Nitrates

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
8,934
Eastern Ohio
Clearly the OP has doubts about the advice they were given from the store or they wouldn’t have asked for our assistance. Hopefully the OP sees we’ve seen multiple times in the past issues with pool stores and the advice given to understand our frustrations. Let’s help them out here..........

VAwaterboy, if I may ask, can you show us a photo of your water?
 

VAwaterboy

Active member
May 10, 2014
27
Falls Church, VA
I completely agree, and once we get you set back up you will switch back to the SWG. The only issue is, currently the system isn’t making enough chlorine to kill the organics in your pool fast enough. Spend a week or so of labor and kill off all the organics in your water so the system can produce enough chlorine. Right now the algae simply is reproducing faster than the chlorine can kill it, thus you’re seeing it. Keep in mind all a salt system does is produce chlorine, unfortunately most systems cannot produce enough to SLAM Process a pool. Spend a week or so doing the work manually and you’ll kill off everything, then your system can produce enough chlorine.
Where can I buy liquid chlorine (Home Depot and Walmart don't have it in my area), and how do I know how much to use?

It seems that the advice here is the same as one of the options mentioned by Leslie's -- add lots of chlorine -- except that it's a different form of chlorine.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
Where can I buy liquid chlorine (Home Depot and Walmart don't have it in my area), and how do I know how much to use?

It seems that the advice here is the same as one of the options mentioned by Leslie's -- add lots of chlorine -- except that it's a different form of chlorine.
Our advice is quite different. The pool store is basically telling you to dump in an astronomical dose of chlorine and stabilizer (or calcium) and pray that you don’t destroy your pool equipment, as well as clear the pool.

We are asking you to raise your FC to a specific % of your CYA and hold it there until you pass all three ending criteria of a SLAM.

Chlorine is chlorine, there are no different types, it is what the chlorine is bound to that matters. We recommend liquid, aka bleach, as it’s bound to only water and a bit of salt. Plain old unscented laundry bleach is fine, or stronger bleach from a pool store.

Pool Math can help you with your chemical additions.

PoolMath

It’s your pool, you are free to care for it as you wish. Just don’t mix TFP methods with pool store advice, you’ll just end up broke and disappointed.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,587
It seems that the advice here is the same as one of the options mentioned by Leslie's -- add lots of chlorine -- except that it's a different form of chlorine.
Leslie's advice is to add chlorine to get rid of the nitrates. Chlorine won't do anything to nitrates. And 200 lbs is crazy.

Our advice is to use chlorine to address the algae, which it will do quite well. We also advise that the chlorine be added in a very controlled way to optimize the results.
 

scdaren

Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
343
Clovis, CA
Also, it sounds like you are getting Leslie's tests because you are concerned about nitrates and can't do that test yourself. You'll notice on this forum that our focus is on proper sanitation to protect your health and provide clean and clear water, and correct CSI water balance to protect your pool and equipment -- not so much concerned with nitrates or phosphates.

The issue with nitrates and phosphates are that they are basically fertilizer for algae, and will contribute to algae growth. However, trying to clear your water of all phosphates and nitrates is a losing battle. It generally involves adding things to your pool that are unnecessary and can create their own problems, all of which are very profitable for Leslie's. The solution to this is properly sanitized water -- i.e. proper chlorine levels in proportion to CYA. If water is sanitized, algae (and other organic contaminants) cannot grow to begin with, any spores introduced to your water are killed by chlorine. So having a bit of nitrate or phosphate in your water becomes a moot point.
 

scdaren

Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
343
Clovis, CA
Where can I buy liquid chlorine (Home Depot and Walmart don't have it in my area), and how do I know how much to use?

It seems that the advice here is the same as one of the options mentioned by Leslie's -- add lots of chlorine -- except that it's a different form of chlorine.
I hear Leslie's carries it in some areas, though at a higher cost. Check to see if there are any independent pool stores, they frequently carry 12.5% sodium hypochlorite (aka bleach). You can also check janitorial supply companies. Some places have companies that sell chemicals for water treatment who will fill smaller jugs, like 5 gallon.
 

VAwaterboy

Active member
May 10, 2014
27
Falls Church, VA
Clearly the OP has doubts about the advice they were given from the store or they wouldn’t have asked for our assistance. Hopefully the OP sees we’ve seen multiple times in the past issues with pool stores and the advice given to understand our frustrations. Let’s help them out here..........

VAwaterboy, if I may ask, can you show us a photo of your water?
The water looks OK except for a bit of algae in some spots.
 

scdaren

Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
343
Clovis, CA
The water looks OK except for a bit of algae in some spots.
If you see a bit of algae -- it means your pool has a whole lot more that you can't see. A bit of algae is never acceptable under TFP methods, and always means you need to SLAM.

