What a mess!

cindyslou

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2009
64
Louisiana
Long story short: Married for 40 years, husband finds younger woman = divorce. He took care of the pool & I limped along last year barely keeping it going. Have the Iaqualink and my router went out last fall, replaced router & haven't been able to connect since. I'm totally wanting to learn how to care for my pool but a little overwhelmed. Have been on this site for several years - he wouldn't consider the option of doing it this way. SWG went out so he threw pucks in the auto chlorinator. Had pool company come out & check - replaced the module & SWG started working again. All was fine till fall came along with oak leaves, router went out, couldn't find the net we had to cover pool. I was having a hard time dealing with everything that comes along with untangling 40 years of life with another person. Soooooo .... one huge brown swamp. My grandchildren are getting antsy so I have to get this mess cleaned up & going. I have the test kit & checked my levels - sad to say CYA is out the wazoo - I even diluted it 50/50 and the black dot is totally visible.

C -0
PH - 7.8
CC - 0
TA - 70
CH - 120
CYA - somewhere in outer space I'm guessing.

I live in a very rural area so I can drain the water to lower CYA. I have 1 bag os salt to add on hand. The control panel says add salt. I have 8 gallons of bleach & 2 gallons of muriatic acid. I have to order more CYA test today before I can test again. So, ugly picture, need lots of help - is this possible to clean the swamp up? I have cleaned a bunch of leaves out & broke my pole but got another & ready to go at it again. Thanks in advance for reading this long post!!!
 

PrairieGirl

Well-known member
Nov 14, 2015
209
Chicagoland, IL
Hi! Sounds like you have a pool Adventure in your hands, but yes, you can totally do this. If you have a working pump and a brush and vacuum, no worries. I brought my pool from green/black swamp to swimmable within 3 weeks. It takes time when is bad to start, so don't give up!

I can't speak to everything - but you say the dot IS visible? If so, and that's not typo, your CYA is super low.

Is that a tft test kit? Is CG the same as CH?

It is my understanding that you will turn off your swg if you are doing a TFP SLAM. You'll use liquid chlorine mostly until your water clears up. So I would guess - don't add salt.
 
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Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,347
NW Ohio
I can't speak to everything - but you say the dot IS visible? If so, and that's not typo, your CYA is super low.
Yes, most important before you do anything is this. If you fill the tube and can still see the dot then your CYA is zero. Less "somewhere in space" and more "right there on the ground" ;)

If that is the case then you actually want to add some before starting the SLAM.
 

mac4lyfe

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2007
212
Houston, Texas
I would wait until I get a good CYA reading before adding CYA. You need to really verify your CYA results and make sure it is not high or that low. How are you sampling your pool? Was the pump running and the pool circulating properly? You want a good representative sample. It seems strange to me that you would be at zero, especially if your ex was using an SWG. You need to get a good CYA reading before proceeding.

I would immediately start slamming the pool. I would wait to add CYA (Stabilizer) and make doubly sure of my results. We don't recommend relying on the pool store for test results or advice but I don't think it's a bad idea to have them test your water as well just to verify your results, especially if you are new to testing. Even if your CYA is zero, you can still start SLAMMING the pool. Especially because you're in LA and we're having massive rain and clouds. The only reason for increasing CYA is to slow chlorine loss from the sun. Well, we're not getting much sun for the next few days. Ideally you want your CYA between 30 -40 ppm but the most important is to get chlorine immediately in the pool to clean/sanitize the nasties.

The good thing about a low CYA is that you don't have to add as much chlorine to slam. Looking at the CYA/CL chart if your CYA was low (say 20 ppm) than you would need to slam/shock the pool maintaining 10 ppm of chlorine until you clear up the mess. If your CYA was twice as much and 40 ppm, it would take maintaining 16 ppm of CL. So a higher CYA means you need a higher CL which means more bleach. The problem is that a low CYA means you will lose CL from the sun. So you will eventually want to get it up into recommended levels. BUT, make sure what your true CYA results are. Make sure your pool is properly mixed by running the pump and you're not just taking a sample off the top of the water right after you got 2 inches of rain.

It looks like your CYA and your CH are low. That's not a bad thing when you are looking to slam your pool. If your results are accurate, you might be able to use powder or granules to add chlorine as well as liquid bleach. Now once your pool numbers are in a sweet spot, you will not want to use hard stuff to add chlorine because it will also raise CYA and CH but in your case, you may need to increase them anyway so these are good ways to do it. Pucks and shock from the store are usually made up of Dichlor and trichlor which add CYA and lower pH or Cal-hypo which adds CH.

