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Thread: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

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    Cain's Avatar
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    Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    we recently purchased a home in West Fargo, North Dakota.

    For some equipment info, here is what I can tell:

    - Splashpool Omega 20 ft circular pool (stated to be 9000 gallons) and ladder
    - Cartridge based filter with extra filter (total 2 filters)
    - 75 gpm pump (it has like no switch, you just plug it in and it just runs)
    - Pool heater system (uses natural gas or propane, not sure which)
    - Brush (looks like a plain jane sweeping brush)
    - 16 ft telescoping rod (just got this as nothing before)
    - some really basic vaccum piece and variety of tubing
    - chroline tabs floater thing
    - skimming net


    Due to the weather which was ridiculously hot on the days we moved then of course turned cold after, we neglected to get out to work on the pool and add the shock that the previous owner recommended. No chlorine tabs in the floater, also we didn't run the filter.

    So of course when we go to check out the pool, its swamp city and smelled a bit too.



    Not knowing anything about pools, I started looking online for information.

    Seeing the variety of chemicals here the previous owner left, I started with the shock packets that he had and the clorox brand test strips. From my initial tests, the Free Chlorine (FC) was at "A" or 0, so basically bad. And my PH and Total Alkalinity were very high according to the Clorox test strips.

    After viewing some youtube videos, in particular ones from this guy:

    The BBB method - Using Bleach, Baking Soda Borax to Maintain Your Swimming Pool - YouTube

    I went and started adding in bleach to the mix to get the Free Chlorine (FC) up. I went with Walmart's great value brand as oddly the Clorox one here did not state the percentage on it.

    The darker swamp color went to more clear ( I can see the bottom of the pool now) and the smell went away too. What I see now is what appears to be patches of clumping algae I think that as soon as you barely touch it with a brush it breaks all into "water dust".

    I am not sure however how "clear" the water is supposed to look relative to the pool I have itself (maybe stained?). I did take water out of the pool to have it tested this morning when I went to get the pool a pole and the guy who tested it said the levels looked fine, with the chlorine being elevated, I think he said like 8. So I am assuming that since I am trying to kill stuff here, I need to up the Free Chlorine (FC).

    He recommended that I vacuum the algae areas and run the filter which I have been doing pretty much 24/7. As I have a cartridge based filter, I tried to just "backwash" (this is how the owner described it) it by removing the filter output line that goes back into the pool and directing it into the lawn, taking out the filter itself, and vacuuming the pool.

    I tried this, and ran into a problem where once I had good suction, as soon as it appeared the line would get any bit of air in one of the extension hoses (I did run them under water before adding them), my pump acted like it went into a "safe" mode (no suction at all) until I unplugged it for a bit. I also don't know how much "suction" I should expect either. I found that leaving it all connected normally with a filter, I got better consistent results, but still had the "safe mode" issue too.

    So right now I am trying to decide my next course of action. As it sits:

    - Can see the bottom of the pool pretty easily
    - Only true green style cloudiness comes when I kick up whats on the bottom (no leaves here, pretty open prairie land)
    - water still has a light to medium green hue to it
    - Filters when checked and cleaned after 8 hr session have good amounts of green on them that I wash off
    - I am adding in a 2 gallons of Walmart Great Value brand bleach each day
    - I have 2 Clorox brand tablets floating in the pool dispenser thing
    - I try to brush the pool at least twice a day

    Here is what my latest reading after adding bleach and a bag of shock about 1.5 hrs ago based on the test strip:

    Hardness: 250
    Total Chlorine: High
    Free Chlorine: off the charts (was like dark purple)
    stabilizer: I'd say between 100 and 150 (oddly, it says "100" is okay, but I am hearing that is not the case??)

    Things I am considering:

    Based on this info, thinking I need to drain the pool some or add some water, not sure how much though...

    - Purchasing some sort of auto cleaning thing (previous owner mentioned some kind of "bug" device)
    - Purchasing an auto skimmer that attaches to the side of the pool
    - Buying an algaecide like Swamp Treat as seen on some Youtube videos to kill whatever is remaining
    - Continue with the BBB method as I saw on a youtube video
    - Having a bag of Shock on hand, adding maybe once a week?

    I do have questions about winterization in my region where it can get in the negatives easily but will ask that once I get closer to that timeframe.

    I appreciate any advise. I am hoping that I can figure this out and keep the pool versus just selling it off. My wife and I are willing to give it a go!

