Pool Balance WAY off!

craigvt

Member
Sep 22, 2010
8
Hello, I just purchased a new home that has a pool. The pool was somewhat neglected because the person in charge of knowing how to take care of it had left.

My pool water is cloudy:
My Chlorine is ABOVE a 10. I have not added chlorine in over 3 days. STILL above a 10 (it's dark yellow on my tester kit).

My PH is below the chart's lowest rating. It's a light yellow color after adding the PH drops to my test kit.

I added PH upper, twice, with no change whatsoever.

After reading a little about this it was explained that PH may not change if my total alkalinity is off. I have test strips arriving in the mail today to test the alkalinity because the test kit I have only test for chlorine and PH (it's a 5 drops in the plastic box and shake kit) :lol:

Is this a sign of my alkalinity being too low or too high? I can keep the pump running all day and the water is still cloudy.

I know that water chemistry is a delicate balance and there are a LOT of components that can throw it off. However, I'm just trying to get the basics. I need to have the chemistry right before I close it for the winter. I don't want to open the pool and find that my pool plaster was eaten alive.

Thanks
 

Beamup

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 28, 2010
176
Boston, MA
FC > 10 is not necessarily bad - it may even be necessary depending on CYA level. It does interfere with pH testing though. The place to start will be as in JasonLion's "what we need to know" sticky thread:

JasonLion said:
When starting a thread asking for help with a specific issue please include the following in your initial post:

Test Results! Test Results! Test Results!

There is nothing more important than current valid test results. Here's what we need.

FC - Free Chlorine
CC or TC - Combined Chlorine or Total Chlorine
pH -
TA - Total Alkalinity
CH - Calcium Hardness
CYA - Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer/conditioner)

Only the better kits have all of these tests, please read this article to understand why we need this information, and this one to see some test kit options. If you don't have a test kit with all of those tests, many pool stores offer water testing.

If you cannot post these results - do not ignore that fact. Tell us you cannot post test numbers. If you can post only some, tell us you cannot post the others or we'll ask if you forgot.

Nothing will help us solve your water chemistry issues quicker than current test results.
The strips are useless; get yourself a real kit like the TF100. In the meantime, see what the pool store can give you for test results.
 
G

Guest

I would consider investing in a FAS-DPD Test kit! Either TF100 or a Taylor K2006 Test strips just are not accurate enough. Congrats on the purchase! :cheers:
 

craigvt

Member
Sep 22, 2010
8
Thanks for the help guys. for now I'm going to bring some water into leslies pool down the road and just ask them what I need. If my PH is low and won't change with PH UP does that mean i need alkalinity UP?
 
G

Guest

Could also mean your chlorine is off the charts. PH will not read accurate if chlorine is to high or shocking. Post all the results when you get back from Leslie's, that will determine what course of action to take.
 

mynewpool

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2010
1,082
Spring, TX
craigvt said:
Thanks for the help guys. for now I'm going to bring some water into leslies pool down the road and just ask them what I need. If my PH is low and won't change with PH UP does that mean i need alkalinity UP?
I would suggest the following

Do not ask them what you need as they will more than likely sell you stuff you dont need.

Do get your water tested

Do ask for a copy of your results

Do come back here and post them and the pros here can tell you what you need and save you a lot of money in the process.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
Mynewpool has the best plan of action until your "brand spanking new TF-100 test kit arrives" cause I just know you're about to order one!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Post the results once you get them and we'll be glad to help you get it straightened out.

It doesn't matter what your alkalinity is, enough Borax and your pH will move. I'd suggest using 20 mule team Borax instead of pH up.

You should also learn to use the Pool Calculator. It'll make your life much easier in adjusting your levels.
 

craigvt

Member
Sep 22, 2010
8
my thoughts exactly. I'm going to Leslie's Pool after work to have it tested. I'll then post here and go from there. They sold me a 30$ bottle of stuff the other day that did nothing for me. It was a small bottle too! I can't remember the name of it but it is suppossed to "pin dirty particles to the bottom of the pool". They said that would take the cloudiness out of the water. No dice.

The problem is bigger than that. As far as chemicals on hand, I don't know thier scientific names but I know this: I have a tiny bit of muratic acid (spelling?), Chlorine Tabs, PH UP, Alkalinity UP, PH Down (not much left as it came with the house), and a Winter closing kit with the chemicals and slow release ball needed to close the pool.

Any other chemicals I will probably need?
I ordered them online because it was WAY cheaper than leslies. The stuff should be here today.

Thanks
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
Liquid Chlorine (aka Bleach) is the biggest thing you need. Too bad you didn't find us sooner we could have saved you ordering all that stuff. Let us know what it is when you get it and we'll figure out which of it you need.
 

craigvt

Member
Sep 22, 2010
8
I know right! Well I guess it will be good to have on hand for the future to keep stuff balanced if needed. How much Bleach should I have on hand?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
I usually buy 6 or 8 large jugs at a time then when I'm down to 2 or 3 I buy more. Of course I have the liquidator so when I refill it I'll pour 5 jugs in at once.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,808
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
You need a good test kit. Without it, you're just guessing. Is the cloudiness due to high CH and low pH? Or is it dead algae from shocking the pool, and now you've slipped below shock level which will soon cause it to go green and cloudy? Maybe someone dumped in some cheap algaecide?

Nobody knows.

With your own test kit, you can get a fresh sample, test, treat, allow it to circulate, retest, adjust, let it circulate some more, retest again, treat something else, and so on. Immediate feedback - well, in an hour or so anyway. Once you get everything in range, it's really easy to keep things there. Without the kit, you're blindly dumping expensive pool chemicals in, which may help, or may make things worse. You might as well try painting a portrait wearing a blindfold. Sure, there'll be paint on the canvas, but it probably won't look good. And you've wasted paint and ruined a canvas.
 

mynewpool

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2010
1,082
Spring, TX
I usually buy mine in packs of 3 since the sams club sells them in 3 pack for under 7 dollard for 182 oz of cholorox. When I get down to 1 jug left I will swing by there and pick more up.
 

Other Threads of Interest