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Thread: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

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    Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Hi all! I'm in my second season of pool-ownership. The previous owner taught me about TFP and gave me the TF-100 test kit, which I've refilled. I've found this website invaluable. I had essentially no issues with the pool my first season...thank you to everyone here at TFP.

    This summer, something doesn't seem right. The water is clear, but I just can't get that trouble-free "sparkle."

    My pool seems to be consuming much more chlorine than before. I've been keeping the SWG at 50-60% just to maintain FC, which is higher than I had to keep it last year. I have some small splotches of greenish-brown sediment settling along the creases of the vinyl liner. The stuff brushes away easily (the polaris just fluffs it around) but it re-settles in the exact same places within a few hours or overnight. I had to go through a SLAM a couple of weeks ago because my pool water turned into light green tea, and the pool floor had yellowish dust all over it. I'm not sure if this sediment means that I am still battling algae, or if it's just dirt. I passed the OCLT last night.

    I'm considering raising CYA to see if that helps with FC retention. I've held off in case I needed to do another SLAM. We've had lots of hot sunny weather here in Alabama, and my pool is in full sun for 7-8 hours.

    I'm also considering another SLAM in case this sediment means there is still algae. What would you do?

    FC 5
    CC 0
    CYA 50
    CH 90
    TA 90
    pH 7.8
    Salt 3300
    inground pool - saltwater generator - TF 100 test kit - polaris pool cleaner - vinyl liner

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Welcome to TFP

    Isn't TFP awesome, once you have that sparkle it hard to go back to dull

    It sounds like you may still have some dead algae floating around.. what type filter do you have? it will depend on how long it takes to filter it out..

    Hmmmm, if it were me..... still seeing dead algae I would keep it at SLAM level today and do another OCLT tonight, continue to filter on high and brush 3 or 4 times today... if you pass the OCLT tomorrow let your FC drop to 6 and keep there for a week, even if you have to add bleach to keep it at 6.

    Once you pass the OCLT you need to up your CYA to 80, 50 will not allow the SWG to keep up with loss and why you're having a harder time this year keeping up FC... the CYA will take a few days to raise from 50 to 80, just put it in an old sock and kneed it after a few hours in the pool...

    I hope this helps
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    PAGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Might be good to get your PH to 7.2 just in case you need to continue the SLAM.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    so for your oclt, you kept the pump running all night but turned the SWG down to 0%, right?
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Yes. Test FC after the sun goes down, then again in the morning before the sun is up.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    smforte's Avatar
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Hello fellow Alabamian.....have you checked behind lights, steps to make sure nothing is lurking there? When I do the OCLT I do it for 2 nights just to play it safe.

    I see the rain in your area is coming my way tonight huh? Been raining all day today but we need it.
    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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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Still having this issue with the pool. The water is sparkly and clear, but this fine sediment accumulates in lines or splotches on the bottom of the pool, particularly in the wrinkles or creases of the liner. There's noticeably more of the stuff after a day of yard work or rain so I'm guessing it's just dirt. But could it be dead algae that's constantly being killed by the 6 ppm FC?

    Is it ok to "vacuum to filter" when manually vacuuming this stuff? I find that I waste so much water when vacuuming to waste because I'm not very good at it! What's the rule of thumb for vacuuming to waste vs filter?

    To answer the replies, for the OCLT I test after sundown and again in the morning as early as possible (SWG off all night). I also checked behind the lights and cleaned behind them.

    FC 6
    CC 0
    CYA 55-60 (I just raised it from 50 to 60 so not sure the test is showing full result yet. May try to raise to 70-80 to see if that helps with FC loss)
    pH 7.5
    CH 90
    TA 90
    Salt 3200
    inground pool - saltwater generator - TF 100 test kit - polaris pool cleaner - vinyl liner

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Did you ever perform an OCLT?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    Did you ever perform an OCLT?
    Yes it's been consistently passing the OCLT.

    However I just tested FC and got a reading of 5.5, and that seems lower than expected because I've had my SWG cranked up to 70% for a couple of days (typically keep it around 40-50%). There is definitely a lot more of the "stuff" on the pool floor today. I added a jug of bleach just for peace of mind tonight and will check FC again shortly.

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Did you have the SWG off for the OCLT?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    Did you have the SWG off for the OCLT?
    yes, thanks!
    inground pool - saltwater generator - TF 100 test kit - polaris pool cleaner - vinyl liner

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    I think its just dirt.

