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Everything posted by waterbear

  1. You raise CH by adding calcium chloride (calcium hardness increaser from the pool/spa supply store) . The ONLY reason you would need to raise it is if it's below about 120-150 ppm since water softer than that had a tendency to foam. If it's higher than that it's not a problem unless it's REALLY high (above about 300 to 400 ppm) and then it's just a matter of making sure the pH does not spike so you don't deposit scale (calcium carbonate) on the spa surface. You would also want to run a lower total alkalinityin this case too since that will do 2 things, make pH spikes less likely and also lower the amount of bicarbonate ions in the water so the formation of calcium carbonate is less likely. Last thing, The blue book that comes with the Taylor test kits is pretty useless except for the base and acid demand tables. You can get another book from Taylor https://taylortechnologies.com/en/product/accessories/booklet-pool-spa-water-chemistry-2014-ed-english--2004B?pageid=19 or you can get one from Amazon or other online retailers (but be sure to double check the prices. Some of them are ridiculous! I've even seen it as a PDF file for download. Just search for Taylor Technologies 2004B
  2. Do they put a strips in the meter, a disc in the meter, or individual vials in the meter for each test. I don't recognize the software printout. FWIW, colorimter testing is not really any more accurate because of limitations in the chemistry of the tests . It is possible if you have not been keeping up on your water chemistry and maintaining it properly. Also, does the pool store know you have a Pool Pilot and that your CYA should be between 60 to 80 ppm? They should have red flagged your low CYA reading (although I have seen this happen many times since many pool store employees do not realize that a salt pool has different requirements than one that is manually chlorinated). When CYA is low the cell has to be one for a longer period to maintain FC at the proper level and this can shorten cell life. Is your pool pilot a basic model or does it have the optional pH/ORP sensors and/or acid feeder to automatically adjust pH and chlorine? If so your ORP and/or pH electrodes probably needs replacement if they are more than a year old. When you order the test kit make sure you get the K-2006 (FAS-DPD chlorine test) and NOT the K-2005 (DPD chlorine test).
  3. Salt level is good but the fact that you have no chlorine in the pool makes me think that your cell might be bad. They only last for about 5 years so you might want to get it checked. If the biofilm was consuming the chlorine you would test little to none FC but the CC would be high as would the total chlorine. The other possibility is that your chlorine level is very high and the chlorine tests are bleaching out and reading low. This is a problem with DPD testing which is why I recommended the Taylor K-2006 which uses the FAS-DPD testing method which is easier and does not have the bleachout problem. However, this would not explain the fact that biofilm is growing in your water. Does your pool store test by using a disc and then reading it in a machine by any chance?
  4. How is the pool store testing? Liquid reagents read in a meter of some sort? Strips? It's very strange that the FC and Cc are the same in both tests you posted but if they are correct your system is NOT producing chlorine. What is your salt level? FWIW, I use to sell Pool Pilots and am very familiar with them. Calcium is fine for a vinyl pool, btw but your TA is a bit high for best pH stability although a pH of 7.8 is fine. Best thing to shock your pool is either liquid chlorine or plain, unscented, unthickened chlorine laundry bleach such as Clorox or a store brand (they are all sodium hypochlorite and only differ in strength and therefor how much is needed to raise the pool to a specific FC level. This is also what your Salt system is producing and adding to the water so it's the most compatible form of chlorine. However, since your CYA is so low right now you might want to consider shocking with dichlor, which will add 9 ppm CYA for every 10 ppm FC added and the bonus is that it is very fast dissolving so the CYA is available immediately as opposed to adding plain CYA which can take several days to fully dissolve. My final suggestion is to purchase a Taylor K-2006 test kit and start testing your own water. For testing your salt levels I would recommend the Hach or AquaChek salt test strips (only strips I recommend using are these and the LaMotte borate test strips if you decide to add a borate product to your pool, which is an excellent thing to do for a salt pool for several reasons that I won't go into right now since I don't have the time. ) You can find the Taylor test kit online at Amazon and many online pool supply retailers. It is probably the MOST important piece of pool equipment you can own and worth every penny. Do not get the K-2005 kit, You want the K-2006. Here is a link to the Taylor Technologies website that had videos on the use of the kit: https://www.taylortechnologies.com/en/page/231/k-2006-complete-kit-with-fas-dpd
  5. 100 ppm Total Alkalinity is WAY too high for a tub because the aeration causes the outgassing of CO2 which causes pH rise. You want your TA around 50 to 70 ppm and keep the pH around 7.6 to 7.8 and not any lower! (PPM and mg/l are essentially identical for our purposes. Also, alkalinity increaser is nothing more than ordinary baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate. You need to lower your TA and then adjust the pH. Lowering TA is a process and requires a good test kit, preferably with an acid demand test. Strips will not do the job. Read these pinned threads: https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52522-some-truths-about-ph-and-ta/ https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/28846-lowering-total-alkalinity-howto/
  6. Don't know what keeps mine happy but for me I'd rather have a shot of vodka! 🍸🍹🍸
  7. and that's the kicker! pH in tubs is constantly on the rise because of the amount of aeration. I'm in N. Fl. and even city water has a CH of 600 or greater in most areas. I fill with soft water and don't have any problems.
