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Thread: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

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    Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    I am new to this forum and am having a problem with algae in my pool. Up until now have done whatever the pool store told me but now don't trust them. After reading some in Pool School I see I have high cya. Here are the numbers my pool store tested with yesterday. I had shocked the pool right before that with calcium hypo 73%. FC - 10
    CC - 10
    CH - 190
    CYA 90
    TA - 90
    PH - 7.4
    phosphates - 0

    I have been using a combination of sodium dichloro--s-triazanitrione, potassium peroxymonosulfate, and calcium hypo for shocking and also in tabs in a floater.

    I can brush algae off the bottom of the pool. the water is still clear enough that I can still see the drains. the deep end looks aqua in color and the shallow end looks pretty good.

    My question is this. What can I do immediately? I can order a test kit (now I only have strips) Do I have to drain some water off to get cya levels down? Do I use bleach instead of what I have been doing? If so, how much? Can I use anything I have on hand to get started? Please HELP! Thank you
    2010 install 20 x 40 (30,500 gal.) inground vinyl liner. Hayward 1.5 hp variable speed pump. Hayward 30" 500 lb. sand filter. polaris 360. ultra armor mesh safety cover. originally used salt generator(zodiac duo clear)but no longer. Have well water.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    Hi fritts and welcome! Well the first thing that would be best to do is get your hands on either a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 test kit from TFTestkits.net. As you have learned the hard way, pool stores simply are not reliable. In fact, you think your CYA is 90, it may actually be much higher. So the proper test kit will tell you that.

    If your CYA is truly that high, then your best option is to do a partial drain to reduce that CYA. Only then should you begin to do other chemical balances to fix any problems. Putting anything in your pool right now may just be a waste of resources, and we ant to save you money and make pool care easier on your. Until you get your test kit, I would simply continue to brush and keep the water mixed real well to slow-down algae. Also add nothing more than about 1 gallon of regular bleach each evening (generic is fine). Do not add any other pool store products as they tend to raise your CYA. Remove any tablets as well.

    Once you report back with your own test numbers, we can advise you properly from there, more than likely how to perform a Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain.

    If you have ay more questions, just let us know. Welcome to TF!
    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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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    Howdy "neighbor" and welcome to TFP.

    The quicker you order a good test kit the quicker everyone here can help you get your pool looking sparkly (probably better than you've ever seen it!).

    I recommend the TF-100 as it has larger bottles of reagents so actually is a better value but the K-2006 is fine too. If you order the TF-100 consider getting the XL upgrade.

    The pool store's (PS) testing just isn't reliable. In order to get a $5 coupon for a part I needed I let the PS do a water test a few weeks ago - every result they gave me was wrong.
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
    Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaner, PB4-60 3/4 HP pump

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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    thanks for the advice how much water do I need to drain? I have a well and when I refill it I have sometimes had some copper issues. We have the water treated in the house but sometimes when you run it awhile it can bypass the system. Should I automatically just add some metal free?
    2010 install 20 x 40 (30,500 gal.) inground vinyl liner. Hayward 1.5 hp variable speed pump. Hayward 30" 500 lb. sand filter. polaris 360. ultra armor mesh safety cover. originally used salt generator(zodiac duo clear)but no longer. Have well water.

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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    In order to know how much to drain you're going to need to do your own cya test using a good kit. You need an accurate cya measurement in order to know how much to drain.

    This is the test pool stores get wrong most often. A lot of times they show it lower than it really is but when I had them do the test I mentioned above, their result was actually higher than my cya really is.

    I'm on a well also but haven't had any metal issues with the water so best to let someone else answer that.

    When I did the drain/fill I had most of the water delivered instead of using the well water but I did add some and I do top off with well water.
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
    Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaner, PB4-60 3/4 HP pump

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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    ok so I ordered test kit and got bleach. Unfortunately I got Walmart bleach and it is 8.25 strength. Can I use this or do I need to take it back???
    2010 install 20 x 40 (30,500 gal.) inground vinyl liner. Hayward 1.5 hp variable speed pump. Hayward 30" 500 lb. sand filter. polaris 360. ultra armor mesh safety cover. originally used salt generator(zodiac duo clear)but no longer. Have well water.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    No, that's fine, and what most of us use unless we have access to 10-12% and many of us don't.
    TFP Moderator
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    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    As long as it's plain bleach (not scented, not splashless) it's fine.

    Congrats on the kit! Which one did you get?

    Did you remove the tabs/pucks?

