Just did my first test and feel kinda LOST...

IronMike

Member
Apr 22, 2020
15
Brentwood, CA
Don't get me wrong. I'm so happy that I found this website. I believe I spent more than $1000 at Lesile's last year which is my first year owning an in-ground 16,000-gallon plaster pool. I recently found this website, did some researches and printed some notes. I also bought my Taylor K-2006C Test Kit and did my first water test today. Below is my test results:

FC: 1.2 ppm (I did the test twice, and it's that LOW. I has been having problem raising my Chlorine even with Leslie's last year)
CC: 0.2 ppm
PH: 7.6
TA: 100 ppm
CH: 650 ppm
CYA: way >100 ppm (The black dot disappeared way before the water line reaches 100)

I also downloaded Pool Math app on my phone. The result shows that my FC, TA, and CYA are outside the recommended range, and my CH is outside the ideal range. If someone can help and answer my questions below, I would really appreciate it.

1. The recommendation to lower my CYA and CH is to drain 33% of my pool water. Is this really my only option? I really hesitate to do this because we are talking roughly 5000 gallon of water.

2. I'm living in an area where our tap water is hard water (coming from well). Will replacing pool water with hard water effectively improve my CH?

3. If I can avoid draining the pool water, should I start adding 392 oz (or 3 gallons) of Bleach (as recommended) to the pool first? I still have 3 gallons of Chlorinating Liquid from last year, can I use it instead? How quickly (or slowly) should I add them to the pool?

4. To bring TA back to the idea range, it's recommended to lower my pH to 7.0 - 7.2 with acid first and increase pH again. Among my other issues with FC and CYA, what should be my first action and subsequent steps to improve all my water parameters? If you have other recommendation, please let me know!

Thank so much in advance and I hope everyone stay safe during this time!

Mike
 

duraleigh

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Welcome to the forum:wave:
I'm living in an area where our tap water is hard water (coming from well). Will replacing pool water with hard water effectively improve my CH?
What IS the CH of your fill water? (test it and post)

Get chlorine in your pool immediately. add about 4 ppm for now......maybe more very soon.

Drain and refill is the only way to reduce CYA. After that, stop using pucks.

Please read "The "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School

Disregard TA for now.
 
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ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,496
Northern NJ
Get chlorine in your water ASAP. Use the chlorinating liquid you have.

Yes, you need to drain to lower CYA. It is the only way. You need a better handle on how much you need to drain. Redo the CYA test following the instructions below...

CYA > 90 dilution Test
For CYA > 90ppm, repeat the test adjusting the procedure as follows:

  1. Fill the mixing bottle to the lower mark with pool water.
  2. Continue filling the mixing bottle to the upper mark with tap water.
  3. Shake briefly to mix.
  4. Pour off half of the contents of the mixing bottle, so it is again filled to the lower mark.
  5. Continue the test normally from step 3, but multiply the final result by two.
If you need to dilute the pool water further then apply these ratios:

Pool waterTap or distilled waterMultiply result by
112
123
145
N
 

IronMike

Member
Apr 22, 2020
15
Brentwood, CA
Thank you for the reply! I will run the test and provide the result. Just have a couple follow up questions.

1. How many gallon of liquid chlorine should I add to 4 ppm? The Pool Math app suggests that I add 3 gallons to reach my target. Should I add 1 gallon per day until I reach my target or is it safe to slowly add 3 gallons in a day?

2. I know I should slowly apply liquid chlorine to the return pump, but should I avoid sunlight when applying it? Will applying at night make a big difference?

3. I forgot to mention that I found a mice corpse in my skimmer basket about two weeks ago. I added two bags of Leslie's Chlorine Brite Sanitizer the same day, but now that I found out my FC reading is 1.2 ppm. Should I raise my FC to certain number before i know the water is sanitized and it's safe to swim?

Thanks again!

Mike
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,496
Northern NJ
1. How many gallon of liquid chlorine should I add to 4 ppm? The Pool Math app suggests that I add 3 gallons to reach my target. Should I add 1 gallon per day until I reach my target or is it safe to slowly add 3 gallons in a day?
What did you tell PoolMath about the gallons in your pool and the % of your chlorine.

Add the amount PoolMath says in one dose.

2. I know I should slowly apply liquid chlorine to the return pump, but should I avoid sunlight when applying it? Will applying at night make a big difference?
Makes no difference when you put the chlorine in.

