When to add conditioner

vbharrington

Bronze Supporter
May 2, 2017
26
Gaffney, SC
#1
We have a brand new AGP, which we've filled up with "city" water. My TF-100 kit came today and I stopped by the pool store to pick up some conditioner to raise my CYA to around 40. The lady at the pool store told me that I didn't need to add any conditioner now because it's not hot enough to burn off much chlorine from our pool (it's 33' wide so it has a lot of "surface area". Do i need to add the conditioner now, or can I just start by adding chlorine? Thanks in advance.


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proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,151
Chandler AZ
#2
I'd suggest adding it now. It's certainly not going to hurt anything. And as the sun beats down on the pool, it will help to protect the chlorine from the sun.

Also add enough chlorine to get FC to 3 for now.

Post up a full set of test results from your shiny new TF-100.

FC
CC
TA
CH
CYA
Water Temp
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,956
Bedford, TX
#3
vb,

Perfect example of why we keep telling people to not listen to anything a pool store employee is telling you...

It is somewhat true that the hotter it gets, and the longer the sun is out, makes your CYA more important to have.

CYA does not get used up, so there is absolutely no reason not to add it now.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,398
Sebring, Florida
#4
On top of what's said above, it IS hot (mostly, it's the angle of the sun, not the air temp) enough in SC to burn off virtually all your chlorine in a single day.

That was a silly, uneducated thing for her to say. Once again, we learn it's wise to stay out of the pool store and test your own water.

Congrats on already having the TF-100.....it will pay you back over and over.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,241
Evans, Georgia
#5
Its going to be 90 degrees and sunny here tomorrow (I'm an hour from OP). Yeah, I'd say you need the stabilizer....and that pool store employee is clueless.

Maddie :flower:
 
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OP
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vbharrington

Bronze Supporter
May 2, 2017
26
Gaffney, SC
#6
I tested chlorine and CYA yesterday with my new kit and both came up zilch. I put 4lbs of conditioner in two (new) tube socks and my husband rigged up a metal clothes hanger to hold it over the side. According to the Pool Math calculator, I needed to add 1 gallon, 3 cups of bleach to get my level up to 4. We added the bleach to the water (away from where the conditioner was hanging. I hope we didn't screw that up. At that point my youngest daughter fell into a fire ant hill so I put all of my other testing on hold. I will test the FC today, as well as PH and others, but I won't test the CYA for a week, right?

ETA - The test kit our pool shop gave us to use (trust me, I won't) only has the chlorine scale going up to 2.0 is this normal? For a pool the size of mine, I thought I should keep it at 4-5. Am I right in thinking the pool store just provided some kind of junk test kit? If I've only got chlorine levels of 1.5-2.0 (which is what that kit recommends) then I'm going to end up needed a lot more chemicals to keep my pool clear. Is my line of thinking right here?
 
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pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
#8
Just a few things to add. Conditioner doesn't only protect the chlorine from the sun, it acts as a buffer for the chlorine. That's why TFP uses the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart to select the proper FC level for the CYA level.
The pool store tester only goes to 2 because they don't understand the relationship between CYA and chlorine.

PS. Ouch!! I've stepped on a hill before and it's NO FUN!! Hope she is better soon!!
 

Sfpat

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2016
113
tulsa
#9
Yes, it is normal for the chlorine scale from a pool store test kit to only go to 2 ppm. It keeps the owners in the blind, thus insuring the need to rely on the pool store. This is why this site recommends buying the two kits referenced, which happen not to be available from pool stores. Knowledge is power (and freedom from the pool store).
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#10
Yes, thats all we really push on people here. Knowledge. If Pool Stores (Mostly Chains) really educated their customers, they wouldn't be able to survive. We only know about the people who actually join and post, but of those there are thousands of people who have turned their pools around and drive them solo, all with the knowledge they have gained here.

Many of them are here now just to help others get the same tools in their toolboxes and guide them on their usage. It's a beautiful thing!
 
#11
ETA - The test kit our pool shop gave us to use (trust me, I won't) only has the chlorine scale going up to 2.0 is this normal? For a pool the size of mine, I thought I should keep it at 4-5. Am I right in thinking the pool store just provided some kind of junk test kit? If I've only got chlorine levels of 1.5-2.0 (which is what that kit recommends) then I'm going to end up needed a lot more chemicals to keep my pool clear. Is my line of thinking right here?
Yeah, you probably just got the cheap OTO comparator block chlorine test. You will rarely, if ever, use that even the one within the better test kits.
The kit recommended levels are based on outdated historical industry standards. They don't take the Chlorine/ CYA relationship into account.
Since you mentioned it, I wanted to make a distinction. Your chlorine level (ppm) is based on the amount of CYA in the water. It has nothing to do with how much water is in the pool. How much bleach you pour does change based on water volume.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,151
Chandler AZ
#12
4 pounds of granular stabilizer will net you a CYA of 19 if you started with zero (a fresh fill will have zero CYA). Round that to 20 and refer to the Chlorine / CYA Chart for the target FC.

You can knead the socks to hasten the CYA getting into the water.

I would suggest you consider a CYA in the 40-50 range based on your location. This will help with the FC burn off due to the sun. Again, refer to the Chlorine / CYA Chart for the recommended target values based on your CYA value.

It's imperative to keep your FC above the minimum value for your CYA to keep the nasties from growing.

Post a full set of test results about a day after all the CYA is dissolved so we can see how you're doing.
 
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vbharrington

Bronze Supporter
May 2, 2017
26
Gaffney, SC
#13
Thanks - I was going to add the 4lbs, then go back and add about 3-3.5 more pounds once that is dissolved. I know that it's very hard to lower CYA without draining, so I hope to "creep" up on that amount rather than dump a full 8lbs in at once.

I do have a few more questions:

Is there any harm is placing the socks in front of the return so that it will dissolve faster?

My Package included the TF-100 plus lots of extras. I'm a little stymied by the PH pen that was included. I don't think it was even listed on the site as being included, so I'm not sure what to do with it or how to use it.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,151
Chandler AZ
#14
Good plan - creeping up on it is the way to go.

In the skimmer or in front of a return - either way is fine. Just be sure the pump is running in either case.

I'm not sure what the "PH pen" is - but will PM someone who will know and have them respond here.
 

OTPirate

Admin
In The Industry
Oct 2, 2013
1,339
Creedmoor, NC
#15
Hey, TFTestkits does have a pH meter it sells. I use it in conjunction with the drop test. I enjoy mine because I have a difficult time distinguishing between colors. You do have to calibrate pH Meters, but it comes with buffers to do so.