New test kit shows very unbalanced water, which is getting cloudy again, need help.

JL5086

Member
Aug 1, 2019
14
Brunswick Maine
Earlier e floorthis summer our pool got really green and opaque, so before I joined here I had go e to the pool store as usual and bought a latge bottle of algaecide and a bottle of water clarifier. After using both and cleaning the filter about a hundred times, the water got rea nice and clear, by then I had joined TFP.com and read up on all these chemicals, so I just received my k-2006 test kit a few days ago because the water is quickly turning cloudy and a darkish film is building up around the edges along the floor. We also have a small tear in the floor that I need to patch, but its only about an inch long, and if I vacuum the pool, within 24hrs it was gets what look like super fine sand all over the floor and it sticks to any of the small seams in the floor and I dont know of this could be coming from sand in the hole but it doesn’t loom to be eroding away at all. But my real immediate issue is the water balance, after testing the numbers are really bad, here thay are:

Free chlorine=11 ppm
Combined chlorine=0.4 ppm
Alkalinity (TA)= 90 ppm
PH= 7.0 (took 10 drops to raise)
Hardness= 80 ppm
The water balance calculator shows my saturation index is at -1.05
The CYA is a problem because the black dot goes away well below even the 100 on the scale, (i’v Attached a picture of it)

I did all the tests twice to be sure, we use an inline chlorine “cartridge”, and have for 15 years, and for some reason during this whole process of clearing the water the cartridge has been running out way too soon. In the future if I start to follow the methods this website promotes, such as only using liquid chlorine etc. I assume I would not want to be using thos cartridges any longer, because as I understand the use of that cartridge along with powdered shock is the reason my CYA is through the roof? I hope to find out if these levels could be the cause of my water not staying clear, and also how to correct these levels using TFPs methods, thanks.
 

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Msch99

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
387
Verona, MO
Do a diluted cya. Mix half pool water and half tap water, do test again. Multiply results by 2 to get reading. If still too high, mix 1/4 pool water 3/4 tap, multiply by 4.

Looks like you will probably need to exchange water. How much depends on cya level.
 

JL5086

Member
Aug 1, 2019
14
Brunswick Maine
Maddie, its a “New-Water” cycler pac, i think its just an inline way of adding the chlorine chemical, I believe its tri-chlor @ 99.0%. After I do the diluted CYA test and get a reading, how do i know how much water needs to be replaced? Im surprized its quite so high because the pool was pretty low at the begining of the season and every time I had cleaned the filter I lost a bunch of water, plus we had the solar heater line rupture last week and it drained all the way down below the skimmer and i had to put alot of water back in, and this was only last week.
 

Msch99

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
387
Verona, MO
The tri-chlor adds cya I believe. Not an expert and haven't used it.
Once you find out actual cya, you use gallons in the pool and cya level to figure out.
IE: If you have 100 cya and want 50. 50% drain.
 

gonfishin

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2017
330
Rochester, MN
The old poolmath calculator (link at the bottom of the page) will tell you how much to drain based on results and target. I wish that was part of poolmath app.
 

