New from Tennessee

Fool 4 tha Pool

Gold Supporter
Jul 15, 2019
We put our pool in 4 years ago and have had very few problems until recently. We are building an outdoor living area close to the pool. I believe some of the dust/dirt from this has found its way into the pool and is knocking everything out of wack.
The pool is in ground, liner pool, 18,000 gallons with full sun all day. We use chlorine tabs in skimmers.
There is no smell of chlorine around, or in the pool. Chorine levels are in acceptable ranges, the water is crystal clear except for the steps. Steps are normally white but are turning light tan as if there is metal in the water. I can’t get a decent alkaline or PH reading. Alkaline test should turn blue but is no where near blue, turns light yellow immediately. Same with PH, it should be pink/red but turns light yellow immediately and doesn’t change.
I replaced the test kit to be sure I wasn’t using bad tests, but no change. I thought maybe FC was off, causing the issue but doesn’t seem so. I think my test results are pointing to low alkalinity and low PH, but I’m just not sure. Never seen this before and this is my 3rd pool.
My plan is to read through Pool School and go from there. Thinking It may be best to drain and refill some of the water, but not positive about that yet. I’ve had 3 pools but not had a serious problem with balance before so I am approaching this as if I were a beginner. I guess I am a beginner, I think I’ve just been lucky up to now and not had to deal with much, other than basic stuff!
I’ve tried raising alkalinity with baking soda but it doesn’t seem to be moving at all so I have stopped for now. In the past a little baking soda brought alkalinity up perfectly and PH right behind it. Not this time! I may just need to add more, but don’t want to risk increasing it if I’m wrong and it’s actually high, not low.
Looking forward to reading through this site and learning. I appreciate any advice you have to offer!


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
hey there Fool, welcome to TFP :) Glad to have you here.

After reading your post my first thought is what test kit are you using?? We have two we recommend and they both have the FAS-DPD chlorine test we feel most important. Other tests are all drop based.
The TF-100 was put together by a company with our method of pool care in mind. They sell for $70 but are a bargain when one considers what they save on unnecessary chemicals! The other kit is the K-2006C by Taylor. Its pricier but the reagent bottle size is comparable to the TF-100. The "C" part of the nomenclature is very important when you're comparing kits.

WE want to know:

Then we can advise you best.

You may have exhausted your ability to use pucks safely, as they raise your CYA level up too high and you may not have enough FC in to compensate. See this --> FC/CYA Chart

Algae often appears first in low circulation areas such as stairs. That might be what you're seeing.

Maddie :flower: