Just fiilled the pool and Numbers are wacky. What to do?

kdoonan

Active member
May 27, 2010
31
The pool is just about full. I'm heading out to turn the filter on now. I started filling yesterday and because the weather was so hot and humid it was suggested by a friend that I add some clorine to prevent algae from developing while I finished filling the pool. I did that and now the chlorine levels are way off the chart. I guess that's my first lesson learned! Here are my numbers.

Chlorine: Number isn't even registering. The color is orange, almost like the 7.2 number on the PH side of TF100 test kit. I tried the other chlorine test and the color stayed Red. I dumped way too many drops in. I can't recall how many.
PH:6.8
TA: I was confused by the directions. At about drop 4 the color turned from blue to yellow. Never saw Red and I went to 20 drops.
Tried the Clorine Drop Test test and couldn't get it to register. It stayed Red.

Pool calcutor says to add
27 oz of Borax
57 oz of Baking Soda
35 oz of liquid Stablizer

Before I dump anything else in I wanted to run this by the experts. Given that I've already spiked the chlorine I'm hesitant to add anything else. I should add that the water looks beautiful. It's sparkling clear.
 

NCFlyersFan

LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2008
116
NE North Carolina
How much chlorine, and what type, did you add? Don't worry about pH right now since at high levels of chlorine your pH test results are not accurate. I am not sure about the other test results, like TA though. I wouldn't add anything until chlorine comes down quite a bit and you can actually post a test result.

The good news is without CYA in your pool, the chlorine levels should come down relatively quickly.
 

Grape Ape

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 12, 2009
121
Seattle, WA
With that much chlorine you can't trust the ph test. I would test the fill water and assume that the pool water's ph and TA are similar. Unless those numbers are crazy, I would not adjust anything until the chlorine in the pool burns off.

At the bottom of the pool calc there is a section that will let you estimate how high the chlorine spiked.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
I'd also suggest practicing the chlorine test on tap water (hopefully your tapwater has at least a little FC, but it may only have CC). That is a test you're going to need to be comfortable with. If you add the R-0871 reagent one drop at a time, the red will fade to pink and then clear. You may have added so much chlorine that it will take a huge number of drops to get there.

Also, be careful what you add and how much in the future. Refer to the "Effects of Adding Chemicals" section of www.poolcalculator.com like Grape Ape said.
 

kdoonan

Active member
May 27, 2010
31
Okay, now I'm embarrassed to admit that it was two large jugs of Clorox.

We have well water and here are my test results from the tap:
FC <.5
pH 6.8
T/A 30
CH 150
CYA 20

The filter is on. The temp in the pool is 62 degrees. It will run for 4 hours according to Intex recommendations.

How long will it take to burn the chlorine off? My kids are dying to get in the pool but I'm afraid we're now talking days.
 

kdoonan

Active member
May 27, 2010
31
PS. I used the estimator at the bottom. 364 oz of Chlorine is estimated to elevate chlorine to 35. :shock:
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
What is the CYA level of your pool water? Also, tapwater normally would not have any CYA. That test is one of the hardest, but you should get used to it. When you do it, it's best to do it in full sunlight with your back to the sun and add your solution until you can no longer see even a shadow of the black dot. You usually get a higher reading if done indoors.

You can swim up to your shock level for your CYA, so without knowing the CYA level of your pool water, it's not possible to give you an idea of what level you need the pool water to come down to. The good news is that both sunlight and organics consume chlorine, so it will be dropping, it's just a matter of how quickly.
 

kdoonan

Active member
May 27, 2010
31
Sorry, I forgot to add the CYA for the pool. I did do that test and filled the vial all the way to 20 and still had clear view of the black dot. (Same results as when I ran the test on the tap water last week.) So does that mean there is virtually none and it will burn quickly or do I need to get something tonight that will tone down the chlorine?
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
If you still saw the dot at 20, that means your CYA is zero. The good news is that your chlorine should burn off fast with a CYA of zero, you might even want to test it tonight to see what it is. Just know that if you added enough liquid chlorine to hit 35 ppm it could take 70 +/- before the solution turns clear. You might give yourself a target and stop adding after 20 or 30 drops (10 - 15 ppm) just to save reagent.

