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Thread: 5 problems and clueless!

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    Unhappy 5 problems and clueless!

    16x38 inground vinyl liner approx. 20,500 gal, 3-6' deep hayward sand filter. I have 5 problems upon opening up this summer: water cloudy, worms, stains, blue debris, no chlorine reading. Abundance of worms present (see attached photos). Steps and Seat stained blue - the blue stains seem to come off with severe scrubbing, and they also lifted after applying pool stain treat (a sequestrate) directly to the area. But it did not clean the walls of the steps bc the product needs to sit directly on the stain to lift it. There is some debris floating through the water and large amounts of this debris floating on bottom of the entire pool it appears white and in a granular form when looking into the pool, but we scooped some out with a paint strained covering the skim net and its actually a light aqua blue color extremely fine and not granular at all. I don't know if its live algae, dead algae, or a severe overdose of the Eclipse 3 algaecide i use every year that broke down while pool was closed. There are also some random round yellowish brownish stains along the back of the steps, also the white skimmer box face plates from the water line and above are stained a yellowish color. The place that is under the water line remained white. The skimmer box lid on the deck also turned yellow, but only half of it (the half that is under the cover. We have a solid safety cover for 4 years. the first two years the pool would open crystal clear and we would swim same day. Past two years we have had the issue described above, but this year it is really bad. Last year the chlorine readings were high all summer. But i had to add PH several times. This year, we have no chlorine reading at all. So far to clean up we scoped worms with leaf net, vacuumed the rest to waste. We filled back up, added liquid chlorine, ran filer 24 hrs. No changes. Still no chlorine reading. Took sample to store, all levels ok except zero chlorine (prior to us adding), but had stable cya. Pool store explained everyone coming from our area is having the same issue with no chlorine readings, and that something environmental is happening that no one can explain but he is the store chemist and it seemed odd to me that he wouldn't have some other chemical theory as to why. Ive read on your site that while pool is closed soil bacteria can get in pool and turn your cya to ammonia which causes chlorine to disappear immediately and not read. if its not ammonia then its algae with a huge chlorine demand. The worms we had in the pool also brought a good deal of soil with them so I'm wondering if this is the case. My brain is in a million directions sorry this may be the longest post ever LOL, I'm totally overwhelmed. PLEASE HELP, thank you.
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    16x38 3'-6' deep 20,500 gallons, In ground Vinyl 2012, Hayward Sand Filter Pump, aggregate concrete deck to coping, fiberglass steps and seat.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Welcome to TFP!

    No matter whether it is algae or bacteria the answer is still the same, SLAM your pool. Here is how, SLAM

    First thing to do is raise your FC up to 10 ppm, pump running, brush and test again in 10 minutes. If FC is 0 then repeat until FC holds at 7 or higher. Once it does follow the SLAM process.

    You will need a good test kit, either a K-2006C or a TF-100 with xl option. I use the TF-100 because it has the most tests for the money. I buy mine at TFTestkits.net.
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Welcome to TFP Janeen.
    Eclipse3 uses copper sulphate and is one of the types of Algaecides we avoid on TFP due to metal and stain accumulation problems. Copper is very difficult o manage and virtually nothing removes it.

    If you plan to follow the TFP pool care methods advocated here, complete with test kit, I would suggest doing a partial drain before beginning your slam. The reason is that I suspect your copper level is high, and that slamming will cause even more to come out of solution, which is what the blue tint already shows happening.

    If you drain, do not go lower than a foot in the shallow end to avoid floating your liner.

    After your partial drain and SLAM you will then most likely need to add one of the recommended metal sequestrants (Metal Magic or Jacks Magic) to keep any remaining copper in solution. You may also need to do a further stain treatment.

    But first, do the slam, because the products you'll use for sequestering and stain removal would be ruined/spent/not work with the high FC of the slam. And f you slam AFTER using sequestrant, again you'll case the product to wear off quickly.

