weq92f

Member
Aug 10, 2021
13
North Texas
.

Re: North Texas in ground pool I'm inaccurately estimating at 10-12k gallons.

I've learned a few pool facts over the past week or so after moving into my house w/pool ( 20 year old pool ). Prior to this, I've had zero pool experience. The previous owner left me with a couple bags of shock from a local pool store and absolutely nothing more other than telling me to clean out the skim and pump baskets. I found a small bottle of test strips that measure only 4 things: FAC, Ph, Alk and CYA which read near 0, 7.4, 80 and 30-50 respectively. I went to the pool store to get their free analysis of my water and they came up with...

FC=0.15
Total Chlorine= 0.15
ph=8.2
Alk=80
Calcium Hardness=441
CYA=36
Phosphates=3832 !!!
TDS=1000

...which mostly jives with my readings.

They advised me to drain my pool down 1/3 and refill then come back for another test. After the 1/3 drain/refill process I have now just finished incorporating 1lb of the shock ( Cal-Hypo methinks ) into the pool in an attempt to bring up the chlorine. I expect to wait about 24 hours and then test again, but not with the pool store and perhaps not with the simple strip test kit I have on hand.

Do I need to worry about phosphates or is this just something the pool store wants to use to sell me a bunch of unnecessary chemical? This pool gets a lot of exposure to trees ( leaves and such ) and quite a lot of sunlight throughout the mid day ( 10-3pm ).

Are these test strips accurate enough for DIY pool care or should I invest in something more elaborate?

How much trouble am I getting myself into here?

Thank You,

-weq
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,387
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum.
I suggest you read through Pool School - Trouble Free Pool and even look at a few of our videos TFP-TV - Trouble Free Pool

You will find TFPC is quite a bit different than pool store methods. We advocate the pool owner doing their own water testing with a proper test kit. See Test Kits Compared

Phosphates are not your issue. Improper water testing and low FC is.
 

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
375
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
Your water is in surprisingly good shape for an inherited pool in N Texas. Only need to lower pH and raise FC immediately (cal hypo is raising your CH and you don't need anymore, use liquid chlorine only) then report results once you get a proper test kit. You'll find that maintaining a pool in N Texas is very easy and inexpensive.
 

jeffchap

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
1,819
Edmond OK
The bottom line on phosphates is that they are algae food. But with the proper amount of chlorine in your water, algae cannot survive. So the amount of food available for it is irrelevant. This is why we completely ignore phosphate levels.
 

weq92f

Member
Aug 10, 2021
13
North Texas
OK so trying to raise FC. I'm using 10% bleach ( liquid chlorine from ACE ). With an estimated 14000 gallon inground pool I added roughly 32 oz. Check next morning and find FC at about 0 to 0.8 ( basically no change ) My ph is low so I'm running the waterfall to try and raise it without chemicals.

How much of this 10% bleach would I need to bring the FC values up. BTW I mixed the bleach with a couple gallons of pool water then poured it in around the edges spreading it all the way around. Don't know if that is the right way ( too fast? ).

FC: 0 to 0.8
CYA: just below 30
TA: 80
PH: between 6.8 and 7.2

Thank you,

-klb
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,158
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Use PoolMath for calculating additions
The amount u added would have only increased your fc by 1.8 ppm
Not near enough based on the FC/CYA Chart. You want to dose to at least a target of 6ppm. Every day.
Pour liquid chlorine in full strength slowly in front of a return (jet) - about a pencil sized stream. You may want to brush the area to help mix it in. Keep the jug close to the water & avoid surfaces. Diluting it with water just increases the chances of u splashing it on yourself & staining your clothes.
Until your tf100 or k2006c test kit arrives & u can do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to rule out organics you are almost flying blind with the guess strips.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,387
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
BTW I mixed the bleach with a couple gallons of pool water then poured it in around the edges spreading it all the way around. Don't know if that is the right way ( too fast? ).
No need for that. Pour the liquid chlorine at a pool return with the pump running. Should take about a minute to add one gallon. Brush the area if you wish.
 

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reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
375
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
If your CYA is 40, and we don't know that with any certainty, your FC at 2-4ppm could be under the minimum necessary to prevent algae. At 40 CYA, your minimum is 3 and the target range should be 5-7.
 

weq92f

Member
Aug 10, 2021
13
North Texas
If your CYA is 40, and we don't know that with any certainty, your FC at 2-4ppm could be under the minimum necessary to prevent algae. At 40 CYA, your minimum is 3 and the target range should be 5-7.
.
Good point. Ima gonna add another healthy dose of bleach tonight to bring FC up even more. PoolMath tells me I should add about 50-70oz. I'm gonna just go for half a jug and see what happens. Can't hurt...right.

