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Thread: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with CC

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    when_in_TN's Avatar
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    bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with CC

    Please Help me. The Long story short version is underlined. A little background. Well, I have no background in managing a pool prior to the last five days. I anticipated there may be some issues based on the pool inspection when we bought the house. I thought I better leave the opening up to the professionals. The opening was a little late I know, but the way the opening went was a little unbelievable.

    I called Pool company A a few weeks ago for what I was told would be a service to remove a cover, and equipment start up to ensure it was working properly, plus to add chemicals. I told the lady on the phone that I had no idea about pools and needed a little education about what to do. I was under the impression they were going to send someone out to make the water swim ready, explain a few things and I would take it from there. I anxiously awaited the arrival. Pool guys came 5 days ago but didn't let me know that they had shown up, I just noticed 2 guys in the process of removing my cover when I looked out my window. I went out and asked them if everything was looking alright. One guy said Yes. I figured they would fill me in on what would happen next or let me know if there were any issues. Some time later I noticed the 2 guys had vanished. My pool was light green and looked like it was low on water. The behavior of the pool people was a red flag. I called Company A and played phone tag for a few hours until I spoke to a manager who said the guys left because my water level wasn't high enough to start up the equipment. I was confused as to why the guys didn't bother letting me know so I could run the water while they were there or at least have it running for them start up the equipment later that day. I was pretty ticked off and let the manager know I wanted them to send someone else who is willing to communicate to come start up and check the equipment ASAP the next morning, but that I was not going to pay for any chemicals. I didn't want them having anything else to do with my pool, just turn on and check the equipment. The next day, I had brought the water up, someone showed up and left without communicating again. I saw bubbles and ripples in the pool when I looked out the window. I went out to look at the equipment and it had a leak under the multiport valve. Several little pinhole leaks converging into a constant drip when filter is on. I called Pool Company A, furious about the lack of communication and service. The store manager tried telling me that I hadn't paid for any services other than cover removal and equipment start up, no education, but that I would be charged for the chemicals they put in. I reminded her I had asked for no chemicals when I had spoken to her the day before. She agreed to charge me for them and also let me know that I would need to bring in a sample to have my free water testing done. I asked her what they put in my pool the day before. 4 days ago Houdini pool guys put in a 32 oz. bottle of GLB algaecide and 5 lbs of supershockwave or something like that. I picked up some test strips which I quickly found were useless. I brushed. I vacuumed whatever was sitting in the bottom. About an hour or so later, I noticed all the stuff I thought I had vacuumed had resettled into little clusters of light green at the bottom and on slanted sides of the pool. I started reading as much as I could and watching instructional videos that day.
    The next morning,3 days ago, the water looked a little clearer and some wiggly flyaway light green stuff had settled at the bottom. I brushed. The water turned cloudy and light green again. I tried to vacuum the little wiggly light green stuff that looked like sand. It resettled again.
    2 days ago I brushed, I vacuumed. Same clear to cloudy and resettling of the evil substance in my pool. I visited Pool Company B, I asked for a thorough test kit, they didn't have them, but they would test for free if I bought my chemicals from them. I explained what was going on to Pool Company B lady in the store and she recommended 6 lbs of PoolLife Turboshock with cal-hypo, 75% available chlorine, and to use a flocculent, then vacuum it to waste. She was very nice, but I started thinking, if 5 lbs didn't seem to do the job, why would only 6 lbs work so much better? What if floc somehow makes the problem worse? So, I also visited Pool Supply Store C that day to try to get a test kit instead of the strips, they had one and it has reagents 001,2,3,7,8,9,10,11L,12,13,14,15,16 but FC and TC can only be measured from .5 to 5. I took what I could get but the guy did let me know they do water testing for free. Pool Company C recommended 6lbs of 38% potassium peroxymonosulfate with 4% available oxygen. I asked him why the recommendation to do a non-chlorine shock? He said basically if I used chlorine again I would be doing the same thing and expecting different results. I was already doing the same thing...asking pool store employees for advice and the different results I expected weren't happening. The videos I had watched and some of the articles I read said shocking is all or nothing and the problem will get harder to manage after multiple shocks without enough chlorine. Before I knew much about breakpoint chlorination, or this forum, I based what I was going to add on what I understood from the test kit at the time. "Superchlorinate to breakpoint to eliminate CC." I looked on the back in the instruction box that said superchlorinating and calculated what was in the column for 75% available chlorine for 32,000 gallons. I know now I overdid it because my TC was 4 and FC was 2 and I really only needed 18ppm to reach breakpoint, I think? Is my understanding of breakpoint correct? Anyway, because I followed the amount on the instructions in hopes to kill stuff and didnít consider breakpoint and the chlorine went up to at least 30ppm. I used 12 lbs of Turboshock, 75% available chlorine from Pool
    Store B. I did this around 11pm about 43 hours ago. I have brushed and vacuumed at least 2 times a day since then and I still see light green fly-away floaty stuff grouped together at the bottom of the deep end and the shallow end. I'm testing morning and night.

    These are my most recent test results using Leslies Total Pool Care DPD test kit. It has Taylor printed inside the kit but doesn't have the type number
    .

    AM today: *FC =>5 *TC = >5 *CC= no idea *pH = 7.4 *TA = 100 *CH = 140 *CYA = <30
    PM today: *FC = 2 *TC = >5 *CC= super high *pH = 7.5 *TA = 100 *CH = 140 *CYA =<30 *Water temp = 85

    These are my questions; Hopefully someone can help me and let me know what mistakes I have made and how I can remedy them:

    1. What exact test kit do I need to measure amounts of Chlorine less than .5 or greater than 5ppm? I vaguely recall reading something about a kit with powder that can do this. Please point me to the one I need.

    2. How can I get the light green to go? Do I need to use floc?

    3. Should I be adding any stabilizer since my CYA is so low it is immeasurable and all the Free chlorine is disappearing? I watched a video that said CYA reads false during a shock. Is that true? I came across a thread about the FC/CYA relationship.

    4. Should I add bleach or wait until I know what my TC is?

    4. Are the conditions of my liner, concrete, pump and filter contributing to the algae or is it possible to get this water balanced and then fix those issues in order of priority? I'm reading about the components of the filter system as well and feel like I want to fix those myself also. I've been burned by every pool store at this point. I can't afford a liner replacement this year and the concrete situation is beyond my control for now too.

    5. What are my next steps?

    Oh, please help me. I'm ready to get this right.
    Bought a home with a pool. Inspector comments in parentheses. 20'x40'x8' IG 32,000 gal.(One wall has crooked coping and concrete deck has shifted) Vinyl liner (needs replacement in near future) Hayward S240 - 300 lb sand filter(good except small leak)
    Hayward 1.5 HP Superpump(good with exception of small leak) TF-100

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Hi,
    Wow, what a read. Let me know if I summarize it correctly, just the major points is all Im after right now.

    1. Your equipment is up and running, albiet you might have a leak under the multiport valve and maybe the pump. ?

    2. Your water is turned green - regardless of all the stuff you added.?

    3. You have a Leslies test kit that says Taylor on the inside. It sounds as if you have a Taylor K2005.

    Here is what do,
    Go to tftestkits.net and order the FAS-DPD Xtra Large. You will need the XL version to eventually clear the algae from your pool. This is the powder kit and will measure the FC and the CC. Its good for up to 50ppm. Here is a link to it. TFTestkits.net

    Next, go to walmart, or anyother place that sells pool supplies. You will need to buy some Stabilizer and Conditioner. Also known on this forum as CYA (Cyanauric Acid). It comes in 4 lb. jugs. (pool store have it too, but its more expensive there.) Buy 4 of them.

    While you are at Walmart, see if they have have Liquid Chlorine, or Liquid Shock. If not, then go get regualar ol' concentrated bleach. None of the fancy stuff required.

    Come home and pour 2 gallons of liquid chlorine into the pool. Pour it in very slowly in front of a return. The Return are the outlets where the water comes back into the pool. Make sure the pump is running and continue to let it run for at least 30 minutes after adding chlorine.

    Next, you will want to add ONLY 2 of the jugs of CYA. Do Not pour it directly in the pool. Pour it into a old large sock or stocking leg and put it in the skimmer. Every now and then, squeeze it, it helps it dissolve. (CYA will help protect the chlorine from being destroyed by the sun). You may have to refill the sock a couple of times, but get all of the CYA in there using this sock method.

    Now, relax and take a deep breath. You are in good hands.

    Next-Never Ever go back to the pool store. They are useless and border on the edge of dangerous.

    You will need to add another gallon of liquid chlorine to the pool every day until the FAS-DPD kit arrives.

