Newbie Looking for Advice

SteveK52

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2019
72
Taylors South Carolina
We recently had a pool installed and I stumbled across this site while looking for information. This is the first pool that we have had and I have a lot to learn. The outside temperature here is in the 50’s and 60’s so not exactly pool weather just yet. The pool company that installed the pool has given very little information (more confusing than anything). I thought I would reach out and see if someone could offer some advice. The pool was installed and final fill with tap water was completed on March 5th. On March 9th I took a water sample to a local pool supply store and based on the results they suggested I add 2 lbs of “Profile Turbo Shock” and place an “MPT Extra” tablet in the skimmer. I have done both of those and today I used my TF100 kit to do some checking with the following results.
FC 6ppm, CC 1ppm, TC 7ppm, Calcium Hardness 325 ppm, Total Alkalinity 220, CYA less than 20 ppm (black dot never completely disappeared), Total Bromine 10, PH 8.0,
Sodium Chloride 2730 ppm (Aquachek test strip)
Current water temp is approx. 55 degrees. SWG is set for 60%, flow light is green, salt level light is red. System is currently running 8 hrs a day. I know there are charts giving the proper levels and how to make corrections. I’m also told the salt generator will only work when the temperature is above a certain temperature. Not sure with the water temp where it’s at what I should be doing. Please excuse my lack of knowledge.
Steve
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to the forum! :wave: The info may feel like pool school overload at first, but trust me, you'll get it. Here are some key points for now:
- Stick with your TF-100. Great kit.
- You also need a salt test method as well. TFTestkits.net has two options (K-1766 or Aqua Chek strips). But you'll need to add salt and use one of those to confirm the level. The Poolmath tool/app can also help you determine how much salt to add.
- Your pH is a bit high. The colder water is helping keep that in check. But you may need to bring it down a hair to about 7.8 with some muriatic acid. The Poolmath tool/app will show you.
- Remember, for the most part a vinyl pool requires no calcium (CH), so lower is almost always fine for you. Too much can be a problem, especially for your SWG cells.
- You should always refer to the TFP Recommended Level chart (link below). For a SWG pool, your CYA should be at least 70 to help the SWG product and maintain chlorine more efficiently.
- You have a slightly elevated CC level, but that could be because of those pool store products. Refrain from any of those products. You won't need those.
- You are sanitizing with chlorine via an SWG, so just focus on FC and ignore Bromine. In the future, please post test results as follows:
FC
CC
CYA
PH
TA
CH

Steve, stick close by and we'll coach you through. Save all those links below in my sig and/or go to the Pool School link to the left menu and ready everything. You'll do fine. Post back for any questions. Congrats on the new pool!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,405
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
The red light on the SWCG most likely means the water is too cold for the cell to generate chlorine. So monitor your FC every few days and have some liquid chlorine on hand to raise your FC until the water warms.

You may also want to get the Poolmath app.
 

SteveK52

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2019
72
Taylors South Carolina
Thanks for your encouragement and taking the time to reply. So does the outside temp or water temp change how I should approach adjusting any of the readings or just plug into the pool math and go from there?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Water temp will drive the effectivenss of your SWG. Many of them begin to shut-down at 55-60 degrees or lower. At times like that, you simply operate like a non-SWG pool. But for the water chemistry itself, the Poolmath tool also uses the water temp to factor all your items. Some of that applies more to plaster pools for corrosion control, but it's good for you to become familiar with the Poolmath app now and use it like any other tool in your pool arsenal. It does a lot of work for you.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,405
Laughlin, NV
Based on your testing you need to maintain your FC/CYA relationship. So when the water temp increases and your SWCG starts to work, adjust the % and run time to generate the chlorine needed to match your FC loss each day.
 

SteveK52

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2019
72
Taylors South Carolina
OK, based on the Poolmath calculator I am looking at:
adding 86oz of Muratic Acid 31.45-20 Baume to reduce the PH
adding I gallon liquid stabilizer to increase the CYA (where do I get this?)
According to my Pentair Intellichlor manual salt level should be at 3600 ppm. Poolmath tells me to add 146 lbs of salt.
Calculator indicates CH is high and suggest replacing 53% of the water, yet the Pentair manual suggest a CH of 200 - 400 ppm which would put my number very close to the middle.
If someone could double check my calculations I would greatly appreciate it. Also any special instructions on introducing these items to the pool?
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,377
Hays, Kansas
Halve the acid about, add it slowly at a return in the water stream and check pH in 30 mins against you don't overshoot, you can always add more later.

Use cya granules, put in sock and hang at a return not touching anything. Undershoot you can always add more

Add 80 lbs salt, check again in a week, you can always add more

Leave your ch alone, it's fine, advoid any call hypo products

Your super high ta is a problem, because it's annoying. So pick up a bunch or muratic acid, call shop around for the cheapest/strongest. Get around 6 gallons and store it all by itself, it rusts metal up. Check your pH once it twice a day untill you lower the ta over time. The ta drives up the pH fast, and often your pH will be above 8 because of it.

