Can't Keep Chlorine Up

lisaljMay 5, 2008

We have a 16 X 32 inground pool. We have had it about 15 years. We us a mesh cover over the winter and have drained it many times over the winter due to rain and snow.

That being said, my husband has put in 8 lbs of shock over the last week and it is still coming up very low.

We had this hellish nightmare only one other time and that turned out to be "too many disolved solids". As I previously stated the water had been very diluted over the winter, so that is not likely.

*Computerized readings are all within normal range.*

We have done all the obvious things to ready the water for swimming. Algeacide, Shock, Pool magic Spring and fall etc, changed the earth in the filter, the water looks clear.

This makes no sense. Please help if you can. We are at our wits end.


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Have you tried chlorine Viagra (ha-ha)?

The numbers from the computerized readings would be nice. You may have a little algae bloom trying to take hold, you may have either too much or too little cyanuric acid in the pool or it may be that the lawn guy dumped some fertilizer in the pool and your phosphates or nitrates are too high. Was the pool water clear when you opened the pool?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Have you verified your test results with a secondary source? Since you have a hand-held it sounds like, have you done a quick sanity check with a two reagent titration test kit? Perhaps your "measuring" device is the problem. Bad/old reagents, bad batteries, dirty probes, etc. I would double check my measurements against a secondary source to make sure its working and your not dumping chemicals after chemicals all because of bad readings.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:23PM
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OK you guys, here goes. I have my pool chemistry
here for your perusal.

HELP ME!!! :-))

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:41AM
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I agree with a previous poster that you probably have a bit of an algae bloom trying to take hold. Although you're up in PA, if you have a lot of direct sun on your pool with only 20 CYA, your chlorine will be gone rather quickly due to the sun.

As a side note, I'd disregard the pool store's recommendation to add any type calcium increaser. It's necessary in gunite pools, but not really necessary for vinyl pools. Also, if your "shock" product is calcium hypochlorite, you're adding calcium with each dose anyway.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 12:00PM
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1. Add a bit more CYA so your closer to the goes away with time and exposure to sun.
2. Add a gallon- 1 1/2 gallon of chlorine instead of shock. Wait 1-2 days and re-measure you Chlorine.

You say 8lbs of shock. What kind of pool shock are you using? You know they have oxidizing-only shocks. They don't add any chlorine at all to your pool. They will clean but without any residual chlorine to back them will get algae problems coming back pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 2:34PM
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I mean "liquid chlorine".

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 3:03PM
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When I had that problem one pool store kept telling me to put in shock. Almost $200 later pool still green. I went to the other pool store and added liquid chlorine, at first 3 jugs and kept it high and within a week of the liquid and cleaning filter once or twice a day it was clear.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 11:50AM
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Is your pool filter clean? I had this problem when I let my filter get too dirty. The chlorine was used up trying to deal with the muck in the filter.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 2:27PM
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have you tested your phosphate levels? very common around here in Michigan. competition keeps shoving chlorine down your throat and all you may need is a phosphate remover.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 8:01PM
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Ditch the powdered shock, a waste of money. You should add:

-20 oz of Muratic acid to get PH down to 7.5.
- Add 4 gallons of 6% bleach in the evening to get the pool to 12PPM CL. Test again in the morning and add enough to get it back up to 12PPM. Then test again in the evening and repeat the process. When you can hold 12PPM consistently overnight, you have killed off the problem and can let your CL taper back down to 6PPM which is where I would try to stay. 3ppm - 6ppm CL @ 40 CYA is a good area to be.

After you can hold CL consistently, add 59oz of CYA increaser (stabilizer), to get your CYA up to 40.

You can find all of these calculations at a neat site,

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:24AM
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I would listen to keithw. I had the same issue. My chlorine just would not stay up. It wasn't until I found out that my pool had zero stabilizer in it. But take your time. You must fix one thing at a time. Trying to fix two things at the same time will only cost you a buttload of money. I first had to get my stabilizer right. Once I did that, my chlorine kept falling, but i think I was fighting a algae bloom that I could not see. But my first clue was green on my waterfall rocks. Once I got the bloom under control, now my chlorine stays about 3-4ppm. I use to have to crank my automatic chlorinator up, but now I've had to turn it back down.
Just stay with it and don't go overboard. Once you pour your chemicals in, let the pool circulate. And don't freak out if it doesn't become "normal" overnite. Just do a little bit at a time. Its easier to catch up than to go overboard. You go overboard and you may end up having to drain some of your pool water. And most of all don't go overboard on the CYA. Remember it dissolves real slow.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 10:58PM
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I agree with Keith Except using Muratic Acid on a Liner pool and the other poster on the need for the calcium in a liner pool check the liner manufactures webs sites and they will clearly tell you what you should and should not use on a liner pool. What Keith is doing is instructing you on how to reach Breakthrough Chlorine.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 5:12PM
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I had the same problem in southeast pa, added a few gallons of chlorine to shock and the levels were still coming up around 1 ppm. Turned out my phospate levels were through the roof (3000 ppb, I assume from nearby farms, rain, etc). Within an hour or two of adding a phosphate remover my chlorine level jumped to where they should be for shock level.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:35AM
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Guys my chlorine levels ARE STILL NON EXISTANT and we have been to 3 different pool chemistry places. I AM READY TO JUMP OFF THE BRIDGE. It isn't phosphates. We use a product to help with that and it comes out perfect.

I guess I need to drain the pool and start over.

It seems a bit rash but I can't take this anymore.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 1:20PM
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I gave up on Chlorine and installed a salt system last year. End of all problems. It keeps the water just right. Cost me right at $2000 installed. Installation is not hard once you understand what the system does and how it works. I wouldn't go back for anything. Pool is in the Nashville, TN area.

After watching the install I know I could've done it. So I paid $400 to learn. But the guy services the pool and is competent. He suggested the change and glad he did.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 10:12PM
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Ray the salt system sure sounds healthier too.
What a hassle.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 10:46AM
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