I've got a CL-580 cartridge filter. Pulled it apart and found it absolutely filthy. Couldn't really get the cartridges clean enough so I ordered 4 new ones...oh the odor was something special...
 
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weq92f

Member
Aug 10, 2021
13
North Texas
My TF-100 is on the way...should have it in a day or two. My FC levels appear to be dropping to near zero each night no matter how much bleach I add. For example last night I added 2 gallons of 10% ( according to the test strips this brought FC to around 10ppm ) and found the FC levels near zero this morning. This leads me to believe it's time to SLAM as something is chewing through the FC too quickly. The water is clear and colorless.

During the SLAM process, does TFP recommend adding bleach throughout the day and night? If FC drops below the SLAM level, does this completely reset the overall situation back to square one ( that is: any gains becomes lost )?

Once I get my kit, what tests/results are you all interested in ( CYA and FC I'm sure but what else )?

-klb
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,387
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
During the SLAM process, does TFP recommend adding bleach throughout the day and night? If FC drops below the SLAM level, does this completely reset the overall situation back to square one ( that is: any gains becomes lost )?
Read the SLAM Process

As long as the FC is above the minimum level for the CYA, you are defeating algae. Being below SLAM level FC does slow down the process, but does not stop it.
 

weq92f

Member
Aug 10, 2021
13
North Texas
Got my tf-100 kit today and found the following results:

FC: 0.5
TC: 1 ??
pH: 8.2
CYA: <20 ( the solution was totally clear )
CH: 550
TA: 100

Whatever chlorine I add to this body of water seems to disappear rather quickly day or night. This is related to the low CYA or high pH? Suggestions please on what I need to do here. Both normal and SLAM FC levels on the Chlorine/CYA chart are not recommended at CYA=20 so I'm stuck! Need to get the CYA up and the pH down methinks?

Thanks,

-klb
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,387
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Add 30 ppm of CYA via the sock method. Raise your FC to 12 ppm and follow the SLAM Process, first lowering your pH to 7.2. Maintain the 12 ppm FC and test CYA 24 hours after the stabilizer is dissolved from the sock. Adjust your FC level based on the CYA reading.
 

weq92f

Member
Aug 10, 2021
13
North Texas
Looks like the only CYA raising product I can get are a) some liquid stabilizer ( not an acid but a salt ) from the local pool supply --expensive and b) granular CYA from a hardware store. Looks like the only pH modifier I can get is Dry Acid from the pool supply.

Will the granular stuff work via the sock method or do I need to find the powder that is referenced in other posts here? I'm guessing it's not good to try and modify both CYA and pH simultaneously?

Thank You,

-klb
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,158
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Granular is fine the only powdered I know of available is in other countries lol 😂
Its listed in PoolMath as dry stabilizer.
Note* If you get liquid you must be sure to use the entire container- otherwise whatever’s left in the jug may be very concentrated & whats in the pool may be less concentrated. It can be kinda gloppy so its advised to use the whole jug & rinse it out in the pool.
Does this hardware store not have Muriatic acid also ? dry acid is ok if it’s your only option but u should seek out some Muriatic acid for the future.
Before you were running your water feature to increase ph - Apparently it worked- you should turn that off for now. Just be sure to run some water through it daily so it gets slammed too.
Lower the ph to 7.2- let the water mix a few minutes (30 or so) while that’s happening add the 30ppm stabilizer to the sock 🧦 & hang it in front of a return (tie it to a pool pole or something so it doesn’t touch the pool wall) Go squeeze the sock occasionally as it dissolves. A couple pounds usually only takes me a few hours if i give it some attention. You can split the amount between 2 socks if u have a return for each - it may help it dissolve faster. The sock method puts the cya directly in the pool water whereas adding it to the skimmer (not advised) can just leave some undissolved on top of your filter media.
Next after placing the sock(s) - dose to 12 ppm with liquid chlorine . Test & replenish fc to 12 ppm as often as you can (just not more than once per hour) maybe try to get a couple doses in before u go to bed then you can really stay on it through the weekend. Retest cya in 24 hrs like Marty said so you can adjust your slam fc level if needed FC/CYA Chart
 
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weq92f

Member
Aug 10, 2021
13
North Texas
Thanks everyone!

Added about 2.5 lbs of CYA via sock. This took about 30 minutes per pound as the stuff just melted down to nothing once in the water. I've brought pH down to 7.5 as well, just don't know how long to wait before testing for CYA levels. After the 1st pound I tested 30 minutes later and found the reading to be around 20 so maybe 30 minutes is enough time once it's all dissolved?

-klb
 

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