JL5086

Member
Aug 1, 2019
14
Brunswick Maine
So it certainly looks like the algae problem that started all this 6 weeks ago is coming back very rapidly. When we first opened the pool it had a bunch of greenish sediment all around the bottom, but the water was pretty much clear, then we brushed the sediment thinking it would go through the filter. Well it then immedietly turned the whole pool water bright green and opaque and even after 2 rounds of “shocking” the pool it never cleared on its own. So When I started to try and fix it back then i couldnt see more than 4 inches into the water, and I was using test strips at that time, so i dipped and the strip seemed to check out, i also brought a sample to the pool store and they also said “the water is fine, just use some algaecide” so of coarse thats what i did, after a few days the water got less green, but just as cloudy but just a milder color. So then the pool store sold me some water clarifier and i gave it a number of small recommended doses a week apart, along with rinsing the cartridge filter every single day, and the water eventually got almost perfect for over a week, but I still kept up the filter rinses and even though the pool looked fabulous, the water inside the filter housing would still always be totally cloudy, but again, NOT really noticeably green. But the other thing that really never stopped happening is that if nobody swims for a while, dark clumps of what i thought might have been sediment from the small tear in the floor, but now im wondering if it is actually the algae in clumps(picture attached), because today i can actually see that it turns into a yellowish cloud if I disturb it, which is exactly what turned the whole pool green in the beginning. My question now is, if I were in this same exact situation, but my CYA levels were actually correct, what would I be doing to fix this, would I simply follow the SLAM procedure until my chlorine leves maintained over night? I don’t know if I have complicated things by using the algaecide and water clarifier so recently. I also read a few things about phosphates, and their role as food for the algae. So according to what I read, after the algae dies it actually releases more phosphates itself, making the pool water even more able to feed a new “round” of algae. So I am wondering if this might be what has prompted this problem to come back so fast and soon. And lastly, what are your thoughts on what to do about the phosphates in the pool, I could bring a water sample to the pool store to e tested for phosphates, but that seems unnecessary since logic tells me, if there’s algae then there must be phosphates. All the videos I’ve watched were basically really anti-algaecide, and their alternative is tri-chlor and a phosphate remover (PR-10,000), I know I want to avoid the tri-Chlor products from now on, but what about the phosphate remover? Or is there something else you recommend, also back to my original posting, should I remove my “new-water cycler pac (99.0%-tri-chlor)” and just start adding liquid chlorine regularly according to my testing results? Also when I do SLAM the pool to clear it up,(after getting CYA corrected), I do NOT want to have that “cycler PAC” cartridge in place, I should probably take the cartridge itself out and run with no refill in it at all, (or remove the entire unit, if it’s suggested to not ever introduce Tri-Chlor to the pool at all in the future)? As a side note: My whole family seems to pretty much understand the whole methodology taught at TFP, but, the only real pushback I’m getting is that as long as I’m the one willing to put in the extra “labor” involved in testing and adding regular doses of liquid chlorine, but they seem a little skeptical of why for almost 15 years the pool has been fine and had no algae or cloudiness, and basically anytime the water got hazy or “dirty” we would just “shock it” and it cleared up. Beyond that we only rinsed the filter once at the end of the year and just kept changing that Cycler PAC cartridge every 6 weeks, and that has LITERALLY been all that we have had to do aside from occasional vacuuming, they wonder how and why all of a sudden this year, after 15 years, we have all this persistent trouble. Did it really take this long for the levels of CYA or Phosphates to accumulate? But they are just a bit lazy, and even if it did take that long, I am much more comfortable knowing what’s going into my pool and also what’s NOT going into it. I’m really sorry this was such a long post, and thanks for all the previous, very quick responses!
 

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frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
Pardon my bluntness, but you need to follow the SLAM Process.

All the questions you asked, are irrelevant. If you want to sort your pool out, we can help. But expect it to be simple, and exact. See the above link.

Pool stores confuse you. Other reading, also confuse. TFP is simple. You are not alone in the world of "all these years I was fine, but now it's overwhelming". This can be sorted, but you will have to disregard the rest. Phosphates included.
 

JL5086

Member
Aug 1, 2019
14
Brunswick Maine
okay thank you, I will stick to just the basics and not worry about what's not being discussed here. i'll try to keep my posts much shorter, and the reason I posted the pic of the pool is because i'm not sure if the dark "debris" in the bottom is the algae, or if it's something else because it develops really quickly? I would have started the SLAM process days ago if it werent for the CYA levels, which according to the diluted test is at 140, so that means to get to 50 I have to change almost 70% of the water. The bummer is that where I live in Maine our pool season ends pretty early, and our pool liner and structure is really showing it's age and are really considering replacing it when it starts to get cool out. Therefore I'm going to be losing all this high CYA water in a short while, and it will be quite expensive to change out for just a month or two. Do you think thnere may be a way to reverse this algae without completely lowering the CYA? Because it did get crystal clear for almost 2 weeks after the algaecide and clarifier treatment. I kind of get the impression if I try the SLAM without lowering CYA it will just take a whole lot more chlorine, and I will have to keep "feeding" it more chlorine than usual to keep the algae from returning after the SLAM? also while looking over the PoolMath page, my ph is down to 7.0 and it says the recommendations it gives are dependent on borate levels, so do I need to test for those or not? thanks again.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
You don't have borates. Turn that off in PoolMath.

