Urgent Next steps??


Nov 21, 2018
Dallas, TX
Here are my current levels using my TFT test kit

FAC - 3
CH - 175
TA - 100
PH - 7.8
CYA - 25 to 30
CSI - 0.13 (according to Pool Math app)
OCLT - 3.5 to 3 (tested last night with pump that ran on low speed for 4 hours, no chlorine added overnight)

Recent steps over the last two weeks:

  1. Complete drain and refill (because CYA was in 160+ range & I was fighting algae) from July 16th - 18th
    1. Brushed the heck out of the pool while it was empty, removed and cleaned behind lights, drenched in 50/50 mix of bleach and water and set cleaner, brushes, rakes, etc. out in the Texas hot sun Friday thru Sunday
    2. Three days after refill levels were FAC 1.5, CH 225, TA 80, PH 7.5, CYA <20
  2. Disassembled filter and cleaned all grids
  3. Added liquid conditioner to get CYA to the 25-30 range
  4. Added liquid chlorine every morning to get FAC to 4, the Rainbow chlorinator was also on 5 each day
  5. Over the last three days added 24 ounces of Orenda PR-10000-QT Phosphate Remover
    1. This was a “belt & suspender” step because the phosphates were 1,700
  • All of my testing is done with my TFT kit except the phosphate levels.
  • I need to raise my CH and lower my TA
  • My water has been crystal clear the entire time except when I added the Orenda. That created some cloudiness but has cleared.
  • I haven’t seen any visible signs of algae.
  • My filter went from 20PSI to 30PSI after I added the Orenda

When I got home each night, the FAC was down to 1 or 1.5. I wasn’t sure if I had algae or the CYA was too low and the Texas sun was eating my chlorine each day or both. In the past, the chlorinator was able to keep the chlorine pretty stable in 10 – 12 range when I had it set to level 5. I realize the CYA was high then and that helped with the sunlight. I assume that absent algae, the chlorinator should be able to easily keep the levels stabile in the 3-4 range and keep in mind I was adding an additional 32 ounces of liquid bleach (6%) each morning for the last week or so. Yesterday was the first day the chlorine stabilized. In the morning it was 2.5 and last night it was 3.5 AND I didn’t add any liquid CL, chlorinator only.

This morning I will manually brush and vacuum the pool then backwash the filter. Here’s my dilemma. I’m traveling from Tuesday through Sunday. I want to ensure I don’t have an algae problem before I leave. If my OCLT yielded a .5 PPM drop, do I have algae? What do you recommend I do now in triage mode for the next few days before I start traveling? I need the ability to maintain the CL levels using the chlorinator while I’m away. Thanks in advance!


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
If you are using tablets in the chlorinator then you are also adding additional CYA with each tablet. If your CYA is at 30 then the FC target should be 6ppm and never drop below 4ppm. A single 8 ounce completely dissolved tablet will give you 2.5ppm FC and 1.5ppm CYA. It can take a week for a table to completely dissolve. So if you load 5 tablets in the chlorinator that will give you 7.5ppm CYA on top of what you already have and 12.5 ppm chlorine. Keep in mind the chlorine is being distributed in small amounts over several days.
I would go ahead and load up the chlorinator, but calculate what you expect your CYA level to be when it is all dissolved and add that to the current CYA reading. Use that new projected CYA level to determine what SLAM level would be, and raise the pool to SLAM level the night before you leave. You should still have some chlorine left by the time you get back.

Currently you may be fighting off a little bit of algae since your FC numbers drop so much during the day, but it could also be loosing FC in the sun due to low CYA. If you use the combination of tablets and SLAM level chlorination you can recalculate the CYA when you get home and dose the pool accordingly. I would recommend using liquid chlorine only once you are home.
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