New numbers - can't keep FC levels and have high phosphates

smuggs

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 10, 2007
141
0
Gloucester County, NJ
#1
OK, so earlier this week I had chlorine levels showing after shocking. now, I have no FC. I really want to get this straightened out soon as I have a new baby due in about 3 weeks and need to focus on getting the "honey do" list completed.

Week 1 numbers (9/11)
pH = 7.4
alkalinity = 70
cya = 0
total hardness = 70
total chlorine = 0
free chlorine = 0

28,000 gallon gunite/plaster pool w/ 60sq ft DE filter

Week 2 numbers (9/18 ) morning after shocking with 3 lbs lithium-hypo
pH = 7.5
alkalinity = 120
cya = 100
calcium hardness = 190
FC = 1.5
TC = 2.0
TDS = 250

Week 2 numbers (9/20)
pH = 7.4
alkalinity = 100
cya = 30 (cya last time must have been wrong, as suspected)
calcium hardness = 130 (sample taken at 7:30am @ 52 degrees air temp; filter NOT running since 8pm last night)
FC = 0
TAC = 1
TDS = 200
Phosphates = 2500

~28,000 gal gunite/white plaster with 60sq ft DE filter and auto-chlorinator running 3" trichlor tabs

readings done by Leslies approx 1.5 hours after taking sample. Leslie's recommended shocking with non-chlorine based shock first (6 lbs) then with regular shock after one full turnover and keep the chlorinator going with the tabs. he said focus on getting the chlorine to "stick" before attacking the phosphates. Since we just opened pool 2 Wednesdays ago, and expect to close by end of October, does it make sense to do much with the phosphates if we can get the chlorine levels OK. Also, they indicated that I could get different calcium readings because of "settling" in the water overnight, especially with the cooler temperatures. I do want to make sure we get the calcium to acceptable levels before we close, but do I need to be highly concerned with this at 2 weeks in? they suggested taking a sample after the filter has been running a while.

Thanks for the advice!
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,446
0
SW Indiana
#2
The best advice I can give you is add more chlorine and get your own test kit so you don't have to depend on Leslie's. I'd shock it with enough bleach to get to 25ppm and it should be fine. Unless you are having algae problems, I wouldn't worry about the phosphates now.
 

smuggs

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 10, 2007
141
0
Gloucester County, NJ
#3
John -

Thanks. I do plan on getting my own test kit once Dave has more in-stock. At this point, I only have a few more weeks, but I will certainly have one for next year before opening.

I don't see any algae at this point, so I will shock it tonight. Since I tend to work long hours and travel, I do plan on continuing to use the trichlor pucks as my main source of chlorine and will run Nature 2 next year in order to reduce the maintenance as my understanding is that if I move to bleach as my chlorine source, I will need to add it almost daily.
 

Poseidon

Well-known member
May 24, 2007
148
0
Houston, Texas, USA
#4
smuggs,
First of all, forget everthing Leslie's told you. Don't use them for testing. Get your own high quality test kit, and test your own water. Trouble Free Pool sells a good test kit.

Then, stock up on liquid chlorine (bleach from the supermarket, or chlorinating liquid from the pool store). Using 6% bleach, add 2 gallons for a FC gain of about 4.3 ppm. Do this late in the evening. Wait awhile (1 hour should be enough), then check and record your FC. The next morning, check FC again. The pool should use very little if any FC overnight. If you see a FC loss of more than 1 ppm overnight, something (possibly algae trying to get started) is consuming it. If you need to shock, use 7 gallons of 6% bleach (for a FC gain of 15 ppm).

Based on a cya of 30 ppm, you should maintain a minimum of 3.5 ppm FC at all times. This should provide sanitation and prevent algae.
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#5
You really need more reliable testing. Chlorine levels have a tendency to go down dramatically on the way to the store for testing, so you really can't tell anything from their chlorine numbers. Also, water samples should be taken after the pump has been running for a least 15 minutes.

Don't worry about phosphates at all. They are primarily a way for the pool store to sell you some expensive products you don't need. My phosphates are over 4000 and I never have any problems.

I don't think you will need to adjust the calcium levels, as fresh plaster normally adds enough calcium to the water over the first month. It is too soon to worry about that. Unless you are closing in the next week, give it the full month and then see where your calcium level is before doing anything with calcium.

The key thing is to get better numbers right away. I suggest getting an inexpensive drop based chlorine and PH test kit right away (if you don't have one already) or the HTH 6 way kit from WalMart if you can find one easily. It should only cost around $10 ($20 for the better WalMart kit) and will give you much more accurate chlorine numbers than the pool store is able to give you. I suspect you have plausible chlorine levels and even a cheap test kit will prove that.
 

smuggs

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 10, 2007
141
0
Gloucester County, NJ
#6
Jason

Thanks for the advice. I did test the water with 2 different types of test strips that both came up nil on the chlorine level, so I think the numbers are pretty close. I will test again this evening with the strips before shocking. since the pool company provided me with a fair amount of litho (i have 6 lbs) can i just use that for this go around? After this, I think that I'll move to bleach for shocking and the trichlor tabs for maintenance (so long as I don't start running into a problem with my CYA level)

As for the test kit, I do agree that I need to get a kit and at this point will get my order into Dave (after I provide my contribution to troublfreepool for all the help that everyone has been providing).

thanks again!
 

Poseidon

Well-known member
May 24, 2007
148
0
Houston, Texas, USA
#7
smuggs said:
Jason

Thanks for the advice. I did test the water with 2 different types of test strips that both came up nil on the chlorine level, so I think the numbers are pretty close. I will test again this evening with the strips before shocking. since the pool company provided me with a fair amount of litho (i have 6 lbs) can i just use that for this go around? After this, I think that I'll move to bleach for shocking and the trichlor tabs for maintenance (so long as I don't start running into a problem with my CYA level)

As for the test kit, I do agree that I need to get a kit and at this point will get my order into Dave (after I provide my contribution to troublfreepool for all the help that everyone has been providing).

thanks again!
Lithium hypochlorite is fine to use, as it adds nothing but chlorine (same as bleach/chlorinating liquid). Lithium is a very expensive source of chlorine, but if you have it, by all means use it up. In your 28,000 gallon pool, each 8 oz trichlor tablet will add 2.0 ppm FC, and 1.2 ppm cya.
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#9
I don't recommend using the Nature2 system. It adds copper and silver to the water. That allows you to use a lower chlorine level and reduces the chlorine consumption as well. But you risk getting metal stains on the pool, turning light colored hair green, and need to be much more careful with PH than you would be without the Nature2 system. Also, the reduction in chlorine consumption isn't usually dramatic enough to justify the expense of the Nature2 cartridge.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,446
0
SW Indiana
#10
smuggs said:
so, when I have the Nature 2 sanitizer cartridge in next year, will this change the FC levels that I need to maintain or just reduce my chlorine usage?
It will do neither. It will just add metals to your water and remove money from your wallet.