New owner, old pool, similar questions

Dec 16, 2014
10
0
Cedar Park, TX
#1
Hi everyone. Middle November the family and I moved into a new home with a pool. After a week or so it occurred to us that we really needed to figure out this pool thing, and off to Leslie's pool we headed. The water was mostly clear, but some signs of black algae here and there. The results from their water test came back as:
  • Date: 12/2/2014
  • FC: 0
  • PH: 8
  • TA: 100
  • CH: 460
  • CYA: 150

So they sent me home with a lighter wallet and the 3" jumbo tab pucks, some Calcium-Hypo (Power plus), and Acid. I also got a basic test kit (Taylor 5820). Over the next few days, I did as I was told by filling my chlorine feeder with the pucks, shocking the pool, and adding acid to bring Ph down a bit. The water did seem better, but the FC count just didn't stay up and came down within a few days. We returned and had the water tested again with some minor improvement, number here:
  • Date: 12/12/2014
  • FC: 0
  • PH: 7.6
  • TA: 90
  • CH: 440
  • CYA: 120
At this point I have determined that the LPS is simply guessing, and I needed to take matters into my own hands, so I found TFP. Talking with my new neighbor, the previous owner of the pool had plenty of challenges, including apparently just dumping enough anti-algae into the pool to turn it Purple! So I may have my work cut out for me.

The current state of the pool is the FC is 1 (was 5 yesterday) and the water slightly cloudy, but pump has not started running yet. I've since determined that this CYA number is simply causing me too much trouble and I need to do a partial drain/fill to get that under control while I wait on my TF-100 to show up. Learning that those jumbo pucks increase my CYA number as well I turned off the chlorine feeder as well. The plaster needs some love, and that is planned for the spring for financial reasons, but I want to address this the best way possible now. Thanks in advance.
 
Jan 21, 2014
977
0
Odessa, TX
#2
Welcome to the site, I'm glad you've already read quite a bit on here. I'm highly encouraged that you already have a TF100 on the way.

I agree with you that the first order of business would be to do a partial drain/refill to get the CYA under control (once you verify the reading with the TF100). After that it will be time to SLAM.
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,080
0
Central Minnesota
#3
Looks like you're on the right track! Post test results once your get your TF-100 (great kit!) and we'll help you along. It is also sometimes helpful to test your fill water with your kit as well. At least for pH, TA and CH. It lets you know what will happen to your pool chemistry when you refill your pool. There should be no CYA and very low or zero FC/CC in tap or well water so no reason to test for those. Just be sure to collect your fill water sample directly from where you plan to fill from and let it run for a minute or so before sampling.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
0
Sacramento, CA
#4
Welcome to TFP !!!!!

I suspect the Leslie's results are close. Except for the CYA That could be much higher than 150. The tests don't really read over 100 so above 100 is more guestimate than reality. You are going to need to replace water then test again then maybe replace water again and test again. It is possible your CYA is over 200 so this may take a few cycles.

Its cold now so it will be difficult for algae to grow. I wouldn't worry to much about chlorine yet. So lets work on getting the CYA down first. I would also be checking my Ph and keeping that between 7.2 and 7.5.

Use Pool Math above to do the calculations.
 

tim5055

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May 11, 2014
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#5
Well, I 'm just going to add and agree with what has been said previously.

As algae growth is much slower in cold water (below 60 water temperature) you are really not in an "emergency situation". You have made a good choice to turn off the puck feeder. I'm sure someone at Leslie's had a sparkle in their eye when you came in:mad:

CYA is your big problem now IF the readings are correct. CYA is the one they mess up most, but usually they read it too low - expect the number to go up when you do it yourself with your TF100.

While we ar talking about CYA, understand that 100 is the limit of the CYA test in the TF100, so you have to do a diluted test. While the full instructions are in the Pool School, here is the short version. Mix 50% pool water with 50% tap water. Use this mixed sample as your test water. If still at a 100 you will need to dilute more. Here is a great chart by JamesW to explain dilution rates and what you multiply the results by to get an approximation of your CYA level.

Pool water......Tap or distilled water.........Multiply result by

....1...................1................................2
....1...................2................................3
....1...................4................................5

Now, you went from 5 to 1 in FC overnight, so remember to keep chlorine in the pool until the TF100 gets in. A bottle of 8.25% (121 oz) from WalMart each day should do for now until a better game plan is in place. You should read the directions on SLAMing your pool in the How To section of Pool School. Soon you will need to follow that procedure completely to the end, so find a source for 10 or 12% chlorine now. Generally in Texas I recommend a HASA Dealer, but it looks like they may not be in your area. Start your search now as you will probably save over using consumer laundry bleach.

How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
ABCs of Water Chemistry
Recommended Pool Chemicals
How to Chlorinate Your Pool
 
Dec 16, 2014
10
0
Cedar Park, TX
#6
Thanks a bunch for the positive encouragement. Well, pool is approx. 50% drained and is currently filling up. I let the tap water run for a few minutes then ran tests with my current kit.
  • FC:1 (did I do that right? Chlorine in tap water?)
  • PH: 7.5
  • TA: 130
Funny you mentioned that wally-world bleach which I stopped and picked up on my way home from work. One thing I didn't quite see covered is when doing a drain/fill, do I have to wait a week or so also for CYA numbers to stabilize?
 

tim5055

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May 11, 2014
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Franklin, NC
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#7
Thanks a bunch for the positive encouragement. Well, pool is approx. 50% drained and is currently filling up. I let the tap water run for a few minutes then ran tests with my current kit.
  • FC:1 (did I do that right? Chlorine in tap water?)
  • PH: 7.5
  • TA: 130
Funny you mentioned that wally-world bleach which I stopped and picked up on my way home from work. One thing I didn't quite see covered is when doing a drain/fill, do I have to wait a week or so also for CYA numbers to stabilize?
Yes, most tap water has chlorine. They use it for the same reason we do, to kill the stuff in the water.

