At A Loss On Pool Chemical Levels

by Dana
(Dexter, Mo)

My TH is 200

My FC/Bromine is 0
My pH is 8.4
My TA is 240
My CYA is 30-50

I have shocked a few times, added that myur#*}~* acid once. I have chlorine tablets that are constantly in one of those floating feeders. We are starting to get a slimy feeling to our liner. Our pool is an above ground pool, 27' x 52". We have a sand filter.

We keep it vacuumed and clean. I want to just dump a bunch of chlorox in there and call it even, but I know that is not right.

We put this pool up ourselves and it was a lot of work. I want it to be right. Any advice on how to fix this?




Thanks for the question Dana

Dumping a bunch of Clorox in the pool is what you need to do, but you also need to get the TA and pH down. I'll explain.

The TA is how much alkaline is in the water and the pH stands the negative log of hydrogen ion concentration in a water-based solution and ranges from 0 - 14, 7.0 being neutral. You need to get the pH and TA down using muriatic acid. For a pool your size, I would estimate it's about 15,000 gallons. It takes 18 oz. of acid to lower the pH 0.2 per 15,000 gallons. You need to get the pH down 1 full point, to 7.4. You'll need about 90 oz. of acid to get to the 7.4 level. You're only using about 25% of the chlorine when the pH gets over 8.0. I'd make these adjustments in three stages.

Turn the pump on FILTER and broadcast the acid around the perimeter of the pool and sweep very well. You can also dilute the acid in a bucket if this is easier for you. The acid will reduce the pH and to a lesser extent, to TA. Two hours later you can add either chlorine or bleach. Just remember that bleach is about 1/2 strength of chlorine. It's 1 2/3 gallon of chlorine per 15,000 gallons to shock. Just double it for bleach.

The sliminess you feel is probably the first signs of an algae bloom. I'd also encourage you to use a PolyQuat 60 algaecide during this process. Don't use another kind of algaecide. Many have copper fillers and might foam up, especially with vinyl liners.

Do these tests and adjustments in the early morning and evening. Retest everything and make another adjustment if needed.

I'd encourage you to keep an eye on the Trichlor tabs. They're increasing the CYA. The range is 30 - 50ppm. You're right in there but you don't want to go any higher than 50ppm. Once it starts creeping up it reduces the effectiveness of the chlorine. Anything over 70ppm and you need to do a partial drain and refill. Also, don't add any calcium hardness (calcium chloride) or use granular chlorine (calcium hypochlorite). You're adding hardness to the pool that you don't need and granular chlorine has a pH of 12. If you add acid to drop the pH then add cal hypo to shock you've just negated and canceled out the acid. Only use liquid chlorine or bleach.

You won't need massive amounts of chemicals and spend hundreds of $$ getting your pool squared away. It's some simple adjustments but it does take time and patience. Remember to allowing 8 - 10 hours between tests and keep the pump of FILTER for now.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Chemical Questions" category.

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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How To Address Pool Water Imbalance

by Paula

We have a new salt pool. I took a water sample in to local store this AM with the follow in results.

Salt 6.4 Total Chlor 2.04 pH 8.07 Ca 140 TA 60 Cya 25. The only instructions I was given is to add 5# Ca.

Will this take care of TA and pH ? Also can Soda and Ca be added in same evening?

Your input will be greatly appreciated.

Thank You!




Thanks for the question Paula and for the readings. It makes life much easier for me.

If you have a plaster/concrete pool, bring the calcium hardness up to 150 - 250ppm, and nothing higher. You run the risk of the cell burning up in the long run. If you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, don't add anything, leave it at 140ppm.

The other readings are very good, just a few minor adjustments and you'll be set. Get the TA to 80 - 100ppm. Add bicarb at the deepest part of the pool with the pump off for about 3 - 4 hours, then turn the pump back on and allow for 1 full turnover. This is about 8 hours. Take another test and make another adjustment if needed.

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

The pH should be between 7.6 - 7.8. You're not far off. Mix muriatic acid and pool water in a bucket and broadcast it around the perimeter of the pool with the pump on, then retest after 1 turnover.

Swimming Pool pH Levels

Pool pH

You need to get the CYA up between 30 - 50ppm. The best thing to use is Dichlor chlorine. It's a stabilized form of chlorine. Be careful when using Dichlor as it can get out of hand quickly. For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Dichlor, you'll raise the CYA by 9ppm. For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Trichlor tabs you'll raise the CYA by 6ppm.

