pool levels

luvmypool

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 23, 2007
23
North Conway, NH
#1
Jason, Waterbear, SeanB,

I filled our pool with town water last week and it has rained everyday since. This year I want to use the BBB method but I'm still a novice at this pool thing and want to make sure I do this right. These are the levels of my pool H2O this morning. I figured out the bleach and baking soda amounts, but I can't figure out when, why or how to use Borox. But I still want your opinions on everything, Thanks! :shock:

TH 0
FC 0/0
PH 4
TA 40
CYA 0

Thanks. Luvmypool
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#2
How did you measure the PH? Most test kits only test PH down to 6.8. If the PH was actually 4 the TA would be zero, so the PH can't really be 4.

See this article for suggested levels. Getting some chlorine into the pool and getting the PH up to a minimum of 7.2 are both priorities. After that you can work on your other levels and start doing some reading at Pool School, see the link in my signature or in the sub-heading of every page here.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#3
luvmypool said:
Jason, Waterbear, SeanB,

I filled our pool with town water last week and it has rained everyday since. This year I want to use the BBB method but I'm still a novice at this pool thing and want to make sure I do this right. These are the levels of my pool H2O this morning. I figured out the bleach and baking soda amounts, but I can't figure out when, why or how to use Borox. But I still want your opinions on everything, Thanks! :shock:

TH 0
FC 0/0
PH 4
TA 40
CYA 0

Thanks. Luvmypool
Are they the only ones allowed to respond? :wave:

Are you sure those test results are accurate?

You need to put in enough bleach to raise your FC to 2.

You need to add stabilizer to reach at least 30.

Use the pool calculator to get your proper dosing. Have you read the articles on BBB for beginners in Pool School? Also you need a good test kit, if you don't already have one. It's essential for maintaining your pool and the best investment you could make.
 

luvmypool

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 23, 2007
23
North Conway, NH
#4
Thanks. I used the dipstick method. Someone just bought me the drops test kit but the directions are limited just like me when it comes to all this. Believe it or not, I own a business and do the accounting for 3 other businesses but I just can't seem to wrap my head around this pool level thing. I'll go retest and calculate and add some bleach. And yes, the more help I can get the better.
Thanks to all,
luvmypool - Kate
 

luvmypool

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 23, 2007
23
North Conway, NH
#5
Luvmypool

Hi Guys,
Retested with the liquid drops test kit and came up with basically the same #'s. I imput them into the pool calculator and came up with this...

add 57 oz bleach
6lb and 11 oz of baking soda
44 oz of borox.

I'll let that settle for a few hours and retest.

Thanks again.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,448
SW Indiana
#6
What pH did you get when you retested? It isn't anywhere close to 4, since pool test kits only go down to 6.8. I'd recommend against adding any more baking soda, as that's going to put your TA around 120ppm, and the borax is going to raise your pH quite a bit. I'm not sure what numbers you are shooting for.

This is a typical pH testing vial. You match the colors on the right to your water sample

The yellowest color is pH 6.8, while the reddest at the top is 8.2.
 
G

Guest

#7
Without a full set of test numbers that don't have bogus values we really can't help you... If you tested your water with a pool test kit there is NO way you would have had a pH of 4!
 

luvmypool

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 23, 2007
23
North Conway, NH
#8
Luvmypool

Okay,I only said 4 because the scale didn't go any further and I just pulled that out of my ear! I added bleach, baking soda and borax and the ph went from 6.8 to 8.5, the ta went from 0 to 240 and the cya went from 0 to 100. This is what my levels should be for our pool set up.

fc 2.4-3.6
ph 7.5-7.8
ta 70-90
ch 50-300
cya 30-50

now it seems like I have to lower all that with muratic acid according to the pool school. What do you think? Would it be easier to just drop water out of the pool and ad new to it?

Sorry to be such a pain in the corn hole.
Kate
 

luvmypool

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 23, 2007
23
North Conway, NH
#9
Okay, this morning these are my #'s.

