New Pool Owner - Educate Me!

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Alright y'all, here it is.

Free chlorine is 10. CC are less than 0.5. Here's why I say that. After I put the R003 in the water in the vial was eeeever so slightly tinged pink. I wouldn't call it red. Just a slight pink tint. When dropping one drop of reagent in on the next step immediately fully clear with no pink tint. .

TA is 145. Calcium hardness I measured to be 300.

PH is 7.8.

Is the block test the only PH test at our disposal? It seems quite subjective, and a lot of room for error between those last 3 blocks.

CYA. Whew, this one is tough. I feel like I could get a different result 10 times in a row, then hand it to someone else and they would do the same, different from me. If I walk outside with a different back drop below me and different lighting, I can see the eyeball when I couldn't inside.

Anyway I got just a tick over 60 on my CYA test this time.

I'm assuming after time, my testing procedures will get better, and I'll sort of calibrate my testing by watching how the different test results work together when I add certain chemicals. For example, if my FC continually shows higher than expected after adding the dose recommended of bleach, then I can surmise that perhaps I'm thinking the cya is more than it really is.
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,214
Spring Valley, NY
Alright y'all, here it is.

Free chlorine is 10. CC are less than 0.5. Here's why I say that. After I put the R003 in the water in the vial was eeeever so slightly tinged pink. I wouldn't call it red. Just a slight pink think. When dropping one drop of reagent in on the next step immediately fully clear with no pink tint. .

TA is 145. Calcium hardness I measured to be 300.

PH is 7.8.

Is the block test the only PH test at our disposal? It seems quite subjective, and a lot of room for error between those last 3 blocks.

CYA. Whew, this one is tough. I feel like I could get a different result 10 times in a row, then hand it to someone else and they would do the same, different from me. If I walk outside with a different back drop below me and different lighting, I can see the eyeball when I couldn't inside.

Anyway I got just a tick over 60 on my CYA test this time.

I'm assuming after time, my testing procedures will get better, and I'll sort of calibrate my testing by watching how the different test results work together when I add certain chemicals. For example, if my FC continually shows higher than expected after adding the dose recommended of bleach, then I can surmise that perhaps I'm thinking the cya is more than it really is.
How are you getting TA 145 it only moves by 10. As for the CYA test you can pour it back into the mixing bottle and do it again and again. Needs to be a bright sunny day with the sun behind you, vial in front of you shaded by your body at waist level. Fill vial line by line checking till the black dot is gone. That would be your CYA number.

Another tip here while I'm at it is: when dropping regent into test vial it has to be completely vertical and don't force the drop. Let it drop off by itself. The TA test has one more added tip where it needs to have the tip wiped with a moist paper towel or the like between drops and again let the drops fall off the tip without pushing it.
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I meant to explain why I said that and ask for feedback on it.

On the total alkalinity test, at 14 drops I had a very slight red tint show in my test tube. Then at 15 it went full red.

A) I'm not sure if the first sign of red is your number and

B) I feel like if it were possible to somehow add half a drop that would have done it.

Note: I did wipe my tip with a moist paper towel between each drip, and I did try to slowly drip them out and not force out a larger drop. I'll focus on making this a priority.

My test vial is always sitting flat on the counter on the mag stirrer while I drop, so it is vertical and the stirrer is on. I paused between each drop

My CYA may well be lower than I think. The test kit says for best accuracy tests should be performed inside. If I step outside it seems I can see the dot when I couldn't see it inside.
 
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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,408
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
For TA test, drop until there's no color change, then subtract your last drop. Call your's 150 for now.

The CYA test is the toughest for me. It's real subjective. Just so we're all on the same page, follow the test directions found here:

You're doing great! Think of where you were a week ago.
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Just a quick recap and summary of where I think I stand and what I think I know about this pool right now, if y'all don't mind.

A) I need to get some muriatic acid in there, and work on dropping the PH. I also need to work on dropping the PH, while aerating the water to let it rise again in cycles to lower my TA.

B) I really need to zero in on getting my CYA test more accurate and consistent, so that I can be more certain I'm keeping my chlorine doses where they should be.

C) If I happen to notice that my FC doesn't seem to be dropping through the day by 3 or 4 PPM (i.e. I test it one afternoon, don't dose it, test it the next afternoon and it's the same) would I then be able to assume that I'm not adding enough chlorine, and at the levels I've put in to match the CYA are "locked"? What I'm getting at is could I use that as a rough guide to say yes I'm getting CYA right or no, I'm not.

