New Water, next step?

nhayman

Member
Jul 18, 2019
14
Sahuarita Arizona
I have a 10000 gal in ground pool with a plaster surface. I was informed that I should add a conditioner to the pool. I currently have what appears to be mustard algae. There isn't any floating algae. I've gone between two pool service companies trying to learn what they do and am getting conflicting responses. Latest paper test strip results shows 7.8 for pH, 0 TC, 0FC and 0 stabilizer. If I must add conditioner, do I then proceed with SLAM process?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: To ensure you conduct the SLAM Process properly, you'll also need to ensure you have a TF-100 test kit. See Test Kits Compared. That's key. Test strips are simply as bad as the advice you were probably already given. Once you have a TF-100 (or Taylor K-2006C) test kit in-hand, post a full set of results and we'll walk you through the SLAM.

But yes, new water has no stabilizer/condition (CYA) so it must be added. Minimum goal is 30. This time of year many are at about 50, but since you need to SLAM, a goal of 30 is best so that you use less chlorine (regular bleach) to perform the SLAM Process.

Until your test kit arrives, you can add stabilizer (see below). Add bleach for an FC level of 3 ppm today. Once the stabilizer is in the water, you can increase the FC and balance as noted on the FC/CYA Chart. Don't try to do a SLAM without the proper test kit.

Also read our ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and update your signature for us. Let us know if you have more questions.

Adding CYA:
To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,177
Milwaukee, WI
Hello! Welcome to the forum. :)

The advice you're going to get here is going to be VERY different from what you get almost anywhere else - pool stores, pool maintenance providers, neighbors who have been maintaining their pool forever, etc. The key difference here is that we recognize the effect CYA has on buffering FC levels.

Step #1 of following advice here is to get a test kit that can handle the accuracy needed for the methods we advise. It costs around $70-$100 or so, but you'll save more than that in the first month or two vs. going to a pool store for chemicals once you learn how to maintain the pool. See here for a comparison: Test Kits Compared - Trouble Free Pool I got the Taylor K-2006c (the 'c' is important, it indicates how much of the chemicals you get), but in retrospect, while the case is probably better than the one that came with the TF-100 with XL option, I would have been better off spending my money on that kit.

Let us know if you want to follow the way we maintain pools and order a kit. Meanwhile, you can add 5ppm of chlorine daily while you wait for the kit to arrive. (You can use the "Old Pool Math Website" at the bottom of the page here or the Pool Math app from app stores to figure out how much that is.) I recommend you find somewhere that sells 10-12.5% concentrations of chlorine, like Home Depot/Lowes/Wal-Mart, etc.
 

nhayman

Member
Jul 18, 2019
14
Sahuarita Arizona
So far I have added conditioner per the recommended 2.25lb amount. My test kit arrived today and my CYA level is 60-65ish. My pH is 7.75.

Are there other tests I should do? Should I start the slam process? Thanks for your help
 

nhayman

Member
Jul 18, 2019
14
Sahuarita Arizona
There are a few options-
1. I did the CYA test incorrectly, but I did wait long enough between drops I believe until the dot disappeared.
2. The pool tech that was here was originally supposed to have added conditioner, but I called to confirm and they said he added hypochlorite. But I've lost confidence with this company because I had 3+ messages that got mis-relayed, so I cannot say for sure what the tech added.

Assuming my test result is correct, what would I do instead? Do I address the pH?

DO I need to wait the 5-7 days after adding the Conditioner to test more properly? I finished adding the conditioner the night of July 18
 

nhayman

Member
Jul 18, 2019
14
Sahuarita Arizona
From what test did you decide to add conditioner? How was that test results obtained?
Paper strip test from Chlorox. Prior to that it was all new water from refilling the pool. The pool company suggested that i add conditioner. I agreed (since I'm unfamiliar) and assumed they would know.

Using the K-2006 kit I have the following battery of test results.
FC 1.2ppm
CC 0.2ppm
pH 7.7
TA 150ppm
CH 180ppm
CYA 47
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,594
Laughlin, NV
So CYA of 47 (use 50) is better than the previous one. It takes some practice.

Lower your pH to 7.2. Raise your FC to 10 ppm this evening. Test an hour after you add the liquid chlorine. Then test the FC and CC in the morning before the sun hits the surface the pool.
 

nhayman

Member
Jul 18, 2019
14
Sahuarita Arizona
Last night I got to pH 7.2. I added the chlorine, but forgot to measure an hr after adding! However this morning I tested FC and CC--> FC=13.5ppm, CC=0.5ppm

Thanks again for the help. This is the best progress I've made in going in the right direction for the last two months!
 
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nhayman

Member
Jul 18, 2019
14
Sahuarita Arizona
One thing I meant to post with my results this morning- do I pursue SLAM? From what I read it seems my levels are above the thresholds. I have mustard algae on my walls. Do I continue to maintain certain FC and CC levels and brush, vacuum daily to rid the algae?
 

nhayman

Member
Jul 18, 2019
14
Sahuarita Arizona
Beginning the SLAM process, yesterday I added (around 230PM) equivalent amount of chlorine to reach the SLAM amount of the associated CYA level I have. Last night around 830PM, my FC levels were 14ppm. This morning at 6AM my FC was 15ppm. I'm guessing my pool make take some time to fully circulate and equilibrate the chlorine levels.

For the SLAM process, do I continually repeat adding chlorine to consistently stay at the SLAM level from the FC/CYA chart?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,594
Laughlin, NV
Correct. So last night at 830pm, you should have added chlorine to get back to 20 ppm FC.

Do it as often as possible. At least 3-4 times per day.
 

nhayman

Member
Jul 18, 2019
14
Sahuarita Arizona
Rain typically has little effect on water chemistry. Unless it was enough to significantly overflow your pool.
Ok. For some reason my FC seems to be hovering around 13-15ppm in the mornings and afternoons. Should I take another suite of test results to see if something may be off or is this typical? I'll test FC this morning to see what the o enright CL loss is.