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Thread: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

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    Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    I have had to do 3 SLAM's so far and the algae just seems to come back after a few weeks. I have kept the FC levels up between 5-7 (my CYA is 30) to keep it higher than the target per advice from this forum. I take the pool brush to it every other day and run the filter at least 6-8 hours a day. My husband pressure washed it a bit ago and it came back, then I recently used a puck to scrub directly on the rough surface and SLAMed again. That takes it away, but after a few days of being done and back at the FC of 5-7, I can already see the algae trying to form again. Redoing the pool is just not in the budget at the moment - we were budgeted for the house (lived here 6 months), not a neglected pool. But obviously we have to do something or this is just going to be a constant battle. Any suggestions that won't break the bank?

    Here are some pictures of what I am dealing with, it goes around the entire pool:

    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Hello Mickey. Silly question, but we have to ask right off the bat when someone says they SLAMmed.... on your previous SLAM(s), can you confirm that you followed the Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain to the letter and passed ALL 3 criteria? You're sure your SLAM/Shock FC level was maintained at or above 12 the entire time - even if it took several days or a week or two?

    Inquiring minds need to know. Then we can all pitch-in some more. Thanks.
    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: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Yes, inquiring minds want to know.


    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: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Absolutely, followed to a T. All 3 passed all 3 times. The last two times I've also made sure the algae on walls was no longer green and that the pool was clean of the dead algae before lowering the FC below 12.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Well Mickey, then that makes this case a little more interesting. I read on some other threads where owners had difficulty with black algae embedding into open plaster, but not green algae. We may need to elevate this issue for more guidance. It's getting late this evening, but either tonight or tomorrow morning please post a fresh set of test results from your TF-100: FC, CC, CYA, PH, TA, and CH. As we get more people involved, the test results will be a formality everyone will ask for. Thanks.

    We'll put our heads together and try to get your some answers soon. Have a nice evening.
    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: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Thank you! I decided since I'm still up that I would do some tests:

    FC:5
    CC:0
    CH:175 - was up to 200 last week, but we keep getting rain and we have a small leak (1/4 inch a night) so I have to add water to the pool almost every day. The day I added the calcium increaser the FC fell to 0 shortly after (can that cause it to drop?) and then I did the 3rd slam after that.
    TA: 40
    PH: 7.2-7.3
    CYA 25-30

    TA and PH stay pretty steady and I have been slowing getting the CYA up, but then with the rain and adding water each day it changes a little here and here. It now averages around 30.

    What is on the rough walls looks green, but after a slam will look black or be gone. It's not slimy after a slam and when I brush the pool, I don't see much on the floor and nothing on the walls. It does seem useless to scrub the area, it doesn't seem to get rid of it at all. The puck worked pretty well, but didn't get into all the crevices.
    My husband has replaced our valves to see if that fixed the leak, but it didn't. He put epoxy putty into the one skimmer, but that didn't work and then it fell off. We have one skimmer (the other one) that is low on water when the pool level is low, but once you start the filter it goes up with a minimal amount of added water to the pool. The other skimmer is always ok. I'm not sure if this is all related, but I wanted to add those details too. This pool has been a mess! I've had a crash course in newbie pool care for sure!
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Mickey, I received a second (expert) opinion on your situation, and the consensus is as follows. Algae, regardless of its many varieties, is eliminated with the proper amount of chlorine. It is true that deteriorating or pitted surfaces can pose some unique challenges that may make pool maintenance more difficult. For example being continuously aggressive with different types of brushes (even steel) and techniques to get into those pitted surfaces, but inevitably, the algae will be killed with chlorine when treated at the appropriate strength and duration.

    Our concern is that for algae to reappear several times like this may indicate a chemical imbalance issue (chlorine) that most prominently displays itself in the same area based on the irregular surface condition. We have no control over the condition of the plaster, but our best recommendation at this time would be to perform another SLAM and ensure once again that all 3 SLAM criteria are achieved. Then continue to ensure the FC level is maintained at or slightly above the target level based on the amount of sunlight you receive and condition of the plaster.

    If you have any more questions or concerns, please let us know. 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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyB23 View Post
    Thank you! I decided since I'm still up that I would do some tests:

    FC:5
    CC:0
    CH:175 - was up to 200 last week, but we keep getting rain and we have a small leak (1/4 inch a night) so I have to add water to the pool almost every day. The day I added the calcium increaser the FC fell to 0 shortly after (can that cause it to drop?) and then I did the 3rd slam after that.
    TA: 40
    PH: 7.2-7.3
    CYA 25-30

    What is on the rough walls looks green, but after a slam will look black or be gone. It's not slimy after a slam and when I brush the pool, I don't see much on the floor and nothing on the walls. It does seem useless to scrub the area, it doesn't seem to get rid of it at all. The puck worked pretty well, but didn't get into all the crevices.
    this bold statement is where I think you are getting in trouble... After your SLAM, you probably still have some kind of algae in those cracks/rough spots on some parts of your walls or bottom.. It is probably a part of the pool that has low circulation and does not get chlorine in the PPM that you need to keep algae from growing.. so this is what is happening, after the SLAM, you drop the FC down to 5 but some part of your pool with bad circulation the FC probably drops to 2 or 3 in that area and algae starts growing again..

    you will need to slam again, but this time when you think you are done, keep going for a couple more days.. Brush the walls and bottom until there is nothing at all left..

    what type of return eyeballs do you have? could you change over to these to change circulation just to see if it changes or you get better coverage of chlorine to those parts of your pool?
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    I put "the circulator" pool returns in both returns about a month ago, and I've tested the water near different areas of where the algae likes to sit to get my FC numbers. I've asked in a separate post towards the end of my 2nd slam and was told I could be brushing up old plaster dust and that I could stop the slam since the 3 criteria were met and the dead algae was gone.
    When slamming I get brown dust but once that is gone I get a very small amount of white dust.

