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Thread: 6/28 UPDATE - Continuous Issue with Algae

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    6/28 UPDATE - Continuous Issue with Algae

    I maintain a pretty religious routine to keep my pool water balanced. It's a standard free form, chlorine pool around 18K gallons, with an over-sized Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair in-line chorinator, and Pentair variable speed pump. I run the pump around 16 hours per day year-round, higher RPM for 4 hours, and lower RPM for 12 hours. The pump cycle begins at 9AM before the sun hits the pool, so I have continuous circulation during daylight hours, and well into the night. I don't recall the speeds, but I based the settings on achieving 2 turnovers per cycle.

    I've had 3 different pool companies test the water, and one actually said it was one of the best balanced pools he's tested. Chlorine, stabilizer, PH, Alkalinity, Phosphates, etc., etc., all in perfect range. So here's my dilemma; I continue to get green algae on the walls of the pool. Oddly enough, some of the algae is showing up on the shaded wall. None of the pool places has an answer, only to say that "some pools are just prone to getting algae regardless of chemical balance," which I'm beginning to wonder.

    Is it possible that I don't have enough turnover/circulation? With a perfect chemical balance, could it be anything else?

    Thanks!
    18,000 gallons
    Pentair CC200 Cartridge filter
    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
    CircuPool Universal 40 SWG
    32x23 In-ground Free-form

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae


    FC
    CC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    CYA
    ... from your test kit.

    We'll be the judge of that "perfect chemical balance." Even more doubtful with inline chlorinator usage, if continuous. Algae is evidence of insufficient sanitation.

    Most of the time it's a chemistry issue, not a circulation or filtration issue. Do you have a recommended test kit? Pool store testing is most often inaccurate, inconvenient and expensive (bad advice based on bad results is bad for your wallet).
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    I'm guilty of relying on the pool stores for testing my water. Ironically, I usually leave the store with nothing, because the water seems to be properly balanced. I'm embarrassed to admit that my "test kit" consists of nothing more than a bottle of test strips, which I assume are not very accurate. I bounce between the test strips and the pool store every other week.

    I'll search the site for the recommended test kit, get one, test my water, and then post the results if that's your recommendation. I'm tired of fighting this battle.
    18,000 gallons
    Pentair CC200 Cartridge filter
    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
    CircuPool Universal 40 SWG
    32x23 In-ground Free-form

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Seadweller,

    Welcome to the forum.

    You will never regret taking charge of your own pool by testing and understanding the tests. Pool Stores are simply very unreliable and there is no one there who cares for your pool as you do.

    Algae is a sign of chronic lack of chlorination and, with proper test numbers, we'll help you get that pool crystal clear in no time. You are doing a ton of things very correctly. Breaking from the pool store will be eye-opening to you....we promise.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Quote Originally Posted by Seadweller View Post
    I'm guilty of relying on the pool stores for testing my water. Ironically, I usually leave the store with nothing, because the water seems to be properly balanced. I'm embarrassed to admit that my "test kit" consists of nothing more than a bottle of test strips, which I assume are not very accurate. I bounce between the test strips and the pool store every other week.

    I'll search the site for the recommended test kit, get one, test my water, and then post the results if that's your recommendation. I'm tired of fighting this battle.
    Order a TF100 and at least include the XL option. That will give you what you need while you are clearing the pool, and probably enough reagents for a couple of years normal use.

    While you wait for it to be delivered do a little reading in Pool School. Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    I think you will find that "perfectly balanced" to the pool $tore and perfectly balanced to TFP is two different things.
    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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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Welcome!

    The pool store lied to you. If your water was perfectly balanced, you wouldn't have algae. Even imperfectly balanced, if you had enough unbound chlorine, you wouldn't have algae.

    Before I get carried away... Right here's the link you wanted: TFTestkits.net spring for the XL option now because you'll be burning through a lot of that particular reagent getting your pool whipped into shape. I also use and heartily endorse the speedstir. If you can't spring for it now, ask for one for Father's Day or something. Nobody who has one regrets buying it.

    Onto the root of your problem: the FC/CYA relationship. A steady diet of pucks has almost certainly driven your CYA level into triple digits. Problem is, the pool store still says that 3 FC is plenty. It is.... if CYA is less than 30. Check out the graph. The things to study are the lines representing CYA value, the horizontal line that shows when algae grows, and the FC levels across the bottom. There's a lot more technical stuff if you're into that sort of thing in the link attached to the image.



