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Thread: Phosphate problem off the chart

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    Phosphate problem off the chart

    I am always fighting metal in my pool water and staining on my fiberglass pool shell. I have always tried to stay on top of my chemicals but recently I noticed a slight amount of green algae appearing, just very slight. I was considering Slamming the pool but my CC calculation is always around .2-.3 so I held off besides my CYA is around 90 so lots of Chlorine. The other parameters are pretty much on the money so I took a sample to my local pool store to have them verify my numbers,,,, LOL ,,, you know what that means..

    The guy was actually pretty good about it as I do buy things there when needed.

    He said that pretty much everything was on the money as far as my number but he could not understand why the Phosphates were off the chart... He said they were so high his testing equipment could not give me an accurate number.

    Being a salt water aquarium owner I know that any amount of phosphates in an aquarium lead to so unwanted algae problem so I purchase a product to bring down the number whatever they might be..

    My main concern right now is how did this high phosphate problem develop... I have a very light pool load and its early in the swim season.. I do use a SunGuard product called Metal-out-plus do to the staining problem about 18oz every other week so I'm thinking that may be the source. I can not find out any product information on this Metal Out product.

    Any members out their have an opinion on this??

    Thanks in advance

    Gary Blizzard
    fmblizz

    I
    10,000 gallon white fiberglass pool.. in ground pool

    DE filter,,"Hayward EC65"

    1 hp, Hayward Superpump

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Do you have a lawn service that sprays or throws granular fertilizer around your pool? If so, tell them to be more careful around the pool. Better yet, do it yourself. You are not going to get a lot of love on this forum re phosphates. Typical answer will be: "They are not as big a deal as pool stores lead you to believe. They are just trying to sell you something you don't need. Keep your FC levels in check with straight bleach and you will be fine."
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Phosphates can indeed be a problem for algae growth... in an aquarium. Aquariums intentionally do no have any chlorine sanitation. Swimming pools always have chlorine sanitizer present. As long as there is sufficient chlorination, phosphates are irrelevant. If you allow sanitation to lapse, algae growth could be quicker in a pool with high phosphates but if you always maintain proper sanitation, there's no need to lower phosphates.

    Phosphates usually come from external sources such as chemicals added. It can come from fertilizers used in the area of the pool. Most metal sequestrants as you're using contain phosphonic acid. Over time, they do degrade into orthophosphates, the kind of phosphates that are a concern for algae in under-sanitized pools and aquariums.

    Can you post a full set of test results using your test kit?
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Thanks for the quick response..

    The numbers I came up with using the TF-100 kit are FC 4,, CC .3,,, Alk 110,,, PH 6.8,,, CYA 80..

    Like I said I usually stay on top of things before they get out of hand and that is why I had a hard look when I though I might be getting an algae problem.

    Thanks again
    Gary Blizzard
    10,000 gallon white fiberglass pool.. in ground pool

    DE filter,,"Hayward EC65"

    1 hp, Hayward Superpump

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Do you manually chlorinate, if so what do you use?

    You don't list a SWCG, so if it is not a salt pool your chlorine is way too low.

    In any case, you see algae you need to SLAM
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    when you say straight bleach are you referring to Super Market Clorox???

    Thanks for the reply
    Gary Blizzard
    10,000 gallon white fiberglass pool.. in ground pool

    DE filter,,"Hayward EC65"

    1 hp, Hayward Superpump

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Or Wal Mart Great Value, or Wal Mart Pool Chlorinating Liquid, or 12.5 from a cleaning or pool store if you are lucky

    Your pH is too low, that should be addressed before anything.
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    I intentionally keep the PH a little low to help keep the staining off the white pool... Should have gotten a brown pool I guess LOL

    Gary
    10,000 gallon white fiberglass pool.. in ground pool

    DE filter,,"Hayward EC65"

    1 hp, Hayward Superpump

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Quote Originally Posted by fmblizz View Post
    I intentionally keep the PH a little low to help keep the staining off the white pool... Should have gotten a brown pool I guess LOL

    Gary
    Keeping it low for a reason is fine, but 6.8 is a the low end of testing. It could easily go much lower and you wouldn't be able to see it with testing. Bringing it up a little would be better.

