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Thread: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Hi guys, I'll preface this long post by explaining that I found this website while my swimming pool was being built 5 years ago so my pool chemistry and maintenance has always been based on what is recommended here. Because of this, I have never had the "pleasure" of treating algae or needing to go thru the SLAM process until now.

    Due to on ongoing metal staining issue in my pool, I had been keeping the chlorine lower than I normally do. Add kids out of school, additional chlorine demand, and it appears my chlorine got low enough to cause organics/algae to start to thrive although the water looked clear. I noticed increased chlorine demand (manually adding chlorine to compensate for the slow SWG). I think I may have mistakenly attributed all of the chlorine demand to the kids swimming all day. On day 3 of the kids being out of school and swimming, we had a massive thunderstorm that dumped a lot of water and blew some yard debris into the pool (some small branches, leaves, pine straw). After the storm, I noticed the water was slightly cloudy in deep end, chlorine had dropped to 0.50. That evening, I added chlorine (which turned the pool even cloudier - more on this later). Next morning, I tested water again and chlorine was 0, cc was now .50. This is when I decided I needed to go thru my 1st SLAM in 5 years of TFP pool ownership.

    So here we are, it's starting day 3 of the SLAM. I've been diligent about checking the chlorine at least 3 times a day to keep it at the recommended shock (or a little above) level per the CYA-Chlorine chart. Yesterday, I took a vacation day so I could stay home and babysit the pool since I have a cartridge filter and it takes time to clean the dirty filter element. Luckily, I keep a spare clean element I can put immediately in the filter so I can get back to filtering the water while I clean the dirty element.

    So I have a few SLAM questions since I've never had algae or the need to SLAM.

    1. When I started the SLAM, adding chlorine to the water would cause the chlorine to immediately turn into a white cloud. The initial shock dose of liquid chlorine turned the pool water so cloudy I could no longer see the main drain. Water was very white and cloudy. Is this normal? I recently added CH to help with my metal stain issue as recommended by the makers of Jack's magic products. However, my CH level is 240 which I didn't think would cause clouding. What bothers me about this is that it keeps doing it, even now. I added chlorine to the water last night and it still turns cloudy as it goes in the water. Since I'm bypassing my gas pool heater and no water is circulating through the heater, I've now been adding the chlorine to the skimmer to try to keep the water from clouding up so bad. My pool pump has a plastic impeller so I think it's safe to have the high chlorine hit the pump and filter before returning to the pool. So the question here is, why is liquid chlorine suddenly behaving like this? I've never seen liquid chlorine do this in my pool. Is this something not-visible algae or organics can do? Is it going to keep doing this?

    2. The water is still cloudy although slightly improving with each day. I can easily see the main drain now and the shallow end is almost clear. That being said, ever since bringing the pool to SLAM shock level, my CC level reads zero on every test. However, if I stick my hand in the pool, my hand has a strong chlorine odor. I thought that odor was directly attributed to CCs but my testing says I have 0 CC. Is this something I should worry about? I plan to maintain shock level until the water completely clears and I pass the OCLT test (which I passed last night, btw).

    3. I assume the cloudiness is just par for the course. I've been reading some posts where people have gone 1-2 weeks of the SLAM process although most of those posts were for green ponds. I was hoping I had caught things early and I'd be back to a clear pool in a day or two but it seems like my filter is just going to need a lot of time to filter this haziness out. I keep a spare clean filter element which I swapped last night before bed. I had been adding Jack's filter aid to help my cartridge filter but last night, I didn't add filter aid to the filter. The filter element I pulled out of the filter last night was VERY dirty even though the pressure gauge had hardly moved. In lieu of the filter aid, can adding clarifier to the water help or make things worse?

    The progress I'm seeing is so much slower than I'm used to that I keep wondering if I'm missing something or should be doing something else but the chemistry seems ok.

