Need to balance my pool in 5 days- advice please...

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
I was away from home for a couple of months and asked a friend to keep adding 2-3 gallons of bleach every 2 weeks in my absence. When I returned at the start of this month, there was some algae forming in the pool. I added 3 gallons immediately and it cleared up. Two weeks later, it was again changing color so I added another 3 gallons of liquid Chlorine. I observed some algae forming yesterday and did a quick Chlorine & pH test. PH was high and there appeared no Chlorine so I added 3 more gallons this morning. I should have done complete chemistry test sooner but was lazy/busy and kept delaying it. WI tried to run tests this morning, numbers seemed out of whack so I took my water sample to Leslie's. Here are their results:

Free Available Chlorine: 10
Total Available Chlorine: 10
Cyanuric Acid: 18
Total Alkilinity: 170
pH: 9
TDS: 3,000
Phosphates: 200

They advised first fixing the TA by adding 1 Qt of Muriatic Acid and allowing Chlorine to burn for a couple of days before doing anything else.

I have grand kids visiting next Saturday and want to make sure the pool will be safe for them to enjoy. Please advise what steps do I need to take to have our pool ready for their use.

Thank you.

PS. My filter pressure gauge shows no pressure when the pump is running. My filter cartridges are 3 years old and I have ordered new ones to arrive in a couple of days. Wonder if it is a faulty pressure gauge or torn filter cartridges. I'll find out when I have the new filters on hand.
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
TF test kit is correct.
Post the numbers you got from it.

Folks will help you much better that way.

You are going to need to SLAM the pool. Read up on it. The most important part is the M for Maintain!!
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Yes, please post the TF100 test results. Pool store test results are far too inconsistent and unreliable.

You can get a very nice oil filled pressure gauge for 11 bucks from TFTestkits.net.

Adding 2-3 gallons of chlorine every few days is not a good methodology for keeping your pool sanitized.

PH of 9 is way off. The PH test is not valid when FC is above 10. Test it with the TF100 next time FC is below 10 and add muriatic acid to lower it to 7.2. It could take several additions. Also, test CYA and add enough to get it to 30ppm in a sock and put it in the skimmer. Squeeze it a few times per day to speed the dissolving.

Once PH is 7.2 and CYA is added to 30ppm then SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain your pool to get rid of the algae.

Once the SLAM is complete and all three criteria are passed then let the chlorine level drop. When maintaining your pool it is important to keep PH between 7.2 and 7.8. It is also important to keep chlorine at the target level for your CYA according to the Chlorine CYA Chart. If chlorine drops below the minimum then the pool is not sanitary and algae will grow.

It is safe to swim when:
Ph is 7.2 to 7.8
Chlorine is between minimum and shock level
Water is clear
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
Thank you for advice. I'll order the gauge. My TFT kit results are below. I'm puzzled to see the huge difference in Chlorine between the results of this morning and evening. How could that much Chlorine burn in a day?

FC: 4.5
CC: 1
TC: 5.5
pH: 8.5
T/A: 160
CH: 240
CYA: Below 20 (Couldn't measure because there was no change in visibility of the black dot even after the whole bottle was emptied in it).

As I understand, I'll start with Muriatic Acid to lower the pH and simultaneously work on getting CYA up in the range before SLAMing the pool.

I may come back for more advice as I progress. Thanks a bunch again.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Not having CYA in the pool will let the sun burn off the chlorine faster, CYA protects chlorine from the sun. Also, with CC of 1 there could be algae or organic material in the pool also consuming chlorine. Sure, come back for more!
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
Today's readings after adding a quart of Muriatic Acid and a pound of CYA stabilizer.
FC=0
TA=150
pH:7.5
CYA: <20

Water is still clear. Not sure if I've done the right thing but today I added another quart of Muriatic Acid today to bring alkalinity down further and 2 pounds of CYA powder. I'm going to let it run for a few hours and take the next reading before adding any Chlorine. AmI on the right path?

I've brushed as far as I could reach. Is it necessary while I have the Kreepy Krauly sweeper cleaning it up?
 

BuckeyeChris

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2014
821
Buckeye AZ
if you followed pool math to get the CYA where is should be for the SLAM, then just run your future dosing assuming the CYA is where it should be. It could take a few days or a week for the CYA test to show the new current CYA level.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
that's weird your pH has gone up...after adding the MA. What was your FC level when you tested your pH. If it was over 10 , pH reads high from what I've read on other posts...
yes, it is weird since I expected T/A go go down but it didn't. My FC is 24+ because I'm thinking my CYA would be around 60 after the new CYA has been fully absorbed and distributed in the pool.
 

Steve-in-VA

Well-known member
May 27, 2015
199
Smithfield/Virginia
yes, it is weird since I expected T/A go go down but it didn't. My FC is 24+ because I'm thinking my CYA would be around 60 after the new CYA has been fully absorbed and distributed in the pool.
well if your FC is 24+ don't fret about your pH while SLAMming your pool. You're good to go! keep SLAMming and brushing..\


Also are you using POOL MATH when maintaining? because adding 3 gallons of bleach at a time wont last weeks at a time... its a daily dosing of chlorine to MAINTAIN a consistent FC level to prevent the algae growth