D) My CC seem low. At least 0.5 and maybe lower. That's a sign that there is no big bacterial or algaeal problem, right?

E) I need to pay attention to CSI as temperatures rise to make sure I stay out of the red zone.
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
CamScanner 04-26-2020 14.41.30(1)_1~2.jpg

I've attached the results from the pool store when we opened the pool I just thought it was interesting, along with their recommendations. They listed my CYA as 78. I've had trouble making up my mind whether cya is 60 or 80, so I think we'll call it 80. Today's testing suggested that's true.

Today's panel of tests.

FC 10

CC 0.5 Note: when I put the reagent in after testing FC the water just slightly has a pink tint to it. Hard to notice even. CC is 0.5 at most.

PH was 7.2. It was clear to me this time that the color matched up exactly to that block. NOTE: Yesterday I added a gallon of 20 Baum muriatic acid. It's the only bottle the hardware store had. I'm aerating the water now with my return jets to run the PH back up, and I will drop it again as soon as he gets more muriatic acid in (Wed).

I know y'all are sitting back there screaming JUST EXCHANGE SOME WATER AND DROP THAT CYA. Lol. I want to.

But I want to hold out until I get the pool house plumbed to a water source in my name. There is an existing but inactive water meter on my property that I want to activate for irrigation. When I do, I will put a spigot near the pool to use for filling it. That way I won't get charged for sewer use. Right now if I fill it either

A) My granddad in law pays for the water or

B) I pay for the water and sewer charges on that amount of water.

It seems like I'll be able to keep up with FC levels at this CYA level. If I let it drop and I have an algae outbreak, SLAM might be tough. If that happens I might have to exchange some water at that time if I haven't been able to already. I hope to make moves next week or so towards getting the old meter activated and running a water line.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
971
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Looking good, and I totally get about not wanting to make your FIL pay for the water exchange. You have the right idea about keeping the FC in the correct range.

Also, I am laughing at the $150+ in pool store recommendations.
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
😂

Glad I found you guys! Shoot, that would have paid for a good portion of our swimming season using TFP methods.

If I understand everything correctly, as long as I stay on top of FC levels and don't let them drop so some sort of undesirable can begin to grow, I should be fine.

I am tempted to take another sample in to them to compare to my tests. They test for free.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,408
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
I am tempted to take another sample in to them to compare to my tests. They test for free.
Don't waste your time. It will only confuse these and make make you doubt your own results. I still go to Leslie's if I need unicorn floaties and skimmer nets, but that's about it.

Don't let your FC drop below the minimum per the FC/CYA Chart. Test ph when FC is below 10 and keep it in range. With a vinyl pool, TA and CH are not critical. If CYA is 80, exchange a bit of water when you can.

Good job!
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
Will exchanging small amounts over and over be a point of diminished returns, or will that be effective?

When summer is in full swing, it's 100 degrees out and we're splashing around like mad men and women, we tend to have to top it off often anyway.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,408
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
For CYA reduction the percentage of drain equals the drop in CYA level. A 20% exchange equals a 20% reduction in CYA. If you can figure out the the surface area of your pool, multiply that figure by 7.48 gallons (the amount of water in a cu. ft.) to determine the amount of gallons per each foot of water drained. For example, my pool has an area of about 500 sq.ft. x 7.48 gallons=3,740 gallons. That's about 20% of the volume of my pool (3740/18,375 gallons) by draining the first one foot of water. A 20% drain will take CYA from 80 to 64.

We're getting ready to go splash some water of the pool now!
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
1,214
Spring Valley, NY
Or knowing the pool capacity, do a 5 gallon bucket test to see how long it take to fill with the pump running and do the math for the total gallons needed to be removed.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
IMG_20200428_175746506.jpg

I tried to get a photo, but it just won't show up. I'm wondering if my sand needs to be topped off. I would guess the sand level to be 8 inches or so below that largest white disc. The filter merely lists "300 lbs" as my sand capacity. I can't find an approximation for how close to the top it needs to be. I'm guessing that some sand is lost on each backwash.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
1,612
Milwaukee, WI
Sand isn’t typically lost on backwashes, I don’t believe, as it’s heavy enough to stay down. Otherwise we’d hear a lot more about needing to add sand.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
106
Pageland SC
I started to wonder because I usually see a little of it in the sight glass when I backwash, but only a little. I'd guesstimate my sand level to be just right based on duraleigh's recommendation.
 
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