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Thread: Long time reader, First time poster

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Long time reader, First time poster

    Happy Summer

    I had a pool on a house I moved into 15 years ago. We thought we would not use it, but used it a lot. One of our children is disabled (needs 24/7 care), so when we built a new house to better accommodate his needs, we added a pool. It is really pretty with a ramp from the deck, a lift for him to get in, and a lovely stamped concrete surround. That surround looks so much nicer than regular concrete, and was not "double the cost" as a few people told me it would be.

    The pool is as described in my sig, but here it is again. 18x40 vinyl liner. SWG. 3 step stairs at one end. We didn't want the diving board (but now wish we got it), but instead got a bump out 2 seat. I wish we got the diving board for my daughter and her friends to use, but also because they did a lousy job getting the sand and dirt firm under the seat. Now, only 4 seasons later, there are cracks in my surround that come from the seat area all the way out. Things settled and shifted and now cracks, even though the concrete person put in cuts to allow for movement.

    But, we love the pool. The reason for my posting and joining is a lot of frustration this season. My usual pool guy - the one who built the pool - is out of town for a family emergency for months. He recommended someone else, who actually was much more reliable, so it was actually a good thing except that I didn't call until much later than I usually open the pool. By the time we opened, it was already June, so any algae was starting the brew from the heat. It was a bad opening, but we got it down in less than a week to clear. I spent a lot of time washing the cartridge filter - at least 3x a day - which surprised the pool person who was doing a lot of the brushing and vacuuming. The water was pretty high because of the 8 feet of snow here in MA. He had a pump set up that he used for vacuuming to waste, which worked well.

    I have a person open, even though I think I could do the plumbing, because I can't do the cover. I have lost the cover in the water, so all the leaves drop in and it starts to weigh so much. I have the mesh cover now, and even that has fallen in on me without the leaves. I know there is a secret, and I will figure it out one year before I am too old to handle the weight!

    So the pool was looking good, but the filter was not really moving water too much. I would clean it constantly and it would help some what. At this point, I was going on vacation in Newport, RI for a week, but coming back on Sunday for the afternoon to stay with my son between caregivers. He stayed home to go to school, and we were only 1.5 hours away, so it worked out well. Anyway, when I came back, the pool was turning green after only 2 days. I usually can go 10 days on the SWG and timer and come back reasonably the same. I didn't have a kit but did see the pump not moving water. I just decided that we were away, and I didn't want to burn out the pump (finally turned off 24/7 to a timer). I ordered a new set of expensive cartridges from Amazon, and turned off everything. I knew I would have to start over from green when I returned on Friday, but I was not able to do anything without the cartridge anyway. Why risk the pump working hard to not move water.

    So I came back to the swamp. I found a HTH 6-way kit at Walmart and bought it with a lot of granular shock. I also found they now sell Morton Pool Salt for less than $6, and every pool store I have bought from charges $13-$15. I am glad I found that price! My new test kit also told me I had no CYA, which is probably another reason the pool turned green after opening too - mostly the bad cartridge though. It took a few days, but I cleaned it out.

    I have to mentioned the vast improvement from the new cartridges. I don't remember them every working this well even 4 years ago at install. The water is coming out on the stairs enough to cause waves. The return on the deep end ripples the water at least r feet out. Something else worth the money.

    The water was now clear, had the right amount of salt, new cartridge. So I checked the CYA - it was 0! I added 4x 4 pounds, but may not have waited long enough between additions before adding more. It is now at least 80, but I ran out of test solutions and just ordered the suggested kit online. The chlorine level is high - at least 5, and I have fooled around with the SWG settings and timer to try to get chlorine in line.

    Just as I was making progress with that. I found a leak I wasn't sure at first, bu the water was at 2 inches on top step, then just about even the next day, then a bit below the next, then we were sucking air in the skimmers. I read here to plug everything, which I did. Of course, when I went to take out the eyeball on the stairs, it came apart. I was working on getting the threaded part out, when the entire return unscrewed from the wall! I was able to get it back in place enough, but I had to call someone for help. He did a better job than I did screwing it back together, since I dislodged something enough to make it crooked. We sealed with silicone, but he wanted to dig up the concrete since it seems something may still be wrong behind the stairs. Rocks and sand around the pool were falling in when I was trying to put it back together - that is how much I messed it up.

    I just added the 10 inches of water yesterday, and now my pool is green. I thought it was just the not great town water and that I hadn't run the filter in 5 days waiting on the leak to settle. Although the water was clear the entire time, and the CL level was always acceptable, I figured, the pump on must have stirred up algae when water mixed. So, I added shock. After reading here, I am now sure that I made it worse by getting the copper from the town water reacting with my water. Boo! the water is clear, but a green look. It is definitely different that swamp looking, but I panicked and thought it was going swamp on me again and I added shock.