    So the best course is:
    1. Partial drain to dilute and get metal to more manageable number
    2. Slam to clean up water and get FC consumption normal, head off any organics, etc.
    3. Wait a bit after passing Overnight Chlorine Loss Test, then assess stains, add sequestrant, and if that alone does not address stains, consider Ascorbic Acid treatment if desired.

    But if you report back after the slam, we can help you on the stains...may not need the treatment.

    Hope this gives you a step by step option to follow. If you get one of the TFTestkits.net and post your own numbers, we can help you get started on the slam.
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Thank you so much for the feedback. I have been considering the partial drain but am afraid of the liner damage it can cause coupled with it being 95 degrees here right now I have concerns, but seems it may be the best way to start the clean up as you stated. The SLAM process also suggest a partial drain if the CYA is high, and i believe ours is. But these test strips aren't very reliable so I will start with a test kit and post results before i do anything.
    16x38 3'-6' deep 20,500 gallons, In ground Vinyl 2012, Hayward Sand Filter Pump, aggregate concrete deck to coping, fiberglass steps and seat.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    To prevent liner damage, shifting or shrinking when draining a vinyl pool we recommend always leaving a foot of water in the shallow end.
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    If I have this algae that is causing a super demand for chlorine using any FC. up immediately, and if I have a cya on the high side around 90-100, why would I add more and more chlorine, couldn't I just add an algaecide to kill some off then continue to add chlorine as needed? I figure there is a reason just wondering what it is.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Here is the funny thing about algaecide, it doesn't kill algae. Seriously, most bottles say right there on them that they do not kill algae. Not kidding. On a good day algaecide can prevent algae. On a bad day it will foam up your water, stain your hair green and your dog if its white, stain the pool and turn the water green.
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Ok I see what you mean, and your right, that's pretty much what it has done except for the dog haha! But the white inner material of my swim suits have turned green in past seasons.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    I know right, we never got any pics of the green dog!
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    As I see it, this is one of those situations with no good options to fix it, anything you do to kill the algae through chlorination may lead to more stains, leaving it like is does not work either, neither does doing a full drain because then you will likely loose the liner. The best option I see is to do multiple partial drains to get the copper level down, then follow the SLAM procedure, and then hope there is something you can do about the stains (AA treatment, etc.), probably followed by yet another partial drain to get the dissolved copper levels down again. This situation is exactly the reason we say to never use copper based algaecides, as eventually it will all come tumbling down.

    Now let me wish you luck in clearing this up, I will likely not be posting back as I am leaving to go on vacation in a few hours, but if I have internet access I will try to keep an eye on how this progresses.

    Ike
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Good morning, janeen.
    While you're waiting for your test kit and doing your partial drain, please let us know if you're on well water.

    There are a few other things to know about metals that I hadn't mentioned yesterday because I was focused on the source of the copper being Eclipse3 when I looked up the msds

    The first is that if you also have iron above .3 ppm, it too will stain, especially when either the ph is higher or you're slamming.

    So, some general metal management caveats:

    1. If you have known metals, its best to avoid slamming when possible. Slamming oxidizes metals, and can either tint your water (though yours is already tinted) and/or stain your vinyl. In your case, once you get your kit and have changed part of your water, it would be best to do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to first CONFIRM you need to SLAM. If you pass the OCLT, then no need to slam and we'll move on to metal treatment.

    2. In a pool with metals, its generally best to keep ph on the lower side, eg 7.2-7.4 to reduce staining.

    3. Even trace amounts of meal can slowly stain, so metal sequestrant, specifically an HEDP type like Metal Magic or Jacks Magic are usually a good plan, but after start up dose, you will also need to maintain the sequestrant as it wears off over time.

    Reducing metals from source or by water change really helps to dial down how much sequestrant is ultimately needed to manage/avoid staining.

