New pool balancing woes


Bronze Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
Birmingham, AL
Please help!

New pool fill, vinyl liner, 24K gallons, SWG. It was filled with well water and water trucked in. Turns out the truck that brought the water in, is a truck that they fertilize fields with. So, there was some concern of ammonia, however she never tested it.

My friend tried using pool math and the TFP method but we could never get the water balanced. The ph was always low, it would not hold a chlorine level. So she instituted help from a pool guy friend. He added some blue balancing packs (??) to it and then gave them shock to use every 4 hrs over a few day period. Interestingly, when they would add shock it would create a smoke type effect above the water.

The FC would be around 4.5, combined chloramines at 10 and pH at 6.2 and somehow the CYA crept up to 100. We think maybe something he added to the pool caused the CYA to jump up because before that, it was reading almost 0, even though she had added stabilizer. So, they drained several feet of pool water and have refilled with well water. Below are their #s now and we need HELP!

We read where you do a series of every 15 minute chlorine level checks, while you try to maintain a FC level of 5 (or is it 10) by adding bleach? How long do you do this series? I assume the goal is to hold a FC level at a certain # but not sure how long you are supposed to hold it. Once this series is done, is that when we are supposed to proceed with the SLAM?

Should we try to get the ph level up before we start with above?

FC- 1
CC- 8
pH- 6.8
TA- 80
CH- 325
CYA- 70
Water is clear with some green areas in the deep end.

Any help is greatly appreciated. My friend’s husband has already kicked the robot cleaner and broke its wheels over this, so we need some help before more damage is done… lol!

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Yes, we do have a 10-min drill for situations where ammonia may be a concern. But with ammonia, there would be no CYA as the ammonia feeds off of it. I suspect a large amount of what you are experiencing with the elevated CC may be the blue packs and shocking done previously which only made things worse. You definitely don't need the CYA any higher.

What you need to do is increase the FC to 10 and make sure it gets there right away. Add regular bleach only, let it mix, then test in about 5-10 min with pump on high. Add more bleach as necessary to get the FC to 10. Once you know it got there, wait 10 minutes and test the FC again. If it crashed below 5, bump it up again and repeat until the FC holds somewhere between 5-10. The higher the better.

Once the FC holds, then you can increase the FC to "28" which is your SLAM/Shock level. Keep it there until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria. Then the pump can go on low speed, but maintain that elevated FC level until you pass the SLAM. Hope that helps.


Bronze Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
Birmingham, AL
Ok. Went through the every 10 minute bleach add and test and finally held at 5. So started the slam process and she said the pool is getting greener. It was fairly clear. Is that possible? Here is a pic.