    I now am worried about a few things, which I will go to other threads to read about.
    1. Is my leak really that return on the stairs? I think I made that problem, although that is were the leak stopped. I am convinced it is somewhere else, but we'll see.
    2. How to remove the green. I may take water to a pool place to check for metal, but I know if I come in predisposed to looking for it, they will find it!

    Thanks for reading. This has been therapy for me.

    right now CL > 10 (brighter yellow then the kit, and diluted water)
    ph 7.5
    ALK 60
    Salt - 2900 - after leak I need to buy some today
    hardness 0
    CYA - last check was 80, but should be lower now. Waiting on new kit for more chemicals.
    18 x 40 Vinyl SWG inground. Bump-out seat for 2. 2 skimmers, 2 returns on stairs, return on end, 2 returns on seat
    AQUA Rite SWG - STA-RITE System 3 Cartridge Filter - Haywood Filter

    from MA - go Bruins

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Swampwoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Re: Long time reader, First time poster

    Welcome to TFP.
    I'm sure you'll get better control once your new kit arrives.

    In the mean time, can you post a pic of the water?

    With metals, its generally a good plan to try to identify the source in order to know the best approach for treatment. Its also good to get a bead on the level, so this is one instance where we suggest the pool store testing (but ignore the rest of the results and trust your new kit instead.)

    However, I don't know that you'll get a reading once the metal, eg copper or iron, has been oxidized -- and its the oxidization that causes the tint.

    You coud use one of the two recommended sequestrants, jack's Magic or Metal Magic, to sequester the metal, which may clear the tint.

    If its at a high level and you know that you've added a product with copper in it, you might wish to do a partial drain to dilute it since you also will not be adding any more of such products if you're going to follow TFP methods.

    So you might wish to also post a list of products you've added, and check with your water company on their test levels for metals.

    In the meant time, your filter should so clear some of it out.
    In ground vinyl Grecian, 24k gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, VGreen VSP 165, Hayward SWG, Raypak NG 265k heater, dolphin m4.
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    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Re: Long time reader, First time poster

    Well the green tinge went away in about 24 hours. Maybe it was just the start of a new swamp that was caught on time. I guess the metals could have been filtered out too. I am glad it isn't a huge problem.

    But, overnight, my leak is back. I thought I lost a half-one inch Fri-Sat, and now it is definitely the same loss Sat night. I am filling about an inch right now, just so we can use it today with the filtering. It is very hot out today, so tonight I will plug everything up again, and also do a bucket test and see where we are in the morning.

    The return on the stairs seems solid, but if there is an issue with the pipe going there, that will be trouble. I will look on other threads to see if there is anything to note about losing water overnight. Maybe I just didn't notice during the day when we were out there with everything running. I thought I read that if it leaks without the pump running (overnight), that means it is on the suction side? Of course, the leak level was at that return pipe, which is also an inch or so below the skimmer level.

    Going to have a good day swimming before dealing with this tonight.
    18 x 40 Vinyl SWG inground. Bump-out seat for 2. 2 skimmers, 2 returns on stairs, return on end, 2 returns on seat
    AQUA Rite SWG - STA-RITE System 3 Cartridge Filter - Haywood Filter

    from MA - go Bruins

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Long time reader, First time poster

    Welcome to TFP!

    Here is an article from Pool school that might be helpful, Pool School - Leak Detection

    I think your green tint was just tap water green. Tap water is surprisingly green and usually clears up in a couple of days. I wouldn't worry about that or metals right now. We can deal with that later after you get your leak under control and your water chemistry under control.

    From your short explanation it seems to me that your pool has been walking a fine line for a while of not enough chlorine, not enough CYA and not enough circulation at various times that allowed it to turn green from time to time.

    It is important to maintain chlorine at or slightly above target level for your CYA at all times, Chlorine CYA Chart. It is also important to maintain your CYA at least monthly.

    Having low CYA probably caused the sun to consume your FC faster leaving it low in the afternoon. Having low FC on days when the pump wasn't running probably caused bacteria to consume some of your CYA.

    I often use bleach to supplement my SWG to help maintain FC level. When you are going out of town add bleach to raise FC to 10, 15 oe 20 ppm depending on how long you will be gone. We swim a lot every day and keep our FC above target at all times and usually around 9 with cya of 70. It is safe to swim with FC up to shock level.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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