phosphates

ant812

Active member
Apr 19, 2017
36
marlton/nj
im having an issue with chlorine demand upon opening this year. pool was opened last Monday and swg can not keep up with chlorine so I have been manually adding bleach.

current levels are:
FC 7
PH 7.5
AK 80
CH 310 (will be adding)
CYA 70

I did go to the pool store to have a phosphate test done and they told me I was at 1700 ppb. this seems to be a controversial subject on treating or not treating, I decided to treat and try phos free.
I have always maintained a good chlorine level and on the hottest sunniest days I never had to set my swg more than 40% output. pool has also never been anything but crystal clear, as it is now. since Monday I have had the fc level up to 14 once.
water temp has been around 60 and I don't see any signs of algae whatsoever.
I did order a taylor phosphate test kit for the heck of it.
any thoughts on this high phosphate level if it should be treated or not? I realize its after the fact, but just hoping this solves the problem.

I will say the pool store did not try to sell me the phos free and did not seemed concerned until I told them about the high chlorine demand.
 
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splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
Can you fill out your signature with pool details & equipment, please? Thanks!
im having an issue with chlorine demand upon opening this year. pool was opened last Monday and swg can not keep up with chlorine so I have been manually adding bleach.

current levels are:
FC 7
PH 7.5
AK 80
CH 310 (will be adding)
CYA 70
  • Your FC seems low compared to your CYA FC/CYA Chart
    • Also what was the water temp when you tested CYA? It might be higher
      • Do/have you used pucks or shock bags?
  • I don't think you need to add any CH, unless there is a special need?
I did go to the pool store to have a phosphate test done and they told me I was at 1700 ppb. this seems to be a controversial subject on treating or not treating, I decided to treat and try phos free.
I have always maintained a good chlorine level and on the hottest sunniest days I never had to set my swg more than 40% output. pool has also never been anything but crystal clear, as it is now. since Monday I have had the fc level up to 14 once.
water temp has been around 60 and I don't see any signs of algae whatsoever.
I did order a taylor phosphate test kit for the **** of it.
any thoughts on this high phosphate level if it should be treated or not? I realize its after the fact, but just hoping this solves the problem.
(phosphates are mentioned at the bottom)
The simplest answer is if we weren't adding chlorine to the water, then phosphates would need removed to prevent algae blooms.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,400
Bedford, TX
812,

Instead of going to the pool store and buying "magic" you should just follow our free advice...

I suggest that you do a quick SLAM... SLAM Process If your pool is clear it should be quick one...

Next time you have $50 bucks to spend, you should become a supporter, rather than spending it at the pool store.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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ant812

Active member
Apr 19, 2017
36
marlton/nj
water temp has been around 60 all week with minor fluctuations. I have never seen that cya/chlorine chart...good to know as I have always kept the fc around 5....I now see that's too low and will increase, but have never had any issues.
I never use pucks and only use shock bags when when either I need more cya or ch. with that said I did use a couple cal hypos one day and a couple more of dichlor the next along with 6% bleach and just bleach thereafter.

pool is a 3100 gal salt, gunite, with plaster. I will get the specs added to my sig.
 
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ant812

Active member
Apr 19, 2017
36
marlton/nj
update:

here are some pics of solidified phosphates im guessing. even if this does nothing as im expecting, I still like the idea of getting rid of this stuff.

in a strange turn of events:
yesterday morning fc was at 6.5 and I ran the swg all day to come home and it was at 4.5 tc with 0.5 cc. added 2 gallons of bleach around 7 pm and turned off swg. this should have brought my tc up to 8.5 this morning tc was 10 with a tiny tiny bit of cc, just barely turning the sample off of crystal clear. no idea where my extra chlorine came from but I hope this is a turn in the right direction. however, I do think ill be slamming this very soon as im not that lucky.