3. I forgot to mention that I found a mice corpse in my skimmer basket about two weeks ago. I added two bags of Leslie's Chlorine Brite Sanitizer the same day, but now that I found out my FC reading is 1.2 ppm. Should I raise my FC to certain number before i know the water is sanitized and it's safe to swim?
The correct FC level depends on your CYA level based on FC/CYA Chart

Any FC level between the Minimum FC and the SLAM FC for your CYA level is safe to swim.


 
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IronMike

Member
Apr 22, 2020
15
Brentwood, CA
Thanks again for your reply, Allen!!

1. I did a CH test on my tap water, it's actually 250 ppm. I think it's because the water from the water softener also goes to the backyard. In this case, is it safe to use the tap water to refill the pool?

2. What is the disadvantage of using chlorine tablets? I was told it's the way to maintain chlorine level. What should I use instead?

3. For now, I have added a total of 2 gallons of Chlorinating Liquid (one gallon yesterday and one gallon this morning). Below is my current test result:

FC: 9 ppm
CC: 0.4 ppm
PH: 7.8
TA: 110 ppm
CH: 700 ppm
CYA: 160 ppm (I used the procedures that Allen recommended above. Just to confirm, when you said "Continue the test normally from step 3", did you mean step 2 which is adding R-0013 to 14ml? I got to 80, so I multiplied by 2 to get 160)

4. Based on the FC/CYA Chart, I kinda understand the correct FC depends on the CYA level. However, with 30-60 being the recommended range for CYA, the target FC should be between 4-9 depending on the appropriate CYA value. In my case, what should be my next action? Should I continue to raise FC or should I start lowering my CYA?

5. I'm not sure if I fully understand the "dilute the pool water" table above. I don't know what result number I should multiply by in the last column to determine how much water I should drain and replace with tap water. Could you please explain further?

Again, thanks again with all your responses!!

Mike
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,249
OV, CA
Hi Mike.
I see you are in Brentwood.. I'm near Sac. There will probably not be much more rain in NorCal this season. The reason I mention this is that there is really only two ways to get your CYA down; letting it degrade. which will take a really long time with a level around 160 or diluting it. And to dilute it you need a water source. With no rain you are looking at a drain and refill.

Here's the deal, Leslie's doesn't understand the relationship between CYA and CL. And so by chlorinating your pool with pucks you're inadvertently adding CYA to it as well. When the CYA gets too high it impedes the effectiveness of the CL. And so you have to use a higher level of Cl in the pool for it to work. It becomes a vicious cycle. Using liquid Chlorine doesn't add CYA, just a little salt. So from this point on use only liquid Cl... besides its cheaper. You can get 10% Chlorine at Home Depot or Walmart cheaper than Leslie's. And there is no reason to put it in slowly... just dump it all in at once. but s;low enough that it doesn't splash all over you and get bleach stains on your clothes.

So I understand your resistance to draining your pool, water is expensive. But I don't know if its possible to maintain your pool with a 160 CYA until the rains come next year. I've heard of forum members limping along for a few months with CYAs around 100. But this is the beginning of the pool season and we won't get serious rain for another 6-8 mos. What I fear is you will have problems keeping an effective CL level in relation to your CYA and you will get an algae bloom as result. Then life gets suddenly worse. I don't know if its even possible to SLAM with a CYA that high.

Look at it this way. You won't be giving Leslie's $1000 bux this year.. so spend some of that on fresh pool water and you should be able to maintain your pool for a couple hundred bux this year or less. it will also get your CH down as well.

Oh.. your bullets:
4. Your next action should be drain and refill. IMO

5. Since the CYA test doesn't work for values over 100, you can dilute your test sample then multiple the result by your dilution factor. In your case you diluted the water by half, so your multiply the result by 2... etc.

BTW Welcome to the forum!
 
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IronMike

Member
Apr 22, 2020
15
Brentwood, CA
Hi Neighbor mguzzy, lol, Thanks for the reply!

In this case, I will plan on drain and refill. I went to the Brentwood city website to get an idea how much 5000G water will cost. To my surprise, it will cost less than $7 per until (one unit = 1000G). I always thought the water cost more because I always try to save water anyway I can, but if roughly $35 can lower my CYA and CH and possibly other pool water problem, I think it may worth it.

