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Thread: Green Pool - nothing is working!

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    Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Hi!
    We have a 12,000 gallon, oval shaped, above ground pool with a salt water generator. We moved into this house last year and have yet to have a crystal clear pool. After trying everything, (and spending thousands) we're now going to try the BBB method - problem is, all our levels seems to be right when I test everything - yet the pool remains green. Can anyone suggest what we can do?

    A little quick backstory- last week the pool was clear, but with a layer of algae on the floor. We had the filter off for a day or so, so obviously it settled out. The filter was off because we were in the process of emptying the sand tank and refilling it with new sand. During the process, we found the center column was cracked, which was most likely causing our problems for the past year. It was replaced, new sand was put in, and once we turned the pool on, it must have kicked up all that algae and now the water is a swamp! I brought the water to the local pool store to be tested, and they said all the numbers I had found were right - the levels are all correct. I added algaecide, but that has not done anything. I turned the filter off yesterday to try to let it settle, figuring I'd vacuum it out once it settles, but nothing has happened in 24 hours.

    I will take any and all suggestions! Thank you!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    First off, Welcome to TFP!

    Here's my suggestion. Get out of the pool store, and take control of this yourself. All it takes is knowledge and a good test kit. All the knowledge and help you need is here on the forum. You have to know what's going on in the pool, and unfortunately the stores are usually wrong with the test results. This really is easy once you have a little know how and we will help you with that. Read around, and you'll find hundreds of success stories that began in a far worse place than you are in now, and the owners could not be happier. Good luck, and enjoy your time here!
    TFP Moderator
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Welcome to TFP! As Patrick said, we can help you help yourself! But it all starts with the right test kit. Please go here TFTestkits.net to review the TF-100 or Taylor K-2006. Either one of these kits will pay for itself MANY time over in what you've handed-over to the pool store. See all the links in our signatures as they will serve you with most of the info you need to get started.

    Post back if you have any questions or once you get one of the correct test kits. Welcome!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    I do have the test kit you mentioned- if I post all of my results, would you guys better be able to help?
    Thanks!

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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Yes. Please post numbers from a recommended test kit!
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Sure, give us some numbers and we can help you clear it up. Also, add your pool info to your signature as shown here, Pool School - Getting Started.
    TFP Moderator
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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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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Quote Originally Posted by SewIn2Disney View Post
    I do have the test kit you mentioned- if I post all of my results, would you guys better be able to help?
    Thanks!
    Absolutely!

    Please post results for:
    FC
    CC
    CYA
    pH
    TA
    CH

    It would also be helpful to list your pool details in your signature, see mine for an example.

    Welcome Aboard!!

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Thank you everyone! I've been reading this site for a few weeks now trying to figure it out on my own, but its just getting worse so I figured I'd turn to you for help!

    Test kit is TF-100 and here are the results:
    Free Chlorine - 1
    Total Chlorine - 1
    Salt - 3300ppm
    CH - 220
    CYA - 0
    TA - 100
    pH - 7.6
    Pho - 0

    Since that test I have added the remaining four bags of shock that I owned before deciding to switch over to the BBB method.
    The pool is murky green - I can see down about 2 steps on the ladder.
    We also have lots of little underwater bugs.
    *Note- I live in Texas - it has been over 100* for the past few days, so I know the sunlight is not helping.
    *Note- We do have a salt water generator (it came with the pool when we bought the house last summer), but I do not believe it is working properly.

    Any help on what we should do/add next would be greatly appreciated! We haven't been in our pool this summer!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Random observation- I see many of you are from Texas too! We just moved here and I was starting to think that a pool can't be clear in this Texas heat!
    12,000 gallon above ground pool - vinyl lining
    Salt Water Generator and Sand filter - unsure of brand/model as the stickers have worn off
    Refill pool with city water
    Pool test kit - TF 100

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Okay fellow Texan, here we go:
    - CYA needs to be increased ASAP. I would use Poolmath calculator and shoot for CYA of 30 in preparation for a SLAM. Later after the SLAM, you may increase the CYA based on our TX heat and sunshine. Your 4 bags of "shock" from the pool store may have increased CYA a little, but calculating for 30 should still be fine.
    - You can bring the PH down to 7.2 in preparation for the SLAM
    - Start your SLAM: Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain. Remember, with low CYA a lot of chlorine (FC) will just get burned away early during the daylight hours and reduce your SLAM effectiveness. Just stick with it.
    - TA and CH are fine; don't worry about phosphates

    - - - Updated - - -

    Remember to wait 30 min between adding chemicals, and leave the pump running to mix the products in your water.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    First and foremost, welcome aboard! You will find the folks here to be helpful and patient. We will help you get through this.

