Need some help without enough info.

Jun 29, 2007
I've ordered my test kit but haven't received it yet(UPS says July 5). Anyway, using a 5 way test strip from Walmart, I have the following readings: CL=0, PH = 6.8, ALK = 80, hardness = 400, & CYA is mostly bright yellow but has a brown center on the strip which is supposed to be 30-50. I found some green algae last night in cracks around the water returns and the steps. I brushed it all off. The water is still clear. I have a 3" tab feeder that still has tablets in it. I need to get CL & PH up but don't know the best way to go about it. I don't want it to turn green before I get my test kit and figure out exactly where I'm at. At what PH level(and everything else too) should we stop swimming in it?


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TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
You want to bring the PH up right away. You can use 20 mule team borax, which some grocery stores have in the laundy detergent section. PH of 7.2 to 7.8 is good, 7.4 to 7.6 is better. PH below 7.0 is bad.

If you have algae growing then it will take more than a tablet feeder to get the chlorine level up to where you need it. You can use regular bleach (unscented or original scent) to add chlorine or get something more expensive from a pool store. You should bring the chlorine level up to the shock level from Ben's best guess chart (see the link in my signature). Then hold it at shock level, test and add chlorine at least twice a day, until the chlorine level hold overnight.

The tablet feeder is handy but it can't solve an algae problem and it will add CYA all the time and that will eventually cause problems unless you replace some of your water reguarly.

You can read more about how to take care of your pool in the Stickies section of this site, see the link in the sub-heading of each page.