Please help! We cannot seem to get our chemicals right


Active member
May 28, 2020
San Antonio Texas
Hello. I just bought a round Coleman 18ft Vista Series II Pool. We upgraded the filter to the intex 2800 sandfilter. We have been trying to get the chemicals correct and safe for swimming for 3 days now. We bought the HTH test strips from Walmart and it indicated our total alkalinity was low, our Cyanuric acid was high, our hardness level is high and our free chlorine level was low. We added the alkalinity up pod last night as recommended. We added the metal stain and defense as recommended and added 1lb of shock and ran our filter all night. Then this morning we tested the water and the cyanuric acid is still high and the total alkalinity was still high according to the HTH test strip. I decided to take a water sample to our local pool local and their results said we have high alkalinity, low calcium hardness, low FAC, Low, CYA, and high phosphates. They recommended we backwash our filter which my husband did and added 57ounces of the NOPHOS product that is supposed to remove the phosphates from the water. This was $38 for the bottle. They also recommended I add 10lbs of PH decreaser which I did today. He also recommended I add another pound of shock which I did. Everything is in and the filter is running. I don't know how to get this right and I'm so frustrated. Please any help you can give is greatly appreciated. This is much harder than I imagined. Thank you in advance for you help here... I'm lost

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
You got "Pool Store'd." Don't feel bad; it's happened to most of us here at TFP. You're in good hands now.

Order a good test kit. The TF-100 is the best value for the residential pool owner (link in my sig). The $70 will sting at first, but compare that to what you spent at the pool store. You'll probably get two seasons of use out of the kit.

Add enough liquid chlorine to raise FC by 4 ppm daily until your kit arrives.

Post up results after your first test.

Some good reading to get you started:

Best of luck!
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