TH 0
FC 0
PH 8.4
TA 180
CYA 0

What do you think I should do? Notice that the ta# went down from 240 to 180 and the cya went from 100 to 0 again. Didn't do anything accept let the pump run 2 hours at a time 3 times a day since yesterday. Please help. :cry:

Thanks :(
 

whoozer

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 2, 2008
633
Acton Maine
#10
luvmypool said:
Okay, this morning these are my #'s.

TH 0
FC 0
PH 8.4
TA 180
CYA 0

WHAT DO YOU THINK I SHOULD DO? NOTICE THAT THE TA# WENT DOWN FROM 240 TO 180 AND THE CYA WENT FROM 100 TO 0 AGAIN. DIDN'T DO ANYTHING ACCEPT LET THE PUMP RUN 2 HOURS AT A TIME 3 TIMES A DAY SINCE YESTERDAY. PLEASE HELP. :cry:

THANKS :(
Kate- What are you using for a test kit? I don't know what you are using but your numbers are not accurate. You need to either go to a pool store and have your water tested or have someone do the test with you to make sure you are doing it right.

It isn't possible for your CYA to be 0 today if it was 100 before unless you drained out all of you water.

I have to say until you get some more reliable numbers none of us can really help you because we are bound to give you the wrong info if your numbers aren't accurate. Get a better set of numbers then repost them so we can help.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#11
If you put in the baking soda and borax and immediately tested for CYA I would suspect that is what caused a resulting error.

Borax and Baking Soda do similar things....so I can't see a reason to add both at the same time....

Have you read all the articles in pool school? It's frequently advised (except with bleach-the rules are different) to undershoot your target when dosing, so that you don't go past your goal and end up in your situation, having to correct numbers.
 

luvmypool

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 23, 2007
23
North Conway, NH
#13
Dear Moderators:

I'm using the HTH 6 way test kit. I've just tested the water here in sunny NH @ 1:30 pm and here are the results.

Total Chlorine/Total Bromine Test no color
(add 5 drops of OTO and invert to mix)

PH test 8.3
(add 5 drops of phenel red)

TA test 150
(add 5 drops of alkaline indicator and it should turn green and it did, and then add drops of the alkaline titrant until it turns red, it took 15 drops)

Total Hardness Test 30
(add 5 drops of hardness indicator and it turned red, then it took 3 drops of hardness titrant for it to turn blue)

CYA Test
(fill to 7 ml with water to be tested & then add cyanuric acid reagent to 14 ml line and mix for 30 seconds. Transfer cloudy (mine was clear) water to the CYA tube with black dot on bottom until the dot disappears from top view (mine didn't disappear)

Is it possible to help me with these figures? I can always drain pool and refill if you guys thinks it's necessary. Sorry to be such a pain about this. I didn't realize how serious the chemical work was for a pool until I sat and read the pool school and all the information you folks have on this site.

Thanks again,
luvmypool
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#14
Your PH is too high, you should lower it. You can use muriatic acid or dry acid to lower the PH. Bring the PH down into the recommended range, 7.5 - 7.8.

Your CYA level is too low. You can raise it with stabilizer/conditioner, available at pool stores or places that sell pool chemicals.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
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In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#15
LUVMYPOOL, my responses are in bold italic under your questions.

luvmypool said:
Dear Moderators:

I'm using the HTH 6 way test kit. I've just tested the water here in sunny NH @ 1:30 pm and here are the results.

Total Chlorine/Total Bromine Test no color
(add 5 drops of OTO and invert to mix)

According to the Pool Calculator (see the link in my sig) you need to add 1 qt of bleach (1/3 of a jug of regular clorox), ASAP to get some FC in your pool to prevent algae. This amount will get you to 2 ppm FC. Is your water clear? If not, you need to go higher with the bleach, say to 10ppm which is shock level for a pool with no CYA, which would be about a jug and a 1/3 of another jug.

PH test 8.3
(add 5 drops of phenel red)

You need to go to Home Depot or Lowes or similar hardware store and buy Muratic Acid, 31.45% strength. Add 11 oz and allow to circulate 1 hour, then retest. Don't bother to retest if you shock your pool, high chlorine will give you a false reading. Wait till the FC drops to retest (if you decide to shock)

TA test 150
(add 5 drops of alkaline indicator and it should turn green and it did, and then add drops of the alkaline titrant until it turns red, it took 15 drops)

Don't worry about this for now. You can adjust it later when you are more comfortable with the routine of pool maintenance

Total Hardness Test 30
(add 5 drops of hardness indicator and it turned red, then it took 3 drops of hardness titrant for it to turn blue)
You can add calcium later..... this should be about 150 but it's not urgent.

