Low pH&alk, high FC&copper

Apr 12, 2018
Hello! I’m new, this will be long, bear with me :)

I believe the signature will be helpful, hopefully. To clarify, this is my mom’s pool, which her boyfriend usually maintains (but has slacked lately). We’re trying to get it in tip top shape for summer.

I don’t want to spend the dough for a test kit since it’s not my pool, but there is a Leslie’s nearby and I don’t mind taking samples there for the free tests. (I’ve just learned not to buy anything!)

It was a swamp, which my mom’s bf “fixed” by dumping HUGE amounts of Xtra Blue from Costco (Dichlor with stabilizer, copper, and boron salts) :mad::mad::mad: I honestly didn’t think this would work because the CYA was over 100 when he started. I’ve been reading this site, recommending the SLAM method but he won’t listen to me. After about 2 boxes of Xtra Blue the swamp turned blue. A little cloudy. But I can see the bottom. I’ve been cleaning the filters everyday and watched them go from dark green to light green to grey to blue. A blue powder was all over the pool and in the filters. The last time he shocked it was about 4 days ago.

Here’s the test results from today:
FC over 10
TC over 10
CH 340
CYA 160
TA 60
pH 6.0
Copper 0.3

The girl at the pool store was very concerned about the copper and said it needs to be removed before anything else can be done.

Is this true?

I would like to get pH and chlorine to acceptable levels. She said I cannot add soda ash as it will precipitate a blue or purple solid with copper. But what about Borax? Chlorine will deplete over time, right? Should I add a chelator to remove the copper? Which do the TFP peeps recommend? Many that I’ve looked at say the chlorine must be 1-5ppm and the pH 7.2-7.6. How do I get the pH up without causing more trouble? Should I just wait and do nothing?:confused:

Thank you for any help :mrgreen:
Last edited by a moderator:


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jan 18, 2015
Bunbury, WA, Australia
Welcome to TFP.

Well you've certainly got a lot going on there by the sounds of it.

The pool store test results are not be relied on and so I would strongly suggest the TF-100 or K-2006C to be a high priority if we are going to be of much assistance and especially to complete a proper SLAM. If and that's a big if, these results are in the ballpark, your CYA is too high and a drain of at least 50% will be required which will also help to get rid of any copper which has been added. Also if your pH is that low it does need to be brought back into the 7's using borax.

Obviously the choice is yours but I'd do my best to convince your mom that a test kit is well worth the cost.