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Thread: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

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    2drgns's Avatar
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    Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Hi everyone. we bought a home with in ground pool and we think we are very close to getting the pool functional.

    It's an 18,000 gallon concrete pool.

    Last year we completely drained and refilled the pool. We discovered it has a leak in the return line. We got discouraged and left it be for the season. I neglected to cover the pool in the fall and as you can imagine we got lots of leaves in the pool.

    This year the water is murky. It's a brown in the deeper part but green/yellow on the ramp where you can see the bottom.
    We've scooped all the leaves out we can can locate.
    We repaired the return line, replaced the pump and changed the filter laterals and added new sand.

    we did a few days of filter/back flush while adding shock, PH up and an alkalinity increase.

    we tested with strips and most of or water is now balanced but it's still UGLY!
    Saturday we took a water sample to Leslie Pools she said we had algae and recommended Green to Clean while upping PH and shocking.
    Sat night we added 5lbs soda ash and let circulate all night. Sunday AM we added Green to clean waited 5 mins and added 2 lbs of shock, 12 hours later we added 2 more lbs of shock and then again Monday AM (24 hours later) we added 2 more lbs. of shock.

    Water color had not budged.

    Last night we went to another, well respected pool store in our area and had the water retested. He found our Cyanuric Acid to be very high (80) but other levels to be in balance.

    He recommended an algeacide with us adding 6lbs of shock (w/o stabilizer) then adding 1/2 a gallon of Splash brand algaecide 5 an hour later. He said we should see TONS of improvement in 8 hours. Much to our disappointment we saw no change this morning.

    At this point we're getting desperate. I don't want to keep throwing $$ and chemicals at it.
    I have attached some photos that might help illustrate our trouble.

    Overall taken 6/11/16



    6-12-16


    Today:



    Professional test results



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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Welcome to TFP! Let's start by getting all of your pool details into your signature (kind of like mine). You can edit your signature by clicking this link: Trouble Free Pool If you need to estimate the volume of your pool, you can use PoolMath (http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html) to do so.

    You're throwing your money away talking to the pool store. The recommendation that you keep throwing pounds and pounds of shock and algaecides in there is a prime example of a waste of money (it's also very likely raising your CYA, which will make it harder and harder to have any chlorine left over to attack the algae without adding TONS of bleach/liquid chlorine). You can get this cleared up, but it's going to take bleach or liquid chlorine and diligence.

    Start reading here: Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Then, let's talk about a SLAM, which is how tons of pool owners have cleared up their pools using this site: Pool School - Defeating Algae

    In order for us to help you, you'll need a capable testing kit. Either a K-2006C, or a TF-100. Because you're fighting an algae breakout, the TF-100 with XL option is recommended, so you have enough testing reagents to do the tests you'll need to accomplish to fix this problem. You can get either of those kits here: TFTestkits.net

    Stick with us, stay the course, and we'll help you get that pool sparkling!
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    I will "ditto" what Triptyx said above. If you will take some time and read through Pool School and get a recommend test kit, you will save yourself a lot of money and time. We built our first pool 3 years ago and by reading and following advice on this forum and we have spent less than $75 a year on our pool. That includes bleach all through the winter (we remove SWG and leave pool open), salt in the spring and an occasional bottle of muriatic acid. We have never had to SLAM our pool and I have only been to the pool store once to buy lube for the pump gasket. I hear friends talk about what a pain and expense their pools are. It's a shame as ours has been so very easy all due to this great site!
    18x36 kidney 20,000 gallons IG vinyl. Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/IntelliChlor IC40. Triton II TR100. Pentair Intellifllo Variable Speed. Waterfall/Jump Rock. 2 Pentair Intellibrite lights. TF-100 Test Kit. And a very happy husband who gets to play in the pool without having to take care of it.

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    I did my signature right after the post, I thought it would update across the forum. Hopefully it will be shown below this post, Please let me know if I'm missing anything.

    The second pool store did note the high CYA and recommended a partial water change but did not really help us to understand how that would benefit us. They did say is was likely caused by the stabilizer in the products we had previously purchased and that their brand powder does not include any stabilizer.

    I will spend some time reading.

    With the CYA being at 80 should I do a partial change while waiting for the test kit?

    Thank you both for your replies.
    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    "Powdered" or granulated chlorine always contains either CYA (cyanuric acid or stabilizer - called DiChlor or TriChlor) or Calcium (which adds to the water hardness, or CH value, called Calcium Hypochlorite). Anyone who claims theirs does not contain at least one of those two ingredients (I'll leave lithium out) is lying. If chlorine is solid, it's bound to something (even the liquid we use is bound to sodium - so you're adding small amounts of salt to your pool).

