I think I got it under control! Or.. do I?

blupblup

Silver Supporter
Apr 5, 2017
25
Dallas, TX
Hey guys,

I've been reading a lot on this forum the past couple of days and learned a lot already. I'll try to make it short.

Our pool was built last year in the fall, never had a pool before. I thought I could maintain it myself without any help and I actually think I was doing okay. Or maybe I just got lucky, haha!

So all went well up until last week. I'm using Tri-chlor tabs to chlorinate my pool and suddenly there was no more FC or TC in the pool. I did not understand. I had no clue about CYA :rolleyes:, the lady at Leslie's didn't tell me either! First time she tested end of February (I did not have any trouble yet back then) CYA was 90. She sold me product to raise CH (it was at 160 ppm) and lower Phosphate (300 ppb).

Anyway, I went back on Monday with my chlorine problem. They told me to shock, that would help. Because they did not want me to drain my pool just after I bought so much stuff. Of course it didn't. Found this forum and read that the only solution = add new water. So I added about 7150 gallons to my pool yesterday, bought liquid chlorine and am trying to get it to at least 4ppm right now as there hasn't been any FC in the pool for almost a week now. Btw, the liquid chlorine is much easier as I can finally control how much chlorine goes into my pool. How do you do that with those tabs?

Alright, here are my questions:

- Did I read correctly that I do not have to worry about the phosphates as long as they're not over 1000 ppb? Leslie's wants me to keep it under 100 ppb. ( funny thing, it went up from 300 (end of February) to 500 (last Monday), so I their product added in stead of removed.

- I was told by my pool builder that 2-3 ppm of FC is enough for my pool. PoolMath says a minimum of 5?

- I have these yellow/green stains in my pool. I think they're from pollen. Some of these stains have been there for a while and do not go away. I brush daily and I've shocked a couple of times but they're still there. Any idea how I can remove them?

Although I bought my testkit (Taylor K-1004) recently, I understand I should get an one that tests everything. Anyway, I tested this with my current kit just now:

FC: 2
PH: 7.6
TA: 80
CYA: don't know exactly, but should be around 50 I'm guessing.

Thanks for all the great advice on this forum!
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,321
Bedford, TX
blu,

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all those people who have been "Pool $tored"... :testkit:

You are not unlike the rest of us here at TFP. We have all been there... :mad:

We try very hard to not "guess" about what our chemical levels are.. The whole point of TFP is knowing exactly what our levels are and then only adding just what is necessary to keep our pools clean, clear and sanitized..

Check out this chart... It will tell you what FC level you need for specific levels of CYA.. https://www.troublefreepool.com/content/128-chlorine-cya-chart-slam-shock

You can see that if you have a CYA level of 90, you will need to keep your FC at about 11 ppm to prevent you from getting algae. This is exactly why we do not recommend high CYA levels for most non-Saltwater pools..

Here is a quick overview of TFP... https://www.troublefreepool.com/content/122-what-is-tfpc-bbb

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,495
Tucson, AZ
To expand on Jim's post, phosphates are generally ignored here - if your pool is above minimum FC for your CYA level, having "algae food" around isn't going to matter - there's no algae to show up for the feast. Generally phosphates are Leslie's hail mary move to get you to buy their expensive "phos-free" potion. You can, generally, safely ignore phosphates numbers.

The pool industry hasn't, for whatever reason, kept up with the science. CYA buffers chlorine - the higher your CYA, the less chlorine is "free" and able to destroy bacteria and algae. We now understand that FC has to be kept at a percentage of CYA - hence the awesome chart that Jim linked for you. Chlorine that is buffered by CYA isn't available to bleach your clothes/hair, liner, etc. While the amount of FC you need to maintain with high CYA seems crazy, it's perfectly safe for you and your clothes/equipment.

The stains need to be tested. Try rubbing them with a chlorine tablet and see if that changes it. If not, try rubbing them with a vitamin-c tablet to see if that does anything. Based on that, we can start to help you diagnose what is causing them.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,410
Evans, Georgia
Hey there BlupBlup :) Glad you and your pool found us here at TFP.

You have a decent sized pool, in a very hot challenging environment. I would highly recommend you order the TF-100, its the best tester for the price and does the most tests of the ones you need to do the most. So it ends up saving you money in many ways.

If you got that 90 CYA number from the pool store....well.... we don't trust them to do most chemistry test well. Either the clerk running the test is barely trained, or they don't take their time to run the test properly (I've seen them outright squirt reagent in, not add it drop by drop...) so you can get different results each time you test yet nothing has changed in your water.

