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Thread: New Home Owner - Green Pool

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    New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a new homeowner and after a miscommunication about who was adding chlorine to the pool, it's now green. It's been green for about a week now and I've been testing the water with the test strips the previous owner left us and adding extra chlorine and some of the algy stuff the previous owner left us.

    While researching what else to do to fix it, I found thirs site. I have been reading a lot of the threads and just ordered the Taylor K-2006 test kit so I can test the water myself (it will arrive next week).

    With everything I have read so far on this site it sounds like I shouldn't add the algy killer anymore and I need to go buy liquid chlorine to use instead of the granular chlorine we have.

    I know there is not a lot you can tell me before my test kit shows up but I do have a question about chlorine. The pool store told me that liquid chlorine is bad because it adds a lot of salt to the pool, and this site says that the granular chlorine is bad because it adds a lot of CYA to the pool. I understand that both salt and CYA accumulate in the pool and the only way to reduce them is to drain and replace some of the water. There are explanations about the down side of too much CYA, but is there a downside for having too much salt?

    Thanks in advance, here is a picture of my pool from 4/5/16.

    11,500 Gal Fiberglass IG Pool. Hayward cartridge filter with Pentair 3/4 HP pump
    500 Gal Fiberglass AG Spa with cartridge filter
    Taylor K-2006 test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Welcome to TTP! Congrats on the new pool!

    Stabilized chlorine adds a lot more CYA than bleach/liquid chlorine adds salt. You could use bleach for years and not accumulate as much salt as is used in a saltwater pool, which is about 10% of the level of salt in the ocean. And salt makes the water feel better.

    You can add about 1/2 a jug, 60 oz, of 8.25% bleach to your pool daily until you get your test kit.

    Two links for you to start reading
    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Hi! Welcome to TFP! Liquid chlorine does leave small amounts of salt in the water, however it is no where near the problem excess CYA or Calcium is in your pool. If you used liquid chlorine only, it would be diluted with water replacement due to splash out, or backwashing long before it built up into a problem. Really the only time excess salt is a problem is when you have a saltwater chlorine generator and add too much salt to the pool for the generator to work.
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Thanks for the info, it's frustrating when pool stores give bad advice.

    Hopefully I will be able to get to the store tonight to buy bleach so I can stop adding the granular chlorine. At this point I already know we will have to drain and replace a lot of the water so I would rather keep adding the chlorine I have than do nothing and let the algae get worse. As of this morning, the water is looking more of a whitish green, so even though I'm still working mostly blind (ie no test results) I'm making progress.

    Here is a picture from this morning

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    You have so come to the right place! See the pool store helps you for money! TFP helps for smiles and pretty pictures of pretty pools! LOL

    You ARE on the right track for sure.

    Did you know you can use *bleach* gasp Just plain bleach from Target or Walmart. No smells easy pour. Just plain store brand bleach!

    Make sure to keep brushing your pool as well. Of course it will cloud up but that gets the dead stuff up so the filter can grab it.

    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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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    You'll have that pool cleaned up in no time! Best advice we can give is to stay away from pool stores!! They are often clueless about chemistry, not that they know it.
    Worse case is that they will sell you chemicals (at exorbitant prices for what they really contain) that you often don't need!

    Welcome to TFP We'll get you fixed up in no time!

    Yip
    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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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    That's not bad. My pool was way greener than that.

    Keeping the pool with enough chlorine that the algae dies is all you need to do. Bleach bleach and more bleach. If you have a concrete pool, there is a little more margin of error to go higher on the chlorine levels than the other pool liners that will get bleached.

    People with more experience than I will happily help you, but it shouldn't take more than a few days. Chlorinate the pool, clean the filter, those two steps, repeated over and over again quickly enough and the algae will die and be filtered out of the pool.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    We have found that going too much over the recommended levels of FC does not really do much good. It just uses up more bleach without really killing more algae. The most important thing is go MAINTAIN the FC at or just above SLAM level.

    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: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    On the "adds a lot of salt" comment... I have been running a pool by adding bleach for 2 years now... 1 summer and I am at 400 ppm.... So you could probably go quite a while before the salt is an issue.
    7-10 year old In ground 20,000 gal, Aquabright ecofinish W/ Spa, waterfall and infinity jet, 60 sq foot DE filter, Single speed pump, Racer cleaner

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
    On the "adds a lot of salt" comment... I have been running a pool by adding bleach for 2 years now... 1 summer and I am at 400 ppm.... So you could probably go quite a while before the salt is an issue.
    For reference to the 400 ppm number, my saltwater pool has a recommended range for salt of 3000 ppm to 4500 ppm, with 3400 ppm being ideal. And ocean water has 32,000 to 35,000 ppm salt.
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Thanks for all the advice so far, I bought several gallon size jugs of 10% pool bleach last night. It was less expensive than the regular 8.25% bleach.

