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Thread: Newbie - Chlorine, Algae, and Pressure Issues

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    Newbie - Chlorine, Algae, and Pressure Issues

    I'm new here and have been reading and re-reading to educate myself. Our pool is in it's 4th season. Before this season, it was a breeze to maintain and looked spectacular! This season we have had some issues with keeping chlorine levels up. We have always tested ourselves regularly and have had the pool store test regularly for us as well. I already realize two things from reading on this forum - #1 you wouldn't agree with the pool store testing and #2 our test kit is not robust enough. We were just ignorant until now, I suppose, because we've never had any trouble maintaining a great pool. I don't have a great test kit YET and I know that's what will be recommended to me first (working on it!).

    However, before I get the test kit, I just wanted to post a couple issues to see if anyone has ideas. As I mentioned, we've had trouble maintaining a good chlorine level. Being that we have an automatic chlorinator that uses pucks, I know that you will probably suspect that CYA levels are causing this? (I know I wont' know until I can test for this. ) The pool store has had us dump in a lot of chemicals of course. Each time telling us we had phospates or something else that was robbing our chlorine. By doing all of this, we've maintained the chlorine and some clarity - although it's come at a big price tag. Also, we've always kept our chlorinator on about 2 or 3 for the most part, but we've had to keep it maxed on 5 for most of this season to maintain.

    Now, our problem is that after the last expensive dump of shock and special chlorine tabs (burnout 73), our pool turned greenish and cloudy. We ended up calling a friend of ours who used to work for the pool store but now services pools on the side. Good guy - we are friends - figured he wouldn't lead us astray! He said we had mustard algae and he brought over some copper based algeacide and put it in along with liquid shock and told us to keep brushing the pool each day and to make sure we maintained chlorine. It's been 2 days and the pool has less of the greenish/yellow look and more of a cloudy milky look. So, maybe it is slowly helping with the algae. We are going to stop the bleeding from the pool store and keep brushing and maintaining chlorine hoping that it clears.

    Another issue - For the past couple months, our pool has not been building pressure. Previous seasons obviously every so often the pressure would build beyond normal and we would know to backwash. For the past few weeks or more, the pressure guage stays on 10, which has been normal. But, it won't really build beyond that. What could cause this? (Gauge is new this season) Doesn't appear that pressure is low, but that it just won't build so we don't know if we should backwash or when to backwash. What would cause this? Should we deep clean the sand filter? Could it indicate a filter problem??

    I realize the chlorine issues may not be able to be addressed due to not having my numbers yet, but any general guidance would be great. Also, any clue on the pressure issue????? THANKS!
    Pool Built 2012 / 20x40 In-Ground / Rectangular / 20-Gauge Vinyl Liner / Chlorine / 33,000 Gallons /Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter - Vari-Flo Valve - Top Mount - S244T2 / 1-1/2 HP Hayward Super Pump / Rainbow Lifeguard #320 Automatic Chlorinator

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Chlorine, Algae, and Pressure Issues

    Hello and welcome to TFP! Well, SallyAnn, you really answered most of your own questions which is good really. You've been reading TFP! And in the case of pool stores and friends, two wrongs don't make a right, and sometimes even the best intentions just make a bad situation worse. For now, I would highly encourage you to not put anything else in your water other than the regular liquid bleach until you do receive a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006C test kit. I have no doubt your CYA must be high based on the previous usage of tablets and pool store "bags-o-shock" put in the pool. It was simply a ticking time bomb before the FC could not keep-up with the CYA. For now, simply add about 1 gallon of regular (generic is fine) bleach to the water each day just to try and keep it from getting worse. When you receive your kit and can post accurate numbers, we can really get you going properly.
    As for the pressure, that is odd. The gauge was my first thought, but then you said it is new. I suppose it's always possible the gauge still went bad, even though it's new. Some of this might depend too on how often you backwash and if your filter is actually getting real dirty from a heavy swimmers load. Maybe some other sand experts will have a thought or two.

    But for now, just hang in there with regular bleach until you can test for sure. Post those numbers for us so we can help you better.
    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
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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Chlorine, Algae, and Pressure Issues

    As to the pressure, despite a new gauge, it could still be the gauge. Be sure there is nothing stuck in the pathway to the gauge. Gauges are cheap. You need to spend north of $10 for a nice one...preferably glycerin filled.

    As you probably know from your reading on this site, CYA build up is likely your chief problem and draining your pool a certain amount is likely one of the first things that might be suggested once you provide a full set of numbers from your (good quality?) test kit that you will be getting soon.

    You may also have a metal problem in your pool from the various algaecides as they often contain small amounts of copper.

    Look forward to your first suite of numbers from your pool but I'd be prepared for large water changes but we'll see.

    One thing you can do while you wait for your kit is to get your pool water checked for metals just so you know ahead of time. I assume you are on city water? If so, metals are likely NOT an issue but if you're on a well, odds are reasonable you might have metals there. Most folks don't have metal testers so the pool store is a good idea for this test.

    Oh, Welcome to the forum!!! We'll have you back to enjoying your pool for FAR less money...promise.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Chlorine, Algae, and Pressure Issues

    If you impede the pressure a little will the guage give you a bounce? For example, when I hook up my Polaris sweep my pressure increases to 16, yet when I remove it and nothing is in that return (fountain or anything else) my pressure is 12. I would try to test this to just see if the gauge moves.

    It does go to zero when the pump is off....right?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Argosy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Chlorine, Algae, and Pressure Issues

    After reading this thread I realized that I may have a faulty gauge as well. I noticed it stuck on 20 for a week and doesn't raise. Going now to check if it drops to 0 when I shut down the pump!
    Kyle. I manage a residential complex and taking care of the swimming pool is one of my duties. It is an indoor, 36 000 gallons (140 000 liters), Marbelite, heated pool, with sand filter, and Jacuzzi 1.5 HP pump. Normally I aim to keep the following chemical composure in the pool: FC = 1.5 - 2.5; PH = 7.4 - 7.6; TA = 80 - 90; CH = 200 - 300; Saturation Index = 0.0 - +0.2 Testing Kit: Taylor K-2006

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Chlorine, Algae, and Pressure Issues

    Flick the gauge with your finger...sometimes needles get stuck.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Chlorine, Algae, and Pressure Issues

    TFTestkits.net has some sweet oil filled pressure gauges for the low, low price of 11 bucks. Right?!? Is it shipped yet?
    TFP Moderator
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