Also, if you have a bit of algae going, now your nitrates do become a problem because they will help the algae grow. You should only be satisfied with zero algae, meaning no visible algae, AND you can pass the OCLT test in the SLAM process which will indicate you don't have anything (ie algae) consuming chlorine overnight.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,620
Evans, Georgia
VA, do you have a proper test kit? One that contains the FAS-DPD powder chlorine tester? The Taylor K-2006C or the TF-100 are both about the same in quantity of testing reagents, but the TF-100 is cheaper and the reagents are sized more for the tests you do the most.

You can obtain both from TFTestkits.net or Amazon. I would suggest going thru tftest.net because they ship out of NC so its fastest. They also sell the test kit to monitor your salt levels. That's important with a SWG.

Once you obtain the kit you'll have the tools you need to test for : FC, CC, pH, TA, CH and CYA, and optionally the salt level.

You'll need to run a full set of tests (about 10 min time) and then take those numbers up to the PoolMath app at the top of the page and input the numbers in to the "Now" column.

You need to have an idea of what your goal target number is and input that in to the "Target" column. It will then scrunch the numbers and advise you.

Please remember to fill out your pool gallon size at the top, and your surface (plaster) at the bottom. You want to take "troublefreepool.com" and "SWG" option choices too.

Here is a rough guide to strive for--> Pool School - Recommended Levels

Please let us know if you can do this?

As for worry about nitrates and phos.... feh! Not even on my mind. Proper chlorine levels make them unable to cause problems.

For reference, on my SWG pool I can test once or twice a week and be done! It rarely needs any other chemical. I'd say that it is as TROUBLEFREE as they come!!

Maddie :flower:
 

VAwaterboy

Active member
May 10, 2014
27
Falls Church, VA
So let me start by welcoming you to TFP! We really do hope to assist in helping you learn more about your pool.

I’d like to start by commenting on the advice from Leslie’s. It’s horrid. That’s more chlorine than many users use in a year, let alone to fix a small issue. Draining a pool to clear it of algae?? Unless you’ve got a black swamp, draining is not really practical in my honest opinion.

So what is your problem? It’s an easy one, lack of chlorine. Your SWG for whatever reason wasn’t producing enough chlorine to kill that algae as fast as it could reproduce. If you add more chlorine it will kill the algae faster than the algae can grow. Repeate that process enough and in a few days your pool will be algae free, regardless of your Nitrate levels.

Now how do ya do that? Most SWG’s won’t produce enough chlorine fast enough to keep up with the algae. That leaves either solid chlorine or liquid. All forms of solid chlorine add something to the pool, be it CYA or calcium. Both cannot be removed from the water once they’re in the water. This is why we use liquid chlorine, it only adds salt, which while it cannot be removed, is harmless at the majority of levels.

So let me ask this, what test kit do you have? Can you post a photo of your water?? We’d love to help you clear this pool and get ya back up and running.
I am catching on to all this. Thanks for the helpful advice. I found 10% liquid chlorine at a great price (store going out of business), and will brush the pool and pump out water to lower CYA tomorrow. I've never had this problem before, and I'm wondering how much liquid chlorine I should buy. Any idea how much liquid chlorine TFP folks with salt water generators typically use in a season?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,414
Laughlin, NV
Liquid chlorine degrades with time. Worse when in hot areas. So buying a significant amount ahead of time is not a good idea. However, with a SWCG, you should use very little during the swim season. If you maintain your FC, you will not have algae. Only time you might need some LC is after large pool parties, especially with children. Your FC should be supplemented at those times.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,409
Franklin, NC
I found 10% liquid chlorine at a great price (store going out of business)
As Marty said, liquid degrades with time and temperature.

Look on the bottle for a date. It will be in Julian format, so a line of numbers that has something like "19200" in it. That would mean the chlorine was produced on the 200th day of 2019.

Chlorine produced and bottled today would be 19267
 

VAwaterboy

Active member
May 10, 2014
27
Falls Church, VA
I'm about to order a new test kit. On the Taylor website, it says the FAS/DPD test can measure chlorine up to 20, while the PoolMath chart says I need to bring mine to 31 to SLAM it. The TF website doesn't mention this limitation. But aren't they both selling the same test using the same technology?
 

scdaren

Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
343
Clovis, CA
I'm about to order a new test kit. On the Taylor website, it says the FAS/DPD test can measure chlorine up to 20, while the PoolMath chart says I need to bring mine to 31 to SLAM it. The TF website doesn't mention this limitation. But aren't they both selling the same test using the same technology?
Get the TF-100. It's a great deal, and the folks at tftestkits provide very good service. I have been super happy with my kit, and also with the speed stir. Definitely get the speed stir.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
Many members, including myself, have had no issues testing FC levels higher than 20ppm. I think Taylor is being very conservative in their recommendations.

Note that at the higher shock FC levels, there is really no need to be very accurate. If you are off by a few ppm, it will not make much difference.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
This pic is from the instruction booklet (pg 25) that came with my K2006 that I bought in 2014.

IMG_3324.jpg

As of 2014 it was a 20ppm FC limit using the 10ml sample.