new numbers, am I doing something wrong?

frustratedpoolmom

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Yesterday I tested the water myself and I was good to go.... (my hth cheapy from wal-mart)
CL 5
PH 7.2
TA 150
CYA 70-80

This was 12 hours after adding 3 1.46 gallon jugs of 6% bleach. FC on the test strip read about a 3. I figured the chlorine was stable overnight but maybe not, as I had the water tested today at the pool store.

They said
FC 0
TC 0
CC 0
ph 7.2
CH 70
TA 110
CYA Not Run (I thought that was pretty funny considering that's been my biggest problem this year, too high CYA
Copper .64
Iron 0

So I tested the water just now and sure enough, the numbers were the same as yesterday except the CL read zero... With such high CYA levels why would it drop so quickly? It did rain a little overnight....

Also I tested my CH and I got a reading of 460.
Every visit to twp different pool stealers and they said my CH was too low and I needed to add calcium, which I did twice, based on their suggestion. My first test shows 460. Were they completely lying? They never even asked what kind of pool I have (AG Vinyl). Is my CH reading something that I need to worry about?

So, we have two questions.
1. CL I thought 5ppm based on the CYA best guess chart was right, but it didn't last 48 hours.
2. 460 CH - a problem for me?

HELP!!!! Thanks in advance!
 

duraleigh

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gonefishin said:
Hi..welcome to the forum :)

How does the water look?

dan
Dan's question is the single most important thing that should be included in a post about water issues. That's very important in analyzing the test numbers.
 

frustratedpoolmom

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Sorry All. Opened the pool 3 weeks ago today. It was cloudy grey, with a thin line of purple-pink around the very edge and slightly up the side. Ran the pump (no bleach on hand) for 24 hours and the water cleared of the cloudiness. It has been clear ever since. The purple-pink stuff cleared (with minimal brushing) after the first two doses of chlorine, probably gone week 1. So clear for 2 weeks. I do have an old (what I believe to be Black Algea) stain on one section, if I could post a picture of it I will, is it possible its actually not a stain but living and consuming the chlorine?
 

duraleigh

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I do have an old (what I believe to be Black Algea) stain on one section, if I could post a picture of it I will, is it possible its actually not a stain but living and consuming the chlorine?
Hi, "Mom",

Yeah actually both things are possible. Assuming it's too low in the pool to expose it to the atmosphere, I'd attack it by keeping my chlorine levels pretty high constantly. Then brush the stain with a stiff bristle brush every chance you get....even tho it may look like you're not making progress.

Of course, if you could lower the water and expose it, I think it would clean easily in a day or so.

Black algae is quite stubborn but persists more in masonry pools where it can "hide" in the pores of a masonry surface. If you'll keep your Cl levels up and brush (and brush and brush), I think you'll eliminate it in a few days or so.
 

PoolGeek

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Apr 27, 2007
11
Michigan
Pool Care Methods

I can't believe how many responses people are getting here. I think it is great. In my experience with liquid chlorine sharply decreasing levels are the name of the game. I think everyone would be better suited getting on some type of 3 step program of algaecide weekly (small dose), shocking weekly or bi weekly and using chlorine sticks designed for the skimmer or some type of floater/auto chlorinator. This system should take all of this guesswork out of your pool care and let you only test one time per week. No move adding liquid chlorine everyday and no more constant checking of the water. Calcium should never be 460 and this is a problem if it is an accurate test. Thats my 2 Cents. Thanks.
 

JasonLion

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Chlorine sticks or pucks constantly add CYA, which eventually gets out of hand and is very difficult to correct. Plus they will be continuously lowering your PH, meaning you either have to keep an eye on it anyway or you get damaging low PH numbers. Shock and algaecide cost money that you don't really need to spend if you are willing to keep a closer eye on your pool.

Adding bleach can be really really simple once you get into the routine of it. A quick chlorine test and pour in a little bleach, once a day only takes a moment. Your other numbers will tend to stay stable, baring any major storms or accidents, and you only need to test them once a week. I find that I usually need to check the skimmer daily anyway, the test and bleach add less than a minute to that once I am in my summer routine.
 

frustratedpoolmom

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High CYA was the root of my problems this year and that is why I abandoned the pool frog system. I don't intend to use sticks or a floater until my CYA is no longer a problem and I would guess that will be a while :) . I guess I enjoyed the carefree element of not having to add chlorine everyday as the frog "did it for me". My Black Algea stems from last year and my taking the advice of the so-called expert at the pool store. Their advice never worked and after shocking and treating with the Proteam Black Algea solution once the cl level dropped below 1pmm (which is what the recommend with the frog) the stain would reappear (I know-duh!). I did brush quite often but it didn't seem to make any progress, so I just resigned myself to the stain. Now I know better. Maybe with the BBB and higher clor and daily brushing that will change. I'm guessing this algea is still the problem and why the cl level dropped so quickly. This BBB routine is new to me so I need to get into the "daily" habit. Thanks for the advice guys!
 

