Newbie here - first time testing and adjusting

michaelr0

Active member
Mar 26, 2018
35
Omaha, NE
Hello, we have built a new house last summer along with a pool. So far I have had a maintenance company take care of things. I have had no reason to complain as the water clarity and quality have been consistently good. I do enjoy taking care and understanding these things on my own, so I decided to take the dive. I have done quite a bit of reading, purchased the K-2006 test kit and watched the videos on Taylor's side. My first set of results as of 3 PM CT today is this: FC 0.6 ph 7.4 TA 130 CH300 CYA 0. Combined chlorine was 1ppm. I crosschecked the FC result with the different test from my pool builder. It registered zero FC. I immediately preferred the Taylor for the more differentiated result. Time will tell. I only have a single data point so far.

I downloaded the Pool Math app & punched it my numbers. My pool is 40x16x4.5 throughout. I calculated that to be 21,600 gallons. I have a raised area inside the pool, so I am using 20,000 gallons as my volume. Pool Math recommended to add 61 oz of 10% liquid bleach to get FC to 3 and 6.5 pounds of cyanuric acid to get the CYA to 40. A quick trip to Walmart later, I added the 61oz of chlorine but only 4 pounds of the cyanuric acid for now. I will retest in a couple of hours to see, if I can measure any net effect and post this here as well.

I noticed my TA is elevated, so once I get FC and CYA in line, I will focus on that next. I don't have any questions right now, but I am sure they will come with more test results. Any feedback and suggestions are welcome. Thank you!
 

gonfishin

Gold Supporter
Jun 13, 2017
445
Rochester, MN
Hello, Michael.

CYA may not register for a day or two in the tests, but assume the 4 pounds you added is in there and this would be a CYA level of 40. Keep your eye on the FC and keep above the minimum for 40 CYA.

Don’t be too concerned about lowering your TA, instead watch your pH and keep it in range of 7.2 to 7.8.
 

Msch99

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
437
Verona, MO
Welcome to TFP!😁

Your PH will naturally rise over time, a little faster with a higher TA. Once PH reaches near 8, use Muriatic Acid to lower (7.2 7.4), use pool math to calculate. MA will also lower TA. As you lower TA, your PH will not rise quite as fast.

I see chrystal clear pool in your future!
 

michaelr0

Active member
Mar 26, 2018
35
Omaha, NE
First off thank you for the warm welcome. Time to report back and I wish I had the responses BEFORE I retested at 9:30 PM. My new scores: FC 2.8 PH 7.0 TA 130 CH 250 CYA 0. However, the CYA test did seem somewhat more cloudy than before.

The great news is that the addition of the liquid chlorine did exactly what is was supposed to do. The goal was 3 and I got 2.8. :) Given gonfishin's response I should have waited with the CYA test. I am out of town until Thursday. I will run another test once I get back.

Looking at the K-2006 there are two 22ml bottles for the CYA test. Basically this means 6 tests and I used 2 already. Is the K-1721 kit the replacement? It is $25 doing a quick Google shopping search, that does seem expensive. Are there any other options?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,367
Northern NJ
Looking at the K-2006 there are two 22ml bottles for the CYA test. Basically this means 6 tests and I used 2 already. Is the K-1721 kit the replacement? It is $25 doing a quick Google shopping search, that does seem expensive. Are there any other options?
 

Msch99

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
437
Verona, MO
If you use 10ml to do the FC test instead of 25ml, each drop is now .5 FC. Saves on reagent and accurate enough for our purposes. :) .

The minimum for 40cya is 3, target is 5-7. If you drop below 3 you are leaving yourself open for issues.
Normal consumption in 24 hours can vary between 1 and 4 ppm depending on location, swimmer load, covered or not etc.

Chlorine/CYA chart
 

michaelr0

Active member
Mar 26, 2018
35
Omaha, NE
Ajw22, thank you for the refill recommendation. That makes a lot more sense.

The 10ml idea is a good. I will stick with the 25 ml for now until I feel I got the hang of testing and then switch to 10ml. I am planning to keep my pool maintenance company to stop the chemicals for now as I will start doing those myself. My next step is to learn how to operate the pump. I have a Pentair Superflow VS. Does anyone have any opinions on those? I downloaded the manual to see if and how it can be programmed. Right now it is running at 2200 24/7 and we manually up to 3200 when we use our fountain. I was hoping I could schedule some sort of program to lower the flow at night and up it during the day or whatever makes sense.

What do you guys recommend for the three different speed buttons and programming schedule, if that even exists?
 

michaelr0

Active member
Mar 26, 2018
35
Omaha, NE
I added my pool info to my signature line. I also redid another rounds of tests: 8/15 5 PM CT: FC 3 CC 0.8 pH7.4 ALK 130 CH 250 CYA 0. I was really surprised to see the CYA level to be still at 0. I did add four pounds of cyanuric acid, specifically this product.

  1. My FC did not change. The pool was covered and not used at all since the last time I added chlorine on Sunday. Is it normal to be that stable? Fridays is when the pool company adds chlorine pucks to the chlorinator. This may be why. I will ask them to stop doing chemicals soon but need to learn how to add pucks on my own. It is easy, I am sure, just need to actually do it once...
  2. Should I add another 4 lbs of the cyanuric acid?
  3. I have read through the Superflow VS manual. I am looking for some recommendations how long I should run at which speed.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
The CYA testing at 0 again doesn't make sense. Especially if you've been using pucks and also added it manually. There may be a testing error. Review this:
It is the same with the K-2006 test, just a different bottle and test tube (uses less reagent & pool water than the TF-100).
 

michaelr0

Active member
Mar 26, 2018
35
Omaha, NE
I looking at the video, I am positive that I am doing the CYA test correctly. It is very easy. I did order the 8oz replacement bottle and will retest once I receive it. I also reset the Superflow VS this weekend to the factory defaults and decided to start out with the default program. I will use it for the next 2 weeks and monitor the pool. The default is 2h at 3000, 10h at 1400, 2h at 2200. What I read in the guides that 4h seems to be enough, so I may further reduce it unless I run into issues.

I backwashed for the first time and checked on the chlorinator for the first time as well. It was refilled by the pool guy Friday evening and it was completely full when I checked 16 hours later. This brought up a question. I thought the chlorinator is completely filled with water and the dial indicates how much water is allowed through. I thought all tabs are consumed at the same time. However, the top most tab appeared to be completely dry. I suspect this means that water is only touching the bottom tab(s). Once it dissolves the stack is reduced and the second bottommost tab used. This happens until the topmost is all the way at the bottom and the chlorinator is empty. This makes a lot of sense. I wasn't easily able to google, if this is how it actually works though. Can someone confirm? Thanks!