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Thread: Completely lost three months in, please help

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    Completely lost three months in, please help

    Just started owning a 25,000 gallon pool this year. Tried to follow TFP method, but was having lots of trouble getting chlorine to stay in. Then I got mustard algae which I was warned I would probably encounter 1-2 times per season around here. I went to the pool store to get some copper-based algaecide (as the guy who gave me the pool orientation recommended) and the pool store guy convinced me to go with sodium bromide instead (somewhat ironically, he warned that the copper-based algaecide could turn the pool green if I wasn't careful) along with some quick shock aka Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione. So I added the bromide and quick shock and that seemed to help, but I still couldn't get chlorine to stick. I tried adding stabilizer to see if that would help, but it didn't. I was still having ongoing algae problems and complete lack of chlorine problems. I continued to use the quick shock and another 1.5 lbs of bromide. At the beginning of this week even the quick shock was having trouble controlling the algae.

    I figured I really needed to SLAM the pool, so I tested the CYA and it appeared to be over 100ppm (I realize now that Quick Shock was upping it). So I drained 40% of the pool, refilled, retested and CYA now seems to be at 30ppm or possibly even less, which was not what I had thought it would be by my calculations (was aiming for around 60ppm). I went ahead and tried to start SLAMing the pool with 6 gallons of 8.25% bleach yesterday and the next day I still wasn't registering any chlorine, and there was algae in the pool. I take it there must still be bromine in the pool? I have added about 3.5 pounds of it in the last six weeks or so. Between the bromine, cya, mustard algae, and failure to get any chlorine to stay in the pool, I'm at a loss what to do, please help.



    PH- 7.3
    FC- 0
    TA- 60
    CYA- 30 ppm
    Last edited by libertao; 07-16-2015 at 03:44 PM. Reason: c&p mistake

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    There, there, never fear TFP is here!

    You have had a very hard time of it for sure.

    May I ask how you are testing your water?

    Let me know and we can do one thing that will help us know what might be going on.

    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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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    whoa...slow down. wish you would have posted here before you went to the pool store and wasted a lot of money. that money would have probably paid for a test kit. what test kit are you using right now??

    the answer is bleach as you know. with a lot of visible algae, its going to eat thru it very fast. you have to test every 2 hours if you can for the first few days and keep adding more to get to the SLAM value. but first we need to make sure your CYA values are correct.

    but first promise no more algaecides, magic potions, etc and not more pool store visits!!

    we will get this fixed if you listen to the advice given, and not the bad advice you have been given so far. there is absolutely no reason to get mustard algae a few times a year, the pool store is clueless.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    1. Testing. How are you testing your water? You need a TF-100 from tftestkits.net or a Taylor K-2006 to properly test for CYA and the rest of your chemistry.

    2. Sodium bromide. Sodium bromide can be used to get rid of algae when you have very high CYA as the bromide strength is not affected by CYA in the water. However, you will have bromide in the pool for quite some time even after it's consumed by the algae or other waste. Eventually the bromide will dissipate but for a while you'll have a somewhat bromine pool that will likely have increased chlorine/bleach demand because bromine is consumed more quickly by sunlight than stabilized chlorine.

    3. The answer is bleach and more of it. You need to know an accurate CYA level, which a recommended home test will do and a pool store will not. Most pool store testing is awful and will only confuse you with inaccuracy and bad advice from the dolt behind the counter pushing shock, shock and more shock.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    Welcome aboard!

    As you've discovered, the pool store guys aren't quite as helpful as the folks at TFP... They are just salesmen, after all.

    Others have already covered it, but...

    1. Get a good test kit (TFTestKits link in my signature)

    2. Stock up on liquid bleach. 8-10 gallons will probably get you through the first day.

    3. Adding 6 gallons of bleach one time isn't enough. This problem didn't form overnight. It won't be fixed overnight, either.

