My pool won't hold ANY chemicals! NONE! HELP!

raeben23

Member
May 24, 2020
19
Mt. Olive New Jersey
Hi everyone, I'm a relatively new pool owner (fourth season) and my husband has always been the pool guy. He's very experienced and worked for a pool company for years, but we recently came upon a perplexing problem. No matter what volume of chemical we add in our pool (all chemicals, not just chlorine), the test strips come up zeros/minimum in every level. We've bought new test strips over and over but always get the same result. My husband and his uncle (owner of a pool company) say that sometimes this happens and the water just doesn't take the chemical.....but how is that even possible? Where does it go? I've tried to find answers, but all anyone talks about is not holding chlorine- and this is way worse that that! We'd like to avoid replacing all of our water, so We'll take any help we can get! Thanks for reading!!
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
Welcome!

We don’t put much stock in test strips here. They just can’t be as accurate as you really want them to be even when they do work.

We follow procedures that allow you to know exactly what’s in your water. To do that you really need to get a FAS-DPD test kit, like the Taylor K-2006C or the TFT-100. They cost about $100, but if you stick around, we’ll show you how to take care of your pool without special expensive chemicals from the pool store and you’ll save way more than that in a few months. :)

How does your pool look? Would you be willing to take some photos of it? Also if you could fill out your signature with your pool and equipment info (like mine, if you use a phone turn it sideways to see the signatures) it will help us with our recommendations.

Again, welcome! :)
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,551
Tallahassee, FL
Like Dustin said you need a GOOD test kit. We call those strips "guess" strips for this very reason. If you don't want to get a big test kit you can get a HTH 6 way test kit at Walmart that is better than the strips for right now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: splashpad

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
17,964
Bedford, TX
23,

You have realized what your husband, with all his experience has not, and that is, that the chemicals have to go somewhere.

I suggest that you read though our Pool School and see what we are all about. We use Science and accurate testing to determine what chemicals are in our pools and then only add what is required.. We also don't believe in most of the "magic" chemicals sold in pool stores that promise a quick fix.

Most pool techs use the pour and hope technique... The sad part is that it works often enough to fool most pool owners.. :mrgreen:

Tell us more about how your pool looks now and what chemicals you have recently added.

Do you test for CYA and if so, what level is it now?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

raeben23

Member
May 24, 2020
19
Mt. Olive New Jersey
Wow! Thank you everyone for your replies! I have updated my signature with pool details, but they are....
22K gallons, IG vinyl, hayword progrid DE3620, 1hp Hayward superpump.
We will purchase a better test kit ASAP and hopefully have better numbers for you all soon.
Since we have opened the pool 1 week ago (again all test strip readings were 0/minimum) we have added :
15lbs alkalinity
4lbs pH up
2.5 lbs CA hardener
8lbs CYA stabilizer
Initially shocked it with 2lbs, added 8oz algicide
Has had 3 chlorine tabs (HTC brand) in the filter since.
If it means anything, when we moved in and opened for the first time 4 years ago, we added over $300 in chemicals from pool store testing results....its been tough to keep in check every year, but this year is the worst. Thanks again everyone!
53736.jpeg

53734.jpeg
 

Attachments

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,467
Houston, Texas
In tab form? 0. Use liquid chlorine until you know what’s in your water. We have a pool math app and an old school pool math web page that will help you calculate how much chlorine to add.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kimkats

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,551
Tallahassee, FL
You can find liquid chlorine in the pool section of Walmart (white jugs that say "pool shock" but it is liquid) or at a pool store that sells it.
 

raeben23

Member
May 24, 2020
19
Mt. Olive New Jersey
THE RESULTS ARE IN! We received our Taylor test kit- here are the results you've all been waiting for ?
FC, CC (FAS-DPD): both 0.5ppm
CYA: so unbelievably high there is no numerical comparison.....so I attached a picture below. We also repeated this twice to be sure
pH: too low for a numerical read- picture attached. Also took a sample to a pool store to try and get a numerical value, they said it was 6.4
TA: after adding the appropriate reagents, it immediately turned red, never green. I'm guessing that's not good....(Also repeated twice)
CH: 50ppm
53904.jpeg
I have a feeling this means we'll be doing a water swap! Thanks again for all of your input- this group is incredibly helpful and generous!

53906.jpeg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,551
Tallahassee, FL
OUCH! Yeah time to start draining and refilling!!!

Can you help us out? Please fill in your siggy so we can know the details of your pool at a glance? Click on your name and it should bring down a box that has signature in it........kind of pool-in or above ground, plaster or liner, filter kind and they wonderful test kit you have! THANKS!
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
798
San Jose, CA
You definitely need a major drain and refill. Try redoing the CYA test again with a diluted sample. Use half pool water and half tap water for your sample and run the test like normal. Don't forget to double your result. If you are still below the 100 line, then you can do a second dilution test. one part pool water, 2 parts tap, and multiply result by 3.
 

raeben23

Member
May 24, 2020
19
Mt. Olive New Jersey
OUCH! Yeah time to start draining and refilling!!!

Can you help us out? Please fill in your siggy so we can know the details of your pool at a glance? Click on your name and it should bring down a box that has signature in it........kind of pool-in or above ground, plaster or liner, filter kind and they wonderful test kit you have! THANKS!
Thanks! Sorry I thought I had put my signature in, but I guess I put it in the wrong spot haha
 

raeben23

Member
May 24, 2020
19
Mt. Olive New Jersey
You definitely need a major drain and refill. Try redoing the CYA test again with a diluted sample. Use half pool water and half tap water for your sample and run the test like normal. Don't forget to double your result. If you are still below the 100 line, then you can do a second dilution test. one part pool water, 2 parts tap, and multiply result by 3.
Thanks so much! We'll check the dilution and see what we find!
 

raeben23

Member
May 24, 2020
19
Mt. Olive New Jersey
I did the dilution sample tests (multiple dilution strengths) and the average CYA is 200. Given we have a 22k gal pool.....looks like we're pretty much doing a full drain and refill. Does that sound correct? We've already called to schedule a water delivery, but with Covid circumstances they are closed until June 1st. Is there anything else we should be doing or watch out for until we can do the water swap? Thanks again!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
29,880
Laughlin, NV
Your issue is a vinyl liner pool. You can only drain it down to leaving 12" or so in the shallow end. It will take at least two times of draining, refilling, mixing, and repeat to get CYA down to 50+.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bzlytbeer