    Two days after you add the CYA, test it again and report back the test result so we can decide if you need to add a little more before starting the SLAM. (You need to shoot for CYA of 30).

    In the meantime, click on the Pool School Button and start reading ABCs of pool chemisty. Then keep reading Pool School. When your test kit arrives, you will need to SLAM the pool. Here are the instructions. You will need to follow the instructions exactly and don't give up. Clearing the pool of the green algae is a Process that takes time. There is no miracle cure like the pool store would lead you to believe. Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Also in the meantime, play around with Pool Math. This is what we use to determine how much of something to add to the pool. http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    This should get you started. Hand with us, and your pool will be clean and TroubleFree ....
    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.
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    when_in_TN's Avatar
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    I really appreciate the quick response. I've got the kit ordered and will get started on the stabilizer and bleach tonight. Thank you SO MUCH!
    Bought a home with a pool. Inspector comments in parentheses. 20'x40'x8' IG 32,000 gal.(One wall has crooked coping and concrete deck has shifted) Vinyl liner (needs replacement in near future) Hayward S240 - 300 lb sand filter(good except small leak)
    Hayward 1.5 HP Superpump(good with exception of small leak) TF-100

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Welcome to TFP!
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Welcome! Was there any cloudiness in the CYA test mixture?

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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    One bit of follow up, we do not teach break point chlorination around here, it is based on poor understanding of how chlorine works in a pool, but is one of those proven flawed theories (there is a basic math error / units conversion in the published chemistry justification for breakpoint chlorination) from 40-50 years ago, yet some how break point chlorination hangs on as a method taught in the industry. Possibly this is due to the basic concept of needing chlorine to clear a pool is correct, by contrast here we teach about maintaining the correct Chlorine to CYA ratio either for daily pool operation or for clearing a pool during the SLAM process.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    I'll let others speak to chemistry but regarding vacuuming - I would suggest that you vacuum first before brushing. I just finished SLAMming my pool, and vacumming after brushing was nearly pointless, but vacuuming first thing in the morning, when the sediment had overnight to settle seemed much more effect. With the superlight wispy stuff, go super-duper slow. like inches per minute, not feet per minute. When I started going too fast, I would see plumes of debris kicking up around it. If you are vacuuming to waste, going slow will probably dump a lot of water out, though. We did not have a a vacuum to waste, and just ran it through the filter, and washted the filters frequently.

    Good luck! the people here are very helpful!
    27,000 gal. plaster IG with round spa built in 2007. TFT-100 test kit XL w/ Speedstir
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Thanks, pooldv! I grew up in Fort Worth.

    Isaac-1, I will ditch the breakpoint business and I look forward to the chlorine to CYA ratio being the method that works for me.

    PrairieGirl, I learned to wait for vacuuming until settling has occurred after the first time I noticed that what I was doing was futile. I brush a couple of times a day just because I hope to bully the unsightly stuff into going away. I have tried every manner of vacuuming possible and none of the problematic substance will discontinue. It seems there is no amount of persuasive stealth or brute force that can rid my pool of the little vandal. That is why I am considering using floc.

    MarianParoo, when I tested yesterday and the previous days there was very slight clouding in the CYA tube but not enough to disguise the black dot. I figured the level wasn't down to 0. After adding 4 lbs of CYA last night the value has gone up this morning. I would say it is currently very near to 30. I will probably add another pound or so and see where it stands. I'd rather have less than more without knowing anything specific about the chlorine levels.

    This morning's test prior to sunlight:
    FC= >5 TC= >5 pH= 7.3 CYA= very near to 30

    Question? Does CYA level decline as rapidly as chlorine?
    Bought a home with a pool. Inspector comments in parentheses. 20'x40'x8' IG 32,000 gal.(One wall has crooked coping and concrete deck has shifted) Vinyl liner (needs replacement in near future) Hayward S240 - 300 lb sand filter(good except small leak)
    Hayward 1.5 HP Superpump(good with exception of small leak) TF-100

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    when_in_TN's Avatar
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Mugshots:

    Close up of the steps.

    Shallow End

    Deep end

    When I brush, the water turns a light, cloudy green.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bought a home with a pool. Inspector comments in parentheses. 20'x40'x8' IG 32,000 gal.(One wall has crooked coping and concrete deck has shifted) Vinyl liner (needs replacement in near future) Hayward S240 - 300 lb sand filter(good except small leak)
    Hayward 1.5 HP Superpump(good with exception of small leak) TF-100

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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    No- CYA can normally only be reduced by draining and replacing water. Which is why you should gradually add stabilizer while testing over time to be sure to not over dose the pool. I'd wait until you get the TFT kit and then post the results before adding anymore stabilizer as pool store test results are often wildly inaccurate.

