How to balance this water, first time pool owner

Tmitchell82

Member
Dec 29, 2019
11
Venice, FL
Hi - first time pool owner, we just bought a 30-year old house in SWFL with an inground pool, I believe I have updated my signature with the details (hopefully I did that right). I read Pool School and bought the TF-100 and K-1766 test kits. My husband took a water sample to a pool store before we received our kits...their results were very different than what I got today. They sent him home with some muriatic acid as the pH was high (still is). I've attached some pictures. The pool has this brown stuff on the sides, I'm taking a guess that it's algae. I checked the SWG and it had the salt level at 4200 so I adjusted it down to 3200. Where do we start in getting this pool right? SLAM and go from there? The FC read I got today is already super high. I apologize if I've left anything out, this is my first post. I'm really dedicated to learning and getting this right.

12/31/19 pool store analysis:
FC - 5
Total chlorine - 5
Salt - 3800 ppm
CH - 220
CYA - 70
TA - 90
pH - 8

1/9/2020 results using my test kits:
FC - 24
pH - 8.2
TA - 110
CH - 825
CYA - 70
Salt - 4200
CSI - .91
 

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carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
561
Ocala, FL
Hi there! Im a new pool owner too. You just wait right here, Im sure the troops will be along before too long and will help you out. Great folks here love to fix up pools so they are sparkling, gorgeous, and easy to maintain. You just wait right here....
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Congrats on the new pool. So let's address a couple things about your test result above:
- First, we generally pay little attention to store testing ans it's often flawed, and it's great you have the perfect test kits. :goodjob:
- However it is interesting the CH numbers are so far apart. Are you using a speedstir to help you mix while adding/counting drops? I might suggest doing another CH just to make sure you have the process and math correct. Let us know if you have any questions.
- Your CYA is perfect for a salt pool, but there may be a SLAM Process in your future to combat potential algae. Before starting a SLAM, I would verify that CH. If the CH is over 800, you have the option of exchanging some water first which will do a couple things: - it will lower the CYA allowing you to maintain a lower FC SLAM level (see FC/CYA Chart), and it will reduce the CH to help with your elevated CSI (scale).

So along with the comments above, do the OCLT and Marty noted and double-check the CH for us. For now though, continue to work on the elevated pH and bring it back down to about 7.5-7.6 if you can. You can add acid to water per PoolMath, let it mix well for about 15-20 min, then re-test and adjust more if needed.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,456
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Welcome! Great first post. You're off to a great start! You've got two of the most knowledgeable members, Marty and Pat, on your side already.

One quick question...does the brown stuff brush off easily?

For the CH test, make sure you use a 10 ml sample for testing.

Best of luck!
 

Tmitchell82

Member
Dec 29, 2019
11
Venice, FL
I shut off the SWCG, and tested last night once the sun went down. I'm not sure if this matters but the pump and filter were off also, the previous owners have it all set to run on a timer from 9:15am-4:15pm.
FC last night was 22.

Tested this morning before the sun hits the pool and it was still 22. I did not add anything to the pool yesterday; only thing I did was shut off the SWCG.

From what I understand, if the FC level remains the same or drops by 1.0 or less, the water is clean (no living algae or other organic contamination), correct?
 

Tmitchell82

Member
Dec 29, 2019
11
Venice, FL
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Congrats on the new pool. So let's address a couple things about your test result above:
- First, we generally pay little attention to store testing ans it's often flawed, and it's great you have the perfect test kits. :goodjob:
- However it is interesting the CH numbers are so far apart. Are you using a speedstir to help you mix while adding/counting drops? I might suggest doing another CH just to make sure you have the process and math correct. Let us know if you have any questions.
- Your CYA is perfect for a salt pool, but there may be a SLAM Process in your future to combat potential algae. Before starting a SLAM, I would verify that CH. If the CH is over 800, you have the option of exchanging some water first which will do a couple things: - it will lower the CYA allowing you to maintain a lower FC SLAM level (see FC/CYA Chart), and it will reduce the CH to help with your elevated CSI (scale).

So along with the comments above, do the OCLT and Marty noted and double-check the CH for us. For now though, continue to work on the elevated pH and bring it back down to about 7.5-7.6 if you can. You can add acid to water per PoolMath, let it mix well for about 15-20 min, then re-test and adjust more if needed.
Hi, thanks for responding. Yes, I am using a speedstir when performing these tests. I did not add any additional chemicals to the pool yesterday, the only thing I did was shut off the SWCG after coming here for advice. I re-tested the FC and CH last night when the sun went down, FC was 22 and CH was 650 this time. Both still high based on the targets I have in my Pool Math app. I tested the FC this morning and it remained at 22.
 