PoolGeek

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Apr 27, 2007
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Michigan
High CYA and Chlorine Sticks

Good name brand Chlorine Sticks and Tablets effect PH way less than liquid chlorine and provide a steady dose of chlorine everyday. The fact is most people don't want to deal with testing and treating pool water on a daily basis. It isn't the fact that it is a hard process, it just takes vigilance that most homeowners don't want to have to deal with. As far as CYA problems go most pools are partially drained every year for closing and that water replacement is enough to prevent skyrocketing CYA levels that could potentially cause problems. Most residential pools will operate perfectly fine with CYA levels as high as 200ppm. Just my 2 Cents.
 

duraleigh

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Re: High CYA and Chlorine Sticks

PoolGeek said:
Good name brand Chlorine Sticks and Tablets effect PH way less than liquid chlorine and provide a steady dose of chlorine everyday. The fact is most people don't want to deal with testing and treating pool water on a daily basis. It isn't the fact that it is a hard process, it just takes vigilance that most homeowners don't want to have to deal with. As far as CYA problems go most pools are partially drained every year for closing and that water replacement is enough to prevent skyrocketing CYA levels that could potentially cause problems. Most residential pools will operate perfectly fine with CYA levels as high as 200ppm. Just my 2 Cents.
Oops, Matt, I'd have to disagree with a couple of things. My experience (and most folks on the forum's) is that Clorox has far less affect on pH than tri-chlor pucks. The pucks are quite acidic and will drive your pH down below acceptable levels sooner than one would think.

I would also disagree that pools operate just fine at high levels of CYA. The chlorine becomes much less effective at those high levels and most folks, without proper testing, never get their Cl up into the 8-15ppm range to counter the reduced effect of the chlorine. In fact, not realizing what's happening, many pool owners throw in MORE pucks at the first sign of a problem.....exacerbating the issue.

I agree with you that many, many pool owners don't want the involvement that this forum prescribes. These methods are a cheap, effective way to put in a little effort and get huge, succesful results.
 

KurtV

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Mar 29, 2007
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Re: Pool Care Methods

PoolGeek said:
I can't believe how many responses people are getting here. I think it is great. In my experience with liquid chlorine sharply decreasing levels are the name of the game. I think everyone would be better suited getting on some type of 3 step program of algaecide weekly (small dose), shocking weekly or bi weekly and using chlorine sticks designed for the skimmer or some type of floater/auto chlorinator. This system should take all of this guesswork out of your pool care and let you only test one time per week. No move adding liquid chlorine everyday and no more constant checking of the water. Calcium should never be 460 and this is
a problem if it is an accurate test. Thats my 2 Cents. Thanks.
PoolGeek,
This site is an outgrowth of and potential successor to PoolForum.com. That site and this one advocate simple, proven techniques for keeping a pristine, problem free pool at a reasonable cost. The philosophy requires spending a very little time testing regularly (ideally daily) and keeping an adequate level of chlorine, usually through the addition of liquid chlorine (bleach). Stabilized chlorine is only used if it's needed to raise CYA (trichlor and dichlor) or calcium (cal hypo). pH control is done with grocery store Borax and muriatic acid. Alkalinity is raised with grocery store baking soda. Simple, affordable, very effective.


