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Thread: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

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    Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Help! We closed on our house 2 weeks ago and we have next to no experience with pools. I'm limping along with some general chemistry knowledge I learned in college and the internet!

    When we previewed the house the pool was blue, sparkling and beautiful! It's about 2 years old and the pool inspection stated everything was great fwiw.

    When we came by for another reason a few days before closing, the previous owners had vacated 3 weeks prior and the pool had been untreated and pump off for 3 weeks. It was green and visible algae along the stone at the water level and waterfall rocks.

    Two days later, we closed and the realtor had obviously done somethong, because it was blue again...for about 24 hours.

    I took a sample of the water to Leslie's and they recommend we pour x amount of this, x amount of that, then two bags of shock, and some algae prevention and the next morning it was blue again...for 24 hours.

    I didn't want to make thrics weekly trips to the pool place to have them hold my hand while i shelled out hundreds each week, so I started trying to figure out the chemistry of it all myself....

    I came to the conclusion that I think the CYA was too high from relying strictly on the auto chlorination/tablets. Each time the pool turned green, the FC tested at 0. After spending time on this site, I realize that we should have, but never tested to see what it was when the pool was clear. For all I know we've never had enough FC. All I really know is that FC is 0 when green and after a few bags of "shock" circulate overnight, it looks good for 1-2 days.

    I've read up on SLAMing and I am currently trying to follow the guidelines, but I am a bit frustrated that the FC isn't coming up!

    This is what I have done and the results thus far...

    15k gal, plaster (I think), sand filter.

    Started with test strip and got -
    FC 0
    TC 3
    CC 3
    CYA 100
    PH 8.9

    Upgraded the test kit and last test was -
    FC 10
    TC 20
    CC 10
    CYA 40 (pre-slam)
    PH 7.4 (pre-slam)

    We are making some progress in color...we have gone from green to murky white. There isn't much, if any solid debris in the pool, as there are no trees or anything to blow in. The "monster" as we call it never has anything to pick up. Strictly a color and clarity problem.

    I'm frustrated with the FC just being at 10, and the CC also is still high (also at 10). I have poured 18 121oz bottles of 8.25% bleach in. Pool math is saying we need a 24 ppm level for the algae shock...how the heck many bottles is this going to take?!

    I guess...all that to say, am I missing something? Should it really take this many to reach a shock level of 24 ppm? Is there another factor I'm overlooking?

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    Re: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    how the heck many bottles is this going to take?!
    This may frustrate you even more but the answer is ALWAYS, "As many as it takes".

    Don't dabble with the chlorine. Don't play patty cake with your "monster" hit him with a sledgehammer of chlorine (dosed exactly as we suggest) and then keep your FC at that level until your pool is crystal clear.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Welcome to the site, I feel your pain, I was in similar situation a few weeks ago. after 2 weeks of pool store and friends advice and over $1000 spent I found this site, followed their advice and in 1 week turned a cesspool into a crystal clear pool. Better yet I got a great education on pool management and safely managing chemicals so that my family and friends won't get sick from my pool. I am not going to give any technical advice as I am too new to this, the experts will be along shortly and do a great job of that. But if you edit your signature ( click settings, my settings, edit signature) you have 5 lines to tell how many gallons your pool holds, the dimensions, type of material it is made of (vinyl, plaster, ect), type of filter, type of pump, and any additional equipment like SWCG ( info for signature). This will aide the experts in the advice they give you. It sounded crazy that those things matter but they really do as you will soon find out. The other big thing is you said you upgraded your kit and gave the test results. Giving results is always great but it is very important it comes from the proper test kit, what test kit did you use for those results? There are 2 test kits that are recommended the Taylor K 2006 and TF-100. Here is a link for test kits compared. The TF-100 is by far the best value, it is owned by the person who owns this site and some are very skeptic about conflict of interest, but if you research it you will find it is by far the best bang for your buck, but the Taylor will work as well, it will just cost you more in the long run. I recommend the XL option of the TF-100 as it gives you extra reagents for doing the FAS/DPD chlorine test, which you will use when doing a slam. I also bought a speedstir, not a necessity but a very convenient option. Best of luck I am sure the people here can help you and if you read enough here you will get a great education. There is certainly a lot of misinformation out there. I almost was talked into buying a SWG because I was told it was much safer than a chlorine pool. Turns out SWG is an acronym for Salt Water Chlorine Generator and chlorine levels are actually higher than in a properly managed traditional chlorine pool. But both are fine, both reasonably safe.
    28,000 gals (20 x 40), IG, vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, old Hayward
    Super pump (not sure of HP secondary to corrosion of label),

