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Chlorine Won't Keep In Pool More Than 3 Days

Chlorine Won't Keep In Pool More Than 3 Days


  #1  
Old 07-06-06, 09:05 PM
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Chlorine Won't Keep In Pool More Than 3 Days

Hi,

We have an inground 18 x 36 pool, vinyl liner. Water temps have been 85-90 the past 3 weeks.

We use 3" stabilized tri-chlor tablets in an inline chlorinator, set at 3, and the pump runs 10 hours a day (5 hours at a time twice a day). I have not added any stabilizer to the pool.

I took water sample to the pool store, they said everything was good, but the sanitizer was a bit low, and the stabilizer was on the high side (150).

We had this same problem last year with high stabilizer, and we drained a bunch of water and added fresh, and it solved the constant algae problem after doing that.

We have not had any algae problems this year, but can't keep chlorine levels up. I have been shocking every 3-4 days with Cal Hypochlorite, and the readings get up t0 3.0 or higher (dark yellow with the test kit). PH is fine as well.

Do I have chlorine lock again, or something else going on?

As I said, I have no algae problems, but it just won't keep chlorine levels up.

When we had high stabilizer last year, and the algae problem, the chlorine levels were fine most of the time, but we couldn't control the algae. This year, it's the opposite--no algae, but chlorine won't stay.

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 07-07-06, 05:29 AM
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Run your pump longer and temporarily use dichlor instead of trichlor until the stabilizer gets back down to the 50-80 range.

If you need to shock it use liquid shock. It does not have the calcium that calcium hypochlorite shock has in it.

If the stabilizer does not come back down on it's own you may have to replace some of the water, but usually backyard pools have enough splashout and evaporation that it doesn't take long. If you want immediate results then go ahead and replace some water.
 
  #3  
Old 07-07-06, 08:24 AM
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What's the difference with dichlor? No stabilizer? Does it come in tablets, or only granules?

Also, we have had around 12 inches of rain or so since the water last got tested and the stabilizer was high. Wouldn't that also help reduce it a bit, with all that new water added?


Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 07-07-06, 02:36 PM
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have the total dissloved solids checked . it should not be over 1500 ppm max.

if they are high i would vac the pool on waste so you can add water . and even if they aren't high i would still do it so i could dilute the stabilizer.

this may need to be done several times, you can contuine to use the tabs like always, the difference in a dichlor and a trichlor is the amount of chlorine avaliable, as far as shock you may use a lithium hypochlorite , this is what most pool stores want to sell customers with a vinyl pool, because it won't bleach the liner if it settles on the bottom, plus it requires more than reg. granular( good for them, bad for your wallet). the fact you have a chlorinater is great but you need a routine maintence schedule. you may have aprox. 30k gal +/- , fill chlorinater as needed, for shock add 3 lbs of granular 1@week unless you have heavy usage or a substantial amount of rain , and a maintence dose of 60% poly quat algecide 1 @ week , run the pump a min. of 8-10 hrs a day continuious( this is where your prolbem is ) , have you water checked monthly , i would recommend you invest in a 7 way test kit , one that uses DPD tabs for the chlorine test , these are far more accurate that the drop method.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 12:45 PM
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So you are saying we should run the pump the 8-10 hours at one time, instead of dividing it up? We've always divided it up and had not problem before.



Also, what should we have our chlorinator set on when it's hot (usually 90's outside, 86-90 degree water temp)? Maybe we have that set too low--we have it on 3, it can go up to 7. I was worried about setting it too high and having too much stabilzed chlorine added, making the stabilizer any higher.


Thanks
 
  #6  
Old 07-08-06, 04:12 PM
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I shocked with calcium hypochlorite yesterday (2 lbs). Cloudness finally went away after running the pump for about 20 hours (I turned the chlorinator off with the stablized tablets in it while I did this). However, very little chlorine left today, so I shocked with anothe 2 to 2-1/2 pounds.

