Jumped the gun on my SLAM without testing pH or adding CYA

Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#1
I wanted to get started on the pool today, and still had 6 few bottles of bleach from last year. I went ahead and added them, which brought my FC up to 12. So that's nice, but two problems

1. Didn't get a pH reading before the SLAM. It shows way high if I try to measure now.
2. Didn't add CYA, which is at 0.

Just wanted to get opinion if I should let FC drop down and fix the CYA and pH? Or just keep on with the SLAM? Can I add my CYA anyway now?

Pool has pretty heavy algae, was left uncovered over the winter.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,327
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#2
CYA can be added anytime. Just don't pour it down the skimmer, because if you need to backwash before it's all dissolved, it's literally money down the drain. Use the sock method.

If the pool is a nice deep opaque green, your FC is probably below 10 already, in which case you can test pH and adjust it. Be aware that if it's at the top, it may be higher than 8.2 and one treatment might not lower it all the way. If by chance you are using the Taylor K-2006, here's where the acid demand test comes in handy. You'll be able to get it in one shot using that. If not, dose, wait an hour, test again. Repeat as needed. Then resume the SLAM.
 
Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#3
Thanks Richard

So it has been ~3 hours since my first addition. Indeed, FC is at 7.5 now but pH is still reading way high. Do you think this pH measurement is accurate at this level? TC is still at 10 if that matters.

FC: 7.5
CC: 2.5
pH: Still >8.2
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,327
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#7
It's the TF-100. The pH Reagent is 2 years old though. I store it indoors.
Okay, then you don;t have the acid demand test. So test TA, plug numbers into poolmath, and aim for 7.4. If you see any movement, keep going. If it hasn't shifted any, then maybe the reagent has gone bad. Skip pH and go back to algae killing and pick up a fresh refill sometime during the week and deal with pH after it's clear. Make sure you get the right pH reagent. Different Taylor kits use either R-0014 or R-004. Make sure you get the same number you have, as it is calibrated for your test block.
 
Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#8
Okay, then you don;t have the acid demand test. So test TA, plug numbers into poolmath, and aim for 7.4. If you see any movement, keep going. If it hasn't shifted any, then maybe the reagent has gone bad. Skip pH and go back to algae killing and pick up a fresh refill sometime during the week and deal with pH after it's clear. Make sure you get the right pH reagent. Different Taylor kits use either R-0014 or R-004. Make sure you get the same number you have, as it is calibrated for your test block.
Good plan!

Curious is it recommended to buy all new reagents or a new kit every year?
 

OTPirate

Admin
In The Industry
Oct 2, 2013
1,330
Creedmoor, NC
#9
Yes, Taylor Technologies, whom TFTestkits gets all its chemistry from, recommends replacing them every year. I find that some do last longer, but as a blanket statement, Taylor does recommend replacing annually.
 
Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#12
Ok I added 34oz of dry acid and 8 lbs of CYA. I didn't want to overshoot since there is some doubt about my reagents. Will run full tests tomorrow morning.
Numbers are looking better this morning. pH looks to have lowered some based on my test kit. I put enough chlorine to keep it at shock level last night, so that is possibly still interfering with the pH test.

Pool is looking better already also! Now just a nice opaque aqua blue.

My CYA is much higher than expected. I wanted to keep it around 30 so I wouldn't have to keep such a high shock FC level. I did squeeze out the rest of my socks prior to testing, so I'm hoping it is artificially inflated due to that.


pH: 7.8
FC: 11.5
CC: 1
CYA: 60(!)
TA: 45

I'm going to take a sample in to compare with my numbers and maybe pick up a pH reagent if they have my R-0014.

- - - Updated - - -

I'm curious about this as well and wondering which test last longer than others. I'm hopeful I don't get yanked for hijacking a thread but the question has already been asked by the OP.

Sent from my MotoE2(4G-LTE) using Tapatalk
Agreed, this would be good to know. I tend to run out of the DPD components and the CYA liquid, but the rest come with enough to last me several seasons. Seems a waste to do a full replacement every year. Has someone ran the numbers for cost of full chem replacement for TF-100?
 
Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#14
Well just more confusion after having it tested at the pool store. Most alarmingly, they measured my pH at 7.0. I can't find anyone that carries Taylor, so I will have to wait for my refill to get here in the mail to figure out if my reagent is causing false results.

Other interesting thing from the pool store, is they measured my CYA at 30, which is much closer to what I expected after adding 8lbs of CYA to my 35K pool. When using my TF-100 for CYA, I am consistently getting what I would call 60, or at best 55. The R-0013 I am using for the CYA test is "fresh" in that it was ordered at the end of last season.

How do you think I should proceed? I'm thinking to keep on with shock levels and worry about the pH/TA later if it won't cause any issues for my SLAM to clear things up. But now I'm unsure about what CYA level to use to calculate my shock level. I don't see how it is possible for me to go from 0 -> 60 with the amount I added. Think I can just assume CYA of 30?

10:30am TF-100
pH: 7.8
FC: 11.5
TC: 12.5
CYA: 60(!)
TA: 45

12:00pm Pool Store
pH: 7.0 (!)
FC: 4.8
TC: 9.3
TA: 40
CYA: 30
CH: 50

2:15pm TF-100
pH: 7.8
FC: 8.5
TC: 9
CYA: 60(!)
TA: 45
 
Mar 24, 2014
2,091
Greenville, SC
#15
Don't bother with taking your water to the pool store. You have a much better test kit than they do :)

Can you edit your signature and add your pool volume and your test kit (TF-100) for us. We have a very similar sized pool, and I get (basically) the same thing you do for how much CYA to add to go to 30.

Let's make sure you are doing the test correctly. Half pool water, half R-013. Invert the squirt bottle a couple of times. Let it sit for a minute, invert again. Now, outside, in full daylight with your back to the sun, with the vial held by just 2 fingers at the top and at your belt buckle squirt, glance, repeat. Don't stare at the dot.

Another trick is to fill to 100, look. Fill to 90, look. Stop when you can't see the dot.

Now pour it all back in the squirt bottle and repeat 2 more times. Average what you get and let us know.
 
Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#16
Don't bother with taking your water to the pool store. You have a much better test kit than they do :)
Well I was doubting (still am) my pH reagent, and figured they could at least test that accurately.

Side story there...They tested and told me I needed 6 bags shock, 2 bottles poly 60 algecide, 32 lbs of "Akalinity +", and 25 lbs of calcium..."let me go ahead and ring that up for you". I told him I already had enough liquid chlorine and sodium bicarbonate, and felt the sustained shock treatment would take care of the algae. He then shoved the test result sheet at my chest and turned around without saying a word. Then ignored me when I tried to ask if they had pH reagent. Was honestly shocked at the response to a customer. I mean I get that they don't want to be doing tests for free while you go buy elsewhere, but I've never had an issue before going there and testing and chatting and picking up any accessories or chems that I needed. Definitely never returning.

Can you edit your signature and add your pool volume and your test kit (TF-100) for us. We have a very similar sized pool, and I get (basically) the same thing you do for how much CYA to add to go to 30.
Yes, good idea.

Let's make sure you are doing the test correctly. Half pool water, half R-013. Invert the squirt bottle a couple of times. Let it sit for a minute, invert again. Now, outside, in full daylight with your back to the sun, with the vial held by just 2 fingers at the top and at your belt buckle squirt, glance, repeat. Don't stare at the dot.

Another trick is to fill to 100, look. Fill to 90, look. Stop when you can't see the dot.

Now pour it all back in the squirt bottle and repeat 2 more times. Average what you get and let us know.
Thank you! I definitely was not doing it like this. Using this method, I averaged out to 35, so much closer to what I expected. I think I will proceed with that number for my shock level.

