Long Time Reader - First Time Chemist

TylerKee

New member
May 9, 2019
3
Houston TX
Hi all,

We bought our house in North Houston last April and have had the pool under management from a pool company that our realtor recommended since. Now that we're a bit more settled, I'm turning my attention to the pool in my backyard as we're getting into prime swimming season. I've never felt super happy with my pool guy, but never so unhappy that I wanted to change. With the spring bloom, I was noticing that the weekly vacuuming included with my service was good for a few hours before the bottom of my pool was filled with leaves, oleander flowers, and pollen. So I bit the bullet and bought a Dolphin Triton PS Robot about two weeks ago which renewed my interest in my pool chemistry.

I've always felt the pool was heavy on chlorine smell and didn't feel great on my skin. I was also noticing that our pool guy was leaving 3 Trichlor tablets in my skimmer instead of the 1 he used last year. Add in the fact that I was starting to see smears of green and I renewed my interest in TFP, recommended to me when I bought the house by my former boss. I bought the Taylor K-2006 Kit and stirrer and dove in. Results below:

5-15 evening

FC - 5.8 ppm
CC - .4 ppm

5-16 morning

FC - 5.6 ppm
CC - .4 ppm
TA - 90ppm
CH - 280 ppm
PH -7.6
CYA - 100++
Temp 79.7 degrees F

As I'd feared, my CYA is off the charts, so I've started the somewhat laborious process of introducing freshwater today. I also realized that my filter has never been serviced in the 13 months that we've owned the house so I'll be tearing that down, cleaning, and refreshing it over the weekend.

My question today is in regards to the order of operations as I tackle my pool. Here's my proposed order:

1.) Fire my pool guy - done!
2.) Replace with fresh water to bring CYA down to 30
3.) Clean DE filter and establish baseline clean filter pressure
4.) Establish new test values

From there, I'm stuck. I have algae but my OCLT wasn't awful, and while my CC number isn't 0, it's also under .5 PPM. If that remains the same, and all other levels remain fairly constant, should I just manage according to PoolMath? Or do I go ahead and SLAM the pool and essentially start over from scratch?

Thanks in advance!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
15,895
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
Great job on the test kit and taking over the management of your pool water chemistry.
In Houston I would suggest targeting 50 ppm CYA. And yes, SLAM once you get there as you have algae.
Otherwise, your plan looks good. Find a source of liquid chlorine near by.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
 

TylerKee

New member
May 9, 2019
3
Houston TX
Welcome to the forum!
Great job on the test kit and taking over the management of your pool water chemistry.
In Houston I would suggest targeting 50 ppm CYA. And yes, SLAM once you get there as you have algae.
Otherwise, your plan looks good. Find a source of liquid chlorine near by.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and consider reviewing the entire Pool School eBook.
Thank you so much for the input on a higher CYA. Is the thought process there that given our long days of sunshine that I need to protect chlorine a bit more?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
15,895
Laughlin, NV
Yes. And Houston tends to get rain that can overflow your pool and thus you will lose some CYA over time. Plan to test CYA each month during swim season.
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
2,966
Long Beach, CA
I agree with Marty, but start using 10mL of water to test the FC. It will save reagents and you don't need the .2 accuracy of the test. The FC will now be .5ppm for one drop instead of .2ppm per drop.
 

TylerKee

New member
May 9, 2019
3
Houston TX
Thank you everyone for your help in getting me pointed in the right direction. I managed to get my CYA lowered to 70 before I called it quits. I have to leave for a work trip on Tuesday and I wanted to leave some time to SLAM. I realize that's higher than recommended, but I'm hoping that frequent Houston rain will bring me down where I need to be over time.

As expected, my DE filter was absolutely filthy. After cleaning and recharging, my flow through the jets is noticeably stronger. I started my SLAM on Friday night. At the time, my numbers were:

FC - .2
CC - 0
pH - 8.0
TA - 160 - I tested my tap water and its 270 ppm!
CH - 180
CYA - 70

I added Muriatic acid and got my pH down to 7.2 and then added 5 gallons of 10% bleach. That got my FC up to 28.5. I added bleach twice more during the evening and had my FC up to 30 before I gave it one more shot overnight and had FC @ 31 when I woke up Saturday morning. More bleach and scrubbing and vacuuming all day Saturday. I did my final test Saturday night @ 8:30 PM with an FC of 29, but it was a *just* barely there. Could have been 28.5. We got about 20 minutes of heavy rain around 10:00 PM.

Sunday morning, my FC was 27.5 and CC was 0. Water looks clear with no visible algae or crud. I plan on keeping up with bleaching and scrubbing Sunday as the OCLT wasn't solidly sub 1.0 ppm. Hopefully that's better Monday morning.

My question now is - what's next? Is there an order of operations on which values I tackle once FC settles into a normal range? I'm thinking that since pH and TA are going to be tied to each other I'll work on those together. Will adding calcium chloride mess with my other values? Or does it work independently? When do I start this process - after FC falls to normal levels? Or can I start now?

Thanks as always. Lotta work left to do, but I am enjoying it.
 

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