  8. What make and model of salt system? Your water is WAY out of balance. There is practically NO chlorine in the pool so either the salt system is not working, is not set right, or there are 'nasties' in the water that are consuming the chlorine (but if this were true and everything was working you would have very little free chlorine and very high combined chlorine. I suspect that you have been in a very low chlorine/too low cyanuric acid situation for a while and that allowed the slime to grow. I also notice that your Cyanuric acid is way too low. Just about every salt system on the market recommend CYA in the 50 to 100 ppm range, depending on the make and model. For example, all the Hayward/Goldline and AutoPilot models recommend CYA between 60 to 80 ppm with the higher end preferred. You also did not list your salt level. If it is too low then the unit will not generate chlorine and most units will shut off if it is too high also. If you have a plaster surface pool then your calcium saturation index is WAY out and can cause damage to the pool surface. IF you have fiberglass or vinyl then it's not that important. However, your TA (alkalinity) is too high for good pH control with a SWCG and should be around 60 or 70 ppm. Don't worry about phosphate and DO NOT LET THEM SELL YOU A PHOSPHATE REMOVER. That is NOT what is causing the problem causing the low chlorine. You have iron in the water which could be a cause or your improperly set up salt system and unbalanced water, combined with metal ladder, light ring, or even screws used to secure them could be actually rusting because they are not 'salt safe" (there are ones desingned for use in salt pools, btw). This could be the source of the iron in your pool water, btw.
  9. DPD can bleach out at high santizer levels making you think that the chlorine is low when it's actually high and it does not directly determine CC. You have to test for TC and then subtract the FC from that number . If you want to do FAS-DPD testing you only need to get some Taylor R-0871 FAS-DPD titrant for chlorine. You have everything else that you need. The chlorine test is done like this: 10 ml water sample is a .5 ppm equivalent (I recommend this) 25 ml water sample is a .2 ppm equivalent (this level of precision is not really needed) add 1 scoop dpd powder (or more if needed) to get a stable pink color, swirl titrate with the R-0871 (just like yo0u would for bromine with the R-0872) record drops and multiply by either .5 or .2, depending on your sample size to get free chlorine. Add 5 drops of R-0003 (from your K-1005) to the SAME sample. If it turns pink again there is combined chlorine present. Titrate again to determine the combined chlorine directly (NO MATH NEEDED TO DETERMINE CC!) If cc is above .5 ppm then you need to shock (oxidize) the pool to get rid of CC and organics in the water.
  10. Could be: 1) calcium stearate from lube used in the manufacture of the pipes (however, this mostly affects tubs built between 2016 and 2018) 2) calcium silicate (a type of scale that does not dissolve in muriatic acid) 3) scale (calcium carbonate) that will dissolve in muriatic acid but not necessarily in vinegar A full set of test results will tell us more so we are not just guessing. However, I suspect that your calcium hardness is high and your pH has been high also. I will also bet that your TA is high. (most of the 'recommended' ranges for these parameter put them way too high for tubs. The ranges recommended are more applicable to pools that are running trichlor tabs. DO not test with strips, they don't have the resolution needed to determine what is going on and they cannot test calcium hardness, only total hardness. They are also prone to testing the pH lower than it really is.
  11. It looks like pink slime or a similar bacterial biofilm to me. Are you using chlorine or biguinide/peroxide? It is more common with biguinide/peroxide sanitation but can occur in a chlorine pool if you are not maintaining proper free chlorine levels or if your pool is overstabilized (Cyanuric acid too high for the FC level being maintained). Posting a full set of test results (from the time the problem occured) would be helpful in identifying it but even a current set of test results might be illuminating if you are using chlorine.