    4. Your CYA level (assuming it's correct...) is fine to start a SLAM -- check the SLAM link in my signature.

    5. Get yourself a good test kit and post some complete results so we can help.

    FC
    CC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    CYA
    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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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement and advice. I do have a Taylor K-2006 kit I've been using all along, however, I was having difficulty with the CYA testing and only on the tests this week (the 100+ppm and ~30ppm readings) did I know that you are supposed to hold it the tube at waist-level and judge the dot's visibility based on a quick look, not a scrutinizing "I think I can barely make out the dot still." My understanding was that if FC is 0, CC is 0 -- is that not right? And I was told that calcium was irrelevant because I have a vinyl pool, is that not right either.

    So I take it I need to soldier on with the bleach to get through the bromide, get 20-30 gallons of bleach and try to SLAM again, testing the water throughout the day?

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    lefty51's Avatar
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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    Welcome to TFP , There's nothing I can add to what these fine folks have already told you. I can just echo what they have said, but......... I will anyway

    1- no more pool store testing and buying exotic chemicals
    2-A GOOD test kit is EVERYTHING. Best bang for the buck, TF100 (I would recommend the speedstir, it's a lifesaver when testing)
    3- Post your good test kit numbers and these folks will hold your hand through the entire process. (it's fool proof, I'm a living example of it )
    4- If at all possible, post pictures of your pool through the process, It helps them see what is happening to your pool and the progress it's making. (that's what they say at least, I think they just really like pictures )
    5- Take a deep breath and stock up on POP (pool owner patience), you are at the place where clean and sparkling pools come to live !
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    Libertao,
    yes. Keep slamming. That is the answer. Slamming is not a 1 time thing. The 'm' in SLAM means Maintain.
    Get your FC up to SLAM level and Keep it there. Test every couple of hours or often as you can. The more often you can test and raise the FC back to SLAM level, the better off you will be. The first 2 or 3 days or the most important. Hit it and hit it hard and steady.

    It took a while for the pool to get in the shape its in, and it will take a while to get it clean. Its a process that just has to be dealt with all the way to the end.
    If you get tired or frustrated and quit, the algae will be right back again in no time. Get yourself some pop (pool owner patience), and slam that pool!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    lefty51's Avatar
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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    Quote Originally Posted by libertao View Post
    Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement and advice. I do have a Taylor K-2006 kit I've been using all along, however, I was having difficulty with the CYA testing and only on the tests this week (the 100+ppm and ~30ppm readings) did I know that you are supposed to hold it the tube at waist-level and judge the dot's visibility based on a quick look, not a scrutinizing "I think I can barely make out the dot still." My understanding was that if FC is 0, CC is 0 -- is that not right? And I was told that calcium was irrelevant because I have a vinyl pool, is that not right either.

    So I take it I need to soldier on with the bleach to get through the bromide, get 20-30 gallons of bleach and try to SLAM again, testing the water throughout the day?
    I see you have the k-2006, good. CYA testing is a pita, but don't try to over think it. It will get to the point you are comfortable with the reading(even if your not 100 % sure it's right.) just try to be as close as you can in the number you come up with.

    No it is possible to have 0 FC and have CC. Think of it this way, FC(free chlorine) is the chlorine ready to attack algae, CC, and any other nasties in the pool. CC(combined chlorine) is chlorine that has already attacked and destroyed some bad stuff. CC is disposed of by sunlight and FC. When you add FC and CC you get TC(total chlorine), which is why test strips and most pool store testing doesn't tell the whole story of whats going on in your pool. Hope that helps
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
    TF-100 with speedstir

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    You have the best test kit out there. Yeah that CYA one is a brat but .............you seem to have a handle on it so keep on!

    You are doing a good job. Just keep it up! Your water will get balanced with time and bleach!

    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Completely lost three months in, please help

    I would try the CYA test again. Make sure you do it on a sunny day. Face away from the sun and hold the tube at waist height and look down into the tube. It's perfectly fine to pour the solution back into the dispenser bottle and fill the tube again, several times if need be to get more comfortable with the test. The end point is when the black dot is no longer visible at all. Average your separate retests with the same solution and use the for your CYA, which determines your SLAM target FC.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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