On the right track??

mybluepool

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
39
Ok so sit tight because I have multiple issues.
I have been turing my green pool blue for several weeks now, I am running my filter non-stop now and have seen some improvements. Let me also mention my pool is a beast and drinks chemicals like cocktails. I am using muratic acid and kem-teck (sp?) shock just for maintenance. I just bought, last night, cal-hypo at 65%. My numbers today were
FC >10
pH 6.8
TA~150-180
CH 190-200
CYA 0
As a side bar I am aerating the pool to decrease TA, and that is why my pH is low as well, added 2 gal of 29% MA last night. I checked just recently and looks like it is up to 7.0, I do live in arizona and it is hot, is this why pH is rising so quickly?
The kem-tek product has 36% available chlorine and states no calcium in product and will not change pH, (no CYA I assume). I have been using massive amounts of this product for several weeks, i would guess around 60-70 pounds since aug. 1
I am using the pool calculator and realize the csi is very low so I am hoping the cal-hypo will help raise the CH, and once the TA is lowered and pH is lowered I will be looking good. Except the pool is still slightly green and cloudy.
I also used the pool calc to generate the gallon amount of my pool, it is a diving pool so I took an average depth of 6 ft, the deepest part is 9 ft and shallowest is 4ft. is this correct, if so it is like 40,000 gallons.
any help is appreciated, thanks
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
The first thing you need is reliable tests (you had to know that was coming....); those are strip tests, right? I expect your real CYA number is very high.
 

mybluepool

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
39
Arrrggggghhhh,
I did. I know I know, I read it on every post. I will bite the bullet, I do use the strips and the DPD, but CYA aside what about the other numbers. I am also worried about corroding the plaster from low CH but I do live in AZ, and the water is pretty hard. And am I doing the other things right, I am at a critical point in pool care and if I cant get this together we are hiring a pool person, this pool is ruining my marriage.
 

macgas

Active member
Jul 29, 2010
38
Houston,TX
Get the TFT test kit. you will fix things more quickly having accurate test. Do you have access to bleach. I think you have used enough powder. Switch to bleach. Once you get control you will never let anyone touch your pool, including your wife!
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
With TA that high (assuming it's at least in the ballpark), your pH will get back to normal pretty quickly. I wouldn't worry about CSI until you have a good kit. High or low CSI isn't going to cause damage in a few days, so if you order a kit pretty soon I think you'll be OK.

Hiring a pool person won't solve your issues, unfortunately. The majority of pool services don't have clue. Until you can get a good kit, I would just keep the filter running and keep the FC above the max your kit can read (using bleach/liquid chlorine), and keep the pH in the sevens. Strip pH tests are reasonably accurate.

On a different note, your Polaris cleaning system has five zones? All the valves I've seen have six. I need one with five..... oh, and your sig says Phoeniz... hehe.
 

kal2002

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2010
241
Sacramento, CA
macgas said:
... Once you get control you will never let anyone touch your pool, including your wife!
This is funny.... :lol:

I won't hire a pool person if I were you. Been there, done that when we did not know better. We went through 2 pool services and still ended up with algae multiple times. It was frustrating. Since we were frustrated any way, we would rather not have to pay to get frustrated so the pool services were gone.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
In Arizona, most everyone with a pool service ends up with horrible scale in the pool (myself included). I was told "it's just part of living in AZ, nothing anyone can do". Bull!!
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,725
Houston, Texas
Hi and welcome to TFP! I am going to address your issues within the quote of your post in red.

mybluepool said:
Ok so sit tight because I have multiple issues.
I have been turing my green pool blue for several weeks now, I am running my filter non-stop now and have seen some improvements. Let me also mention my pool is a beast and drinks chemicals like cocktails. I am using muratic acid and kem-teck (sp?) shock just for maintenance. I just bought, last night, cal-hypo at 65%. My numbers today were
FC >10
pH 6.8
TA~150-180
CH 190-200
CYA 0
As a side bar I am aerating the pool to decrease TA, and that is why my pH is low as well, added 2 gal of 29% MA last night. I checked just recently and looks like it is up to 7.0, I do live in arizona and it is hot, is this why pH is rising so quickly?
Aerating increases pH without affecting TA. You decrease TA with MA and aerate to bring the pH back to the 7.2-7.8 range. Repeat until the TA is 70-90. However you should wait until your pool is clear to adjust the TA. Just bring your pH to 7.2

The kem-tek product has 36% available chlorine and states no calcium in product and will not change pH, (no CYA I assume Kem-Tek shocks contain dichlor or trichlor which contain CYA). I have been using massive amounts of this product for several weeks, i would guess around 60-70 pounds since aug. 1
So odds are your CYA is too high to register on the test strip

I am using the pool calculator and realize the csi is very low so I am hoping the cal-hypo will help raise the CH, and once the TA is lowered and pH is lowered (I hope you meant raised! Never let pH drop below 7.2!)I will be looking good. Except the pool is still slightly green and cloudy.