The test kit gives you *exact* values for FC,CC,pH, TA, CH and CYA. Not ranges like strips do, but exact numbers. So you'll have the information necessary to act upon those results.

So you drained and refilled about 7k gallons, right? That's a start, but until we get a good test we won't know if you're done. Until then I would add liquid chlorine daily and brush daily on those stains and see if they start to lighten. Did anyone add algaecides with copper in your pool ever? ANY algaecides??

For future reference, 19 ounces of 8.25% liquid chlorine will raise your FC up by 1ppm. So if you know you want to raise your FC by 3ppm, add 57 ounces if measured, or half a jug of bleach and it will be done. Quick! Easy! NO additional ingredients to mess your pool up down the road.

You can obtain the test kit from: TFTestkits.net or PoolSupplyWorld.com

Holler back if you have any new questions :)

Yippee :flower:
 

blupblup

Silver Supporter
Apr 5, 2017
25
Dallas, TX
Thanks for your reply guys! Much appreciated.

I just ordered the TF-100 kit, I hope it gets here soon. I know I shouldn't be guessing the CYA - I don't want to - but I didn't know of CYA's existence since Monday.

Thanks for welcoming me and my pool, YippeeSkippy. Love that name by the way :p

Thanks for the clarification on the free chlorine and phosphates, Triptyx. About those stains, I did the test. Had to rub very hard - almost half of the chlorine tablet is gone - but it did disappear. I guess this means it are organic stains and I need to shock the pool to get rid of the other stains?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,410
Evans, Georgia
No No No! We do *not* "shock" a pool as if its a one time addition of some mystery product. Instead we do a SLAM procedure. This means we take the FC up to SLAM levels (based on our CYA level) and maintain it there with frequent FC testing and re-dosing to keep the water at that SLAM level until its all clear.

Pool stores sell lots of potions and bags of mystery ingredients and call it "shock" but if its granular or solid it also contains yet more CYA or calcium. They don't do a good job of telling folks that part though, do they? So it just compounds your problem more.

Wait till you get your test kit (did you by chance get the speed stir device too? Way faster testing!) and lets see what your results show before we make big changes. Just add some bleach daily until it arrives, ok?

Yippee :flower:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,433
Tallahassee, FL
You are well on your way to getting the pretty pool back in shape with buying the best test kit there is! Good job!

You just thought your water was pretty before. Wait until you see it the TFP way! :sun:

Kim:kim:
 

blupblup

Silver Supporter
Apr 5, 2017
25
Dallas, TX
I received my kit yesterday, YAY!!

These are my readings today:

FC - 3
CC 0.5
pH 7.5
TA - 110 (I get different readings with the TF-100 kit and my Taylor kit. Taylor says 90)
CH - 275
CYA - 50

If I understand correctly, all looks ok but I need to get my FC between 6 and 8 for this level of CYA. Used pool math and added 2 quarts and 1 cup of 8.25% bleach just now.

Yesterday, after a day of medium heavy rain, the FC was 0. I added a gallon of bleach to get it back to 7 (I did not test again for FC after adding the gallon of bleach though).

Is it normal that 18 hours later, the FC is only 3?


 

blupblup

Silver Supporter
Apr 5, 2017
25
Dallas, TX
The water is clear. Not cloudy at all.

But I do have some organic stains in my pool, so will have to SLAM one of the coming days (when I have the time)
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
Just remember that SLAM is not a one time thing. It's a multi day process that involves adding chlorine and testing FC many times over the course of the process.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,705
Pacific NW
Yes brush daily every area, very important!

My last pool looked a lot like yours one time, during an algae out break.
The slam process took 2 full weeks start to finish. The first week
was the hardest part. And I went through about 32 gallons of bleach all told.
That pool was 20,000 gallons though.

How are you testing your CYA?

Are you holding it at waist level, with your back to full sun?
 

blupblup

Silver Supporter
Apr 5, 2017
25
Dallas, TX
So I started slamming Wednesday evening. And of course I've been brushing like a crazy dude, 2 to 3 times a day with the Wall Whale. That brush works pretty good, I must say. The stains are fading away, almost gone!

Thanks for your cheers Kimkats!

Borjis, yes, holding it at waist level and I test indoors. I don't think it's going to take 2 weeks here, the stains do not look like in the pictures I posted before anymore.

The water is much clearer now. It was a little cloudy right after I started slamming, but it looks good now. I'm keeping it at 20ppm.
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,495
Tucson, AZ
You absolutely must test CYA outdoors in direct sunlight, with your back to the sun and the tube in the shade your body makes. It makes all the difference in getting an accurate reading. Without an accurate reading, you may be wasting time (or money in wasted chlorine) with the wrong FC level in your SLAM.
 
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