New Pool Owner // Central FL // SWG

Tiziano

Member
Oct 30, 2021
19
Clearwater, Florida
Hi there,

I just bought a house in central Florida (Gulf side) and am a first time pool owner. I got one of the TF-100 kits and started doing tests to see what I need to do. I would love any and all advice as I get going here.

Pool Size: 13,500 Gallons (getting this from pool store file they had for previous owner and sounds about right)
Temp: 68 F
Free Chlorine: 7 PPM
Combined Chlorine: 0.5 PPM
Total Chlorine: 7.5 PPM
pH: 8.2
Total Alkalinity: 100 PPM
Calcium Hardness: 725 PPM
Stablizer: 30 PPM

System:
- Hayward SwimPure Extreme Salt Chlorine Generator
- Hayward SwimPure Extreme TurboCell TCell925SWP
- Hayward Star Clear Plus Cartridge Filter
- Filter running 8a - 6p currently.
- Salt reading: 3200 PPM
- Percentage Generator setting: 55%

From the forums I've concluded (please correct me if I'm wrong!):
- Chlorine is high. How do you lower that? I tried turning down the generator percentage but I think it actually went up. Is this a stabilizer issue?
- pH is high. Add Sulfuric Acid (pool store sold me). Don't quite know how much to add.
- Alkalinity is a touch high. How do I lower that? Does lowering the pH raise the Alkalinity?
- CYA is low per forums but fine per manual. Please advise and help me understand discrepancy. Also looking for advice on what CYA to buy.
- Calcium Hardness is high. Drain and fill with fresh water? How much?
- Seeing as it's getting colder and I'm not using the pool much, can I turn down the filter run time, etc. to winterize?
- Is Total Dissolved Solids anything I need to track?
- Pool Store sold me algicide but I haven't used it after reading these forums and seeing that it's not needed if chlorine levels are good.

Thanks so much in advance! This has already proven to be a wonderful resource.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,753
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Welcome to TFP.

Chlorine is high. How do you lower that? I tried turning down the generator percentage but I think it actually went up. Is this a stabilizer issue?
Better high than low on the chlorine. Chlorine will dissipate over time so you do not need to lower it. Especially with a CYA of 30, I am surprised your FC is maintaining that high. Are you familiar with the FC/CYA Chart. Read the group for use with a saltwater chlorine generator (SWCG). Ideally, you should increase your CYA (stabilizer)
pH is high. Add Sulfuric Acid (pool store sold me). Don't quite know how much to add.
- Alkalinity is a touch high. How do I lower that? Does lowering the pH raise the Alkalinity?
Yes, add muriatic acid (MA). You don't say the strength but assume it is the common 31.45% (20 Be). look on the label. 16 oz will decrease pH by 0.3 and also decrease TA (Total Alkalinity) by 4.6ppm. Ideally you need to have pH in the 7.6-7.8 range.
Please review the follow Recommended Levels

CYA is low per forums but fine per manual. Please advise and help me understand discrepancy. Also looking for advice on what CYA to buy.
As noted above, you should increase your CYA but before you do that we need to also address your calcium hardness. When you do increase CYA, purchase granular CYA (it is cheaper than liquid) and put in a sock and suspend in pool to dissolve. Best to do small incremental amounts as you do not want to overshoot your target. And it may take 24-36 hrs to register in your tests.

Calcium Hardness is high. Drain and fill with fresh water? How much?
The only way to reduce CH is by draining or dilution over time. Are you getting a lot of rain now? You could drain some and let the rain fill back up to give you some dilution.
Also, suggest you test your fill water, the water used to fill your pool as that may have high CH so something to be aware of.
Seeing as it's getting colder and I'm not using the pool much, can I turn down the filter run time, etc. to winterize?
- Is Total Dissolved Solids anything I need to track?
- Pool Store sold me algicide but I haven't used it after reading these forums and seeing that it's not needed if chlorine levels are good.
You do not state what type of pump you have. if you have a variable speed pump then you can run it at low speed and continue to let your SWCG produce chlorine.
Don't worry about TDS. But you should track your salt level. Do you have a test kit to test salt? See K-1766 by Taylor. See Link. Your SWCG runs on a specific range of salt level so it is good to track that.

Don't use algicide. Not sure why they recommended that since your FC is good. Is your pool cloudy or green?