I also used the pool calc to generate the gallon amount of my pool, it is a diving pool so I took an average depth of 6 ft, the deepest part is 9 ft and shallowest is 4ft. is this correct, if so it is like 40,000 gallons.
any help is appreciated, thanks
Thanks to multiple interruptions from the offspring, I have been able to see subsequent posts. I would hold off on the pool service at this point. We have all been in your shoes to one extent or the other and understand your frustration. If you read pool school a couple of times and post any questions you may have we will help you take control of your pool.

Raise the pH with aeration and don't add anything else until you can get a high quality test kit such as the TF 100 or the Taylor K2006 available from a variety of online retailers. Odds are you will be draining water (or getting a reverse osmosis treatment) and I would hate to see you put more money into the pool until we know exactly what needs to be done.

Best of luck to you!
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
It's kinda all been said - but I'll offer some encouragement.

Right now spending $70 on a test kit will feel like just one more pool expense. I promise - a good test kit and taking the time to know how to use it will totally set this pool thing straight for you.
zea3 said:
FC >10
pH 6.8
TA~150-180
CH 190-200
CYA 0
As stated before chances are your CYA is really high. Just based on the history it's impossible that it's 0. Depending how high it can make it almost impossible to keep up with the algae. A CYA of 200 you could be looking at FC levels near 50 or 60ppm before it really starts to knock back the algae.

Your CH number - I dont believe that either. We have hard water and our CH is 1100. Now at the end of summer you'd expect your CH to be at it's highest with all the evaporation and refill.

PH - 6.8. It could be quite a bit lower if you're adding acid by the gallon. I always find those strips really hard to read on the PH.

Pool School is the place to start. Really it's Chlorine Chlorine Chlorine to kill and burn off the algae - but if your CYA is real high draining some water might be the only practical solution.

Get some good numbers, post em and people here love to help.

And to Mrs. MyBluePool - the pool will get there. It may take a few weeks of diligent work, but once it's fixed it's really very easy to maintain. Good Luck.
 

KenV

Active member
Jul 2, 2010
30
I can't offer anything aside from adding a +1 to getting the TFT kit. This is our first pool, and the full kit has been a huge help in trend analysis of each little bit of chemistry that we try, especially when we gave the water its first real shock.

This site has been a huge help as well....we'll never hire a pool service now that we come here.
 

mybluepool

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
39
Ok, Ok i'll get the test kit. BUT I do remember reading a post where this guy was using powder and his CYA was zero, everyone kept saying it cant be zero but when he got the kit it WAS zero. Then someone mentioned that the powder he was using from wal-mart did not have CYA in it, hth brand i think. SO I hope this is the case. I was using bleach to start, but my pool is so huge i was using a ton of the 6% stuff (3+ gallons), so i switched to 11% and was using ~ 2 gallons a day. this cost me about $7 a day, plus acid cost. So I switched back to the kem-tek, because it states no calcium in product and will not lower pH. Also my pool is full sun all day long, it is situated east to west. Right now my pH is 7.2 and FC is >5 using DPD test kit. Also TA is down using strips. Also I calculated CH by using the TH (from test strip) number multiplied by two thirds. See I HAVE read pool school.....several times. The pool is clearing up and all algae seems to be settled on bottom, I am brushing every morning and running filter all day and night.
Not sure where to go from here though, cant decide on liquid vs. powder, thats a lot of liquid to store and going to get more every other day is not fun, been there done that.
@melt in the sun, we also have scaling but this was already present when we bought this house and pool, haha phoeNIX.
@macgas......MR. mybluepool chuckled at your comment, UNFORTUNATELY my husband makes the big bucks so i manage the domestic responsibilities. the pool included, i also have a one year old daughter to manage and she is easier than the pool.
@everyone else thanks I dont want the pool service he does, grrrrrrr
I Iove this site and all the help.
mybluepool
a.k.a, fawn
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Fawn,
Given that the powder "does not add calcium" and "will not lower pH" it's almost certainly dichlor. If you've used 60-70 pounds of dichlor since 8/1, I can guarantee you that your CYA is through the roof. 1000 oz (~65 lbs) would raise your CYA by 94 in a 40k gallon pool. The picture gets even worse if your pool isn't as large as you think.