The 3 step program you're advocating and others of its ilk are the very thing these sites advocate against. Those programs are the reason people seek out this forum and participate here. They get in trouble doing what you propose or they get tired of being sold a ton of chemicals every time they bring their water to the pool store to be tested and seek a better way. You may be right that many people don't want to exercise the vigilance required to make this system work but this site is here for those who do.
 

frustratedpoolmom

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I appreciate all the advice. I have learned from experience with my pool frog (now disconnected) and having a skimmer cover for two winters so as NOT to drain the pool has left us with too high CYA levels and difficulty maintaining chlorine. I poured in a gallon and a half of 6% on Saturday morning - just arrived home and the cl reads 0. My CYA is about 70-80. The other method may be more convenient (for those times that I feel lazy) but since that method created the problem I have now I'm not inclined to stick with it. I'll keep with the BBB for a while, see how I like it.
 

chem geek

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Matt (PoolGeek),

When you say that most residential pools that have 200 ppm CYA operate fine (i.e. don't have algae), are they using a weekly or regularly added algaecide, such as PolyQuat 60, or a mineral system such as copper? It is true that it takes an incredibly small amount of disinfecting chlorine to kill most bacteria (except for the one that causes "hot tub itch", but that's more rare in pools as an issue) so the main problem to avoid is algae. One can keep away algae from a pool using chlorine alone, but doing so requires an understanding of the chlorine/CYA relationship. There have been numerous pool owners reporting on multiple pool forum sites having algae and every single one without exception was due to either no chlorine or too low a chlorine level relative to the CYA level. There was not a single instance of algae if a minimum chlorine level was maintained (this table shows the amount of Free Chlorine needed to obtain the disinfecting chlorine level column heading for various CYA levels, though this chart on the Pool Forum is what is normally followed). Mustard/yellow algae requires somewhat higher chlorine levels to keep away, but again chlorine alone is all that is needed.

So the issue is not whether you can keep away algae in a high CYA pool. The issue is whether you can do so without buying additional chemicals beyond chlorine and the answer is yes, but it does require more diligence in maintaining chlorine levels and watching CYA levels. You can also use very high chlorine levels in a high CYA pool to keep away algae, but this may require more chlorine usage than in a lower CYA pool (we're still investigating that). Many pool owners do not drain their pools and some pool owners (such as myself) have cartridge filters so don't backwash and find that CYA levels build up VERY quickly if Trichlor tabs are used (so I use chlorinating liquid instead).

Richard
 

MikeInTN

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frustratedpoolmom said:
I appreciate all the advice. I have learned from experience with my pool frog (now disconnected) and having a skimmer cover for two winters so as NOT to drain the pool has left us with too high CYA levels and difficulty maintaining chlorine. I poured in a gallon and a half of 6% on Saturday morning - just arrived home and the cl reads 0. My CYA is about 70-80. The other method may be more convenient (for those times that I feel lazy) but since that method created the problem I have now I'm not inclined to stick with it. I'll keep with the BBB for a while, see how I like it.
"Mom", I do feel your pain - I had the exact same problem when I opened my pool. Because of an algae bloom and all kinds of Crud on the bottom of the pool, my FC seemed to be stuck on 0. I finally found the BBB method and Ben's best guess CL-CYA chart and raised my FC to shock level per the chart. I'm thinking I did this at least twice, if not three times, before my FC started to hold.

Have you shocked your pool at all??
 

frustratedpoolmom

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I think that was part of the problem, I was putting cl to 5 (per the best guess chart) but that assumes no problems, and if that is indeed live algea at the bottom it will consume it too quickly. I started upping the dose day before yesterday so we will see how it holds. It rained alot yesterday so that kind of interfered, ah mother nature. I poured 146 oz of 6% last evening. Will test this morning.
I have the same size pool. One store tells me I have 13,500 (or so) gallons, another says cause of the wall height I have closer to 15,000. What do you believe?
 

MikeInTN

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Go with 13500. You use the actual water depth, not the height of the walls when calculating the pool volume. So, assuming you keep your water depth at 48 inches (or 4 feet), then the volume is 13572 gallons. If you have a different water depth, you can figure it up using the following formula for a round pool :

water depth (inches)/12 = water depth (feet)
pool diameter / 2 = pool radius

pool volume = water depth (ft) x pool radius x pool radius x 3.1416 x 7.5

So, for a 24' round pool w/ a water depth of 48 inches,

water depth = 48/12 = 4 feet
pool radius =24/2 = 12 feet

pool volume = 4 x 12 x 12 x 3.1416 x 7.5 = 13572 gallons

Hope this helps,

Mike
 

frustratedpoolmom

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Bleach appears to be fading the Stain!

Update, I do believe it's working! The (Black Algea?) Stain is noticebly lighter and I've been scrubbing with the brush every time I'm in.... and I've been keeping the bleach up there even with the Rain yesterday there is still plenty of FC. I'll add more later and keep scrubbing away..... this forum is great! This pic I took a few days ago, I'll post a new one later.... :-D
 

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