    So if you're filling from a well with known iron level, it is then a good plan to try to pre-filter some of the iron with a 1 mcron filter or series of filters attached to hose...I can point you to some filter housing to use in this case if you're on well (eg pentek 10" housing)

    Lastly, though this is for later, check out the Metal Magic sponge test...it worked wonders on vinyl staining for me without having to do the Ascorbic Acid treatment. AA isn't always super effective with copper anyway. If you do this test, you'll at least know if MM will help on the copper stain front. And you'll need sequestrant regardless, so no waste there. You'd just be checking to see if it can do both http://www.proteampoolcare.com/image...SpongeTest.pdf

    In my case, I have a lot of iron to deal with, but I also have residual copper at around .3 ppm from prior owner's algaecide use

    That should entertain you while you're waiting for your kit
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Leslies results tonight (i know its not the home kit recommended but i don't have it yet figured get this in meanwhile).

    FC 1
    TC 1
    CH 180
    CYA 80
    TA 110
    PH 7.4
    COPPER 0
    IRON 0
    TDS 600
    PHOSPHATES 200

    Their suggestion is to lower phosphates below 100 with something that goes into the skimmer box, raise the hardness, then liquid chlorine till its at shock level.

    Any thoughts?
    16x38 3'-6' deep 20,500 gallons, In ground Vinyl 2012, Hayward Sand Filter Pump, aggregate concrete deck to coping, fiberglass steps and seat.

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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    I hope you didn't buy the phosphate remover. If you keep your FC above the minimum for your CYA, it's irrelevant. You are currently well below the minimum if the pool store has the correct CYA. (Often they don't get that right.)
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Nope, i did not buy anything from them LOL!! I at least go that part right I really want to wait for our home kit before I start anything but I was also interested to see what the store would come up with bc all i was going on prior to this was the test strips. Ive been reading that if the cya is above 90 its fruitless to begin a slam and or continue adding chlorine. a cya of 90 or above would best be tackled with a partial drain. But i really do not want to drain, it is a very difficult process for due to our location, and that i have a liner so in this heat its not the best idea. If my cya is in fact at 80 or near that, i fear I'm going to have to add endless amounts of chlorine and if i do have metals in the water this could make them even worse. Also if the store is correct with our hardness, should i add something to improve that if i decide not to drain? Does anyone have any other ideas or is this pretty much my options now? Also, what would cause the cya to get so high. I have never had a chlorine issue, pool has always held TC an FC just fine, and my cya always came up in ok range on the silly little strips. And, how in the heck could i have this much algae grow during off season with a solid safety cover and my pool was balanced and spotless when we closed. Could this all be just from the darn worms that got in it? To address the above post, we are not on well water. How can i be certain its metals when i have a zero reading, can algae also be causing this blue tint or could the eclipse be doing it (eclipse powder is this exact same color) and i did close in the fall using a sequestrate. its not just the blue water tho, it the yellowing of my skim box face plates etc, anything that was above the water line but under the cover turned yellowish. as if a gas was emitting under the cover.
    16x38 3'-6' deep 20,500 gallons, In ground Vinyl 2012, Hayward Sand Filter Pump, aggregate concrete deck to coping, fiberglass steps and seat.

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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Good morning, Janeen.

    Why had you used sequestrant in the fall? What kind had you used?

    Pool stores are notoriously inaccurate on testing. But you are correct, you will need a lot more liquid chlorine/bleach if you do not dilute your cya. In addition, your visible copper issue from a known copper product will cause more staining than you already have. You need to slam but you HAVE to dilute that copper level first.

    In the mean time:

    1. Vinyl does not need hardness, do not add

    2. Your copper can't be zero because you used eclipse, it has copper in it, and your steps are stained blue, a result that usually only occurs when copper is involved (and sometimes combined with iron). Copper, like cya, does not go away except with splash out or dilution. Testing for it can be complicated by sequestrant.

    3. Partial water changes (leaving at least a foot in the shallow end, more if your in a high water table) are the only way you're going to dilute both your cya and copper...just refill right away and the liner will be fine.

    4. Your cya likely got high if you've been using stabilized chlorine products like pucks or shock...each adds cya. TFP water care methods generally rely on using liquid chlorine, which doesn't have cya in it. By dosing cya to a stable, low, number then adding bleach or liquid chlorine, you are able to keep your FC at the EFFECTIVE sanitation level.