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    Re: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Amateur View Post
    ............. Turns out SWG is an acronym for Salt Water Chlorine Generator and chlorine levels are actually higher than in a properly managed traditional chlorine pool........
    I do not believe that is true.

    A non-SWG (traditional) pool at 40ppm CYA has a suggested FC range of 3-5ppm.

    A SWG pool at 70ppm CYA has a suggested FC range of 3-5ppm.

    If anything the SWG pool has the better FC buffer.

    Dom
    Last edited by domct203; 07-17-2015 at 06:39 AM. Reason: incorrect info
    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: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Yes it can take A LOT of bleach. If your FC is going down quickly, it is because it is attacking something in the water. The KEY to a successful SLAM is the M - Maintain. As often as possible, keep that FC at shock level. If you are home, test and add bleach every hour. Once you see the FC loss go down, you can go to every two hours.

    The reason just "shocking" was a temporary fix is because you weren't finding and killing all the algae so it was blooming back up.

    Continue to post to this thread, ask questions, vent, and let people give you advice, encourage you, and support you.


    Lisa P.
    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: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Thanks for pointing that out Domct203, that is why I try and stay out of the technical advice. But from my newbie standpoint I thought total chlorine was much higher in SWG, and the buffering you mention is the greater amount of total chlorine then allows the FC of each to be about equal, which is what is doing the sanitizing. Is that correct or am I off base? Anyway do not want to hijack the thread, my point is that many well meaning people, like myself give advice that is not exactly correct. The person who told me that SWG were not chlorine based is a very smart person and a well meaning friend.
    28,000 gals (20 x 40), IG, vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, old Hayward
    Super pump (not sure of HP secondary to corrosion of label),

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    Re: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Both a "traditionally" chlorinated pool, and a SWG pool use chlorine as the sanitizer. A SWG separates the chlorine molecules from the salt through electrolysis.

    I'm sure your friend is smart and means well, and in no means am I suggesting otherwise.

    /hijack

    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: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    It's a common misconception that SWG pools are not chlorinated


    Lisa P.
    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: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Thanks Dom,
    I just learned a some more, the more I think about it, if FC is equal in both then TC is probably equal as well. My friend is smart and did mean well but he was very wrong and I almost spent a lot of money needlessly.
    eight8mama, this also drives home the point that the experts hear are very smart and won't steer you wrong. Now back to you and your problem. I am sure you are going to be very successful in solving your problem.
    28,000 gals (20 x 40), IG, vinyl, Hayward Sand Filter, old Hayward
    Super pump (not sure of HP secondary to corrosion of label),

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    Re: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    This morning tye pool was blue and chrystal clear (yay) but the FC tested ZERO! Dang it! TC was 1. I had poured all 18 gallons on bleach last night, so I went for more. I have gotten another 9 gallons in so far, probably should just keep pouring.

    On another note, I'm trying to figure out my filter. I thought it was sang, but I actually think it's a cartridge filter?? Is that a thing? I noticed it says max working pressure 50 psi and 3.4 bar. Dial is reading 30 psi and 1.2 bar. Should it be higher? What if anything should I be doing to keep the filter at max efficiency?

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Eight8Mama, I have a few notes for you that may help:
    - If you have a sand filter, it will probably look kind of stocky and round with a handle on top that allows you to rinse, backwash, etc. If not, and if it's just a simple tower housing that comes-apart in half with just a gauge on top, it's probably a cartridge filter. You can post a pic of it if you'd like for us to confirm. Sand needs to be backwashed periodically when the pressure starts to build higher than normal (after a cleaning). Cartridge filters need to be pulled-out and rinsed from time-to-time as well.
    - FC at zero of course is not good, and you're taking steps to keep the bleach in. Great! Some here may like to help you confirm the amounts of bleach, but unless I missed it in this thread, I see no information about your pool (especially the gallons) so I have no way to know if you're putting in too much or too little bleach. If you would like for us to confirm your quantities, please add your pool info into your signature.