Once you reach the 30 - 50ppm mark, switch back to your salt cell for weekly maintenance. You're at 25 so just a small correction is needed.

You can add different chemicals to the pool, but you need to wait about 2 - 3 hours between applications.

The big thing to remember is to have patience with the pool. Don't expect to add a chemical and then 1 hour later everything is fine. It takes a while for it to go through the system.

Use Trichlor chlorine tablets and get a tab floater. They're about $15 and will last about 5 years or so. Never put tabs in the skimmer. Get the CYA to 30ppm. The tablets have CYA in them so you'll be dosing the pool with CYA. Don't shoot for 50ppm.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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Trouble Leveling Off Chemicals In Pool

by Cindy Dunwiddie
(Bluffton, IN USA)

This is a new pool. Easy set..18 x 48. 4950 gallons water. using the cartidge filter washing them out 2 times daily to remove rust and deposits building up in it.

CL 0.5
BR 1.5
ALK 240
PH 8.0
TH 450/500

Using test strips to test with.

Thought was getting a handle on it all. Have used liquid shock on the pool so far. Pool has been working for week and half. Storms went thru last night and all of sudden pool turned milky and nasty.

Gets very discouraging but know this is a learning experience and in fact will never know it all.

Please help.

Thanks

Cindy




Thanks for the question Cindy

You need to get the alkalinity down to 80 - 100ppm. 240ppm is bit high. Turn the pump off and add the acid on once spot in the pool. Allow to sit for about 3 - 4 hours, turn the pump back on and allow for 1 turnover, about 6 hours, then retest and make another adjustment if needed.

You'll use 0.8 qrts. of acid per 5,000 gallons to reduce the alkalinity 10ppm. Do this in stages, not all at once. If you try to get it right the first time you may overshoot the mark. Have patience when making adjustments. Gently sweep the bottom to break up any hot spots of acid.

Next is the pH. 6 oz. of acid per 5,000 gallons will lower the pH 0.1. You're not far off from the target of 7.6 - 7.8. If you go to 7.4, just leave it alone. It'll come back up on it's own through splashing around.

Add the acid with the pump on and broadcast it around the perimeter of the pool. Allow for 1 turnover, then retest.

You need to know how much stabilizer you have. Normal range is 30 - 50ppm. If the reading is low, below 20ppm, use Dichlor chlorine until the stabilizer level is reached, then go back to using liquid chlorine. If it's above 60 or 70ppm, you'll need to do a partial drain and refill, then balance the chemicals out again.

***Check the stabilizer first. If you make adjustments to the pH or alkalinity, then realize the stabilizer is too high, you just wasted all that time, money, and chemicals.

There could be many reasons why a pool goes cloudy, but mostly it's the first sign of an algae bloom:

Cloudy Pool Water

I'd encourage you to get a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit. It's the best on the market and is much more accurate than test strips.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Chemical Questions" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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I Am The New Pool Guy

We have a pool but cannot afford to have someone come and service it. My husband has thrown up his hands and just wants to get rid of the pool.

I am going to take on the responsibility of the maintenance of the pool (I am the wife). Any tips or resources I should look into?




Thanks for the question and congratulations on being the new pool guy (girl). You'll find it easy and rewarding.

Here are some good posts to look over:

My First Pool..How Do I Add Chemicals & Make Adjustments?

Above Ground Pool..Need To Know About Chemicals & What To Do..

About Adding Chemicals To A Relined Pool..

There's lots of good info. on the pool Q&A page on pool start ups.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

First thing is to have a good test kit. I've used and recommend the Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 kit:

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

I'd like to have your complete chemical readings: Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper). It makes troubleshooting much easier. You can get this done at your local pool store while you're learning about your new kit.

Once I have the complete chemical list I can go over it and tell you what needs to be adjusted and how to do it. Knowing your filtration system would come in handy as well. Once everything is balanced correctly you're looking at about 20 - 30 minutes a week for cleaning, maintenance, and taking water tests. Maybe $15 or a month for chemicals.

Do You Really Need All These Chemicals For A Pool Or Are They Just Trying To Get Your Money?

Get back to me with the chemical numbers and we can get started.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Start Up/Opening A Pool" category.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

You will not receive another follow-up email when I answer comments or others questions so check back to this post for answers.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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