    Now that we have your test results, you're going to need to do some reading. The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry, Recommended Levels, Chlorine/CYA Chart, and SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain will get you started. You will be SLAMing your pool.

    As was previously mentioned, stay out of the pool store. Their tests are unreliable (the same water sample will often show different results back-to-back, IME) and their chemicals are EXPENSIVE (remember, they're salesmen, not experts...).

    Start stocking up on liquid bleach now. No one can tell you how much bleach or how long it will take to clear your pool -- every situation is a bit different. I've found Walmart's Great Value concentrated (8.25%) bleach to be, well, a great value. Unscented, regular old bleach (i.e., not "Easy Pour," "Splashless," etc.).

    The first thing we need to do is get your pH down to 7.2 with muriatic acid. Dry acid (i.e., pH Decreaser sold at Walmart) works, too. Then we will need to get some CYA ("stabilizer") in there, up to 30-40 ppm. Keep in mind, though, that granular CYA will not fully dissolve and show on tests for about a week, regardless of what the package says.
    25,000 gallon freeform gunnite/plaster, built in the 1970s/80s; Sta-Rite 9463004 575-lb. sand filter; Sta-Rite DuraGlas/Max-E-Glas (P2RA5F-125L) single-speed 1.5 HP pump, manufactured 12/1993 (1M93M).
    Helpful links: TFTestKits; Pool School; ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry; Chlorine/CYA Chart; PoolMath; SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    You CAN have a crystal clear pool anywhere - even in Texas. After your SLAM, and we get that water clear and balanced, you may later want to increase your CYA from the starting 30 ppm to somewhere around 50 or so to hold and protect chlorine longer. Some of us in these hot areas may go even higher as long as we never let the FC level drop below our target based on the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart. But we'll worry about that later. For now, we just need your CYA to build a little so you can do the SLAM. Make sure you read the Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain page real well so you know what to expect. Maybe start stocking-up on some bleach from Wal-Mart or HEB (generic is fine).
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    I want to clarify something I said earlier: While a CYA of 30 is ideal for a SLAM, you don't have to wait a week for it to fully register to begin. Just understand that with NO CYA (protection) in the water, a great majority of that FC (chlorine) will get lost to the sun during the day. You'll get the most benefit of bleach at night. For now, start your stabilizer in the pool with a target of 30. But until it builds, use an FC level of 10 ppm as your SLAM FC level and press-on!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Quote Originally Posted by COBrien View Post
    First and foremost, welcome aboard! You will find the folks here to be helpful and patient. We will help you get through this.

    Now that we have your test results, you're going to need to do some reading. The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry, Recommended Levels, Chlorine/CYA Chart, and SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain will get you started. You will be SLAMing your pool.

    As was previously mentioned, stay out of the pool store. Their tests are unreliable (the same water sample will often show different results back-to-back, IME) and their chemicals are EXPENSIVE (remember, they're salesmen, not experts...).

    Start stocking up on liquid bleach now. No one can tell you how much bleach or how long it will take to clear your pool -- every situation is a bit different. I've found Walmart's Great Value concentrated (8.25%) bleach to be, well, a great value. Unscented, regular old bleach (i.e., not "Easy Pour," "Splashless," etc.).

    The first thing we need to do is get your pH down to 7.2 with muriatic acid. Dry acid (i.e., pH Decreaser sold at Walmart) works, too. Then we will need to get some CYA ("stabilizer") in there, up to 30-40 ppm. Keep in mind, though, that granular CYA will not fully dissolve and show on tests for about a week, regardless of what the package says.
    Two quick questions - when you say stock up, do you mean as in 4 or 5 bottles or 15-20 bottles of bleach? Sorry if it seems like a silly question!
    And second - I read with a salt water generator, you actually want the pH to be in the 7.8 range, which is why I added borax the other day to raise it. I can use baking soda to reduce it, correct?
    And last- I added a 2 lb bucket of stabilizer on Sunday/Monday (I put it in socks and put the sock in the skimmer to slowly dissolve). Is it possible that it is in the pool but not showing up at this point (on Wednesday)? Or should I add more?
    Thank you!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Okay fellow Texan, here we go:
    - CYA needs to be increased ASAP. I would use Poolmath calculator and shoot for CYA of 30 in preparation for a SLAM. Later after the SLAM, you may increase the CYA based on our TX heat and sunshine. Your 4 bags of "shock" from the pool store may have increased CYA a little, but calculating for 30 should still be fine.
    - You can bring the PH down to 7.2 in preparation for the SLAM
    - Start your SLAM: Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain. Remember, with low CYA a lot of chlorine (FC) will just get burned away early during the daylight hours and reduce your SLAM effectiveness. Just stick with it.
    - TA and CH are fine; don't worry about phosphates

    - - - Updated - - -

    Remember to wait 30 min between adding chemicals, and leave the pump running to mix the products in your water.
    So if I'm understanding correctly, its best to bring the pH down before adding the bleach? That will help the bleach work better I'm guessing?
    12,000 gallon above ground pool - vinyl lining
    Salt Water Generator and Sand filter - unsure of brand/model as the stickers have worn off
    Refill pool with city water
    Pool test kit - TF 100

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Oooh, glad you mentioned those things! First, the CYA may now be different based on what you added earlier. So use the Poolmath calculator to figure out how much your CYA "should" be based on how much you added. For example, if 2 lbs gets you to a CYA of 20, then you can still add more stabilizer to get you to a CYA of 30. But shoot for a target of 30 for now. Yes, it takes about a week to register on your tests.

    Bleach, depending upon the condition of your water, you may go through several gallons of bleach. You should probably buy at least 6-8 gallons for now to get started, then you'll know within a day or so how frequently to get more. Over the course of the SLAM, you may go through 10, 20 or more bottles. Just depends on the amount of algae and direct sunlight.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, acid first then the bleach. Ideally the PH to start a SLAM should be about 7.2. If it's a bit higher (7.3-7.5) you can press-on. But ideally the low end of the 7's. Wait 30 min after adding acid to confirm your PH reading then add the bleach. Acid and bleach are not friends. They do not play nice together.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Based on your pool size, the calculator told me that the 2 lbs of stabilizer you added earlier this week should get you to a CYA of 20. So you can add one more pound (16 oz) for an ultimate target of 30 ppm.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I've been using the pool math calculator for about 2 weeks now, but it and I are not friends.. yet lol.
    One last question before I head out to start working - Is there a walmart alternative to stabilizer that I can buy? Or do I need pool store specific stabilizer?
    12,000 gallon above ground pool - vinyl lining
    Salt Water Generator and Sand filter - unsure of brand/model as the stickers have worn off
    Refill pool with city water
    Pool test kit - TF 100

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Quote Originally Posted by SewIn2Disney View Post
    Two quick questions - when you say stock up, do you mean as in 4 or 5 bottles or 15-20 bottles of bleach? Sorry if it seems like a silly question!
    And second - I read with a salt water generator, you actually want the pH to be in the 7.8 range, which is why I added borax the other day to raise it. I can use baking soda to reduce it, correct?
    And last- I added a 2 lb bucket of stabilizer on Sunday/Monday (I put it in socks and put the sock in the skimmer to slowly dissolve). Is it possible that it is in the pool but not showing up at this point (on Wednesday)? Or should I add more?
    Thank you!
    I'll go with Texas Splash's recommendation and say 6-8 jugs of bleach will get you started. I ended up using more than 90 jugs for my SLAM, but I had much bigger problems which took longer to clear up.

    Baking soda increases Total Alkalinity and also raises pH slightly. The only thing that will lower pH is acid, be it muriatic acid or "dry acid," a.k.a. "pH Decreaser," "pH Down," etc. I have used the pH Decreaser from HTH (purchased at Walmart), and it works fine.

    I'll also defer to Texas Splash re: CYA/stabilizer.
    25,000 gallon freeform gunnite/plaster, built in the 1970s/80s; Sta-Rite 9463004 575-lb. sand filter; Sta-Rite DuraGlas/Max-E-Glas (P2RA5F-125L) single-speed 1.5 HP pump, manufactured 12/1993 (1M93M).
    Helpful links: TFTestKits; Pool School; ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry; Chlorine/CYA Chart; PoolMath; SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    I actually got my stabilizer at Wal-Mart from the pool section. HTH brand I believe. 4 lb container with a purple lid. About $15. On the container, the active ingredient should state, "Cyanuric Acid".
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    Off to walmart it is! Thanks so much!
    12,000 gallon above ground pool - vinyl lining
    Salt Water Generator and Sand filter - unsure of brand/model as the stickers have worn off
    Refill pool with city water
    Pool test kit - TF 100

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool - nothing is working!

    If Wal-Mart is out, you can check Lowes or Home Depot's pool section. Stabilizer . conditioner ... it's the same thing ...Cyanuric Acid.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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