99267

99268

99269

99270
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,994
SE Kansas!
update:
here are some pics of solidified phosphates im guessing. even if this does nothing as im expecting, I still like the idea of getting rid of this stuff.
I'd be curious for you to run a full set of tests and see if any levels have changed. I wonder what was sequestered.

in a strange turn of events:
yesterday morning fc was at 6.5 and I ran the swg all day to come home and it was at 4.5 tc with 0.5 cc. added 2 gallons of bleach around 7 pm and turned off swg. this should have brought my tc up to 8.5 this morning tc was 10 with a tiny tiny bit of cc, just barely turning the sample off of crystal clear. no idea where my extra chlorine came from but I hope this is a turn in the right direction. however, I do think ill be slamming this very soon as im not that lucky.
Awesome on the FC!
 

ant812

Active member
Apr 19, 2017
36
marlton/nj
I did do a test of ph and ak last night along with chlorine. ph is slightly higher as expected, ak is the same. did not do ch or cya. will do those when this is all done as I will also be getting a phosphate test done at the store in a day or 2 unless my kit shows up before that. will also be doing my own test once that does show up.
 
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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
583
MA
What leads you to believe those are solidified phosphates in the pictures?
I'm curious because I had a similar looking very fine white powdery substance in the bottom of my pool at closing time last year. I never found a satisfactory answer to what it could have been.
 

ant812

Active member
Apr 19, 2017
36
marlton/nj
I cant say with 100% certainty but...I never paid any mind to phosphates until the other day while I was hanging out with a neighbor. turns out he had a pool at his old house. we were talking and I was telling him my pool was driving me nuts with chlorine consumption and he said "you probably have phosphates or nitrates". so I googled it. decided to get a test, and decided to treat. he apparently had this same issue with his pool and treating them fixed his problem. I sent him some pictures last night and he said his looked the same way after he treated his. as per directions, I believe this is supposed to happen and it says the solution is to be poured into the skimmer and to vaccum to filter after 48 hours so there must be some expectation for something to be there to vacuum. I will post phosphate test results in a day or 2 when I get them. there does seem to be 2 different powders in my pool, one looks like white sand (which I have seen before in very low quantities, thought it was pollen, de, bleached out sand, etc...) and the other is more of a cloudy substance on the bottom.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,010
If you added phosphate remover, it probably contained lanthanum, which combines with phosphate to form lanthanum phosphate, which is insoluble and precipitates out.
 
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ant812

Active member
Apr 19, 2017
36
marlton/nj
If I had to guess - a problem with high chlorine consumption is either because you have algae, or because your CYA is low. Not because of phosphates at all.
i wouldn't disagree with that. but the way I see it, phosphates are food for algae. the less food, the better. plus it didn't cost a whole lot to hopefully get rid of them. and I will admit, between my neighbor telling me his story and the high test I had done, I was sold on the idea. i didn't get poolstored. I will slam when done if needed.
 

Lonnybass

Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2018
78
San Diego
Interesting, I had an almost identical conversation with my neighbor about the need to manage phosphates when I moved into my house about a year ago. I took his advice and started using PhosFree right away. It clogged up my DE filter within a few hours and I had to run the pump at much higher speeds to get circulation - the flow of my spillover spa was the visual indicator of just how bad the flow rate had become. I broke down the filter several times to clean it out, and eventually just got kind of frustrated with the whole process. Right around that time I got onto TFP and developed a better understanding of the algae battle. I haven't used Phosfree since the end of that first month (July). I think I have four unused bottles in my pool supply cabinet.

Interestingly, I saw my neighbor on Friday afternoon and we compared notes on our pool chemistry. He mentioned that he's been fighting a losing battle with algae (despite religiously using PhosFree), whereas I haven't had any prolonged issues since September, when I found some mustard algae behind my pool light. Once that was cleaned and SLAM'd, it's been just steady doses of bleach.
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,575
Central MD
I think you do understand, but just to be super clear, phosphates are a secondary concern that TFPC pools never have to worry about so long as they are properly chlorinated. And since you have to chlorinate anyway...

But to your point, no real harm in removing them if it helps you get a few more zzz's.

Happy swim season. You have a beautiful pool.
 

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