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Thread: I gave up and closed the pool - fc = 0. Cya = 0. Help!

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    Oct 2015
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    Ellicott City, MD
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    I gave up and closed the pool - fc = 0. Cya = 0. Help!

    I closed my pool on Monday, 9/28/2015. I gave up trying to get a chlorine reading after spending 3 weeks and hundreds of dollars on shock, 3" tablets, muriatic acid, liquid bleach, and draining the pool 40%. I don't give up easily so today I peeled back the cover and took another water sample. No change: FC=0, TC=0, pH=7.4, ALK=100, Calcium=200, CYA=0. I even tested for ammonia with my fish tank test. .25 ppm. I believe my sand filter is part of the problem. It started to fail in mid-summer and I have not been able to clean or replace the sand. The sand was last replaced in 2008. My equipment is in my basement which includes a one bedroom apartment and nervous tenants. Now that the pool has been winterized, i.e., water level is 6" below the skimmer, should I try to stabilize with liquid stabilizer/conditioner followed by liquid (10%) bleach or just wait until spring? The water already has a green tint and visible algae on one side. I fear the enivible swamp water next spring. If I try to correct it now, I estimate I will need to spend $165 on liquid stabilizer (4 gallons @ $25), liquid bleach (4 gallons @ $5) and algaecide (1/2 gallon @$45). What do you suggest I do?
    35,000 gallon, in-ground, plaster pool. 26'X44'. Built 1965.
    Triton Sand Filter-TR100. 1.5 HP pump. Polaris pool cleaner.
    Purchased home in 1990. Have been winging it for 25 years.
    Taylor Test Kit K-2006.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: I gave up and closed the pool - fc = 0. Cya = 0. Help!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Without circulation in the pool I would not recommend adding any chemicals.

    The situation you describe is a chemical problem, not a filtration problem. With "0" FC, "0" CYA and registering ammonia I am going to surmise that your FC went to "0" and your CYA was converted to ammonia by bacterial action.

    In the spring you should do liquid chlorine until all of the ammonia has been oxidized and you begin to hold a FC level.

    When spring comes think of the following things-

    You have already closed the pool and if the water temperature is allowing algae growth, you are going to be dealing with lots of algae in the spring. You want to open early, before the water reaches 60 degrees.

    Granular stabilizer works as well as liquid at a much lower cost.

    Skip the Algecide. It is a preventative product and does not really clean up a pool that already has algae.

    You re going to need more than 4 gallons of bleach, maybe by a factor of 5-10. Pick it up,at WalMart or Dollar General. 8.25% is less than $3 a bottle (121oz, not really a gallon).

    When you say your filter "started to fail", what does that mean? Sand does not go bad and it is not necessary to change it on a scheduled basis. There are a very few limited situations that require sand replacement, but so far you have not described anything that makes me think yours is bad. As I said above, algae is a chemical issue, not a filtration issue. You can have the best working filter in the world and it will not clean up a pool that has chemical,issues.

    Wait for spring, but assume you will have to work to clean it up. Take the time to study our methods. There is a Pool School link at the top,of every page. Start with the A B C's and work through the articles.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Ellicott City, MD
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    Re: I gave up and closed the pool - fc = 0. Cya = 0. Help!

    Thank you, Tim5055. I will hold off on adding any chemicals until the spring. I usually open my pool here in Maryland at the end of May however, your suggestion of opening it earlier was one that did not occur to me. I like that idea. Thank you! In the meantime I will continue my education here at TFP. This website is so informative. I can't wait to apply my new found knowledge this spring.
    35,000 gallon, in-ground, plaster pool. 26'X44'. Built 1965.
    Triton Sand Filter-TR100. 1.5 HP pump. Polaris pool cleaner.
    Purchased home in 1990. Have been winging it for 25 years.
    Taylor Test Kit K-2006.

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    TFP Guide

    Catanzaro's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
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    Monmouth County, New Jersey
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    Re: I gave up and closed the pool - fc = 0. Cya = 0. Help!

    Boardka:

    In the spring, when you get the pool up and running, and I mean, real early (when water temperatures are in the 60*'s), check the pressure on the filter. If the pressure is normal and your suction/return plumbing is operating properly, then you have no issues with your sand filter, etc. The issues are clearly with ammonia and CYA as Tim mentioned. The colder climate and shorter days will help you clear up the pool in a shorter period of time. Please make sure you order extra reagents to test for FC in the spring time. I closed my pool the 2nd week of September and opened up last week of April and in 8 hours the pool went crystal clear. In my opinion, the earlier you open, the better. On the East Coast, the temperatures drop pretty quickly, also helping the pool. My water temperatures dropped into the mid 60's by the first week of October.

    You will need a lot of bleach. If you can catch a sale at the local Target or Wal-Mart, stock up (In the spring, not now). Chances are that you will need at least 50 gallons, given the size of your pool, especially if you have ammonia and open up to a green pool. Adding CYA is a priority as this will help the chlorine from burning off quickly. It is recommended that you start this process on a weekend because you will have to babysit the pool for the first few days to make sure you are registering chlorine and all the ammonia is gone.

    We look forward to helping you get your pool crystal clear. Once this is done, if you follow the TFP method, there will be absolutely no issues with your pool. You will no longer be using 3" tablets, purchasing algaecides (unless closing pool), shocking your pool, adding clarifiers, and working with any other magic potions that the "pool store" can come up with. Magic Tricks should be left up to magicians, not seasonal pool store employees. LOL
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Jun 2011
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    Long Beach, CA
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    Re: I gave up and closed the pool - fc = 0. Cya = 0. Help!

    Like the others said, wait until spring and open up early while the water is around 60 degrees.

    The first thing to test is for when you open in the spring is for ammonia. You want to see if the ammonia is still in the water or has been converted.

    Read all of this thread as it will give you a better understanding of what occurred and what you might have to go through, It Can Happen to Anyone - Zero Chlorine, CYA--Ammonia.

    Make sure you have enough testing reagents for a SLAM when you open in the spring. You will use a lot of the FAS/DPD reagents to clear a swamp.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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