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Thread: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

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    After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    Yesterday Vacuumed To Waste dead algae, sand, debris so bottom Is pretty clean and added water as needed. Added about 25 lbs shock 10 lbs at a time. And got the same result of clouds then no free chlorine. I also realized in testing the water that the PH was 6.2 and Total Alk 40. The CYA is now Below 30 and last week it was in the 30-50 range. Also, I'm running Hayward 700 sq foot DE filter, after a few hours it has to be backwashed, goes from 25 to 30+ PSI. Backwashed 4 times in past couple of days. I didn't want to keep adding chlorine and using up the rest of the 50lb bucket, so I went to Leslie's for Alk/Ph Up. They tested the water and said the Nitrates are high at 30 ppm, and they said that is why I can't get the chlorine up, so they said the first thing to do was to drain and fill to get the nitrate level down. I don't really trust that is the full problem, so I started looking around online and found the TFP forum.

    At this point I have spent more in chemicals than it would have been to empty the pool and re-fill it, so I'm thinking I should just drain half as it should help.

    I don't have the Pro test kit, but have AquaChek 7 strips which have been accurate for the the past couple of years. They test Hardness, Total Ch, FC, PH, Toltal Alk, and CYA.

    I can really use some help finding the most economical and/or best way to get the pool clean. It does not look like I will be in the spa on Father's Day!

    Thanks,
    Rich

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    Hi Rich and welcome to TFP! I think you already said it best .......
    At this point I have spent more in chemicals than it would have been to empty the pool and re-fill it, so I'm thinking I should just drain half as it should help.
    Do you really need to drain? ..... perhaps. But honestly Rick, you ARE wasting your time with pool store advise and products. TFP care is all about 100% owner control and simple chemistry - and when I say simple I mean simple. You have an algae problem. I can tell that without accurate results just from your history. We have a "SLAM" process (link below) to resolve that issue, but you do need the proper test kit. You have two choices - a TF-100 (link below) or Taylor K-2006C. Either is recommended by TFP, but honestly I think the TF-100 offers more reagents for your buck.

    I would not add anything else to your water at the moment until you can get one of those kits., You've spent too much money already. I'm not sure how big your pool is (please update your signature), but you should be able to add a 1/2 gallon of regular bleach (generic is fine) to your water each evening for now. Once you have your own test kit and post results, you'll see how we (you) handle this the right way. Pinpoint accuracy. No wasted money or time.

    So please consider that and also see the other vital links below in my sig. They will serve you well this season. 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: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    Thanks for your response Pat, I actually added below before you posted. I usually don't ask Leslie's for advice, but I wanted to adjust the PH and Alk and I was getting frustrated dumping Money/Dichlor in the pool, so I wanted them to tell me how much to add. So you don't think the Nitrates are causing the chlorine clouds/waste, just the algae? On yours and other forums I did see that Nitrates can help algae grow, but not that it makes chlorine disappear!

    I though a few pictures would help. Also, as you can see in the spa photo we do need to have the plaster refinished...maybe next year.
    Attachment 50372Shallow end steps, can almost see the bottom
    Attachment 50373View from shallow end to deep
    Attachment 50374You can see the bottom of the spa, it is attached at shallow end

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    Thanks for the pics. I do believe that your algae problem can be eliminated with a "SLAM". We don't generally place a lot of emphasis on items that could feed algae (i.e. phosphates) because once we eliminate algae, it is of no value. I made my pool TFP clear about 3 years ago I believe, and I've never tested for such items. The key, after eliminating the algae, is to always maintain the proper FC/CYA ratio (Chlorine/CYA Chart link below). TA and pH control water alkalinity, softness, corrosion, etc, but don't generally play a big role in algae. It's the FC/CYA ratio. That's critical. But most stores don't tell you that. They sell you bags of shock ad tabs that overload your pool with stabilizer to the point you can never keep FC high enough, then you have to drain. We see it all the time. Many store or pool owners aren't familiar with how to test CYA (or don't have the proper test kit) so their CYA number is incorrect anyways. That's where we come-in to try and help.

    While we can't do much about old plaster, we can help you make that water so crystal clear that seeing the plaster will drive you nuts. Like may others that end-up here, you're probably exhausted with advise and money, but having one of the recommended test kits really is key. Just like today's cars ... you can "try" to fix something on your own, or let someone with the right tool get it done right the first time. We can show you how to get it right without any more waste - with the proper 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!