You should recheck your results. If your CH results are accurate and your CYA is less than 20, then I would slam the pool by adding Cal Hypo and/or trichlor/dichlor which will also increase your CH and/or CYA, which is what you want. Once you clear up the pool, you want to settle in on recommended levels. Pool School - Recommended Levels

You'll get it with patience and resolve. You've found the right place here.
 

cindyslou

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2009
64
Louisiana
Thanks for all the help! Yes, the dot IS visible, even diluted 50/50. And the pump was running when I tested. I have tried Getting my Iaqualink connected back, even called Zodiac. They told me my antenna was not connected to my Wi-Fi. I'm extremely overwhelmed with it all - hoping I can somehow get it fixed. The pool company came out last summer to replace the sensor on the SWG, called it a module earlier. They charge $165 just to come out here because it's 50 miles. Can I turn it off manually? I know slam says to have it off before starting. And should I wait to get more R13 before I start the slam to be sure on the CYA? Also, go ahead & add muriatic acid to lower PH before slamminG
 

mac4lyfe

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2007
212
Houston, Texas
Yes, you can do everything manually. You do not need wifi although I'd presume it's more convenient.

Lower your ph by adding acid and start slamming. You do not want to dilute your sample when testing CYA unless it is very high. It looks like yours is very low. I'd presume my CYA is very low and use 20 ppm as a guide. Slam until your pool clears up then get more testing solution so you can figure out your CYA. Most likely, you're going to increase your CYA based on what your saying.
 

Analogbytes

Bronze Supporter
Dec 22, 2016
291
Arlington, Texas
Add acid to bring pH down, start SLAMing and start brushing. It will be in shape in no time. Just to clarify, make sure you are using plain bleach, no scents or splashless stuff.
 

mac4lyfe

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 8, 2007
212
Houston, Texas
Yeah, you have a petri dish going on in there. You have to slam and scrub to get rid of that black algae.

Like I said before, you can use bleach but because your CH and CYA are both low, Chlor Brite or Cal Hypo is just as effective. Chlor Brite will raise your CYA, Cal Hypo will raise your CH. All while increasing your FC. Kill 2 birds with one stone.
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
702
San Jose, CA
mac4lyfe,

Look at all those calcium deposits on her tiles and on the spa overflow. You really think her CH is low? I doubt it. I would stay away from the Cal Hypo. I had a similar issue with a CH of over 1000 PPM and it left those same sick looking deposits on my tile as well.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
You could have what we see here merely from high pH and that level of CH. Lets not jump to conclusions, and add worries until we have too. Being this far out, Cal Hypo may be a good option.

Cindy, We can help, but being 50 miles out we want to be extra sure of some things. First the Cya, and sorry, but I am still confused as to what you got. Forget the SWG for now, take that off your mind. The pH will need to be reduced a little at least, so you can work on that for the moment. Lower to mid 7s is good, and you can tweak more if needed prior to starting.

Are you comfortable with the other readings you got from the tests?

Let us know, and we will get this clear with you.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,546
Tallahassee, FL
First off :hug: and more to come to get you through this time in your life!

We can and will get your pool clear. You will find this hard to believe but your pool is NOT the worst we have every seen! :shock: There was one a couple of years back that had frogs, tadpoles, turtles, plants.........a whole living pond going on! After they removed the wildlife we got the pool clear!

Do you have a dollar general around close? That might be your best source for bleach. Just make sure to check the date codes. You do not want bleach older than 3 months.

We will work on clearing the pool then work on the wifi system. Right now all you need to do is turn on the pump and leave it on!

Do you know how to back wash your filter?

Step by step and we will get it done!

Kim:kim:
 

cindyslou

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2009
64
Louisiana
Thank you all so very much for the kind words & great advice! I have a Wal Mart about 20 miles away & a dollar general here. That black gunk on the steps does move around a bit, I have been dipping out leaves and yuck from the bottom. I am concerned that the over flow from the spa is not very strong, just a weak spillover. I'm hoping that the leaves have not clogged up something. I have to go to work today & it stormed most of the day yesterday. Should I go ahead with the acid this morning & wait on the bleach until I get home this afternoon? And not sure how to turn the SWG off without the Iaqualink. Oh, and I have 8 gallons of bleach to start - how many more should I get today? And no, I'm not sue if the CYA is correct. Don't know how old the testing agents are :) I do need more R13 - can I order that off Amazon - can get that in 2 days.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
I would suggest a refill kit of all reagents if you are unsure how old they are. Some are ok, others may be questionable depending on the age and storage conditons. While I am anxious to get you going, I am hesitant without good readings. The Bleach you have now won't hurt, but may be wasted. How many Bleach bottles can you carry home at once? You're going to need a lot.

Which kit do you have before you order anything for it?

Ok, I went back and looked. If you still have (I presume) the TF100 kit, order the refill below. We need to make sure you have good numbers before we tell you to waste time, money or effort on this again without knowing where you are for sure. I'm suggesting this as it seems your reagents could be really old, and you can't re-test the Cya. So, you might as well have a fresh batch of all, and then we will know for sure. Everything we do is based on accurate testing, so it's very important. Let us know so we can help. :goodjob:

TFTestkits.net
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,546
Tallahassee, FL
I would NOT order from Amazon.............a member just received out of date testing regents not once but TWICE :shock: from Amazon.

Your best bet is the link Patrick shared. They do not even have any out of date stuff to send out so you KNOW it will be new stuff that works.

Kim:kim:
 

cindyslou

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2009
64
Louisiana
Will do - think I'll hold off until I have for sure numbers. I'll keep scooping more gunk out until them!!!


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