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Thread: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    I'm just learning about pools (I should say learning to do things on my own). I wish I had found this site a week ago...

    Anyway, I replaced my pump, filter, and added a SWG. (23,000 gal, vinyl, Pentair VS-3050, Pentair 420 cartridge filter, Easytouch 4 w/ IC40)

    I added 480lbs (40lbs x 12) of Water Softener salt from Home Depot (yellow bag). (I know better now) But it says "Up to 99.6% pure". It does not list anti-caking agents or other additives.

    And now my deep end water looks green (reminds me of brackish water).

    Is there anything I can do (besides drain and fill...)?

    Water info from store (TF-100 was ordered today)
    FC .4 (before shock)
    TC .5
    TA 0 (added 20lbs of baking soda)
    PH 6.5
    CH 95 (store recommended 30lbs of calcium hardness+)
    CYA 90
    SALT 3000ppm (will test/adjust again before SWG startup)
    Copper 0
    Iron 0

    Basically, I'm trying to decide if I need to drain now before I balance everything out.

    Thanks for any help.

    Jeb
    23,000 gal, inground vinyl, Pentair VS-3050, Pentair 420ft^2 cartridge filter, Easytouch 4 w/ IC40 (SWG)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    Hi Jeb, Welcome!

    You're CYA is a little high, even for an SWG, but I don't know that it's bad enough to warrant draining. You don't list a location....can you add that to your profile, and put your pool/equipment specs in your signature.

    Check out the Pool Calculator. You put in your gallonage and it calculates exactly how much you need of what chem to balance your water. 30 pounds of Calcium increaser is more than you need, as you have a vinyl liner. Check out the article in Pool School for recommended levels for SWG, then input your goals in the calculator to figure out what to do next. I don't know that draining 10% of your water is worth the effort, I think your CYA will drop with time, if the 90 is even accurate.

    How did you shock your pool (what chem did you use)? If you go slow and step by step follow the Pool Caculator to bring your numbers into range, you'll be fine. Post any other questions here.

    Edit: I think you'll be ok with the yellow bags, not the best but not the worst either. Also you probably aren't dosing enough baking soda, but your PH is very low so that needs adjusting too.

    Hope this helps!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  3. Back To Top    #3
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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    You do not need to drain and the water softener salt is just fine to use! Did you use the yellow bags of pellets or the yellow bags of 'sun gems' which is solar salt? Both are just fine for use with a SWG. Where did you get the idea that they were not (the pool store maybe?)

    First, your pH is too low. First thing to do is use Borax to bring it up! Use the link to the pool calculator in my sig to calculate the amount you need to raise the pH. Once the pH is inline you can adjudt your TA if needed and then add the calcium (after you have killed off the algae bloom

    The second problem is that your FC is too low and you have an algae bloom starting. Start shocking the pool with bleach or liquid chlorine to kill the algae. There could be several reasons for this:
    1. the SWG might not be working
    2. your pump run time is too short
    3. your cell output is set too low
    4. your SWG might be undersized for your pool
    5. it was starting before you got the SWG online anyway and you just needed to shock and kill the algae so the SWG could keep up.

    I suspect it's the last one.

    At any rate, you most certainly do NOT need to drain and refill.....your water is not THAT bad. Get the pH up and then start shocking with bleach!

    After you have the algae under control you can adjust TA and CH.

    Your CYA is a bit high but livable so don't worry about it.

    These threads might be helpful:
    pool-school/water_balance_saltwater_generator
    water-balance-tips-for-a-swg-t3663.html
    turning-your-green-swamp-back-into-a-sparking-oasis-t4147.html

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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    Jeb, welcome to TFP!!

    #1 3000 ppm salt shouldn't be too high for the SWCG (you must have had some salt in the pool already for 480 lbs to get you to 3000 ppm in 23,000 gallons {any form of chlorine you've used in the past will leave some salt behind} OR the pool is smaller than you think)

    #2 That pH is TOO LOW, get it up ASAP! (see the Jason's pool calc in my sig for dosing amounts -- don't forget to tell it you added the 20 lbs of baking soda - it matters) Use soda ash (a/k/a sodium carbonate or Arm& Hammer washing soda) or Borox to raise it.

    #3 (perhaps should be #1) read or reread Pool School (again linked in my sig)

    Did you add the calcium +?

    Let the water circulate for a while once you get it balanced as per Jason's calc - cloudiness is often caused by the water being out of balance when adding new chems.



    Is the pool full - I assume so since you had the water tested and made some chem additions, however, some liner patterns make the pool water look greenish until the pool has a few inches of water in the shallow end.

    Also, did the pump run 24 hours after the salt was added and has all the salt dissolved?

    I understand that you are trying for the first time to truly take the pool care into your own hands and are afraid you've hurt it - I strongly doubt that there's a need to drain the pool! Congratulations on ordering the TF -100 kit Wait to drain any water until it comes. Once you get it, run your first set of tests and post them here and we'll help you (if you have any trouble or questions while performing the tests - ask us, there is a huge number members here that are experts on using the kit )

    Your cl vs. cya is too low! Again, use the calc to see how much bleach you need to add (a cya of 90 is higher than I'd recommend for a non-SWCG pool but certainly not a cause to drain the pool, especially with a SWCG)

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to allay your fears. Use the calc to make adjustments for now using the pool store numbers and get us your TF- 100 results as soon as you can.

    Again, welcome to TFP - we're gonna help you master this in no time


    *Ann and Evan beat me to the "submit" button - but we seem to be on the same page (also notice that 3 people all answered at the same time 8) )*
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    *Ann and Evan beat me to the "submit" button - but we seem to be on the same page (also notice that 3 people all answered at the same time 8) )*
    :P
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    Thank you for the help. Just so I'm clear:

    * I did have a small bit of algae of one side before I added the salt, so by adding the salt and scrubbing, it turned the deep water greenish?
    (Basically, you don't think the salt is the cause of the green tint)

    * I don't know what shock it was (I can find out at lunch), but it was 6 lbs of some 99% small granule in 1 lb. bags. (From pool store)

    * I also added 1/2 qt of algaecide based on pool store recommendation.