    When you do have the test kit, you're going to run into the problem that the CYA tester only reads to 100. There;'s a workaround explained in Extended Test Kit Directions
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Thanks everyone...Is the K-2006 similar to, or the same as the TF-100 test kit?
    18,000 gallons
    Pentair CC200 Cartridge filter
    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
    CircuPool Universal 40 SWG
    32x23 In-ground Free-form

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Quote Originally Posted by Seadweller View Post
    Thanks everyone...Is the K-2006 similar to, or the same as the TF-100 test kit?
    They use the same reagents. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.
    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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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    By the way, regarding the data above, the pool was just completely redone in the last year (new interior finish, new plumbing, new equipment, etc.). If I recall, the last time the water was tested, I believe my FC was 5, and my CYA was 30...Do those readings make sense?
    18,000 gallons
    Pentair CC200 Cartridge filter
    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
    CircuPool Universal 40 SWG
    32x23 In-ground Free-form

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    They use the same reagents. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.
    You're a little behind the times, Tim. The TF100 now also comes with a small bottle of CYA standard, so you can calibrate your eyes and testing procedure before testing CYA.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Greetings! I'm getting ready to head out on a 2 week business trip, and didn't receive the test kit yet unfortunately...I did have my local pool store test the water, but as has been mentioned, the accuracy may be questionable. If you see anything in these preliminary numbers, please let me know. I'm getting algae on the walls daily, some spots down deep, and stretches just below the tile. I'm even getting algae on the floats of my pool cleaner, so something is awry. I'm afraid to see what I may come back to in 2 weeks after monitoring/brushing this pool daily if I don't do something now to stop this:

    FC = 5
    CC = 5
    pH = 7.8
    TA = 90
    CH = I don't see this on the report
    CYA = 80

    In addition, they did measure the phosphates at 300. This is the 5th or 6th time I've left without them selling me anything, which I know sounds odd.

    Any input/advice would be most appreciated...I'll do a real test when I return, as the kit will likely be here this coming week.

    Thanks in advance!!
    18,000 gallons
    Pentair CC200 Cartridge filter
    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
    CircuPool Universal 40 SWG
    32x23 In-ground Free-form

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Are you chlorinating with pucks? If so, with cya at 80 and FC at 5, you are below the sanitization level that prevents algae (min. For 80 cya is 6, argent dose is 9)

    The real "balance" in water for sanitization purposes is the FC/CYA Chart ratio. Read up on the chart in the link in preparation for your return. In the mean time, you could raise your FC with bleach or liquid chlorine, which won't add more cya.

    If you're not running a swg, your cya of 80 is to high for sanitzation at lower FC. Hence, the algae
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Hey, seadweller,

    Your story is repeated constantly each year by thousands of members on this forum......it's exactly the same story. You have relied on the pool store as "experts" when they are anything but.

    Some folks run away from us as they would never consider a $70.00 investment in a $30,000 pool. Other read and listen and learn
    (read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School as a start) and start to manage their own pools. Many report crystal clear water that stays crystal clear season after season because they have learned what we all have learned....manage your own pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Quote Originally Posted by Seadweller View Post
    If you see anything in these preliminary numbers, please let me know.
    Even from these unreliable pool store test results, I can see your pool is drowning in sadness. I'll explain:

    FC = 5 ***if there is algae in the pool, this test result is unacceptable unless CYA is 0.0 and any pool store employee that disagrees you simply must not take advice from... it is expensive poison to your pool, time, wallet, and mental sanity.)
    CC = 5 *** anything here over 0.5 is your pool screaming for help. Period.
    pH = 7.8 ***if you have algae this result is also far from perfect and would be the first thing adjusted
    CYA = 80 ****as mentioned above, unless you have a SWG or live in an extremely hot location with a full sun exposed pool, this number is far from ideal, and if you already have algae will be troublesome, but totally overcomeable, and at the minimum should have merited a serious conversation about making sure it never goes up again

    You too would instantly see the exact same things I do if you spend 20 minutes going through the Pool School section.

    Wait until you get your own test kit before you spend money on chemicals.