    Until the kit arrives follow Texas Splash's recommendation:

    " Until you get your test kit, I would simply continue to brush and keep the water mixed real well to slow-down algae. Also add nothing more than about 1 gallon of regular bleach each evening (generic is fine). Do not add any other pool store products as they tend to raise your CYA. Remove any tablets as well."

    From Pool School:
    Bleach should be added to the pool by pouring slowly in front of a return jet with the pump running. You should pour slowly enough that pouring an entire jug takes more than one minute, preferably two minutes. Leave the pump running for at least 30 minutes after adding bleach.
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
    Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaner, PB4-60 3/4 HP pump

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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    So I got the F-100 test kit and it should be here Friday. I will do all of the other recommendations until then. Hopefullly we are now going in the right direction.
    2010 install 20 x 40 (30,500 gal.) inground vinyl liner. Hayward 1.5 hp variable speed pump. Hayward 30" 500 lb. sand filter. polaris 360. ultra armor mesh safety cover. originally used salt generator(zodiac duo clear)but no longer. Have well water.

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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    I'm back. I got my pool test kit and just finished doing my testing. My numbers are as follows: CYA 80-90, PH 6.8, FC 8ppm, CC .5, CH 350, TA 50, copper -0-

    I have added almost a gallon of 8.25% bleach the last 2 days. We added a little bit of water which probably accounts for the lower ph and alkalinity. My question is what do I do first? My husband really is the one who takes care of the pool the most and he is against draining it. Can we slam it with numbers like this and wait until the end of the season to partially drain and refill (or the beginning of next season) He is concerned that the water will be too cold to swim if we start with that now.

    The pool actually looks totally clear in the shallow end and is just slightly aqua looking in the deep end. I can brush a minimal amount of algea off of the bottom in some areas.

    If we do slam it can someone give me specific instructions since I haven't tried this approach in the past? I'd appreciate any help at all.
    2010 install 20 x 40 (30,500 gal.) inground vinyl liner. Hayward 1.5 hp variable speed pump. Hayward 30" 500 lb. sand filter. polaris 360. ultra armor mesh safety cover. originally used salt generator(zodiac duo clear)but no longer. Have well water.

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    Question Help! Never used a forum before....

    I posted something for the first time under the Algae section and got a response right away. (Algae Problem...new to all this)I was told to get a kit and now that I have done this I posted yesterday to ask for next step help. I have not heard anything at all. I am wondering if I did something wrong in posting. If I go back to something I started a couple days prior do I just hit reply to my original posting???? Also when I look at the other posts they have little envelopes that look different from mine. I tried to look in the instructions but it isn't clear to me.
    2010 install 20 x 40 (30,500 gal.) inground vinyl liner. Hayward 1.5 hp variable speed pump. Hayward 30" 500 lb. sand filter. polaris 360. ultra armor mesh safety cover. originally used salt generator(zodiac duo clear)but no longer. Have well water.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Never used a forum before....

    Hum. Not sure, but I see this one fine. I'll look as well for your other post. But certainly hit us up for any questions you have!

    - - - Updated - - -

    In any case, please tell us which kit you received and did you run some tests yet? Can you post a set of results? FC, CC, CYA, PH, TA, and CH.
    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: Help! Never used a forum before....

    I ran tests yesterday. I got the TF100. I added some water yesterday and I think that may have reduced my ph and ta. I have added more water since then as well to try and bring my cya down. My algae isn't terrible. The water still looks clear and my husband doesn't want to drain the pool. I have always used stabilized chlorine and worked with a pool store but now want to try your method. I put in 8.5% bleach the last 2 nights almost 1 gal. each time while waiting for the test kit. We have been running the pump a lot but let it sit last night and my husband is going to vaccume to waste this morning to remove algae off the bottom. (there is not much). Then we can add some more water. I am hoping this will help. I have never slammed the pool yet. Is there any advice you can give me?
    CYA 80-90
    PH 6.8
    FC 8
    CC .5
    CH 350
    TA 50
    2010 install 20 x 40 (30,500 gal.) inground vinyl liner. Hayward 1.5 hp variable speed pump. Hayward 30" 500 lb. sand filter. polaris 360. ultra armor mesh safety cover. originally used salt generator(zodiac duo clear)but no longer. Have well water.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Never used a forum before....

