New Pool - First Test

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
105
MA
I'm getting more confident in my testing but I found a dead mole in the pool yesterday and went a little Rambo with the chlorine. Hopefully I didn't overdue it. Current numbers are:

FC: 10.5
CC: 0
pH: 7.5
TA: 120
CH: 300
CYA: 30
Salt: 3200
Temp: 66

I'm still slowly bringing the CYA up but wondering what I should do with the FC in the interim. The SWG came on after I brought my salt level up. I dialed it back to 50% from 70%. Should I turn that off and let the FC come down a little? Or not worry about it for now?
 

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
105
MA
Also, I've read that the CYA test can be impacted by cold water. Is 66 too cold? Should I still be bringing it up to room temp first?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,383
Central California
For the reagent drop tests what you are looking for is when one more drop no longer changes the color. Subtract the last drop that no longer made a color shift in your count.

Example ---sample looks pink on drop 9. Drop 10 turns it redder and drop 11 shows no color change. Count 10 drops.

Sounds like you're in good hands here, with all your TFP angels to the rescue. Can I just interject a bit, as this seems to trip up many at first, as it did me:

What Aimee is describing is sound for a lot of the tests, but not the K-1766 salt test. You drop, drop, drop, and as you get close to the end of the test you'll see a reddish-brownish color (they call it salmon) flash for a bit, then revert back to the milky color after the drop mixes in. Then one of the subsequent drops will mix in and the whole vial will be salmon-ish, instantly, and stay that color. That's the end of the test, that's the number of drops to count. If you keep adding drops, the color will turn darker, then eventually stop getting any darker. That is too far. It's that first drop that changes the color dramatically, permanently, that you count, not the subsequent darker ones...

Good luck with your pool!!
 

kellyfair

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 29, 2016
1,995
Tampa, FL
Yep, water needs to be above 70 degrees for the CYA test.

I can’t blame you a bit for the mole reaction! Ick!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,383
Central California
Yep, water needs to be above 70 degrees for the CYA test.

I can’t blame you a bit for the mole reaction! Ick!
Ha! I remember my first one. I freaked. Made the pool guy come out and blast my pool. Now I just fish 'em out and toss 'em. No biggie. Since I started TFPing, I learned the importance of keeping the skimmer and pump baskets clear, so I check the skimmer basket every day. Any critters I find couldn't have been in there longer than a few hours, so no biggie. I figure my disgusting little 6-year-old uses up more chlorine than any dead gopher will!! This was a much bigger problem before, when the pool guy routine would allow FC to drop so low just before the next visit, and the basket was only being checked once a week. Now with my TFPC, and SWG and steady FC, I'm way less concerned.
 

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
105
MA
Sounds like you're in good hands here, with all your TFP angels to the rescue. Can I just interject a bit, as this seems to trip up many at first, as it did me:

What Aimee is describing is sound for a lot of the tests, but not the K-1766 salt test. You drop, drop, drop, and as you get close to the end of the test you'll see a reddish-brownish color (they call it salmon) flash for a bit, then revert back to the milky color after the drop mixes in. Then one of the subsequent drops will mix in and the whole vial will be salmon-ish, instantly, and stay that color. That's the end of the test, that's the number of drops to count. If you keep adding drops, the color will turn darker, then eventually stop getting any darker. That is too far. It's that first drop that changes the color dramatically, permanently, that you count, not the subsequent darker ones...

Good luck with your pool!!
Thanks. Based on what you described I probably went one drop too far so my salt is 3000 instead of 3200. I know you can't always trust the system but it is reporting 3000 as well. Would you say this is the salmon color I should be looking for?

1280x1024-light-salmon-pink-solid-color-background.jpg

Or more like this?

841F27.png
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,383
Central California
I joked in another thread: Taylor's idea of what salmon looks like is not mine! If anything, trying to match the color was what messed me up. The color doesn't really matter. It's the first big permanent change in color that signals the end. You'll know it when you see it. It happens fast, all at once, with one drop. Just ignore the flashing beforehand, it's the permanent change.

Fortunately, this test is the least critical. It has as crazy a margin of error as the SWG does. You could be 400ppm off with either. If you think you're in the 3K range, and the SWG thinks so too, and will fire up and make chlorine, then you're done. It doesn't make any more or less or better or worse based on salt level. Once the SWG is happy, you can worry instead about the amount of salt on the rim of your margarita glass, and stop worrying about how much is in your pool! ;)
 

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
105
MA
I turned the SWG off for now to slowly bring the FC down. I also put the solar cover on because I want to turn the heater on tomorrow so I'm guessing this could take a few days. CYA tested either 50 or 60 so I recorded 60 to be conservative. I just added it yesterday morning so going to hold off on adding anymore for now because I'm paranoid about increasing it too much. The pH seems to be decreasing slightly which is surprising because I usually read about people having to lower it. I'm guessing I should ignore it for now unless it goes below 7.2?

FC: 10.0

CC: 0
pH: 7.3
TA: 120 (tested thursday)
CH: 300 (tested thursday)
CYA: 60
Salt: 3200 (tested thursday)
Temp: 68

The water looks pretty good to me. I'm hoping to be swimming in it by next weekend after the heater gets to work.



 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,383
Central California
Nice work- the pool looks great.

