Ideal Levels for 8 Days Away (with Borderline CSI issues)

DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
424
Austin, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I really couldn't find the right forum for this question, so felt I'd try here.

I've got a new pool, filled in April 2020. Due to Covid, I haven't left and have been able to obsess over the pool daily. With the weather changing, things have stabilized, but I still have to manage pH (a lot better since turning the IC60 off).

I'm trying to determine a battle plan here since I'll be gone 8 days. I may be able to get a TFP buddy to swing by once during the trip to balance me out.

My readings right now with TF100 kit are:
FC - 5
CC - 0
pH - 7.6 (Apera pH Monitor and Taylor K1000)
TA - 60-70
CH - 500
CYA - 60
Salt - 3800 (Taylor K1766)
Water Temp - 50
CSI - -0.400

7-in-1 test strip shockingly enough is pretty closely aligned with the above, but it puts CH squarely at 250. I disregard these and just used one today to verify results as my friend just found out he had bogus chemistry in some of his agents and was getting false readings. My R-0011L wouldn't pour today, so I had to jam a paper clip in it, not sure if my sample size of drops is right.

Kind of bummed about the CH, especially since I top off with an RV water softener that I recharge every 2,000 gallons. With the IC60 off, my pH rise is pretty slow, maybe 0.05 to 0.1 per day. FC loss is very low as well, maybe ~0.5ppm per day.

If I run the pH down to 7.0 or 7.2 to get me through the 8 days of rise, it'll bring my CSI down to -1.00. I plan to bump the FC to 8, I'm not super worried about that. Considering I'm not running the chlorinator, I assume higher pH towards the end of the trip is probably better than out of range CSI at the beginning?

We'd be leaving in a week so I can possibly move some parameters around before leaving. Thoughts, suggestions, advice? Thanks!
 
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JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
2,297
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
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Your numbers look pretty good, but your pH could be a bit higher to let your CSI be less negative. I'm not sure I would do much of anything for the 8 days other than raise your FC up to say 8-9 before you leave with liquid chlorine. I guess you could add a floater with some trichlor tabs in them to help replace the FC daily loss and keep the pH down a bit.
 

DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
424
Austin, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Your numbers look pretty good, but your pH could be a bit higher to let your CSI be less negative. I'm not sure I would do much of anything for the 8 days other than raise your FC up to say 8-9 before you leave with liquid chlorine. I guess you could add a floater with some trichlor tabs in them to help replace the FC daily loss and keep the pH down a bit.

Thanks, the low pH is my responsibility, mostly because I was getting tired of daily micro adjustments. Not realizing the impact cold water had on CSI, I stayed with old habits of doing 7.8 -> 7.4 acid dumps from the Summer which typically afforded me two days between acid. In the winter, it was getting me more. Since it only recently got cold here, this is my first full panel test since we stopped swimming/heating the pool. As a result, I now need to run higher pH which i actually ok since I'm not running the chlorinator (which requires acidity to reform the NaCL). I guess what's the safe maximum pH now if I'm going liquid chlorine?
 

JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
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I let mine hit 8.0 before I knock it down to about 7.5. In the winter, I may even let it sit at 8.0 for a bit.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
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Well, you could always treat yourself to an IntellipH! I can go a week easy, regularly, without doing anything to the pool. And that's mostly just to test. Normally I can go weeks without doing anything except testing! I'd be very confident to leave my pool for two weeks or more. The IpH would just plug into the IntelliCenter/IC60 setup you've already got. Maybe for next time...

OK, back to reality. Do you have anybody that can check on the pool, once or twice while you're gone? (I think you said you did.) Don't tax them with testing, it's much simpler than that. Prepare a few plastic bottles, two for FC, two for acid. Label them "TUE" and "FRI" or whatever. Fill them with what you think your pool will likely need if dosed twice while away. (The dose will determine the minimum size of bottle you need.) Give your friend a quick tutorial just before you go, mostly just showing them how to pour in each bottle slowly in front of a return, a few minutes apart, while the pump is running. Show them how to turn on the pump, just in case. Set your pump schedule such that it will be running when your friend is able to come by. That's it.

It may not be the perfect amount, but it'll be close enough, and certainly better than doing nothing. Now that it's cold, you might only need one visit.

