What is floc, clarifier, stabilizer, cyanuric acid,
algaecide, brightener, dichlor, sodium hypo,
sodium bisulfate, ....??


Postby CS » Sat 28 Jun, 2014 12:24

Help!! I'm hoping to find some light at the bottom of this money pit I find myself in!

I've got a 23,000 gal. in ground vinyl lined pool and here is what has been going on.

I opened on 5/31 with 4lbs of green-to-clean after taking a water sample to Leslie's pool supply. (I wish I still had the print out but didn't save it as I wasn't expecting to have this much trouble)

6/7 Water was blue so I added ~25 lbs of dichlor shock per Leslie's...

6/14 blue water was still very cloudy so 12 lbs of cal hypo was added per another pool store...

6/19 blue water still very cloudy and not goes another 22 lbs of cal hypo and 1.5 gals of muriatic acid per pool store
Levels from 6/19:
CYA 63
TC 3.9
FC 0.4
pH 8.1
TA 131
TH 84

6/22 blue water but still very cloudy and no improvement
At this point I was told to add 25 lbs of baking soda (sodium hydrogen carbonate) and keep 2 silk tabs in the skimmer which will slowly (over weeks) decrease the level of ammonia, which I did.
Levels from 6/22:
CYA 60
TC 0 (seems very strange)
FC 0
pH 7
TA 71
TH 155
Phospates 0
Ammonia 8.0 or higher

CYA 58
TC 6.5
FC 0.5
pH 8.3
TA 165
TH 192
Phospates 0
Ammonia 8.0 or higher

I was told to add 1.5 gallons of muriatic acid and keep the silk tabs in but am becoming highly skeptical of the info from the pool stores. In fact, I went to two and had my water tested at both within minutes of each other and got completely different results.

After 6/22 I tried to educate myself a bit on what was causing the high ammonia and how to remove it and found that it is going to be a fairly expensive process. My understanding is that I need to find the exact level of ammonia so that I can shock to ~10x the amount with cal hypo. Is this correct? Is there another route I could take? Would it hurt to switch to liquid bleach instead to help keep cost down? Any advice is very welcome!!

chem geek
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Location: San Rafael, California


Postby chem geek » Sat 28 Jun, 2014 14:23

As noted in this MSDS, the coral seas® Green to Clean product from Leslie's is EDTA with ammonia. The EDTA is an algaecide and the ammonia is used with chlorine to form monochloramine that kills algae. However, one can clear a pool of algae using chlorine alone (and filtration, of course). Algaecides are not needed for that purpose.

4 pounds of their product (with molecular weight 485.41 g/mole with 27.22% of it being ammonium sulfate) in 23,000 gallons would be 20.84 mg/L of product and 5.7 mg/L of ammonium sulfate equivalent to 1.2 ppm N of ammonia. So at least some of the ammonia is from your adding the Green to Clean product, but that was intended to produce monochloramine when you then added chlorine.

So if the pool store measurements of extra ammonia are accurate, then what may have happened is that bacteria converted Cyanuric Acid (CYA) into ammonia over the winter as described in Degradation of Cyanuric Acid (CYA) and It Can Happen to Anyone - Zero Chlorine, CYA-->Ammonia.

It will take at least 80 ppm FC added to your pool to get rid of the ammonia and yes you can use chlorinating liquid or bleach for that. You might, however, consider a partial drain/refill of the water if water is not too expensive in your area. If you want to find out how much chlorine it will take before it holds in your pool, you can do a bucket test and see how much chlorine it takes before it holds (scaling up accordingly).

Re: Ammonia

Postby Sutro_SmartMonitor » Tue 21 Jun, 2016 14:38

You should check out our smart monitor - it could definitely help you with all of this spending on chemicals, etc. Our monitor connects with you via an app and tells you where the levels are at, what needs adjustments, and how to do that.

If you're a new pool owner, we're currently inviting people to join our beta testing program. Or you can pre-order it!

Let me know if you have any questions!

- Shannon

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