View Full Version : Can't get a reading for CH level.

05-22-2006, 07:29 PM
Had our 16 x 32 IG pool opened on 4 days ago. Since opening, I have added three 1 1/2 gal jugs of clorox, 6 bags of super shock, loaded the skimmers w/biogard chlorine sticks; thats all in additon to the chemicals that came with the start up kit that were added by the pool opening service. I STILL can't get any reading for CH. The rest of the stick seems to register o.k. The water is still very cloudy. Can't see bottom. HELP. I'm at my wits end.


05-22-2006, 08:34 PM
If by CH you mean Chlorine, you're probably not getting a reading because you have no stabilizer in your water, and the "goo" in the water and the sun are just eating up all your chlorine. Get a drop-based kit, run a set of test numbers for Cl, pH, TA, CA, and CYA, and post them here along with info on what type of finish your pool has and what exactly (ingredient names, not just "shock") your pool opening service added to your pool. Then we can get you headed in the direction of clear water.

Welcome to the forum!


05-23-2006, 07:57 AM
Thank you Janet, will get a kit as soon as I leave work today and send you the numbers.


05-23-2006, 08:11 AM
One more thing Janet, what is stabilizer? And yes, by CH I meant chlorine.
I do have a bottle of "clarifier" left from the pool opening kit, would that be it?

It is still very cool in NY. We live out on the East end of L.I. so I'm hoping to get the water clear and warmed up before mid June when the warm weather rolls in!

05-23-2006, 10:26 AM
Stabilizer is also called conditioner - it is used to raise the cya in your water which keeps the chlorine from breaking down in sunshine.

Clarifier is not stabilizer.

You will have to post your numbers, don't put anything else in the pool until you see where the water is chemically.

Welcome to the forum!

05-23-2006, 10:28 AM
Stabilizer is another name for CYA (or conditioner). It basically keeps the sun from burning off all of the clorine during the day. You want to be between 30-50ppm.

No, the clarifier is not the same thing. A clarifier helps to bind really fine particles into larger ones so your filter can catch them. From what I have been reading on the forum the clarifiers are generally not necessary for normal pool maintenance - but I am no expert :)

05-23-2006, 07:39 PM
O.K. Got the drop test kits. Actually, purchased the 1st one at Walmart,had to return it because there was something wrong w/the reagents particularly with the CYA test. Called HTH and they said to return it to the store. Purchased an Aqua Chem 6 way kit at KMart and here are the results.

First, our pool is an 18 x 32 IG vinyl liner. Not sure what the ingredients were in the pool start up kit. We provided it for the service. It was an HTH start up kit. The only thing that wasn't added was the clarifier.

Here are my numbers. Hope I did it right.

CI/BR = 3 - 6 TA = 170 ppm CA 20+ PH 7.2

The 6 tests in the kit are:
Chlorine, Total Ative Bromine, pH test, Total Alkalinity, Water Hardness and Stabilizer test.

Hope this help with a diagnosis.

Thank you all.

05-23-2006, 09:57 PM
Okay, first you don't have any Bromine in your water, so ignore that scale. Cl is 3, that's fine. TA of 170 is a tad high, but no big deal. pH 7.2, that's fine, too. Ca doesn't matter in a vinyl pool. Stabilizer is the same as CYA, and that's the result I need to help figure out what your Cl problem is. Can you run that one?


05-24-2006, 08:46 AM

The stablizer was the 20+. Is that the one w/the black dot? That's what the kit said is the "stabilizer" test. Am I wrong? Thank you.

Carole (winwillie)

05-25-2006, 09:57 AM
Checked around the forum and noted that my stabilizer reading of -20 was actually none at all. So I went ahead, after backwashing the filter, and added a little over 2 lbs of stabilizer for my 20,000 gal pool as per instructions on the container. Didn't want to add the full 4 pounds as I don't want to overcorrect. I followed a 1/2 hour later w/ 4.25 gal of chlorox bleach.
Still no reading for Clorine. Am I expecting too much too soon? Should I add more bleach?
I am a little anxious about this as we are leaving on Sat for 3 days. Should I continue to leave the filter on 24/7 while we are away? The water isn't green, but still cloudy. How about clarifier? Would it help as well?

Appreciate all your input very much.

05-25-2006, 12:12 PM
I would bring my chlorine level up to shock, and keep it there, by testing 3x a day and bring the chlorine level back to shock each time. It can take a week for the cya to show up. Don't backwash while the cya is dissolving. Keep the pump running 24/7 now. You can get a floating puck basket to hold pucks while you are away - but I would raise my ph up to 7.4 - 7.6 first, because the pucks will bring your ph down. The pucks are stabilized, so they will also add cya to the pool, that's one reason everyone here likes to use bleach. It would be great if you have a neighbor to check on the pool while you are away, but if not don't worry, the pucks will add chlorine while you are gone.

05-25-2006, 01:18 PM
Unless you diluted the stabilizer in very hot water - you will likely need to wait a while to get any effect from it. Stabilizer (grainular) takes a long time to dissolve (a few days if you poured it into your skimmer)

Also - if you added the stabilizer to the skimmer - be sure to NOT backwash for a few days, or you'll be backwashing the undissolved grainular stabilizer out of the filter.

Keep your Cl level high for a while, and run your filter 24 hours a day until the water is clear. It will take a few days to filter out all the dead algae. I'm assuming your 'cloudiness' is not a dark green cloudiness, but rather a whitish color. If it's whitish (maybe very light blue, or very light green tinted) then you have killed the algae, and now just need to filter it out.

The only quick fix is a clarifier or flock treatment for your water to help the dead algae settle to the bottom to be vacuumed out - however I don't recommend it - the filter will get it all in a matter of a few days.

05-25-2006, 03:06 PM
The CYA will take nearly a week to dissolve all the way. So don't test it until next week.

05-25-2006, 04:33 PM
Had no idea the CYA read may not show for almost a week! Boy, I have alot to learn......Added more Chlorox another gallon & 1/2 container. STILL no reading. I can smell the chlorine so I know it's there! I do have some sticks in my skimmer. (Biogard) I am leaving my filter on 24/7 as you all recommended.
My water is cloudy, but NOT green cloudy, so I'm assuming I'm pretty good on algae. How do I raise the Ph? One of the posts suggested that if I'm away for the weekend, I might want to raise Ph before adding sticks while I'm away.
Don't know if I should be adding more chlorine.

Thank you ALL! We are really trying to learn more so we can enjoy our pool for less $$ and less stress.

18 x 32 IG
Long Island, NY

05-26-2006, 06:31 PM
If you're smelling chlorine, then you definitely need to add more--what you're smelling are the chloramines, which are produced when "goo" is being broken down in your pool by the chlorine.

To raise pH, get a box of 20 Mule Team Borax from the laundry aisle at the grocery store and add it, slowly, through your skimmer.