    How do you chlorinate the pool?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    I leave a puck in the skimmer and adjust using granular... Will definitely bring up the PH though and then I guess the plan is to SLAM..

    Gary
    10,000 gallon white fiberglass pool.. in ground pool

    DE filter,,"Hayward EC65"

    1 hp, Hayward Superpump

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Quote Originally Posted by fmblizz View Post
    I leave a puck in the skimmer
    That is a very bad idea. They are extremely acidic and can damage the skimmer and then the pump when the pump is turned on.
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Your CYA is already double what we would recomend for a non-SWG pool and is only going higher as you continue to use stabilized pucks and shock.

    You need to do a partial drain and refill to,get,the CYA down to a reasonable number, adjust pH and SLAM
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    When you say damage the skimmer,,, are you referring to the acid from the puck's actually eating into the plastic?? I have been doing this for over 20 years and still have the same skimmer although I did replace my DE filter once..

    Gary Blizzard

    - - - Updated - - -

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks Tim

    I was afraid you were going to say that... A partial drain for me means no swimming for the kids and putting a lot more metal in the pool..
    Can't believe we can put a man on the moon but can't develop something to reduce CYA... LOL

    Gary
    10,000 gallon white fiberglass pool.. in ground pool

    DE filter,,"Hayward EC65"

    1 hp, Hayward Superpump

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Swampwoman has tons of experience with this and deep knowledge about it. I bet she notices the thread title and weighs in. Your Phosphate is coming from the metal-out product. Here's the MSDS: http://www.vantagewatercare.com/MSDS...20Plus_066.pdf

    Swampwoman manages PO4 at tremendously high levels, and is certainly an authority in this arena. Use the search function with her name, and I'm sure you'll find threads and learn a ton.

    Good luck with it! Don't hesitate to SLAM, and Happy Swimming!
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    After doing a little more research on the subject of high CYA's,, I found that the tab's and the granule's that I been using were the worst thing I should be using. I was looking for wording on the packaging stating "Stabilized" figuring if it was not on the label and not on the ingredient list then it contained no CYA... WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    I purchased Sodium Dichloro-s which I just discovered has a built in Stabilizer.... Basically I now have a 5 gal tub of Dichlor granular and 5 gal tub of tab's that are useless unless I empty 50% of my pool..

    Blizz
    10,000 gallon white fiberglass pool.. in ground pool

    DE filter,,"Hayward EC65"

    1 hp, Hayward Superpump

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Sounds like a 50% H2O change wouldn't be a bad thing in your case. First and foremost your pool will be more manageable with the lower CYA. But as a nice added bonus, it will reduce your Off The Charts Phosphate problem. (If they really are that high.) After that stay away from that Metal Out product.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    You need a consult from Swampwoman. She is the PO4 expert.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    TFP EXPERT.... I tried reaching out to her and awaiting a reply......

    Vicious cycle,,,,, well water causing severe staining, causing use of stain treatment chemicals, causing high phosphate, causing available food for Algae, coupled with hi CYA, coupled with increase of Dichlor = more CYA = not enough available chlorine = dumping 50% of water to reduce phosphate and reduce CYA = more new water = more metal contaminated water... and on and on and on so the cycle starts again...

    Time to start looking at condo living.. LOL

    Blizz
    10,000 gallon white fiberglass pool.. in ground pool

    DE filter,,"Hayward EC65"

    1 hp, Hayward Superpump

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    Quote Originally Posted by fmblizz View Post
    When you say damage the skimmer,,, are you referring to the acid from the puck's actually eating into the plastic?? I have been doing this for over 20 years and still have the same skimmer although I did replace my DE filter once..
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Super Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
    Test Kits - Pool Math - Chlorine/CYA/Target/Slam Chart

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    Re: Phosphate problem off the chart

    I'll repeat. Phosphates are not an issue in properly sanitized pools. You can continue to use the sequestrant to deal with your metals problem. Just maintain proper FC levels for your CYA and you won't have an algae problem, regardless of your phosphate levels. CYA of 80 is manageable but you must maintain higher chlorine levels because of it. Lowering your CYA to 40 or 50 would make it more manageable.

    Where does your metals staining come from? Are you on a well?
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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