New pool and confused after first test strip, none OK...

fredinstl

Member
Jul 26, 2020
10
St Louis
Hello,

new pool finished late September (2 months late...)

October 1st, we put the winter cover on it (cheap one, held with water tube) and stopped the pump as I was going to be away for 2 weeks. My goal was to avoid too many leaves getting into the pool, and work on winterizing the pool when back.

Back from my trip 10/16, I have the pump 100% on again.
And for the first time ever today 10/18 I used a test strip--Aquacheck 4 way--, which says (see below):
- 6.8 pH, so too low. Does it also means the other readings wont be accurate?
- 0 free chlorine. I have a SWG which says: salt 3.2 g/l, purifier 35% 18C
- total alkalinity: 40 or less (lighter green than 40 mark)
- stabilizer: 0 or maybe a little higher

Not sure how relevant: during the installation, a fair bit of dirt got into the pool... We tried to clean it up for 10 days before my trip, running the pump full time, and vacuum. It got a bit better but not completely clean. I realized today one problem is that we were not closing the bottom drain when vacuuming (live to learn...). We vacuumed more today with the bottom drain closed, and it looks better but probably not fully cleaned.

I bought 'InTheSwim Pool Winterizing and Closing Chemical Super Kit'. It says pool should be clear of dirt, and water should be balanced before closing...
So I will work more on cleaning the dirt, even though that'll be challenging with the leaves falling....
However, not clear how to balance the water, as I seem to have many issues, and for sure little experience. pH first?

I also ordered more test strips Aquachek 7-way, but wondering now if I should have gone with a tube test such as Taylor K2005.

Help or pointers much appreciated before it gets too cold here...

Thanks in advance.

Fred
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fredinstl

Member
Jul 26, 2020
10
St Louis
Merged threads - TFP Mod
see my previous post, first trip test for our new pool last Sunday: all off....
Following Allen's comments, we added a total of 4 gallons of 8% bleach over the week + ordered Taylor's K2006 test kit.
Thursday we vacuumed all the dirt at the bottom. Just checked and some dirt is back at the bottom, but water is clear again. Hoping some dirt got filtered...
Today's results from the test kit:
  • pH = 8. Acid demand = 1 drop of R-0005 brings it back to 7.6
  • FAS-DPD:
    • Free chlorine: 13.5ppm.... Checked my SWG, it says 3ppm. I have it running full time (same as pump) at 50%
    • Combined chlorine: 0.5 ppm
  • TA: 70
  • CH: 150
  • CYA: 0
So it looks my pH and CYA are really off.
I am going to vacuum more the pool for the dirt, but challenging with all the leaves falling...
Questions:
  1. is the dirt causing the numbers to be off ?
  2. should I focus first on lowering my pH with Sodium Bisulfate ?
  3. or should I focus on increasing CYA ? with what ? I don't see it in the little pamphlet
  4. or 1 and 2, and 3 together ?
thanks in advance for any advice.

Fred
 
Last edited by a moderator:

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
775
Katy TX
For clarification, in order for your CYA to be zero you had to drain your pool or you had none from the very beginning since you last filled the pool. Are you sure the CYA is zero? The test data you provided is that from a pool store until you get the K-2006 kit you ordered or did you use the K-2006? To increase CYA you would use granular stabilizer. It would be done in stages as you do not want to overshoot your target.
Dirt really only affects FC levels if there are any organisms in the dirt that the FC has to attack.
Your pH is not terrible but you would use Muriatic Acid to lower. Do you have the PoolMath app or use the web version. This can guide you as to how much to add to get to desired levels. Also, the acid demand test you mentioned will also indicate how much MA to add.
Sorry to hit you with more questions but really need to know if the zero CYA is accurate. That helps keep your chlorine so it is important to know the CYA level.
 

fredinstl

Member
Jul 26, 2020
10
St Louis
thanks @HermanTX. To answer your questions on CYA: pool is newly built, filled from city water on 9/18. First test strip 10/18 showed 0 or close (pix). Tested by me on 10/24 with new K-2006 (@ajw22 mentioned test trip are useless): 0 again, black point didn't disappear.
Should I retest it with my get, or get a test at a pool store (do they do that ? for free?).
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,446
Northern NJ
Has anyone added stabilizer for CYA to the water?

CYA does not occur naturally. You need to add it.

If the pool is covered and closed for the season you don’t need CYA until you open it.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
775
Katy TX
No need to go to pool store if you have confirmed it with your test. Just wanted to ensure that because it has been a month or more since you initially filled the pool. It is always best to trust your own test results as you will gain consistency, confidence and experience each time you test. Pool store tests can be very inconsistent, therefore not reliable. Pool stores will test your water for free but I do not want to ask you to go to a pool store unless you need to purchase something you can actually use such as liquid chlorine or stabilizer. I'll bump this back to @ajw22 since he was originally providing guidance to you on adding chemicals.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,446
Northern NJ
Your water is balanced. I would just lower your pH to around 7.4 before closing. CYA can wait until opening.

You don’t need that closing kit and I would not use it. The chlorine you have in your water is fine. If you use the kit it is probably fine but I don’t know all the ingredients in it.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,821
Evans, Georgia
What is in that closing kit?? If it contains algaecide, does the ingredient list say Copper? IF so- DO NOT USE!!

I'd save worrying about CYA stabilizer till next spring. Will you be covering the pool soon for the season?

How cold is your water?? If under 50-60 degrees the SWG won't work so just turn it off and if you need chlorine (and that's doubtful before you close it up) use liquid. FC lasts a lonnnnnng time in cold, fall-winter temps.

Maddie :flower:
 

fredinstl

Member
Jul 26, 2020
10
St Louis
thanks @YippeeSkippy @ajw22.
Based on the feedback, my plan is: lower the pH this week, then this weekend: do a last vacuum, winterize kit and close it for good.
To your questions:
- water is 60F.
- Winterizing kit (click on link) doesn't seem to contain Copper
- Yes a safety cover is on now but not fully secured (the pool came with a tarp and water tubes so we tried that, but, man, this is ugly and a pain to manage rain water... So we bought a mesh safety cover but we only have a 2' aluminium deck so I haven't fully figure out how I am going to anchor it_)