newbie need help on what chemicals to add

michaelrj9

Active member
Jun 18, 2010
43
Southern Alabama
All I have right now is the test strips will be ordering the test kit soon but need help now.

The test strip readings are

total hardness is 0
total chlorine is 3
free chlorine is 3
PH is 5
Total Alkalinity is 0
Cyanuric Acid is 0

What should I Add or do?

I took a look at the pool calculator but it has more chemical options then the test strips give me.


Thanks
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
I am not sure that I trust your readings.

Is this a fresh fill? Even tap water will have some (potentially a lot) of CH and TA.

If your CYA is really 0 you will want to add some.

How are you chlorinating?
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
You need a good test kit. A pH reading of 5 is a pretty good sign that the strips are not giving you an accurate reading. If you can't get a good test kit right away, I'd suggest a basic pH - OTO chlorine test kit from Wal-Mart or the like (usually $5 or so.) This will give you an accurate pH reading, which may be low, or may not. Once you have more accurate test results, it will be easier to give advice.

What are you using to chlorinate your pool? I wouldn't trust your CYA reading at this point either based on the other numbers on your test strip.
 

michaelrj9

Active member
Jun 18, 2010
43
Southern Alabama
We just bought the house it was a forclousure. The kids around the neighborhood threw eveything they could find in the pool like glass, car batteries etc. There were lots & lots of holes (15-20 or so). The holes are all fixed right now (don't know how long the patches will last, LOL) The pool company that cleaned it out and patched it all up I don't think they put too much chemicals in there maybe some chlorine but thats probably about it. We had a different pool company come out on Wednesday of last weeek and show us how to operate the pumps etc. They tested it with the strips and said it was prettty much nothing in there. They Added 3 gallons on Liquid Chlorine and thats where we stand today.

So because it took a while to find all the holes (filling it up, leaking out a few times). I believe it is pretty much tap water.

I will see if I can pick up a Wal Mart tester, but for now is there anything I should add or do now besides get the real test kit online.

Thanks

The Newbie
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
10,271
East Texas
At the least, get some stabilizer/conditioner to raise your CYA to 40-50 range and adjust your chlorine accordingly to the chart in pool school.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
Ok, here goes, assuming tap water and a bit of liquid chlorine is all you have in the water so far:

You need to bring your pH up (or whatever the Wal-Mart cheap OTO test shows), assume up for now, there are a number of ways you can do this, for now you may just want to buy "pH Up" at Wal-mart or where ever, we can get you switched over to BBB later. You will also need stabilizer (again available at Wal-Mart, Lowes, etc.) I personally buy it at Lowes. An Initial dose in the 12 pound range will get you to the low end of the correct ballpark, you can fine tune later (better too little than too much CYA/stabilizer it will also take a week or more to show up on tests)

Once you get the pH in the ballpark, and get the CYA /stabilizer in then you will get an idea of what you will need in terms of liquid chlorine/'bleach to keep things in line.

Ike
p.s. One good thing about Wal-Mart is if you buy too much PH UP to begin with you can always return it (I tend to agree the number you have is insanely low, so I would not do anything without checking with the OTO kit, but if you want to save a trip to the store, over buy on pH UP and return what you don't need)

p.p.s for adding stabilizer you probably want to use the sock method, do not just broadcast it into the pool, it is very slow to dissolve, the cheap OTO test kit is good enough to run a seasonal pool (if you don't mind excessive preventive weekly shocking) so it should get you started until your real test kit gets in
 

michaelrj9

Active member
Jun 18, 2010
43
Southern Alabama
I just got the TF-100 kit today and need some advice on what to do. NEWBIE :cheers:


Just a quick recap. The pool is almost all tap water (had multiple leaks that were fixed. Yesterday we added 1 1/2 gallons of bleach 6%. Because the test strips showed almost nothing.

These are the TF-100 test results 1 hour ago.

from the blue plastic kit. CL is 5
PH is 5 to 5 1/2 (off the chart)

other tests

FC is 6
CC is .5
TC should be 6.5 Correct?

Total Alkalinity is 30
Calcium Hardness is 60
CYA I have a question on.
The directions say untill you can't see the dot anymore in the tube. Does that mean 100% gone? because the whole tube was filled to the top with the mixed solution and could still see a light silhouette of the black dot.


Any suggestions on what needs to be done to the water?


Thanks
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
Your TC is correct. TC = FC + CC. Also, since your water is mostly tapwater, your CYA reading makes sense and is effectively 0. Your pH reading doesn't quite make sense to me. I don't have it sitting right in front of me, but the pH test in the TF-100 kit bottoms out at 6.8. How are you coming up with 5 or 5.5? If it's truly 6.8 or lower, you need to get that up now you can use borax to bring that and TA up at the same time. See http://www.poolcalculator.com for how much you'll need.

Really curious about your pH results though, can you explain that a little further?
 

michaelrj9

Active member
Jun 18, 2010
43
Southern Alabama
loughps said:
Your TC is correct. TC = FC + CC. Also, since your water is mostly tapwater, your CYA reading makes sense and is effectively 0. Your pH reading doesn't quite make sense to me. I don't have it sitting right in front of me, but the pH test in the TF-100 kit bottoms out at 6.8. How are you coming up with 5 or 5.5? If it's truly 6.8 or lower, you need to get that up now you can use borax to bring that and TA up at the same time. See http://www.poolcalculator.com for how much you'll need.

Really curious about your pH results though, can you explain that a little further?

The Ph we just guessed at the % acording to the color because the teser does not go that low. The color of the PH was very close to the top color (yellow) on the CL side of the tester
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
After we figure out what's going on with your pH, you're going to want to add some CYA to your pool. I'd target 40 ppm and either put it in a sock in front of a return where it will dissolve over a few days, or you can pour it into the skimmer (with the basket removed) where it will dissolve in your sand filter over a week. If you backwash before the week is over, not all of it will have dissolved and you'll have to test your level and re-add.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
The Ph we just guessed at the % acording to the color because the teser does not go that low.
I'm going to assume that you mean that the test read 6.8 and you just don't know how much lower than that it might be. If that's the case, I'd use 6.8 as your "now" at poolcalculator.com and target 7.5. Using 35000 gallons, that 158 oz (or almost 10 pounds) of borax. I'd get that in right away and let it circulate an hour and test pH again.

You could also go with washing soda/soda ash to raise you pH too, since your TA is fairly low.
 

loughps

Well-known member
Apr 26, 2009
221
Northeast Ohio
A post from JasonLion:

A PH result of 6.8 is tricky because most PH testers will read PH levels below 6.8 as if they were 6.8. So your PH might actually be lower than you think it is.

For now, the important thing is to get the PH above 7.0 fairly quickly. Then you can adjust from there more leisurely. If you can get borax, it would be better to use that, but do something to raise the PH today. I would add a box of borax at a time (or 2 lbs of soda ash), give it an hour to mix in and then test the PH and repeat as needed until the PH is higher than 7.0.
This was in reference to a smaller pool, but is still good advice. If you're not 100% sure of the size of your pool, this is a good route to go. Just add a box of borax at a time and wait an hour and test until you finally get something other than 6.8 on your pH test. If you can find an open store, I personally would do that right now.
 

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