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Thread: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

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    Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Hello, we bought a house last month with a 22k gal inground pool. Vinyl lining, sand filter, everything relatively (within last 5 years) new. The pool was not professionally closed.

    We opened the pool Thursday 5/26 and the water was clear but bottom was green. We shocked the pool as directed by family friend and waited. Green got worse.

    We took a water sample to a Pool Store (not sure if we can name them) and bought $165 worth of chemicals (i know..) and a detailed instruction sheet on what to do when. FC and CYA are both at 0. We got to the shock part (2 small bags) which was supposed to magically clear the algae. That obviously did not happen, or I wouldn't be here!

    Prior to finding this site, we bought a 6-pack of shock from Walmart and added 4 bags yesterday morning. At this point the pool is green and cloudy. I have the cheap test strips (I am learning I need an actual test kit, which I will be purchasing) and was still reading FC at 0 2 hours later. I started Googling, and found this wonderful site.

    I had not found the Pool Math calculator as of last night, but by reading other threads I went out and bought two gals of Clorox 6% and added them to the pool around 4pm (we had a cloudy, overcast day yesterday). Retested an hour later, FC still at 0. I added the last 2 bags of shock at 6pm, retested at about 8-9pm and FC was still at 0.

    I did the Pool Math calc and it says I need about 4 gals to get my FC from 0 - 10 (shock level for 0 CYA), but shouldn't the 2 gal have done something?

    I'm thinking that I either need to raise the CYA a bit first or add a lot more chlorine. I know I need a good test kit. Can I purchase one at a place like Leslie's, or online only? I had read that the algae should be gone before adding the stabilizer, but I can't get my FC levels to rise with 0 CYA. Can I add some stabilizer (we have the kind that needs to be dissolved in water first before adding to the skimmer) now or do I have to wait until the algae is gone?

    I'm at work for the day so I cannot test current levels. pH is in the normal range as is the alkaline. CYA and FC are 0. That's all my test strips test for.

    Thanks!
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    I will tell you, it didn't turn green overnight and it will take time to clear. But, we can teach you how to get it sparkling and keep it that was for a lot less money than the pool store.

    Not much credence is given to test strips around here. You need accurate reliable numbers. To get those you need your own accurate test kit. 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 get delivered, you have a homework reading assignment. Start with ABCs of Water Chemistry and Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis

    No more bags of shock until we prove that there is no CYA in the water. With the pump running add one bottle concentrated bleach each day until your test kit comes in.
    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: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Thank you, I have ordered a kit and it will be here Friday! Until then, I will add one bottle a day. No more shock. I completely understand that I wasn't going to have a sparkling clean pool overnight, but Pool Store sure made it sound that way! I was concerned/confused as to why I wasn't seeing any increase in chlorine levels. I will read and reread and reread the homework between now and Friday. I will repost when I have my kit. Thanks again!
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    One bottle of bleach per day is a good plan until your test kit arrives.

    As for your FC and CYA both at 0, and not seeing your FC come up when you add chlorine it's possible you are battling some ammonia. Do not add any CYA until you get your test kit and your FC starts to hold.
    11,500 Gal Fiberglass IG Pool. Hayward cartridge filter with Pentair 3/4 HP pump
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Welcome to TFP and congrats on the new pool!

    If there is any debris or leaves in the pool scoop them out with a leaf rake. Also brush the pool daily while waiting. Algae builds up a biofilm that helps it resist chlorine. Brushing exposes the algae to the chlorine.

    Here is another good place to start after ABCs, Pool School - Getting Started
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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by aeh0603 View Post
    As for your FC and CYA both at 0, and not seeing your FC come up when you add chlorine it's possible you are battling some ammonia. Do not add any CYA until you get your test kit and your FC starts to hold.
    Ah yes, I read about this yesterday as well. Thanks for mentioning it! I read through a few threads related to ammonia (including "It Can Happen to Anyone). I'll pick up an ammonia test kit from the pet store as well.

    I also found this for ammonia treatment:

    Treatment for Ammonia:
    1. Begin a SLAM and dose FC up to SLAM level. Do not add additional CYA at this point.
    2. Retest FC at 10-minute intervals.
    a. If FC loss is greater than 50%, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level and continue retesting FC @ 10-minute intervals.
    b. IF FC loss is 50% or less, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level. Go to Step 3.
    3. If CYA is below 30 ppm, add enough CYA to bring level up to 30 ppm.
    4. Continue SLAM as directed in the SLAM article until the SLAM Criteria of Done are met. Test as directed in the SLAM article - no longer need to test FC at 10 minute increments at this point.

    Source thread: Dealing with Ammonia

    Is this the recommended course of action for ammonia? I didnt see anything with a brief search of the Pool School area.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Welcome to TFP and congrats on the new pool!

    If there is any debris or leaves in the pool scoop them out with a leaf rake. Also brush the pool daily while waiting. Algae builds up a biofilm that helps it resist chlorine. Brushing exposes the algae to the chlorine.