    5. Effective sanitation only occurs at the correct ratio of free chlorine to cya FC/CYA Chart - read this chart to understand how your pool got that way...it wasn't the worms, or gas, or anything else...the FC didn't last long enough/was not effective at your high cya and you opened late.

    6. The best way to open clean is to follow the TFP closing methods, not closing til the water is less than 60 degrees, and opening before the water is 60 degrees in spring. Eg. I open in April to a clean (sanitized wise...I will still get a few worms etc.) pool with enough residual FC and cold water

    Lastly, just having a chlorine reading doesn't matter. You have to have the correct, minimum chlorine reading FOR YOUR CYA to actually have algae free and sanitized water. While you're waiting for your kit, read up on the ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry to start.
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Have you ordered a test kit yet?
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    no kit yet we were researching them but we decided upon the TF 100 we are ordering it tmrw.

    i used the eclipse stain and scale sequestrate that comes along with eclipse 3 algaecide. i use it at open and close. the shock i use is tko non chlorine based shock. but i still mix it in a bucket of water to add bc i don't like any undissolved bits laying on my liner.

    Thank you for explaining everything that has been driving me crazy. I pretty much understand now how this has all played out now. Just bc i had a strong chlorine reading on my test strip all last summer and at close doesn't mean it was a good reading - in relation to my cya (prob very high from using tabs). So when we closed and i stopped using the tabs and doing shocks, the level disappeared on us and the algae exploded over the winter. But why would the metal have been pulled out so much? I am still not convinced fully that the blue stuff is metals. I am feeling that it may actually be the eclipse itself broken down and stained everything. the eclipse is this exact same color. and when we skim this it out of the pool it appears similar to the powder. but the yellowing of my white plastics and swim suit liner turning green last season would lead me to metals or something. whatever it is, i need to get rid of it. so i know i need to drain, I'm just looking for any option around that bc I'm very concerned about it and have heard about people partially draining a liner and having problems with it ever since. My liner is only 4 years old. I will have to take my time doing a bunch of very small partial drains or just exchanges which may take all summer. even if my cya is lower on my home test kit than what the store reading was and I'm in the clear for starting a slam,,,Im afraid to do a slam and draw out more of the metals. what a mess!
    16x38 3'-6' deep 20,500 gallons, In ground Vinyl 2012, Hayward Sand Filter Pump, aggregate concrete deck to coping, fiberglass steps and seat.

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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Quote Originally Posted by Janeen View Post
    no kit yet we were researching them but we decided upon the TF 100 we are ordering it tmrw.
    Don't wait another day, get it ordered today and you *might* have it in hand by Saturday? They do ship fast.
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Janeen...don't let SLAMMING scare you because you have metals. I have metals also but knew I could manage them after my SLAM. Luckily I only had a tiny bit of algae show up so my slam only lasted a day or so but by raising my FC metals were released onto my liner. I just worried about one thing at a time and did it in order. Partial drain won't hurt either. Have you tried a vitamin c pill on your steps or yellow plastic parts? Try one and if it turns white it's metals for sure. Good luck!
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    Re: 5 problems and clueless!

    Janeen, the principal ingredient in eclipse3 according to the msds IS copper sulphate, so saying that it might be just the eclipse doesn't actually make a difference I've seen this blue in a copper pool before, and get this color of blue sandy material when sequestering/doing treatments that cause trace copper to bind.

    From the mfg's own website, for example, there's THIS...which is also what copper does. There's also stuff about "swimmers hair", not using metal out products, etc.
    CAUTION: Increasing total alkalinity or adding calcium to a pool or spa already on the E3 Program may tie up the Algae control effectiveness of E3 and cause green or cloudy water.

    The chemicals used to balance water are sold under many different brand names such as "Alkalinity Plus" and "pH Down". Ask your retailer to help you select the correct water balance chemicals for your pool or spa. If Calcium Hardness is over 300 ppm, use Eclipse3 Enforce once per month.
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