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Welcome to TFP!

    To clear the pool of algae, you need to follow the SLAM process. The only things you will need are one of the Recommended Test Kits and copious amounts of plain unscented liquid bleach. You will need to know the CYA (stabilizer) level and add bleach as needed to maintain the target FC level according to your pool's CYA level.

    I would forget algaecides and "shock" products. Plain liquid bleach is your friend and is all you need to resolve this problem.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    To clear the pool of algae, you need to follow the SLAM process. The only things you will need are one of the Recommended Test Kits and copious amounts of plain unscented liquid bleach. You will need to know the CYA (stabilizer) level and add bleach as needed to maintain the target FC level according to your pool's CYA level.

    I would forget algaecides and "shock" products. Plain liquid bleach is your friend and is all you need to resolve this problem.
    Thanks!

    I did a bunch more research on this as I want my family to enjoy this new move and pool and reading more on CYA and looking at what test strip readings (I know, not really good, so I ordered the TF-100!) It looks like my CYA is way out of whack. like in the 150 I think range based on this strip.

    So I have started the process of draining the pool over the next few days. parts of the lawn need water so who knows, maybe a side blessing.

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    Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    some more news, hope to get some more advice here even though I know I don't have the kit yet.

    I drained the pool down to about maybe 2 ft.

    Looking at the water its actually really clear. the only thing I notice is that there are what I would call algae "lines" on the bottom. not tons or anything, just lines of them that are green, like algae "dust" groupings.

    I tried to hit it with the vacuum part while the water was fairly calm and I think I got a good portion of that up. I am going to do it again later today to see if I can get more out.

    One thing of interest was that using the Clorox strips I have, the CYA value is a lot different than what I was reading before. Not sure if the drain (I didn't refill) or the removal of the Clorine tablets that were floating are affecting my readings, but its now appears much lower.

    We don't reallly have any direct sun right now, and my FC levels are "purple" which is like off the charts on the strips I have, so I am going to watch that.

    Any recommendations on if I should get algaecide to kill whats left or just keep working it with bleach and vaccuming?
    - Splash Omega 20 Above Ground 20 ft round 4ft deep 9000 gallon pool
    - Splashpak Cartridge Filter, EF75 1HP 75 GPM pump
    - TFT-100 XL Test Kit

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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    You can't put too much faith in the test strips. I had those same Clorox strips, and they are ballpark only. Even a basic reagent based kit will give you far better and repeatable results. The TF100 kit you ordered will do everything you need to do. Don't bother going to the pool store either. I did that, and their results were even further off than the test strips. They kept saying my water was fine, and wanted to sell me algaecide. Something didn't smell right, neither my arm after putting it in the pool to get the sample for the pool store, nor the pool store's advice. I didn't bite, thankfully, so my pool was not polluted with chemicals and my wallet drained.

    I'm a newbie, but other people here to can tell you how much bleach to add to hold you over until the test kit arrives.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Yeah, the first place before I even got a full description in was like "You have black algae, you need this", with stuff that had nothing listed for prices, etc. I kindly backed away ninja style!

    The second place were more helpful, I'll probably by any pool supplies that are not from a common place from them like the pole I bought and I think of the chemicals I have here, the one I don't have is the stabilizer / CYA stuff but I do have the tabs that would do the same I guess.

    Looking forward to getting more advice thats for sure!

    I went out and checked again, the algae lines are less, but I think my pump is just not strong enough. Looking at more info on the pump / filter combo its a "splash Pak" model. I am going to look that up and see what all I can find out about it, but from what I can tell, and again this is just my newbie view into it, but when all the lines I need are hooked up to clean the pool with the vacuum there really isn't a ton of suction going on, like I feel the suction if I put my hand very close to the opening. Maybe that is sufficient though, I don't know.

    I wonder if there is an economical auto cleaner that someone could recommend?


    Maybe I need a new pump setup or something to boost the pump when doing a sweep? I don't know if they make things like that, just looking at your sig Michael

    All in all though, even my wife commented on how much better the pool looks compared to when it was swamp city and had a fish market kind of smell to it if I recall correctly.
    - Splash Omega 20 Above Ground 20 ft round 4ft deep 9000 gallon pool
    - Splashpak Cartridge Filter, EF75 1HP 75 GPM pump
    - TFT-100 XL Test Kit

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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    You asked the algaecide question twice. So just in case you didn't see BoDarville's response, forget the algaecide. It has it's place, but it won't kill your algae. It is more of a preventative. Those of us that use it, mostly do only when closing for the winter. If we do, we only use a 60% polyquat.

