Newbie needs advice.....or confirmation

Maxomom

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Apr 7, 2010
55
Got my Taylor test kit a month or so ago and understand how to use it now....been testing regularly. Here are some recent results and then I will get to my problem. BTW - can't get a calcium hardness reading at all. Test water is pink, stays pink, won't go to blue no matter how many drops I use. Tried adding Hardness reagent to water first as instructed....still pink! Anyway:

5/25/10
FC 2.0
CC 0
pH 7.4
TA 125
CYA 70

Added muriatic acid per table to reduce TA after this test since the result was on the high end. Adjusted inline chlorinator up slightly as I was about to have a party with a large swimmer load and killer volleyball tourney :-D

6/2/10
FC 5.0
CC 0
pH7.4
TA 100
CYA 95

6/3/10

Swam last night and skin was burning like crazy when I got out. First time this has ever happened....high CYA? high FC??

6/4/10

NOTE: Added water this morning before test..

FC 4.5
CC 0
pH 7.4
TA 100
CYA 75

Based upon these results, I dialed back the chlorinator. I prefer to use the tablets as opposed to the liquid chlorine but now I understand from doing some reading this morning it could also be contributing to my high CYA readings as well. Should I simply bypass the chlorinator for a few days and keep adding water until things normalize? Will have children in the pool tomorrow and can't have burning skin....

Thanks for your patience and assistance.
 

duraleigh

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Swam last night and skin was burning like crazy when I got out. First time this has ever happened....high CYA? high FC??
There is nothing in the numbers you posted to burn your skin......it's coming from somethng else but I don't know what.

Continued use of the pucks will drive your CYA even further up and it's too high already. It may soon make your pool unmanageable as far as preventing algae but it has nothing to do with burning skin. Nor does the chlorine.

Look at some of the articles in Pool School to help you get a better understanding of what your parameters should be.
 

duraleigh

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Please post one post only.....more people will respond and it will be less confusing. Your duplicate post was deleted.
 

Maxomom

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Apr 7, 2010
55
I wasn't aware that I had posted more than once...

I use the parameters in the Taylor water chemistry book that came with my test kit.

Thank you.
 

JasonLion

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Your FC level is way to low for your CYA level, and your CYA level is quite high and sure to go higher if you keep using the tablet chlorinator. With CYA around 70 to 80 you should be keeping FC between 6 and 11, and never below 6. The ideal CYA level would be down around 50, which would allow you to use a lower FC level.

I am also concerned that your CH could be extremely high, which could easily lead to calcium scaling. How many drops did you get up to on the CH test before you gave up on the color changing to blue?
 

poolgirl22

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Apr 14, 2010
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Stephens City, VA
:wave:

From a very happy pool owner who runs a FC of 5-9 with many children and pets (and adults) I assure you it is not the chlorine burning your skin. I am shocking as we speak at 18ppm and neither my daughter or I when we were in the pool at those levels earlier felt the slightest irritation. I had my eyes open under water and still nothing. I have VERY sensitive skin, especially days when I've shaved my legs (sorry if TMI), and the levels this year have not given me the slightest discomfort.

I can pretty much guarantee you that if you dial that chlorinator back you will end up with CCs that will irritate your skin and eyes, especially with little ones swimming. If anything, you should be bumping that FC up a bit.

Good luck and I'm 100% confident this board can set you on a great path..
 

Maxomom

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Apr 7, 2010
55
JasonLion-Thank you for your kind reply..

I believe that I counted to 25 drops before I gave up. I tried this CH test twice today - once as normal and second adding the hardness reagent before following the test procedure....with no change in result. Could it be CH that is making my water unfriendly? BTW - I do have some signs of scaling on my steps. I understand that the only solution for this is to partially drain my pool. Maybe I will take a sample to the dreaded pool store and see if they can provide a reading.

I do try in earnest to keep my pool within the parameters noted in my booklet from Taylor. As a result, it never occurred to me that my FC should increase in relation to the high CYA reading. Should I add liquid chlorine to raise FC? I never seem to have an issue with chloramines. Any other suggestions....?

I appreciate your help and input...
 

