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First Year With Salt Water Pool (Water Test Results)

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My wife and I put a 18x36 inground salt water pool last year and this was our first year opening it. We added about 90# of salt to bring it up to where it should be, it's around 2700 or so. I also just added a 50# bag of salt to bring it around 3200ppm. I took a sample of water to the local pool store adn they did a test of the water for me. Here are the results that they said.

Test Results Recommended Range

Free Chlorine .08ppm 1.0-3.0 ppm

Total Chlorine .05ppm 1.0-3.0 ppm

Combined Chlorine -0.3ppm 0.0-0.2 ppm

pH 7.3 7.2-7.8

Hardness 67ppm 200-300 ppm

Alkalinity 43ppm 100-150 ppm

Cyanuric Acid 9ppm 30-150 ppm

Copper 0.56ppm 0-0ppm

I know that the Alkalinity and Hardness are both low. They are wanting me to buy some stuff from there and wasn't too sure about it. I have been reading that you can add baking soda to the water to raise the alkalinity. I have never had a pool always had a boat and am unsure on all of this stuff. If I'm reading things correctly I should be able to just buy some arm and hammer baking soda and add it to the water? The store is telling me I need 36# of alkalinity increaser to the water. I just am not comfortable dumping in 36# of baking soda. lol.

Now I'm new to this entire pool stuff so work with me a little. I'm in the process of ordering a new testing kit for the pool. What do I need to do to get the water back to clean and looking good?

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Total alkalinity should be between 60-80. You can use baking soda to raise it. Calculate the necessary amount with the pool calculator:


Cyanuric acid is also low. Should be 70-80. This will let your pool hold on to your chlorine. Too much will decrease the sanitising power of your pool's chlorine, and the only way to lower it is to get rid of a portion of your pool's (expensive) water. So calculate the necessary amounts thoroughly.

pH is a bit low, but adding the baking soda will increase it.

The recommended free chlorine levels seem a bit low. Should be between 3-5, depending on your Cyanuric acid level, maybe someone else on this forum can confirm this?

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