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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Have you cleaned your filter post swamp?
    5900 gal Oval 17' x 12' x 54" Sharkline Navigator 54 AGP; 1.5 HP Hayward Power-Flo LX Pump; Hayward EC65A DE Filter; AquaComfort XL ACT-750 Heat Pump;
    Hasa 8 gal Liquidator;
    TF-100 Test Kit w/Speedstir

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    Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    I clean the filters regularly after each run. I have two filters and make sure to spray it out where I see green, not just looking for the water to run clear as I noticed that its not a great representation of it being "clean" relative to what it picked up.

    This morning even less 'lines" present in the pool.

    Some pics:






    what it came with:






    I'll see if I can get some better ones, not sure what is up with the camera on the phone usually does a better job.

    Looking for the TF-100 kit to get here. Right now mainly workingon maintaining a "high" level on the FC as best as I can see with the chlorine strips.

    As a side question, when is it ever good to use Chlorine Tablets that float in the pool? Seems like what I am reading just using Bleach is better, maybe when you have to be away for a bit to drop some in there for tablets but other than that, haven't really seen anything else as a recommendation?
    - Splash Omega 20 Above Ground 20 ft round 4ft deep 9000 gallon pool
    - Splashpak Cartridge Filter, EF75 1HP 75 GPM pump
    - TFT-100 XL Test Kit

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    clambert1273's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Nope just bleach and a few other things when necessary. I am not the savvy on filters so I can't even determine what that is but I would be looking at a sand filter.

    When we had our AG, I replaced the filter that came with it with a sand filter shortly after joining this site. There is a wealth of information here and it is very empowering!!

    Read read read read while waiting on the kit...


    Christina
    ~14,000gal 14x30 IG vinyl, Hayward DE4820 filter (everything else is too old to read lol), TF100 Test Kit, TFPC method
    POOL SCHOOL, ABC'S of WATER CHEMISTRY, POOL MATH, SUPPORT TFP!!, TEST KIT!

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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Many will use the tablets when away from home for a few days or away for vacation. You'll need to monitor your CYA when you do use them.
    5900 gal Oval 17' x 12' x 54" Sharkline Navigator 54 AGP; 1.5 HP Hayward Power-Flo LX Pump; Hayward EC65A DE Filter; AquaComfort XL ACT-750 Heat Pump;
    Hasa 8 gal Liquidator;
    TF-100 Test Kit w/Speedstir

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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Thanks!

    I'll research up on Sand Filters and see what people recommend for a specific brand and model. I would want something though that would drive an automatic pool cleaner, I don't get the impression this model I got now will.

    Speaking of which, I noticed last go around a bit of sand at the bottom of the filter unit itself, I am thinking maybe from sand getting into the pool, I take it thats NOT how we wnat sand in there lol.

    Today is supposed to be the day for the TF100 kit. Hopefully they actually deliver the box to the house, not sure how deliveries go here.
    - Splash Omega 20 Above Ground 20 ft round 4ft deep 9000 gallon pool
    - Splashpak Cartridge Filter, EF75 1HP 75 GPM pump
    - TFT-100 XL Test Kit

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    Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Alright I got some news!

    TF-100 kit came in, from what I can tell this is actually pretty easy to use. I didn't feel when using it like it was something that was just way beyond me. I think probably the only thing I needed some clarification on was what to use on the scooper, I didn't realize it was a scooper initially lol.

    Alright so here are the numbers, bear in mind my pool is about half drained.

    FC - 10
    CC - 0
    TC - 10
    CYA - 40
    TA - 300
    CH - 250

    Based on this, and what I saw this morning which was some more of those algae "lines" on the bottom as I wanted to wait till today to look at my numbers before just dumping more chlorine in there and I didn't run the filter this morning, I am thinking I am going to SLAM the pool here.

    Based on the pool math calculator, I am look at about 42 oz of bleach to add assuming 4500 gallon in the pool.

    Is there anything else I should look at in the meantime or just start with the SLAM. was mainly asking concerning the TA level.

