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Thread: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

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    Angry New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Hi All -

    Thanks so much for this forum and for everyone who contributes. I am having some awful algae issues and I am at my wit's end! Below is a brief history on me and on my pool situation:

    I am the former owner of an in-ground pool. With that pool I owned a very cheap test kit - I would shock and add acid as needed and the water was relatively clear all the time with very few issues. Fast forward 10 years, I now live in a different home. I have a 10 year old step-daughter with special needs, who was granted a wish through the Make a Wish foundation for an above ground pool - there aren't many things she can do, but she absolutely LOVES being in the water and will stay in for hours at a time if she can. Unfortunately due to both the weather and my inability to balance the water, she is not able to use it right now.

    When I first filled the pool I followed the pool company's instructions and the water started out clear. Eventually it started getting cloudy and it eventually turned green. I made the mistake of making countless trips to the pool store only to waste lots of money. At one point I drained half the pool and filled it back up. About a week later the pool cleared up and we were able to use it again. That lasted for a few weeks, and the cloudiness started creeping back in. Eventually the cloudiness turned green.

    I noticed there was quite a bit of sand on the floor of the pool. Hayward actually came out and replaced the entire filter under warranty - that stopped the sand on the floor issue, but my pool is still green. I invested in a Taylor K-2006 test kit and tested my water this morning. I know some of these numbers are bad, but I'm not exactly sure how to correct the issue. Here are my stats as of this morning:

    FC: 13
    CC: 0(?)
    pH: 7.6
    Alkalinity: 100
    Calcium: 10
    CYA: 80

    I should also mention that I also tried emptying the pool halfway again on Sunday (2 days ago) and filled it back up.

    I know that my FC is way too high, and I think my CYA is as well.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

    Carl
    AG 10,400 gallons vinyl liner, Hayward 1.0 HP, Sand filter, Houston, TX

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Hello Carl and welcome to TFP! We can help. Your previous draining was a good thing because your CYA is still high, so I can only imagine what it was before. Your pool is cloudy because it has an algae bloom in it and you need to do a TFP "SLAM" (link below). You have the right test kit, so now you just need to do that process. Before you do the SLAM though ..... consider this ...... your CYA is still quite high. In our area we can use a CYA of 60-70 in the blistering summer, but 80 is a bit high and requires a higher FC level not only on a normal basis, but also for a "SLAM". Would you want to consider one last partial water exchange? Even if only 25-30% or so to get your CYA back closer to 50-60? That would save you some bleach and once done, your CYA would be ideal for the heat that is almost upon us.

    Whether you decide to exchange more water to lower the CYA, or opt to SLAM now at a CYA of 80, you'll refer to the Chlorine/CYA Chart (link below) to match-up the correct SLAM/Shock FC level for your pool. From there, read the SLAM page carefully and it will work. Let us know if you have any questions. Great to have you with us.

    - - - Updated - - -

    For the SLAM, use just regular bleach to maintain your SLAM/Shock FC level. Regular HEB (Bravo) or Wal-Mart (Great Value or Pool Essentials) will work fine. You should also become familiar with the Poolmath Calculator (link below) which will help you figure-out how much of an item to dose based on your size pool. Once you get use to the calculator, you can't do without it - just like your test kit.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Thank you so much Texas Splash. I was thinking that I was going to have do do another partial drain/refill based on what I have read thus far. Fortunately I'm working from home all week, so I'm going to run downstairs and start that process now. Thanks again!!!
    AG 10,400 gallons vinyl liner, Hayward 1.0 HP, Sand filter, Houston, TX

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    You're welcome. So by SLAMming at a CYA of 80, we know from the chart your FC level needs to be maintained at 31. But first, I almost forgot .. VERY Important .. BEFORE you increase the FC, I would suggest letting the FC drop to 8 or 9 (just under 10) first and re-validate/adjust pH to 7.2 BEFORE starting the SLAM. It says that on the SLAM page, but I like to remind owners. Once you start the SLAM, you won't test pH again until you're done.

    So using the Poolmath calculator, I estimate just under 3 gallons of regular 8.25% bleach will take your FC from 8/9 - to 31. Then it's just a matter of maintaining it. Good luck!
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Perfect - thanks again!!
    AG 10,400 gallons vinyl liner, Hayward 1.0 HP, Sand filter, Houston, TX

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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    I just want to add that Make A Wish is an amazing organization and I'm very happy your daughter had a wish granted!! I'm sure she was very excited and I KNOW you can get this pool under control!! Once you do, it'll be so EASY to keep it clear if you follow the kind people here's advice, they really know what they're talking about!
    Good luck!!

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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Make a wish is a wonderful organization which is worthy of our support. I know two children who have benefited.
    Following the guidance from this site will allow your daughters wish to be continuously granted for a long time. For a speedy slam,do not let the chlorine level drop below the recommended level and make sure you brush the pool to break up any alge sticking to the surfaces. Make sure you clean everything that is in the water, ladders, skimmers......
    You will likely need to clean your filter when the pressure increases by 25% above your normal level.

