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Thread: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

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    Question Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    So I will attempt to spit out all the info I can think of. I've owned this pool for over 10 years now, prior to that my Dad used to make me take care of his pool when I was a teenager.

    Pool : Above Ground 21' x '41 vinyl, level bottom, approx 24,000 gal

    I opened the pool very late in the season due to all the family issues we've been having lately. I was having trouble with the filter and got tied up in a couple of days, and poof, green pool. Nothing that's never happened before.

    Filter is a Hayward EC50AC DE filter. Trying to keep a long story short after two weeks of fighting the filter "clogging" nearly immediately after turning it on, I finally broke it all down. I acid washed the finger cloth, I replaced a cracked bottom tube sheet. The filter is back up and working much better than it was but the pool is so green that it "clogs up" after about 15 to 20 min of run time and needs to be bumped.

    Over the past two weeks I've used up 24lbs of powdered shock, 4lbs of Yellow out, 8 gal of liquid chlorine, just about a bucket full of Alkalinity up, 2 boxes of Borax.

    Current test readings (AquaCheck Test Strips):

    PH : 7.4 or 7.6 (hard to tell on this color chart)
    Free Chlorine : >10 it's very very dark purple and the test only reads up to 10 ppm
    Total Alk: 120
    Stabilizer: 30-50 (test gives a range not an accurate number)

    All of these readings are either "OK" or "IDEAL" or in the case of the chlorine "HIGH" (good!), and I've kept the pool at these readings since Wednesday (so it's been like this for 2 days).

    I've been afraid to run the filter when it "clogs" up so I've been turning it off at night and anytime I'm not at home, so I know it's not running nearly as much as it should (I also do not have a timer, I'm going to buy one today).

    So my questions:

    In my prior experiences, I've NEVER had Algae "hang on" like this, ever. I've always been able to clear up a pool within a week.

    I've "raked" the bottom with my leaf rake (as much as I can, cannot see the bottom), and I've brushed the sides down.

    The only thing I can think of at this point is to take a water sample to the pool store and see what they say, but I'm always very skeptical of what they tell me.

    Please help, is there some other tests I need to be running, what the heck could possibly be helping this algae live through this much chlorine??

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Sorry about your troubles. We teach a slightly different method of pool care than most are used to, one based on science and accurate testing. Sadly, the test strips are inaccurate on a good day and a joke on bad days.

    We would recommend you pick up an accurate test kit based on Taylor reagents. They are generally not available locally, but a web ordered item. My favorite is the TF100 from TFTestkits.net it has more of the reagents a homeowner uses and less of the stuff you won't use often. For clearing up a green pool you also wan the XLOption. For full disclosure, TFTestkits supports this site and helps keep the lights on.

    We utilize a process called a SLAM for clearing up problems. It takes your pool up to shock level with liquid chlorine (the powders/solid chlorine products add other stuff to the water you don't want) and maintain that level by continuing to add chlorine until testing proves all the bad stuff in the water is dead.

    Order a test kit and start some reading in Pool School. Here are some articles to start with:
    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    One of my local pool stores carries Taylor test kits, I'll see if they have the equivalent and pick it up today.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    The only equivalent kit is the Taylor K2006C. Note the "C" because that denotes the size of the reagent bottles.

    The C kit usually retails between $80 & $100 where the TF100 is $68 plus shipping. If you get the XL option you will need it will push you over the free shipping threshold.

    The second issue is how long has a kit been sitting on someone's shelf. Few buy the expensive kits unless they find our site so they tend to sit before being sold. The reagents do expire, but there is no date on the bottles to give you a clue.

    Do a quick search and I think you will find many folks who wished they had listened and just got the TF100 first. I'm sorry to say I'm included in that group.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    Quote Originally Posted by rottielover View Post
    One of my local pool stores carries Taylor test kits, I'll see if they have the equivalent and pick it up today.
    Save yourself an additional day of headaches and just order the TF-100 now and get it a day earlier. Most likely the pool store does not have the kit you need, and the TF-100 is a far better value than ANYTHING the pool store has to offer.
    30'x52'' AGP 21,000 Gallons
    TWM 2.64 SF Sand Filter w/ Century 1.5 HP Pump
    BBB'er for life!
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    Welcome!

    Many time they say the Taylor 2005 kit is the same as the k2006, but it is not. Ordering the TF100 is the best buy. Or as mentioned in terms of quantity, you can order the k2006C.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    Fortunately both of the local pool stores I frequent will test the water for free so I have a comparison. The one is a family owned local place so I won't mention the name, the other is a national chain, Leslie's. Here's how things shook out:

    At the local place they were having issues with the computers, I'm a computer guy by trade so I offered a trade, I fixed their internet and fixed the one POS (point of sale) machine (only took an hour). and they gave me a K-2005C test kit. I'm still going to order the recommended kit, but at least I have something to compare too until it arrives.

    Local Place used a Taylor kit and came up with these numbers:

    TDS: 1000
    Alk 120
    PH 7.0
    Free Ch 4+
    Total Ch 4+
    Stabilizer 100

    Recommended 8 gal liquid shock, 3 cups PH up (soda ash) and 64 oz of liquid algaecide

    National Chain store, also uses Taylor tests came up with this:

    Free Ch: 9
    Total CH: 9
    Calcium Hard: 150
    Cyanuric Acid: 45
    Total Alk: 120
    Ph 7.5
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    Total Dissolved Solids 600
    Phosphates 200

    recommended: 1qt liquid algaecide followed in an hour with 3lb's powdered shock


    My own testing:

    PH 7.6
    Free Ch 10+ first test, did the retest method and got 15
    Total Ch 7.5
    Combined Ch (if I did this correctly should be 7.5)
    Cyn Acid 60
    Total Alk 150-160
    Calcium Hardness: 230

    I'm still reading the materials you linked. Haven't treated anything yet.

