OK...I'm LOST! Help please!

mattydub

Member
Jun 10, 2010
7
Here's my pool...23,000 gallon oval in ground, first pool ever and I live 40 mins from the pool so monitoring it "daily" is tough (read:impossible). It gets good sun, but not a ton of sun (maybe 5-6hrs a day) as it's surrounded by a lot of trees in backyard.

I just replaced the pump (got a new 3phase pentair intellipump -ultra high efficiecy = ultra high $$!), new Sta-Rite heater (not hooked up yet) and new Sta-Rite PLDE 48 DE filter (read: I"m too broke now to pay pool service to dump chems I can get at wally-world!).

The pool was green. Pool man took water sample (before!) then dumped 4 bags (4 pounds) of shock product and left. I went back to the pool today and the water was starting to clear up. I just tested TC and PH from wal-mart tester....PH is at 6.4 and TC was at 2.

Pool guy emails me and said my water is "very agressive" and his test came back with TC at 0, FC at 0, pH at 6.4, Alk at 48, and total Hardness at 66. didn't test CYA. he says if I don't get the total alk up I'll ruin the heater in no time....

I'm LOST now. Should I add more chlorine (bleach?) or raise the pH first (borax from the pool calculator - I got the pool school and LOVE IT! thanks guys).

Some basic questions that I haven't found on this board yet:

1. Do you add chem just to the deep end or to the skimmer and which ones go where/when?
2. Do you have to raise pH first before you do anything or can you multi-task (add bleach and borax at same time?)
3. how do I raise CYA and pH? won't CYA lower my pH?
**4 MVP QUestion: pool guy is telling me if my water isn't "balanced" then my $3,000 heater is gonna be dead in a month (so I need to pay him to do that right!).

THanks so much for all your help....ps..I'm very very experienced with saltwater reef aquariums so water chem is not foreign to me...just not on this scale and we NEVER add bleach for fish, can't believe that's safe for us! =)
 

waskydiver

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
191
First thing I would do is raise your pH to at least 7 if not 7.2.

You could add bleach too, but at pH that low, your residuals are going to be disapating pretty quick. (You may just be wasting it). Plus, without a CYA reading, you don't really know how much to put in.

I would use borax to raise your pH. Washing soda may seem tempting, because it would have a more of an effect on TA, but when pH gets that low, it actually may be lower, and you may end up overshooting your TA targets.

Right now, I would get your pH up, then come back with new test results.

And don't panic... yea your numbers are not ideal, but a couple days isn't going to really hurt anything as long as you start addressing the problems.
 

mattydub

Member
Jun 10, 2010
7
Perfect! THanks for the tips Wasky....I'll do just that and come back with more TEST TEST TEST results ;-)

Thanks again and happy swimming everyone!
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Raise the PH first, retest in an hour, then adjust further if necessary. Use Borax.

You can add bleach within a few minutes of adding Borax. The key is if you are shocking, FC levels over 10 may make the PH read False High.

Yes you need CYA, and adding it won't do too much in the way of the PH/TA though you'll still probably need to make some adjustments. Add the CYA using the "sock method".

All of these adjustments can be made rather quickly, within 24 hours...so don't worry too much about the heater.

Is this a vinyl liner?

You should invest in your own test kit :)
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
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May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
Note CYA may take a week or more to show up on tests, also you don't want to raise CYA too much as the only way to lower it is to replace the water or have it professionally reverse osmosis treated.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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matty,

Raising the pH around 7.2 is your first job as stated above.

I am curious about two things in your post. Why is your pool 40 minutes away? Why do you have a 3-phase pump?
 

mattydub

Member
Jun 10, 2010
7
duraleigh said:
matty,

Raising the pH around 7.2 is your first job as stated above.

I am curious about two things in your post. Why is your pool 40 minutes away? Why do you have a 3-phase pump?
The pool is at our "vacation house"....hence the 40 min drive.

I was "upsold" the "better pump" as the 3-phase has an automatic converter but it enables the pump to run more efficiently (it's running at 200w right now but pumping 1200rpms). :hammer:
 

mattydub

Member
Jun 10, 2010
7
WHEW!!!! Long night for me last night....I got the test results below:

pH 7.2
TC .5
CYA 100
TA 140
CH 90

my water is clearing up but I have the green algae on the bottom of the pool now....how do I get rid of that? If I brush it it comes off but goes into the water column? Then I add bleach I'm assuming?

sorry for being such a newbie...I appreciate all's help! I know when someone asks ?'s in reefcentral (aquariums) that are dumb I roll my eyes, but help =) THANKS!
 