If you want to because this is a lot of stuff to do and info, you can run some triclor tabs in a floater, you gain FC, cya, and slightly lower pH and ta. After a couple weeks when the swg started working take them out.
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
Welcome and Congrats!
OK, based on the Poolmath calculator I am looking at:
adding 86oz of Muratic Acid 31.45-20 Baume to reduce the PH
adding I gallon liquid stabilizer to increase the CYA (where do I get this?)
According to my Pentair Intellichlor manual salt level should be at 3600 ppm. Poolmath tells me to add 146 lbs of salt.
Calculator indicates CH is high and suggest replacing 53% of the water, yet the Pentair manual suggest a CH of 200 - 400 ppm which would put my number very close to the middle.
If someone could double check my calculations I would greatly appreciate it. Also any special instructions on introducing these items to the pool?
  • Stabilizer, CYA (cyanuric acid) protects the chlorine from the degrading UV rays, it can take upto 24hrs before an "accurate" amount will show in testing, also CYA testing reagent does not react in water temp less the 60F (allow the sample to warm to room temp before testing)
  • Salt can be pure (no additives) softener salt, you can use the pool salt as well, some have had problems with some brands having impurities
  • The Calcium is high for a Vinyl liner. If the calcium level gets too high, it can cause cloudiness (due to the water column becoming over saturated), as well as the scaling already mentioned.
  • Have you tested your fill/tap water? Does it have high CH and TA?
  • Here is the link to TFP's recommended method for lowering TA (if you notice PH constantly staying above 7.8) Why & How To Lower Total Alkalinity
  • ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
 

SteveK52

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2019
72
Taylors South Carolina
OK, being new at this, I think to start with today I'm only going to address the PH issue with about a 3rd of the recommended amount then retest tomorrow and keep adding day by day until the PH is correct. I will dilute in a plastic bucket and distribute around the pool. Then address the other issues one at a time. Thanks so much for your help.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Steve, being cautious is certainly good. FYI though, there's no need to dilute. You can add the required amount of muriatic acid pouring slowly at a return jet(s) and brush aroud briefly if you need additional water movement. The only caution is wind direction for breathing and careful not to splash onto skin or eyes. You can re-test the pH in about 30 minutes or so and adjust as necessary.
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
OK, being new at this, I think to start with today I'm only going to address the PH issue with about a 3rd of the recommended amount then retest tomorrow and keep adding day by day until the PH is correct. I will dilute in a plastic bucket and distribute around the pool. Then address the other issues one at a time. Thanks so much for your help.
Be sure to pour muriatic acid INTO water, not water into muriatic acid. Depending on how much is needed per dose, I like to pour the amount I need into a large plastic measure cup (at poolside), then pour close to the water and slowly infront of return (water coming back into pool)
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,538
Evans, Georgia
Please do NOT dilute Muriatic Acid (MA) as that only increases your risks. Best to learn to pour it while you're upwind, and either pour it directly in to your measuring container and then into the pool over a running return or hold the jug into the water and tip it so that it pours into a running return. You then brush it all around to mix. MA is a serious acid but once you get used it it it is easy to use.

Maddie :flower:
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
OK, I have the PH at 7.5. Should I retest other levels before changing anything else?
  • The PH will continue to rise because of the higher TA, especially in conjunction with SWCG.
    • You can focus on daily testing your PH, using PoolMath to find out how much muriatic acid to lower it to 7.2. (you can use the app pool side, too)
      • PH test is affected by high chlorine, so making sure FC/TC is under 10 when testing PH is necessary
    • Once a week you can check your TA level, but lowering the PH will slowly lower the TA (abcs-of-pool-water-chemistry, see lowering total alkalinity)
  • Assume your salt is 2700ppm, use Poolmath to find out how many lbs of salt you need to get to 3300ppm, (always undershoot) :)
  • The CYA test reagent is affected by cold temps, so allowing the pool water sample to warm to room temp (over 60F) can affect the results. ;)
 
Last edited:

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,538
Evans, Georgia
Always have the most up to date test values in hand before altering something.
And I like to re-test what ever I altered after the fact to confirm I met my goal change.

Maddie :flower:
 

SteveK52

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2019
72
Taylors South Carolina
Current numbers using TF-100
FC 1.5
CC .5
CYA Less than 20
PH 7.5
TA 170
CH 325
Salt 2550
Water temp 57
Given this information, what would you recommend I should adjust next? I really appreciate everyone's help.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,405
Laughlin, NV
Add chlorine. Maintain a minimum of 3 ppm FC until you raise your CYA, then follow the FC/CYA chart.

Add CYA. I would start with 20 ppm worth and after a few days retest to see where you are. Within the month get your CYA to 70 ppm. Be sure to follow the FC/CYA chart for FC levels.
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
If it were my pool:
I would suggest bumping FC to at least 3-4 (use Poolmath to estimate liquid chlorine needed)
Adding salt to bring it up to 3300/3400ppm (use poolmath, make sure you have your starting amount)