    Once the water is clear, you can swim with the CL at the slam level. No need to wait for it to drop to the maintenance level.

    We have warm dry weather this week, let's take advantage of it.

    Good luck.
    In ground, 14,000 gallon, white plaster, unheated, stone waterfall, DE Filter, Rainbow 320 Cl, Polaris 3900, FloVis flow meter, F100 test kit, Circupool RJ30+ SWG, Circupool VJ1/Speck Badu EcoM3V variable speed pump.

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    Piolin's Avatar
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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Brushing and maintaining the FC at the SLAM level will make expedite the process, follow the advices to the T... Good luck
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

    The corner stone of TFP
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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Thanks everyone for your notes - yes Make A Wish if an OUTSTANDING organization - love them and all they have done for us.

    OK - so I have started the process and am comfortable with how it all works. I got my CYA down to 50 yesterday so my my shock level is 20 and I'm using the pool calculator and bleach - love it - I'm working from home so will be monitoring the FC regularly to keep it at 20.

    On another note, I did read the part about how using DE could help speed things along, so I picked some up this morning. I was watching the gauge closely and noticed it wasn't budging. I turned the filter off for a moment - it didn't budge again. Obviously a problem - hopefully just a gauge issue? Remember, Hayward was just here a week ago and allegedly replaced the filter (I wasn't here when they did it). The return jet did get much stronger, but otherwise I have no real way of knowing.

    Thanks!

    Carl
    AG 10,400 gallons vinyl liner, Hayward 1.0 HP, Sand filter, Houston, TX

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Hi Carl. Great to hear you are doing well, reduced the CYA some, and like the calculator. As for the gauge and DE ... I wouldn't add the DE just yet. We reserve that option for the end of a SLAM for those sand owners who's filter needs just a little extra help filtering-out the very fine particles that can make the water appear cloudy. In the early part of the SLAM, your sand will do just fine by itself. Now later if you suspect gauge is stuck or bad, normally I would recommend buying one from TFTestKits.com, but your system is brand new. So Hayward may just ship you a replacement if it's stuck.
    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.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Here I am again! I find myself quickly running out of the FAS-DPD reagent. I went to 3 different pool stores today (2 Leslie's and 1 "TexSun") and none of them carry it. They all just carry the Taylor "R1" and "R2" reagents.

    My question is two-fold:
    1. Does anyone know where I can purchase the FAS-DPD reagent in a retail setting? I have already ordered it from Amazon but it will be a while before it gets here.

    2. Since I have already started the SLAM process, if I run out of the FAS_DPD regent is there any way I can use the R1/R2 test as a last resort??

    Thanks!

    Carl
    AG 10,400 gallons vinyl liner, Hayward 1.0 HP, Sand filter, Houston, TX

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    You may already be doing it, but be sure only use a 10 mL sample for FC/CC testing during a SLAM. It's also accurate enough for daily maintenance testing and saves reagent!
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    LOL yes I realized that earlier today, a little too late unfortunately!!
    AG 10,400 gallons vinyl liner, Hayward 1.0 HP, Sand filter, Houston, TX

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    That's also an advantage of the TF-100 kit over the K-2006. Larger R-0871 reagent bottle included and instructions are for the 10 mL sample size by default.
    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

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Carl,

    How are you doing with your SLAM? Did you resolve your pressure gauge issue?

    We're rooting for you!!
    Intex 16x48" Ultra Frame AG Swimming Pool 5K gal
    intex 2650 sand filter

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    Hey @cooljul and everyone - I'm happy to say - IT WORKED!! My pool is cleared up - I can't tell you how happy I am - we can actually use it this weekend - it went from dark green to crystal clear in about 5 days. Used a TON of bleach and I had my doubts at first, but slowly but surely it killed the algae. I will be checking all of my readings this morning but I have a few remaining questions as follows:

    A - As of yesterday, I was still maintaining my FC at or slightly above 20 - what is the best way to lower that to normal levels or should I just let nature take it's course?

    B - Chlorine Tablets - I have a chlorinator which during this process I left in the off position - is it recommended to use 3" chlorine tabs or no?

    C - I had purchased a case of Clorox brand "shock" powder (I know, shock is a verb not a noun!) - I think that is what got me in trouble the first place as I think it contributed to raising my CYA levels too high. Rather than waste the case, can I still use it when I need to raise my FC?

    Thanks again everyone - hope to post before and after pics soon
    AG 10,400 gallons vinyl liner, Hayward 1.0 HP, Sand filter, Houston, TX

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New here and about to lose my mind!! :-(

    FC will drop on its own, it is safe to swim with FC between minimum and shock level for your CYA. It is fine to use trichlor pucks as long as you need more CYA, they add CYA too.
    TFP Moderator
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