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Thread: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

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    Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    Hi there -

    We recently moved into a house that has an outdoor water feature that's essentially an above ground pool. It's L-shaped with the sides being about 22' and 19', respectively, and it's about 7' wide and 18" deep. There's a pump underground somewhere that sends water up through 4 different openings at the bottom of the pool, the water spills over the edges of the pool, falls into drain channels that move the water back to the underground pump, and so on. Other than a mesh strainer at the intake to the pump, there's no other filtration system, chemical treatment system, etc.

    When the water is clean and clear, it looks great and the water trickling sound is very pleasant. But the big problem that we're having is that inevitably, we'll get (dead) algae accumulating at the bottom. We try to keep ahead of it by periodically adding chlorine and algaecide, but if we have a lapse (or if the chemical balance gets out of whack), we end up having the dead algae on the bottom.

    The previous owner had put together a DIY vacuum system, which we've tried to use but which is very cumbersome to use and doesn't work well (more details about its construction and photos are at the end of this post). I'd love to find a better solution -- either some kind of permanent ongoing filtration or a portable vacuum/cleaner of some sort. It's a big enough hassle that I'm willing to spend a decent chunk of change to get it addressed -- though of course I'd also like not to spend more than necessary. And though I'd love for it to be as "hands off" as possible, I'm aware that realistically it'll probably require that I do active work on an ongoing basis, and that's okay too.

    For a portable vacuum/cleaner, I'd be fine with pretty much anything as long as it wasn't too much harder than using a regular vacuum on carpet. And although I'd prefer to have the water filtered to remove the algae and returned to the pool, I could be okay with just sucking the algae out from the bottom and dumping the water (though that seems wasteful).

    And just to reiterate, I'd be glad to find a commercially available option that would just work out of the box. But I'm also open to putting together a DIY system (or even modifying our existing system) if that's the best option.

    Would really appreciate any guidance or advice! Thanks.

    - - - - -
    Info on existing DIY system:

    The previous owner left us with a DIY system that's a combination of two elements put together on a hand truck. From intake to output, here's the sequence of components:
    • There's a 1.5" intake hose, which is about 12' long. The idea is to connect one end of that hose to a vacuum head that's attached to a pole and that can be rolled along the bottom of the pool.
    • The other end of the intake hose is connected to a Pooline cylinder that has a strainer inside (see photo 1).
    • The other end of the Pooline unit is connected to a Splapool pump for swimming pools and spas (see photo 2).
    • I'm assuming that the pump sucks in water from the intake and pumps it out to the filter cartridge (shown in photo 3).
    • After going through the filter cartridge, the water is sent back out through an output hose (presumably back to the pool).

    One of the main issues we have with the system is that it's not self-priming and so it's a pain just to get it started. [We dunk the entire intake hose into the pool, then reach in and use our hand to cover the end that connects to the intake of the vacuum system, try to quickly attach it to the system (the small time gap is probably what's introducing air into the line), then we open the Pooline cover and fill it with water, close the cover, and turn on the system.] It usually doesn't work well and we have to do that several times before it does work. Also, the entire contraption is so bulky and cumbersome that it's hard to move it around to vacuum the entire pool.



    Pool1.jpgPool2.jpgPool3.jpg

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    Re: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    Do you want to have any kind of fish or anything else in there?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    Does anyone get in it, or is it more like a fountain type thing?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    Re: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    Interesting set up. I would LOVE to see the whole pool with more pics of the "filter" set up and it is set up even if it is not working just so we can see what you are dealing with.

    So what I see you saying is.............the water goes OUT of the pool over the side to channels that sends the water to a place where the pump is. The pump sends the water back into the pool through holes in the bottom of the pool.

    Hummmmmmm pics please? It sounds neat!

    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: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Interesting set up. I would LOVE to see the whole pool with more pics of the "filter" set up and it is set up even if it is not working just so we can see what you are dealing with.

    So what I see you saying is.............the water goes OUT of the pool over the side to channels that sends the water to a place where the pump is. The pump sends the water back into the pool through holes in the bottom of the pool.

    Hummmmmmm pics please? It sounds neat!

    Kim
    In answer to a couple of the earlier questions, we don't intend for people to get in the water feature and we're not planning to have any fish -- it's just a decorative feature.

    I'm also attaching a couple of photos -- the first one shows the overall shape of the water feature / pool, and the second photo is a close up showing where the water flows over the sides and into the channels. (Actually, it only is letting me attach one because I'm running out of upload space. Is there a way for me to delete older photos to free up space?) Also, to clarify, the water flows out of the pool and spills into the channels, which route the water to an underground "Filtrific" filter tank system (here's a link). I know there's a pump that sends the water back up through the holes in the bottom of the pool, and I'm assuming it sucks the water out of the Filtrific tank, but honestly I don't really know. The Filtrific system catches bigger debris (and we periodically empty the filter baskets) but it doesn't do anything for small things like sand or algae.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    You can use photo bucket or such to share more pics.
    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: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    It's real easy. Drop a few chlorine pucks in an inconspicuous place. No more algae and water will eventually get pretty clear. I have two water only fountains that I treat with the small 1" tabs.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    So where is the filter thing at? I wonder if you could put some kind of cloth over the filters to catch the smaller stuff?

    -Could you hook that cartridge filter to the current pump and "returns" (the returns being the things in the bottom I guess)?

    -What about testing the water? How do you do it? I bet a good test kit would help a LOT! Look in my siggy for the ones I use and love.

    -vacuum--------I wonder if a robot vacuum would work for you. Do a search for robot vacuums on the home page of TFP. LOTS of info there. I am not sure how they work so am not sure if it would work. I bet someone could help you figure out a way to make one work.

    I bet a good test kit, some daily liquid chlorine, and a filter for smaller stuff will help your with your pool.

    Let us know what if anything helps!

    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: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    It's real easy. Drop a few chlorine pucks in an inconspicuous place. No more algae and water will eventually get pretty clear. I have two water only fountains that I treat with the small 1" tabs.
    We do actually add chlorine pucks in the Filtrific baskets periodically. But if we have a lapse, we get dead algae build-up on the bottom -- and that doesn't go away on its own. So the question is what's the best way to get that out of the pool? I just had a thought: I saw elsewhere that someone mentioned a Wanda The Whale suction vacuum that goes along the bottom of above ground pools. What if I bought one of those and connected the hose from it to the intake of the DIY portable filter system that's on the hand truck?

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    Re: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    A little brushing will work the algae loose and then it will get trapped by the pump and eventually disappear.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Need help figuring out cleaner for algae in above ground recirculating "pool"...

    I have a Wanda and love her. BUT I do worry she might get hung up on one side or the other. She is an idea. If she does not work you could always resell her.

    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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