New Pool Owner - Chemical ?'s

May 29, 2008
[Edited for line breaks:jjparrish]

Hi, I'm a new pool owner this year. My husband and I bought a 18' x 30' oval pool. We have had it filled for almost a month now and the water is still crystal clear. My parents had pools as I grew up so I know a little about them but not that much. My dad always had trouble with green water and I really, really want to keep mine crystal clear.

Right now my readings are: Hardness 0, FC 6/10, PH 7.2, TA 80, CYA 0. The CYA 0 is what has me bothered. I just got the FC up to 6/10 by shocking it again last night and this morning it checked in from a 1/2 to the 6/10 but previously I had trouble getting it there and Now I need to keep it there.

I understand the CYA is a conditioner, what is this called at the store? Is it Stabalizer? How often will I need to use it? I have heard you do not want to get too much CYA in your pool and I'm so afraid of that. I don't want to mess my water up.

Also the Hardness, I don't really understand what that one is or what that level should be, I heard the lower the better but not 0. Can you suggest to me what I should add and how much.

It is a 13,500 gal pool. I shocked it with powder shock but always leave the chlorine 3" tablets in my strainer basket. I try to keep 2 in there but it still didn't seem to keep the chlorine up at the correct level.


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2007
Tomball, Texas
Welcome to TFP. How did you get your numbers? The first thing you want is a good test kit. For the CYA you can go into any pool store and ask for it and they'll know what you're talking about.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
South Carolina
Hi Vicky and welcome.

Here are three stickies for now that will help:

"ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" by duraleigh:

"BBB" or, "What are all these pol chemicals?" by Waterbear:

"Turning Your Green Wwamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis" by JasonLion:

A good test kit is the BEST investment to make in your pool. I recommend the TF Test kit by duraleigh, link in my sig.

Sometimes you can find CYA at Lowes, HD, WallyWorld, K-Mart, etc.

Let us know how you tested for your numbers....

Members are here to help you! :lol:
May 29, 2008

I used the test strips from a small test kit I bought. It is the sticks you dip in the water, it gave the color and the number was listed beside the color ie. PH 7.2, TA 80, FC 6/10, Hardness was 0 and CYA was 0. I bought some stuff on my lunch hour to add to the pool for the hardness and bought some conditioner also. Am I doing the correct thing? Why did my numbers seem strange?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
South Carolina
#5, we don't like the strips because they are unreliable.

Until you can get a good test kit, I suggest you have a sample tested at the pool store and post your test numbers here. We can give better info then.

You need to add enough CYA to reach a level of 30 to 50......and......

Use Jason's Pool Calc, link in my sig, to figure the proper dose of chlorine for your pool based on your current (zero?) CYA level.

Don't worry about CH for now.

Add all your pool and equipment information in your signature so members can give better advice.

Post back w/your new test numbers!


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Vicky, what kind of pool is it?

You may not need to worry about the hardness at all....

I don't think you need to worry about high CYA yet, mine took three years of using tri-chlor pucks to get too high.

If you aren't having an algea bloom and your chlorine is the right level (I agree, have the pool store test it, just don't buy anything from them yet until you post the numbers here), you could use a floater with pucks and that would raise your CYA. That's a method to introduce it, the other way (and probably cheaper) is to buy some at Wallyworld or even a pool stealer and put it in a sock.

The experts here (I'll admit I'm intermediate at best) will tell you how much to add based on your pool size.

Is it AG-how tall? In-ground? Vinyl lined? Gunite?

Do you know the gallonage? Is that a word....?

You are on the right track, you found TFP BEFORE you developed a problem and became frustrated!!!


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
CYA is stabilizer, conditioner, or cyanuric acid. I would add 3 1/2 lbs to start. Give it a week to dissolve and then check the level to see where you are.

If you have a vinyl pool without a spa you don't need to do anything about calcium hardness. Just keep CH at 300 or lower and you will be fine.

It would really help if you got a high quality test kit. A good test kit will save you money in the long run. I recommend the TF Test Kit, see the link in my signature.