No, you can test the CYA as soon as you get it filled and mixed well. Run the pump for 30 - 60 minutes and it will be time to test.

Unless a 50% fill was all you could safely do (liner/plaster/water table issues) it may not be enough. If Leslie's was even close you will bring it down to 70 - 80 that way. Still above the recommendation unless you have a SWCG. Now in my case I started at 200+ and have a high water table so I'm fearful of dropping the water too low. I did several partial drains and took several months to get it down to 70.
 

Divin Dave

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TFP Expert
Oct 2, 2013
5,184
1
61
Longview, Texas
#8
Hi there,
it sounds like you have a good understanding of it all so far. Nice job on getting the test kit and going forward with a partial drain to get the CYA down.

The others are right, in that CYA tests are only accurate to 100, so..... once you really know what it is after the refill, you can go from there.

The drain and refill is killing another bird with that same stone too. Your CH is a tad high, and so you will be in good shape there now too.

Really good job taking control of your own pool.

Thanks a bunch for the positive encouragement. Well, pool is approx. 50% drained and is currently filling up. I let the tap water run for a few minutes then ran tests with my current kit.
  • FC:1 (did I do that right? Chlorine in tap water?)
  • PH: 7.5
  • TA: 130
Funny you mentioned that wally-world bleach which I stopped and picked up on my way home from work. One thing I didn't quite see covered is when doing a drain/fill, do I have to wait a week or so also for CYA numbers to stabilize?
 
#10
Small update on the progress so far. We have the pool filled again and levels moved around a bit. We added one gallon of bleach to keep things under check for the day.
  • FC=.5
  • PH= 7.5
  • TA=125
  • CYA=80

It's reassuring to see the levels change in the way I expect it (yea chemistry!) The plan is to perform another partial drain tomorrow and get the CYA down more. It's promising that it dropped below the 100 mark suggesting that we were not too off with the 120-150 Leslie's analysis numbers. Thanks again for the ongoing advice, and I'll report in as we proceed with things.
 
#11
The second and likely final partial fill is complete, and has been running since the morning. This am I added a gallon of 7.86% bleach and let it filter all day. I just pulled the numbers with my new TC-100 and here is what I have now.
  • Date: 12/19/2014
  • FC: 2.5
  • CC: .5
  • TC: 3
  • PH: 7.5
  • TA: 130
  • CH: 500
  • CYA: 10-20 (I'll call it 15)

I'm a little confused on why the CYA appears to have dropped this low after another partial fill, but one possibility is we drained more than 50% total volume from the pool and this is simply a result of more free tap water dilution. I'm up for other suggestions on this if I'm off base. My tentative plan is to take another CYA measurement in the morning, and based on that number SLAM the pool to completely get my FC/TC under control. The TA is higher than target, but I don't have any issues mentioned on the lowering TA pool school page so I guess the next step is working on CYA. Not sure what to do with that higher CH yet since I replaced water already. Any glaring problems with the current plan?
 

tim5055

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May 11, 2014
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Franklin, NC
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#12
For our purposes we do not deal with TC, so you can ignore that calculation.

Verify the CYA as I'm also surprised it went down so much. Once you mix the solution you can pour it back and forth between the bottle and tube to confirm your reading.

I'm also surprised with your CH reading. She you tested the tap water did you test that?

Verify CYA then SLAM to completion.

Then adjust CYA and FC.

With CH high you may need to import water in the future for filing. Another possibility is harvesting rain water to fill the pool. If you continue to top off with high CH tap water to account for evaporation the CH will just continue to rise.
 
#13
Day 5 SLAM update. Since starting the SLAM on the pool, I've noticed a minor increase in water clarity. The CC has remained at less than .5, but I have not yet passed the OCLT. I'm continuing to brush the pool once a day, and keeping the FC above the shock level of 10. Current plan is to keep this up while trying to pass the overnight test.

I checked the CYA test a few times and continue to get 20, but giving another CH test showed 400 so I must have made an error when testing it initially.

Thanks again for all the support, I'll continue to update till the pool is completely ready.
 
#14
Day 7 update:
After keeping the FC at about 10 (shock for CYA of 20) I bumped up to trying to keep a FC of about 12 for the past 2 days. The pool is losing 2-3 PPM from a shock of 12 over the course of the day from sunlight, and our CC level continues to be under .5.

The overnight test continues to not pass. Last night it went from 13 (poured a bit more bleach than I intended to) down to 11. It's been pretty stable at this 2ppm loss over night, but just doesn't seem to be getting there. Am I missing something while performing a SLAM? or do I need to simply continue to SLAM?
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#15
Are you brushing the pool everywhere each day? One possible reason for failing to pass the overnight test several days in a row are if the algae has found somewhere relatively "safe" to hang out. One possibility is bio films on the walls, which brushing will break up. Another possibility is hidden spots, like inside light niches.
 
#17
Ah, yes we are brushing daily, but I didn't even think about checking the lights. The look kinda suspect so I'll be hitting those guys with some extra love. Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'll keep the thread updated with what I find.
 

tim5055

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May 11, 2014
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Franklin, NC
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#20
You guys nailed it with the lights. I pulled them off and clouds of green **** came floating out. I've got them out now to clean it. I'm expecting much better results now.
Yup, same happened with me. From the comments here I was ready when I pulled my light out. I had the vacuum hose set up to waste. When I pulled the light I just started sucking all the stuff out......

Great job!!

You will be there soon.