    Here are my latest test results:

    FC: 35 (I know this is a bit high - until this test I have been in the 25-28 ppm range)
    CC: 0
    pH: It was 7.2 when I started the SLAM
    TA: 70
    CYA: 55
    CH: 240
    SALT: 3800 (My SWG calls for 4000ppm so this is close enough)
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Liquid chlorine does not turn a pool cloudy white. Do you have a pic of what you are putting in? What were your test results prior to adding the LQ? What did your pool water look like prior to the LQ addition......in other words, there must have been a visual reason for you to SLAM
    Dave S.
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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Prior to SLAM, the water was a little cloudy in the deep end. The chemistry was as follows:

    FC 0
    CC .50
    CYA 50
    TA 70
    pH 7.2
    CH 240

    I tried both Walmart 8.5% chlorine (the kind with no additives, etc). It's the stuff I always put in and I've never seen that before. I ran out of the regular walmart laundry chlorine so now I'm using the walmart 10% pool chlorine, it also turns the water cloudy. It really seems like maybe it's oxidizing something immediately.

    bleach.jpg
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    I swear, the pool is a giant chemistry set... so I just went outside to film the chlorine reaction and nothing happened this time. I added chlorine, and the water around the chlorine turned slightly cloudy but instantly dissipated.
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    It's day 5 of my SLAM and I've passed the OCLT test the past few nights. However, the water hasn't been clear so I'm still going.

    Today was a cloudy day here and the pool only lost half a ppm (. 50) between 6am and 6pm when I returned home from work.

    FC is still at shock level and the water is about 98% clear. It's just the tiniest bit hazy in the 8ft deep end as I look at the drain so the process shall continue. It's been at this level of clarity for the past day or so. It's progressing VERY slowly.

    Kids are dying to swim since they're out of school. Would it be OK to let the FC drop just below shock and let them swim?

    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Survey says yes, let the kids in. They'll do a better job of stirring up whatever's left to get it to the skimmer than you ever could.
    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: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Could it have been the filter aid? Keeping my fingers crossed for you having to slam that the metals don't rear their ugly head!
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Oh, the metal stains are back. It's so frustrating. I don't know what to do about the stains. Keeping the CL low after stain treatment is what got me in this SLAM mess.

    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Carlos and smforte, I am doing some weekly bucket tests/iron experiments that I may post in a separate thread over in the deep end after my next test. (I ran out of my iron test strips and broke a cuvette.)

    The test was a byproduct of experiments relating to extraordinarily high phosphates. I've since read a bunch of wastewater management papers, etc. since, there is reason to believe that iron load can be reduced by between 18%-75% via careful alum floccing at a lower ph. My test so far has been on raw wellwater with 2 ppm iron. I will next test on sequestered iron, then test with MPS oxidization and low chlorine etc.

    Can you each send me a pm with point forms of everything you've tried, location of water supply, etc.? It would help me organize some info/examples to eventually compose some type of article on this stuff. That way if you later experiment further, I'll have an idea of the variables.

    Just a thought.

    One additional thought. Today I was reading about tannins combining with iron to cause particularly tough staining. I've no idea how to test for this yet, but the formation of organic iron is supposedly less responsive to sequestrants, or so I gather from initial web cruising
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Well, the kids didn't swim today but it was VERY sunny and hot today. Even though I only lost .50 ppm overnight and had 0 CCs this morning. When I tested the water this afternoon after work, it looks like I lost about 6.5ppm of FC during the day!! My CYA is now 70 so I can only guess that something other than sunlight is at play here. My CYA had been 60 so I added some more stabilizer to bring it up to 70.


    I'm freaking out about this. I'm bringing the chlorine back up to shock level and keep running the pump. This is so frustrating.

    When I added liquid chlorine just now, it again turned milky white but almost dissipated after 10-15 minutes. I still can't figure out what could be doing that. I've never had chlorine turn my water cloudy before. However, my water is more cloudy now than it was before I added the chlorine.

    This issue is keeping me up at night. I thought I was over the hump but maybe not. I've been brushing the pool daily, I have kept the pool at SLAM shock level since last thursday (6 days now).

    Here are my complete test results per TF-100. (Tested around 6:30pm).

    FC: 16.5 (was 23 at 6am this morning) - I have since added almost 3 gallons of 10% chlorine to bring back up to SLAM shock level
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 80
    CH: 220
    CYA: 70
    Salt: 3830
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    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
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    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    like Richard said, have the kids get in there and play! They stir up the water better than any pump can.

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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    I added a photo to the previous post to show how cloudy it looks after adding the chlorine.

    FC is back to 27.5
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    I suspect the ladder is the culprit.

    Scroll through and look at the pictures in Water problems
    and Problem Found and Ideas needed
    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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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Ok Richard. So I looked at those posts and decided to go out there and pull out the ladder. The ladder rungs are spotless. However, when I took off the white rubber feet, the inside of the rubber feet felt a little slimy so they're soaking in bleach. I used a high pressure hose nozzle to spray into the ladder tubes. My ladder is one of those rust-proof Saftron ladders. I filled the ladder tubes with water and a healthy dose of bleach.