Got the water tested. Here are the results:

Stabilizer is at 120 (which has gone down, was above 150 last month)

Combined Chlorine is 0.2 ppm. However the coments say combined chlorine concentrationis above recommended levels, superchlorinate the pool to destroy chloramines

Free Chrorine 2.5 ppm

Total chlorine 2.7 ppm

Total DissolvedSolids are at 850 ppm


Calcium hardness is at 120 ppm--they say to ad 35 pounds of calcium hardness increaser. That seems like quite a lot--is it? And if so, how much should I really be adding?

pH is 7.5

alkalinity (with stabilizer correction) is 74 ppm (a bit on the low side)--what do you recommend I use to bring that up?

copper is 0.1 ppm

Iron is 0.0 ppm

Thanks for the help
 
  #7  
Old 07-08-06, 06:15 PM
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those numbers look good, but your stabilizer worries me, i think i would remove some water and try to dilute it down some, then balance the water to the correct specs.
this may take some serious time because you actullay need to remove at least 50 % of you water, however DO NOT REMOVE IT ALL AT ONCE, this will need to be done in steps, it may take a week or so of cycling to get the end result or you have the option to do a chem treatment( last resort due to the cost and it needs to be done by a COMPETENT(sp) POOL maintence person because everything need to be done in a specific step in order for it to be sucessful.)
the comb. chl is the result of not having a constant amount of sanitizer during the filtering process, as well as not utilizing the correct amount of shock.


I am assuming you have a sand filter?


i base my calculations on 18 x 36 diving pool with a average depth of 6 ft(8 deep and 4 shallow) x 7.5 = 29160 gal. +/-

what you are doing is under shocking the pool, you need to base all sanitizers on a 1lb per 10,000 gal ratio, hence 30k, gal = 3lbs of sanitizer .
you will need to adjust you chlorinater to what ever level is necessary to maintain a constant residule somewhere around 1.5 - 3 ppm free chlorine.
as far as shock, granular sodium hypochlorite is unstablized granular chlorine, it is also the same chlorine that bleach is except in a liquid form , a stablized chlorine will have cyuranic acid(conditioner) added.
NEVER ADD GRANULAR OR UNSTABLIZED CHLORINE IN A SKIMMER IF YOU HAVE A CHLORINATOR , VERY, VERY, VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the run time on the pump is based on turnover, most pump and filter systems are designed to do a COMPLETE turnover in 8- 10 hrs. by splitting them you are defeating the purpose. just to the fact that you have never had a prolbem is why you now have a prolbem.

it has just taken this long for the prolbems to arise. i get this at least 3 times a year from new customers " I've had a pool for years and never had a prolbem , but this year we can't get things corrected" , my average is 2 weeks or less in correcting pool prolbems, your's is not that bad, you just need to get on a program.
 
  #8  
Old 07-08-06, 10:15 PM
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Thanks for the info. When I shock, I mix it with water and dissolve it, then add to the pool once it's dissolved.

I'll adjust my pump timer to 8-10 hours in one shot then.

And yes, it's a sand filter, going into it's fourth season (we run the pump year round, do not close the pool in winter)

The deep end is 8 feet, shallow end is 3 ft. I believe, but could be 4.

Thanks again.
 
  #9  
Old 07-09-06, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc
I'll adjust my pump timer to 8-10 hours in one shot then.
Until this problem is rectified I would probably run the pump 24 hours a day.
 
  #10  
Old 07-09-06, 11:14 AM
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super, i agree until you correct the prolbem i would run the pump 24/7. backwash at 10 psi over fresh startup. so if you have a fresh BW and the press. guage reads 15psi then backwash at 25psi. this will ensure that you filter is preforming to its capacity.

remember when you use your MANUAL VAC , to vac on waste as to remove the water, so you can add it back via your water source. this is refered to as cycling, (pool water out , fresh water in).
this will need to be done several times until the stabilizer level reachs 50 -60 ppm. then approach you water balance at that time.
 
  #11  
Old 07-16-06, 07:04 PM
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UPDATE: (hope I don't jinx it)


I shocked the pool 3 different times over a 6 day period, since chlorine wouldn't stay up after I shocked the first 2 times. During all that time, I ran the filter 24/7 and it cleared up.

