What Can I Do About A Chemical Mess During Pool Start Up?

We have a Nature 2 filter. I added all of the chemicals throughout a day - and then let the filter run 48 hours - and it's been running 12 hours a day now for a week.


It is very high in chlorine (a reading of 10 on the Aquacheck bottle) and very high alkalinity (240 on the Aquacheck bottle).

It is quite obvious I didn't do it right.

It's a 21' above ground pool.

How do I now "balance" the chemicals or fix this mess shy of emptying it out and paying another ton of $ for pool water?




Thanks for the question

This question is interesting because of the alkalinity level.

I couldn't be at our last scheduled pool maintenance shut down at the YMCA. My supervisor and his son attempted to balance the pool.

They put in over 40lbs. of sodium bicarb. to raise the alkalinity from a fill water level of 30ppm to the acceptable level between 80 - 100ppm. Long story short, they raised it to 240ppm.

My supervisor called me and asked how to get the alkalinity down, so I walked him through it. It was balanced out in about 3 days.

So don't worry. It's a little high, but you can get the level down.

First, I would encourage you to get a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 test kit. Aquacheck is good, but I've found the FAS-DPD kit is the most accurate.

Water Testing Kit

Pool Water Testing

Yes, the chlorine is up a little high. If you need to use the pool quickly, there's 2 way to go:

1. Drain 1/3 - 1/2 of the pool water and refill, but this might mess up the other readings because you're diluting everything.

2. A chlorine neutralizer called Thiosulfate. This can be found at most pool supply stores. Use this sparingly and only when you really need it.

The pool chlorine will come down on its own, mainly through the sun and heat. You can swim safely at a level of 6ppm.

Your 21 foot pool probably holds about 9100 gallons of water.

Now, you are going to use a few of gallons of acid to bring the alkalinity into balance.

For a 10,000 gallon pool, to reduce the alkalinity 100ppm, it will require you to use 2 gallons of acid.

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

This will take some time and a few applications, but you can get the alkalinity in check. But, when you do add acid, you might hit the pH level a bit, so be careful when making any adjustments to the alkalinity.

Swimming Pool pH Levels

If the pH does start decrease a bit, you can use either soda ash or 20 Mule Team Borax. This raises the pH without much happening to the alkalinity.

When you lower the alkalinity, be sure the pump motor is off and the water is motionless. Very gently sweep the area to break up any "hot spots" of acid because muriatic acid is heavier than water and will sink to the bottom.

Follow the links above to lower your alkalinity and you'll be fine, but you do need patience because it is up there pretty good.

Hope this helps and have a great swimming season.

Robert







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About Adding Chemicals To A Relined Pool..

by CARL PETERSON
(DAPHNE, AL USA)

I HAVE HAD A NEW POOL LINER INSTALLED. FILLED WITH GOOD CITY WATER.

I NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH OF EACH I NEED TO ADD TO THIS 14,000-GALLON POOL.

I HAD SOME OF THE CHEMICALS ON HAND.

SOME INSTRUCTIONS WOULD BE NEEDED ON ADDING THE CHEMICALS AND TESTING.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP

CARL




Thanks for the question Carl

On this site, I have covered everything you need to do to get your pool up and running.

It really would be time prohibitive for me to go through everything you need to do, but I can give you the links to the pages and a couple of things to get you started.

You'll need a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit.

Water Testing Kit

Test the fill water for the pH level, alkalinity, and hardness. This way you'll have a good starting point and know what adjustments to make.

These are the links you need. They all have correction and adjustment charts on them.

Swimming Pool Chlorine

Pool Chlorine

Swimming Pool pH Levels

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

Calcium Hardness

Here's a couple of pages from the Q&A forum:

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

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

These pool owners had new or newly refilled pools as well.

The pages also talk about shocking the pool and chlorine tabs.

There's also a "Pool Liner" category in the pool Q&A forum. You can jump to it by scrolling down on the right side of the screen, then clicking on "pool liner".

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

I would encourage you to go through the questions and answers. Some might be applicable to your situation.

And here's the pool start up page:

Pool Start Up

This page has a nice checklist for those things you should have on hand.

There's tons of information just on the Q&A page.

Hope this helps. Have a wonderful and safe swimming season.

Robert


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