There is Pool Math that help you determine how much chemicals to add and also help with setting your SWCG.
There is a web version (see link at bottom of every web page below) or you can purchase the app PoolMath which is very helpful (that is what I used to give you the data above on MA additions).

Well this is a lot of info, so digest this and come back for clarification. Also others will chime in.
It would be helpful to fill in your signature with your list of equipment, pool volume, etc so anytime you post a question that info is readily available for someone to review to help with a solution.
 

Tiziano

Member
Oct 30, 2021
19
Clearwater, Florida
Thank you!

Better high than low on the chlorine. Chlorine will dissipate over time so you do not need to lower it. Especially with a CYA of 30, I am surprised your FC is maintaining that high. Are you familiar with the FC/CYA Chart. Read the group for use with a saltwater chlorine generator (SWCG). Ideally, you should increase your CYA (stabilizer)
I went through the FC/CYA chart and am looking at the SWG tab. What are the "Not Recommended" levels on there? I should be targeting 70 since 60 is not recommended correct?

As noted above, you should increase your CYA but before you do that we need to also address your calcium hardness. When you do increase CYA, purchase granular CYA (it is cheaper than liquid) and put in a sock and suspend in pool to dissolve. Best to do small incremental amounts as you do not want to overshoot your target. And it may take 24-36 hrs to register in your tests.
I should address CH before adding CYA correct?

I am wondering if this test is giving me whacky results. I had a pool store test done two weeks ago and the CH was 320 PPM. Then I've done two TF-100 tests over the last two weeks and those were 875 PPM and 725 PPM (it rained). I found this thread that is saying the droppers are messed up and I'm wondering if I'm seeing the same issue. If the drops are half what they should be (they seem it on eyeball), this test result would be half, putting at 362 PPM. I'd like to make sure this test is good before draining half the pool or something...
The only way to reduce CH is by draining or dilution over time. Are you getting a lot of rain now? You could drain some and let the rain fill back up to give you some dilution.
Also, suggest you test your fill water, the water used to fill your pool as that may have high CH so something to be aware of.
Got a lot of rain yesterday. Doesn't look like any more coming up this week, but I need to drain two inches to get back to the center of the tile so that's something. I'll test my hose water, great call.

Yes, add muriatic acid (MA). You don't say the strength but assume it is the common 31.45% (20 Be). look on the label. 16 oz will decrease pH by 0.3 and also decrease TA (Total Alkalinity) by 4.6ppm. Ideally you need to have pH in the 7.6-7.8 range.
Please review the follow Recommended Levels
I have this sulfuric acid. It says 32-33%. Okay to use you're 31.45% for the Pool Math calculation?

Does it matter that it's sulfuric vs muriatic acid?

You do not state what type of pump you have. if you have a variable speed pump then you can run it at low speed and continue to let your SWCG produce chlorine.
Don't worry about TDS. But you should track your salt level. Do you have a test kit to test salt? See K-1766 by Taylor. See Link. Your SWCG runs on a specific range of salt level so it is good to track that.
The previous owner put some kind of cover on the pump and the only markings I can see right now are P2R, so I think it's a Pentair Sta-Rite. Haven't learned about variable pumps yet, and I'm figuring this isn't one.

The Generator gives me a salt readout of 3200 PPM, which was the same the pool store got. Is that sufficient or do I need to do a test for it?

Thanks!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,843
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Does it matter that it's sulfuric vs muriatic acid?
Sulfuric Acid adds sulfates to your pool water. If sulfates build in your water they will destroy the SWCG and degrade the plaster. If you have not opened it, I suggest returning it and getting muriatic acid.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HermanTX

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,753
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I went through the FC/CYA chart and am looking at the SWG tab. What are the "Not Recommended" levels on there? I should be targeting 70 since 60 is not recommended correct?
Stabilizer (CYA) protects your chlorine from being consumed by UV (sunlight). Since a SWCG produces chlorine on a consistent basis while your pump is running, it is better to have some higher level of "protection" of that chlorine.
The CYA needs to be higher because the SWCG adds chlorine at a very slow rate. Think of drops being added rather than ounces. Therefore the UV would be consuming the chlorine at the same rate it is being added if it was not protected by the CYA. So the higher CYA acts as a better buffering agent.
You will notice that your target FC levels are also a lower than for those (like my self) that use liquid chlorine. that is again because the level is more consistent throughout the day vs. when I add a gallon of LC and it slowly dissipates throughout the day.

