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Thread: Vacation Disaster

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    Vacation Disaster

    Returned from vacation to find that the pool pump and filter had not been running for nearly four days. Now the pool is cloudy and seems to have algae growth. What is my best course of action. We work with a pool company, and we will be able to have them help tomorrow (closed over the holiday weekend), but is there anything I can do in the meantime? Thanks!


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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Do you have a test kit? If so please report a set of current test results. Did you have a timer fail or was there a problem with the pump itself?
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    I got it tested today at Leslie's (I know not my best plan...but all others closed today). We do not have a test kit yet as we have a professional pool company come once a week.
    CH 180
    CYA 100
    TA 60
    pH 7.7
    Phosphates 400

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    Ok, well if you want to believe in the quality of Leslie's pool water testing, how much stuff did they want to sell you for phosphates that aren't even a problem, did they explain to you that your CYA may very well be over 100 but their test will only read that high, not sure if your CH is even needed because we don't have your pool details, and they failed to provide you with any chlorine or combined chloramines levels. <shrug>

    Get a TF-100 pool test kit from the link in my signature and tell us your results so we can advise better. Save a TON of money on the pool guy who probably contributed to that high CYA level... Pool care is EASY once you learn what everything means. Honest!!
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    The "professional" pool company is ding you no favors. With "once a week" pool care they have to use pucks and shock, both of which are almost half stabilizer/CYA.

    Leslie's is showing 100 on the CYA test and 100 is the limit of the CYA test - so at this level we are unsure if it is 100 or some number above 100. At this point I would recommend at least a 33% water exchange to get the CYA down. For vinyl lined pools leave at least one foot of water in the shallow end to keep from floating the liner and all pool owners are cautioned that in areas with a high water table lowering the water too much can “float” the pool out of the ground.

    Mixing pool store advice/testing with TFP methods is just another recipe for disaster. So, either wait for your pool company to fix the problems or take control yourself. There is no magic answer we are going to be able to give you to fix it.

    If you want to take control, order a TF100 and at least include the XL option. That will give you what you need while you are clearing the pool, and probably enough reagents for a couple of years normal use.

    The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.

    I also have the SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. They speed testing and accuracy.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    They got us for about $100! We are going to do nothing and wait for the pool company's advice tomorrow am. Thank you very much for your advice!! How long does this problem usually take to correct? Can we be swimming anytime soon?
    20,000 Gallon Concrete Pool, Sand Filter, Hayword Pump

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    epro05's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    Your professional pool company has gotten you into a very bad place, assuming your CYA of 100 is correct. Why you want more advice from them is hard to understand.

    Without FC and CC readings, and without an indication that you are are interested in the methods here, no one here is going to recommend much more.
    27,500 gallon in ground gunite/plaster (1995). Attached Spa with fountain, spillway, and 2 lion heads streaming into the pool. Hayward pump and AO Smith UST1152 1.5 hp motor (single speed). Hayward 60 sq ft DE Filter (Model DE-6000). Kreepy Krauly cleaner.

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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    Please understand that WE left the pump off by accident, not our pool company. The FAC reading was 5. We are very new to owning a pool and I was just looking to see if there is anything I can do to help the situation in the meantime.
    20,000 Gallon Concrete Pool, Sand Filter, Hayword Pump

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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    If your pool went to algae so quickly it might mean that you were right on the edge of what your CYA/chlorine levels could handle (see this link: Chlorine/CYA Chart). So the minute you had less than ideal chlorine amounts with respect to the CYA in your pool, the algae took over.

    I think what you do now depends on if you are going to deal with the pool yourself (testing/adding chlorine, etc) or if you are going to keep going with the pool company. If you decide to do it yourself you should get a good test kit and read up on pool water chemistry (sounds confusing, but it's fairly straightforward: stuff grows and water gets cloudy if your chlorine levels aren't adequate!). If you are waiting for the pool company, you might want to have them come to double check things when you are on vacation (and be prepaid to spend when things don't go as planned!).

    Good luck!
    28 ft round ABG with ~6ft deep end, approx. 20,000 gal, 2 spd 2 HP pump, sand filter

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    epro05's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    I glad you found this site. The methods taught here work extremely well if you are open to learning and maintaining it yourself, and can most likely save you money vs the pool company. Letting CYA get to 100+ is not a good thing as it requires high level of FC to avoid algae. Many pool companies and pool stores do not seem to have the knowledge that you'll find on this site.

    I'll suggest you read the "Pool School" section which you'll see on the TFP main page. And if you decide you want to pursue the methods here, ask all the questions you want and the folks here will guide you through everything.
    27,500 gallon in ground gunite/plaster (1995). Attached Spa with fountain, spillway, and 2 lion heads streaming into the pool. Hayward pump and AO Smith UST1152 1.5 hp motor (single speed). Hayward 60 sq ft DE Filter (Model DE-6000). Kreepy Krauly cleaner.

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    Re: Vacation Disaster

    Thank you very much for your kindness. I ordered the test kit that others recommended. We will also be having someone from the pool company (not family) check the pool when we are away more often. Thanks again.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Reading "Pool School" now! Thanks again.
    20,000 Gallon Concrete Pool, Sand Filter, Hayword Pump

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