    CYA "binds" with chlorine to prevent the sun from burning it off, and also to buffer its effects a bit - in short, it makes chlorine a little less harsh. Like most of the values we test for, none is bad, some is good, too much is very bad. For pools that do not have a salt water chlorine generator (looks like your pool does not), we like to see CYA between 30-50 depending on how much sun your pool gets (some folks in the southern, sunny areas might go a little higher). The more CYA you have, the higher you have to keep your FC (free chlorine) day to day - also, the higher you have to boost (and hold) it to kill an established algae infestation. High CYA means that you'll use far more chlorine to get to SLAM levels, and that you'll lose far more each day to sunlight (let alone what you'll lose to killing algae). When I first started with my pool, my CYA was over 250 - I had to maintain nearly 22ppm FC just to keep it sanitary.

    A 40-50% drain would be good pre-SLAM. That said, you have well water. This complicates things a bit for a drain/fill (metals can cause you to have clear, green water, or possibly rust stains). Have you had your well tested for metals recently? 80ppm can be a manageable number if a drain/fill is going to create additional problems for you. Of course, we're assuming the people that tested your CYA did a good job - it's one of the hardest to get right.

    Finally - do you have a vinyl liner in the pool or is it a plaster or pebbletec-type finish?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    no liner, the bottom is concrete where it's contoured and it has some type of panel on the straight sides. Sorry I don't actually know what it is.

    you are correct there is no SWG.

    The first test from Leslie's indicates 0 for both copper and iron but as we are super new to this I can't be sure she tested them. As for the CYA a older gentleman with years of experience used shook the vial for a measured period of time then looked at the sample and asked a few other employees to evaluate as well.

    based my my assumptions after reading about SLAM is at 80 PPM for the CYA we are going to spend alot more in chorine then might be needed at with a lower level of CYA.

    I will try to at least get a FAS-DPD chlorine test kit today as recommended by this site.

    I apologize, I misspoke, the pool store rep only specified theirs had no CYA. I looked up the MSDS on the chlorine he said contains no CYA and it looks like it does have a lot of calcium.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by 2drgns; 06-14-2016 at 02:07 PM. Reason: image posted twice.
    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Got it! Yes, that particular product will be boosting your calcium hardness levels.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Lightbulb recomended CYA?

    I expect to receive my TF-100 test kit on Friday. With that said I'd like to be as prepared possible once it gets here.

    About a month ago we opened our pool for our first time ever. The pool is an older in-ground specs below.

    we initially had some trouble with algae but we did a bunch of things the pool store(s) recommended. One store informed us that out CYA was a little high at 80 and advised either add algeacide and shock every 12 hours. or a partial water change then add algeacide and shock every 12 hours. He did make it clear that we should use the Cal-hypo chlorine so we did not compound the CYA issue.

    In the midst of this we found this site and learned what CYA actually does and how it was hampering our efforts. so I opted for a partial water change. We then kept the free chlorine as high as we could based on store tests every 2 days and test strips twice a day....

    Anyway, It's clear now.

    But the CYA on the strips is showing between the 0 square and 30-50 on the strips and the stores tests it at 15

    I'm adding chlorine everyday, I'd like to get it the Prefect" balance point with the CYA/Chlorine usage so I'm only testing/adding 1-2 a week.

    Is this possible?

    What is your ideal CYA level?
    Thoughts on leaving it a little low and using tablets?


    PS.... sorry for the store/strip readings.... my "real" test kit is on the way!
    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Oooooh, that pool store advise scares me. So do test strips. Everything is guesswork until you receive your test kit. But one thing I can confirm is that a pool is much like a pet at home and needs attention everyday. Even if it's just testing FC and/or adding a little bleach as part of its daily diet. The only way to avoid that is to install some form of automated liquid chlorination (i.e.. Stenner, SWG, etc) to replace the manual feeding with bleach. But since most of us have to go out and check the skimmer basket each day anyways, what's another minute or two to add bleach right?

    It's personal preference though. But for a non-SWG pool, you'll need to add a little bleach just about everyday. Yes, you can use pucks "IF" your CYA is not too high (which you already learned about). So it's usually best to save the pucks for times when you're out of town or simply low on CYA and need to raise it slowly. Hope that helps.
    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!

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    I love this site more and more each day... but it makes me upset at times..

