Starting SLAM today post ~50% drain. Start process after refill?

linzi618

Active member
May 11, 2017
42
Pflugerville, TX
Our pool builder gave us a list of parameters to keep the water in balance by so as to not void warranties, and told us to follow these recommendations and not the ones suggested by pool stores:

TA - 80-110
pH - 7.2-7.4
Chlorine - 2-3 summer 0.5-1 in the winter
CH - 200-400
CYA 30-50

I did re-add the TriChlor tabs (3, chlorinator flow rate 2) when our CYA dropped to well below 20 (the dot was still plainly visible when the view tube was completely full). I ended up sending my husband out for liquid conditioner yesterday and when I retested the dot disappeared past 20 but not yet to the halfway mark between 20 and 30, so for pool math app purposes I set my CYA as 25. I’ll also recap that I spoke with our original start-up tech from the builder when deciding to drain my pool completely to make sure it was safe to do so, we spoke at a bit of length and he advised to use the chlorinator, but using minimum tabs and flow rate so our CYA wouldn’t shoot up and plan on some draining every couple of years. (We owners screwed up in that we were relying solely on the chlorinator and filling it to max and relying solely on Leslie’s recommendations on what to add to the pool after weekly tests. We didn’t realize the CYA had gotten atmospheric as THEY said it was fine, when it obv wasn’t. Lesson learned.)

Sorry this has become novel length - so should I completely remove tri-chlor now that I know my CYA is at suggested level, see how the FC/CC behaves today, and if we still pass overnight tonight then let FC come down to suggested parameter and replace the pucks in the chlorinator? I’m not ready to give them up completely as I’m trying to follow the recommendations of my builder.

Here are my pics:A63FA86C-C8E0-4A47-856A-0D0987FCD7D1.jpegF1824A7C-6CEA-4D75-BF07-E7EC510F9C33.jpeg87AD5C5E-E347-4546-87B8-9A86AC0EA74B.jpeg

(The owl decoy is our somewhat futile attempt at keeping the grackles from washing their bugs off in our spa overflow. Suggestions welcome! ?)
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,889
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Most of the levels of your PB are in line with TFP, except FC, which does not harm the pool in any way and has to be keept in a ratio to cyaFC/CYA Chart. You can keep using tabs but your CYA or CH will rise and those never leave your pool unless you drain. I have never used tabs since i have a SWG. You have to decide which water management line you want to follow, they do not mix and match.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,479
Northern NJ
O when I retested the dot disappeared past 20 but not yet to the halfway mark between 20 and 30, so for pool math app purposes I set my CYA as 25.
Your CYA is 30. We only use whole numbers and round up. If the dot disappeasrs between 30 and 20 you call it 30. The TFPC methods are designed for whole numbers of CYA.

I’ll also recap that I spoke with our original start-up tech from the builder when deciding to drain my pool completely to make sure it was safe to do so, we spoke at a bit of length and he advised to use the chlorinator, but using minimum tabs and flow rate so our CYA wouldn’t shoot up and plan on some draining every couple of years. (We owners screwed up in that we were relying solely on the chlorinator and filling it to max and relying solely on Leslie’s recommendations on what to add to the pool after weekly tests. We didn’t realize the CYA had gotten atmospheric as THEY said it was fine, when it obv wasn’t. Lesson learned.)
You have to decide whose advice you want to follow. Mixing advice will just lead to confusion and you going down wrong paths when you mix methods.

You already discovered Leslies send you down wrong paths. The start-up tech is correct that you need to manage your CYA level. His method is drain your pool. TFP's method is don't use tablets.

Sorry this has become novel length - so should I completely remove tri-chlor now that I know my CYA is at suggested level, see how the FC/CC behaves today, and if we still pass overnight tonight then let FC come down to suggested parameter and replace the pucks in the chlorinator? I’m not ready to give them up completely as I’m trying to follow the recommendations of my builder.
You have to decide what your builders warranty is really worth to you and what problems you are looking to protect against. The builders FC levels are at the TFP minimum. See FC/CYA Chart. You have to be more diligent in testing. TFPC methods are being used by thousands of pool owners successfully. If you want to do more work in testing, dealing with alga, and draining pools then enjoy your pool care. It is not the TFP way.

We will be around to try and point you back in the right direction. Eventually most folks come around to following the science of pool water chemistry.
 

linzi618

Active member
May 11, 2017
42
Pflugerville, TX
You have to decide what your builders warranty is really worth to you and what problems you are looking to protect against. The builders FC levels are at the TFP minimum. See FC/CYA Chart. You have to be more diligent in testing. TFPC methods are being used by thousands of pool owners successfully. If you want to do more work in testing, dealing with alga, and draining pools then enjoy your pool care. It is not the TFP way.

We will be around to try and point you back in the right direction. Eventually most folks come around to following the science of pool water chemistry.
I hear you loud and clear. So I ditch the tabs and reserve them for those times we will be out of town. I’ve got a big bucket of Cal-Hypo power powder shock that will basically just serve to raise my CH over time and I need to be relying solely on jugs of liquid shock to do all chlorination. I’m a rule follower so it is taking some bravery on my part to let go of PB recommended maintenance so bear with me here ?.

So assuming I go and remove my tri-chlor tabs from my chlorinator right now, should I proceed with app suggested MA addition to drop my alkalinity/pH down now?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,479
Northern NJ
CH of 225 is ok for a new fill. I would not raise it.

This may have been asked already but what is the pH, TA, CH of your fill water?

Keep an eye on pH two or three times a week. The acid in your Trichlor ahs been keeping your pH down. Without the Trichlor you will need to add muriatic acid to lower pH occasionally.
 

linzi618

Active member
May 11, 2017
42
Pflugerville, TX
CH of 225 is ok for a new fill. I would not raise it.

