Pinch-a-penny... Friend or Foe?

smokin3000gt

Member
Apr 18, 2009
12
I added 2lbs of dry chlorine to my 10,000g last night. I came up with 16ppm a few hours after. Today it was down to 12.5ppm. I was told if the chlorine doesn't hold over night, I should have my water tested for phosphates.

So I brought my super duper water sample to PAP to test for phosphates. Test was negative. Then he told me that my chlorine was only 3.5ppm and no where near the shock levels I thought I had. So I figured I messed up the test and came home to re-test. I came up with 12.5ppm still.

Here are the results of the PAP test:
TC:3.5
FC:3.5
CC:0
pH:7.6
TA:120
CH:340
Stabilizer =CA=tablets right?):50ppm
TDS:1,500

Do those numbers look good to you guys?

Was the drop in chlorine levels normal, could I have messed up the test 3 times, or is there another problem? He said that algae will drop the levels like that (I only had a few spots smaller then dimes starting to show on the wall) and I need to add more chlorine to shock the pool(even though the algae is gone). I thought it was already at shock levels being at 12.5ppm.

He also told me :

-1g liquid = 3-4 1lb bags of the granular
-I should be going through about 3-4 3" pucks a week.
-If I have ANY cloudiness in the water, it's algae and I need to shock the pool and add clarifier. (I can see the spray texture on the bottom and trowel marks at night but in the deep end it's not crystal)

Are those statements accurate?

I don't know if A. He likes to hear himself talk, B. He is right. C. Doesn't know what he's doing or D. Trying to move as much chem as he can. If I am right and I am at 12.5 ppm I don't want to add any more chlorine because I want to use the pool sometime so on.

BTW pool is a free form 10,000g free form in ground.

Any input or thoughts would be great!
 

DBfan187

In The Industry
Aug 7, 2007
806
near the swamp
Hi, I work at PAP. We don't have kits at the stores to test for chlorine levels higher than 5ppm, even the ones we use to test customers water. Don't ask me why, it's just the way it's always been.

I would go to another PAP and see if they can help you. Right now it's summer time and the economy is bad. So most stores will just find a college kid to help out and end up sticking him behind the counter without proper training.

PS - don't worry about Phosphate levels. In FLA they're really high to begin with.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,253
Key West, FL
Hi and Welcome.

He has some things right, and others...not so much.

What are you testing your water with?

Have you read Pool School? That's a great place to start, and there is an article there explains How to Shock your Pool and how to perform the Overnight FC Loss Test. When was the 16ppm test done, and when was the first 12.5 test done? Read the article - if the test wasn't done as instructed there really isn't confirmation if you had an overnight loss or not.

Your shock level AND your "normal" FC levels, are based entirely on your CYA level. Refer to the chart. Phosphates are irrelevant provided you maintain proper FC levels. Clarifier is not necessary, and a money maker for the pool store.

FC levels can drop in a sample of water on the way to the pool store, so I'd trust your own results, assuming they came from a reliable test kit.
 

smokin3000gt

Member
Apr 18, 2009
12
DBfan187 said:
Hi, I work at PAP. We don't have kits at the stores to test for chlorine levels higher than 5ppm, even the ones we use to test customers water. Don't ask me why, it's just the way it's always been.

I would go to another PAP and see if they can help you. Right now it's summer time and the economy is bad. So most stores will just find a college kid to help out and end up sticking him behind the counter without proper training.

PS - don't worry about Phosphate levels. In FLA they're really high to begin with.

That makes sense. I knew I did the test right but couldn't figure out why the PAP's chlorine levels seemed so far off! I find it a bit surprising a pool store only test up to 5ppm.
 

smokin3000gt

Member
Apr 18, 2009
12
frustratedpoolmom said:
Hi and Welcome.

He has some things right, and others...not so much.

What are you testing your water with?

