New to the pool stuff, need some help.


New member
Nov 10, 2019
Hello! Recently we have started to maintain our own pool, as we wanted to save some money by getting rid of the guy who did it for us. All was going well until about a month later, (now). My first issue is usually go to the pool store to get my pool readings (chlorine was low, 1ppm, I hadn't put tablets for the week yet), I told him we use tablets and the guy said that chlorine tablets do not raise chlorine levels, just maintain. So I asked if he could give me something to raise it, which he did, (pool shock). I found it kind of weird that tablets wouldn't raise the levels, so I didn't use the shock immediately to see if it was true. The chlorine level was back up to around 5 the next day so I just kept the pool shock which leads to the second issue. About a week later Algae was blooming, nothing major, just some green dirt that needed to be brushed. I read that you're supposed to shock when that happens as well as a bit of algaecide, so they came in handy. Did that last night and let the pump run since. Woke up in the morning to find pretty high amounts of white powder, which i'm assuming is Shock just sitting at the bottom of the pool by the drain. I thought that was odd but brushed it off then moved on with my day, 9 hours later i noticed that the dust came back a little bit, brushed it again. 24+ hours later the chlorine level is still off the charts, my tester says way above 10ppm, shouldn't it have come back down by now? Sorry for the big block of words and these might be retarded questions so I apologize.

I don't have a full tester yet just the taylor basic, my current levels are:
Chlorine: 10+PPM
PH: ~8.0

Another issue is that the pools plaster seems to be degrading at a high rate, (copper color stains, sandpaper rough, can't be brushed) even though the plaster is supposed to have 5+ more years left according to the inspection report from June 2018. I can provide additional pics if needed.

Thank you!!

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
David, welcome to TFP! :wave: Everything you are describing is indicative of poor water chemistry from months/years of pool store testing and/or advice. It happens. Most of us experienced it at one time which is why we're here now. So what now?

First, get yourself a TF-100 test kit so you can test the water properly and post a full set of results. Those links below in my signature, start reviewing/saving those as well. Make sure to update your own signature. Stay out of the pool store and when your FC needs to be increased, use liquid pool chlorine (aka regular bleach). Add nothing else until we can see a full set of results.

We'll help get you back on track.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Hi there David.... let me share a couple of quick videos with you:

Your inability to test your FC levels along with the CCs and your CYA have gotten you in a bind. That dust you're seeing sounds like dead algae.

Algaecides don't really "kill" algae outbreaks. They're more of a preventative and one best avoided by most. Especially if they're the cheap ones that also contain copper.
Pucks add CYA to your water in almost the same amount as the FC they provide......not a good choice for long term or continual usage. Handy for vacations but not so good for daily use. Liquid chlorine is a much better choice. Granular Chlorine has the same problem as pucks.

Please delve in to PoolSchool, and ask plenty of questions in the forums. We're happy to help you clean up your pool.

Maddie :flower:


Well-known member
Oct 5, 2019
David, welcome to TFP! I was in your shoes a few months ago. If you have elevated CYA and pool stains, you're in for a long haul. I see you're in central Florida, so you likely also have a high water table which makes getting rid of water more difficult due to risk of floating/levitating the pool out of the ground.

Without the results from the tf100 or taylor test kit, there's really not much to say as its all guess work. I used to go to the local pool store as frequently as 2x a day to get my levels checked. I also would go to a pool store near my work, and the chemical levels they were telling me were all over the map. It was particularly concerning that levels were changing when I had not made changes. You can read my "unpoolstorification" thread for the details.

I suspect your process will be similar to mine, but we shall see! Regardless, you're in the right place.


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015

Welcome to TFP! You've come to the perfect place and we have thousands of people that came here in similar circumstances to you. We have experts that will get your pool in much better shape very soon... may take a little longer to fix some of the problems but it will be way better soon. A major benefit of TFP is we have experts and we don't sell anything. Just get your test kit on order asap. Experts will guide you all the way. You'll also learn how to care to for your pool yourself with dirt cheap generic chemicals. You've already got experienced and expert advice. In the meantime, please add the Signature information so you can avoid cycles of questions as you go through the process. Here's how:
Click here

As you look through the documents referenced above by Maddie ask any questions you may have. That way you can hit the ground running when your test kit gets here.


Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
is that kit just as good?
That will work just fine. Even better you got the "C" version. So until it arrives, just bookmark those Vital links in my sig below and start getting familiar with everything. Practice the PoolMath tool and you'll be a step ahead of the game.

Oh, and don't forget to update your signature too!