I should address CH before adding CYA correct?

I am wondering if this test is giving me whacky results. I had a pool store test done two weeks ago and the CH was 320 PPM. Then I've done two TF-100 tests over the last two weeks and those were 875 PPM and 725 PPM (it rained). I found this thread that is saying the droppers are messed up and I'm wondering if I'm seeing the same issue. If the drops are half what they should be (they seem it on eyeball), this test result would be half, putting at 362 PPM. I'd like to make sure this test is good before draining half the pool or something...
It is not good to compare pool store test results to your own test results because you do not know if your water sample was contaminated at the pool store, etc. We tend to believe our own testing over pool store results. I suggest you test your tap water and see what that result provides. Then compare that to what your local water district provides as a range for CH. I read that other thread on dropper measurement and does not provide a solid resolution. I put your data in Pool Math app and the CSI came out 0.79 which is high. Lowering just the pH to 7.8 will move the CSI down to 0.4. If you also lower your CH to 500 then the CSI drops further to 0.24. The absolute range is 0.6 to -0.6 and with a SWCG you should try to me slightly negative (below Zero) rather than positive. So you should consider to move your CH to the 500 level or lower. But lets confirm some test results before you do so and also what your fill water will be as that affects the end result as to how much to drain. if it continues to rain then drain several inches before it rains so the fill is only rain which helps dilution.

Does it matter that it's sulfuric vs muriatic acid?
See the reply by Marty. Try to exchange and use MA only.

The Generator gives me a salt readout of 3200 PPM, which was the same the pool store got. Is that sufficient or do I need to do a test for it?
It is always best to do a direct test of salt level using the K-1766. You can buy it from TFTestkits or on Amazon or even direct from Taylor Technologies.

Hopefully you have a variable speed pump. Based on you stated, that cover may be removable. You may be able just to lift that cover off (many use it to protect the motor from being in direct sunlight). Supply the part number or model #.

Do you have any automation panel by the equipment pad or is timers?
 

Tiziano

Member
Oct 30, 2021
19
Clearwater, Florida
@mknauss @HermanTX, I got muriatic acid and added that per the Pool Math. How soon should I do a pH test? Also pool store guy says that sulfuric doesn't damage SWG's over time -- why is this so divided between pool store advice and this forum? Haha.

Added 1lb of dry stabilizer (all I could fit in a sock) and put it in the skimmer basket.

I'll test fill water today and see about tackling CH.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,843
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You can test the pH after about 30 minutes with the pump running.

Sulfates that build up in your water definitely attack metal. The SWCG is metal. The one thing they get lucky with in Florida is dilution due to rain overflow. But why rely on being lucky?

 
  • Like
Reactions: HermanTX

Tiziano

Member
Oct 30, 2021
19
Clearwater, Florida
@HermanTX @mknauss Just tested pH, we're at 7.8!

Tested my hose tap for CH, and it's almost nothing. It didn't turn red with the first reagent, maybe the slightest purple and then went blue immediately on the first drop of the second reagent. So that's >25 PPM on CH. I'm new to the house and there's both a softener on the main water supply and a well system for the sprinklers. Not sure which is feeding this hose. I'm not finding anything in the city reports on calcium levels.

Pump I could use a hand identifying. Markings on it are Marathon Electric 3/4 HP, and then the round end before the filter has P2R on it and the rest of the label is torn off. Attaching a few pics.

I was told that you should run the pump for one hour of every 10 degrees of F temperature. Meaning my pool is 68F now, so I should be running it 7hrs/day. Is that correct? Is there any advice on what percentage to set the SWG to? I have it at 55%, running 10hrs, and it's reading 3200 PPM Salt (working on getting a salt test kit to confirm).
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2111.jpg
    IMG_2111.jpg
    669.7 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_2112.jpg
    IMG_2112.jpg
    470.5 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_2114.jpg
    IMG_2114.jpg
    290.9 KB · Views: 8
  • IMG_2113.jpg
    IMG_2113.jpg
    393.1 KB · Views: 8
  • Like
Reactions: mknauss

