Need help getting chemicals under control!

goldmaes

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2018
61
Palm City, FL
First let me say that I am a newer pool owner and am learning this as I go along. I have had services managing my pool and for one reason or another have been through several and am trying to get things adjusted to my liking. The current company has been managing for a few months. They took over after I had a huge algae bloom with the last company and they have had extreme difficulty getting things where they need to be. The algae appears to be gone and the water is perfectly clear. The problem is that I am concerned because it seems that each Friday when they come to clean the chlorine level is back to zero. Additionally since a little before the algae bloom out of nowhere I seem to have brown stains on the pool finish. I know that abalone shell that was not properly cleaned can cause this, but I find it suspicious that if formed around the same time and I am hoping that when I get things corrected properly it will get back in line. I am posting the following results taken with my K-2006 kit. Any help on where to go would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Free Chlorine 18 7 4 3
CYA 80 80 80 80
pH 7.6 7.8 7.8 7.8
TA 70 70 70 70
Calcium Hardness 140 160 140 150

At this rate Friday will be at zero or close. I don't believe this is normal. Additionally, do you think that they believe when the chemicals are being added that they believe are shocking/SLAMing the pool however due to the high CYA levels they aren't getting the chlorine high enough per the TFP Chlorine/CYA chart? Do I need to be draining a portion of the water? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,862
Central California
I gotta just do a drive by, and hopefully others can go into more detail. You can't properly care for a pool just once a week. You need to add chlorine at the rate it is being consumed often enough to maintain a safe level of protection, and in most pools that can't be done just weekly. You got algae because the service company comes only once a week. You can't allow your FC to drop to zero weekly. You need to supplement the chlorine dosing yourself, or fire the servicing and just do it all yourself. I've been through exactly what you describe. I now do it all myself, I save about $150 every month, and my pool is pristine. Only takes me about 10 minutes a week. I rely on an SWG to do most of the work. More later...
 

goldmaes

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2018
61
Palm City, FL
I gotta just do a drive by, and hopefully others can go into more detail. You can't properly care for a pool just once a week. You need to add chlorine at the rate it is being consumed often enough to maintain a safe level of protection, and in most pools that can't be done just weekly. You got algae because the service company comes only once a week. You can't allow your FC to drop to zero weekly. You need to supplement the chlorine dosing yourself, or fire the servicing and just do it all yourself. I've been through exactly what you describe. I now do it all myself, I save about $150 every month, and my pool is pristine. Only takes me about 10 minutes a week. I rely on an SWG to do most of the work. More later...
Thanks for your reply. I would like to learn more. I am more than happy to do more. I will most likely keep a service but my fear is that I get in a cycle where I am constantly chasing the chemicals and never catch up and end up doing more damage then I should. Maybe that is a bit crazy but as a person that is new to this I am a bit concerned about correcting and then overcorrecting the other way. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. As I said before, am I better off adding a SWG? Your thoughts when you have a moment would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

batesjer

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2019
79
East Lansing michigan
It is your best option if you dont want to do it daily. They are putting in what appears to be 24ish ppm and you are losing at least 4ppm per day. You are spending at least 2 days a week without enough fc to properly sanitize. Its great you are testing but you have to use that info to keep your pool in good shape otherwise you will for sure see an algae bloom. At the very least until you decide how you want to maintain the pool you need to be bumping up the f.c. 1 or 2 times after they leave. It doesn't have to be a huge process but since you are testing almost daily (I test 3-4 times a week) its only a few more seconds to add liquid chlorine.
 

batesjer

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2019
79
East Lansing michigan
A salt water generator is great. But I have one and still use liquid chlorine to supplement it when necessary. Check out pool math, the link is at the bottom of the page. Input your specs and it will tell you exactly what to add to keep your numbers in range, and it is a range it doesnt have to be exact. Your pool company is running your fc almost to slam levels each week which is ok but not necessary or ideal. You'll learn your pool better than they will and after a while it will be second nature to you.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
709
Orlando
Thanks for your reply. I would like to learn more. I am more than happy to do more. I will most likely keep a service
To be honest, these two points are kind of mutually exclusive. You really need to either completely take over maintenance yourself (which most of us here would agree is the better option) or let the service completely manage things.

