What now? Chlorine and pH questions

Ltaylor3

Active member
Jul 6, 2019
34
Goose Creek, SC
Hi everyone,
I'm working to transition to this program and stopped using chlorine tablets this past week. We've had tons of rain so I went ahead and did the complete test again and I will attach the results.
A few questions-

Since I'm not using chlorine tabs, do I now just check chlorine levels daily and add bleach as needed?

According to the app, the pH was in the normal range, but slightly above the target. Should I purchase and add dry acid to reduce yet? We're forecast for continued heavy rain, if that matters.

Should I get a water thermometer?

Should I ever add algaecide as a preventative?
 

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tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,067
Franklin, NC
Hi everyone,
I'm working to transition to this program and stopped using chlorine tablets this past week. We've had tons of rain so I went ahead and did the complete test again and I will attach the results.
A few questions-

Since I'm not using chlorine tabs, do I now just check chlorine levels daily and add bleach as needed?

According to the app, the pH was in the normal range, but slightly above the target. Should I purchase and add dry acid to reduce yet? We're forecast for continued heavy rain, if that matters.

Should I get a water thermometer?

Should I ever add algaecide as a preventative?
You don't say what test kit you are using, but I will assume it's one we recomend. Putting the test kit in your signature will help.


Since I'm not using chlorine tabs, do I now just check chlorine levels daily and add bleach as needed?
For a while you will test FC & pH daily. As you learn your pool and get comfortable this may Back off to every two or three days

I'd look at TA every month

CYA a couple of times a swim season


According to the app, the pH was in the normal range, but slightly above the target. Should I purchase and add dry acid to reduce yet? We're forecast for continued heavy rain, if that matters.
Don't chase "perfect" numbers, if it's in range - it's in range.

Try to stay away from dry acid and use muratic acid when you need to

Should I get a water thermometer?
Necessary, no. Nice to have, yes

Should I ever add algaecide as a preventative?
This would be a big NO.
 

Ltaylor3

Active member
Jul 6, 2019
34
Goose Creek, SC
Last questions- does it matter what time of day I test the water?
If I have to add something to adjust pH or chlorine, how soon after should I recheck those levels? Just wait until the next time?
 

DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
309
Chandler, AZ
I agree with everything @tim5055 said. Only change I would make would be to test CYA a little more frequently at first, maybe weekly. This is because you've been using tablets and will want to monitor CYA closely to keep it in range.

I no longer use tablets exclusively either, but I do use them when I'm going to be away from the house for 4-5 days or more. I'll let my CYA drift down prior to leaving, so that the tablets bring it back into range. I'm still learning too!
 

DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
309
Chandler, AZ
Also, it is the recommended test. TF-100
Yes, or the Taylor K-2006C.
Last questions- does it matter what time of day I test the water?
If I have to add something to adjust pH or chlorine, how soon after should I recheck those levels? Just wait until the next time?
It doesn't really matter as long as it's the same time of day. Determine your target FC based on your CYA level and add enough bleach to reach that, then check again ~24 hours later. You'll get to know your pool's daily FC usage and then you'll be able to dose without testing most days.

If you have to add both bleach and muriatic acid, wait about 30-60 minutes between doses.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,067
Franklin, NC
I agree with everything @tim5055 said. Only change I would make would be to test CYA a little more frequently at first, maybe weekly. This is because you've been using tablets and will want to monitor CYA closely to keep it in range.

I no longer use tablets exclusively either, but I do use them when I'm going to be away from the house for 4-5 days or more. I'll let my CYA drift down prior to leaving, so that the tablets bring it back into range. I'm still learning too!
While I believe in caution as far as CYA goes (my pool was at 250+ when I took it over) once you stop using pucks you can test and a few days later it won't get any higher - it's there.

Like you, until I added a Stenner pump I would use tabs for time away form home. But, with Pool Math it's easy to calcualte what a tab will add to your pool. Every tab adds 2.4 in my case, so an easy calculation to figure

When you think about it, we are all still learning. I would never say I know it all.

 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,067
Franklin, NC
Now, your questions-

In the vast majority of pools pH will rise over time. pH is affected by the TA and how much aeration the pool gets. Five kids splashin in the pool is a lot of aeration (think splashing or anything that causes even a ripple on the surface of the water). The higher the TA the faster the pH rises.

The test kit question has been answered, you have the best.

Again, until I added my Stenner, I tried to add the chlorine at the same time each day. But, when it comes down to it, this is not necessary as long as your FC never drops below your minimum.

You are new at this, so after you add chemicals wait an hour or so with the pump runing and check again. This will actually do two things-

- Verify that you are where you want to be

- Verify the volume of your pool

Volume you ask? Well, the guy I purchased the house from said the pool was 25,000 gallons. Well, over some time of adding chemicals and seeing what actually happened with the water I finally got to the point that it was closer to 23,000 gallons. If you calculate that an addition of chlorine should raise the FC by 5 and adding that much regularly raises the FC by 6 you know you have a volume issue. A couple thousand gallons in a big pool isn't much, but in a small pool it may make a difference.
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
302
Lathrop, CA
Your FC us very low, bring it up ASAP to 7. And looking at your logs it dipped below 3 regularly. For your 40ppm CYA level you do not want to go below 3. Keeping it between 7 and 5 should be the top priority. Everything else comes after FC.
 
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tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,067
Franklin, NC
Your FC us very low, bring it up ASAP to 7. And looking at your logs it dipped below 3 regularly. For your 40ppm CYA level you do not want to go below 3. Keeping it between 7 and 5 should be the top priority. Everything else comes after FC.
Good catch! I didn't even click on the image :sleep::sleep::sleep:
 

Ltaylor3

Active member
Jul 6, 2019
34
Goose Creek, SC
Hi. I'm still a little unclear on what chemicals to add first. I am thinking the alkalinity first, but not sure where to go from there.
Also, pool math is saying to add baking soda and borax. Is that correct or will adding both possibly over -correct the pH or alkalinity levels?
 

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CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
334
Massachusetts
Chlorine.

Do you have a heater? If not, you don't need to worry about CSI with a vinyl pool. Alkalinity and pH are both on the low end but not terrible. Add half the amount the app calls for - it's easier to add more tomorrow than to deal with too much.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,936
Laughlin, NV
Only add baking soda to raise your TA to 70 ppm, if you like.

You really do not need to address either the TA or pH. Both are in range.
 

PoolNewb2020

Well-known member
May 7, 2020
302
Lathrop, CA
You need to be on top of the chlorine every day. Why do you want to adjust TA and PH? They are within acceptable range.

As far as order of chemical addition, there is none.
One thing to keep in mind, is to not add chlorine and muriatic acid at the same time. You need to wait 15-30 minutes with the pump running between these two/
 

CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
334
Massachusetts
You can add them all simultaneously, except acid (when needed) and chlorine. Those need to be separated by some time. Always run the pump for at least 30 minutes before taking your water sample for testing, and at least 30 minutes after adding chemicals to thoroughly mix everything in.