TOTAL newbie


New member
May 17, 2008
How do we read/treat these numbers??!

May I jump in here for some related advice? I am a TOTAL newbie (both to caring for a pool and in regard to this website), and our 20 year-old in-ground pool just tested out as follows:

TH -- 100
FC -- 0 (yes... zero...)
Br -- 0
pH -- 7.3
TA -- 80
CYA -- 0

We began renting this home 2 weeks ago, and have only now just turned our attention to the pool (which is theoretically being tended to by a "pool guy" once weekly...) -- are these numbers even possible? My husband insists I performed the test wrong, but being a chem major with a doctorate in pharmacology, I'm inclined to disagree. I read over the "sticky" related to analyzing these values, but am easily confused. Not to mention a tad lazy. :p

The pool has a springheel infestation (which I have been treating with the dilute Dawn solution with pretty impressive results -- though I STILL may rip out our adjacent sod with my bare teeth if they keep up the way they have...), and an extremely unmotivated vacuum that crawls around scrubbing exactly 2 square feet of the deepest part of the pool. We would eventually like to USE the darned thing (as would our 3 kids), but in its current condition, we'd rather wait for a cold day in hell to do so. Being that it is an extremely hot day in the (S.F.) valley, does anyone have some advice for us? (NOTE: Major language barrier between us and the "pool guy"... unfortunate...) (NOTE #2: Please forgive any breaches of etiquette in this posting -- I am new to the whole "forum" notion, and am open to constructive criticism...) Thanks to anyone who has time to point us in the right direction!


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
SW Indiana
With no CYA, the 0 FC reading is not only possible, it is probable. You'll want to get some chlorine in there quickly. Bleach is the quickest solution. You'll need to know the approximate volume of the pool. You can use to determine how much bleach you need. You'll want to get some CYA in there too, to help avoid having the chlorine disappear so quickly. 40ppm is a good place to start, but use care not to overshoot.


LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
You need to add chlorine every day one way or another. That might be done with a tablet feeder, a SWG, or manually every evening. So the question is, do you have a tablet feeder or SWG? If so it might not be working. If not you need to be adding chlorine manually every day.

I also don't like that CYA is zero. That isn't necessarily a problem if you have a tablet feeder. If you don't have a tablet feeder, CYA needs to be adjusted right away.

Also, when you have time, start reading the stickies, see the link in my signature or the sub-heading of every page.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida

First of all, welcome!!! You breached no etiquette and we all enjoy helping folks with pool problems.

You have a very good grasp of what's happening in your pool but your "pool guy" does not. As Jason and John have suggested, get some chlorine in there right away...bleach in the evening is the best way to do it.

Secondly, using the calculator Jason referred to, figure your pool volume and put enough CYA in there to get to 40 or so ppm. If you need some help with thaqt post back and we'll point you the right way. Stay on this forum and you'll get that pool fixed and have a troublefree summer.