I made a BIG mess, and need advice on cleaning it up.

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
Hi everybody. I am a COMPLETE NEWBIE when it comes to pools and in my wisdom (haha- I think I should say stupidity) have royally messed up. :oops: I have a 15 X 30 oval above ground pool that holds 10,600 gallons. My filter is a hayward sand filter with a flow rate of 60 GPM. In an effort to save money, we filled our pool with pond water. I googled how to clean it up, and saw the suggestion of bleach, and lots of it. So, this is where my stupidity kicks in. I dumped 7 big jugs of bleach in the pool :hammer: and now my chlorine is obviously WAY high. So, this is when I decided I better read a lot more (yesterday, but too embarrassed to actually come on and ask and confess my foolish action) I cringe to admit, that as of this moment I do not have a good test kit, only the strips that they suggested I got at the store. So.... I don't have good #'s b/c it will take some time for me to get the 'good kit' in the mail, but what should I do at this point? Thank you for any advice you can give.

Lori
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Lori, you are fine. Please don't feel stupid. So you've been reading pool school, yes?

Give us your test strip results. How close are you to Walmart?

Everythings going to be fine :)
 

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
Thank you for your words of encouragement :) Yes, I have been reading Pool School (unfortunately started a little too late). Walmart is about 30 minutes away. The test strip just shows colors, but my chlorine is showing the color of 10, ph on the hight end of 8, alkalinity hig at 240, and stabilizer high at about 300. I forgot to mention in the first post that I did go to the pool store yesterday, and the lady sold me a bioguard balance pak to premix and then add to the pool.

Thanks!
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
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May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
I hate the bioguard products. Don't go there anymore :)

What was in the "balance pak" or what was it supposed to adjust?

Your CYA can't be 300. Pond water would have 0. Did you add something that would contain CYA/Stabilizer/Conditioner? This would have to be a separate addition, some granular chlorine products contain it.

Walmart sells a 6-way drop based test kit that is good enough to get you started. Then from TFtestkits.net you can order the TF-50.

Did the Pool store lady give you any pool store test results?
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
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May 20, 2007
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Also you're going to need to purchase Muratic Acid. This can be found at some pool stores, hardware stores and places like Lowes/Home Depot - look in the paint department or ask an employee. This will be used to lower your PH and TA which are too high. So pick up 2 gallons of that today if you can. Do you have any bleach left?

Anyway, how is your water looking now? (cloudy, murky, green, clear, etc.?)
 

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
OK- here are the readings from the pool store analysis- obviously my test strip results are way out of whack (my error in reading most likely since the #'s are off the charts). CYA: 0, Tot. chlorine:10, free chlorine:10, total alk.: 46, tot. hardness:62.
I will look for the muratic acid today. I do have bleach left, but don't plan on putting it in :) Unless you tell me to, of course :-D
The water looks like a cloudy light green color.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
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May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
The reading on the strips today is 10? If you took that reading today, then no don't put more in.
So the "balance pak" stuff. How much did they tell you to put in? Was it to raise your alk? Did they give you a PH reading?
 

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
Yes, it shows the darkest color for chlorine at 10 ppm. and I took that reading this AM. The 'balance pak 100' was to raise my alkalinity. She told me to mix 14lbs. of that in a 5 gallon bucket and dump it in the pool, so I did that as soon as I came home. The pH reading she gave me was 7.1.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
A couple of things to keep in mind. Their reading of 10ppm for the FC could be wrong. Their test probably only goes to 10ppm so anything higher than 10 will read as 10. If the FC is higher than 10ppm then the pH is going to read higher than it really is too. The rest of the numbers I kind of believe. Pond water could be low in TA and hardness.

Addin (7) 182oz jugs of 6% bleach in your pool raised your FC by 60. With no CYA it'll come down pretty fast but it's still probably pretty high.
 

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
After coming on here and reading, I suspected my FC was higher, but am not confident at all in myself, so that's when I decided to go to the pool store. How long do you think it will take to come down? and after reading more I'm wondering if I just ruined the pool and/or accessories?
Thank you again!
 

frustratedpoolmom

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May 20, 2007
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Balance pak 100 is baking soda, very expensive baking soda :)

14 lbs would raise your alk by 94 according to the Pool Calculator. So if their test results were accurate before, if your alk was 46 you are in the range of 140-150, which is high but not awful. Your PH shouldn't be over 8 based on these numbers so its likely intereference from the high chlorine. So if you didn't add anything else your CYA is probably zero.

Hold off on the muratic acid - you may not need it. Pick up the 6-way test kit from walmart along with some HTH Stabilizer/Conditioner. Look in the pool aisle. If they don't have it in stock you may have to try a different store that sells pool products (or horrors, venture back to that pool store....LOL)

CYA/Stabilizer is like sunscreen for your chlorine. Without it the sun destroys it all. You will likely find by this afternoon your chlorine is at zero.... and you can begin adding more bleach - this time using the Pool Calculator to figure out how much to add at once (it won't be 7 jugs :)).
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
14 lbs of 'balance pak 100' raised your TA by 95 so now you're at 140 and your pH by .19 so now it's at 7.3. That's not too bad but I still wouldn't put too much faith in the pH number yet.

You haven't ruined anything. It'll come down fast with no CYA in the water. You will need some CYA in there once it gets back into range. Check the FC again this afternoon.

FPM and I were typing at the same time. :oops: I'll bow out for now and leave it to her. Yell, if you need anything from me.
 

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
"CYA/Stabilizer is like sunscreen for your chlorine. Without it the sun destroys it all. You will likely find by this afternoon your chlorine is at zero.... and you can begin adding more bleach - this time using the Pool Calculator to figure out how much to add at once (it won't be 7 jugs )."
haha- learned that lesson :)

WOW- really? It might come down that quickly? OK, maybe I will stop stressing as much. I'll hold off on the muratic acid and go get the 6 way test kit along with the stabilizer/conditioner- how much of that should I buy?
 

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
Bama Rambler said:
14 lbs of 'balance pak 100' raised your TA by 95 so now you're at 140 and your pH by .19 so now it's at 7.3. That's not too bad but I still wouldn't put too much faith in the pH number yet.

You haven't ruined anything. It'll come down fast with no CYA in the water. You will need some CYA in there once it gets back into range. Check the FC again this afternoon.

FPM and I were typing at the same time. :oops: I'll bow out for now and leave it to her. Yell, if you need anything from me.
Thank you- I appreciate any and all help :)
 

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
Thank you! I'll head to walmart, test the water later this afternoon, and be back to post! THANK YOU AGAIN!!! I truly appreciate your help!
 

momofmany

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2010
77
Oh, and one more thing about the stabilizer/conditioner- when do I add it and how much? or could/should I come back on after I've tested later and given you my readings? Thanks!
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Yes, after you get the test kit post the chlorine, PH and TA readings. Save your CYA test solution - there is only enough in that kit for 2 tests.

The stabilizer is added using a sock. Yes, a sock - like an old tube sock or whatever. You can begin to add it later today.

You put half the jug in the sock, and you tie a knot at the top. Then you get some string so that you can tie the sock off so that it dangles in front of the return. The CYA will dissolve out of the sock. Then do the other 2 lbs. When the whole cannister has been used your CYA level will be about 40, and after 1 week you can test it with your kit and get a reading. You shouldn't test sooner than that - it can take 5-7 days to fully register on the test.
 
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