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Tmitchell82

Member
Dec 29, 2019
11
Venice, FL
Welcome! Great first post. You're off to a great start! You've got two of the most knowledgeable members, Marty and Pat, on your side already.

One quick question...does the brown stuff brush off easily?

For the CH test, make sure you use a 10 ml sample for testing.

Best of luck!
So when I brush the brown stuff, I can see it coming off into the water, but it doesn't all come off. I have to brush extremely hard and I've noticed that some of the areas where I brushed pretty good it has come back and looks brown again.

I re-tested the CH last night when the sun went down and all pumps/systems were off and I got 650, I made sure to use 10ml. I am also using a SpeedStir.
 

Tmitchell82

Member
Dec 29, 2019
11
Venice, FL
Welcome to the forum!
You have a quality test kit. Let's use it. Tonight, when the sun goes down, be sure the SWCG is off for the next couple days. Test the FC level of the pool water. Tomorrow, before the sun hits the surface of the pool, test the FC level. You are doing an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test.
Report back here.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
I think I replied to this as a separate comment so I am re-posting, sorry for the confusion as I am getting accustomed to this site.

I shut off the SWCG, and tested last night once the sun went down. I'm not sure if this matters but the pump and filter were off also, the previous owners have it all set to run on a timer from 9:15am-4:15pm.
FC last night was 22.

Tested this morning before the sun hits the pool and it was still 22. I did not add anything to the pool yesterday; only thing I did was shut off the SWCG.

From what I understand, if the FC level remains the same or drops by 1.0 or less, the water is clean (no living algae or other organic contamination), correct? I mean the number is still way too high for my target FC. I went into the settings on the Digital Nano SWCG and they had it up to 4200, so before I shut it off I lowered it to 3200.

pH is still at 8.2 this morning.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,648
Laughlin, NV
You passed an OCLT -- good. But, you say the 'brown' does brush off. That implies it is algae.
I would follow the SLAM Process for a few days and see what happens. The fact the material brushes off would be consistent with it being algae and not a metal stain, such as copper.
Be sure to thoroughly brush the pool each day while following the SLAM process.
 

carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
561
Ocala, FL
Thats what Ive been doing to drop mine, but I guess because of the time of year, Im only losing about .5 ppm per day. I do have a cage over my pool, which probably slows it down too.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,648
Laughlin, NV
Looking at your pictures, is this pool covered by an enclosure? Can you indicate that in your signature?

I would also get a bunch of plain vitamin C tablets, put them in a sock, and crush them up, and set on area with the stains. See what happens. Does it remove them, change their color, or do nothing.
 

Tmitchell82

Member
Dec 29, 2019
11
Venice, FL
Looking at your pictures, is this pool covered by an enclosure? Can you indicate that in your signature?

I would also get a bunch of plain vitamin C tablets, put them in a sock, and crush them up, and set on area with the stains. See what happens. Does it remove them, change their color, or do nothing.
Yes, we are under an enclosure. I will update my signature. I didn't get a chance to get the vit C tabs but I will try that this week.

I added some muriatic acid yesterday and we put the hose in last night because the water was a little low. I tested this morning and got these numbers:

FC - 15
pH - 7.5
CC - 0
TA - 70
CH - 675
Salt - 3600
I didn't test the CYA.

Slowly getting there!
 

Tmitchell82

Member
Dec 29, 2019
11
Venice, FL
Thats what Ive been doing to drop mine, but I guess because of the time of year, Im only losing about .5 ppm per day. I do have a cage over my pool, which probably slows it down too.
We have a cage also. We put the hose in last night because the water level was low, I got a FC reading of 15 this morning. Salt is coming down (3600) and everything else was good except CH is still high (675).
 

Tmitchell82

Member
Dec 29, 2019
11
Venice, FL
Looking at your pictures, is this pool covered by an enclosure? Can you indicate that in your signature?

I would also get a bunch of plain vitamin C tablets, put them in a sock, and crush them up, and set on area with the stains. See what happens. Does it remove them, change their color, or do nothing.
Good morning - coming back to this reply as I've been testing and monitoring the levels daily.

I took a sock with crushed up C tabs and started rubbing it on areas that were stained. The stains started to dissipate and were removed where I had rubbed the sock. Can I create some sort of Vit C solution to scrub the pool? I'm unsure what this means in terms of pool chemistry and what I should do.

My results for today are as follows:
pH - 7.8
FC - 10.5
CC - 0
CH - 500
TA - 60
CYA - 60
Salt - 3600
CSI (per PoolMath App) - 0.05

Should I continue to let the FC fall to acceptable ranges before I SLAM?

Thanks in advance for all the help and guidance.