  12. Taylor K-1515A FAS-DPD test kit for chlorine and Taylor K-1721 CYA test kit. All other tests needed (pH, acid and base demand, TA, and CH) are in your K-2106.
  13. Would love to see what he said if you wouldn't mind posting it here. Also, If you feel you don't need this forum then let me know and I can remove you from the membership.
  14. You misunderstood what you read. The caution was about mixing the actual chemicals. . Once trichlor is dissolved in the pool it becomes hypochlorous acid, cyanuric acid, and chlorinated isocynurates. If you add liquicd chlorine to a pool that had CYA in it you get exactly the same thing. If you are using trichlor in a feeder you can put the feeder on bypass before shocking or adding acid (another no mix combination!). If you are using a floater just take it out. ALL forms of chlorine, once dissolved become hypochlorous acid along with some other basically inert metal ions (sodium, lithium and/or calcium). If you are using a stabilized chlorine or have added cyanuric acid to stabilize a non stabilizied chlorine you will also have cyanuric acid and chlorinated isocyanurates present. In actual practice, you can add any form of chlorine to shock a pool that is running trichlor without bypassing or taking out the trichlor. Just don't pour the shock next to the skimmer, drain or floater and make sure the pump is running. It's always a good idea to predissolve a powder shock in a bucket of water and 'walk" it around the pool as you pour it in.
  15. No way to lower the calcium hardness of the water without using an ion exchange resin (which is what your water softener does). The calcium can be chelated with a metal sequestrant but that would require adding a weekly dose and it does not remove the calcium, only temporarily make it chemically non reactive so it does not precipitate out as scale. It is MUCH better to fill wilth soft water if it is available to you and then bump up the calcium hardness to around 120 to maybe 150 ppm to minimize foaming. (Very soft water is more prone to foaming because of organics in the water (from bathers) than slightly harder water.)
  16. Also, "shock" is not a product. It is something you do to oxidize combined chloramines.
  17. 1) no need to be rude 2)no you don't understand the chemistry or you would have worded your question differently 3) I believe that you are asking what oxidizers (shocks) you can use with trichlor that will not add more CYA to the water. The answer is that you can use any form of unstabilized chlorine or you can use MPS., Unstabilized chlorine sources are sodium hypochlorite (liquid pool chlorine or chlorine laundry bleach), Calcium hypochlorite (cal hypo), or Lithium hypochlorite (lithium shock). You do not want to use dichlor (Dichloro-S- Triazinetrione) since it adds CYA faster than trichlor does. Trichor adds 6 ppm CYA for every 10 ppm free chlorine added, dichlor adds 9 ppm CYA for every 10 ppm free chlorine added. Also, take note that cal hypo adds 7 ppm Calcium for every 10 ppm added which can also be a problem. 4) if you understood the chemistry then you would have realized that @RDspaguyDID answer your question and, in fact, if you understood the chemistry you would not have asked the question in the first place. I hope you find this useful. I deleted your post in the other (11 year old) thread so all your answers will be in one place.
  18. It's 1,3-dichloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin and from what I know from reading the abstract of the patent it does test as mostly total chlorine because of a possible interaction between the hydantoin and the DPD reagent used in testing for chlorine.. Hydantoin stabilized bromne has a very long life in a spa and I assume that hydantion stabilized chlorine is similar.(which is why a bromine spa has to be totally drained and refilled when converting to chlorine while plain sodium bromide, as used in some pool algaecides, will eventually be degraded by sunlight and the pool becomes a chlorine pool within a few weeks). Well, I disagree, but whatever toots your kazoo... πŸ˜‰ Testing water can be a fun hobby!