1. Just to confirm, I tested the CH (which is 250ppm) on my tap water. Is it safe to use it to refill or are there more tests should be done on tap water first?

2. For draining the pool water, the city website only suggests to drain to the sanitary sewer which is fine with me. Anything else I should be aware of before doing it.

3. The Pool Math suggests that I replace 1/3 of the water. I should pretty sure go by that amount, correct?

Thank you for explaining the dilute pool water table. Yes, I did that 1:1 (Pool water : Tap water) and multiply my result by 2 to get the CYA 160 ppm result.

Thanks again!

Mike
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,496
Northern NJ
1. Just to confirm, I tested the CH (which is 250ppm) on my tap water. Is it safe to use it to refill or are there more tests should be done on tap water first?
We don't know the type of water softener system you have. You need to drain about 80% of your water or 13,000 gallons. If it can handle it then it will start you off at a lower CH.

2. For draining the pool water, the city website only suggests to drain to the sanitary sewer which is fine with me. Anything else I should be aware of before doing it.
Sewer is not a problem.

How are you going to drain? Draining - Further Reading

3. The Pool Math suggests that I replace 1/3 of the water. I should pretty sure go by that amount, correct?
If you chlorinate using liquid chlorine then your CYA target is 30-40 and you need to drain about 80% of your pool. I don't know what you have entered in PoolMath

 

IronMike

Member
Apr 22, 2020
15
Brentwood, CA
Thanks for the reply, ajw22!!

1. The 30% water replacement was suggested by the Pool Math app based on my CH result. The suggestion based on my CYA result didn't specify the percentage of the water replacement, so I thought 30% was enough. By the way, was the 80% replacement based on my CYA result?

2. After I replace my water, what should be my next action? Turn on the pump and let it circulate a couple hours and do another round of water test? I assume I need to add more liquid Chlorine based on the CYA result, correct? Anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks again!

Mike
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,249
OV, CA
1. The very first thing you should do is put your equipment in your signature... ;) That makes it easy for people to see what kind of pool and setup you have when they want to give you advice. When I first joined here I thought everyone was bragging about their pool but its a useful tool for helping people

2. first thing to do is you need to start getting your chems back in balance... So test and then start adding Cl so you don't have a bloom. And start adding CYA so it will protect the CL from the sun. It can takes a few days for the CYA to completely dissolve. Post your tests and we'll chime in about balancing your other levels. what kind of schedule do you normally run your pump on? Just resume that schedule for the time being. How long you run your pump really depends on the kind of equipment you have, VS pump, SWG, etc.
 
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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
19,496
Northern NJ
1. The 30% water replacement was suggested by the Pool Math app based on my CH result. The suggestion based on my CYA result didn't specify the percentage of the water replacement, so I thought 30% was enough. By the way, was the 80% replacement based on my CYA result?
Your CYA is the more important chemical to reduce to the 30-40 range. Don’t become a slave to the robot and blindly follow PoolMath. It makes recommendations on each chemical individually and does not look across at interactions.

2. After I replace my water, what should be my next action? Turn on the pump and let it circulate a couple hours and do another round of water test? I assume I need to add more liquid Chlorine based on the CYA result, correct? Anything else I should be aware of?
Circulate the water, add 5 ppm of liquid chlorine , do a full set of tests and see where your water chemistry is.
 

IronMike

Member
Apr 22, 2020
15
Brentwood, CA
Your CYA is the more important chemical to reduce to the 30-40 range. Don’t become a slave to the robot and blindly follow PoolMath. It makes recommendations on each chemical individually and does not look across at interactions.



Circulate the water, add 5 ppm of liquid chlorine , do a full set of tests and see where your water chemistry is.
Thanks again, ajw22! It took me 2.5 days to drain 70-80% of my pool water because my draining system isn't as fast as my 1/4 HP pumps and another day to add the tap water. I tried to follow your instruction to add 5 ppm of liquid chlorine, so I use the Pool Math app to calculate how much gallon I should add. Since my pool volume is 16000 gallons, and my liquid chlorine should be 10% Bleach, 0.75 gallon of liquid chlorine should raise FC by 4.7 according to the app. That's what I did and here is my test results.

