ammonia problem

Chlorinating, maintaining the right chlorine levels,
chlorine problems. Dichlor, trichlor, cal hypo, bleach,
granules, chlorine pucks and chlorine sticks.
yooper

ammonia problem

Postby yooper » Mon 23 Jul, 2012 17:06

This ammonia problem is new to me, looking for answers. I opened my pool cover last week after it being closed for 3 hot days (near 100) and a hard rain, and water was cloudy. Although I do have an electric pool cover so I don't think the rain has anything to do with the problem. I have an inline chlorinator that uses pucks and had it set at 2 out of 8. The week before we had my son's baseball team party (about 20 swimmers) but the water was clear afterward until the following week when I opened the cover. I'm thinking the heat and low chlorine killed my water. Took a water sample to local pool dealer and had it analyzed. 0 cya, and no FC. They said I needed 157 bags of burnout 35 or drain 18" and refill. I did the drain and refill and had it tested again. This time it was 99 bags of burnout. Drained and refilled the 18" again. Not much different, 91 bags of burnout. My ph is 7.3, alk is 297 and hardness is 333. Started me with 3 doses of 1/2 gallon of muriatic acid and a quart of phosphate reducder even though the printout doesn't give a phosphate number. Just wondering if I'm getting a load of crap here and what the right remedy is for this problem.

10 year old pool
18' x 36'
Inground vinyl liner
26,000 gallons
75 gallon per min. Hayward sand filter
1.5 hp filter pump
electric cover
inline puck chlorinator


chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
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Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

ammonia problem

Postby chem geek » Tue 24 Jul, 2012 22:15

Well, you really should get your own good test kit, either the Taylor K-2006 or the TFTestkits TF-100 with the latter kit having more of the reagents you use the most so is more economical.

If your CYA did drop to zero, then bacteria may have converted it into ammonia. This happened to me and yes, it does take a LOT of chlorine. You can do a bucket test using pool water to determine how much chlorine it will take. Just see how much regular 6% bleach it takes in 2 gallons of water, noting that 1/4 teaspoon is 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC), until you start to register an FC reading. Either that, or get an ammonia test kit from a pet/fish/aquarium store and figure you'll need around 8-10 times that amount of chlorine, minimum. See It Can Happen to Anyone - Zero Chlorine, CYA --> Ammonia .
Grant

ammonia problem

Postby Grant » Fri 24 Aug, 2012 06:28

Very interesting discussion. Has anyone considered the use of a UV (Ultraviolet) system to reduce the amount of chlorine demand in the pool by both destroying the ammonia and deactivating the microbio in the water? I do not know if UV is an economic solution for these types of problems but for small pools, a 8 gpm system would be about $700 and for large pools, a 12 GPM UV system would be about $850.

Unfortunately I do not know the costs of chemicals, maintenace and down time (drain/fill) but maybe someone out there can tell me the annual cost to maintain a pool. UV is used in larger pools but I have only started seeing their use in smaller ones as their costs have come down significantly.

Grant
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

ammonia problem

Postby chem geek » Sat 25 Aug, 2012 01:35

A UV system isn't typically beneficial in an outdoor residential pool. Ammonia in sweat and urine gets oxidized by chlorine without difficulty and the bather load is very low in a residential pool. An outdoor pool is exposed to UV in sunlight that produces hydroxyl radicals when chlorine breaks down. UV is better used in indoor pools where there is no exposure to sunlight since it can help control chloramines while in commercial/public pools it can help because of the higher bather load (as can ozone) and can help inactivate the protozoan oocyst Cryptosporidium parvum.
sapoolguy
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri 31 Aug, 2012 19:03
My Pool: We care for several in San Antonio
Location: United States

ammonia problem

Postby sapoolguy » Tue 04 Sep, 2012 22:11

We're in S Texas, and have multiple outdoor residential pools doing just fine on UV light sanitation and just a fraction of the pool's prior chlorine consumption :D
http://sapoolworks.com/index.php?/blog/detail/lighten_up/
Dave A

ammonia problem

Postby Dave A » Wed 14 Aug, 2013 20:36

Thanks for all the posts everyone. I have a 44,00 gal pool with ammonia so high that I have drained more than 60% of water and refilled and still too high to treat. Tonight I am draining my concrete pool as completely as I can and refilling. At our current water rates that will run me less than $200 and I get a clean start to everything.
I initially shocked the pool hard when it was to cloudy to see 18"down and then got the chlorine locked up and had no choice.
I checked into cost of adding 35% hydrogen peroxide to fix it, but that is well over $200 plus is very hazardous I guess.
My pool store says "The solution to pollution is dilution." Cute but my dilution didn't get it.
Good luck and thanks for the informative posts.
NEOLAB CYPRUS

ammonia problem

Postby NEOLAB CYPRUS » Sat 25 Jan, 2014 02:31

I would suggest that you check whether you or the maintenance people are using sodium thiosulphate to reduce the chlorine. If so the chloramine concentration in the swimming pool will react the sodium thiosulfate and release ammonia. However in order to have chloramines in your swimming pool it means that nitrogen conatining compounds are entering your pool. Possible sources might be:
1. Urine from swimmers or other animals
2. To many swimmers - sweat.
3. Your water contains urine levels because it is contaminated or it contains high levels of nitrates.

if it is a private pool with not too many swimmers,I suggest that you check your tap water for total nitrogen.

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