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Thread: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

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    Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Hello all,

    New to the forum, semi-new to pools. Apologies in advance for the giant wall of text.

    Three years ago my older brother bought a house with pool. Around the same time he agreed to let me live with him while I finish university in exchange for taking care of the pool for him. Pretty great deal if you ask me. For the last couple of seasons, maintaining the pool has been okay. I've mostly followed the advice of my local pool store and for the most part things have been fine - not trouble-free or easy - but fine. Last year we started having problems with algae and struggled all season to keep it under control. Unfortunately, we got so fed up with it that by the time closing time came around, we basically just closed it up without it being properly balanced or clean.

    So, now I'm dealing with the worlds most severe algae bloom now that we've opened the pool again for the season. I've decided to really try to get on top of things this year and stop following the advice of the pool store and try to stick with the methodologies outlined on this site. I've read through the introduction articles and have a decent understanding of the chemistry.

    Anyway, on to the problem at hand. When we had our "pool guy" come out and open the pool for the season, the water was dark green. I immediately tested the water (using a blue devil "professional" test kit) and found that the pH was about 8.2, alkalinity was around 80 and CH was 50. CYA was pretty much zero, but I know CYA can be off if pH isn't balanced. I then took a sample to the pool store to see what they suggested and they said to not bother with balancing and go ahead and add 9lbs of shock and a bottle of Algae Kill 60. Over the next couple of days, I was busy skimming massive amounts of dead algae from the top of the pool and backwashing and rinsing the filter. After a couple of days the water was a lot less green but still very cloudly. I went ahead and shocked again with 11bs of shock and scrubbed the bottom of the pool again. Now, the water is still very cloudy and still has a green tint. Last night I added 9 bottles of regular liquid bleach and scrubbed the pool again. This morning I tested the water and the FC and pH were both very low (1.0, and 6.5 respectively). The pool store recommends shocking and using algaecide again, but I am hesitant. I wish I had known about the SLAMing method listed here. At this point, I am not sure if I should try to adjust the pH so that I can get an accurate reading of the CYA and proceed with the SLAMing method here or if I should just now worry about the pH and go with the pool store's advice.

    Many thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions.

    Before/After shocks
    IMG_20160524_155120.jpgAttachment 48983
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Welcome to the forum.

    Don't blend advice from the pool store and us.....they won't work and you'll end up in the still-green middle. We'll get your pool crystal clear if you follow our common sense advice.

    Pictures help. That pool is a chip shot to have blue and crystal clear.

    1. Order a test kit. The K-2006C or the TF-100 are the only kits on the market that have what you need......that FAS/DPD FC test....it's at the core.

    2. Test kit on order, (It'll be to you on Wed if you get the TF-100), now raise your ph. The pH test in your kit is quite similar to the one in either of the good kits so we can rely on it's results.

    Pool Math tells us that to take a 32k pool from 8.2 down to 7.4 (so you can SLAM), you will need 43 oz of muriatic acid. Go ahead with that addition, I trust that Blue Devil pH test. Run the pump continuously and recheck pH after 30 minutes. If you don't hit pH on the head, you can adjust.

    3. Now, have patience. Don't test or do anything else except add one large jug of Clorox to your pool each evening. That's it until your kit gets in. It's gonna be hard to wait but I do not know the other tests and don't want you to act on them. As soon as your kit gets in, let us know by posting your results and we'll help you start the SLAM process. Your pool will be crystal clear....promise!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Thanks so much for the guidance.

    Just to clarify, the pH as of this morning is about 6.5. So, assuming that is correct and according to the calculator, I should add about 659oz of borax to raise it to 7.4. Does that sound correct?

    Also, I went ahead and tested the CYA with my kit and it came out at right around 30-35 if that changes anything.
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Your pool looks like mine did when I decided to clean it up for swim season. But......I have the TF-100 test kit and I went from green to blue because I've studied pool school.

    I wasn't scared of my green......because pool school has taught me how to clear it.

    You need a test kit and a basic understanding of what chemicals effect your pool.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    and found that the pH was about 8.2,
    is your pH 8.2 or 6.5?? they are off the chart opposites.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    This morning I tested the water and the FC and pH were both very low (1.0, and 6.5 respectively).
    Apologies for the confusion. The pH was 8.2 when we opened the pool, but is now 6.5. I mentioned it later in the post, but I see now that it was worded confusingly.
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Test kit is on the way. I hope to soon share your lack of fear of the algae lol.
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    SWEET! Now work on the PH. Like Dave said you can use the test kit you have. Have you played with Pool Math yet? It is at the top of the page. It is neat and does all of the work for you! Go ahead and learn how to use it while you are waiting for your test kit.

    Let us know when the test kit gets there! Wait until you see how clear your pool will be after we get through with 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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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    It sounds like the pH of 6.5 came from the pool store, because the phenol red indicator test in the normal test kits can only read down to 6.8 (and up to 8.2). Is that correct? I'd recommend using your own pH test if you have it, and adding the chemical to raise pH in portions, letting the water circulate a while and retesting before adding more.

