Newby Help - High Chems

LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
I am recently widowed and am attempting to take over the maintenance of our pool. I am realizing that my husband was probably just eye balling things and had let the chemistry get way out of wack. So now I am left to rectify the problem. I purchased the TF-100 Kit and have read thru the pool school and articles. I knew before taking this on that the CYA was off the charts. But below are the readings as a jumping off place:

Free Chlorine - 6 ppm
PH - Very High - color is top of the vial red/pink
Total Alkalinity - 200 ppm
Calcium Hardness - 1250 ppm
Cyanuric Acid - 160 ppm (as close as I can tell)

I did a straight pool water and a 1/2 pool water + 1/2 tap water CYA test that gave the same results. Not sure why. Since we are on aqua tap water, I plan to get either distilled or purified water and preform the test again and see if I can get a more accurate reading. Either way I know it is high. Pool store tested it at 134ppm back in August.

Is it pointless to do anything until I get the CYA under control? I assume that the only way to do this is to drain and replace water? I am in Central Texas, is there a more preferred time of year to do this? Like I said, we are on aqua water so that is going to cost me some $$$. I don't have an algae problem as I have been keeping the chlorine maintained.

Would love to hear suggestions on where to start and how to proceed.
Thank you in advance!
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
2,183
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Pool Size
7500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to TFP and sorry to hear about your loss. You are very well ahead of the game by reading ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry. Temperatures are down and a cold front is coming in so no problem on draining. Make sure you locate your water/sewage drain and use a sumbersible pump to drain. A full drain/refill is recommended at this point, starting fresh will help you get a better hold of how chems works. No need to test again, save your regents. Draining - Further Reading, read along and if you have any doubts or questions please post them up. We are here to help.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,173
NY
Sorry for meeting under these circumstances LK, but I’m glad you found us. Felipe has you well covered above but ask away at any step and we have plenty of folks to help. :)
 

LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
Fortunately I live in the country on 30 acres so I will just be letting the water run off down the hill thru the hay field and into the lake. Do you think I have to do a full drain? What if my water is high calcium, will this hurt the grass? Can I undertake this draining thing myself??? Can I drain 3' and refill and repeat as necessary? I read thru the "Draining" link. I will need to buy a pump. The whole thing is kind of a scary thought... Would it be money well spent to hire a pool maintenance company to come do the drain for me?
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
2,183
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Pool Size
7500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You dont need to buy a pump, you can rent one at your local HW store. They may even have a flat hose to go with it. How are you going to fill? Well or Muni water? Please test your water source for PH,TA and CH and post your results. Your calcium and CYA levels were self inflicted with the use of chlorinating agents. Yes i would highly recommend a full drain and refill your grass will be fine if it runs off down hill. Yes you can hire, but with your great attitude and confidence, i say go for it no real danger of hurting anything. Make sure your equipment pad is shut off at the breakers. Please fill in your Signature with your pool specs as much as you know. See mine as an example.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,173
NY
Do you think I have to do a full drain?
To get your CYA to 30 you’ll need to drain about 82% of the water. There’s really no benefit to keeping the other 18% that’s iffy at best.
Would it be money well spent to hire a pool maintenance company to come do the drain for me?
The big rental pumps will be able to drain the pool in less than a day, probably even half a day, but they can be heavy as well. Do you have help or will it be a solo mission ? If you have or can find a strapping teenager or two (neighbors or nephews maybe if not your own) it will be easy to point at what you need moved where.
 

LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
OK, I think I will attempt the drain myself! I live in very sandy soil and have a great hill behind the pool where it will drain down into the ground and to the lake. I will do the old garden hose siphon method. I will make sure I turn the breaker off to all equipment. I contacted my municipal water company to find out how much it will cost to refill. I tested the municipal water to be:

PH - 7.5
TA - 150 ppm
CH - 75 ppm

So I assume that generally will be the chemistry I will be starting with after the refill? Any other suggestions or encouraging words?
 
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superuser

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2020
204
Spring, TX
I just (yesterday) did a ~60% drain, ~12,000 gallons of my pool in four hours. I bought a pretty inexpensive pump and hose from Amazon, and it actually worked well. Pool has been filling all through the night and today, hope to see it finish up late this evening and then I can see if my CYA level is down where I want it or it I'll have to pull some more water out.

Here's the pump:

Here's the hose:
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,536
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
So sorry for your loss, but happy to see you taking control of your pool.

If you are uncomfortable about draining, there are mobile reverse osmosis companies that can filter out the CYA and Calcium but I've heard they are also costly. I've been googling for you in between meetings and it looks like there is a guy out of Round Rock that offers that service. His website is not existent, but appears on Facebook under Perfect Pool Water.

If you do not end up draining soon, please make sure you knock your pH down into the 7's with some acid and also keep up with your FC.

Hope that helps and good luck.
 