    Wrinkles will collect it every time. I get a bit lazy sometimes and the seams in my liner collect dirt, in the same place, every time. I guess I should use my robot more often! haha.

    Algae is prone to growing in areas of poor circlation/ Low FC. Wrinkles or seams have nothing to do with it.

    If it bugs you too much, you might try pointing an eyeball or 2 toward the wrinkles and see if that helps keep some of the dirt out of them.


    You can vacuum to filter just fine. Vacuum to waste is really for a very heavy load of killed off gunk, or worse.

    And you definitely should bump up your CYA a bit.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    I think its just dirt.

    Wrinkles will collect it every time. I get a bit lazy sometimes and the seams in my liner collect dirt, in the same place, every time. I guess I should use my robot more often! haha.

    Algae is prone to growing in areas of poor circlation/ Low FC. Wrinkles or seams have nothing to do with it.

    If it bugs you too much, you might try pointing an eyeball or 2 toward the wrinkles and see if that helps keep some of the dirt out of them.


    You can vacuum to filter just fine. Vacuum to waste is really for a very heavy load of killed off gunk, or worse.

    And you definitely should bump up your CYA a bit.
    Thank you, Dave, for the thorough reply. That's what I'm hoping. I will give it a good manual vacuum in the morning and see how it goes. Does vacuuming to filter (instead of to waste) pose a problem if there happens to be an algae bloom going on, and it's not just dirt?

    Do you recommend taking CYA up to 80? I've been holding back bc of the high FC level that would be needed should I have to slam. But I trust you guys!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Yes, 80 CYA will reduce your daily FC consumption and reduce the load on the SWG.

    Please add your pool info to your signature so that we don't have to hunt all over your thread to figure it out. More here, Pool School - Read This Before You Post
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    hey there, CYA to 80 and its no issue to vacuum to filter..

    Your SWG just falls behind with a lower CYA, with all the rain and then sun mine was at 50, I knew something was wrong, kicked it back up to 80 and it's chugging away now
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Good morning -

    No FC loss last night. I snapped a photo of the stuff on the bottom of the pool. There's a lot more yesterday and today than previously - maybe because we've had rain and I haven't vacuumed. It looks more suspicious to me this morning, so I'm wondering if it's some type of slow growing algae rather than just dirt. The splotches look similar to the stuff on the bottom of the pool during the ast algae outbreak I had earlier this season, except that time there was yellow dust everywhere and the water was cloudy. Currently the water is clear, except for the splotches.

    I've ready many threads about "dirt vs. mustard algae" and it seems like sometimes they never find out. Anyone have advice?
    IMG_0371.jpg

    FC 9
    CC 0
    CYA 55-60
    pH 7.5
    CH 90
    TA 90
    Salt 3200
    inground pool - saltwater generator - TF 100 test kit - polaris pool cleaner - vinyl liner

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Is there dust/pollen on other surfaces around the pool? On tables, cars, etc. Here is an article from Pool School - Mustard Algae
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    I'll bet you a dollar that is simply dead algae. vacuum all up that you can and then run your pump 24/7. It will accumulate again the next day in the seams and low spots....vacuum it up again. Never shut off your pump and vacuum each time it accumulates.

    It'll be gone in just a few vacuums and, since I think you said you passed the OCLT, there will be no more of it because you killed it all. Go get the vac and turn on the pump!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Is there dust/pollen on other surfaces around the pool? On tables, cars, etc. Here is an article from Pool School - Mustard Algae
    No heavy dust or pollen on other surfaces. This stuff doesn't seem to behave like the description in the article. But I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it. Two eyes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I'll bet you a dollar that is simply dead algae. vacuum all up that you can and then run your pump 24/7. It will accumulate again the next day in the seams and low spots....vacuum it up again. Never shut off your pump and vacuum each time it accumulates.

    It'll be gone in just a few vacuums and, since I think you said you passed the OCLT, there will be no more of it because you killed it all. Go get the vac and turn on the pump!
    Just finished vacuuming. I will leave the pump on 24 hrs a day too. Thanks for that tip. I think I'll keep FC a little higher than target for a few days.

    I left one small spot of the stuff so I can try to collect it and look at it up close...

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    Re: Need help achieving the TFP sparkle

    If you can't collect it, then for sure it is dead algae. It will simply slip through your thumb and finger.

    If you can capture it and it is gritty, then it is dirt.

    My bet is on dead algae.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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