    Does anyone have a recommendation on what to add? Any reason to prefer borax vs. soda ash to raises pH?
    18x36, 19k gal, IG Vinyl, Hayward s244t sand filter, 3/4HP Hayward pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Without knowing the OP's TA, it would be inadvisable to use soda ash over borax. Borax will raise pH without affecting TA and, right now, it's best to stick with adjusting just the pH.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Hey guys! I just received my TF-100 test kit. Since my last post, I have followed duraleigh's suggestions and adjusted the pH to 7.4 using borax and added one bottle of bleach each night. The pool is still a bit green and very cloudy, but has cleared up a bit more.

    First question would be what should I go ahead and test? Everything? Very excited to start using the new test kit and see the results.
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    yes, list your FC, pH, TA, and CYA. Mostly, if your pH is already in the low 7s, we need to get your CYA (stabilizer) level so we know how much chlorine to add.
    Use the CYA/FC chart to find the SLAM level needed.
    If these phrases don't make sense, take the hour or so to read through pool school.

    If you run the cya test and can either a) see the dot even though you are up to 20, or b) cannot see the dot after just a little liquid gets you to 100, then you are out of the scope of the test and we will address that first.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Here are the results of my first test with the TF-100

    FC: 1
    CC: 1.5
    TC: 2.5
    CH: 50
    CYA: ~25 - stopped seeing the dot between 20 and 30 but was difficult to tell exactly where
    pH: 7.4
    TA: This one I was a little confused by. The instructions said to count the drops until the solution turned red, but it never really seemed to turn red for me. It took 12 drops to turn light pink then after 15 drops it was dark pink and didn't seem to change after that. So, I'm not exactly how to interpret these results if it never turned what I would consider red. I can retest if necessary.
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Testing Total Alkalinity with the TF-100 - YouTube

    Watch this video.......you will see how it flashes "red" several times but only when it STAYS "red" do you stop.

    I hope this 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: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by AnEndingAscent View Post
    Here are the results of my first test with the TF-100

    FC: 1
    CC: 1.5
    TC: 2.5
    CH: 50
    CYA: ~25 - stopped seeing the dot between 20 and 30 but was difficult to tell exactly where
    pH: 7.4
    TA: This one I was a little confused by. The instructions said to count the drops until the solution turned red, but it never really seemed to turn red for me. It took 12 drops to turn light pink then after 15 drops it was dark pink and didn't seem to change after that. So, I'm not exactly how to interpret these results if it never turned what I would consider red. I can retest if necessary.
    Call the TA 150. And although they say red, the endpoint is usually more of a Barbie Pink.

    And Congratulations on investing in a good test kit!

    As an aside, I want to nominate this thread as Best Thread Title of the Year. It says so much so succinctly!
    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: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    As an aside, I want to nominate this thread as Best Thread Title of the Year. It says so much so succinctly!
    Thanks Richard! I do IT support for my university and am used to people submitting support requests with titles like "wifi" or "not working" so I try to be as succinct as possible lol.

    I retested the TA and it was about 14 or 15 drops before it stopped changing color so I think calling it 150 is pretty accurate.
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    you are in good shape to start your SLAM. You could lower the pH to 7.2 if you have acid handy, but probably not worth delaying the SLAM another day just for that.

    Call you CYA 30.

    Use pool math to determine how much bleach you need to get you up to a FC level of 12. Slowly add that bleach with the pump running (24/7), and retest the FC level in 10 minutes to confirm that the FC is holding to some degree (we've had a lot of ammonia this year).

    Then, test every hour. Add what you need to to keep the FC at 12. IF you can't test for a while, aim for a bit higher. You can starting spreading out your testing once you learn how much FC you are losing every hour.

    For this process, use the 10mL FC test, where each drop is 0.5 FC. It will save you some time and reagents.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
    ColorLogic Mutlicolor LED lamp. Taylor 2006+speed stir

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    Slowly add that bleach
    Would it be okay to use this instead of bleach? I would prefer to use bleach, but we ordered that before I learned about BBB and don't want it to go to waste. They claim that it's 68% Calcium Hypochlorite.
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    I attempted my first night of SLAMing and I have to admit that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

    I used the calculator to figure out how much 68% cal-hypo I would need to add bring the FC up to 12. I added 4lbs (a tiny bit more than was called for) and tested again about 20 minutes later. The FC was only about 5. I went ahead and added another 5 lbs of cal-hypo and tested again 30 minutes later. The FC was about 10. I went ahead and brushed the pool and added 2 more lbs of cal-hypo as I wouldn't be able to test again for a while.

    I just got back home and the filter was at high pressure and the jets were barely working so I backwashed and rinsed the filter then tested again and the FC was only at about 6. This was only a couple of hours after my last test which showed the FC as being 10. I just added 2 more lbs of cal-hypo and am calling it a night. I am hesitant to add anything else until I hear back from you guys because this stuff is not cheap and I am alarmed by how much it seems to be taking to keep the FC up.

    Also, I did everything after the sun had set and plan to test first thing in the morning to see just how much the FC drops overnight in the absence of sunlight.
    Southeast Tennessee | 40x20 IG | ~32K Gallons | Vinyl | Hayward S244T Sand Filter | 2.2 HP A.O. Smith Pump

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    Re: Super green pool & problems with pool store suggestions

    How did you add the cal-hypo? If added through the skimmer, the calcium can sit in the filter and cause an increase in psi. The good news is that the calcium layer can trap some metals.

    If broadcast in the pool, it can take a while to dissolve and register as FC. Also, if broadcast, make sure you brush up any residue as it is slow to dissolve and can bleach your liner.

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