Phosphates

I was just wondering about my pool chemistry. Tuesday these were my numbers: TC=4.6, FC=4.6, PH=6.8, ALK.=75, CH=325. I put in some alkalinity plus like the pool store said. These are my numbers today: TC=3.9, FC=3.5, PH=7.2, ALK.=105, CH=325, CYA=150 (THEY DIDN'T CHECK THIS 2 DAYS AGO), PH.=1000 (DIDN'T CHECK THIS 2 DAYS AGO EITHER. I JUST ASSUMED IT DIDN'T SHOW UP BECAUSE IT WASN'T HIGH BEFORE)

My question is could the phosphates jump this high in 2 days and do I need to worry about it? Thank you all in advance.

Lisa
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,626
You have been a member for over 3 years and you're still going to the pool store and listening to what they tell you to do?

What test kit do you have?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,984
Laughlin, NV
Phosphates are of no consequence to pool water chemistry. And relying on Pool Store testing is not a good practice. We do not provide guidance based on pool store testing.

Take care.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,626
If those are pool store tests, it is imperative you test your own water with a TF-100 or Taylor K_2006C. See Test Kits Compared. You simply can't place much reliance on others to give you accurate, consistent results.
 
You have been a member for over 3 years and you're still going to the pool store and listening to what they tell you to do?

What test kit do you have?
I actually didn't listen to this part because it doesn't make any sense. I have the testing kit but I don't think it tests phosphates. I'll check tomorrow to make sure. That's why I came to you all.
 

BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
27
San Jose, CA
In these parts we consider testing for phosphates equivalent to testing for butter in the water. It's just not relevant :).

If accurate (which they likely aren't), your real issue is that your CYA is double what it really should be, and your FC is very low. You will need to replace at least half your water to bring it into control. Your TA was probably fine as it was.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,067
Franklin, NC
I have the testing kit but I don't think it tests phosphates.
You don't nedd to check. If it is one of the kits we recommend, it doesn't have a test for them.

As @mknauss said " Phosphates are of no consequence to pool water chemistry"

The pool store will tell you phosphates are "algae food". With the proper chlorine levels it doesn't matter how much "food" is in the pool, algae can't grow.
 
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JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,913
Prosper, TX (DFW)
A pool store trying to sell you on phosphate remover is the equivalent of a mouse exterminator trying to sell you a service to rid your pantry of food. Sure, it may marginally help but it doesnt attack the real problem and is a completely unnecessary expense 99% of the time.
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
268
Flower Mound, TX
Pool Size
25500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Taylor makes a phosphate test kit: K-1106. I’ve found that managing phosphates are a pretty controversial topic on this site, as it is not required in order to maintain your pool. However, borates are also not a required element of pool management, but garners quite a bit of support. To each their own. If you are looking for added insurance against algae through phosphate reduction, check out the TFP section link below. Very helpful.

 

gregsfc

Bronze Supporter
May 27, 2014
204
Cookeville,TN
Just to add to the peanut gallery, we're always hoping members will have gained knowledge through time to understand that there were concerns with your levels and the instructuons that the pool store gave you that were concerning before even considering phosphate levels that we would hope all our followers already knew. W#1 The recommended range for TA at TFP is "50-90 sometimes higher". The traditional method charts will usually be a higher recommendation, which is where they were directing you with the TA adjustment recommendation, but their recommendation was ill advised here. Please understand that getting TA or the pH buffer set to the best spot for YOUR pool is what one should strive for. Not to get your pool to an arbitrary range told to you by a pool store associate or report. Most often, for those using bleach, aka liquid chlorine, as their chlorine form and especially those using a saltwater generator, the correct buffer level to help YOU keep YOUR pool with a steady pH as possible will be on the low side of that 50-90 recommendation. So we always hope our followers learn that and apply that concept. My TA is at 60. I average one pH adjustment per year. Imagine how I'd be creating my own work if I arbitrarily raised my TA to 80 or higher when it is perfect already.

#2 It is a basic tenet of tfpc to set cya 30-50 for non saltwater pools and 70-80 for saltwater pools and then maintain target fc levels based on their chart, but your cya is out of this recommended range, as best as we can tell, and you come to us asking about phosphates. It is possible for phosphates to be a problem much like it's possible for pump run time or functionality to be the cause of water problems; but 95% of the time, the real problem with pool sanitation for those who are having issues is related to not maintaining proper fc levels based on the cya level, and/or having cya out of the recommended range to the point where chlorine can't do its job. But what you'll find at pool stores is that they'll blame water clarity issues on anything and everything except for the real cause. Please go back and read poolschool.We also hope that a three year veteran knows why self testing with a recommended kit are vital to maintaining a pool the tfpc way.
 
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You don't nedd to check. If it is one of the kits we recommend, it doesn't have a test for them.

As @mknauss said " Phosphates are of no consequence to pool water chemistry"

The pool store will tell you phosphates are "algae food". With the proper chlorine levels it doesn't matter how much "food" is in the pool, algae can't grow.
My total chlorine is 5.9 but my free chlorine is 4.6. Shouldn't I be worried about the difference?
 
In these parts we consider testing for phosphates equivalent to testing for butter in the water. It's just not relevant :).

If accurate (which they likely aren't), your real issue is that your CYA is double what it really should be, and your FC is very low. You will need to replace at least half your water to bring it into control. Your TA was probably fine as it was.
My total chlorine is 5.9
Free chlorine 4.6
Ph 7.3
Alk. 100
Calcium 375
Stabalizer 115
 
POOL STORE
My total chlorine is 5.9
Free chlorine 4.6
Ph 7.3
Alk. 100
Calcium 375
Stabalizer 115
COLORQ KIT
FC 7.95
TC 8.15
PH 7.6
Alkalinity 81
CH 298
CYA 47

TF 100 TEST KIT
FC 9.5
CC 0
TC 9.5
PH 7.4
CH 350
TA 90
CYA 150 (done with a test strip because I was out of the TF100 supply for it)
How are you testing your FC? Those are not results we expect from a proper test kit.
How are you getting these results?

What test kit do you have?
The tests results were from a pool store but I just posted my results with my tests kits.
 
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BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
27
San Jose, CA
Those results are all over the place. You really need to figure out what your CYA is from a reliable source, because until then you won't know what your Chlorine should be. Everything else looks like it could be ok.