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Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
2,183
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Pool Size
7500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Any other suggestions or encouraging words?
If you can let us know what Chems you have in hand so we can tell you if they work or not. The only things you will actually need is Liquid chlorine, Muriatic acid and CYA(cyianuric acid aka stabilizer). They can all be found on big box stores or HW stores.
 

LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
I just (yesterday) did a ~60% drain, ~12,000 gallons of my pool in four hours. I bought a pretty inexpensive pump and hose from Amazon, and it actually worked well. Pool has been filling all through the night and today, hope to see it finish up late this evening and then I can see if my CYA level is down where I want it or it I'll have to pull some more water out.

Here's the pump:

Here's the hose:

WOW... only four hours for 60% drain. That is great. Thanks for the links, I will check them out. Wonder how long just a double or triple garden hose siphon will take?
 

CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
648
Massachusetts
Rent the pump. A garden hose siphon just doesn't have the capacity you need. A 50' garden hose with a 10' drop puts out just under 5 gallons a minute. That will take 2.5 days (running around the clock) to empty your pool. Using a 100' hose drops it to just over 3 gallons a minute, nearly doubling the amount of time. If you have less of a drop, it will take longer. All that time, your plaster is baking in the sun.
 

LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
So sorry for your loss, but happy to see you taking control of your pool.

If you are uncomfortable about draining, there are mobile reverse osmosis companies that can filter out the CYA and Calcium but I've heard they are also costly. I've been googling for you in between meetings and it looks like there is a guy out of Round Rock that offers that service. His website is not existent, but appears on Facebook under Perfect Pool Water.

If you do not end up draining soon, please make sure you knock your pH down into the 7's with some acid and also keep up with your FC.

Hope that helps and good luck.

Thanks but I am trying to stay as cheap as possible. Sounds easy enough, just gotta be brave!

Now that I have a handle on the numbers and a plan of attack, I was planning on waiting until after New Year's to do the drain. I will keep up with the FC, but do I have to worry about PH if I plan to do the drain in January, 2021? Just kind of feeling overwhelmed with the holidays and everything right now.
 

LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
Rent the pump. A garden hose siphon just doesn't have the capacity you need. A 50' garden hose with a 10' drop puts out just under 5 gallons a minute. That will take 2.5 days (running around the clock) to empty your pool. Using a 100' hose drops it to just over 3 gallons a minute, nearly doubling the amount of time. If you have less of a drop, it will take longer. All that time, your plaster is baking in the sun.

Oh WOW... good to know. I will look into either buying or renting a pump. Thanks for the reality check!
 

LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
If you can let us know what Chems you have in hand so we can tell you if they work or not. The only things you will actually need is Liquid chlorine, Muriatic acid and CYA(cyianuric acid aka stabilizer). They can all be found on big box stores or HW stores.
I don't have a lot of chems on hand. I just have one gallon of liquid chlorine and a bucket of the evil chlorine tablets that I will use as shooting skeet! I will need to get more liquid chlorine, muriatic acid and the CYA stabilizer.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,173
NY
but do I have to worry about PH if I plan to do the drain in January, 2021
PH is one of the easy ones to adjust because it happens quickly. Some of them take days to adjust (raising CYA) or weeks (lowering TA). To lower PH just plug your info into the pool math app and it will tell you how much Muriatic Acid to add. Do so slowly in front of a return jet (upwind for fumes while wearing hand and eye protection) and the PH will be in range within minutes.
 

AZAA

Silver Supporter
Apr 9, 2020
94
Gold Canyon AZ
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I have a similar situation to the poster as I can drain my water directly to the downhill slope of adjacent land. I had a 3-way valve installed directly to the outflow of my pump. I can direct water to the attached "fireman's hose" (see photo) and dump water whenever I please using the pool pump (with the Skimmer/Drain valve turned to Drain). Would that work in the future as a one-time solution for LKSmith?
EDIT: Dang! that's a big photo! Never posted one before...sorry:rolleyes:
 

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LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
PH is one of the easy ones to adjust because it happens quickly. Some of them take days to adjust (raising CYA) or weeks (lowering TA). To lower PH just plug your info into the pool math app and it will tell you how much Muriatic Acid to add. Do so slowly in front of a return jet (upwind for fumes while wearing hand and eye protection) and the PH will be in range within minutes.
Awesome, thanks... will get it done!
 
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LKSmith

Member
Dec 11, 2020
20
Austin, Texas
I have a similar situation to the poster as I can drain my water directly to the downhill slope of adjacent land. I had a 3-way valve installed directly to the outflow of my pump. I can direct water to the attached "fireman's hose" (see photo) and dump water whenever I please using the pool pump (with the Skimmer/Drain valve turned to Drain). Would that work in the future as a one-time solution for LKSmith?
EDIT: Dang! that's a big photo! Never posted one before...sorry:rolleyes:
I believe I have a valve on my pool as well, but it is only garden hose size. I will do more investigating tomorrow and report back. Thanks for the idea!
 

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