Troubled Owner, New Member from Sydney, Australia

Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
Hi All,

Just discovered this site and ordered myself a testing kit from Clear Choice Labs
I'll have my first test results later today hopefully as the kit has just arrived.

I've had my pool since new 5 years ago and it's been mostly good, but also very troubling at times.
The pool is an 'L' shape and is 8m x 5m at it's longest lengths and 3m wide across the main body. It runs from 1.9m to 1.2m deep with a step area that is 0.5m (2.5m x 2m)

Current status is pool is mostly clear with a huge thirst for liquid chlorine and my dosing unit is unable to keep up at the required rate.
I've definitely been pool shopped at times and if I allow the chlorine level to drop for more than 2 days it starts to turn and head towards a green state.

I have a lot of leaf material that enters the pool and at the moment there is a lot of ash and dust due to the bush fires we are experiencing.

Hopefully I can learn from the forum and get things under control and we can enjoy the pool as it's meant to be

Any suggestions??
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,407
Bedford, TX
P,

Welcome to TFP.. A great place to learn how the water can stay in an upside down pool... :mrgreen:

Sounds to me like you have algae even if you can't see it most of the time..

I suggest that you run an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test or OCLT... See this Overnight Chlorine Loss Test

If you fail, which I suspect you will, you will need to follow our SLAM process to kill all the algae, not just some of it as you have been doing..

Here are the SLAM instructions... SLAM Process

Before you perform a SLAM, it would be better for you to report your test data here for a quick review... Like this..

FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
Salt (If a saltwater pool)
Temp (Water temp)

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
Welcome and good luck with the fires, they look really bad on tv.
Thanks JJ, they really are quite unbelievably large. I'm not in any danger zone, but feel for those that are directly effected.

P,

Welcome to TFP.. A great place to learn how the water can stay in an upside down pool... :mrgreen:

Sounds to me like you have algae even if you can't see it most of the time..

I suggest that you run an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test or OCLT... See this Overnight Chlorine Loss Test

If you fail, which I suspect you will, you will need to follow our SLAM process to kill all the algae, not just some of it as you have been doing..

Here are the SLAM instructions... SLAM Process
Thanks Jim, yes I think you will be proven to be correct.
Will have those test results ready as soon as I return home from work today (and I figure out the testing kit) :geek:
 

Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
Okay, first test results are in:

FC - 2ppm
CC - 1ppm
pH - 7.4
TA - 50
CH - 1000
CYA - <30

hopefully I’ve done this correctly..... I did follow the instructions and the FC/CC changed rapidly after adding drops, whilst the TA required a significant number to get any reaction.

assuming these are correct, where to from here?

My Rolachem is reading chlorine as ORP: 696 & PH: 7.4

thanks

edit: temp is ~23 degrees Celsius and no salt.

Water is still clear, but there is a small amount of sediment on the floor (can we attach pictures)?
 

wogster

In The Industry
Apr 30, 2018
114
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
EVERYTHING affects ORP, your TA, your CYA, your CH, all affect ORP, so you really need to test CL and pH every day, and then calibrate the machine, and yes this may be wildly different each day. In many ways a constant feed pump or a SWCG is better, because, if you on average lose 2ppm per day, you set the feed to 2ppm per day, and it pretty much looks after itself.
 

Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
EVERYTHING affects ORP, your TA, your CYA, your CH, all affect ORP, so you really need to test CL and pH every day, and then calibrate the machine, and yes this may be wildly different each day. In many ways a constant feed pump or a SWCG is better, because, if you on average lose 2ppm per day, you set the feed to 2ppm per day, and it pretty much looks after itself.
Thanks Wogster, after doing a bit more reading and going through the Pool School section I am starting to regret the decision to go with the RolaChem unit.

From what I've read, I definitely understand my CH is way too high and only way to correct this is to remove water from the pool - this isn't possible at the moment as Sydney has total water restrictions and you're not allowed to use the hose. Topping up a pool is a huge no, no.

For the first 3 years I was using a sunbloc and then the local shop changed owners and the new owner advised me that because I had the RolaChem, it wasn't required and I've pretty much confirmed that from this forum that if you run ORP, you should keep it less than 30ppm and mine is.

I will definitely give it another test later today to compare, but where to from here?
 

Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
Follow the FC/CYA Chart chart. Adding liquid chlorine daily based on testing.
The CH of 1000 is not catastrophic. Use CSI to manage the scaling tendency. It is calculated in Poolmath. Keep it between 0.3 and -0.3.
Thanks Marty.

Latest test results are confirming I certainly do have an algae problem hidden away so I will be starting the SLAM process ASAP.

FC - 0.5ppm
CC - 0.5ppm
pH - 7.3
TA - 50
CH - 1000
CYA - <30

A few queries about following the process:
Because of my setup using ORP, using the FC/CYA Chart it indicates I need to get FC to 10 - what happens if it exceeds this?
  • Using PoolMath I can calculate how much liquid chlorine to add and then give it a test in a couple of hours and if it's fallen I top it up again to FC 10 - is that correct? And repeat as much as possible?
  • I understand you keep going until you pass the 3 tests, but at what point do you stop adding chlorine to allow an OCLT - It doesn't seem there would be much benefit trying it on the first 24 hour cycle, but is there a point when you should try it?
  • My CYA is <30 so it's going to consume more chlorine and I am okay with that, but is there anything else to be aware of?
  • Should I continue to add MA to try and keep the PH in range even if tests are not accurate?
Thank you
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,062
Laughlin, NV
You should be sure your CYA is at 30 ppm. Adjust your pH to 7.2. Then target FC of 12 ppm. Test and dose every couple hours. After your FC starts to hold you can go to 3-4 times per day. Do an OCLT once your FC holds pretty well. Normally takes a week or so. No need to let FC drop to do the OCLT. Do not add MA unless you are able to test your pH with a FC of 10 ppm or lower.