If you are trying to do both then things are just not going to work out. The advice that we give you to manage your pool is going to conflict with the things your service is doing. And when you do have algae issues it’s just going to turn into a bunch of finger pointing. You’ll say that it’s because the service is doing something wrong and they’ll say that it’s because you keep messing with the pool when they aren’t there.

I totally get that having a service is easier and if you don’t want to do the work yourself that’s OK, but if that’s the way you want to go then you’re probably better off just completely letting go and letting the service do their thing.


but my fear is that I get in a cycle where I am constantly chasing the chemicals and never catch up and end up doing more damage then I should. Maybe that is a bit crazy but as a person that is new to this I am a bit concerned about correcting and then overcorrecting the other way.
Again, when two people are trying to manage the pool then you’re very likely to wind up in a situation like this where the service is trying to get the levels to one standard when they come on Friday and you are trying to get them to another standard during the rest of the week. You really need to do one or the other, but not both.

It looks like you’re already testing every other day, and frankly you don’t really need to do much more than that to manage the pool on your own. Ideally liquid chlorine should be added daily, but it’s possible to get away with every other day if you really really can’t find the time to do it daily. Or even better, getting a SWG will allow your pool to get the chlorine it needs without any daily work.
 

goldmaes

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2018
61
Palm City, FL
To be honest, these two points are kind of mutually exclusive. You really need to either completely take over maintenance yourself (which most of us here would agree is the better option) or let the service completely manage things.

If you are trying to do both then things are just not going to work out. The advice that we give you to manage your pool is going to conflict with the things your service is doing. And when you do have algae issues it’s just going to turn into a bunch of finger pointing. You’ll say that it’s because the service is doing something wrong and they’ll say that it’s because you keep messing with the pool when they aren’t there.

I totally get that having a service is easier and if you don’t want to do the work yourself that’s OK, but if that’s the way you want to go then you’re probably better off just completely letting go and letting the service do their thing.




Again, when two people are trying to manage the pool then you’re very likely to wind up in a situation like this where the service is trying to get the levels to one standard when they come on Friday and you are trying to get them to another standard during the rest of the week. You really need to do one or the other, but not both.

It looks like you’re already testing every other day, and frankly you don’t really need to do much more than that to manage the pool on your own. Ideally liquid chlorine should be added daily, but it’s possible to get away with every other day if you really really can’t find the time to do it daily. Or even better, getting a SWG will allow your pool to get the chlorine it needs without any daily work.
Clearly understood. I really had no intention of managing it myself, but have watched company after company do a poor job. The testing is very recent as previously I had left it all up to them. My fear is that with my job I work an incredible amount of hours and at the end of and incredibly long day the last thing I want to do is to begin thinking about the pool. Maybe the SWG is best then.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,889
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
You already have the EasyTouch automation, so the next logical step is to add the SWG. An Intellichlor appropriately sized for your pool volume(please fill your signature with Vol), we recommend 2x the size. Can you take a picture of your ET with the cover off? You might already have a transformer for the SWG(wishful thinking). Since you mentioned you are quite busy, maybe a robot and a stenner pump to automate acid additions, as i have its the best deal on the least maintenance possible.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,862
Central California
Every pool and owner is different, but I think we have a lot in common. Like you, I was going though all the pool guys in town. Turns out the first one destroyed my pool's finish due to improper water chemistry. They were forced to buy me a new finish, but the next set of guys started right back in on my new finish. No way, I got on the 'net, found TFP, and haven't looked back. And like you, I have the EZ touch and VS pump. Same filter. I added the Pentair SWG and later Pentair's acid injector system, which companions perfectly with the SWG. Blah, blah, blah... this is my reality now (and not necessarily what we preach here, so mum's the word): I test once a week, 10 mins. I sometimes tweak the automation controls based on test results, 1 min. Once every month or two I add a gallon of acid to my dispenser tank. Once a year I clean my filter. I do check my skimmer basket every day or two, but I could easily let that go a week. 1 min. Vac cleans the bottom. Skimmer cleans the top. 0 min. I have to add acid and chlorine manually in the winter, when it's too cold for the SWG and acid dispenser to work, but in your location I expect your SWG would work all year 'round. Does that sound like it might fit your schedule?