You do need chlorine. And if you aren't able to drain and refill to lower CYA, you will need a very lot of chlorine. See Pool Math.

If you are willing to purchase the extra chlorine, you can beat this. Most people are hindered by the cost vs convenience/simplicity/effort. Draining and refilling not only reduces CYA, it also rids some of the algae water.

This is the answer to your main question: You will need massive amounts of chlorine, a proper test kit Test Kits Compared, and $$$$.

Your alternative is a lot of chlorine, a proper test kit, and diligence maintaining SLAM levels for your CYA level == far less $$
 

JL5086

Member
Aug 1, 2019
14
Brunswick Maine
thank you frogabog for your help. I have the Taylor k-2006 kit, so that should be good enough correct? also do you think it may be advisable to try and lower my CYA just a little bit by draining and replacing maybe 10-20% of the water, i understand it will still require a LOT of chlorine, but i'm wondering if the chlorine requirement for a given CYA level is a "constant" ratio, or if the required amount grows exponentialy the higher the CYA? I don't really know how to get my question across, but, as you get into the really high CYA levels does the amount of chlorine rise at the same rate or does it multiply? i'm wondering if I change just enough water to lower my CYA 10% would that make much of a difference in the level of chlorine needed to SLAM? I will look at the pool math page and try different numbers, that will probably give me the answer to that question.
Thanks.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,433
Laughlin, NV
SLAM level FC is 40% of CYA level. At 140 ppm CYA, your SLAM level FC is 56 ppm FC.

It is not viable to test at that level of FC with residential water chemistry test kits.
 

JL5086

Member
Aug 1, 2019
14
Brunswick Maine
Ok so basically the Taylor k-2006 tests higher than cheaper kits but just not high enough for the nbamount of chlorine required for the super high level of CYA that i've got right now. Even if I do choos to use a lot of chlorine to get me through the next 6-8 weeks, until I replace the pool, I will still at a minimum need to get the CYA down to a level where the required Chlorine SLAM levels are low enough to be tested by my k-2006 kit, correct?
 

JL5086

Member
Aug 1, 2019
14
Brunswick Maine
Any suggestions on what a reasonable compromise might be in the levels? (i.e. 90-100ppm CYA) Plus I have to assume that the CYA levels were actually quite a bit higher than the 140ppm that they are now because about a week ago, once the pool had actually finally gotten clear, the a hose split and the pool drained below the skimmer, plus the 10+/- gallons each time the filter was cleaned. I didn't have my test kit yet at that time, but I have to assume that much replacement water must have lowered the CYA a bit to it's current 140ppm level. Am I correct in assuming that because of these really high CYA levels the algae was not killed completely before and I just got lucky by diligently filtering w/help from the clarifier, and thus at my CYA to chlorine levels the algae is just able to flourish again?
 

JL5086

Member
Aug 1, 2019
14
Brunswick Maine
thank you, that chart is good to have. Sorry I write such long posts, I'm trying to curb that. If I didn't have plans to replace the pool in like 8 weeks I know exactly what I'd do: Drain 70% and refill; Test and adjust Ph; test, and according to new CYA level, SLAM until less than 1ppm chlorine loss overnight+clear water; then maintain with only liquid chlorine regularly (as testing indicates w/use of poolmath app); and no more Tri-chlor, to avoid another huge buildup of it (but test a few times a season to make sure it's atleast not below 30ppm). So if that is correct, it's just up to me to decide how to deal with THIS pool to get me thru the next 6-8 weeks without wasting too much money before the pool is replaced.
 
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