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    I added my pool info to my signature. I am going to order the TF-100 kit and will hopefully get it by Monday or Tuesday. It looks like the first thing to do in the SLAM is to add chlorine to get the level up high, but that is the problem that I am having, that I put in 10 pounds of Dichlor and it is gone in a half hour, it also hasn't raised the CYA level. Will the bleach/liquid chlorine do better? I also thought that the PH should be adjusted first but don't see it in the SLAM. The pool is 30,000 gallons, so how much bleach do you think would get me started.
    My Pool: In-ground Concrete w/Gray Plaster and attached spa, about 30,000 gallon.
    Hayward Pro-Grid 6020 DE filter, Jandy Stealth 2.5 hp pump, Jandy Aqualink RS6 system, Polaris 280
    Equipment is by the house, about 100 ft from pool.

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    You're correct Rich, and thanks for updating your sig. Before starting a SLAM, adjusting pH to about 7.2 is the first step. Lower with muriatic acid or raise with Borax. The Poolmath calculator should be able to help you with that once you enter your NOW and TARGET numbers. But don't try any of this until the kit arrives. First verify your CYA. If it's through the roof high (over 90) a partial water exchange will be required before you waste any chemicals. If your CYA is between 30-60, you can do the SLAM efficiently. A SLAM at a CYA of 70-80 can be done as well, but it just takes a little more bleach.

    Now dichlor is fine in some applications, but I would not use it any more. It's driving your CYA even higher because it has stabilizer. That's why we feed our pools bleach each day - no side effects. So when you start the SLAM, use regular-old bleach from the grocery store or wherever you can find a good bargain on chlorine in your area. You will have to test and add bleach consistently at first, then it will stabilize for the remainder of the SLAM. This will all make more sense once you have your test kit and post YOUR numbers.

    But your next step hinges on that CYA from your kit when it arrives. And just so you have this now:
    CYA Testing:
    Proper lighting is important for the CYA test. You want to test for CYA outside on a sunny day, but keep the skinny view tube in the shade. Taylor recommends standing in the sun with your back to the sun and the view tube in the shade of your body. Use the mixing bottle to combine/gently mix the required amounts of pool water and R-0013 reagent, let sit for 30 seconds, then gently mix again. Then, while holding the skinny tube with the black dot at waist level, begin squirting the mixed solution into the skinny tube. Watch the black dot until it completely disappears. Once it disappears, record the CYA reading. After the first test, you can pour the mixed solution from the skinny view tube back to the mixing bottle, shake, and do the same test a second, third, or fourth time to instill consistency in your technique, become more comfortable with the testing, and validate the CYA reading.
    For now, add about 1 gallon of bleach each evening. That's just to keep anything from getting much worse. It won't solve the problem until we now your true CYA.
    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: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    I am pretty confident that the CYA is very low, as it is easy to read on the test strips and I can compare it to the Leslie's test to check - my wife is out now and has their test in her car. I think in the morning I will vac more out to waste as more dead algae has settled to the bottom, pump some water out from the main drain, and then add some fresh water. The filter is also getting clogged up so quickly filtering the live and dead algae - that is adding to the cost too!
    My Pool: In-ground Concrete w/Gray Plaster and attached spa, about 30,000 gallon.
    Hayward Pro-Grid 6020 DE filter, Jandy Stealth 2.5 hp pump, Jandy Aqualink RS6 system, Polaris 280
    Equipment is by the house, about 100 ft from pool.

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    If they use the same types of strips, they're equally inaccurate. If you've been using tablets and dichlor often, it's probably pretty high. Though there are instances when CYA can disappear over the winter.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    The test results from Leslie's are below. They show the CYA is 30, but I didn't see how they test it. I know they use drops for some of the tests, and the Nitrates was a test strip.

    Leslies pool test 160617.JPG
    My Pool: In-ground Concrete w/Gray Plaster and attached spa, about 30,000 gallon.
    Hayward Pro-Grid 6020 DE filter, Jandy Stealth 2.5 hp pump, Jandy Aqualink RS6 system, Polaris 280
    Equipment is by the house, about 100 ft from pool.

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    You say you've added 25 lbs of dichlor. In a 30000 gallon pool, that would increase your CYA by 50 (above whatever the initial CYA level was). So, the CYA measurements of 30 from Leslie's, or 'low' from your test strips are de facto implausible. To see the effects of adding chemicals, go to PoolMath, enter pool volume near the top, and then scroll way down to find the effect-of-adding-chemicals tool (it's kind of inconspicuous down there). Please don't add any more dichlor, while you wait for your reliable test kit to arrive.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    I know it's had to believe Rich. A pool store whose business IS pools ... why aren't their tests correct? We see it all the time - we've experienced it just like you. Some of it is the way their seasonal employees rush through a test or lack of experience. The CYA test itself is supposed to be done outdoors. You'll never see a store employee do that. In the end, some of their guidance is driven by old industry standards of chemical levels and/or to sell over-priced products (most of which don't work for us) which is why they are in business. You have the best test kit available on its way (TF-100), so when it hits your doorstep and you run your first tests, you'll see why testing on your own is so critical.