What I get in return is $150 savings every month. Perfect water. All the time! Crystal clear, perfect, germ free, great feeling water! Every day. No more calcium scaling on my finish. No more algae. I also no longer have to endure the weekly roller coaster of super-chlorinated, low pH water the day of the pool guy's visit, crossing over to unprotected, chlorine-less, high pH water the day before. Awful for my skin and eyes. I really only got a day or two of properly balanced water in the middle of the week. All accompanied by regular minor algae outbreaks. Sound familiar?

Those are your choices (if you call that a choice)... There is a learning curve, but it is short. Days if you put your mind to it. We have all the articles to get you started. If you ask a question on this forum, you'll get a handful of volunteers (NOT motivated by profit of any kind) falling over each other to give you an answer. This site is heavily moderated and doesn't foster debates about the various methods of pool care. There is one, best way, and that's what we all practice and teach. There are no conflicting opinions about water chemistry. If six people are answering your question, all the answers will be identical. We can help you with equipment upgrades, testing procedures, test result interpretation and dosing procedures. And with just about anything else you care to know about a pool. Or a BBQ/pool party. Or gopher control (that was me, I got a little carried away!!)

But here's the take away... Like you, I was brand new to pool care, and was at a loss as to what to do about that. Pool care seemed like a mystery to me and way too much to learn and then do. Turns out, that's just not the case. I use four simple chemicals in my pool. That's it. I have the best test kit and I easily learned how to use it. I know exactly how to take care of my pool and it is crazy easy to do. And not only do I have confidence now about how to care for it properly, but I know if I can't figure something out, I have a few hundred thousand friends who will help me out!

If you want to give it a go, we'll get you started. In a matter of weeks your pool will be on track and you'll be your own pool expert. A few weeks after that, you'll find yourself moseying around this forum, looking for people you can help, instead of seeking it for yourself. That pretty much describes everyone here! We might know a little bit more about pools than you do for now, but that's only because we've been here a little bit longer than you.
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
657
Katy TX
Whether you go with a SWG or not, that will take some time to purchase, install, set up, etc. While you are in that decision process, it only takes 10mins a day to check your CL level (using the powder method) and add the appropriate liquid chlorine each day. The sun (and other stuff) consumes 2-4ppm of CL each day - your numbers reflect that as your FC dropped from 7 to 4 to 3 in successive days. So you need to test and add a pint, a quart or whatever Pool Math says for your pool setup. It is literally 10 mins and you have peace of mind that your pool is safe to swim. You can continue with your pool service and let them do the other tests weekly, vacuum and do whatever they do - just let them know you are monitoring the FC daily to ensure you can safely swim. good luck.
 

goldmaes

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2018
61
Palm City, FL
You already have the EasyTouch automation, so the next logical step is to add the SWG. An Intellichlor appropriately sized for your pool volume(please fill your signature with Vol), we recommend 2x the size. Can you take a picture of your ET with the cover off? You might already have a transformer for the SWG(wishful thinking). Since you mentioned you are quite busy, maybe a robot and a stenner pump to automate acid additions, as i have its the best deal on the least maintenance possible.
I'll have to take the cover off tonight when I get home if it isn't raining. Here is a pic I took awhile ago. I would imagine there is no transformer as there is no spot for an intellichlor breaker or is that a bad assumption? I really appreciate all this help.
 

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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,862
Central California
Not looking good for the transformer. If you come across the ET's model number, you might put that in your signature. It'll help this and future conversations about your setup...