NCFlyersFan

LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2008
116
NE North Carolina
You got it....brush, brush, brush. Shock, shock, shock. It will clear up in no time. Particularly with a DE filter. Just keep an eye on the filter pressure. All that stuff in the water column may clog it up pretty quick.

Oh, one more thing....do you have a vinyl liner or is your pool concrete/plaster? If it is concrete/plaster, you need to get your CH up as well.
 

mattydub

Member
Jun 10, 2010
7
NCFlyersFan said:
You got it....brush, brush, brush. Shock, shock, shock. It will clear up in no time. Particularly with a DE filter. Just keep an eye on the filter pressure. All that stuff in the water column may clog it up pretty quick.

Oh, one more thing....do you have a vinyl liner or is your pool concrete/plaster? If it is concrete/plaster, you need to get your CH up as well.
arggghhh....isn't there an "easy button" :roll:

Thanks NCFlyers....I'll get the brush out and get some sweat rollin in no time! Nother silly question....can we swim in the "green water"? I'm assuming it's not any worse than swimming in the nearest lake!
 

NCFlyersFan

LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2008
116
NE North Carolina
I have an "Easy Button." All it says is "That Was Easy" every time I push it....

The green water wouldn't bother me as much as the elevated levels of chlorine while shocking your pool - and based on the green water ARE shocking your pool, right? I am no expert on "safe" levels of chlorine, though. I'll let one of the pros here answer that one.

I also just noticed your CYA levels. CYA of 100 is awfully high. You should consider performing drains and refills to get down to 50 ppm. At a CYA of 100, your normal FC levels would be 7 to 12, and shock level would be 39. That's a lot of bleach!
 

mattydub

Member
Jun 10, 2010
7
You guys n gals on here really are a great asset! Thanks!!! So I've worked my tail off so far and I'm getting some good results in a short time....now for some questions (of course!): I'm headed for shocking for a few days I'm sure but I'm hesitant b/c:

CYA is reading 90ppm right now - OTO test kit - should I drain pool (56% according to pool calc I know I know) or are you guys n gals living with a high CYA like that and just always dumpin in 10 buckets of bleach hahaha....is there a "cheaper" way to maintain FC? I guess what I'm asking is...

With a CYA of 90 can I still do the BBB method or am I essentially "pool store puck stuck" to maintain FC and shock?

other test results:
pH 7.2
TA 140
CH 90
TC (getting good kit asap b/c I need to get rid of the "green water" and can't figure out my FC vs CC right now) 3.

I realize to get to shock level I'm gonna dump 16 jugs of bleach! WOW! or my alt is to use trichlor but CYA will go through the roof then and I'll be right back where I started two weeks ago right?!!

HELP!!!! THanks again...
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Trichlor will continue to raise the CYA, correct.
You need to replace alot of the water and begin to rebalance... as to how much:

If you are going to use trichlor since you can't add bleach daily, then you want to get your CYA level down to 30. This may mean a series of partial drains and refills - not sure, is this a vinyl liner pool? Please clarify that in your signature.
 

mattydub

Member
Jun 10, 2010
7
couple more of course....as I'm diving into the wealth of knowledge on this site (trying my hardest to stay away from the "deep end" as it seems to just confuse us newbies!!!) I'm wondering:

1) Can I even accomplish a BBB pool when I don't plan to be there everyday? (our pool is at our vacation home)

2) I keep getting a "clear drain" warning that shuts my pump down, it's not the normal SVRS shutdown though, this one happens frequently which makes me think the plumbing lines are messed up somehow? I think I had 1" coming from the skimmer and it's intake for the pump is a 1 1/2"! This is a no-no in the fish-bowl world as you're inevitably adding air to the system and not capable of pulling more than 1" (obviously) of flow in any case....am I okay here or am I going to be ripping up concrete and installing new skimmer?!!?!?!

man this is an expensive hobby!
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
You can, you just need some method of automating the adding of liquid chlorine/bleach, this means either a metering pump of some type or a device like "the chlorinator" See the section on the message board about these devices.

Ike

p.s. it may take some time to tune in the right flow rates, I am in the process of doing something similar myself for similar reasons.
 

frustratedpoolmom

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May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Yeah, I can't help with the flow issues.

If you get your CYA down to 30, you can use tablets for your chlorine. You just have to monitor the PH and TA as trichlor tablets are acidic and will lower them. Target 7.8 for PH and 120 for TA and this should help keep you stable for those levels.

Monitor your CYA monthly and when the level gets above 60 drain down again to 20-30 in order to keep using tablets. Now, this method is more expensive than bleach additions but considering you don't have daily access... your other options are a liquidator or an SWG.
 

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