Alternately, others here can describe how to use pucks to do the task. They'll "time release" both chlorine and CYA while you're gone. You can stand to add a little CYA, so that'll be fine. CYA is acid, and will help control pH a bit, and the chlorine will take care of the FC. Just a matter of figuring out how many tabs to leave in a floater (which you'll need if you don't have one). This technique is used by many here, for their trips away. I don't know all the details myself because I never use pucks.
 

jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
489
Austin, TX
FYI. I have the Intelliph that was connected to my IC60. After the second intelliph board fried, now Pentair says the IC60 draws too much current for the Intelliph. They swapped out my IC60 for an IC40. My pool is 20,000 gallons, so no biggie. Those with larger pools might want to rethink a standalone Intelliph. I think it’s fine with an IC60 if you also get the Intellichem, but not sure.
 

Dirk

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Wow, so that explains the melted connector issue! Well, at least Pentair copped to it. Thanks for the update, Jim. Members here are working on ways to run an IpH without involving the IC. I'll likely transition there myself at some point, because, like the IC, the IpH goes down in the cold water season. I should have mentioned that while plugging the IpH. But in the cold season, I still can go 7 or 8 days because my FC and pH can stay stable enough when the water is so cold.
 

jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
489
Austin, TX
Yes. And also explains another issue I posted in another thread. My IC60 would randomly go into salt measurement. It must have been power-cycling due to drawing too much power for the IntelliPH.
 

DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
424
Austin, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Yeah I had actually signed a contract for an IntelliPh, but after hearing Jim's issue, I pumped the brakes on it. Ironically, the Pentair dealer I signed with also did Jim's pool and they told me they wouldn't do it on an IC60 anymore. I'm hoping a redesign occurs. A chore for another day, but I'm also looking into seeing how I can piece together a basic stenner pump type system to feed on an aux and run no a scheduled timer.

I can probably teach my neighbor how to use the Apera PH gauge and then tell him once it goes to 8.0, add 8 ounces of acid. That will probably need to happen every other day or so though which is why I proposed the initial large Ph drop.
 

Dirk

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Consider the IpH without the controller. They sell it that way (it's a component of the IntelliChem system). I stand by how great a hopper design Pentair came up with. I was told the Pentair pump is a Stenner.

The more you force pH down, the faster it will come up. It's logarithmic, not linear. So once it gets to upper sevens, it's not going to rise at the same rate it does from 7.4-7.6. And even if it gets above 8, it's going to flatten out and not get much higher than that. Leaving your pool for a few days at pH 8, 8.2, 8.4 (if it could even get that high), whatever, is not going to impact your plaster. It takes months and months of pH being constantly high or low to create any issues.

You've exaggerated this issue in your mind because you're seeing this huge increase when you dump the pH down to low 7s. That's what will happen: quick ascent from low 7s, but then it stabilizes around low 8s. Drop the pH and raise the FC before you go, throw in a few pucks, enjoy your trip.
 
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JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
2,297
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I can probably teach my neighbor how to use the Apera PH gauge and then tell him once it goes to 8.0, add 8 ounces of acid. That will probably need to happen every other day or so though which is why I proposed the initial large Ph drop.

Have you let it float up to 8.0 before? I just ask because mine gets to 7.8 pretty quickly, but will take a week or more to get up to 8.0 and it stays at 8.0 for weeks at a time.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
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Central California
Pool Size
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Have you let it float up to 8.0 before? I just ask because mine gets to 7.8 pretty quickly, but will take a week or more to get up to 8.0 and it stays at 8.0 for weeks at a time.
Ditto on your ditto!
 
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DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
424
Austin, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Have you let it float up to 8.0 before? I just ask because mine gets to 7.8 pretty quickly, but will take a week or more to get up to 8.0 and it stays at 8.0 for weeks at a time.

I’m aware it slows down. Don’t think I’ve ever seen 8.0. Maybe 7.88. I’ll stop adding acid and see what happens each day. I’ll record a log just for grins and post it here. That’ll give me a good idea of what will happen if I take a week off. In fact, I’ll go boost my FC to 8 right now to monitor that.

Thanks team.
 
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DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
424
Austin, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
PH is 7.95 (-0.150 CSI) this morning, let's hope this levels off, will let it go a few more days before bringing it back down before the trip.
 
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