adusting pool chemicals


Old 07-31-07, 09:42 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1
Unhappy adusting pool chemicals

I have an inground vinyl pool and I have never learned how to keep the water adjusted properly. There is a store here in town where you can take a water sample in and they test it for you, but then I end up bringing home $100 worth of their products they recommended and that I don't have a clue what to do with, so I usually end up dumping a bunch of chlorine into the pool when it starts turning green just to keep it from getting out of control. So basically the water always looks dingy.
My dream is to have a crystal clear pool at all times! We have new pumps & a vacuum so I really want to learn how to keep it clean the right way. I have a new test kit and want to learn to test it myself and know what to do to keep it crystal clear!
Oh~one last thing~I need simple laymen terms (like ~ add baking soda etc...) My pool is approx. 22,000 gallons
Thank you!
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Old 08-01-07, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 33
The most important part of water balance is ph, you need to keep that between 7.2 and 7.8, 7.4-7.6 is considered ideal. If the ph is out of range it will have a major impact on the effectiveness of you CL and on the clarity of the water, not to mention the damage low ph water can do to plumbing etc. In order to keep your ph in the right range you need to keep the total alkalinity (TA) in the right range as well, that's 80 to 200 ppm, ideal is about 120. If alkalinity is too high you'll have problems lowering your ph, if it's too low the ph can drop too much if anything acidic is added. Depending on the source water in your area you might need to add either alkali to increase it or acid to decrease it. Your pool is large enough that you might want to consider using muratic acid, just remember to be careful with it as it can be dangerous if you aren't. 1 qt of muratic acid will lower 10,000 gallons of water TA by about 10 ppm but you have to add it slowly, in your pool you could add 2 qts about every 6-8 hrs I would say, you have to allow enough time for at least 1 complete turnover of the water to make sure it's mixed thoroughly before you add anymore or you can easily add too much. If you TA is high keep adding acid until it is down in the range you need it to be in. If it's low add baking soda or an increaser you get from the pool store to raise it.

Maintain your free chlorine between 2-10ppm, I personally like to keep it between 3-4. By ppm I mean 1lb CL for every million lbs of water. 120,000 gallons of water is about 1,000,000 lbs so your pool is 0.18 million lbs, so 1lb of CL will increase your CL level by a little over 5ppm. Remember shock treatments are not pure CL, most of them have about 1/3lb CL per pound of treatment, at least that true if they are 47% Calcium Hypochlorite which is the most common one as far as I know. You need a chlorine feeder of some kind to maintain your free CL levels, I'd use trichlor tablets since they are commonly used and already have the stabilizers incorporated in them, UV light breaks down chlorine so you need to have cyranic acid in the pool to protect from that, it's part of the trichlor. You rtest kit should let you test for combined CL as well, or for total CL. If you test for total CL subtract your free CL reading from it to get the combined reading. When combined gets above about 0.5ppm you need to shock the pool to break it apart, increase your free CL to 10ppm to do this, in your case add 6lbs of shock, when you do that be sure to check your ph since shock will increase the ph, you will probably need to add acid to bring it back down. Some people say to use bleach instead of shock but I don't really like that, there isn't much CL in bleach and it can screw up the other components of your water balance.

That should help you get started, just remember to keep your filter in good shape and vacuum the bottom frequently.

One thing you might want to consider doing is attending a pool operator's clinic, where they certify people to run pools. I know where I live there's no charge unless you take the test to be certified, even then it's only $40.

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