This may have been asked already but what is the pH, TA, CH of your fill water?

Keep an eye on pH two or three times a week. The acid in your Trichlor ahs been keeping your pH down. Without the Trichlor you will need to add muriatic acid to lower pH occasionally.
Fill water:
pH 7.5
TA 160
CH 200

So pool math is telling me to add MA (so with my 20 baume that’s 1qt, 3 cups 5oz) to lower pH to 7.0-7.2 to bring down my alkalinity, then aerate to bring the pH back up.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,479
Northern NJ
Fill water:
pH 7.5
TA 160
CH 200

So pool math is telling me to add MA (so with my 20 baume that’s 1qt, 3 cups 5oz) to lower pH to 7.0-7.2 to bring down my alkalinity, then aerate to bring the pH back up.
Don't become a slave to the robots. You are switching from tablets to liquid chlorine and muriatic acid. I would let your pool settle down for a few weeks and see what the normal acid demand is. Every time you add MA to lower your pH you will lower your TA.

However with fill water TA of 160 and the evaporation you get in TX it is a losing battle. You will take effort to lower your TA and then add TA 160 fill water which will undo all the good work you have done.

Same with your CH. All the fill water you add will get your CH to rise.

So for right now your CH and TA are fine. Let's check back in a month or two and see how they have changed.

Do you have an autofill? Do you know how much fill water is added to your pool?
 

linzi618

Active member
May 11, 2017
42
Pflugerville, TX
Don't become a slave to the robots. You are switching from tablets to liquid chlorine and muriatic acid. I would let your pool settle down for a few weeks and see what the normal acid demand is. Every time you add MA to lower your pH you will lower your TA.

However with fill water TA of 160 and the evaporation you get in TX it is a losing battle. You will take effort to lower your TA and then add TA 160 fill water which will undo all the good work you have done.

Same with your CH. All the fill water you add will get your CH to rise.

So for right now your CH and TA are fine. Let's check back in a month or two and see how they have changed.

Do you have an autofill? Do you know how much fill water is added to your pool?
I do NOT have an auto fill. We have a manual filler that we employ once the water hits bottom of the waterline tile.

So all in all my main number of concern at this point is FC and making sure my pH isn’t sky high for safe swimming? So I’ll be testing FC/CC daily for now to maintain suggested levels in pool math and adding my bleach as needed...
 
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linzi618

Active member
May 11, 2017
42
Pflugerville, TX
Correct FC/CC and pH/TA are your routine checks. Test TA anytime pH hits 8 and needs to be lowered.
Wasn’t sure if I should start a new thread or continue here...
Everything is going great. Last night FC was down to 1.5 (ph 7.8) so I did an LC addition (to target of 4). This morning pH was 8 and FC was 2.5. Added MA to bring pH back down (target 7.2), and I’m currently sitting at pH of 7.5 but my FC is down to 1.5 again already (CC is 0.5). Is this the rate of drop I should expect for sunny days or do you think I should raise my CYA a bit again? I’m testing between 20-30 (logging as 30 in app) and I’m going to assume that isn’t going to be enough being in sunny TX and given no one has even been swimming today. (trying to figure out how to attach info from pool math app without manually typing)
 

linzi618

Active member
May 11, 2017
42
Pflugerville, TX
Can you help me understand my pH climb? Yesterday AM I was around 8. Had the husband add muriatic acid and it brought it down to 7.5. I added 12.5% LC (which I’m understanding with all my reading has basically no effect on pH) to bring my FC level back up per our discussion yesterday afternoon. I added the amount suggested by the pool math app to bring to my target of 6 but when I tested a couple of hours later it had actually raised FC to 7.5 (I’m almost certain I adjusted the app to account for my using 12.5%).

Did my testing this morning to find my pH back up to 8. FC was 6.5 and CC 0.5 so I’m good with overnight chlorine loss. I went ahead and just dosed liquid conditioner (after my testing was done) to bring my CYA up to around 40 to try to mitigate the FC loss during the day.

I am NOT accustomed to these pH swings and I’m assuming it is due to my past use of the acidic tri-chlor. We run our pump 22 hours a day (7am-6pm on high; 7pm-6am on low). There is always water movement via the spa overflow...is that the cause of my pH swinging? My TA is currently 130.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,637
Laughlin, NV
With your high TA and constant aeration, you will have rising pH. It will slow some as your TA lowers.

Do you have automation for your spa spillover?
 

linzi618

Active member
May 11, 2017
42
Pflugerville, TX
With your high TA and constant aeration, you will have rising pH. It will slow some as your TA lowers.

Do you have automation for your spa spillover?
We have “spa mode” which obviously turns off the overflow to contain the heated water to the spa when we use it. Im not wholly certain what else happens when I enable spa mode (In iAquaLink I turn on heat separately so that isn’t automatic to spa mode). The filter pump indicator remains on.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,637
Laughlin, NV
Most automation systems have a Spillover function. If you could provide more detail on your automation one of our experts with that automation system could advise.

If you can program in a Spillover function, then you schedule that for 30 minutes or so each day and return to Pool mode the rest of the time. The valve actuators may have to be adjusted unless you have a spa make up system.
 

linzi618

Active member
May 11, 2017
42
Pflugerville, TX
The main things I control via iAquaLink are spa mode on/off, “Aqua Accents” on/off which controls only my big waterfall and 2 scuppers which we only occasionally use (have not lately), filter pump on/off, heater on/off. I don’t have a separate “pool mode.” We have freeze guard which turns the aqua accents on when we dip to around freezing at night during colder months. I cannot find anywhere in the more detailed web interface in iAquaLink for spillover control. This is definitely above my pay grade!