Where Do I Start With Pool Chemicals?

I just opened my pool and it's green and murky. Here are my numbers I tested.


Chlorine-- says not to test because there probably isn't any.

pH-- 7.5
Alkalinity-- 40
Hardness-- 50
Cyanuric Acid-- couldn't get a reading!!!
Sand filter

I know my alkalinity and hardness are LOW. Now where should I start by adding chemicals?

Which should I do first?




Thanks for the question

First I'd encourage you to get a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

You can also go to your local pool store for weekly tests. They should do this for free.

If you couldn't get a reading for the CYA chances are you may not have any, however, you need to be sure. Take a sample of pool water in for analysis. The CYA needs to be between 30 - 50ppm, or 7.5% of your chlorine.

If you don't have any CYA, you need to shock the pool with Dichlor. This is a stabilized form of chlorine and will get the CYA in the pool. When you reach the 30 - 50ppm mark, stop and use regular chlorine. You can either use liquid chlorine or granules.

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.

The main thing is to keep the chlorine above 12ppm and the filter running. Test in the evening, make the adjustment, filter, then retest in the morning. Backwash once per day. Keep adding chlorine to keep it at 12ppm or above. Once the algae starts to die off, the pool will become cloudy and/or grey. Keep the pH around 7.2 when clearing it up. Chlorine works better at this level. When the pool is finely clear, allow the pH to rise to 7.6 - 7.8.

Here's a good link on how to clear up a pool:

Green Pools

For the hardness, unless you have a concrete/plaster pool, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Get it in the range of 150 - 250ppm. You can do this last.

For the alkalinity, you'll need sodium bicarb. This is baking soda that you can get in your local grocery store for 1/3 price of Alkalinity Up.

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

So, first get the pH down to 7.2 and raise the alkalinity to 80 - 100ppm, 120 being the top. Then shock the pool and keep it at 12ppm. Filter 24/7 and backwash once per day. Calcium is last to adjust. Remember to brush the pool very well to loosen up any algae that's on the walls and floor.

It's really not too difficult to clear up a pool, but it does take time, patience, and persistence. Don't expect a perfect pool in a couple of days. It might take a week or two to be perfect.

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 & Answers

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

Click here to post comments

Return to Pool Start Up.

Help!! New Pool Owner

by Laurie OBrien
(Hudson, IL)

I bought a home that has a pool and I am just about clueless when it comes to the chemistry.

I went to the pool supply store and bought some test strips because the previous owner didn't leave the test kit he had. I read the instructions and followed them to the letter and it said that all of the chemicals were off.

I made notes to where the test strips said the levels were and then I went back to the pool supply store and got everything I needed to fix these conditions. They told me that I needed to fix the alkaline problem first so, I worked on that.

I did what they told me to and added approximately 20 pounds of alkaline plus. I waited until morning to test and the test strip said the same thing. Nothing had changed. Could my test strips be off?

Our pool is a built in and has appoximately 23,000 gallons of water in it. I need help!! What do I do next? Any help you can give me in this matter would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance for all of your time & effort in this matter.

Sincerely,

Laurie O'Brien




Thanks for the question Laurie

First I'd have you read these posts:

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

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

I Am The New Pool Guy

I'd encourage you to get a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

While you're getting used to the new test kit, you can take water samples into your local pool store. They should run all the readings for free.

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 and the process will go much faster.

Also, the kind of filtration system would help. Sand, DE, or cartridge?

The above readings are what you need to concern yourself with right now. We can go into greater detail later on when I get the chemical readings.

Balancing a pool is pretty easy. There are little things that make up the whole, and each one depends on the other.

Before you buy any phosphate removers, clarifiers, algaecides, etc... get me the readings. This post might be of interest to you as well:

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

If you would, any future chemical readings need to be exact numbers. Statements such as "Chlorine is high" or "pH is low" don't help me. High and low are subjective terms and mean different things to different people.

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

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

Click here to read or post comments

Return to Pool Start Up.

swimming pool care, basic pool care, above ground pool maintenance, inground, salt water

Click Here To Learn How This eBook Can Save You TONS Of Time & Money

Click Here To Learn The Best Way To Clear Up Your Pool 

Recent Articles

  1. Rusty Iron Bolt Stain

    I have a dark brown iron stain from a rusty bolt that the kids threw in my cement pool.

    Read More

  2. How Long Does Can We Swim After Adding Muriatic Acid To Lower The pH Level?

    We added muriatic acid to our pool to lower the swimming pool pH level. I need to know how long after we added it to swim. Thanks for your question James

    Read More

  3. Foam In The Water..Swimming Pool..How To Get Rid Of..

    We have a 20x40 kidney shaped gunite pool. It was backed washed yesterday and some DE added. Pool water tested o.k. but towards the evening bubbly or

    Read More