Just so you know your pH has probably dropped because CYA is slightly acidic.
Absolutely. My levels were perfect for six months. Always within range. Until I added CYA to bring it up to SWG level. My pH plunged way out of range! Bounced right back after a few days. No worries...
 

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
105
MA
I ran into my first hiccup with the new pool this week and have a few questions. We've been regularly using the solar cover and the FC had been consistently going up so I lowered my SWG percentage last weekend. Unfortunately I went a few too many days without testing and my daughter had friends over twice this week so we had a lot of kids in the pool. I noticed the water was cloudy on Thursday and when I tested, FC was low...

Thursday results:
FC: 2.5
CC: 0.5
pH: 7.5
CYA: 70 (could be 60 but I assumed the higher number for purposes of the SLAM)

Thursday: I brought the FC up to SLAM level (28) and set the pump to run overnight.

Friday: Thoroughly vacuumed and brushed the pool. Tested every 3 hours and added bleach as needed. It was overcast all day and FC was dropping very slowly so I only added about a gallon. The water cleared right up and I was expecting to pass the OCLT with flying colors but my test this morning showed a loss of 1.5 FC (0 CC).

I was doubting my accuracy last night and tempted to call it "close enough" when I was testing at 5am but thought better of it and am continuing the SLAM today. I also noticed some dust on the bottom of the pool and wondered if this is what dead algae looks like? Thing is, I've been seeing this all along but the water has been clear and my numbers good so I chalked it up to pollen, leftover construction debris or flowers from the %@$#& black locust trees near our pool. Maybe this problem has been brewing all along and is the reason the pool turned cloudy so quickly after the FC went down?

After the long winded explanation, my questions are:
1) Am I correct in assuming the higher CYA level for purposes of the slam? If the CYA is actually 60 is it safe to swim with FC at 28 or should I let it come down first?
2) What does dead algae look like? The best way to describe what I'm seeing is dust or dirt in the bottom of the pool.
3) How should I account for increased usage? Raise the SWG percentage prior? Approximately how much extra FC loss should I expect from a day of heavy usage?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,383
Central California
I'll bump your post. I've never slammed so I'll leave that advice to others here. I was surprised after my first kid party how much that went through chlorine. I had read enough about bather load to goose my chlorine a bit before the party and then check it right after. That's the ticket. I drill my kids, but somebody was peein' in that pool... Suntan lotion is the other culprit. That, and sweat. So even with an SWG, I keep liquid chlorine on hand. To bump it up before a big swim day, and to bring it back to normal afterwards. You can try to use the boost mode on your SWG (if it has one), but they're really not designed to move FC in big chunks quickly. For me it makes sense to do that with liquid, and not mess with the SWG settings...
 

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
105
MA
Thanks. My SWG does have a "super chlorinate" option but I think it just runs at 100% for X amount of hours. I think I'll start keeping some liquid chlorine on hand to boost it. My wife is off for the summer so our house is going to be a hot spot for kids this summer.

I think I found the source of my problems when brushing the pool today. My thermoplastic stairs and swim-out have a piece of trim where they meet the liner and there appears to be a gap in the trim that has some gunk it it. It was hard to maneuver the pool brush in there but when I did a bunch of green gunk came out. Getting a handheld brush and heading in with the mask and snorkle next.

If it's algae, would the normal SLAM FC levels eventually kill this off, or do I need to hit it with the brush to "expose" it to the chlorine? Either way, I'm going to make brushing these areas part of my routine maintenance.
 

linuxninja00

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
79
Virginia Beach, VA
Thanks. My SWG does have a "super chlorinate" option but I think it just runs at 100% for X amount of hours. I think I'll start keeping some liquid chlorine on hand to boost it. My wife is off for the summer so our house is going to be a hot spot for kids this summer.

I think I found the source of my problems when brushing the pool today. My thermoplastic stairs and swim-out have a piece of trim where they meet the liner and there appears to be a gap in the trim that has some gunk it it. It was hard to maneuver the pool brush in there but when I did a bunch of green gunk came out. Getting a handheld brush and heading in with the mask and snorkle next. Two follow up questions:

If it's algae, would the normal SLAM FC levels eventually kill this off, or do I need to hit it with the brush to "expose" it to the chlorine? Either way, I'm going to make brushing these areas part of my routine maintenance.
Correct on the "super chlorinate" or boost settings. They simply just run at 100% in that mode. Pretty sure most of us with SWG don't use that mode. Much better to use liquid chlorine to raise the FC quickly if needed. SLAM levels should kill that algae and yes, you should brush it. Algae can form a protective coat so to speak and brushing that break and disrupts that film aiding in elimination of the algae.
 

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
105
MA
Thanks, I scrubbed the trim with a handheld brush and a few pieces of green gunk came out. Not a huge amount but I'm guessing it was enough to prevent me from passing my OCLT last night. The water is crystal clear and I'm still maintaining SLAM level so I'll hopefully have this wrapped up by tomorrow.
 

awstevens

Bronze Supporter
Aug 18, 2016
105
MA
I passed the OCLT Saturday night and ended the SLAM. We used the pool quite a bit on Sunday and yesterday. FC was 26 sunday morning and dropped to 15 by last night. I assume a big drop is normal after ending the SLAM since the CYA doesn't protect SLAM levels of FC?