    Next, I took out the pool light again (I had done this last weekend). It still looks clean back there (I took out the pool light and aimed it into the light niche). I scrubbed in the niche anyway with the pool brush and stuck my hose nozzle in there to blow out anything that may be lurking in there. The pool light is now on the deck submerged in a bucket with a large dose of water and bleach, in case something is growing around the light bezel or in those nooks and crannies around the light trim.

    I'm even soaking my deck-side debris bag in bleach. (The debris bag from my in-floor cleaning system - it catches any debris caught by the main drain). It's accessed by a deck lid just like the skimmer.

    So here I am like a mad man messing with this pool at 11pm at night. It's making me crazy. The water looks quite cloudy again.

    At this point, the only thing I haven't scrubbed is the inside of my PVC plumbing.

    FC is now 30ppm.
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Well, you can't say I'm not diligent (or is it obsessive). It's 3am here, I'm still awake doing way too much pool research.

    I just went out there and took a peek... still cloudy so I added a little Jack's Filter Fiber Stuff to hopefully help along my clean cartridge filter (I had put in a clean cartridge earlier).

    7am alarm clock will come too soon. I'll be a zombie at work tomorrow.
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Hey Carlos, after you get some sleep, there's a few things here worth considering

    You've passed the OCLT. Losing 6.5 FC if your level was 25-30 is in fact roughly 25% worst case scenario -- a 25% loss during the day is pretty standard...just seems like more when you're dosing high.

    You've added calcium, AND you're using sequestrant -- and historically have used a LOT, right?

    So, sequestrant breaks down with chlorine. The more you slam, the more you're oxidizing it. Stains coming back are proof of that. Sequestrant will also combine with calcium, and will itself sometimes cloud a pool on addition.

    My suspicion at this point is that the cloudiness you're seeing on adding chlorine is not likely nascent algae given that you're passing the OCLT. My suspicion is that the oxidization from adding the chlorine is actually either breaking up/down the sequestrant and/or causing it to combine with the newly added calcium. Just suspicions...but possibly valid ones.

    In this case, what there is to do to my mind is let the FC drift down, stay on the target side of the FC:CYA chart, and replenish the sequestrant to control the staining. Avoid slamming again unless you're pretty certain you av an organic issue. With metals and sequestrant, cloudiness does not always equal nascent algae, so in the future, do the OCLT first to confirm organics.

    And when you get home from work, have a nice relaxing float, adult beverage, forgive your pool, looooove your pool, and she'll settle down
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Well, I'm already up and it looks like I didn't pass the OCLT test from last night.

    FC dropped about 4ppm overnight and I have CC of. 5 now. The water smells like chlorine too which usually means CC.

    I like swampwoman's theory about my metals and sequestrant causing the chlorine reaction. Would the chlorine create combined chlorine as it oxidizes metal sequestrant?

    I'm trying to avoid adding chlorine directly to the water to minimize the clouding. Instead I'm slowly adding chlorine thru the skimmer to have the cloudiness go thru the filter first. My heater is currently isolated so no water is circulating thru it.

    Here's a small video showing the reaction. It's much more pronounced when I add chlorine directly in the pool since the skimmer suction carries away the clouding fairly quick but you can still see the measuring cup water is cloudy and after a few seconds I show another sample of what the water really looks like.

    Liquid chlorine reaction - YouTube
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Pool is looking better today - it's still a little hazy in the deep end as I look at the main drain.

    FC was 33 when I left for work - 12 hours later, it was 25.5 so a daytime loss of 7.5ppm. It was VERY sunny and hot here today.

    Here are the latest test results as of 6:30pm.

    FC: 25.5
    CC: .50
    pH: 7.3
    CYA: 60
    TA: 80
    CH: 220

    And some photos showing the water:

    20160608_201332.jpg

    20160608_201251.jpg
    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    carlos31820's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    Well, I think my SLAM may be coming to an end. Thank you all for all the help.

    Pool water is very clear now and I passed the OCLT test and CC was zero. I'm still going to keep it near shock level for another day and let it drift down to normal levels after the weekend.


    16x36 Vinyl Pool - 22.5K gallons.
    Jandy Stealth 1hp pump - Jandy CS-150 filter
    Jandy Legacy 250k heater - Jandy Ei SWCG
    Jandy Watercolors LED light
    Paramount Vanquish in-floor cleaner

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    Re: SLAM questions... (and moral support)

    awesome!
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