Have you read Pool School? That's a great place to start, and there is an article there explains How to Shock your Pool and how to perform the Overnight FC Loss Test. When was the 16ppm test done, and when was the first 12.5 test done? Read the article - if the test wasn't done as instructed there really isn't confirmation if you had an overnight loss or not.

Your shock level AND your "normal" FC levels, are based entirely on your CYA level. Refer to the chart. Phosphates are irrelevant provided you maintain proper FC levels. Clarifier is not necessary, and a money maker for the pool store.

FC levels can drop in a sample of water on the way to the pool store, so I'd trust your own results, assuming they came from a reliable test kit.

Was he right about the tablet usage and liquid to powder conversion? Yes, I've read the pool school atleast twice so far but I'll read it again. It was just throwing me off because I was so far off from PAP but DB fan cleared that up. I scoured this site before the deal on the house was final :party:

As far as the test goes, I ordered the deluxe test kit from TFP so I know it's a good one. The 16ppm test was done probably 3 hrs after adding the two pounds of dry chlorine and the 12.5ppm was a little less then 24hrs. What are the 'shock levels' I should shoot for?
 

PaulR

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
1,966
Cupertino, CA
When you are doing the overnight-loss test, you do the first test after the sun is off the pool in the evening (or 1+ hours after adding chlorine) and the second in the morning before the sun is on the pool. Those tests should differ by 1ppm or less, otherwise you need to keep shocking.

Check the Pool School's Chlorine/CYA chart to find your shock level.

With CYA at 50 you should probably lay off the pucks unless you want your CYA higher than that. In Florida, maybe you want to bring it up a little more.

At 10k gal, 1 gal of 6% bleach raises FC by 6. "Granular" comes in different forms and strengths. You'd get about the same FC from 1lb of dichlor, or 1lb of cal-hypo at 48%, or 1 3" puck of trichlor (8oz). Clearly 1 gal of 12.5% liquid chlorine would get you about twice as much. (I figured this stuff out by playing around with the Pool Calculator.)
--paulr
 

smokin3000gt

Member
Apr 18, 2009
12
PaulR said:
When you are doing the overnight-loss test, you do the first test after the sun is off the pool in the evening (or 1+ hours after adding chlorine) and the second in the morning before the sun is on the pool. Those tests should differ by 1ppm or less, otherwise you need to keep shocking.

Check the Pool School's Chlorine/CYA chart to find your shock level.

With CYA at 50 you should probably lay off the pucks unless you want your CYA higher than that. In Florida, maybe you want to bring it up a little more.

At 10k gal, 1 gal of 6% bleach raises FC by 6. "Granular" comes in different forms and strengths. You'd get about the same FC from 1lb of dichlor, or 1lb of cal-hypo at 48%, or 1 3" puck of trichlor (8oz). Clearly 1 gal of 12.5% liquid chlorine would get you about twice as much. (I figured this stuff out by playing around with the Pool Calculator.)
--paulr

It's all coming together. So once I get my CYA where it needs to be (around 50) then I should stop using pucks completely as long as the CYA stays at the level I want. When it starts to drop, go back to using pucks. Otherwise the CYA will continue to climb if I constantly use the pucks on a weekly basis and I will end up having to drain some water out. Is that correct?
 

smokin3000gt

Member
Apr 18, 2009
12
OK, I tested the pool again today. The chlorine is down to about 9ppm and for sheets and giggles I checked the CYA myself and came up with 70ppm. I am starting to have serious doubts about PAP's advice and ability to test with accurate results...

70ppm is getting up there, so I am going to turn the dial down to zero on the auto-chlorinator to keep from having to replace any water unless you guys think different. I can't believe they told me 3-4 pucks/week!

According to the Chlorine/CYA char, a CYA of 70ppm means I need a minimum of 5ppm chlorine and target of 8ppm. That seems pretty high, is that swim able at these levels?
 

