New Pool Water Chemistry

cbodie

Silver Supporter
Dec 1, 2015
78
Damascus, Maryland
In reality my goal at this point was to dial down that chlorinator to minimum and use bleach. My pool store seems to have no shortage of it and I have 4 gallons. The pool contractor recommended the in line chlorinator for ease of maintenance, but from the little bit I've seen I'm not a fan so far. They have to come and re-plumb it anyway because they did a sloppy job in the installation .
As far as start up guide the pool contractor said they would come and brush a few times and manage chemicals. There is no pool dust when I brush. What I found is that they only use the strips and they are not accurate. I'm using the TFT 100 kit and testing every day, just so I get a good handle on what changes are happening. They initially added stabilizer, used mine on one of the visits and at this point other than showing up to re-plumb the chlorinator and caulk the pool deck they won't be involved with the chemicals.
I have read the articles and the information is excellent, however it's the part of what exactly do you do with your test results that I'm not getting. The pool math app also tells you what to add so it too gives you really good guidance. When you read the chart and it asks for your CYA level and your FC level . So I'm at CYA 50, FC 11.5 . So min should be 4, max and shock 20. What exactly is the 20 representing? I can't imagine with a FC of 11.5 that I would need any shock at all. Seems like I need the chlorine levels to actually drop down a bit. with not much sun and this cold that could take a while.
Some of the recommended additions have been: more acid, more calcium chloride and Borax to raise PH. However I don't want to add Borax since the new plaster should increase the PH on it's own?
Thank you for your input.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,345
Laughlin, NV
The Poolmath app gives suggestions. Each parameter has a range. If you are in the range, there is no need to adjust.

FC of Shock level is to be used during the SLAM Process. It is not used for daily maintenance.
 

cbodie

Silver Supporter
Dec 1, 2015
78
Damascus, Maryland
What startup guide are you following? Follow the startup guide for the first 30 days then transition to TFP guidelines...



Why no heater use for first 30 days? With new plaster there is a lot of plaster dust in the water and the pH is usually very high. When you heat water the potential for scale formation in the heater increases significantly. The actual timeframe for waiting to use the heater has no real merit. As long as the plaster dust is under control and the pH is in range there is no reason not to use it. Your risk of rushing to use the heater is scale clogging up the heater coil.
Thank You for that information. I went through the whole thing. I also called my pool contractor since he is the one who said they would monitor the chemistry of the pool for the first three weeks to see what he has to say.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
PoolMath tells you what to add if you need a result immediately. Aside from FC and maybe CYA (if low) you really don't need to instantly add chems when PoolMath tells you to. It's all about learning when you have to add other things.

Calcium - only needs to be added if your CSI is low and you have a plaster pool (like you do). You adjusted that and your CSI isn't overly negative so you're fine there.
TA - this really only needs to be increased if you're below 50 and your pH is a concern. Above 90 and it's OK as it will slowly come down with time as you add more acid - unless it throws your CSI too high to the positive side. You still need to know what it is when you adjust your pH because it's part of the math used to know how much acid to add to lower pH.
pH - this is important to keep in the 7s. If you chlorinate with liquid chlorine, your pH will likely rise over time as liquid chlorine is pH neutral and pools naturally rise due to CO2 offgassing. So you will probably need to add muriatic acid occasionally to bring it down. (This will lower your TA at the same time if it is high.)
 

cbodie

Silver Supporter
Dec 1, 2015
78
Damascus, Maryland
PoolMath tells you what to add if you need a result immediately. Aside from FC and maybe CYA (if low) you really don't need to instantly add chems when PoolMath tells you to. It's all about learning when you have to add other things.