I suggest you plan to abandon the use of the ORP after this.
 

Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
Ok, taking your exact advice and have disabled my auto feeder. No more ORP and only using my testing kit to maintain levels as per PoolMath

I’ve done the addition of cyanuric acid to raise the CYA to ~30 and will add MA to maintain PH 7.2

I will test in ~24 hours and if everything is correct will begin to SLAM.
 

Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
Just checking in......
  • CC is 0.5 or lower (y)
  • Clear water (y)
  • Pass an OCLT ❌
So I started to SLAM about 36 hours ago after I successfully increased CYA to ~40
I've completed 3 additions of liquid chlorine to achieve and maintain SLAM FC 16
Overnight FC went from 16.5 to 14.5, so topped up chlorine again.

The pool is starting to shine again and the water is very clear until I brush, however on each occasion the cloudiness that follows is less and less.

Today Sydney is expected to hit 40 degrees Celsius (104F), so I anticipate there will be quite a bit of burn off. I'm anticipating being home from work by 2pm (peak heat time) and will top up as required
and continue to monitor closely over the next 2.5 days (weekend).
 

Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
If you are brushing up solids, that is not crystal clear water.
Brushing is more so related to dust / smoke particles that are blowing in from the major fires several hundred km’s away. The filter has a difficult time of completely catching it as does vacuuming as it’s super fine. When the wind stops for a few days, you can eventually get it all out, but takes several attempts at very slow vacuum movement to minimise stirring it up too much.

next update:

yesterday at about 2pm I was able to test FC and add chlorine to top up to SLAM FC, I gave it another good brush and removed anything that had landed in the previous 8 hours. I didn’t get a chance to retest until 3:30am and when I did the FC had dropped to 14.5 so I topped it up again.

tested today at 11am and FC was holding 17.5 so possibly on the way to passing the OCLT.

Any recommendations on the best tool / method to pick up / remove fine dust that will be quicker than I can achieve today?
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
536
south east Arizona
Any recommendations on the best tool / method to pick up / remove fine dust that will be quicker than I can achieve today?
it uses water so you may not be able to do anything for a while, but you can try to vacuum to waste (or siphon if you have the elevations) very carefully without stirring things up too much. if you can get the stuff to settle in a smaller area (deep end) it will drain less water. also some have had success adding a small amount of diatomacious earth to a sand filter to get finer filtering ability. don't know how that works with whatever your media is, though.
 

Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
checking in......
  • CC is 0.5 or lower (y)
  • Clear water (y)
  • Pass an OCLT (y)
I topped up the chlorine this morning to the SLAM FC even though I passed the OCLT to give it another full day at the higher level.
The fine dust looks to have been filtered out now, but I will be able to confirm this once I turn the pump off and give it a chance to settle

I'll give it one more good brushing all over, run the filter overnight and then give it a few hours to settle before a vacuum.

This coming weekend I will give my sand filter a deep clean I think. The only maintenance it has ever received is backflushing.
I don't actually have any sand in it, it's a fine glass pepple that is supposed to be more effective - Viron Glass
 
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Costas > DownUnder

Bronze Supporter
Dec 17, 2017
641
Adelaide | Australia
Well done so far...:goodjob:

Any recommendations on the best tool / method to pick up / remove fine dust that will be quicker than I can achieve today?
Practically the best tool for this job is a robot cleaner.

They are basically a vacuum cleaner for your pool, they use very little electricity (as compared to your pump in vacuuming mode) and zero water.

I use mine quite a bit during the swim season as you generally get some dust in the pool on a daily basis - depending on wind conditions you may or may not get a substantial amount of dust deposited into the pool.
 
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Pavle

Member
Jan 5, 2020
23
Sydney, Australia
Another 24 hours and confirmed I've again passed all three tests:
  • CC is 0.5 or lower (y)
  • Clear water (y)
  • Pass an OCLT (y)
Last night I backwashed my filter and I've never seen as much dirty water pass through the sight glass. After I rinsed and finished up, the pressure coming through my returns has increased significantly - The surface has sparkles and these are very obvious again and this has been missing for a little while.

Now that the FC is falling (I've not added chlorine for 24 hours), do I wait it out until it drops to the target FC or is there other things I can be doing?

From what I've read PH is overstated whilst FC is above 10, however I did a test this morning and my PH is reading very low (6.8 or lower). FC is 11
I'm expecting the FC to fall about 2 PPM today so I should be good to carry out the full test suite this evening with a FC of 9 or thereabouts.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,062
Laughlin, NV
You just wait until the FC drops into the target range and then maintain it there.

How did the pH get that low? Your PoolMath logs shows a TA of 75 (that would be 80 as you cannot measure a 75 with a drop based kit). Very hard to have a low pH with higher TA. A little aeration will drive the pH up quickly.