Newbie: Pool problems and urgency to fix

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,696
Houston, Texas
Since all the results indicate high CYA and high CA, I would stick with liquid bleach for now. Use the CYA 150 result to calculate how much chlorine to add to the pool using The Pool Calculator.

This is where you will see the value in having your own high quality test kit. With a TF 100 or a Taylor K2006 you would be able to perform all those tests yourself, and insure the testing was done correctly each time.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
No on the shock powder. Your CYA is already way too high. From now on, only use bleach for shocking.

Those results scream ridiculosity. How could diluted water measure CYA at 50 and un-diluted at 150? Crazies. Not a single one of those tests included combined chlorine (total chlorine) results. For them to suggest you do or don't do anything to the pool based on no CC result is nuts.

Yet you are seeing algae. In such a case, you do not really need CC result, the algae is verification enough that you need to shock.

So, not only should you add bleach, you need to add enough to reach shock level and then keep it there till there is .5ppm or less CC, you have passed the overnight chlorine loss test, and the pool is clear. Don't be surprised if it gets cloudy during this process, this is normal and it's dead algae that will be filtered out over time as you shock (and after, it can take a while to clear everything).

Maybe I missed it, but you did order a kit right? Till that comes in, I would enter 0 in the now column, your target shock level in the target column, enter CYA of 150 in "now" and at the bottom it will show you minimum, target, and shock levels. Enter in all your other results in the now column as well. I'd use the un-diluted numbers from the store for the time being but as soon as your kit comes, post back with your own numbers and then we can help further.

Calculator will tell you that you need a LOT of bleach. Be aware that CYA that high makes shocking more difficult, if not expensive and if you miss shock level, you will miss killing all the algae effectively. It will increase the time it will take to finish the process.

No cupcakes for pool guy #1. If #2 isn't a dolt, maybe...
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
Checked with the city. Need authorization to drain and refill the pool. In the meantime, what does LOTs of bleach mean, 10 gallon, 100 gallon? Is the 10% worth the premium price?
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
New2Water said:
My kit is in. I'm going to see if I can drain the pool today and try to refill it.
New2water said:
Checked with the city. Need authorization to drain and refill the pool. In the meantime, what does LOTs of bleach mean, 10 gallon, 100 gallon? Is the 10% worth the premium price?
:shock: Do you mean "drain" your pool? You cannot drain an IG vinyl pool! You can do a partial drain and refill. It's a water dance. Drain some, refill some.

Since you have your test kit, you should post your test results! :)
 

Raaron

Member
Jul 9, 2011
18
If you have a home depot near you that rents tools you can rent a submersible pump and hose to drain the pool it's around 50 bucks for the day. They also rented the pump for 4 hours which might work better for you since you are only draining half the pool. I have like a drainage system in the backyard and around the pool so I was able to put the hose they gave me into the furthest drain from the pool closest to the street. If you don't have any drains around the pool you might just need to get an extra hose from them.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
Harbor Freight has an inexpensive submersible, 1/2hp I believe for about $30.

Half drain and refill isn't a drain and refill... you had a leak.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,696
Houston, Texas
New2water said:
Checked with the city. Need authorization to drain and refill the pool. In the meantime, what does LOTs of bleach mean, 10 gallon, 100 gallon? Is the 10% worth the premium price?
Use The Pool Calculator to determine how much bleach you need. You can also use the pool calculator to determine whether 10% or 6% is more cost effective for you. In the pool calculator the yellow FC area has input boxes where you can change the % of bleach used and also change the volume of the bleach container.

If you are in an area that isn't getting a lot of rain right now you can use some of the pool water for your plants and lawn. As long as there is no run off into the street the city shouldn't give you any problems.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
UPDATE: Newbie: Pool problems and urgency to fix

Got permit from the city to drain and refill. This pool company promises to drain, pressure wash with Chlorine, wash cartridge filters, and balance chemicals. What chemical levels should I ask them to start my new water with?
Thank you.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
Starting over (WAS: Newbie: Pool problems and urgency to fix

So finally had the pool emptied, cleaned, refilled and chemically 'balanced'. Did my first test using my new test kit and here are the results:
FC 21.5
CC 3.0
pH 7.2
T/A 90
CH 100
CYA 80

I then took water sample to Leslie's to verify. They said everything else is ok except Calcium is low at 60. My other concern is that when using the two sided colored tester, the Chlorine side did not match any of the colors and was orange which may mean too much Chlorine. I don't know if I should be concerned since we are not using the pool at this time.

A few questions to better inform myself:

1- How often should I test the water?
2- If I want to used the BBB method, what maintenance should I do to keep my pool balanced?
3- I see some debris at the bottom of the pool. What is the best method for keeping it clean other than buying an expensive automated vacuum? (My Kreepy Krawler only goes around in a specific pattern and does not clean all around).

Thank you.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
They put 80ppm CYA in your pool? I thought the drain was intended to reduce CYA!

WTHeck? You should not be at 80. Oh my, why? Did you pay for this? 40ppm. That's all you need right now, summer is winding down. You should drain half... again.

You also have 3ppm combined chlorine. You need to shock. At 80ppm CYA you need to maintain 21ppm FC for shocking. So you are shocking right now, but you'll need to test it regularly and keep it there till you see less than .5ppm CC, the water is clear, and you loose 1ppm or less overnight. See pool school for the shocking information.