I was following the instructions that came with the kit. They just said to "mix", so I was giving it a good hard shaking for several seconds. Then to let sit for 30s and "mix" one more time. I wasn't doing an average with the same sample. I was holding at waist, but was staring hard at that dot instead of glancing. I like the method of filling to each increment and then glancing.
 
Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#17
I think I identified another problem in that my rough volume calculation was off by 7K. That would explain the higher than expected bump in CYA.

If anyone is inclined to take a look at my sheet to verify this is a sound way to calculate total volume, it would be appreciated.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jNyUoNXMQvW4bvO_uTmH57aa3WwE13UbDxr0-_fCvKs/edit?usp=sharing

Hmm just thinking another thing on volume, how does fill level play into this? The depth numbers I used were from when i measured for my replacement liner, which was taken from the track where the liner snaps in. So I suppose I would need to subtract the volume to the current fill level as well...
 
Mar 24, 2014
2,091
Greenville, SC
#18
I looked at the spreadsheet but I'm just :crazy: I think you are about right though. We've got the same size pool, my deep end is about a foot deeper so I think 28k is a good number for you.

You are right about fill level being different than all the way to the top.

At this point, I'd just stick with the 28k number and not sweat it too much :)
 
Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#19
I looked at the spreadsheet but I'm just :crazy: I think you are about right though. We've got the same size pool, my deep end is about a foot deeper so I think 28k is a good number for you.

You are right about fill level being different than all the way to the top.

At this point, I'd just stick with the 28k number and not sweat it too much :)
Cool, I'm pretty sure it's right. I cleaned the sheet up some in case it is useful for anyone else. You can save a copy and input your dimensions. One thing it is not accounting for currently is the difference in depth along the width side of the deep end.
 
Apr 6, 2014
21
Maryville, TN
#20
Checking back in update and hope for some advice on remaining issues. It has been a month of attempting to SLAM, but I haven't been as consistent as I planned.

Problem #1 - Leaking at pressure gauge
Today I replaced my non-functional cheap pressure gauge with http://tftestkits.net/Pressure-Gauge-Glycerin-filled-2-5-Bottom-Mount-p77.html

Afterwards, I have a pretty serious leak around the threading. I must have cross-threaded or something. I used tape and just hand-tightened. I put my old one back on and it is leaking now also but not as bad. I read something about using pipe dope instead of tape. Does this sound like the best plan?

Problem #2 - SLAM and levels

Backstory:
I was unsure of my numbers, especially pH and CYA but I figured to just move forward with keeping pool at shock level. I was about 2 weeks trying to keep FC at 12 because I thought my CYA was at 20. Then after no improvement, and later convinced my CYA was higher and targeted FC 20. I was rolling with this for 10 days or so but missed some days where it dropped back down. I've been backwashing and rinsing every 1-2 days, and brushing every 3-4 days. After 25 days of this inconsistent SLAM, I wasn't seeing any improvement. The green color had cleared up almost immediately, but I was left with a very opaque cloudy pool. Only 6-8 inches of visibility. My FC didn't seem to be dropping dramatically day-to-day. I'm confident there isn't much debris in the bottom.

Current State:

I had been discouraged and left it alone for 3 days while I waited on my new reagents, which came today. When I went out today visibility was much improved! Much less cloudy, now have around 5 ft visibility. Not really sure what caused such an improvement. We had a lot of rain recently, and I think it might have raised the pH which was really low. Could that affect it?

I ran my TF-100 tests while the chlorine was still low and now feel like I have some good numbers.

FC: 2
CC: 0
pH: 7.1
CYA: 40
TA: 45

I added enough chlorine to bring it back to shock level (FC 16). Anything else you think I should do at this point? Should I go ahead and adjust the alkalinity and pH up a bit?

Problem #3 - Pump pressure

After backwashing, my pressure / flow seems great. But when I check in 24 hours, the pressure is severely reduced. No clogs in the skimmers. After another backwash/rinse it is fine again. What is most likely issue here? The sand filter? There is another small leak in the PVC near the pump. Could that cause my pressure issues?