Featured New pool, trying to get established and having issues

nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
I'm new to this whole pool thing and am having some issues with my first run of chemistry tests. For background, we filled the pool last Thursday and began running pumps Friday. We were supposed to do the full startup in Saturday but a little hurricane delayed those plans until Monday. During the startup, I have no idea what chemicals were added. All I know is he didn't have any liquid chlorine and instead gave me 5 tabs. I took readings that night and they were as follows:

FC: 0.5
CC: 0.5
pH: 7.2
TA: 140
CH: 300
CYA: 0
CSI: -.090

I took the advice of the app and address just over 80 oz. of bleach @6%. I woke up Tuesday to a cloudy pool. I decided to let it cycle for another day and just took another round of readings. They are as follows:

FC: 0.5
CC: 0
pH: 7.5
TA: 140
CH: 330
CYA: 0
CSI: 0.22

My daughter wanted to have someone over tomorrow to swim, but I'm thinking that may not be possible at this point. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
 

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nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
Beyond frustrated this morning. For some reason my pump shut off in the middle of the night and stopped circulating. I turned it back on and took readings and FC is holding at 15. Back to the grind this morning!
 

nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
Quick question. The folks that did my startup indicated that they did add some form of conditioner is a granular form to my pool when they came out on Monday. He indicated that it may not have dissolved all the way and there's a chance there's some remaining in the filter. Could this be causing the cloudiness? I don't want to add a ton of chemicals that are going to counteract each other. I will say that the FC continues to fluctuate heavily. I get it up to 15-16 ppm and within a few hours it's back down 10 12 ppm. CYA is holding steady @ 40.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,866
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Quick question. The folks that did my startup indicated that they did add some form of conditioner is a granular form to my pool when they came out on Monday. He indicated that it may not have dissolved all the way and there's a chance there's some remaining in the filter. Could this be causing the cloudiness? I don't want to add a ton of chemicals that are going to counteract each other. I will say that the FC continues to fluctuate heavily. I get it up to 15-16 ppm and within a few hours it's back down 10 12 ppm. CYA is holding steady @ 40.
The conditioner they added could have been CYA or it could have been some kind of borate product. Pool chemical terms are intentionally left vague so you don;t realize how badly they're overcharging for grocery-store stuff.

Losing 25% of the chlorine in full sun is not beyond the range of normal when you are so far above normal FC. Especially if there's any trace of algae anywhere -- cloudiness. When to panic is when you lose 4 FC overnight, after you've eliminated the sun as a factor. Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
 

nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
Perfect, I'll ignore the conditioner comment and proceed as usual. I'll continue the slam today and run the OCLT this evening to see how we're holding up.
 

nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
Update: Now when adding chlorine we're seeing a cloud when adding chlorine. I'm not sure if this something to be worried about or not. I can also see clouds of something as I'm brushing the plaster.
 

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nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
What brand chlorine? You want plain old bleach with no additives. Nothing with "blue" in the name for sure.
At first, KemTech with 10 % Sodium Hypochlorite. Was running low on that, and the pictures taken above were with liquid chlorine from Pinch a penny.

Edit: turns out the clouds I was seeing from the brushing are the obscene amounts of dust from all of the construction around me. It's settling at the bottom of the pool.
 
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nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
The conditioner they added could have been CYA or it could have been some kind of borate product. Pool chemical terms are intentionally left vague so you don;t realize how badly they're overcharging for grocery-store stuff.

Losing 25% of the chlorine in full sun is not beyond the range of normal when you are so far above normal FC. Especially if there's any trace of algae anywhere -- cloudiness. When to panic is when you lose 4 FC overnight, after you've eliminated the sun as a factor. Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
So, I lost 4.5 ppm last night. Time to panic yet? Water is still very cloudy and every add of chlorine results in another cloud.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,866
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
So, I lost 4.5 ppm last night. Time to panic yet? Water is still very cloudy and every add of chlorine results in another cloud.
Sounds like you're fighting an algae bloom. And you have fresh plaster. And we still don;t know what that "conditioner" stuff was... could be some scale preventer that contributes to chlorine demand. If the chlorine is down, test pH and TA again to make sure they haven't skyrocketed due to curing plaster, then resume the SLAM. That's all I can think of.
 

nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
Sounds like you're fighting an algae bloom. And you have fresh plaster. And we still don;t know what that "conditioner" stuff was... could be some scale preventer that contributes to chlorine demand. If the chlorine is down, test pH and TA again to make sure they haven't skyrocketed due to curing plaster, then resume the SLAM. That's all I can think of.
Sounds good. I'm going to run a full battery of tests after my morning meetings. On a whim, I decided to clean the cartridge filters. I could tell it had never been opened as the shrink wrap was still on the band. There was a few shovel fulls of clay, mud, and plaster dust sitting in the bottom. When I rinsed the 4 filters the amount of sand and mud that came out of them was nuts. I just turned the pump back on so we'll see if that helps!
 

nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
New readings:

FC: 12
pH: 8.2
TA: 150
CH: 300
CYA: 40
CSI: 0.87

For pH, I thought I read that test was null and void while undergoing SLAM? Should I rely on that reading and dump in some acid?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,866
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
New readings:

FC: 12
pH: 8.2
TA: 150
CH: 300
CYA: 40
CSI: 0.87

For pH, I thought I read that test was null and void while undergoing SLAM? Should I rely on that reading and dump in some acid?
The reading you get the instant it's mixed (you know upside down then back) is usually right, or not far off. It's after it's had time to react that it goes deep pink with the purplish highlights. I'd trust this because of a) curing plaster and b) high TA. That said, maybe only target 7.4 instead of 7.2 to allow a little margin of error.
 

nuke_twidget

Active member
Feb 29, 2020
43
Houston
The reading you get the instant it's mixed (you know upside down then back) is usually right, or not far off. It's after it's had time to react that it goes deep pink with the purplish highlights. I'd trust this because of a) curing plaster and b) high TA. That said, maybe only target 7.4 instead of 7.2 to allow a little margin of error.
Yeah, the 8.2 was immediately after it was mixed. Should I continue to SLAM and add some acid to help bring the pH down as well?