Order please? CH increaser, Stabilizer, Salt...

Apr 10, 2017
15
Fresno/CA
#1
I'm uncertain about the order of which to add several chemicals that are needed. Other than the usually daily check and likely need for Bleach and possibly Muriatic Acid, the pool needs more Stabilizer, Calcium Hardness Increaser, Phospate Reducer, and also salt. We have a SWG that has been out of commission and we have been using bleach in the mean time. Now the system has been repaired and we need to add salt. It is a fresh fill from about a month ago so the salt level is super low. I'm good with how much chemical to put in, and have been using the recommendations from this site, but here are the numbers so y'all know what I'm dealing with:

FC - 2
Salt - 200
CH - 70
CYA - 40
TA - 70
PH - 7.8
Phosphates - 2,500

I realize that it is noted on this site that Phosphates don't typically matter as long as you keep your FC up, however, my numbers are so very high that I want to bring them down some. My pool is currently very clear and without issue, so I'd like to keep it that way.

Any guidance on the order of all of this would be appreciated.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#2
Okay, I'll try to give you a run-down of what to do and in what order:
1. Add salt right away using the Poolmath calculator to determine how much more salt you need - usually around 3,000 ppm or so, but check your owner's manual.
2. While you wait a day or two for the salt to dissolve, use regular bleach to maintain FC between 5-7.
3. Your CYA is low for a SWG pool. If you increase it today with stabilizer to reach the TFP recommended minimum of 70, then you'll also need to increase FC even more with bleach until the SWG is working properly. So keep that in mind. Follow the Chlorine/CYA Chart link below in my sig to ensure those two always match.
4. CH is indeed low. I'm surprised to see such a low CH from a new fill. Usually the local water is a bit more harder. But if you're confident of your testing, then increase that one after the others above are all set.
- It looks like you've pieced-together various testing products, to include some TF-100 refill items correct? Hopefully they are fresh so that you are receiving accurate results. My advice above is based on your numbers, so keep that in mind. But I would encourage you to at least order the FAS-DPD testing portion to accurately test FC & CC levels. There's just no substitute for that accurate FC drop testing.

Finally, stay out of the pool store unless you need muriatic acid, liquid pool shock (aka bleach), or a simple toy product. Don't let them sell you any phosphate removers or any other snake oil products. Instead, use that money wisely to keep a fresh TF-100 kit on-hand for the season. That would be your next best move. Hope that all helps.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,330
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
#3
Just to put it out there..... I've never even had my phosphate level tested.

My advice is to read the instructions on the remover first and set pH and FC to wherever they want it. Then add the remover if you insist. It's really common that the remover clouds the water and loads up the filter. Lots of posts about that. Once the cloudiness has been cleared and the filter has been cleaned, repeat the tests and move forward from there. You don't list what type of filter you have, but if you have to backwash multiple times you'll be replacing a lot of water, so there's no point adding stuff you'll just flush away. It's literally money down the drain if you treat it before the backwash.

I'm suspicious of the CH reading. Most of the time my tap water is higher than your pool CH. As water evaporates, CH climbs. 70 CH just seems impossibly low for California.

Once phosphate treatment is done, the order is pH, FC, CYA, then salt. I suppose somewhere in there you add Calcium. I've never added any myself, but reading here has taught me that it, too, can cloud water for a few days, so I'd wait until everything else was stable and you're sure there's no algae. Then you'll know it's the CH increaser and not an algae bloom. Maintain the FC with bleach until the salt is dissolved, and then switch on the SWG. How to add each chemical is listed in Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
 
OP
OP
H
Apr 10, 2017
15
Fresno/CA
#4
Thanks guys! And to clear any suspicions about the CH reading.... Yeah, I'm sure it's 70. It's a brand new test from tftests.net and also very very close to the reading Leslie's Pool Supply gave me (their reading was 60). They also didn't seem baffled by it. I wouldn't say our water here is hard either, so there's that. And as for the Phosphate level, I have decided to wait for a test that I ordered. It should be here on Monday. Leslie's tested it at 2,500 ppm however my pool is sparkling clean and not showing signs of any algae what-so-ever. Leslie's was waaaay off on my salt level and off on my CYA as well, so I've decided to just check it myself. I wouldn't normally worry about it, as y'all state, however even other pool sites that agree with this one about Phosphates, state that a number that high should probably be lowered.

Again, I want to thank you for your guidance! Much appreciated
 
OP
OP
H
Apr 10, 2017
15
Fresno/CA
#6
I tested it again - Color started to change after 6 drops of R-0012 and had a full change (from pinky/purple to blue) at 7 drops. So, times that by 10 and I get 70 ppm. Just for kicks, I kept adding single drops of the R-0012 until I got to a count of 70 (aka 700 ppm) with absolutely no other change in color. I'm guessing 70 ppm it is then. And this is a brand new test from tftests.net. I doubt it is not fresh.
 
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OP
OP
H
Apr 10, 2017
15
Fresno/CA
#7
Also, for clarification, I followed the "Use 25 ml of pool water, 20 drops of R-0010, 5 drops of R-0011L, and multiply the number of drops of R-0012 by 10 to get your CH level" directions. Not the 10 ml of pool water one
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#8
I followed the "Use 25 ml of pool water, 20 drops of R-0010, 5 drops of R-0011L, and multiply the number of drops of R-0012 by 10 to get your CH level" directions.
Very good. :goodjob: That was going to be one of my next questions. I guess you're just fortunate to have exceptionally soft water in your area. Don't let that secret get out. That being the case, it looks like you should increase CH a bit closer to the minimum required of 250 to take care of that Pebble-Tec.