You need to add CYA to your pool. You should at least target 30 ppm using www.poolcalculator.com. If you need any help using the calculator, just ask. Many people like the HTH CYA from Wal-Mart, but you should be able to find it at Lowes or a pool store as well. It can be labeled "stabilizer" or "conditioner", just make sure it's 94% or more CYA and you'll be fine. BTW, the powdered version is fine, there really isn't a need to spend the extra money on the liquid.
 

kdoonan

Active member
May 27, 2010
31
I have stabilizer I could throw in there tonight. Should I put it in tonight or wait until the FC level comes down? I just retested the FC and it's still off the charts. No apparent change.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
Since you want the FC to come down, I would wait to add the CYA. Assuming you get sun on it tomorrow, hopefully in the evening it will be low enough to find out what your FC level is.
 

crek31

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2009
877
Keep any cover off the pool during sunlight hours and just wait it out until the FC comes down naturally. Somewhere I read that x ounces of peroxide will neutralize the same ounces of chlorine if you are really that desperate, but I would definitely let the experts weigh in to be sure before trying that. I recently got well past shock level out of an algae panic and had kids eager to swim - I was surprised that within 1 day it was swimmable and perfect again in two days -- and I had 40 CYA. I think it you are getting good sun and don't cover it, and don't add CYA yet, it will come down naturally and quickly. If I did the calculator right, you started at about an FC of 36.
 

kdoonan

Active member
May 27, 2010
31
Yes crek31, I think your calculation is right. I'll wait it out. The boys will be disappointed but it's what it is. I'll retest everything in the morning. We have a high mineral content in our well water and I've been paranoid about balancing the water. I think I was my own worst enemy out of the gate.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
If it were my pool, I would wait until the FC gets down below about 10 ppm before adding the stabilizer/CYA, initially shoot for a CYA level of around 40. Just be aware it can take a week or more for the CYA to show up on the test. Since it takes time for the CYA level to build up in the water after you add it the FC level will keep falling faster than normal for several days. With a CYA of 40 you want to shoot for an FC level of about 4.5, and your shock level should be around 16.

Ike

p.s. once the CYA test shows 20+ ppm, FC shows below 8 ppm and your pH is in the 7.4 - 7.6 range your water should be relatively safe to swim.
 

kdoonan

Active member
May 27, 2010
31
Here are today's numbers. Any advice?

Just to summarize, I have a new pool just filled with well water that passed through a water softner. To avoid draining the well, I filled the pool over the course of two days. The weather was hot and humid so a friend suggested I throw some bleach in to prevent the growth of algae during the filling process. I put two large bottles of Chlorox in, which I am now learning was WAY too much. Last night's numbers were pretty close to today's. Here's what I ran this morning.

FC 35
pH 6.8
TA 40
CH 80
CYA 20 or less
Temp 65
CSI Index -1.66 -0.31 (I don't fully understand what this is. I believe it was automatically calculated.)

The pool calculator offered a grocery list of items to add. I was holding on adding them at the suggestion I wait until the chlorine level drop. Since the FC level went no where since last night, should I still wait? I was hoping for some kind of a drop. The kids are dying to get in the pool and were really sad when I told them it wasn't ready. Is there anything I can do so I don't have to wait 5 days for the right level?

Items Pool Calculator told me to add:
27 oz of Borax
57 oz of Baking Soda
108oz of Calcium Chloride
7 oz of Stabilizer
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
Re: Here are today's numbers. Any advice?

Leave your pool uncovered and the sun today should burn off some of your chlorine. There are chemicals that eliminate chlorine, but I'm not familiar with them, one of the mods might make a suggestion.

Also, try to keep your posts in one thread while you're working on a problem. That way it's easier for us to see the history and what's been suggested and you don't have to worry about doing a recap, you can just say "FC is still at 35!!" or something. It makes it easier on you too. :)

I wouldn't add anything until your FC comes down, again, the mods might make another suggestion. When that gets back down in range it will be easier to make suggestions on your next course of action. Your pH is probably going to be the first thing that needs adjusted. Normally, at high FC level pH reads high, which would suggest yours may be really low. I'd suggest picking up some 20 Mule Team Borax from the grocery store laundry aisle to be ready to adjust that when the moderators say its safe to make that adjustment. With such high FC, I just don't know enough to say that you can do anything safely until that comes down.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Re: Here are today's numbers. Any advice?

As loughps said, getting the FC level down so you can make PH adjustments is the first priority. With a low CYA level and no solar cover, it should only take one sunny day for the FC level to come down.

Once FC is 10 or lower, adjust the PH to around 7.2 to 7.4. This may take several rounds of adjustment, since the PH test shows any PH lower than 6.8 as 6.8. Once PH is in the right general area, raise TA to about 80 or 90. Then add CYA to raise CYA to around 40 to 50.

There is no need to add calcium to an above ground pool.
 

kdoonan

Active member
May 27, 2010
31
Numbers are starting to come down...

Thanks for the advice everyone one. I tested the FC tonight and it was close to 10, courtesy of one hot sunny day. I put some Borax in this evening to pull the pH up. It was still testing around 6.8. I'll retest again in the morning. I hope we're on our way!
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
You can test and adjust borax hourly if you want. If the pH hasn't come up after an hour from adding the borax, you need to add some more because your pH is really lower than 6.8. You need to try to get that up to at least 7.2 tomorrow.
 
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