    Invest in knowledge first. Please pay special attention to the following Pool School Parts:
    1. ABC’s of Pool Water Chemistry (and if something you need isn't there Definitions and Abbreviations has it)
    2. Chlorinating Your Pool - you need to understand this NOW since your CYA *might* already be at 80
    3. Chemicals-Recommeded - if you are ready to earn a TFP then you need to only buy these
    4. Filters & Pumps - Maintenance and Cleaning - because you need to understand how to use the PSI gauge correctly for your cartridge filter
    5. Algae-Defeating Algae - because the pool store failed you and you have algae, and you're now taking responsibility for the pool, congrats!
    6. SLAM - Shock Level and Maintain - while there is no such thing as magic, this is pretty close when done correctly
    7. Test Kit Directions - whether you ordered the TF-100 XL or the K-2006C their is more you need to read than what is enclosed
    8. Read This Before you Post - because the experts that will be giving you free help deserve to have your signature filled out correctly

    I am really happy you joined TFP before your CYA got as high as mine got (100+++). Pool stores...
    I am really happy you joined TFP before you wasted money on phosphate removers, bags of powder "shock" that were either going to send your CYA higher, shoot your calcium way up, or waste a ton of your money on the premium stuff when you could have just bought bleach.
    I am really happy you joined because your pool doesn't have to be an eyesore and health hazard anymore.

    Welcome.
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    My Florida Pool: 20k IG plaster cart K-2006 | Washington State Pool I help with: 17k AG vinyl sand TF-100

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    I've found if I don't brush often enough I have problems. I think that is why many people have trouble during rainy periods, no one is using the pool or brushing. It's an often overlooked important part of pool care.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Thanks guys, I absolutely plan on taking over my own pool. As a matter of fact, when I return from my trip, I believe I'm going to convert to a salt system, as I've been meaning to do for years.

    In the interim, I used the "PoolMath" calculator to see what action could be taken short-term, and it indicated adding 112oz of 6% bleach. If I add that today, how much over the next two weeks should be added to at least keep the pool in check? Would a bottle every 3 days be a good estimate?

    Can't wait to get my test kit! We're getting tons of rain right now, so hopefully the CYA will come down as a result.
    18,000 gallons
    Pentair CC200 Cartridge filter
    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
    CircuPool Universal 40 SWG
    32x23 In-ground Free-form

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    The only way rain will really affect your CYA is if you drain a bit off in anticipation of the rain or it actually overflows intentionally to a drain or otherwise.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    I've been draining the pool in anticipation of the rain...The Pool Calculator said I'd need to replace 38% of the water to get the CYA down to 50 from 80, so if we have typical summer rains, I should be able to methodically lower it over time without a major drain/refill. I'll stop using the tablets in the chlorinator effective immediately, though my son will be adding standard, powdered shock while we're away.

    I'm now unsure how much bleach should be added, and at what frequency, while we're away to prevent a major algae outbreak. If I can just keep from losing it further while I'm gone, I'll be able to take action with the new test kit and the forums assistance.

    Thanks!
    18,000 gallons
    Pentair CC200 Cartridge filter
    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
    CircuPool Universal 40 SWG
    32x23 In-ground Free-form

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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    You can use the Poolmath Calculator (link below) to help determine how much bleach to add to raise your FC. It would be great if your son could help with that while you're away. If it helps at all, one gallon of 8.25% bleach will raise your FC by almost 5 ppm. So if your water is clean & clear when you leave, and your water uses an estimate 2.5 - 3 ppm each day through normal expenditure, you might get away with having him add about 1/2 - 3/4 gallons of bleach each evening. Now if he throws a major party while you're away, then you'll need more bleach.
    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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    Re: Continuous Issue with Algae

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    You can use the Poolmath Calculator (link below) to help determine how much bleach to add to raise your FC. It would be great if your son could help with that while you're away. If it helps at all, one gallon of 8.25% bleach will raise your FC by almost 5 ppm. So if your water is clean & clear when you leave, and your water uses an estimate 2.5 - 3 ppm each day through normal expenditure, you might get away with having him add about 1/2 - 3/4 gallons of bleach each evening. Now if he throws a major party while you're away, then you'll need more bleach.
    Thanks...I put in the required amount of bleach as indicated by the PoolMath Calculator to bring the FC up to an 8 since there seems to be a "load" on it, and will check the water tomorrow using my test strips, which unfortunately is all I have at the moment. Given that my CYA is 80 (if the pool store measurement is accurate), the FC needs to be at a 6 to sanitize. My test strips confirmed the PH and Alkalinity levels, though I realize they're not 100% accurate, but I think they're close. I ordered the TF-100XL and Speed Stir from TFTtestkits.net, so hopefully it'll arrive this week and I'll be ready to tackle this head on when I return.

    I'll have my son add 1/2 gallon of bleach nightly until we return to be safe. Is there any harm in the FC getting a bit too high? He's not familiar with testing procedures.
    18,000 gallons
    Pentair CC200 Cartridge filter
    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump
    CircuPool Universal 40 SWG
    32x23 In-ground Free-form

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