Pool looks good but levels still are not right!!! Help needed

Mattiaci

Member
Jun 7, 2020
11
Hatfield PA
At first, our pool got extremely cloudy to the point where we couldn't see beyond the shallow end at all. I would say past the 3.5" area. I thought it was possible algae bloom although the pool wasn't really green, still blue but very hazy. I started by shocking the pool which seemed to work well. The corners and perimeter have been accumulating very fine dirt/dust for the past 3 days. I've had to try and manually vacuum everything since my Polaris won't pick it up. Now, it has been about 5 days of adding chemicals including a water clarifier, several bags of shock - both chlorine and non-chlorine, and the pool looks nice. It is very clear throughout the entire pool. I have two main problems. The ph and alkalinity are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I went ahead and lowered the TA and now it is about 100-110. My PH on the other hand dropped down to almost 6.0 early yesterday. I am trying to raise it using aeration but this seems to be a very slow process!!! I am using the Taylor 2006 test kit and the reading just now looks to still be much less than 7.0. It could be 6.6 or 6.8? I have two different compressors running air into the pool along with a sprinkler and our waterslide trying to help with the aeration process. Are there any tips to help the aeration work better or faster? outside of the low PH, I have also had a tough time with my chlorine levels. I finally got FC up to 3.0 today but I'm still seeing CC at about .8/1.0ppm. I shocked last night with 4 1lbs of dichlor. Is the low PH affecting any of the shocking that I've done? I have both chlorine and non-chlorine shock. To try and get rid of CC, is one option better than the other since my FC level is at 3ppm already? When I'm shocking the pool, does it hurt to also run my chlorine generator at the same time?

Current Levels:
Saltwater Pool - 26,500 gallons
TA - 100-110, PH - 6.6/6.8, FC - 3.0, CC - .8, CA - 50, Salt - 3300
 

Mattiaci

Member
Jun 7, 2020
11
Hatfield PA
Thanks for the links. Honestly, I have read more tips and tricks on water chemistry including following the BBB methods over the past week. I feel like I understand what needs to be accomplished. My issue is more about the process. Since my TA is currently at 100-110 and is still considered high, should I add more acid first and then go back to aerating? My concern is that the PH is already so low at 6.8 or possibly 6.6? Should i try to drive the Ph up and then hit with acid later to take the TA down? Does it even matter? With the FC/CYA, I think I'm ok. I will increase the CYA levels and then use the SLAM method.
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
2,708
SE Kansas!
That's great to hear @Mattiaci!
So definitely worry more about the PH and less about the TA. TA "simply" (over simplified) stabilizes the PH. It only needs to be "intentionally" lowered if it is causing large shifts in PH.
Yes the FC (and in relation CYA) is the MOST important value for a clean, healthy pool!
I wouldn't raise your CYA yet, nor your FC over 10 until your PH is safely over 7.2
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,437
Evans, Georgia
Is this plaster or vinyl???

STOP using all granular and puck products. Nothing from the pool store or any pool potions. They are raising your CYA & LOWERING your pH.

Your pH is terribly low and needs more intervention than just aeration.

TA is the very last thing to worry about with pools, and only if it is upsetting the stability of the pH.

Go buy some Mule Team Borax from the laundry aisle of your grocery store and put in about 200 ounce by weight and mix for a hour with pump on and re test. Report back. (per pool math you need 385 ounces to hit 7.2, but we'll go in steps). I use my diet scale for such things.

Get some liquid chlorine in there, and only LIQUID chlorine.

Report your tests so-
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
Salt

Its easier for us to "read" and diagnose that format, thanks

maddie
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,337
Stuart/FL
Matt,

Welcome aboard! You'll get great advice here from experts that aren't selling anything. As Maddie says get your pH straight first! It can cause damage. Let TA go for a while. You'll have the pool balanced soon then you'll be able to sit back and just tweak.

Please add your signature. This reduces questions about your pool and equipment that just delay response time. Here's how to do it. Also read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry. Ask any questions you may have. It's what we're here for.

Chris
 

Mattiaci

Member
Jun 7, 2020
11
Hatfield PA
Is this plaster or vinyl???

STOP using all granular and puck products. Nothing from the pool store or any pool potions. They are raising your CYA & LOWERING your pH.

Your pH is terribly low and needs more intervention than just aeration.

TA is the very last thing to worry about with pools, and only if it is upsetting the stability of the pH.

Go buy some Mule Team Borax from the laundry aisle of your grocery store and put in about 200 ounce by weight and mix for a hour with pump on and re test. Report back. (per pool math you need 385 ounces to hit 7.2, but we'll go in steps). I use my diet scale for such things.

Get some liquid chlorine in there, and only LIQUID chlorine.

Report your tests so-

as of tonight:
FC - 2
CC - .8 from Taylor 2006(I think this may be faulty reading due to non chlorine shock out used)
pH - now finally 7.0
TA - 110
CH - 510
CYA - 65
Salt - 3200

Was going to shock with liquid tonight as a next step? thoughts?


Its easier for us to "read" and diagnose that format, thanks

maddie
 

Mattiaci

Member
Jun 7, 2020
11
Hatfield PA
One final mention - I have been vacuuming up fine sediment/thin dirt/dust all over the bottom of the pool each day. My guess is everything that was destroyed with the shock?
 

Mattiaci

Member
Jun 7, 2020
11
Hatfield PA
Is this plaster or vinyl???

STOP using all granular and puck products. Nothing from the pool store or any pool potions. They are raising your CYA & LOWERING your pH.

Your pH is terribly low and needs more intervention than just aeration.

TA is the very last thing to worry about with pools, and only if it is upsetting the stability of the pH.