    * I added about 20lbs of baking soda (based on pool store recommendation).

    I'm learning (and loving) poolcalculator.com!

    As far as where to go from here, you think I should get my pH in line w/ Borax, then get back to TA (after testing)?

    I will test at lunch, but I can only test FC, pH, and TA until the TF-100 comes in (hopefully this week).

    Thanks again for the tips.

    [edit]
    Wow, thanks for all help!

    I have to get my SWG wired up. I just got the pump replaced and running so I could get some chlorine in hit the algae before it got bad.

    I will install the Easytouch panel and breaker box this week (time is hard to come by w/ 2 kids, a pregnant wife, and studying for the PE...)

    I will keep a sharp eye on FC until SWG is online (goal is 4 after SWG until CYA comes down).
    [edit]
    23,000 gal, inground vinyl, Pentair VS-3050, Pentair 420ft^2 cartridge filter, Easytouch 4 w/ IC40 (SWG)

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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jebc4
    Thank you for the help. Just so I'm clear:

    * I did have a small bit of algae of one side before I added the salt, so by adding the salt and scrubbing, it turned the deep water greenish?
    (Basically, you don't think the salt is the cause of the green tint)
    Nope, you had an algae bloom starting and it just got worse. This is what algae does!

    * I don't know what shock it was (I can find out at lunch), but it was 6 lbs of some 99% small granule in 1 lb. bags. (From pool store)
    Sounds like Dichlor, which will raise your CYA even higher! Use bleach or liquid chlorine for shocking. This is what your SWG is producing, btw! Shock is a verb (something you do to a pool), not a noun (a special product). Repeat this a few times!
    * I also added 1/2 qt of algaecide based on pool store recommendation.
    What kind? Copper based ones can cause staining and green hair. Linear quats can foam and are short lived. Polyquat 60 is the only algaecide we really recommened here and that is more of a preventative. Chorine kills algae!
    * I added about 20lbs of baking soda (based on pool store recommendation).
    might be ok.
    I'm learning (and loving) poolcalculator.com!

    As far as where to go from here, you think I should get my pH in line w/ Borax, then get back to TA (after testing)?
    TA is not that important now. First get up the pH then start shocking to kill the algae!
    I will test at lunch, but I can only test FC, pH, and TA until the TF-100 comes in (hopefully this week).

    Thanks again for the tips.

    [edit]
    Wow, thanks for all help!

    I have to get my SWG wired up. I just got the pump replaced and running so I could get some chlorine in hit the algae before it got bad.

    I will install the Easytouch panel and breaker box this week (time is hard to come by w/ 2 kids, a pregnant wife, and studying for the PE...)

    I will keep a sharp eye on FC until SWG is online (goal is 4 after SWG until CYA comes down).
    [edit]
    Don't worry about your CYA. If it is under 100 ppm you can live with it without any problems with a SWG!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    I just used 6lbs of dichlor ... with CYA at 90 ... man this local place is a joke.

    Thanks for the help everyone. I will get this straightened out and not buy a thing there again (except calcium chloride).

    At lunch my FC was 8.6, TA was 75, and pH was ERR (below 7 probably on my quick digital tester). I can't test CYA until TF-100 gets here.

    I added 1.5 boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax at lunch and will check pH tonight (I have more on hand to add).

    According to the charts, I should shock around 39 ppm w/ CYA = 95+ (dichlor should have added 18 to this!!!).

    I'll buy a bunch of bleach on the way home, test FC, then add liquid bleach to get 39ppm. I'll do this every day until green is gone.
    23,000 gal, inground vinyl, Pentair VS-3050, Pentair 420ft^2 cartridge filter, Easytouch 4 w/ IC40 (SWG)

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    Sorry you didn't find us before adding the chems !

    We'll get you straight very soon, if you listen to us

    There are very few things you can do to your pool that we can't help you easily fix
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  10. Back To Top    #10
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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jebc4
    At lunch my FC was 8.6, TA was 75, and pH was ERR (below 7 probably on my quick digital tester).
    Another red flag is going up for me! What kind of digital tester? Is it calibrated against standards or does it use a strip or reagents? Some details about it please! With a TA of 75 I really doubt that your pH is below 7.0!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    The tester is an Aquachek Trutest http://www.aquachek.com/trutest/

    It reads its own test strips and has a memory. I thought it would be decent for quick checks, or I could get my wife to use it when I'm not there.

    Anyway, I'm way out of its range for the FC I was shooting for (and algae seems to be in remission). I had also read that pH readings will be off w/ FC > 10-15.

    I won't be doing anything else besides watching FC until the TF-100 kit gets here on Wednesday.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Jeb
    23,000 gal, inground vinyl, Pentair VS-3050, Pentair 420ft^2 cartridge filter, Easytouch 4 w/ IC40 (SWG)

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    Re: SWG Newbie -- Bad salt, green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jebc4
    The tester is an Aquachek Trutest http://www.aquachek.com/trutest/

    It reads its own test strips and has a memory. I thought it would be decent for quick checks, or I could get my wife to use it when I'm not there.
    The Trutest is not the most reliable tester around. It's biggest problem is that it uses test strips which are NOT relable. The ONLY strips we recommend using here are salt test strips (which are actually capillary titrators) and borate strips (from LaMotte).

    Get a GOOD drop based kit. Teach your wife to use it and the pool calculator (it's really easy and it's fun!) You won't regret it.

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