After the 3rd shocking, I'm running it like you said 10-12 hours straight, without breaking up that time. So far, it's been over a week, and it's been keeping the chlorine at good levels (about 3 ppm or so), and the cloudiness has not returned.

Thanks again for all the help. Hopefully the problem is solved.
 
  #12  
Old 07-17-06, 05:34 AM
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great glad everthing is going well , just keep a eye on that chl. level, check it at least every other day for a another week or so, but i think you have it under control.
are you using you chlorinator or are you putting tabs in the skimmer?
how's the stabilizer level looking?
 
  #13  
Old 07-20-06, 10:13 AM
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I'm using the chlorinator, have it set on 3-1/2 to 4 (depending on swimmer use).

Stabilizer levels have not changed, but at least they have not gone up.
 
  #14  
Old 07-20-06, 01:27 PM
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good deel, i would at least try to change some of the water out to reduce the stab. levels, it's not imperitive but it will help in the long run.
 
  #15  
Old 07-31-06, 10:49 AM
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Update:

I drained a bunch of water, and added fresh. Shocked again, still no chlorine a day later.

We changed the sand in the filter Saturday. Pool cleared up before I shocked the next day. Chlorine still low, probably from demand of it all. I shocked again last night, and am going to check levels today. Hopefully the problem is solved.

If I still have problems after changing the sand, I honestly don't know what else it can be. The stabilizer level was at 110 last week, down from 120 a few weeks ago, and down from 150 last month.
 
  #16  
Old 08-01-06, 03:38 PM
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it is going to take some serious cycling to get that stablizer level down.
if you have some residule then you are on the right road, its gonna be a long journey, but the end is in sight.
i think i would stop using your chlorinator for a while and just add some tabs or stiks in the skimmer, sounds like the chlorinator isn't allowing enough chl into the pool. if the levels come up then you have a faulty chlorinator.
 
  #17  
Old 08-02-06, 07:20 PM
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I'm still using the chlorinator, I removed a bunch of crusty gunk from the small tube where the water comes in from. The chlorine has stayed at good levels (dark yellow when testing with drops) since Sunday, so I think we've finally got everything solved, since we changed the sand.

We haven't had any rain lately, and it's been very, very hot, so I will be adding some more fresh water (probably an inch or two) in the next few days.

Thanks for all the help. This forum is the greatest place--you know nobody is trying to sell you anything, so you know you can trust what they tell you.
 
  #18  
Old 08-02-06, 08:54 PM
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Talking

you know nobody is trying to sell you anything, so you know you can trust what they tell you.
I've got some beach front property in Arizona if you feel the need for a sales pitch!
 
  #19  
Old 08-03-06, 11:07 AM
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Marc, your problem is the stabilizer. Whenever you use pucks, they add CYA--cyuranic acid (or stabilizer). Why do you think they call them stabilized chlorine tabs? You need to drain enough out to get ~30 ppm CYA. Then use bleach, yes plain ole
laundry bleach to chlorinate, and the ultra unscented is best. It
is 6% and reg. bleach is 5.25%. You can use cal-hypo, but the calcium isn't needed for a vinyl liner pool, and it causes cloudiness problems. You just have check chlorine levels every nite or 2 and add bleach according to your cya ppm. The bleach
will raise the pH also, so get muratic acid at HD or Lowes/home store and add a pint at a time, circulate for an hr. or 2 and retest. Be careful w/ the acid and shoot for 7.2-7.5 pH. That's it. I know the tabs are convenient, but you'll save $$ and won't
have algae. If you neglect it and it gets green, shock with bleach. At least 2 large jugs. Pool stores don't want you to start using bleach. This is because they lose sales of $buckets of pucks and algaecide (once you get a bloom they tell you to add algaecide
but it's too late at that point--algaecides are for prevention, NOT treatment) AND
they don't want you to tell your pool owner friends how easy bleach is.
If you want to learn more, visit the best pool site on the net....

www.poolsolutions.com

What's your new cya ppm after draining/refilling?? That will determine how high you have to run chlorine to shock.
A partial drain/refill is the ONLY way to get rid of high cya
levels, so using the puck/chlorinator routine will put you in the same situation within a week or two. Time to switch to bleach.
 