    My last slam I kept FC at 14 for 2 days (and scrubbed with the puck) after all 3 criteria were met and I made sure to pass the overnight test 2 nights in a row, but I don't know what to look for to know the live algae is gone. I vacuum till the dead stuff is gone and the green stuff is gone but what about the black stuff that is left? What is it? Do i have to wait for all of that to be gone?

    Here are clearer pictures:

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    It sounds like they've already been pretty darn aggressive in going after this algae sanctuary, including the power wash and frequent scrubbing.

    Mickey, have you tried treating the rough areas directly with additional chlorine - well, you did describe scrubbing with a trichlor puck, but that wouldn't seem to get way back into all those nooks and crannies. Maybe go around with a bucket of diluted bleach, and use something like a turkey baster to squirt it on all those rough surfaces. I know it sounds like a pain... but you are already putting a lot of effort into fighting this algae problem.

    Another issue that often comes up when someone has recurring algae problem is that algae remnants are hiding in various places, such as in pool ladders, behind light fixtures, under drain covers, etc. I know you have the obvious "smoking gun" in the rough plaster, but have you looked in those other places also? Perhaps the algae is reseeding from somewhere else in the pool.

    How long have your previous SLAMs taken? Just trying to better understand the behavior of your pool.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    There is an overriding issue in your pool. As discussed above, I believe the plaster surface of your pool is so bad that you cannot keep the pool algae free unless you re-plaster.

    Your best hope is to brush that broken down plaster every other day or so with a stiff brush and micromanage your FC so it does not EVER fall below the suggested values.

    In the long run (although I haven't seen enough pics) I would say you will have to re-plaster before you can mange your pool correctly.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyB23 View Post
    I put "the circulator" pool returns in both returns about a month ago, and I've tested the water near different areas of where the algae likes to sit to get my FC numbers. I've asked in a separate post towards the end of my 2nd slam and was told I could be brushing up old plaster dust and that I could stop the slam since the 3 criteria were met and the dead algae was gone.
    When slamming I get brown dust but once that is gone I get a very small amount of white dust.

    My last slam I kept FC at 14 for 2 days (and scrubbed with the puck) after all 3 criteria were met and I made sure to pass the overnight test 2 nights in a row, but I don't know what to look for to know the live algae is gone. I vacuum till the dead stuff is gone and the green stuff is gone but what about the black stuff that is left? What is it? Do i have to wait for all of that to be gone?
    I don't want you to think we are blaming you for not doing something correct.. I believe you are doing it right but the green things in your pool are not being nice... They are sticking around and coming back...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    I too was going to suggest trying to get in the nooks and crannies with some liquid bleach and a syringe and possibly toothbrush. Use the toothbrush on the drains as well.


    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: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Thank you everyone! I know that I am following along correctly, so no worries. I know this is a unique situation and I agree with Dave that I don't think it will be resolved 100% until we can afford to replaster the pool. Can one replaster in DIY fashion or do you have to hire someone? My husband is very skilled in all things labor intensive, but being new to pools, we don't know anything about the replastering process. I will have to get some quotes on the replastering. I had one quote early in the season and he said he'd charge $8,000-9,000 just for replastering and that didn't include retiling (which it needs too) or filling the pool back up.

    I have used many different types of brushes and even the hard nylon grout brush won't make a difference with scrubbing. My first slam took 50 gallons of bleach and was over a week (8 days, I think) with a month of prep and leaf raking prior to it. The 2nd slam took about 5 days. The last one only took 2 days to pass, but I kept levels up for 3 days longer so I could pass the overnight test 2 days and keep FC high for 2 days past that. The last slam only ended about a week ago.

    I can try doing the liquid to the edge or see about a steel bristled brush. This is very tiring and frustrating. I guess I can be grateful that we've had time to enjoy the pool and have decided that we like having one which we wanted to accomplish before having to put $$ into it.

    Here is a picture of the pool with it's crystal clear water


    This is what I started with in April:
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Wow! That was quite a transformation. Your hard work is evident. 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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Do you think a waterproof resurface paint would be a temporary fix
    40x18 Lazy L Rectangle
    29500gal IG w/ vinyl liner
    HAYWARD S244T 300lb sand filter
    Hayward Super Pump 1 1/2hp

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Wow! Your water is so clear, I could hardly tell it was in 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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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Do you think a waterproof resurface paint would be a temporary fix
    I would never consider it. The paint soon starts to chalk (all brands...always) and the real hassle begins when you have to remove the paint to replaster
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    that is some clear water you have there maybe you just need to keep the fc 2 or 3 higher than you have been and see if it stays gone, would not hurt to try it...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Reoccurring algae and rough edge in pool

    Thank you, just wish the pool was in better shape. My husband said he will get into the pool tomorrow and pressure wash it again, then I'll see where we are overnight and go from there. Is the black that's left in the wall after the green is gone ok, or does it all need to be gone?

    What if after the next slam, I kept the levels even higher overnight and let them drift no lower than 6 during the day?

    I'll work on finding more info on resurfacing and get some contractor referrals. I don't want to go through this all next year. Hopefully someone will work out and we'll be able to afford to fix it.

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