    My test kit doesn't come until next week but it's been a few days since I tested so I used one of my "guess" strips to get an idea of where my levels are. For what it's worth, here is what it says:
    Total hardness: 1000 (highest option)
    Total chlorine: 10 (highest option)
    Free chlorine: 20 (highest option)
    pH: 8.4 (highest option)
    Total Alkalinity: somewhere between 40 and 120, probably closer to 120
    Stabalizer: around 100, maybe less

    I added 1/2 a gallon of the 10% chlorine last night and nothing this morning since the numbers look plenty high. The water is definitely a lighter color today. It looks lighter than the picture, it's raining today so it's not as bright as it was for the other pictures.


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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    For reference to the 400 ppm number, my saltwater pool has a recommended range for salt of 3000 ppm to 4500 ppm, with 3400 ppm being ideal. And ocean water has 32,000 to 35,000 ppm salt.
    Thanks for the reference point. I have a feeling my salt level may be somewhat near that range. The first few times I took my water to Leslie's for testing the guy kept asking if I had a salt water generator (we don't). He was skeptical until I showed him pictures of our equipment. He then recommended that we drain and replace the water because it's probably "old" and it would help reduce the salt and phosphates and the water would take less chemicals to maintain.

    After reading this site I still think I will need to drain at least some of the water, but the reason would be to reduce CYA, not phosphates or salt (though they will also be reduced).

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    You are on the right track there. There are really only two reasons to drain a pool, CYA and CH. Once we get some good test results we can help with that decision.

    Old water! LOL! I heard a story on NPR recently that all water has been around so long that it is all dinosaur pee. So, I guess your water is at least a few million years old, but I don't know where to get water that isn't. My water has been in my pool since day one in 2012, except for rainfall. Same with sand in sand filters, all sand is old.
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by aeh0603 View Post

    ...I used one of my "guess" strips to get an idea of where my levels are. For what it's worth, here is what it says:
    Total hardness: 1000 (highest option)
    Total chlorine: 10 (highest option)
    Free chlorine: 20 (highest option)
    pH: 8.4 (highest option)
    Total Alkalinity: somewhere between 40 and 120, probably closer to 120
    Stabalizer: around 100, maybe less
    Boy Howdy! If "Guess-strips" could be more worthless, I can't imagine? How in the world can you have TC 10, and FC 20??
    The formula is: FC + CC= TC

    Don't fret- once you get your test kit you'll have hard fast numbers you can believe!
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Do you have a vacuum? If so make sure to vacuum up the stuff on the bottom. If not you can get a hose and head from Walmart to do it.

    That color is already looking better! By the time your test kit gets here it will be clear!

    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: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Do you have a vacuum? If so make sure to vacuum up the stuff on the bottom. If not you canhave get a hose and head from Walmart to do it.

    That color is already looking better! By the time your test kit gets here it will be clear!

    Kim
    Yes we have a manual vacuum, just haven't had time to use it yet. We'll probably do that tonight or tomorrow. So far I've just been adding chlorine and doing a quick sweep of the sides, bottom, and stairs once or twice per day.

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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    Boy Howdy! If "Guess-strips" could be more worthless, I can't imagine? How in the world can you have TC 10, and FC 20??
    The formula is: FC + CC= TC

    Don't fret- once you get your test kit you'll have hard fast numbers you can believe!
    Poor design of the test range - TC is maxed out at 10 so really it means 10 or higher, there were several other values that indicated the highest possible value on the strip (these test strips were left for us by the previous owner).

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Good to hear you do not have to shell out more money right now! LOL you need all you can get to for the bleach!

    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: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    We have found that going too much over the recommended levels of FC does not really do much good. It just uses up more bleach without really killing more algae. The most important thing is go MAINTAIN the FC at or just above SLAM level.

    Kim
    Going above the levels is wasted. With a vinyl liner you risk turning it white. With a concrete pool you risk wasting a few bucks of chlorine.

    Much better to test and bleach constantly. But if you have to do something inconvenient like "go to work" and have your spouse add chlorine, it's less scary to go over the recommended FC levels with a concrete pool. Sometimes real life interferes with the maintenance. I had my wife pour "a few seconds" of chlorine in during the day to keep my SLAM going. If we dropped under the FC level, we slowed our progress (wasting time & money), if we went over, we wasted some money.

    Anything over the levels here is wasted, but probably not dangerous in a concrete pool.

    That's all I was saying, not meaning to suggest that going higher than the levels here would speed it along.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: New Home Owner - Green Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_H View Post
    Going above the levels is wasted. With a vinyl liner you risk turning it white. With a concrete pool you risk wasting a few bucks of chlorine.
    What is the risk with a fiberglass pool?
    11,500 Gal Fiberglass IG Pool. Hayward cartridge filter with Pentair 3/4 HP pump
    500 Gal Fiberglass AG Spa with cartridge filter
    Taylor K-2006 test kit

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