Taking control of pool maintenance

Apr 2, 2016
24
0
Twin Cities, MN
#1
My first (and last post) was over two years ago as our pool was being built. We ended up having water trucked in to fill the pool and year one maintenance was a breeze... literally just put some chlorine pucks in the skimmer basket and that was it.

Year two became a little more of a yoyo effect and constantly battling cloudiness, low chlorine, etc... I tried relying on the pool company and they simply are not setup to do anything effectively except BUILD pools. This year, I decided to educate myself and take matters into my own hands. First step was to read through Pool School. Incredibly helpful. Then I ordered a TFTEST kit today.

SO - doing a complete test after opening the pool, realized that my TA was very high (230-240 range). I immediately started treating with acid and aeration. For aeration, the quickest plan was to drop a submersible pump in the water with a short hose and shoot that arc of water back into the water like a fountain. Probably not as effective as introducing bubbles, but will definitely aerate. I started slow testing six hours and 24 hours after each treatment. At first it seemed like the TA would barely move, but as of last night I finally got it down to 100! PH was steady throughout the process at 7, but last night dropped after I added the last 2 quarts of acid. I closed the cover for the night as the trees are dropping so much right now.

Now the next steps are:

1. With aeration get the PH back up into the right range.
2. Get my free chlorine up a bit.
3. Switch from commercial shock to just using bleach.

Only slight risk is that the TA keeps dropping. My last acid treatment was 2 quarts at 9pm last night. At 6 am this morning, TA was 100.

Water is crystal clear and I plan to keep it that way!

IMG_0684.jpg
 
Apr 2, 2016
24
0
Twin Cities, MN
#3
24 hours since the last acid treatment and TA is still sitting at 100 on the nose. Hope it holds steady.

FC has been extremely low, so I switched from shock to household bleach tonight. Pool calculator called for 2 gallons to get it up from .5 to 4.

Ph came up a HAIR with aeration today but not much. Still under 6.8. Hoping for more accurate reading as soon as my TFTest kit arrives.
 
Apr 2, 2016
24
0
Twin Cities, MN
#4
FC has been extremely low, so I switched from shock to household bleach tonight. Pool calculator called for 2 gallons to get it up from .5 to 4.
Two gallons of bleach did nothing to my FC overnight. Pool is clean and CC seems to be inline according to strips (test kit coming shortly).

Any idea why I can’t get FC to come up?
 
Apr 2, 2016
24
0
Twin Cities, MN
#6
OK, will do. I have a decent test kit for everything except CC (need the cheap strips for that). TFTest kit arrives tomorrow and I will post full numbers.

With the current test kit, I'm sitting at the following settings but have crystal clear water:

FC: close to zero
TA: 100
PH: under 6.8
CYA: ok on test strip
CC: ok on test strip
CH: extremely high
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
#7
The CYA and FC is what's going to get you algae, and those test strips simply aren't worth the money they're printed on. You'll be amazed when you test the water with your new kit shortly. The pH is concerning as well, but again, you can't trust those results. Hopefully your kit arrives soon. In the meantime, please hop onto your profile settings and add all of your pool and equipment info to your signature - much the way you see mine below. It will helps us once the kit arrives. Oh ... include which test kit you will have as well. :)
 
Apr 2, 2016
24
0
Twin Cities, MN
#8
Ok, received the TFTest kit today and took the readings. The pool is still crystal clear. I think the only concern at this time is low chlorine and getting PH back up. The PH dropped after adding acid to bring TA that was 200-240 down. Aeration hasn't been able to bring PH up so far. The last attempt at increasing chlorine was two gallons of Walgreens brand bleach 48 hours ago. I still have 5 half "eaten" chlorine tabs in the skimmer. I can't bring myself into compliance with TFT and take them out with a near zero FC level.

FC .5
CC 1
PH 6.8 (or maybe slightly lighter)
CH 450-475 depending on what you call blue
TA 90
CYA 100

The CYA test was not fun. I did it about four times and as far as I can tell that dot disappears around 100.
 

kellyfair

Bronze Supporter
Gold Supporter
Jun 30, 2016
1,995
0
Tampa, FL
#9
CYA is already too high. Definitely want to ditch the tabs, as they are raising it even higher. Gonna need to replace some water, unfortunately.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
#10
minisoda, I would like for you to do a diluted CYA test following the TFP Pool School - CYA starting at Step #8. That will tell us with better accuracy if your CYA is actually at 100, or higher. Use the following to help:
CYA Testing:
Proper lighting is critical for the CYA test, so you want to test for CYA outside on a bright sunny day. Taylor recommends standing outside with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. If it helps, pour a little, look away, then look back and pour some more. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading.
Just remember. chlorine is chlorine. It doesn't matter if it comes from a salt water generator, tablets, or a bottle of bleach. It's the same ingredient only packaged differently. My FB pool in on a diet of 1/4-1/2 gal of regular bleach each evening and is always crystal clear. Those tabs are fine for short-term use, but will force you to drain water when used extensively because they are pressed with stabilizer. Unfortunately, the pool builder or pool stores conveniently never tell you that.

So run that diluted CYA test so we can see how much water you will need to exchange. No doubt you will have to change "some" water, now it's just a matter of how much. But once you do it now, you should never have to do it again with TFP care.
 
Apr 2, 2016
24
0
Twin Cities, MN
#13
The diluted CYA test still shows CYA of at least 100. I did pull the chlorine tabs out. For what it's worth, two different brands of test strips show CYA as "ok". Water is crystal clear.

Any ideas on next steps?
 

funandsun

Bronze Supporter
Jun 12, 2017
764
0
Bloomington Indiana
#14
Sorry to hear about that CYA minisoda, those pucks are just brutal on CYA. You gotta trust that test kit result, i dont even know how you could mess it up. you're saying the dot disappears at 100, that's like very little solution in the tube.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
527
0
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
#19
Please test your well water before adding it to the pool. You will also need to test for Iron. If you are going to drain, leave at least 2 feet from the shallow end. If its no cost issues then drain half 2 or 3 times so your liner is safe.


Felipe