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Phosphate Level Help! New Pool.


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#1 drumfunky

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 05:31 PM

I just had my pool resurfaced with all new equipment and a salt water generator. The generator is working really slow raising levels. I was told that my phosphate level is probably high and sucking up all my chlorine. I had it tested and it is 1000!
100 is acceptable right? The pool shop recommended PHOSFree by Natural Chemistry. I bought some and added it. One container was $42 bucks.
Here's my question, is there a cheaper, better way to knock down the phosphate level?

Thanks for helping the newbie!!!

#2 chem geek

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 06:36 PM

Phosphates are food for algae, but algae can be killed faster than they can reproduce if you maintain a sufficient Free Chlorine (FC) level relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. So you don't have to lower your phosphates -- I have over 3000 ppb in my 16,000 gallon pool shown here and here and prevent algae growth using chlorine alone. You can read the Pool School to learn more about how to maintain your pool including the article on Water Balance for SWGs. You likely need to shock your pool to defeat nascent algae growth first and you do that with chlorinating liquid or 6% unscented bleach.

#3 quantumchromodynamics

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:11 PM

Note that phosphates are reported in ppb (parts per billion), whereas most other chemical levels are reported in ppm (parts per million). Therefore, the numbers seem much higher than they really are. 1,000 ppb is the same as 1 ppm.

Phosphates are not something to be concerned about in most cases. The primary time that they can cause problems is when you do not maintain sufficient chlorine and algae starts growing. As long as you maintain sufficient chlorine relative to your cyanuric acid level, you should not have a problem.

The only concern I have heard about high phosphates related to SWGs is that they might possibly increase the rate of scaling in the salt cell, although this is not certain. As long as you watch your CSI (Calcite Saturation Index), you should be able to control any scaling. You should periodically check and clean your cell.
Reference

You will have an extra challenge if the pool surface is plaster because you need to maintain a high enough CSI to protect your plaster from dissolving.

You can calculate your CSI by using the Pool Calculator.
You can't manage what you don't measure. Get a good test kit. I recommend the Taylor K-2006 for chlorine or the Taylor K-2106 for bromine.

#4 AFiremanFirst

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 04:32 PM

I'm less concerned with your phosphates than I am your CYA what is that reading? 50 is a good number, some argue more others less.

#5 drumfunky

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 04:43 PM

I'm less concerned with your phosphates than I am your CYA what is that reading? 50 is a good number, some argue more others less.

My cya is 50. I got my phosphate level down to 200 and my swg is now raising my chlorine level.

Thanks of all the replies!!!

#6 Dmaster

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 08:35 AM

Phosphates are food for algae, but algae can be killed faster than they can reproduce if you maintain a sufficient Free Chlorine (FC) level relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. So you don't have to lower your phosphates -- I have over 3000 ppb in my 16,000 gallon pool shown here and here and prevent algae growth using chlorine alone. You can read the Pool School to learn more about how to maintain your pool including the article on Water Balance for SWGs. You likely need to shock your pool to defeat nascent algae growth first and you do that with chlorinating liquid or 6% unscented bleach.

I'm new to this forum, I just got my new Taylor K-2006 becuase my Aquatruu Test was giving me strange numbers, for example, test kit from Home Depot "Pool Shop" was showing FC 3.0, PH 8.2, TA 90, the Aquatru was giving me FC 13, PH 8.2 TA 51 and now my Taylor k-2006 is giving FC 2.6, PH 8, TA 90, CH 220 CYA 55.

My question is, I have been trying to lower my PH by adding Acid, but every week I am adding almost a gallon of acid and it keeps going up to 8-8.2. Also I understand that if I add acid I will be lowering the TA. My other question is in the K-2006 step # the water is not turning pink, should I be concern?

#7 quantumchromodynamics

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 10:35 AM

I'm new to this forum, I just got my new Taylor K-2006 becuase my Aquatruu Test was giving me strange numbers, for example, test kit from Home Depot "Pool Shop" was showing FC 3.0, PH 8.2, TA 90, the Aquatru was giving me FC 13, PH 8.2 TA 51 and now my Taylor k-2006 is giving FC 2.6, PH 8, TA 90, CH 220 CYA 55.

My question is, I have been trying to lower my PH by adding Acid, but every week I am adding almost a gallon of acid and it keeps going up to 8-8.2. Also I understand that if I add acid I will be lowering the TA.

I see from your other posts that you have a new SWG. An SWG can cause some pH increase.

It also seems that you have new plaster as well, is that correct? New plaster can cause pH rise for some time due to the plaster dust released. It's important to avoid scaling due to plaster dust and high CSI.

As you note, acid will lower the TA, as well as the pH. Are you adding baking soda to raise your TA? You should be letting your TA fall to wherever you need to maintain a stable pH of about 7.6 to 7.9. Do not raise your TA if your pH is rising, or is too high.

You can use the PoolCalculator to calculate your CSI. You want to keep it as close to zero as possible.

You should raise your cyanuric acid level to 70 to 80.

Use the acid demand test in the K-2006 to determine how much acid to add. Add acid as frequently as necessary to keep your pH and CSI in the correct range.

What is the water temperature?
What is your salt level?
What is the volume of your pool?

Trust your Taylor kit and ignore the rest.

My other question is in the K-2006 step # the water is not turning pink, should I be concern?

Which step are you referring to? Since you're showing results for everything other than CC, I am going to guess that that's what you are referring to. When you add reagent R-0003, you will only get a pink color if you have CCs. If the test sample remains clear when you add reagent R-0003, then you don't have combined chlorine. CCs are bad and you want them as low as possible. Ideally, they should be zero at all times.

Here is a page of videos showing how to use the K-2006. Go to the bottom of the page and click on the test you want to see demonstrated. (Scroll on the bottom section).

Note: Please try to start a new topic when asking a question. When you ask a question on someone else's topic, it can get confusing.
You can't manage what you don't measure. Get a good test kit. I recommend the Taylor K-2006 for chlorine or the Taylor K-2106 for bromine.

#8 waterbear

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 10:58 AM


I'm less concerned with your phosphates than I am your CYA what is that reading? 50 is a good number, some argue more others less.

My cya is 50. I got my phosphate level down to 200 and my swg is now raising my chlorine level.

Thanks of all the replies!!!


With a SWG you want to raise your CYA to 80 ppm. It will allow you to run at a lower output percentage and that will help lessen the acid demand. Phosphates are a non issue. If you are using a SWG to raise the FC from zero it will take some time. Usual procedue is to shock with liquid chlorine (which is what the SWG produces) and then let the level drop. SWGs are much better at maintaining a FC level than at brining one up from zero when there is normally a nascent algae bloom impeding the process.
Phosphate removers are an unnecessary expense, my own pool has orthophosphate levels over 3000 ppm.
Consider this, nitrates are as big if not bigger a problem in algae growth but we don't normally test pools for nitrates. Do you know why? Simple, there is not a product you can add to a pool to remove or lower nitrates. Only replacing water with nitrate free water will do that (and pool stores can't make money from that!) Since lanthanum phosphate remover products came onto the scene phosphates became the new cash cow. Know how we dealt with them before? We didn't , we just used chlorine!
I've tested more water than I ever care to think about!
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