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,753
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Tested my hose tap for CH, and it's almost nothing. It didn't turn red with the first reagent, maybe the slightest purple and then went blue immediately on the first drop of the second reagent. So that's >25 PPM on CH. I'm new to the house and there's both a softener on the main water supply and a well system for the sprinklers. Not sure which is feeding this hose. I'm not finding anything in the city reports on calcium levels.
Ok, you identified that your water tap is connected to the water softener and that the water softener is working with something less than 25ppm of CH. Is this the same water tap that also feeds your pool fill? If it is, then great that you are not adding to your CH but unsure how your pool CH level got so high. So maybe clarify that part. Some water softeners only feed the house and others may be set up to feed the house and the outside taps but not the sprinkler. Your well is supplying the sprinkler system, could it also be supplying your fill water? Just want to make sure we are not overlooking anything as to why your pool water got so high CH.
You are adding CYA (stabilizer) to it now and you will need to use dilution to work down your CH level, if in fact your retests confirm that the level is per your original post.

Pump I could use a hand identifying. Markings on it are Marathon Electric 3/4 HP, and then the round end before the filter has P2R on it and the rest of the label is torn off. Attaching a few pics.
Need to do some further research on this as my initial check did not come up with anything. Maybe post a picture of the entire pump and motor from the top or side.

was told that you should run the pump for one hour of every 10 degrees of F temperature. Meaning my pool is 68F now, so I should be running it 7hrs/day. Is that correct? Is there any advice on what percentage to set the SWG to? I have it at 55%, running 10hrs, and it's reading 3200 PPM Salt (working on getting a salt test kit to confirm).
Appears you got that info from a pool store as I have heard that before. Since you have a SWCG, you need to run your pump long enough to create the desired amount of FC you need each day. Any additional time may be needed to skim. Have you purchased the PoolMath app? There is a section in it that gives you guidance on how long to run your pump and at which % for your SWCG based on how much FC ppm you need to generate. Well worth the $8 and also can track all your test results and what and how much chemical you added.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mknauss

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,753
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Pump I could use a hand identifying. Markings on it are Marathon Electric 3/4 HP, and then the round end before the filter has P2R on it and the rest of the label is torn off. Attaching a few pics.
OK. Found this - may be a Sta-Rite. See this LINK.
Also found the attached. Your motor may have been replaced or could be original.
 

Attachments

  • P2R pump.pdf
    437 KB · Views: 2
  • Like
Reactions: mknauss

Tiziano

Member
Oct 30, 2021
19
Clearwater, Florida
I just re-tested everything and I definitely feel that the R-0012 dropper is inconsistent with the rest of the droppers in the kit. Or the solution is thinner and behaves differently. The drop sizes vary wildly if I squeeze the dropper, release a drop, and then let the air back in or if I just let the drops drip out on their own under constant pressure. I opted for the first process which yields the heavier drops. I did three tests, 1. 525 PPM, 2. 350 PPM, 3. 400 PPM. Averaged: 425 PPM.

Test Results:
FC: 8.5
CC: 0
pH: 8.2
TA: 100
CH Averaged: 425
CYA: 30
Appears you got that info from a pool store as I have heard that before. Since you have a SWCG, you need to run your pump long enough to create the desired amount of FC you need each day. Any additional time may be needed to skim. Have you purchased the PoolMath app? There is a section in it that gives you guidance on how long to run your pump and at which % for your SWCG based on how much FC ppm you need to generate. Well worth the $8 and also can track all your test results and what and how much chemical you added.
I downloaded the app but haven't paid for the premium. Is that a premium only feature? I see SWG settings in the FC tab, but it is giving me weird results -- saying to run the pump for 25hrs with 70 CYA, Generator at 55%, Target FC at 5. I selected the t-9 from the drop down menu for the 24hr SWG Output. I'd appreciate figuring this out as the FC is going up although I've turned the generator percentage down as it's gotten colder here.

19oz of Muriatic Acid going in today for the pH.

Re CYA: 4lbs, 8oz of dry stabilizer is the recommended add. I see that about 1/4 of what I put in the sock is still in there, so I emptied it into the water. Is it okay to add half this amount and then retest it next week or does how quickly you add the recommended amount matter?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,753
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
It is best to add stabilizer to increase CYA in small batches. It could take days for it to register in your CYA test. It is best to not overshoot your CYA target.

