in, huh? Low pH is really hard on the eyes and skin. I would say you need to hurry up and order TODAY the TF-100 test kit www.tftestkits.net
There is an alternative kit but its more expensive and may take longer to arrive. The TF-100 comes pretty quick out of NC.

Until then I'd suggest NO swimming. How does the water look? Any signs of algae??

With a liner that's been exposed to such harsh pH I would worry that a drain would damage it for good. So your best bet is most likely to fix your water after we get some reliable test results.

Can you manage this, and be patient till it comes? We're happy to help you but can't suggest a thing based on those test results.

Maddie
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,429
Evans, Georgia
If you don't mind swerling the test vial with one hand and adding drops one-by-one with the other, you're good. A LOT of folks prefer the ease of the stirring device so that they're not doing two things at once.

Once we have good test results we'll know what chemistry changes need to be made. Very odd that you say the pH is so low yet it doesn't bother anyone. Perhaps indicative of bad test results from the test strips.

Maddie
 

batesjer

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2019
78
East Lansing michigan
Best option is "Liquid Pool Shock" which is sold at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes. This is usually 10-12.5% sodium hypochlorite, same thing as bleach but stronger. If you can't find that you want plain generic bleach. Stay away from clorox brand or any types that are scented or say "splashless".
 

thebisch

Active member
Jun 27, 2020
39
Schenectady
Thanks, on my way to Walmart now.

Best option is "Liquid Pool Shock" which is sold at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes. This is usually 10-12.5% sodium hypochlorite, same thing as bleach but stronger. If you can't find that you want plain generic bleach. Stay away from clorox brand or any types that are scented or say "splashless".
 

thebisch

Active member
Jun 27, 2020
39
Schenectady
I'm thinking of adding 2 gallons to try and be safe. Is that a good idea, or stick to the one gallon. It is pouring rain all day today here, if that makes a difference.
 

thebisch

Active member
Jun 27, 2020
39
Schenectady
Someone in this thread suggested to add a gallon to stop alge in the mean time. Trying to prevent things from going from bad to worse while I wait for my test kit to arrive. Right now CYA is 150 at least, Chlorine is zero, according to test strips. I'm starting to get a little cloudy as well.

That is nearly 20 ppm FC. Are you following the SLAM Process or just maintaining FC in the pool?
 

thebisch

Active member
Jun 27, 2020
39
Schenectady
So after about three hours after adding a gallon on 10%, my strips read Chlorine again, and pretty high. I wonder if my dispenser is not working right? Doesn't matter, because I think I will be retiring it. Also, pouring rain all day from the hurricane if that matters. My latest strip readings...

Total hardness - 250
Total Chlorine - 10
Free Chlorine - 5
pH -7.2
Total Alk - between 80-120
CYA - 150 or a little higher.

Actually every number has been consistent since I used the pH up, except the chlorine, which is now about where I started IIRC.

SO now I wait for the TF kit. Assuming numbers are similar to the strips, it looks like my major problem is too much CYA. The kit is sitting in Raleigh last I looked this morning.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mdragger88

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,429
Evans, Georgia
Yes, run them all and give us the results. Go ahead and run the calcium level so you at least know a baseline, even though your pool doesn't need calcium.
GIve us the results like this:
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA

Maddie