    Here is another good place to start after ABCs, Pool School - Getting Started
    Thanks! When we opened, the pool was green but clear, with no debris at the bottom. We've been brushing but not daily, so we will definitely do that more in the interim.
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    That's the one!
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    excellent. thanks! I'm trying to gather as much info as I can so I can GO once I get my kit
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Another Question! (I'm sure I'll have lots of these between now and Friday!)

    I see that the best way to add CYA is to put it in a sock and place it either in the skimmer or in front of a jet. According to the Pool Calc, I need to add 88oz of stabilizer to go from 0-30. Do all 88oz go in a sock at once?? Or is it done in increments? Also, we got a stabilizer from Pool Store and the instructions say to dissolve it in water first before adding. Can I add this stuff to the sock anyway? We also have chlorine/stabilizer combo tablets, but I assume I won't be using those.
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    If you bought the granular stabilizer, you can add it all to one sock or more than one sock and soak them at the same time. However you prefer. The sooner the better though. Squeeze them often to help them dissipate. As for the tabs, just lock them up for now and save them for a vacation time when you're away.
    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: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Ok. Since I may have an ammonia issue, I am waiting on adding CYA until my kit comes in (Friday). Finally, a use for all of the single socks! Thanks!
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    So after comparing test kits and going back and forth, I cancelled my Amazon order for the Taylor K-2006 and ordered the TF-100 with 2 XL kits (for free shipping, might as well!). I realized that I'd only be getting ~25 Chlorine FAS/DPD tests with the K-2006, and it was recommended that I get the TF-100 with XL, which is 70 tests plus the extra with XL. I didn't want to run out of tests in the middle of SLAMing! I admit it was a little difficult to go from paying $55 to $100 for a test kit, but I believe it will be worth it!
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    It absolutely was! Some are anxious at first, then once they receive the kit and see the quality/quantity of what they got ... then they "get it". Light bulb! Did you happen to order a Speed Stir? If not, you can always do that later, but they are great to have.
    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: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    I am very impressed that I received shipment tracking info within 2 hours of ordering! Bravo, TFTestKits!! I did not get the speed stir, maybe I'll upgrade to that at some point this summer. With it going out today, I'm hoping to have my kit either tomorrow or Friday. If it comes tomorrow, I'll take off work Friday so I can start the process tomorrow night. I will also run out and get the ammonia test tonight to see if I'm up against that, too.

    Another question. Where should I be taking my samples from? When I'm slowly pouring bleach by the return, should I be getting a sample from somewhere in the middle of the pool away from where I just poured bleach? Does it not matter as long as it's the same spot each time?
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Doesn't really matter where you get your samples from, but I would recommend getting them from the same place each time. Get in the habit of having the pump on about 30 min before testing to ensure adequate mixing of the water for consistency. Let any added chemicals mix for about 20-30 minutes before taking a water sample, and for most liquid products add them slowly to a return jet(s). Some powdered products are gently spread across the deep end if you have one. The Recommend Chemicals page (link below) talks about each chemical and method to add. As for the ammonia testing kit, there's no need to spend additional $$. Save it for a Speed Stir. When you get your TF-100, we'll learn what we need to just from that alone.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Ok, I'll read through that carefully. True, I'd know if I had an ammonia issue if my FC doesn't hold after 10 min, so there's no point in purchasing a separate ammonia test kit. Now I just anxiously await the arrival of my kit!
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    I know this is obvious, but with that size pool, be prepared to buy LOTS and LOTS of bleach, and have LOTS of patience, I see way too many people wishing things would clear up sooner.
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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Yeah, I'm going to be going out and getting 15-20 bottles of 10% bleach today. My fiance is getting impatient as we wait for our kit to arrive (hopefully today or tomorrow - tracking info hasnt updated. I've emailed TFtestkits to verify it was actually shipped) and he has been casually mentioning "flocking". I have no idea what that is, but it sounds like you just dump in a ton of shock, which we already did and not a budge in chlorine levels. I'm holding my ground and we will be SLAMing.

    I've been using the strips to monitor pH and alkalinity and our pH was high yesterday, around 8.0. I added some "lower pH" stuff that the previous owner had which brought it back down to about 7.4. I cannot wait for the test kit to arrive so I have actual numbers!
    18k gal 32'x16' IG vinyl, sand filter, TF 100 test kit
    Newbie pool owner since April 2016

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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    floccing is a process where you add a liquid to the pool and it attaches itself to the particles in the pool to give them weight and size, so it will sink to the bottom and you can vacuum it out.

    Most of us never us it, unless you have a filter setup that can't sufficiently clear the pool.

    Don't just dump in a bunch of "chemicals" and hope it works. Measured, appropriate dosing, and consistent and constant testing will get you there much faster and cheaper.
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    Re: Cannot get FC level to rise in green pool

    Looks like shipping is delayed a day and I won't receive my kit until Saturday. Is there anything I can do in the meantime? I feel like my pool is getting worse by the day bc the temp is sitting at about 80. Part of me wants to try to get rid of the ammonia until chlorine starts to hold and move forward with the slam on Saturday. Or am I just being impatient? I have 20 bottles of 10% ready to go!

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