Please do get a good kit! Things will start to fall into place once you know where you're starting. After that, the heavens will open, angels will sing, your marriage will be perfect, and your daughter will say "yes ma'am" and never whine again!
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
It looks like that kem-tek stuff is just Tri-chlor. http://www.kem-tek.com/msds.html

And Pool School says this about Trichlor: stabilized form of chlorine (chlorinated isocyanurate) usually sold in tablet or stick form for use in automatic chlorinators or in floating dispensers since it is very slow dissolving. It has a very low pH and will lower pH and TA. It is a good choice for new plaster pool startup chlorination. It will cause CYA levels to rise with continued use so it is not a good choice for those with cartridge filters or in climates that do not winterize pools and have an extended swim season. It will add .6 part CYA for every 1 part of chlorine it adds.

Get a test kit. And a speedstir. You've been shovelling money at the pool, so what's another hundred? Besides, this expense will pay for itself.
 

mybluepool

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
39
ok, the kit is on the way......more accurate numbers on the way. Lord help me in explaining this cost to my hubby. ;^0
@richard320 i can think of a hundred different way to spend another hundred besides on the freakin' pool ;)
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
YES, you are on the right track now. The test kit will show you exactly what is going on. Then you will know what to do.

Read the Pool School, print out some of the pages and put it into a binder to review. Also take notes as you read on the forum when you see something that may be important to your pool. I copied down notes about how to clean the cartridge filter, how to know when to do it.

When you get the test kit, start a log of all test results, what you added to the pool, and what you expected the outcome to be. Post here anytime you need any help. There is always someone around who can help. You'll get to know who the pros are and who the helpful novices are.

Taking care of the pool is not hard, it is a lot like having a pet. You can't ignore it, nor can you expect a stranger to take very good care of it for you. Like most pets, it does take time but not really a lot of time. Just regular time. It can be a LOT of fun for the whole family. Just get it under control and tend to it regularly.


I never had a pool before. Never really wanted one. But my husband did so we got a house with a pool 2 years ago. I found this forum as we were buying the house and so we never hired a pool service although the pool inspector did identify what the equipment was. I declined the $270 "Pool School" they offered and began my study here instead.

We only used the spa the first 6 months (fall and winter) and mainly I just cleaned the skimmers of leaves and used pucks, testing with strips. By spring I had a test kit and started reducing the CYA (was 150) and getting the balances correct(TA was too high, CH was too low). In a few weeks most of the problems were solved and I really really understood what was going on.

Along the way the forum has helped me to diagnose and repair a Polaris problem, a leak, an overflow pipe, electrical for the waterfall and fountain, as well as just getting the chemistry correct. I do get my husband involved sometimes, strong man stuff or electrical. But I do all the chemistry. And the pool is always beautiful.

You can do it, it is not hard.
 

mybluepool

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
39
ok peeps, got the kit and had my first wet run.....here are the results
CYA: 70-85
CH: 330
TA: 140
pH: 7.5-7.8
FC:5.5 CC:0 TC:5.5
Temp: a balmy 91
So here are my numbers, my pool is still green, brushing everyday, have been using liquid chlorine past week used 6 gallons have 4 gallons in garage 10% or 11% strength.
What is my next move???
Fawn

(edit) thoroughly cleaned the filter last weekend (gross), and before using liquid went through 5# of cal-hypo 65% in 4 days.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Welcome to TFP, raise your FC to around 7-8ppm and perform the overnight FC loss test. Given your cc's are zero the overnight test will confirm the need to shock. If you lose more than 1ppm overnight, you'll have to start the shocking process.

From reading your previous posts, you have a fairly large pool, so I understand your dilema wanting to use powder vs liquid, but I can atest that liquid is by far prefered given the only byproduct is salt. DiChlor and Trichlor add CYA and Cal Hypo raises CH which can cause calcium scaling.

Once you are done balancing, you may want to strongly consider adding a SWG or purchasing a liquidator as an automated chlorination method.
 

mybluepool

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
39
Thanks, ya'll sure do make a person feel very welcome here!
What if the algae is visible, can we just skip to the shock process?
I think i resent your comment about a SWG/automatic chlorinator...;)
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,638
SouthWest Alabama
With a green cloudy pool you can pass go and head straight to shocking. :)

However, with a CYA of 80 your shock level is going to be 30ppm. In a 35,000 gallon pool that's 8 gallons of 6% bleach just to get it there one time.

I would seriously consider draining half the water to get the CYA down to a managable level before I started shocking if it were me.