Numbers are in, so what should I do now?

bayarea

Member
Aug 26, 2010
13
I just got my TF100 test kit today. I did all the tests. Here are the numbers.

FC – 4 ppm
CC – 0.5 ppm
pH – 7.8
TA - 70
CH - 470
CYA – 80

Water is crystal clear. I have been using tablets since I bought the house last year. I am switching to BBB. Please help me with the following questions.

1. CC: Should I shock the pool? The water looks great to me though I do see some brown dust like stuff. I think that might be algae.

2. CH: The number by Leslie’s from last month is 250. Now my number is very high. I repeated the test and got more or less the same number (500 v.s. 470). Is it something I should be worried about? Why is the number from Leslie’s so different from mine? I live in an area where water is hard, and many people have water softener.

3. pH: I have been using tablets. I thought pH should be low. Pool has a waterfall. Could that be the reason? I have turned off the waterfall for a week now, but pH still stays the same. Should I do anything to it if I want to use bleach from now on? I heard bleach will bring up the pH.

4. CYA: Leslie’s number from last month is 50. Seeing the black dot is quite subjective. I did the test twice. I think this is what I got. Should I lower it by draining some water from the pool?

Please let me know what actions I should take. Thanks for your help.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,799
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
First thing to do now that you have the test kit is to bookmark Pool Calculator. You'll be using it often.

Plug in all your values and down near the bottom be sure to select pool surface and so on. It will give you recommended values. Right away I can see that FC is too low for that CYA. Get some bleach in there, fast.

CH is going to be high - that's just part of the price of living in California. 470 is actually quite do-able. Just pay attention to the CSI when you select target numbers, and keep pH and TA where they need to be to keep CSI close to zero.

When you do the CYA test, take your reading, pour it back in the bottle, shake some more, and try again. Eventually you'll get several readings in a row that are the same. Use that. 80 is pretty high, but mine is higher, and my water is sparkling and clear. Don't add any more CYA; that means no more pucks. Read labels closely. It will go down sloooooooowly through backwashing and splashout and in a few months, rain dilution. As long as you don't get an algae outbreak, you're okay. If you do get a green pool, then worry about draining, as it will take a tanker truck full of bleach to clear it. And I think you're operating under pretty much the same water restrictions we are down south, so draining is to be avoided.
The reason Leslies gets different readings is because they probably use strips. They're fast. Not real accurate, but fast.
 

Sportsman

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2010
233
Central Valley, CA
And I'll put in a plug for the pool calculator iPhone app (maybe droid too?) Works great and I use it for everything but pH because the app doesn't have 14.5% MA but online pool calculator does.
 

bayarea

Member
Aug 26, 2010
13
Thanks for both responses. Do I have to do anything with pH (7.8 now)? I assume adding acid will lower pH, but it will lower TA, too. And it may not be a good thing for my TA (80).
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Welcome to TFP :wave:

With high CH, you always want to keep PH below 7.8 to avoid scaling. How old is the pool? You can lower PH to 7.4 and if you're TA should drop below 60 (my recommended lower TA limit), you can just raise TA with Baking Soda, while not impacting PH much. But for now TA at 60 is just fine and you may actually find you're PH stabilize. How often are you adding acid to keep the PH at 7.8?
 

bayarea

Member
Aug 26, 2010
13
Thanks for the response. My pool is five years old. I am new to pool chemistry. I never added anything to adjust pH. Is it O.K. to add muriatic acid?
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
Bay area,

Welcome to the forum.

1. Use muriatic acid to lower your pH down around 7.2-7.4.

2. Ignore TA for now.

3. Raise your chlorine to 6-9ppm and hold it up there....don't let it go below 6. I see no reason to shock.

4. Read the first few articles in Pool School, especially "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry". Ask any questions you have about the article.

That's enough while you are learning.

To answer your questions....

1. No, don't shock.

2. ALWAYS trust your own testing........pool stores don't test accurately.

3. Bleach won't change your pH in the long run. Don't worry why your your pH is stable, just be thankful it's stable. All pools are different but your waterfall probably helped keep it up.

4. Lowering may be a good idea in the future. For now, I think you would do best doing the least amount while you learn.

Could you test the CH of your fill water and post that?
 

bayarea

Member
Aug 26, 2010
13
I added bleach last night. This morning FC is 9.5 and CC is 0. So Chlorine is taken care of. I just did the CH for the tap water as you suggested. Surprise. Surprise. It is 90. How could it be? I thought that is the water goes to the pool. How could the CH of pool water get so high? Could it be that someone added something to the pool to make it so high before I bought the house last year? When I did the CH test for the pool water, after I dropped a lot of R-0012, I saw a lot of very tiny pink drops. Was it an indication of anything?

Thanks.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
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Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
nope...that's normal. The prior pool owner was probably shocking weekly with calcium hypoclorite based "shock"
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
So Chlorine is taken care of.
Not quite yet. Chlorine is a consumable item so you will have to add it daily to keep in the suggested range. Test and add enough to bring it back up to 9.5ppm. What I would like to see you do is keep testing and adding daily until you find out how much chlorine you are consuming daily.

How are you doing on those articles in Pool School?
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
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Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Where are you located? If you get much rain, enough to overflow the pool occasionally that is, then the rain will dillute the CH.

Likewise, if you drain water and let it refill by rain or with tap water, CH will reduce.

If you only replace evaporation with tap water, the CH will slowly climb, since evaporation leaves calcium behind and tap water will add to that.
 

bayarea

Member
Aug 26, 2010
13
Thanks for all your help. O.K. I will keep testing it and adding the chlorine until it stabilizes.

Yes, I have read most of the articles. I have to keep pH relatively low to prevent calcium scaling. I just added 25 oz of Muriatic Acid. I will test it and add more later today to bring the pH down to 7.2 to 7.4. I also bought baking soda and will add it to bring TA back up if muriatic acid makes it drop below 60.

I see a of calcium deposits on the water line, especially on the waterfall area. Is it caused by the high CH? From the responses above, I may cause the CH problem myself. I bought a whole carton of calcium hypochlorite shock bags from Costco. I have used 2/3 of it. Now I know I should not use it any more.

From the articles and the pool calculator, I see no way to reduce it without draining the water. I will wait until I am comfortable with all this pool chemistry. I am in San Francisco Bay Area. Raining season is coming in a few months. I may want to wait to make the decision until the raining season is over next spring to see how it goes.

Thanks for all your help. I am a lot more comfortable with the pool now.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
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Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Just hang onto that cal-hypo. It keeps well and in the spring you may be able to use it.

I always keep it on hand. Sometimes I just don't have a lot of bleach on hand and if something drastic happens and I need to shock the pool I find it easier to get to high FC with cal-hypo than with bleach, assuming the pool is somewhere within the 250-350 ppm range for CH. I can add 10 lbs of cal-hypo and add only 27 to CH while getting FC up by 38 ppm. that will buy me enough time to go buy some bleach to maintain it as needed. In the 100# buckets it is slightly cheaper than bleach in my area. Those measured 1 lb bags are expensive as I recall.