FC: 0 (I added 4 dippers of R-0870, but it remained colorless and never turns pink)
PH: ~7.8-8 (it's really hard to tell the difference between 7.8 and 8)
TA: 150
CH: 500
CYA: 55-60

1. After the test, I figured I can't have zero FC, so I have added another 0.5 gallon of liquid chlorine hoping I can raise my FC to the 4-5 range. In my case, since I have added 70-80% of tap water, should I be adding more than what the Pool Math suggests? If so, what is the best way to calculate how much more liquid chlorine I should be adding?

2. To be honest, I don't think I can get a really accurate CYA result. It really depends on the person's vision, lighting, etc in my opinion. Anyway, I think my CYA is between 55-60. In this case, should I base on that and try to raise my FC to somewhere between 6-9 range? Is there still anything I can do to further lowering my CYA (e.g. rain season, etc?)

3. For some reason, my TA is 150 (even higher than my previous result 110 before drain/replace). What is the best way to lower TA? I have some Muriatic Acid 31.45%. If that's what I should use to lower my PH, how much Muriatic Acid I should use? Also, is it not safe to swim with TA being 150 (assuming after I bring my FC between 6-9 range)?

4. Since I was told not to use Chlorine tablets anymore, what is the best way to maintain my Chlorine level from now on? Is it simply testing and adding liquid chlorine to maintain the ideal PC range? Sadly, I just recently bought a 35lbs PoolTime 3" Tablets. Just to confirm, since we don't want to raise my CYA level any higher, I shouldn't use any tables from now on even during the winter, correct?

5. My kids ask me about 3 times a day whether they can swim this coming weekend. What is my target tomorrow to make sure we all can have a nice weekend??

Appreciate your time and thanks again for your patience guiding me through the whole process!!

Mike
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
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May 3, 2014
32,641
Laughlin, NV
Allen is away so let me provide my views on your issues.
Odd that after adding liquid chlorine you tested zero FC. I assume you added with the pump on and let it mix for a good 30 minutes.
1. Your pool water volume should be in your Poolmath setup. That is what the chemical additions are based on .
2. CYA is a tough test to get right. Read this --
When you do the CYA test, try this next time.

Once you have your solution ready, back to the sun, etc. Fill the vial to a line, say 80, lower the vial to your waist level and glance for the dot, you see it, add solution to the 70 line, glance, see it, repeat until you no longer see it with a glance. Then use the CYA value one step above the line you read. So if you stopped at 50, use 60 ppm CYA.

The vial is in logarithmic scale. So it is not viable to interpolate between the lines. Just use the whole numbers, such as 50, 40, 30, ....

3. Don't worry about TA at this stage. It will come down over time as you add acid to keep your pH in the 7's. It went up because your fill water is high in TA.
4. Test FC every day and add enough liquid chlorine to keep your FC in the target range based on your CYA using the FC/CYA Chart. Sorry you bought a tub of tablets. You will be able to use when you go on vacation or other times when your CYA drops due to rain overflow, etc. They will last a very long time. Keep them dry.
5. As long as your FC is above the minimum and under the SLAM level and your pH is in the 7's, let them swim!

Hope that helps.
 
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mguzzy

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Jul 8, 2015
2,249
OV, CA
Hi Mike.
Are you running your pump to mix the chlorine? If not it will just pool on the bottom. That is the one thing that came to mind when I read your post. Marty is right on about the other things.
 

IronMike

Member
Apr 22, 2020
15
Brentwood, CA
Thank you both mknauss and mguzzy for your quick responses!! Yes, we always run the pump when we add the liquid chlorine, and we run at least an extra hour after adding just in case. I will raise my FC to 7-9 range tomorrow since my CYA is at the 60 range. At this point, since I don’t need to worry about my TA, I don’t need to add any Muriatic Acid unless my PH gets to 8, correct? Thanks!

Mike
 

IronMike

Member
Apr 22, 2020
15
Brentwood, CA
Hi All,

I just did another FC test this morning, and my FC result is still zero. This FC test result is after 70-80% water change and 1.25 Gallons of liquid chlorine added to the pool with the pump running yesterday. Is this normal? I’m going to add another 0.75 gallon of liquid chlorine in the pool now and will test it in 2-3 hours. Just wondering if anyone knows why my FC remains zero after all that and let me know how much liquid chlorine I should be adding because of the water change. Thanks again!!

Mike
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,564
Prosper, TX (DFW)
That is odd. What type of liquid chlorine do you have, and does it have a date? Many times the dates are Julian Dates (year followed by number of days, today is 2020122)