Hello, I am a new above ground pool owner and am having trouble with my levels. I ran out of test strips at the end of pool season and now can’t buy any since it is seasonal so I bought an OTO test kit. The kit was showing a dark yellow for total chlorine and what seems like a dark red for ph. I had run out of shock and recently got some so I used a dose to try and lower the total chlorine. It has now been 2 days since the shock with the filter running all day, pool uncovered with a large amount of sunlight during the day and it is now orange instead of dark yellow. I am stumped on how to lower my levels and am thinking it might be easier to drain it, clean the dirt at the bottom and refill. Even though it is end of summer we still have a month or two of weather in the 90’s. Any advice would be appreciated.


It is important that you get your pH balanced as this will also assist in helping your chlorine to be more active and work better to get your pool cleaned up. I am not sure if it is just the levels that are off or if you are having other water issues (discoloration, algae, etc.). However, if it is just the levels, you should be able to get it balanced back out without draining and refilling the water. Lower the pH using a dry acid and then retest everything else. Since you are using OTO there is no way to tell how much of the chlorine is "free available chlorine" and therefore you may need to keep adding until any water problems have cleared up. Do not keep adding chlorine until your pH is properly balanced.