Newbie blues ..

Dec 28, 2017
Cypress, TX
I thought I had this thing sorted out, but turns out the cold weather was certainly helping me. I'm showing previous numbers (when I first bought the house in January) compared to now, as I think I have made some progress, but I'm having a heck of a time keeping my FC in check, and I'm starting to see some signs of green algae around edges of pool and want to get it sorted. At the same time I'm trying to sort out issue with my SWG, as when I turned on I'm getting a "no flow" solid red light on the panel. I have ordered a new sensor and will clean the SWG this weekend, in the meantime I'm trying to shock the pool and get ahead of it. Also strange, is the current (today) numbers reflect my putting 5 gallons of 6% bleach into the pool yesterday, so I'm a bit confused to my FC numbers nowhere near being shock level:

DECEMBER: PH 7.6, ALK 80 PPM, CH 400-450, CYA 120-140, SALT 2800 PPM, FC 4 PPM, CC 0 PPM
NOW: PH 8.0, ALK 140 PPM, CH 300, CYA 60-80, SALT 2200 PPM, FC 8 PPM, CC 0 PPM

Since December, have drained 1/3 of the pool to reduce CYA & CH levels, working to get salt back to around 3000-3200 PPM, have also just added 16 oz of muratic acid to try and bring the PH down.

Any suggestions on the chlorine levels and how they would drop so fast? Temperature is not hot yet.. 75 degrees although it has been sunny. I know my shock target is 24-26 but using the pool calculator I would have thought that 5 jugs would have brought the levels up to at least 20 ... have just added another 2 jugs tonight and will check again tomorrow.

Please help a noob!

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Well, we can put Dec behind us and move with the numbers you have now. Since you see algae, you know you need to SLAM (link below). That's the only way to get rid of algae and start your season off correctly. Anything else is a waste of your valuable time and money. So, let's do these things first:
- Your pH need to be lowered right away. Since we know a SLAM is in order, pH needs to be about 7.2 before your start the SLAM, so use acid to lower the pH to 7.2.
- Next you need to validate your CYA a little better. 60-80 is just too wide a spread to work with. Use the CYA testing quote below to help you. But remember, it needs to be a sunny day out. Weather's been weird lately.
- Once you know the CYA, adjust the FC with bleach to the correct SLAM level. If your CYA is 60, the FC needs to be 24; CYA of 70 = FC of 28; CYA of 80 = FC of 31. Use regular bleach. I prefer the HEB Bravo @ $2.94 a gallon because it's 8.25% strength. But use what you have available.

From there, it's all a matter of "maintaining" that FC SLAM level and follow ALL the instructions on the SLAM page (link below). Don't skip anything. The better you stick to those instructions, the better your SLAM will go. Hope that helps.

CYA Testing:
Proper lighting is critical for the CYA test, so you want to test for CYA outside on a bright sunny day. Taylor recommends standing outside with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading.