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Thread: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

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    Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Pool owner going on two years now and just starting to understand water chemistry thanks to this site. Admittedly, we have slacked on brushing the last two weeks with a newborn at home, but it seems like the walls have turned green within the last couple of days. Had time to scrub the entire pool tonight by hand as far down as I could reach and then the brush on the extended pole after that. Looks much better, but obviously the water is no longer clear. I thought I needed to SLAM, but by CC levels are less than 0.5ppm. Results from tonight's water testing:

    PH = 7.7
    FC = 2.5
    CC = <0.5
    TA = 110
    CH = 300
    CYA = 30

    Short history that may be relevant. Drained pool in May for an acid wash prior to opening (suspected scaling resulting from what pool store tests indicated absurdly high levels of CH, likely a result of the prior owner and me initially relying on their suggestions to add Calcium Hardness increaser and shock every other week). Surface looked great after the acid wash and we filled pool from hose with city water. Water has been crystal clear up until earlier this week, but I do need to add 16-32 oz of Muriatic Acid each week. For chlorine I have been using a combination of trichlor tabs (been trying to slowly bring up CYA levels) and liquid bleach. I've been running the pump at least 7am to 7pm. Here are my prior two tests since receiving my TF 100 test kit earlier this month.


    July 9th:
    PH = 7.8
    FC = 1.5
    CC = 0
    TA = 100
    CH = 250
    CYA = 20

    July 4th:
    PH = 7.2
    FC = 7.0
    CC = <0.5
    TA = 110
    CH = 250
    CYA = 20

    Based on tonight's testing, I added 16 oz of muriatic acid to bring the PH down below 7.5 in the event I do need to SLAM and left the pump running overnight. I know my Chlorine levels are low, so was going to add the liquid bleach tomorrow after giving tonight's acid the night to mix in to bring my FC up to 4. What should I do after that? Just maintain my FC level at or around 4ppm or should I SLAM? Help please!
    28,000 gallon in-ground freeform plaster pool with attached built-in spa
    Sta-Rite DuraGlass single speed 1HP pump - P2RA5E (Age Unknown)
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    kevin11's Avatar
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Congratulations on the newborn! If your walls have turned green and the water is not clear, then sounds like you need to slam the pool. You can do an OCLT test and see how much fc you are losing at night. If you lose more than 1.0ppm then you will have to slam.
    18x36 IG, Vinyl, 20K Gal., Sand Filter, 1HP pool pump, 3/4HP slide pump, Taylor k-2006.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    If you have visible algae, then you need to follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process ... no point in doing the OCLT.

    You can certainly have algae without CCs in the water ... there is a reason there are 3 separate criteria you need to pass to know when the SLAM process is complete.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    I had a feeling. Thanks for confirming. Started the SLAM process a few hours ago bringing my FC up to 12 with bleach (calculated using Pool Math) and will keep tabs on the FC levels a few times a day. Hopefully I caught the problem early enough to resolve fairly quickly so we can get the pool back to how it was two weeks ago.
    28,000 gallon in-ground freeform plaster pool with attached built-in spa
    Sta-Rite DuraGlass single speed 1HP pump - P2RA5E (Age Unknown)
    Pentair Tagelus 60d ClearPro sand filter (May 2016)
    Polaris PB4-60 booster pump (June 2014) for Polaris 280 (Age Unknown)
    Raypak propane heater (Age Unknown)

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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin11 View Post
    Congratulations on the newborn!
    Thanks! Its our second one, so with the other little one, a crazy yard to maintain and the pool, oh yeah and a full time job, the past couple of weeks have been fun. This site has been a life saver though. I just wish I had discovered when I acquired the pool nearly two years ago!
    28,000 gallon in-ground freeform plaster pool with attached built-in spa
    Sta-Rite DuraGlass single speed 1HP pump - P2RA5E (Age Unknown)
    Pentair Tagelus 60d ClearPro sand filter (May 2016)
    Polaris PB4-60 booster pump (June 2014) for Polaris 280 (Age Unknown)
    Raypak propane heater (Age Unknown)

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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    First let me say, please don't yell at me as I have already done so myself along with a few kicks. I started my SLAM the morning of July 16 and by July 18, my water was clear, I had zero CC, and my OCLT showed less than 1ppm loss for two nights in a row. So on the evening of July 18 (Saturday), I decided to go ahead and add PhosFree Extra Strength given my last pool store test before I found religion here at TFP showed phosphate levels at 2,500. I know that if I maintain my FC at the appropriate levels then algae would not be a problem, but a few threads here seemed to suggest that a phosphate remover without metals would cause no harm.

    Anyhow, following the manufacturer’s instructions (http://naturalchemistry.com/en/pool-spa/products/detail/phosfree-extra-strength/), I added 48 oz. to the skimmer with the pump running. My water immediately clouded and my filter pressure shot above 20psi. I again, followed the instructions doing a quick backwash to lower the pressure. The morning of July 19 the pressure was up again, my water remained somewhat cloudy and grey dust (dead algae I presume) reappeared on the pool floor. As I result, I continued SLAMing keeping by FC at or above 12ppm and sweeping multiple times a day. Last night and this morning I repeated the steps to lower the filter pressure, sweep and add chlorine. This morning the grey dust on the bottom appeared to be slightly less, but the water wasn't really sparkling clear. Instructions say not to do a full backwash for 48 hours, which will be this evening and then add the remaining 48 oz. of PhosFree. I'm inclined to not repeat the process, but instead, just do a full backwash tonight and keeping SLAMing until the pool is sparkling clear again. So a few questions:

    1. Anyone disagree with that approach and if so, do you have a better suggestion and/or have you had success using PhosFree or another similar product in the past that I should consider?

    2. I'm guessing there was some hidden algae, otherwise how else did the dead algae appear on the bottom after I had just completed the SLAM and had not yet let the FC drift back down?

    3. Am I missing anything here that I need to be considering?
    Last edited by drobbva; 07-20-2015 at 02:18 PM. Reason: wrong link

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    TFP method all the way! I am going to post a link to what we use for our pools. You should be able to see what you worried about that we do not do. (hint-------it starts with a p)

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    I would call this a "life lesson). Learn from it and move on. You know what to do (or not do in this case) to get your pool back to clear!

    HUGS! It will get better!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    You are right that there is probably hidden algae. If you're going to take care of your pool the TFP way, then you need to continue your SLAM with bleach only
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    TFP method all the way! I am going to post a link to what we use for our pools. You should be able to see what you worried about that we do not do. (hint-------it starts with a p)

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    I know, I know. I could have cried after I did it. It felt like cheating on a diet....sounded like a good idea at the time but I knew it was wrong!

    Flushed the filter clean with a good backwash, recharged it and replaced the chlorine lost during the sunlight today (about 3ppm) with container of bleach. Hoping I'm back on track in a day or so to try the OCLT again.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Reread the instructions for phosfree.

    For DE & Cartridge Filters: Do not add more than 1.5L (48oz) at a time. If more than 1.5L (48oz) is needed to treat, be sure to clean or backwash the filter between treatments.

    Important: Algae must be treated prior to testing and lowering phosphates. Chlorine must be under 5ppm before testing phosphates.
    Oops. That's why you developed milky water. Given time, it will clear up. Just don't add any more.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    We never recommend phos free. Never. Those numbers do not matter one bit when it comes down to chemistry and keeping the FC in line with the CYA levels. It's a waste of time and money and a head ache as you can see.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Reread the instructions for phosfree.

    Oops. That's why you developed milky water. Given time, it will clear up. Just don't add any more.
    I had passed all three tests for completing the SLAM so there was no visible algae (even the grey dust on the bottom). The algae reappeared the morning after I started the phosfree treatment. It had been gone for 24 hours. Instructions only saying testing for phosphates has to be below 5ppm, not for using phosfree. Hence my reason for suspecting hidden algae, which appears to be dissipating. Anyhow, lesson learned leave phosfree to the other suckers. If I had any enemies that had a pool I might sell them the remainder of the bottle, sit back and get a good chuckle.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    AND don't tell your enemies about TFP! LOL

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    So I'm back on track after clearing out the PhosFree last night. Continued my SLAM overnight and through today. This morning the water was by no means clear and when I brushed there was a good bit of "dust" that came up off the bottom, but not nearly the amount that was there Sunday morning. I was fortunate and didn't lose much FC today (only slipped 1ppm below my target shock level of 12ppm). I added a little more bleach tonight to bring my FC back above 12ppm and brushed again. There was substantially less "dust" tonight when brushing.

    My question is....is this dust dead algae or dirt/organic matter that has fallen into the pool? Our yard had dozens of old trees surrounding the pool and it is a constant battle to trim them back and keep the pool clear. Regardless, I plan on continuing to SLAM because the water isn't yet 100% clear, just curious if I should expect this "dust" to completely go away. To be clear, its not visible until I actually brush, then you can see it kick up from the bottom.

    Thanks for all of the help/advice/encouragement. I have been doing a lot of reading the last two weeks, but its nice to be able to share specifics and get feedback to my situation as it unfolds.
    28,000 gallon in-ground freeform plaster pool with attached built-in spa
    Sta-Rite DuraGlass single speed 1HP pump - P2RA5E (Age Unknown)
    Pentair Tagelus 60d ClearPro sand filter (May 2016)
    Polaris PB4-60 booster pump (June 2014) for Polaris 280 (Age Unknown)
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by drobbva View Post
    So I'm back on track after clearing out the PhosFree last night. Continued my SLAM overnight and through today. This morning the water was by no means clear and when I brushed there was a good bit of "dust" that came up off the bottom, but not nearly the amount that was there Sunday morning. I was fortunate and didn't lose much FC today (only slipped 1ppm below my target shock level of 12ppm). I added a little more bleach tonight to bring my FC back above 12ppm and brushed again. There was substantially less "dust" tonight when brushing.

    My question is....is this dust dead algae or dirt/organic matter that has fallen into the pool? Our yard had dozens of old trees surrounding the pool and it is a constant battle to trim them back and keep the pool clear. Regardless, I plan on continuing to SLAM because the water isn't yet 100% clear, just curious if I should expect this "dust" to completely go away. To be clear, its not visible until I actually brush, then you can see it kick up from the bottom.

    Thanks for all of the help/advice/encouragement. I have been doing a lot of reading the last two weeks, but its nice to be able to share specifics and get feedback to my situation as it unfolds.
    I just assumed mine was dead algae, I killed a lot of it at once ... two times in a few weeks. I also used the "First Aid" product though, which seems to be a common theme as well.

    At some point after my CYA got to a decent level (from 0 to 30) which allowed me to keep my Chlorine high, and I added first aid, I woke up to a crystal clear pool with all the "dust" settled into different locations that looked like "puddles". I can either attribute this to the First Aid product, which I did use, or to the fact that I finally had enough chlorine. I can't really say.

    Sweeping up these puddles caused the pool to look just as cloudy as it had been prior to the settling.

    Not sure what kind of filter you have. I have cartridges and basically had to get those dust puddles into my filter via vacuum hose to get rid of it via filter cleaning. If you have sand or DE even better, you can vacuum it out to waste and bypass it going into your filter.
    Odd shaped "sport" style pool, in-ground, plaster. ~13-15k (hard to get accurate estimate due to shape). Cartridge filters (hayward). SWG.
    Taylor K-1005 Test Kit

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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by rolandv View Post
    At some point after my CYA got to a decent level (from 0 to 30) which allowed me to keep my Chlorine high, and I added first aid, I woke up to a crystal clear pool with all the "dust" settled into different locations that looked like "puddles". I can either attribute this to the First Aid product, which I did use, or to the fact that I finally had enough chlorine. I can't really say.
    I plan to avoid use of anything not on this list.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolandv View Post
    Not sure what kind of filter you have. I have cartridges and basically had to get those dust puddles into my filter via vacuum hose to get rid of it via filter cleaning. If you have sand or DE even better, you can vacuum it out to waste and bypass it going into your filter.
    I have a DE filter, but no vacuum.
    28,000 gallon in-ground freeform plaster pool with attached built-in spa
    Sta-Rite DuraGlass single speed 1HP pump - P2RA5E (Age Unknown)
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    It is a high probability that most of what you see i dead algae. That will disappear as your SLAM is completed. With a lot of trees, you may always have some debris but not what you are seeing now.

    You do not have a manual vacuum? I would consider that an essential part of good pool maintenance. They are inexpensive and doing an occasional hands-on vacuuming gives you a better "feel" for your pool.

    Meanwhile, you should be running that auto-vac as much as you can run it. Vacuuming, manual or auto is a mandatory part of the SLAM.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Green Walls / Perplexed By Test Results - Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    It is a high probability that most of what you see i dead algae. That will disappear as your SLAM is completed. With a lot of trees, you may always have some debris but not what you are seeing now.

    You do not have a manual vacuum? I would consider that an essential part of good pool maintenance. They are inexpensive and doing an occasional hands-on vacuuming gives you a better "feel" for your pool.

    Meanwhile, you should be running that auto-vac as much as you can run it. Vacuuming, manual or auto is a mandatory part of the SLAM.
    No I do not have a manual vacuum. Was not with the house when we moved in and the prior owners left pretty much everything. Neither one of the pool "professionals" we've hired to help us get it up and running and then close and open the past two seasons has mentioned a manual vacuum either. There used to be an attachment that hooked into the bottom of the skimmer our most recent pool guy mentioned was an adapter for a vacuum but said it was not a part I needed. I'll head over to the equipment forum and get up to speed on that. In the meantime, I have been running the auto vac in the mornings and evenings and then it is always set to run on a timer about 2 hours mid day.

    I'm continuing my SLAM. I am worried about the FC loss I experienced today (about 4ppm). Although the amount of "dust" on the bottom when I sweep continues to diminish. I juiced it back up to 12ppm tonight and the water is looking great. Hoping I can try an OCLT in the morning, but expect to continue to have some "dust" so will continue the SLAM until that clears up. Here are a couple of pics (those are some floating leaves in the second pic that I hadn't yet scooped out with the leaf rake) to help give a sense of what I am looking at.


    Pool Stairs.jpgPool Deep.jpg
    28,000 gallon in-ground freeform plaster pool with attached built-in spa
    Sta-Rite DuraGlass single speed 1HP pump - P2RA5E (Age Unknown)
    Pentair Tagelus 60d ClearPro sand filter (May 2016)
    Polaris PB4-60 booster pump (June 2014) for Polaris 280 (Age Unknown)
    Raypak propane heater (Age Unknown)

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