With regard to pH you can also add MA by splitting the dose. After an hour of your pump running you can test for pH again. Then add more if needed. You should see your TA come down as well but don’t let the TA drop too low.

I have found the premium version of the PM app very beneficial as it provides other features such as tracking your additions, etc. You can always try it for a year and if not helpful you can stop the renewal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TampaKathy

Tiziano

Member
Oct 30, 2021
19
Clearwater, Florida
@HermanTX

I retested and the CA is now at 50. I added another pound yesterday and will retest in a couple days.

My FC is at 11. That's super high right?

I bought the premium version of the app but I'm not seeing anything different than the free version. I don't really get how to use this to figure out how long to run my generator for and at what percentage. Can you help me figure that out? With my FC at 11, should I be running it for less time and at a lower percentage? I'm selecting the Aqua-Rite T-9.

I also noticed the plaster looks whiter in spots and I want to make sure this isn't scaling?

Thanks!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2305.jpeg
    IMG_2305.jpeg
    663.1 KB · Views: 10
  • IMG_2306.jpeg
    IMG_2306.jpeg
    593.8 KB · Views: 10
  • IMG_2307.jpeg
    IMG_2307.jpeg
    681.6 KB · Views: 10

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
572
Tampa, FL
The paid version lets you save your tests for tracking purposes, I believe the free one does not. If you pull up the manual for your salt cell, it hopefully tells you how much chlorine is generated in a day and then you can figure what % to set it at to get the chlorine you need, or you could guess and test and just turn it down and see where that gets you and adjust as needed. I didn't realize the app could do this so I have no advise there...I'm new to pool ownership as well. I've learned on here that the speed you run the pump doesn't impact how much chlorine is generated...you only need to focus on the % on the salt cell for that.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,843
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I don't really get how to use this to figure out how long to run my generator for and at what percentage.
A couple choices here. When in your data screen, touch the FC level and that will take you to a calculation page. You select SWG as your chlorination method. Your SWCG information should be set up in Settings prior to this. At that point you can determine what setting % and run time will give you what amount of FC you wish each day.
Or, go to Effects Of Adding Chemicals. Select SWG. Follow the same process.
Here is an older YT on the app. We hope to update this over the winter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HermanTX

Tiziano

Member
Oct 30, 2021
19
Clearwater, Florida
@mknauss Thank you for this. I went ahead and got everything added as well as my tests and chemical adds since I moved in.

I also got the salt test and my salt levels are lower than the SWG was telling me.

Test as of yesterday:
FC: 13
CC: 0
pH: 8.0
TA: 80
CH: 375
CYA: 60
SALT: 2400
Temp: 64F
CSI: .12

I turned my SWG down to 5% yesterday (after going from 50-30% last weekend). I imagine it's the cold and all the new CYA I added but I can't get that FC down. Is that a big deal? Pool math tells me that at 100% for 8hrs my SWG will "raise FC by 2.9". What is the process / formula for figuring out the adjustment to make to get me into range. I'm guessing this means that I have to know how much FC is getting used and consumed by the sun and then use this "2.9" or whatever the app gives me to come up with a percentage to be at?

I could also use a pointer to the math on figuring out how long to run the pump to make sure I cycle the water once a day? Because if I just run the whole system less time to reduce the chlorine, I'd be overlooking filtering it all once a day correct?

Any tips on adding salt would be great.

And I just noticed the "Inspect Cell" light is on, so I'll look into washing it today.

I've also not done any backwashing (don't know what it is!) but have seen it says to do so once a week in the app haha. Would love a pointer there.

Thanks!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,843
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Good job on the testing.
I would suggest turning off the SWCG for a day or two to get your FC below 10 ppm. Once there, set it to create 1.5 to 2 ppm FC per day and see how that maintains your FC. With FC below 10 ppm, your pH test is then valid.

Do not worry about pump run time to 'turnover' the water. That is a myth. Just run the pump to create enough chlorine each day and skim the surface. Whichever of those are longer. That time should be more than sufficient to filter the water, under normal circumstances.

You can add salt whenever you need to. Have the SWCG off while the salt is mixing in.

You can check the cell if you wish. Do NOT use acid to clean it unless it is very full of scale. The acid reduces the life of the cell. I believe your system puts that 'Inspect Cell' light on every so many hours. You will find you can ignore it or clear it and use your testing to be sure the cell is operating properly.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support