Calcium - only needs to be added if your CSI is low and you have a plaster pool (like you do). You adjusted that and your CSI isn't overly negative so you're fine there.
TA - this really only needs to be increased if you're below 50 and your pH is a concern. Above 90 and it's OK as it will slowly come down with time as you add more acid - unless it throws your CSI too high to the positive side. You still need to know what it is when you adjust your pH because it's part of the math used to know how much acid to add to lower pH.
pH - this is important to keep in the 7s. If you chlorinate with liquid chlorine, your pH will likely rise over time as liquid chlorine is pH neutral and pools naturally rise due to CO2 offgassing. So you will probably need to add muriatic acid occasionally to bring it down. (This will lower your TA at the same time if it is high.)
So from the numbers you see, you think just let it run over the next couple of days and see how it behaves? The web site for the Diamond brite says to maintain the FC at 1 to 3 and I am soo high. I did dial down the in line chlorinator to a very low setting and will most likely not use it except if we are away.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
The way that traditionally pool maintenance has been recommended for levels is not how TFP recommends. We use newer chemistry understanding, especially concerning the CYA / FC relationship. So you will see most pool things recommending lower levels of FC than here, because they don't take that into account.

If there's a warranty you need to worry about that requires FC to be tested, you might have to deal with that. I would NOT recommend using any tabs at all, in the chlorinator or otherwise, with a CYA of 50. If it goes higher you will need even higher FC levels to maintain sanitation. I would recommend liquid chlorine only.
 

cbodie

Silver Supporter
Dec 1, 2015
78
Damascus, Maryland
The way that traditionally pool maintenance has been recommended for levels is not how TFP recommends. We use newer chemistry understanding, especially concerning the CYA / FC relationship. So you will see most pool things recommending lower levels of FC than here, because they don't take that into account.

If there's a warranty you need to worry about that requires FC to be tested, you might have to deal with that. I would NOT recommend using any tabs at all, in the chlorinator or otherwise, with a CYA of 50. If it goes higher you will need even higher FC levels to maintain sanitation. I would recommend liquid chlorine only.
I really appreciate your input. I’ve been reading a ton on all the forums, trying to learn as much as possible. Most definitely have concluded that we threw our money away buying that in line chlorinator. Maybe it will be useful for a few days if we need to travel and leave the pool unattended.
The pool company sent the service guy by today. I had emailed the boss and told him the FC was at 11.5 using the in line chlorinator, which I dialed down as much as possible. When he checked the FC this morning it had not dropped at all and the service guy said he was putting some neutralizer in the pool. I am so glad that is the last time I will see them. I mentioned to him that I did not particularly like the chlorinator, he was very prudent and didn’t comment much but he asked me what I would do if I didn’t use it. I told him I’ll stick to liquid chlorine and he said it’s a good choice because you cya is already at 50 and with the trichlor it’ll keep going up. The only thing is he said to keep the FC at 3, but the chart for a cya of 50 recommends 3 as a min. If I recall 6 to 8 as a goal. The number I still do not understand at all on that line is the 20. What does 20 mean? Slam with liquid chlorine until you get a FC reading of 20? And then you have completed slamming? If that is the case at what point would I slam the pool if these numbers stay stable? When the FC would drop lower than 3?
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
SLAM is a process to use when you have algae or other issues that chlorine needs to solve. You get the pool up to 20ppm (with 50ppm CYA) and test multiple times a day, adding chlorine to get back to 20ppm each time you test. You maintain an elevated level of chlorine until the chlorine deals with the problem.

Unless you have algae or other issues you don’t need to SLAM. A properly chlorinated pool won’t let algae take a foothold so you don’t need to bring it to that level. Just keep it in the 6-8 range with additions as needed, testing daily for a while until you get a feel for how much you need to add, and testing every few days after that. Add chlorine around every day or every other day as needed.
 

cbodie

Silver Supporter
Dec 1, 2015
78
Damascus, Maryland
Thank you for the clarification. Actually today was the first day I actually added liquid chlorine to bring my FC up from 2.5 to hopefully 6. I did it after dinner and after running a full water test. I’ll check the pool first thing in the morning. The whole level of chemicals is starting to be more balanced so I am truly hoping to be able to fire up the heater. I do want to get The go ahead from the pool guy, since I don’t want to jeopardize anything with the warranty of the work.