The OTO (yellow color block) test does not test over 5ppm. With 80ppm CYA you should NEVER let your pool fall below 6ppm. Max/target for each day will be 11ppm FC. Expect to loose some, and not be under 6ppm at the end of the day.

At 40ppm CYA your shock level is 13ppm, minimum 3ppm and maximum is 7ppm. A far cry from 6, 11, and 21 and far less chlorine needed.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
frogabog said:
They put 80ppm CYA in your pool? I thought the drain was intended to reduce CYA!

WTHeck? You should not be at 80. Oh my, why? Did you pay for this? 40ppm. That's all you need right now, summer is winding down. You should drain half... again.

You also have 3ppm combined chlorine. You need to shock. At 80ppm CYA you need to maintain 21ppm FC for shocking. So you are shocking right now, but you'll need to test it regularly and keep it there till you see less than .5ppm CC, the water is clear, and you loose 1ppm or less overnight. See pool school for the shocking information.

The OTO (yellow color block) test does not test over 5ppm. With 80ppm CYA you should NEVER let your pool fall below 6ppm. Max/target for each day will be 11ppm FC. Expect to loose some, and not be under 6ppm at the end of the day.

At 40ppm CYA your shock level is 13ppm, minimum 3ppm and maximum is 7ppm. A far cry from 6, 11, and 21 and far less chlorine needed.
Yes, I paid $400 for this service (in addition to $100 water bill) from a reputable company referred by ServiceMagic. I am contacting them for resolution. I hope it was only my testing that was less than accurate. Water is skyblue clear.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
Do more tests. Test tomorrow morning, add chlorine (bleach) if you're under 21ppm at all. Raise it back to 21. Check for Total Chlorine and Combined Chlorine again (and FC, of course lol).

Test it again in an hour. Write down every result you get. Follow the directions in the test kit, and do not trust anyone else's testing over yours. You have a professional grade kit, the instructions are accurate. You really can't go too wrong, just make sure you follow the directions for the sample size you're testing (i.e. 10ml vs 25ml chlorine, 10ml each drop = .5ppm and 25ml each drop = .2ppm).

Report back tomorrow morning with your test results. I see that 3ppm CC and that's a LOT. Many green pools don't report that kind of CC while shocking. Somthing's funky there for sure and if it's really 3ppm you absolutely must shock the pool. At 21ppm.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
I will do more tests in the morning and report back with results.
FYI, here is what this pool company owner responded to my concern about their putting too much CYA in new water when I sent him my test results. Please note that I am in Stockton, California.

"Anything under 100 is good for CYA. We keep the pools around 60-80 due to the high amount of sunlight in this area. Again, these levels are all close and need minor adjustments from week to week to get to the perfect level. Whomever does your pool chemicals should be adjusting them slowly week over week. You don’t want to try to adjust them quickly in one shot."
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,833
Portland, Oregon
They added too much. Ask them if 6ppm minimum, and 11ppm maximum is ok with them.

I've been to Stockton. I know it's hot, it's sunny. 50-60ppm is more than enough even in that location.

Especially right now. it's end of season. Even for your area. The sun is lower in the sky, you do not need 80ppm. Tell them that you do not want to maintain those levels of chlorine, that you want 40ppm right not to winterize with and they shall pay for the drain and refill.

Or do it yourself. Chances are you won't get anything out of them anyway. Drain a portion, refill and do it yourself. You have the tools to do it.

The principal of the matter is that they added too much CYA and it's ridiculous. Getting them to compensate you for it is another matter. At this point, either maintain the high values of chlorine that you need to, or dispute the matter with them. In the meantime, do not let your pool fall below 6ppm, and raise it to 11ppm every night from now on.

They may/will disagree with these values. It's not debatable here. The levels we use allow us to have crystal clear pools year in year out. They have issues and sell pool chemicals, we do not. Our levels are correct. We don't use their dum chemicals.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
This morning's test results:

FC 18
CC 0.5
TC 18.5
pH 7.2
T/A 90
CH 100
CYA 80

Only the Chlorine levels have changed.

I will ask them to drain and refill but I doubt they will be willing to do it. How do I convince them that they added too much. Is there any authoritative site I can refer them to?

Thank you.
 

New2water

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
78
Stockton, CA
Re: Newbie: Pool winterization related questions

My first winter with a pool is upon us and I am trying to figure out what to do with my pool. Here in Stockton California, temperature during winter rarely ever goes below freezing and on the average, about 10 inches of rain falls from October through April.

My two recent pool chemistry tests show the following results. The CYA may be misleading because the test is very subjective i.e. determining when the dot at the bottom disappears.
FC 12.5, 16
CC .5, .5
TC 13.5, 16.5
Ph 7.4, 7.8
TA 90, 90
CH 100, 120
CYA 80, 90

Please accept my apologies if some of my questions seem obvious or border on stupid. The information I am requesting is:

1- How often will I need to test the pool water considering there will be good amount of rain?
2- What levels should the pool be maintained at?
3- Should I close the automatic water refill valve?
4- Do I still need to run the pump a few hours every day to recirculate water?
5- Is a net/screen pool cover recommended to keep leaves from falling into the pool?
6- If it does fall below freezing on some days, would I need to drain its pumps and plumbing? If so, how is it done without draining the pool to a lower level?

On a related note, if a pool is not going to be used during summer season, is a reduced maintenance schedule recommended?

Thank you.