Hi Everyone -
Wondering if you can give me some pointers to try to clear the water as quickly as possible, as we are running out of swimming season in CT and my daughter would like to have a pool party in the next 2 weeks. However, JUST uncovered pool 2 days ago - long-story short: had to re-run some electrical lines and re-plumb lines near filter. FINALLY got electrical work and plumbing completed Wed, uncovered pool and turned on pump, which has been running 24/7 since.
- Have been reading various posts on others' algae issues, read instructions on SLAMing, scanned Pool School, using calculators to determine chemical requirements, etc, but need some guidance on best approach to get rid of this SEVERE algae issue.
- 16x32' IG vinyl liner pool w/steps - ~22,000 gal?
- Sta-Rite System 3 (200lb) sand filter - just filled with new sand last week. Previously had Zeolite, but kept having trouble with algae last 2 years - decided to go back to sand. . . and see if it makes a difference. Don't know if it has any affect at all - always assumed Zeolite was better.
- Pool has HEAVY green algae. Can only see the first step in the shallow end. Everything below that is invisible at this time.
- I could see deeper into pool when I first pulled off cover, but as soon as filter started stirring water it's a deep green swamp. Assume sunlight hitting water also helps multiply algae bloom? Pool is in partial shade, so doesn't get all-day sun.
- Filter running at 15psi normally, typically loads up and is running 22-25psi within 2-3 hours.
- I vacuumed the entire pool and walls yesterday to get as much as I could. Filter would load up within minutes and require backwashing constantly. No leaves or heavy debris at bottom that got trapped in basket - just dark green water during backwash.
- Also have my Aquabot cleaner running all day. Have to pull it out every couple hours and clean bag. Heavy, slimy algae inside bag - hasn't picked up anything else (leaf debris, etc.).
- Water parameters were spot-on when I closed pool last year. However, seems they have drifted way off over winter. We had lots of snow, etc, which must have changed water chemistry, etc.
- Unfortunately, I only have AQUACHECK 7 test strips. I know I will get yelled at for not having the proper test kit. I have a Taylor K-2006 kit on order with my local warehouse - should be here Tues. I realize it will be difficult to accurately monitor Free Chlorine levels with the test strips, but would like to get started SLAMing today, if possible, unless everyone tells me differently.
- Don't want to pour $100's of dollars of bleach/chemicals into pool only to find out afterward that I need to change out my water, etc. Also. . . .we only have perhaps 3-4 weeks max of swimming left here in CT, so don't want to spend $100's on chemicals + electricity to run pool 24/7 to find out I couldn't even swim in the pool at all - kind of a waste - I might just as well cover it now, call it a day, and attack it next Spring (which would keep me in the dog house with family! I know all is not lost. . . . but looking for advice, best way to attack the algae.
Should I simply empty pool a couple feet and replace some water (maybe changing out about 1/3 of water) - I know to leave at least 1ft in shallow end to prevent liner float, etc. Water is now quite expensive here, so this isn't a cheap option either. I realize pools aren't cheap to maintain, but don't want to needlessly waste tons of $$ for a few swims left this year. Wife and daughter are already upset it has taken this long to finish electrical and plumbing work req'd.
Or, should I start attacking algae with shock and leave water as-is?
- Didn't want to start shocking and pouring chemicals in until I had cleaned out what I could, and since filter is pulling out lots of algae every hour, thought it would be better to get rid of some, rather than having it consume all the chlorine. Or. . . . am I being stupid and fighting a losing battle while algae multiplies itself with no chlorine in the water? Also, didn't want to start, if you don't think I can really monitor my FC levels enough to do a proper job on the SLAM. However, if algae is just multiplying while I sit here on the computer, I need to do something to start, and quick.
- Here are current readings from AQUACHEK 7 test strips:
TOTAL HARDNESS: slightly over 250
TOTAL CHLORINE: 0
FREE CHLORINE: 0
PH: 6.8 (I just added Soda Ash to raise to 7.2, as suggested)
TOTAL ALKALINITY: 80
CYA: 0 (am dissolving CA granules as we speak and will add to sock near return) - target is 30 correct?
** What are my first steps, after what I have done so far? Shock? Exchange water? Wait till next week for test kit? Other suggestions?
**Don't want to shock too high and bleach my relatively new liner (2nd full season). Target FC is 16 for SLAM, correct?
I will keep vacuuming, brushing, running my Aquabot, and backwashing (spent most of the day yesterday doing all of these!). However, this looks a little bleak, based on how long it took lots of others to clear up their water, which didn't seem as bad to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and let me know if you need any additional info regarding my pool, equipment, water, etc.
Thank you all in advance!