Maxomom

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Apr 7, 2010
55
Poolgirl -

Thank you for the words of encouragement. I am not having fun yet...... :cry: But I will keep trying until I get it right....!
 

poolgirl22

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Stephens City, VA
Maxomom said:
Poolgirl -

Thank you for the words of encouragement. I am not having fun yet...... :cry: But I will keep trying until I get it right....!
You will get there I know it...and then you will annoy all your friends and family like the rest of us do... :mrgreen:
 

JasonLion

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You should check out PaulR's somewhat expanded test kit instructions. In there he explains how to do the CH test so that each drop is 25 ppm. That makes the CH test much more manageable. Melt In The Sun is right, you need to keep adding drops till you have tested levels way above 250. Levels up to 350 are completely normal and some people have CH levels over 1,000.
 

Richard320

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JasonLion said:
You should check out PaulR's somewhat expanded test kit instructions. In there he explains how to do the CH test so that each drop is 25 ppm. That makes the CH test much more manageable. Melt In The Sun is right, you need to keep adding drops till you have tested levels way above 250. Levels up to 350 are completely normal and some people have CH levels over 1,000.
Beat me by mere seconds!!

I use the smaller sample when I check CH. I'm one of those with numbers over 1000. And I have CYA in triple digits, and FC somewhere between 14 & 17, haven't looked today. And no irritation. None reported by my wife, either.

Maxomom, I'd look at CC if I were you. That will indicate if stuff can live in the water - nasty stuff that causes pinkeye and jock itch and such.
 

Maxomom

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Apr 7, 2010
55
Thanks to all.....actually those directions for the CH test@25ppm are in my kit and I did that the second test today but I guess I just quit too soon......Will do this test again tonight.

My CC readings have consistently been zero so is there something that I may be doing wrong? My directions say to add DPD reagent #3 after completing FC test and if the test water goes to pink then there is CC present. So far, mine has always stayed clear....

Will check back in tomorrow after repeating the CH test....
 

JasonLion

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CH at 425 is higher than you would ideally want. On the other hand CH at 425 is quite low for an area with high CH fill water and arid conditions. I'm not sure you are in that situation, but it seems likely enough. You didn't say what your fill water CH level is. That is something that is good to know.
 

Maxomom

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Apr 7, 2010
55
Jason -

Pool CH last evening was 475....not 425 :) Fill water just tested @250.
From my experience in San Diego over the years, our water supply tends to be very hard as compared to other places I lived. I have used a bottled water service for as long as I have lived here because the tap water is nasty to drink. Lots of deposits on faucets unless you keep on top of it. I definitely have some calcium deposits on my steps and in a couple of other places...pool wall and bottom.....not really bad but noticeable..

Do you recommend a partial drain at this point??

Now, let me throw in a wild card... Occasionally I have my water tested at the pool store because they can test for things that I cannot....TDS, metals etc. Last test at the pool store a week or so ago revealed what I was told to be a phosphate level "off the chart". Did a phosphate removal treatment and then immediately cleaned my filter. (yep, taught my little old self how to do that..will never pay for that service again!!) When my skin started burning the other night I was doing a routine cleaning of my tiles and I was right by the skimmer. Is it possible that I may still have some floating DE (filter was off) in the water? When I added the DE to the skimmer after filter cleaning I did not wear gloves and I got a similar reaction on my arms...possible?

As for my high CYA level, I have turned the chlorinator off. I will monitor FC level and add liquid chlorine for awhile until CYA levels look okay. Is this a good strategy?

So many "thank you's" for your help!
 

JasonLion

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Just ignore your phosphate level. Phosphates don't hurt anything so removing them is not worth the money.

DE can cause skin irritation, but I wouldn't expect it to be floating. DE that gets into the pool usually sinks (eventually anyway).

With a fill water CH level of 250 you should get used to managing high CH levels because they are going to be difficult to avoid. It is best to try and put off replacing water or getting a reverse osmosis treatment to lower CH for as long as practical, typically till the CH level is above 800 (or higher). By lowering your PH and TA levels you can compensate for high CH levels. Try to keep CSI a little negative.
 

Maxomom

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Apr 7, 2010
55
Thank you again Jason,

I have never calculated CSI so my next step is figure out the Pool Calculator! Looks like an awesome tool....

Will keep in touch if I need help...

Best,

Paula (aka Maxomom)
 
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