    EDIT: my TF-100 with mag stirrer and XL option is on order

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    So I found http://poolcalculator.com/

    Pretty neat that they have your recommended settings pre programmed at the bottom!

    I've read your SLAM method twice, seems reasonable to me. Since I have a few chemicals on hand, I've decided to use up what I've got based on the above calculator.

    For example, I have a 25lb pail of Cal Hypo. Reasoning that my Calcium hardness is "low" (somewhere between 150 and 230 and the information I found says normal range is 200-400), I've decided to go ahead and use up what I've got to get this process started, and I will swap over to liquid when it runs out.

    Also since I've already got a bottle of the liquid algaecide laying around, decided that I might as well dump it in there. I mean my worse case scenario here is having to drain out the pool and start over with tap water ( I live between two rivers, it's cool)....

    So based on the calculator tool I'm going to use 5lb's 8oz of the "power powder plus" to get the FC up to 34 (which is said to be recommended level for mustard algae, and I'm thinking this crud hasn't gone away so it must be nasty).

    I've also picked up two 25lb bags of DE and have resolved to just keep cycling the filter and changing the DE as needed. I've changed it out twice today, both times its been super nasty, so It's def. doing it's job. I set my phone to buzz every 20 min so that I go check on it. I've also brushed the pool twice now.

    So unless someone objects strongly in the next hour, I'll start this plan in motion and well see how it goes...

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    A few things.....

    Instead of PoolCalculator use Pool Math (link at the top of this page). PoolCalculator is no longer being supported/updated and there are some changes in the underlying formulas.

    I'm not sure how you are testing the FC as the K2005 has a limit of the chlorine test of 10ppm. Your FC test, is it a red liquid or a powder that turns the sample red then you add drops to make it clear?

    Here is my strong objection. Do not use the Mustard Algae numbers. That is only to be used for 24 hours at the end of a normal SLAM. The FC level is too high.

    Another strong objection. Do not use the algecide. Algecide is a preventative product, not really a product to kill algae. Additionally depending on the type you have it can contain copper which stains pools and turns blond hair green or overdosed can just cloud the water and prolong the SLAM.

    What is your pool made of ginite? Vinyl? If gunite you are at the lower level of,our recommendations for CH. If you have a vinyl pool you are already at the upper end.

    A semi-strong objection - Use the CalHypo sparingly, if at all. CalHypo is another product that can cause more problems by clouding the water with calcium. It then confuses us as to why the pool won't clear. Thinking algae we continue to add chlorine and get into a vicious endless loop.

    We recommend liquid products because they don't add stuff we don't want to the water and are fast acting. In the beginnings of a SLAM you may need to add chlorine hourly to keep it at shock level. Solid products take time to dissolve and that is time we really want chlorine killing algae.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    Makes sense. It's Vinyl, and the liner is very old now, I am not worried about "stains" as it's a solid color liner and it's already sun-faded from 10 years + on it. I'm probably going to have to have the liner replaced next season or two.

    I guess I'll see if I can get a refund on this stuff, I've had it quite a while now so kinda doubt it., but worth a shot I guess.

    You're correct in that the test vial only goes to 10ppm on the K2005, but there is instructions for how to dilute the test using tap water to obtain higher readings.

    According to the Ch / CYA chart that's linked I need to hit 24 ppm on FC ? But you said I'm at the upper end already?

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    We use the following shorthand

    FC = Free Chlorine
    CC = Combined Chlorine
    TA = Total Alkalinity
    CH = Calcium Hardness. For a vinyl pool you do not need calcium.

    So yes, with a vinyl pool you are already too high with calcium. Continued use of the CalHypo can lead to scaling.

    Understand, the "extended" directions on the DPD FC test in the K2005 increases the error rate in the test so it will not be as exact as we like it with the FAS-DPD test in the TF100. Due to the error rate the you will never really know,if your are too high or too low with your FC additions.

    Setting the stains aside, using the algecide and/or CalHypo at the high FC during the SLAM may lead to cloudy water. This will confuse matters as you move forward. Liquid chlorine is your friend.

    We always use your numbers that you got with your test kit, so with the 60 CYA you tested then shock level is 24. Your goal is to keep it there. Don't test and add chlorine any more often than once an hour. Brush the pool once a day.

    Remember to test and adjust the pH to 7.2 before you start because the pH test is inaccurate at FC levels above 10. Once the SLAM starts only test FC and CC. Ignore all other parameters until you are finished.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    I forgot, when you get a minute if you could add the details of your pool to your signature. It makes it easier to see what we are working with at a quick glance of your post.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    I'll use that shorthand in future posts and I will update my sig

    I'm currently out picking up a few cases of liquid shock

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    Copy that. Remember, when buying liquid shock three thing count:

    *How it's stored at the retailer - cool and inside is best, keeps it from degrading

    *Fresher is better - a Julian date will usually be printed on the botte something like HK15190. Manufactured day 190 of 2015

    *Price

    I would rather buy fresh 8.25% bleach at Walmart rather than old warm 10/12.5% at some other place.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Cannot get the green out, is this mutant algae?

    ok. I'm stocked up with 16 gal of 10% It's manufactured here in town even

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