  19. All aqueous (water based) solutions have a pH. Do you mean the pH was very low? What was the number and how was it obtained? (strips, liquid reagent read in a color comparator, direct pH meter, colorimeter reading a strip, disc or vial?) Black oil on bottom of what? Copper can produce dark stains on some surfaces (i.e. fiberglass) but ususally stains blue to green. Not sure what you mean by black oi (copper). Do you mean pH UP or pH DOWN. This is important. First step, post a FULL set of test results NOT done with strips. Include a test for copper if possible. Post it along with details on your pool (size in gallons, above or in ground, sanitizer used-trichlor tabs in a feeder or floater, calcium hypochlorite, dichlor, Salt water chlorine generator, etc., pool suface-plaster, fiberglass, vinyl). This way we can better tell what is going on in your pool and then advise you. However, based on what you have described I suspect this is what happened: Your pH crashed dangerously low (probably because of use of trichlor tabs in a floater or feeder) and total alkalinity was not maintained high enough for trichlor (probably because you are either not testing or testing with strips, which are useless for balancing water). The low pH damaged the copper heat exchanger on your heater and leached copper into the water You added pH increasr which caused the copper to precipitate out of the water as copper carbonate and possibly also copper sulfate if you regularly use a non chlorine shock. This is the blue cloud that is clogging your filter and is actually a good thing because the copper is in a form that can be filtered out. Bad news is that your filter will quickly clog. If you have a sand filter it means backwashing. If a cart you need to clean it whenever the filter pressure rises 8 PSI above baseline. If DE backwash and then recharge to prevent fouling the grids. Once you get all the copper out you will need to change out your filter medium (new sand, new card, breakdown and full recharge of DE) However, let's take this a step at a time and the first step is the test results.
  20. It's a copper based algaecide, not a primary sanitizer, and needs to be used with chlorine for a sanitized spa. FW)W, copper stains. Green hair is caused by copper in the water. I would not recommend it. It's basically just copper sulfate and the EPA registration is generic for the pesticide/algaecide copper sulfate.
  21. Also, a fun fact that you are probably not aware of. High sanitizer levels can and will beach out both DPD testing with liquid or tablet/powder/disc reagents and strips that use DPD or syringaldazine for testing sanitizer leading you to believe that sanitizer levels are low or non existent when in reality they are high This is why I recommend the Taylor K-2006 and K-2106 test kits because they use the FAS-DPD test for sanitizer which does not suffer from the same problem.
  22. Couple of things going on. Your spa is overstabilzied so the chlorine can't kill which allows "nasties" to grow in the plumbing which further eats up any chlorine that is added very quickly, as you are seeing. The reason you had the same problem with bromine is because of the biofilm that is probably nicely entrenched in the plumbing when you switched over was doing the same thing to the bromine. From your description it sounds like you were using 2 step bromine (no bromine tabs in floater, just sodium bromide and an oxidizer). Added to that you are using test strips which are useless for water balancing. Period! End of story. With a 250 gallon spa you don't have a lot of margin for error in water testing and balancing with a 2 bather load! (In fact there really is none.) Get a Taylor K-2006 if you are staying with chlorine and switch to the dichlor/bleach method. If you go the bromine route do 3 step bromine band get a Taylor K-2106 for bromine. There are pinned posts in the spa water chemistry section of the forum. Read them. How are they testing? Liquid reagents, a disc read in a machine? Do you get a computer printout? Here's a little secret. Those testing machines and computer printouts are optimized to sell you as many chemicals as possible. Not saying that all pool store testing is bad but many of the people in pool stores that are testing water really don't have a clue. Also, when balancing water (such as when lowering TA) a LOT of testing needs to be done possibly every hour or so to monitor the progress of the procedure so pool store testing just isn't practical for water balancing either. A good test kit is the BEST investment you can make in your spa and the most important piece of equipment you can have. This is dichlor. For every 10 ppm of FC you add with dichlor you are adding 9 ppm of CYA (cyanuric acid). A tub on only dichlor quickly becomes overstabilzed, the chlorine stays bound to the CYA and is unavailable to fight the 'nasties' in the water that form biofilm, keep the water sanitized, or oxidize organic matter (Every bather introduces urine, feces and sweat, which is chemically almost identical to urine, into the tub and when you only have 250 gallon of water and 2 bathers that a lot of organic matter so the overstabilized chlorine doesn't stand a chance.) You need to follow @RDspaguy's advice and purge, possibly more than once.
  23. YOU WIN!!!!! (Even though the 60k was just one pool at the facility. There was also a 55K 'family pool' -swim diaper leak and fecal shutdown almost daily, 2 1K hot tubs with cart filters in pits, and a 1K kids 'splash area' with deck jets, overhead water features, and deck drains to an underground water tank, also with a cart in a pit! A haven for fecal closedowns ! Even with all that you STILL win! ) 😎
  24. Neither did I initially. The plumbing is a nightmare, IMHO. For a system that complicated you would think the builder would create manifolds instead of a spider's web of pipes and valves.
  25. I would much rather test water than brush and tiles soap the waterline of a 60k gallon commercial pool, clean out and recharge a pit DE filter, or get a peristaltic acid pump adjusted (all of which I've had to do in the past). By comparison, water testing IS fun!
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