Last edited by igneous; 08-03-06 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 08-04-06, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mdtaylor
I've got some beach front property in Arizona if you feel the need for a sales pitch!

Sorry, I'm not that gullable! Plus, I have lots of relatives in Arizona, and KNOW there isn't any water there!
 
  #21  
Old 08-05-06, 05:21 AM
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If you insist on using household bleach, please, please, read the labels carefully! Household bleaches often have additives that are NOT GOOD for your pool. Make sure you are getting pure, unscented bleach. And be sure you don't get a non-chloring bleach! Bleach manufacturers do change their formulas on occasion. Long ago it was acceptable to use Clorox in pools. No more...Clorox changed the formula! READ THE LABEL!

And do the math... a bottle of bleach at the grocery store is 6% chloring at best. Liquid shock is only about 10% available chlorine. Granular shocks are a minimum of 47% available chlorine. And most are up to 65%. Makes me wonder what else is going in the water...

Di-chlor does not have stabilizer nor calcium in it. So, if you need to chlorinate without adding stabilizer or increasing your hardness you will have to use di-chlor. If you are not concerned about hardness you can use the highly buffered household bleach, liquid bleach, or standard granular shock.

There is the ongoing debate about high stabilizer. While most of the arguments have been proven false it is true that CYA reduces the effectiveness of chlorine to sanitize the water. TDS (total dissolved solids) has been proven to be more of a problem than high levels of CYA. I think VC mentioned that already. I think that between changing out some of the water you have brought down the CYA considerably. Since your hardness is not a problem standard shock can be used and monitor your CYA until it gets down in the 30-50 range. Then let's see how it is working. And remember, if you use bleach (6%) instead of granular shock (47%) you will have to use cases, not pints, to effect a noticeable change in the chlorine level.
 
  #22  
Old 08-06-06, 11:21 AM
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Taylor is right about clorox, but you don't need to pay for "premium" bleach. Just use the store brand ultra, unscented types and avoid Clorox brand. The only thing in bleach is sodium
hypochlorite and water, no added calcium or stabilizer, like in typical pool products. Some new tri/di chlor products have added copper, which I'd never use.
Depending on your pool size, basically 1 gallon of 6% bleach will raise 10,000 gallons of water chlorine level 6%. So if you have a 20k gal. pool, 1 gal. bleach will raise it 3ppm, and 2 gal. will raise it 6ppm. That's really not that much bleach, and you wont have the problems that calcium hypochlorite (granular shock products) bring....cloudiness.
 
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Old 08-06-06, 12:46 PM
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I think I'll pass on the bleach. So far, so good--it's been over a week, and the chlorine is staying at good levels, and the water is clear--so the sand was obviously the problem



mdtaylor, is all di-chlor stabilizer free? I could have sworn I read on one brand it had stabilizer, but could be wrong.

Thanks again for all your help
 
  #24  
Old 08-06-06, 03:43 PM
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I couldn't say for sure. The couple of brands I use have 56% available chlorine, no stabilizer, and no calcium. It is sodium based. I use it specifically because the well water used in the local pools are high in calcium hardness and standard shock (calcium hypochlorate) only adds to the hardness problem. Plus, I feel the sodium base assists the salt water pools I work on.

If you have a stabilizer or hardness problem use a dichlor wtih no stabilizer in it till the problem is rectified, I say.
 
  #25  
Old 08-07-06, 07:10 AM
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Sorry marc, but if you don't do a partial drain/refill and get your
CYA levels down to a manageable #, you'll continue to have prolems.
Dichlor has stabilizer. If you don't use bleach, the only other choice is cal hypo, which has no stabilizer, but it does have calcium which you prolly don't need.
One more thing....stabilizer levels will not go down unless you drain/refill. You may be lucky and it'll go down over winter.
 
 

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