    I can certainly help. Let's break it all down in steps:
    - ANY algae is too much algae. We see it all the time. The smallest amount will propagate and cause a major problem, so be prepared to SLAM.
    - Since you are not using your SWG any longer, your CYA will make managing your FC extremely difficult. Always refer to this chart: Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart. You can see from a CYA of 90 how high your FC need to be for SLAM or even target levels.
    - The ONLY way to reduce CYA is to do a partial drain; refills won't do it. So if you want to reduce CYA, then a partial drain is in order. If you chose to keep it that high for now, then to SLAM you need to bring your FC up to 35 until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria of:
    1. Water is clear
    2. You do not lose any more than 1ppm of FC overnight (that's the OCLT)
    3. CC (Combined Chlorine) is <.5
    ** You MUST meet ALL 3 items above to properly do a SLAM. Simply “spiking" the FC higher than normal isn't SLAMming, therefore there’s a good chance your algae will return.

    Oh, before you SLAM, you must raise your PH to 7.2 using borax or soda ash.

    The poolmath calculator Poolmath calculator can help you with all the amounts.

    So 1st, consider the partial drain to lower CYA; while 30 is ideal for a SLAM, shoot for about 50 as your target
    2nd, adjust (up) your PH to 7.2
    3rd, Implement your SLAM by increasing your FC to the appropriate level on the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart.

    Make sure to read the Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain REALLY well to do everything you are supposed to. The bleach WILL work, just be patient and keep that FC where it is supposed to be.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    Sure, you can SLAM with that CYA. It just takes a higher FC.

    Here is the process with all the steps needed to clear your pool, Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Read through that and let us know if you have any questions.

    After the slam, chlorine level is set based based on CYA level and the Chlorine CYA Chart, it is important to keep FC at target level at all times to keep the pool sanitary and algae free. Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    TFP Moderator
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Never used a forum before....

    Hi Fritts,

    I have copied the below into your other thread about algae.... you will be better off using that thread to get more help.

    You need to raise your pH to about 7.2 before you start the slam. The kit only measures to 6.8, so your pH may actually be lower than that.
    But, consider it 6.8 and aim to bring it up to 7.2. Wait 30 minutes after adding and then test again. If necessary, then add a little more.
    In your situation, use Washing Soda (Not washing powder), to raise the pH. In your case, I dont recommend using Borax at this time, because it makes the chemistry just a bit more busy. Lets keep it very simple. Ok?

    If you are not going to drain water to get the CYA down, then nothing else is needed to start the slam.

    Do you know how to use pool math? Its going to be a requirement for you to know how much of something to add.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    In the box at the top right, enter how many gallons your pool is
    In the boxes on the left, enter your test resutl
    In the boxes on the right, enter what you want the level to be (see recommended levels link).
    then click calculate, and pool math will tell you how much of something to add. Its really pretty simple.

    Please read - several times - the How to SLAM link below. It gives step by step instructions.
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Other links you need to know
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    Hope this helps
    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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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    be better off using that thread to get more help.

    You need to raise your pH to about 7.2 before you start the slam. The kit only measures to 6.8, so your pH may actually be lower than that.
    But, consider it 6.8 and aim to bring it up to 7.2. Wait 30 minutes after adding and then test again. If necessary, then add a little more.
    In your situation, use Washing Soda (Not washing powder), to raise the pH. In your case, I dont recommend using Borax at this time, because it makes the chemistry just a bit more busy. Lets keep it very simple. Ok?

    If you are not going to drain water to get the CYA down, then nothing else is needed to start the slam.

    Do you know how to use pool math? Its going to be a requirement for you to know how much of something to add.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    In the box at the top right, enter how many gallons your pool is
    In the boxes on the left, enter your test resutl
    In the boxes on the right, enter what you want the level to be (see recommended levels link).
    then click calculate, and pool math will tell you how much of something to add. Its really pretty simple.

    Please read - several times - the How to SLAM link below. It gives step by step instructions.
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Other links you need to know
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

    Hope this helps
    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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    Re: Help! Never used a forum before....

    Thank you. We are starting the process and now know what needs to be done.
    2010 install 20 x 40 (30,500 gal.) inground vinyl liner. Hayward 1.5 hp variable speed pump. Hayward 30" 500 lb. sand filter. polaris 360. ultra armor mesh safety cover. originally used salt generator(zodiac duo clear)but no longer. Have well water.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Never used a forum before....

    Good deal. Let us know if you have any more questions. Also, have a look at this article, Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Algae problem... new to all this......

    I merged the 2 related threads. Please keep your related questions in the same thread. Thanks, jblizzle
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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