Go buy some Mule Team Borax from the laundry aisle of your grocery store and put in about 200 ounce by weight and mix for a hour with pump on and re test. Report back. (per pool math you need 385 ounces to hit 7.2, but we'll go in steps). I use my diet scale for such things.

Get some liquid chlorine in there, and only LIQUID chlorine.

Report your tests so-
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
Salt

Its easier for us to "read" and diagnose that format, thanks

maddie

FC - 3
CC - .4
pH - 7.12
TA - 110
CH - 500
CYA - 65
Salt - 3300

I was able to get the pH up to 7.12 with the aeration and it is still rising. I bought some Borax as well that I can use if necessary but I think I've finally the got the aeration working fairly well albeit slowly. I was going to add the liquid chlorine(bleach) tonight. Based on everything I've read and the app, I should add 110 oz of bleach @6%. With the CC level still showing something, do I need to SLAM? Any thoughts? If I can get the FC level to where we need it, 5 or so for my salt water pool, should I then work on raising the pH up further to 7.6 or so?
 

splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
2,708
SE Kansas!
I was able to get the pH up to 7.12 with the aeration and it is still rising. I bought some Borax as well that I can use if necessary but I think I've finally the got the aeration working fairly well albeit slowly.
Well done, it's in the low 7's, so you can watch it and make sure it continues to come up.

I was going to add the liquid chlorine(bleach) tonight. Based on everything I've read and the app, I should add 110 oz of bleach @6%. With the CC level still showing something, do I need to SLAM? Any thoughts? If I can get the FC level to where we need it, 5 or so for my salt water pool, should I then work on raising the pH up further to 7.6 or so?
Using Poolmath app, see how much chlorine you need to add to raise from FC/3 to FC/6. Retest in 30min (pump running) and see if it came up. If it did, you might be ok to maintain, unless you have cloudiness/green pool
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,437
Evans, Georgia
Ok, great about the aeration kicking the pH up....we don't want to see those low pH events as they're hard on your plaster.
ale
Consider your CYA to be 70 (its a logarithmic scale, not a linear one.I had to Google that when I first learned there was a difference) as and keep your FC up per FC/CYA Chart

It sounds like you're vacuuming dead algae...only way to know for sure if you have it in hand is by running an Overnight Chlorine Lost Test (OCLT). Directions here --> Overnight Chlorine Loss Test

Don't worry about TA at this point.

Maddie
 

Mattiaci

Member
Jun 7, 2020
11
Hatfield PA
Ok, great about the aeration kicking the pH up....we don't want to see those low pH events as they're hard on your plaster.
ale
Consider your CYA to be 70 (its a logarithmic scale, not a linear one.I had to Google that when I first learned there was a difference) as and keep your FC up per FC/CYA Chart

It sounds like you're vacuuming dead algae...only way to know for sure if you have it in hand is by running an Overnight Chlorine Lost Test (OCLT). Directions here --> Overnight Chlorine Loss Test

Don't worry about TA at this point.

Maddie

Thanks again for all your help!!! The pool is extremely clear and looks 10 times better than a week ago. At this point, here are my levels. I did have FC loss overnight but I don't know how much our heavy rain storm played a part in that. I added some Borax to raise the Ph and waited about an hour. I then added 2 gallons of liquid chlorine. After another 45 mins, I tested and the FC level was 7.4. Below are my current #'s from this morning at 10:30am.

FC - 3.0
CC -0.4
Ph - 7.4
TA - 105
CH - 500
CYA - 70/75
water Temp - 85
Salt - 3200
Borates - unknown yet(will be adding once I have the FC figured out)
CSI Value - .016 - Good levels according to PoolMath.

Should I add more chlorine again tonight to eliminate the CC? Not sure if I need to add more this time around - meaning a full SLAM - that would mean 9 gallons of so of liqud chlorine? It seems that 2 gallons last night did lower the CC from about .6 - .4. If I add say 5 gallons tonight, I would think this would have to kill off the existing CC. Again, the pool is already crystal clear.
 
Last edited:

Mattiaci

Member
Jun 7, 2020
11
Hatfield PA
I just added 3 cups of liquid bleach to bring the FC from 4.1 to 6 tonight
Other levels as follows:
CC - .4
pH - 7.55
CA - 70
Alkalinity - 110
Salt - 3200
Water Temp - 85
CSI Value - .12

I am hoping I can retest with zero CC tomorrow and levels stay constant. Any thoughts? I went right off poolmath but wasnt sure if I need to add more liquid chlorine to finally kill off this last bit of CC?
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,337
Stuart/FL
Matt,

I would do the OCLT that Maddie recommended. This will help confirm you have no live algae. TFP methods are science-based and use test results to determine next step. You mentioned you had FC loss recently but thought it might have been due to rain. How much loss did you have? If unsure of the result you should do the test again. If you need a SLAM now it will be much easier to address now than later. All it takes is the test to confirm. Guessing and optimistic assumptions usually don't work out well for the pool owner.

I hope this helps and please do add your signature as I suggested in post #6.

Chris
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,437
Evans, Georgia
Some pools are always testing out at something for CCs. As long as it isn't more than 0.5ppm you don't need to panic ;)

Is the pool gin clear ? If not maintain the SLAM process.

It's safe to swim with FC up to the SLAM level.... :swim:
 
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Mattiaci

Member
Jun 7, 2020
11
Hatfield PA
Thanks for the feedback. The CC seems to keep showing .4 based on the Taylor kit but I think it’s a false #. The pool is as clear as it gets - not a gin fan but definitely in line with that. I have 8 gallons of bleach which would get it almost to full slam level but I don’t know if it needs it. Seems like FC is holding now based on last 2 tests. There was a little bit of sediment in bottom of pool but very small amount this morning. pH holding at 7.6 right now.