CYA Test
(fill to 7 ml with water to be tested & then add cyanuric acid reagent to 14 ml line and mix for 30 seconds. Transfer cloudy (mine was clear) water to the CYA tube with black dot on bottom until the dot disappears from top view (mine didn't disappear)

You have no CYA. Add 40 ounces of CYA/Stabilizer, sold at pool stores or Wal-Mart. It takes several days for a week for the granules to fully dissolve and register on tests. So don't backwash your filter (if you backwash) and don't retest for another week.

Is it possible to help me with these figures? I can always drain pool and refill if you guys thinks it's necessary. Sorry to be such a pain about this. I didn't realize how serious the chemical work was for a pool until I sat and read the pool school and all the information you folks have on this site.

Thanks again,
luvmypool
No worries, and we're glad to help. Just take your time, and be patient and don't rush into anything. YOu'll be fine and the confidence will come. Trust me.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#16
BTW,

Until you have CYA registering on your tests, you will need to add 1/3 of a jug of bleach each night to keep your FC at 2. You will lose most of it to the sun during the day. YOu have to keep FC in there to prevent algae from taking hold.

Hope this helps.
 

luvmypool

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 23, 2007
23
North Conway, NH
#17
frustratedpoolmom,

Thanks. A few questions though. I want to use the BBB method I've read about, so would I still use the muratic acid and the cya/stabalizer/conditioner? Yes, my water is very clear, but I will go add chlorine right now.

Thanks again,
luvmypool
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#18
luvmypool said:
frustratedpoolmom,

Thanks. A few questions though. I want to use the BBB method I've read about, so would I still use the muratic acid and the cya/stabalizer/conditioner? Yes, my water is very clear, but I will go add chlorine right now.

Thanks again,
luvmypool
Yes, the BBB method incorporates MA and CYA but it doesn't sound as catchy with those letters attached.... :mrgreen: But they are essential to BBB! That and a good test kit. :wink:
 

luvmypool

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 23, 2007
23
North Conway, NH
#19
Hi Frustratedpoolmom,

This is after adding chlorine last evening and 11 oz MA today and tested 1 hour later.



Total Chlorine/Total Bromine Test
still no color

PH test
now 7.5

TA test
now 200

Total Hardness test
still 30

CYA Test
(fill to 7 ml with water to be tested & then add cyanuric acid reagent to 14 ml line and mix for 30 seconds. Transfer cloudy (mine was clear) water to the CYA tube with black dot on bottom until the dot disappears from top view (mine didn't disappear)

Same as above.



Thanks again,
luvmypool
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#20
luvmypool said:
Hi Frustratedpoolmom,

This is after adding chlorine last evening and 11 oz MA today and tested 1 hour later.



Total Chlorine/Total Bromine Test
still no color

PH test
now 7.5

TA test
now 200

Total Hardness test
still 30

CYA Test
(fill to 7 ml with water to be tested & then add cyanuric acid reagent to 14 ml line and mix for 30 seconds. Transfer cloudy (mine was clear) water to the CYA tube with black dot on bottom until the dot disappears from top view (mine didn't disappear)

Same as above.



Thanks again,
luvmypool
Hi there,

First the TA. Either this test or the other one had an error, there is no reason why it would go up, especially if you added Muratic Acid, it should drop. Be sure to add one drop at a time and swirl for about 10 seconds in between drops. Count slowly, its' easy to lose count, I have done it several times.

Your FC is still Zero, so tonight after sunset I would put in 1 and 1/3 jugs of bleach, and then wait one hour and retest. Your chlorine should read 10, if it doesn't add bleach according to the pool calculator and whatever level it reads at. So if it's at 7, put that in the "now" column and then put 10 in the "goal" and it will calculate for you how much bleach to add.

Save your CYA reagent - you are not going to be able to get any CYA results for several days. Wait until Friday and test it again.

Does all this make sense?