    Normally people that have been using chlorine tabs have a gradual build up of CYA to the point it is over the maximum limit causing the chlorine to be less effective. Other than RO filtering ($600), draining water is the only way to correct the situation. Onther than liquid bleach, most chlorine tabs and powered chlorine products (shocks included) contain stablilizer which contributes to the problem.
    18,000 gunite pool/spa combo. Pebble tec, iaqualink rs8, cl580 filter, aquapure 1400, 400k btu lx heater, 10 solar panels, jandy 1hp, 1 1/2hp, and 2hp stealth pumps for circ, spa, waterfall

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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    I agree. No more CYA for now. That is dead algae. See that slam article that Divin Dave linked above in post 2. Good luck!

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    when_in_TN's Avatar
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    The only good algae is dead algae, I'm sure. I just did a mid-day chlorine test out of curiosity. FC= 2 TC= >5
    Bought a home with a pool. Inspector comments in parentheses. 20'x40'x8' IG 32,000 gal.(One wall has crooked coping and concrete deck has shifted) Vinyl liner (needs replacement in near future) Hayward S240 - 300 lb sand filter(good except small leak)
    Hayward 1.5 HP Superpump(good with exception of small leak) TF-100

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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Hope you added some FC!

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    when_in_TN's Avatar
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Pretty much just threw my banana peel in the pool. Wishing it would now magically morph into a smiley face yellow safety cover and latch itself on to the concrete.
    Bought a home with a pool. Inspector comments in parentheses. 20'x40'x8' IG 32,000 gal.(One wall has crooked coping and concrete deck has shifted) Vinyl liner (needs replacement in near future) Hayward S240 - 300 lb sand filter(good except small leak)
    Hayward 1.5 HP Superpump(good with exception of small leak) TF-100

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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Awww. Did your testkit arrive?

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    when_in_TN's Avatar
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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    I did get it. It's pretty nifty, but I am having some major issues with this pump and filter. The plumbing is leaking in 7 or 8 places. I got the vacuuming thing down and the floor was finally cleared but it all just shows up in the pool later. Same stuff in the exact same places comes right back within about 3 hours. We've lost so much water from the leaking that it seems there isn't much of a point to try to SLAM yet. I'd have to let the hose run in for about 2-3 hours a day just to keep it filled halfway up the skimmer. I'm just debating whether to call a plumber or a pool servicing company to try to fix it all up or just go ahead and get something new in. It started out badly and I really want it to end well without costing a fortune. I know the equipment is old. A lot of stuff in this house is old. Our upstairs air conditioning unit went out this week, can't be repaired because it's so old, has to be replaced. I don't want to spend 400-500 patching up pool equipment for this filter setup for it to just give out in the near future and have to be replaced anyway.
    Bought a home with a pool. Inspector comments in parentheses. 20'x40'x8' IG 32,000 gal.(One wall has crooked coping and concrete deck has shifted) Vinyl liner (needs replacement in near future) Hayward S240 - 300 lb sand filter(good except small leak)
    Hayward 1.5 HP Superpump(good with exception of small leak) TF-100

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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    No more banana peel. I worked late into the night, pouring, testing and brushing...late...bats were flying in and out of the woods while I was brushing kind of late, but I think this pool water is out of the woods too. I finally have the CC down to 0 after the 10 minute drill. Currently slamming. I was bummed yesterday, but today is complete turnaround. This forum is AMAZING and the advice is spot on. People at the store treated me like I was cleaning up a crime scene, but I have paid half the cost of what I spent on pool store chemicals that didn't work and I have ended up with what looks to be 100% success. YEAH!
    Bought a home with a pool. Inspector comments in parentheses. 20'x40'x8' IG 32,000 gal.(One wall has crooked coping and concrete deck has shifted) Vinyl liner (needs replacement in near future) Hayward S240 - 300 lb sand filter(good except small leak)
    Hayward 1.5 HP Superpump(good with exception of small leak) TF-100

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    Re: bought older home, got old pool, first opening ever in my life, struggling with C

    Good job!!! No more fruit allowed. Keep slamming until you pass the OCLT:

    Pool School - Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)

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