    But you can still add that one gallon each evening for now. Have a great day.
    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: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    Thanks again for your advice! I will pickup some bleach today to add, but was also thinking that it may help to put in some of the algaecide though I don't know which is better to kill the algae. I am also in a bit of a rush and want to get it cleared up before I go on vacation this coming Thurs.
    My Pool: In-ground Concrete w/Gray Plaster and attached spa, about 30,000 gallon.
    Hayward Pro-Grid 6020 DE filter, Jandy Stealth 2.5 hp pump, Jandy Aqualink RS6 system, Polaris 280
    Equipment is by the house, about 100 ft from pool.

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    I'd skip the algaecide. More likely than not you will be introducing more problems. There are no short-cuts!
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    Algaecide is a preventative not a cure is most cases. When you already have algae growing in your pool all it will do is increase the chlorine demand. Algaecides that do kill algae contain copper, however copper comes with its own set of problems that can be difficult to manage and usually leads to draining the pool. Stick with bleach until your test kit comes. Avoid the temptation to buy instant fixes, the only thing they will clear is your wallet!

    Did you add your dichlor through the skimmer?
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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    OK, won't add algaecide. I broadcast the Dichlor it all over the pool, it dissolves before it gets to the bottom for the most part. I am pumping out some water now - it should get some of the algae out and the CYA assuming it is high. The test kit is on the way but USPS says 2 Day so I should have it on Tuesday.

    Thanks,
    Rich
    My Pool: In-ground Concrete w/Gray Plaster and attached spa, about 30,000 gallon.
    Hayward Pro-Grid 6020 DE filter, Jandy Stealth 2.5 hp pump, Jandy Aqualink RS6 system, Polaris 280
    Equipment is by the house, about 100 ft from pool.

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    I'm happy to say that the TF-100 arrived a day early so I was able to test today! Also, I emptied I believe about 1/2 of my water on the weekend and refilled with fresh - and you guys are correct, my CYA is 100 or maybe more now so it must have been really high before the water change! I am also saying it may be more than 100 now because after testing the CYA with my water twice, I tested with their CYA 50 sample, and I read it as 30 to me. I am new to this test, but that was when the black circle was completely not visible.

    After refilling the pool I also mixed in 4 boxes of Mule Team Borax (pool calc said I needed 6 but I didn't want to go over) and a gallon of 8.25% bleach. It looks like I need to add more borax now though. The water looks much better now but definitely not ready.

    Here are my numbers:
    C .5
    PH 6.8
    FC .5
    CC .5
    CH 200
    TA 70
    CYA 100

    I hope I don't need to drain water again, I watched the water meter and I filled with over 15,000 gallons. I also just saw another post that said to dilute the pool water for the test then double it, so I will try that to see if I get a worse number than 100.

    Any tips for what is next would be great.

    Thanks,
    Rich
    My Pool: In-ground Concrete w/Gray Plaster and attached spa, about 30,000 gallon.
    Hayward Pro-Grid 6020 DE filter, Jandy Stealth 2.5 hp pump, Jandy Aqualink RS6 system, Polaris 280
    Equipment is by the house, about 100 ft from pool.

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    I rechecked the CYA with half tap water and half pool water and it came out to 50, so it seems my original test is correct at 100.

    Thanks,
    Rich
    My Pool: In-ground Concrete w/Gray Plaster and attached spa, about 30,000 gallon.
    Hayward Pro-Grid 6020 DE filter, Jandy Stealth 2.5 hp pump, Jandy Aqualink RS6 system, Polaris 280
    Equipment is by the house, about 100 ft from pool.

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    Uh oh. Rich, I hesitate to utter those words, but your CYA is still too high. If you could even get it down to 70-80, you'd still need more bleach for a SLAM, but at least you could still accurately test pH when the SLAM is done. You can see what I mean on the Chlorine/CYA Chart (link below).
    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: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    I figured that. I suppose I should drain 25% or a little more, correct? My wife was upset that I drained as much as I did before but I guess I should have waited for the kit before re-filling!

    I also wanted to be sure with the CYA test, if I am doing it properly. I filled the tube until I could not see the black spot at all.

    Thanks,
    Rich
    My Pool: In-ground Concrete w/Gray Plaster and attached spa, about 30,000 gallon.
    Hayward Pro-Grid 6020 DE filter, Jandy Stealth 2.5 hp pump, Jandy Aqualink RS6 system, Polaris 280
    Equipment is by the house, about 100 ft from pool.

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    Re: After starting pool for summer can't get FC up, Cloudy, Algae, pool eats Dichlor

    Correct, the dot must completely disappear when viewed outside under a bright sky with sun at your back.

    No worries, start draining once the wife goes to bed.
    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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