    All in all I am liking the kit, I feel its easier to use than the strips lol.
    - Splash Omega 20 Above Ground 20 ft round 4ft deep 9000 gallon pool
    - Splashpak Cartridge Filter, EF75 1HP 75 GPM pump
    - TFT-100 XL Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    You do not list your PH. That is a very important part of the SLAM. It needs to be at 7.2.

    Start refilling your pool and let us know your levels when you get it full.

    Do not worry about your TA right now. Only FC and PH.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Cain, are you planning on slamming at low water levels? If so, does all your filtration work?

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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    You do not list your PH. That is a very important part of the SLAM. It needs to be at 7.2.

    Start refilling your pool and let us know your levels when you get it full.

    Do not worry about your TA right now. Only FC and PH.

    Kim
    Unfortunately I have been doing the whole higher chlorine since I saw it green and didn't have a really good baseline for PH. Should I stop slamming and go from there or keep going without this info?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Cain, are you planning on slamming at low water levels? If so, does all your filtration work?
    That is my plan as I figure it could filter more water through in less time. However, I am fully new to pools, etc. From what I can tell, the return line shoots out into the pool like a hose. Should this be submerged when the pool is full or does it matter at all?

    The filter line is at the lowest part of the pool so I figure that would be okay. But again, I don't know for sure so if there is a problem with that chime in!

    I think my measurement for CC was wrong so I redid FC and CC and here are my new updated numbers after adding the bleach earlier today (about 5ish):

    FC - 25
    CC - 1.5
    TC - 10
    CYA - 40
    TA - 300
    CH - 250

    I am running the filter overnight tonight and will have my wife run it tomorrow.

    One thing maybe I can get some help with, but it seems like I am having trouble getting the vaccum to suck like I would think it should. I see water shooting out of the return opening fine, very strong, just think the vaccum should work better. Maybe I am hooking up something wrong?

    Thank you everyone for all your help!
    - Splash Omega 20 Above Ground 20 ft round 4ft deep 9000 gallon pool
    - Splashpak Cartridge Filter, EF75 1HP 75 GPM pump
    - TFT-100 XL Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Don't worry about the PH right now then.

    I would fill your pool up as that will help speed things up as it will be clean water and will help dilute the other water and algae. It might even speed up your SLAM!

    Keep doing what you are doing as you add water. It is a solid plan!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Thanks!

    i did a morning measurement for these values:

    FC- 19 (did two readings first was 18 and next was 19.5 so settled on 19)
    CC - 0 (did twice, same thing, may need more info on what this means if FC does have loss but no value here)
    CYA - 30 to 40 (on this the dot did go away as I poured, but its like if you let it settle you can still kind of make it out, is it supposed to dissapear when settled or as you pour?)

    So as I have to go to work, I am going to bring the shock level back up to 25 just in case this is not just green algae and will check again when I get home.
    - Splash Omega 20 Above Ground 20 ft round 4ft deep 9000 gallon pool
    - Splashpak Cartridge Filter, EF75 1HP 75 GPM pump
    - TFT-100 XL Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    Did you fill back up the pool? We need to know that.

    If not, I would do that. Your return line shooting out water will raise your pH (whoops) higher. When you do refill, your CYA will get diluted.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Cain's Avatar
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    Re: Totally new to pools, bought a house with one, and of course now green ...

    thanks for the info!

    I went ahead and started filling the pool.

    looking at the water today even less green from what I can tell, basically very little lines if any. I had to work a few areas mainly because I think the liner was stained so its hard to tell for those spots if that is truly algae or just a stain. If I ever drain it completely, am I correct that there is something that will cover that up? like a Vinyl touch up?

    I am still at a loss with this vacuum setup as it seems that it just doesn't pickup or "pull" like I think it should. but again, I have no idea on how it should be so no baseline to go off of.

    From what I am seeing for the SLAM method, I'll go ahead and get the PH between 7.2 - 7.5 (why does this need to be lower than the recommended 7.5 - 7.8 I am seeing here Pool School - Recommended Levels )

    I'll also then test CYA and then do another SLAM tonight. Hopefully that will do it as I wouldn't mind having this all ready for the weekend.

    Is there a CYA that is more preferred, by that I mean, is being closer to thirty over closer to 40, or so better?
    - Splash Omega 20 Above Ground 20 ft round 4ft deep 9000 gallon pool
    - Splashpak Cartridge Filter, EF75 1HP 75 GPM pump
    - TFT-100 XL Test Kit

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