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reebok

Well-known member
Apr 19, 2009
1,268
Lakeland, FL
I also have 70ppm. fortunately I found this site before it got any worse. I would remove the tabs from the feeder. I know it says 0, but water still gets in there a little. if you take the cap off while the pump is running, you can see it. will it make any difference? I dunno but it's not worth it to me to potentially get any higher than I already am. I have been keeping my fc between 8-10 and my 11 month old hasn't had a problem yet :)
those chlorine levels seemed high to me when I first came here too, but that's just because we've all been suckered into thinking 2-4ppm chlorine is the limit. and that works fine...if you want to spend $43/half gallon on pinch a penny's all in one (polyquat 60) algaecide, or fight algae all summer. I've tried doing both and I'm not a fan of either.
 

smokin3000gt

Member
Apr 18, 2009
12
You guys have been a great help! I've already learned a lot and feel 100% more confident.

Reebok, nice to know you're your chlorine/CYA levels are in line with mine with no problem. Rainy season is upon us so I expect the CYA to drop.

I am wondering if I should maintain these levels in SW FL or if I should let them fall a little and hold them there?
 

reebok

Well-known member
Apr 19, 2009
1,268
Lakeland, FL
from what I've read, some people with direct sunlight all day have a little better luck at 60ppm as opposed to 50. I plan on letting mine drop to 30 before I do anything (unless I notice excessive chlorine usage as it gets lower) but my guess is it will take years to go down because it doesn't evaporate or anything. the rain won't have much effect at all unless your pool overflows, and even then it will probably be mostly rain water you're losing. my water went from on the low side to almost overflowing within the last couple weeks and my cya hasn't budged.
 

reebok

Well-known member
Apr 19, 2009
1,268
Lakeland, FL
heh, nice. well the name of it is what you quoted: all-in-one algaecide. it's the one they recommend with their ABC (garbage) pool care plan.
from the website:

Suncoast Chemicals All In One Algaecide
Item #00910331 Description All In One Algaecide Qt.

00910372 All In One Algaecide 1/2 Gal.

they sell it by quart or half gallon.

it's in the picture on the left here:
http://www.pinchapenny.com/pool-care-gu ... t-pool.cfm

or you can get some from leslie's:
http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Home/ ... 20/I/14025
 

DBfan187

In The Industry
Aug 7, 2007
806
near the swamp

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,253
Key West, FL
All I'll say to add to this is I see you are getting the "gist" of things regarding the advice of the Pool Stealer, and to take his "expert advice" with a grain of salt.

This means ignore it and check with TFP first. :mrgreen: :wink:
 

smokin3000gt

Member
Apr 18, 2009
12
A few or more questions during the shock...

Last night my FC was 23, this morning it was down to 20. Today after work and some light rain it was down to 17.

That means something is gobbling up my FC and I should bring it back up to shock level right?

Anything besides pH spike during shock?

Is 450ppm calcium too high? Do I have to drain water to get it down?

CYA 60-70
CC 0

The reason I'm shocking is a pool guy brought it back from green, never got it crystal clear. I could see the texture in the deep end, but you could tell it wasn't 100%. With my CYA between 60-70 he only had me at 3-4ppm FC. Then recently I saw some little green/black circles clung to the wall that wouldn't even scrub off. After reading everything on here, it seemed like he was just going through the motions.
 

PaulR

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
1,966
Cupertino, CA
Yes, you need to keep shocking until you lose no more than 1ppm FC overnight.

High FC doesn't make any other tests inaccurate, although it can change the actual colors you see--f'rinstance the TA test could go blue to yellow instead of green to red. If you watch for changes instead of particular colors then you're still okay.
--paulr
 

smokin3000gt

Member
Apr 18, 2009
12
Ok. Lastnight before bed I had 23ppm, this morning after a touch of son(7:30am), I had 22. Twelve hours later, 7:30pm it's down 8ppm. I should mention I've had the pump running through out the night and during the day.

Am I done with shocking now since I only lost one ppm over night or should I keep going since 8ppm seems like a pretty big drop? Does the pump running eat through the chlorine quicker?
 

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