    Also, most importantly ... can you confirm which test kit you are using (TF-100 or Taylor K-2006)?

    Let us know if we can help you further. Have a nice day.
    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: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    I bought the test kit at Leslie's. I wrote down the specs from the recommendation on this site and got what I think is similar. I may still need to get a better one online, but it was all I could get my hands on yesterday.

    I have added another 15 gallons of Aldi bleach and last test was 5/5 FC/TC. How will I ever get to 20ppm?!

    I have another 18 gallons on hand, but that's all I could get in a sports car. The bleach runs are going to become the husbands job, with the truck!

    I'm exhausted and hot! It's taken me all morning to get all this bleach in.

    I am still trying to figure out a lot of the pool info, but here is what I *think* I have determined thus far.

    Pool info:

    15k gallons
    plaster
    Cartridge filter (confirmed)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Test kit info:

    Total pool care dpd test kit-
    F&TC or bromine
    pH
    Acid&Base demand
    Total Alk
    Calc hard
    CYA

    "Contains water balance tests"

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    Re: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    Pool School - Visual Encyclopedia of Pool Equipment

    Pool School - Pool Filter Comparison

    HI! I wanted to share those two links to help you figure out what kind of filter you have. If you want to take a pic of it and share with us I bet we can figure it out.

    Why 8 momma for a name??? Hummmmmmm 8 kids???????? I am a Kindergarten teacher so I am used to MANY kids at one time BUT I get to send them home at the end of the day! LOL

    HUGS! We will get that pool clear and help you keep it clear!

    Kim

    - - - Updated - - -

    Does your test kit have a powder you put in the water that turns pink if you have chlorine in your water?
    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: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    I see. Well, your biggest problem right now is your limited ability to check FC at anything higher than 5. Those clear OTO testers don't really help much for a SLAM. We need to fix that right away, otherwise you may be wasting bleach. The following site: TFTestkits.net lets you order just the "FAS-DPD" portion to test FC and CC. It's a powder agent and small bottle of drops that will let you count FC at much higher levels to properly do your SLAM. They can ship really fast if you ask.

    If I read your notes correctly, you tested your CYA at 40 with that kit you have correct? That would equate to a shock/SLAM FC of 16, but of course you can't read that high FC right now. So what I would suggest is simply limit the chlorine you put in your pool for now. Here's an example of how the numbers work:
    "IF" your FC was at zero, it would only take just under 3 jugs to get to an FC of 16. That's it! But you've put-in much more than that right? So we have to be careful. We don't want you to overshot chlorine too badly. So until you receive that FAS-DPD kit, maybe just put one gallon in your pool in the morning, one gallon mid-day, then one gallon at night. Our TX sun and any algae you still have in the water will use-up a lot of that chlorine, but dropping 6, 10, 18 gallons at a time is not going to help your cause right now. I really think it's best you conserve the bleach you purchased and wait for that FAS-DPD kit so you can confirm your FC level. Sound okay?
    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: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    No, not 8 kids lol! My daughter was born on 8/8 and my son was due on 8/8 exactly 3 years apart. He ended up arriving a week eaely, but 8/8 is a significant date for me as a mama nonetheless.

    No powder to put in to test.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Last I tested I noticed the reagent bottles all say Taylor...seems just the case is branded as "Leslie's."

    I'm reading 5/5 now. I've lost count...either 15 or 18 gallons added today. Still has a green tint to the water.

    I also have test strip that go to 10 and I haven't surpassed 5 on those, which I use to see if I'm getting similar results.

    I will take a break from pouring for a few hours. Phew!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    LOL cute story about the name! Love it

    Okay now on to the pool! I am SO glad you have a test kit. Now you just need to get the powder test to finish it out! Here is link to THE test you need to test for higher levels of FC.

    TFTestkits.net

    HUGS! We can get you fixed up!

    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: Newbie with a green pool & very low FC

    I would definitely not add any more bleach today. You don't want to overshoot too much.

    We will get you there.


    Lisa P.
    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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