    The thing that upsets me is when I read users post about what the pool store told them. It gets my blood rushing. As a first time home and pool owner, I do not know where I would be without this site. Probably out at least $500 in chemicals and a CYA of +250

    Anyways OP, just listen to the experts on this board. I am excited to see your pool transformation! Just stay the course.
    16x34 In-ground vinyl pool (22,000ish gallons), Sand Filter, K-2006 test kit, SWG

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    First test....
    PH. 8
    CL. 5
    CC. 5.5
    TOTAL ALKALINITY 140
    CALCIUM 175
    CYA. 15

    I can calculate what I need via Pool math... but I'd like advice on order to add chemicals, any wait time between adding chemicals & how long should I run the filter while adding chemicals?

    Thank you all!


    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Alright! So clarify for us please ... which test kit di you get (TF-100 or Taylor K-2006)? Is the water condition still the same as in your pics above (brown/cloudy/green)?

    Also, please explain how you performed the CYA test. That's extremely important. It doesn't ready below 30, so to achieve a result of 15 prompts me to ask. From there we'll help get you going. Thanks!
    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: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Tf-100 test kit
    Water is slightly cloudy but very clean

    As for the CYA. I followed the instructions precisely and could still baerly see the when the test solution was added to the CYA view tube so I'm certain it's less than 20.
    I wrote 15 here as an approximation, I apologize for the confusion.

    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    We had a bunch of people in it Saturday. That's when the cloudiness appeared.

    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Thanks for clarifying. So here's what you need to do now:
    - Increase CYA to at least 30 for now. That's required to protect your FC from the sun. If you suspect there is some CYA in there now, you can increase by 20 ppm if you prefer.
    To increase CYA via granular stabilizer, place the required amount as calculated by the Poolmath calculator into a white sock and place in the poolside skimmer basket. For those concerned about suction flow to the pump, suspending the sock near a return jet or from a floating device will also suffice. Best never to allow undissolved granules to rest directly against the pool surface. Squeeze the sock periodically to help it dissipate. Once dissolved, consider your CYA adjusted to that programmed (target) level. CYA test readings should show a rise in 24-48 hours, however some pools may experience a longer delay to fully register. Best to confirm final CYA in about 5-7 days before adding any more stabilizer/conditioner.
    While that's soaking, you need to lower pH with muriatic acid and pump running. Bring the pH down to about 7.2 BEFORE adding bleach and starting the SLAM. So after adding acid, check in about 30 minutes to see if you reached your goal of 7.2. Go in stages to be careful if needed.

    Lastly, once the pH is adjusted and your stabilizer is soaking on the water, it's time to increase FC with regular bleach to the SLAM level of "12". That FC of 12 is your weapon of choice with regular bleach (NOT splashless of scented - just plain). From this point forward, nothing is as important as maintaining that FC of 12 and doing all the other daily tasks as noted on the SLAM page (link below).

    Best of luck to you! Takes a pic each day to record your progress. Keep us posted and let us know if you have any other questions.
    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: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Awesome . Thank you. Should the pump/filter run for a few days after adding the cya?

    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    You'll leave the pump running 24/7 until you pass the 3 SLAM criteria noted on the SLAM page. That's very important to ensure the chlorine is always hitting the entire pool and circulatory system. Also make sure to check behind your pool light if you have one and inside any ladders/steps. They are notorious for hiding algae.
    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!

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Thank you.

    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    Sorry one more question... is there a specific amount of time you should wait to swim after adding muriatic acid?

    13,000 Gallon in-ground. Single floor drain, single skimmer. Concrete. Chlorine. Well Water
    no heater/no SWG
    Filter: Hayward 300# s244t New laterals/sand 6/10/16 | Pump: Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP installed June 2016

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    Re: Maybe not algea? New Pool owners - LOST

    The CYA test scale is not linear, the way I test now is I fill the tube to the first line holding the tube at my eyes high, then read the tube at waist line with your back facing the sun, then repeat for the next line until you can't see the dot, just glance at the tube, not staring at it, some people in the forum do it this way and I like it better, it's the hardest test to do it right, if the experts here disagree, please say so... 😊

    Starting day 5/25/2015 INTEX AGP 24'x12'x54" 8,400 gal, with salt and borax, INTEX 3,000 GPH pump with 16"sand filter, WM Hayward Skimmer, Intex SWG CG-28669, 1 1/2" hard plumbed PVC, Lil' Shark Vacuum With Leaf Canister, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

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