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Thread: Nightmare Opening

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    Nightmare Opening

    First time poster here. I've read the SLAM page and the green to clear page. I just ordered the TF-100 test kit.

    Every opening, I am welcomed by an extremely green pool. But for the past four years, I've been able to clear it up relatively quickly. I started opening the pool this year about three weeks ago but before I was able to get it completely clean, I was interrupted with the birth of my second son. So good news for me, but the algae was left to grow for a good week and a half before I was able to get back to it.

    I've been sorta SLAMing it up till now, but am ready to hit it full force until it's clean. A couple questions though as I wait for my test kit:

    1) What's the cheapest option for chlorine? My local pool shop sells 2.5 gallon jugs for about $15. Is that good?
    2) Getting frustrated with how long it was taking initially, I added a whole bottle of Floc (http://www.intheswim.com/p/super-floc-clarifier); thinking it would be easier to just vacuum everything to waste from the bottom. My problem is I wasn't able to see to the bottom to even vacuum it out and I was interrupted for family reasons. Did I screw myself here? How is this going to affect the SLAM process?
    3) At what point does draining / refilling the pool become the more economical option? I have about a 20K gallon pool. I'm on a well, so I'd have to get water truck. Even if I drained it by half and then refilled, would that help? At least cut down on some of the volume I need to filter out.
    4) How often should I expect to be cleaning my filter? The last two times, I reach full pressure after only 4-6 hours. I completely disassemble the filter and put back together. No partial backwashing.
    16x32 in ground vinyl pool. 48 square foot DE filter (though using fiber clear, DE alternative). 3/4hp super pump. Chlorine.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Hi, welcome to TFP! The chlorine price looks high to me. My local Walmart has 1 gallon jugs of 10% strength for $2.50 each. 2.5 gallons for $15 works out to about $6 per gallon. I would shop around for a better price. Be sure to check on jugs of plain unscented bleach from the grocery store. Even though it has a lower strength, it is often the less expensive alternative.

    Does your DE filter have an option to vacuum to waste? Floc often causes more problems than it solves, especially if you can't vacuum to waste. It won't kill the algea which is what is clouding up your pool. The great thing about DE filters is how well they clean the fine debris out of the water. The not so great thing is because they work so well they clog up quickly when the pool is full of algae debris. You'll have to keep cleaning the filter when pressure rises about 20% over the clean pressure.

    Do you use well water to top off the pool?
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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Does your DE filter have an option to vacuum to waste?
    I do have vacuum to waste and I tried that for a bit but vacuuming was stirring up so much debris I couldn't see what I was vacuuming after a while.


    Another question: how quickly should I see the pool turn color? If I'm maintaining appropriate shock levels, should it still be green or more gray color? I guess what I'm asking is, short of free chlorine levels, how do I know I'm killing the algae?
    16x32 in ground vinyl pool. 48 square foot DE filter (though using fiber clear, DE alternative). 3/4hp super pump. Chlorine.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Until you have your own test kit we won't know what the CYA actually is, which guides you in how high the FC needs to be to kill algae. FC/CYA Chart

    Do you think you have debris in the pool that needs to be removed?

    For future reference- "close late and open early" is useful to remember as cooler water (60 degrees or less) greatly slows down algae reproducing, so it gives you a better chance to gt it cleared up faster.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Do you use well water to top off the pool?
    Yes I am on well water. I've used it very sparingly to add an inch or two here or there, but I really don't like using it. A 5500 gallon truck is $225 for me. I am going to get one truck's worth as I've lowered my water level too much via vacuuming to waste and some backwashing. That will let me vacuum to waste a little bit more and let me do a better skim job.
    16x32 in ground vinyl pool. 48 square foot DE filter (though using fiber clear, DE alternative). 3/4hp super pump. Chlorine.

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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    Until you have your own test kit we won't know what the CYA actually is, which guides you in how high the FC needs to be to kill algae. FC/CYA Chart
    Testkit is in the mail! Having said that, I don't think the CYA would be that high. I've only used di-chlor or pure liquid chlorine in it so far so any CYA would be whatever is left from last year. I'll update once I get my kit.

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    Do you think you have debris in the pool that needs to be removed?
    I'm sure there is some at the bottom. I've used my leaf net and gotten a lot of it and I've vacuumed to waste a good bit. If I vacuum now on the bottom -- still very hard to do when you can't see the vac head -- I don't get much debris in the pump basket so I think that's good. I did a decomposed squirrel in there on opening. Not something I ever want to see again

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    For future reference- "close late and open early" is useful to remember as cooler water (60 degrees or less) greatly slows down algae reproducing, so it gives you a better chance to gt it cleared up faster.
    Yup. This opening is definitely motivating me to get a cleaner close / opening. I really don't want to ever have to do this again. I currently have a mesh cover; would you recommend solid for a cleaner opening?
    16x32 in ground vinyl pool. 48 square foot DE filter (though using fiber clear, DE alternative). 3/4hp super pump. Chlorine.

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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Glad to hear you have the test kit coming. Hopefully the small amount of "topping-off" you've had to do hasn't had a huge impact in your pool's metal content. Time will tell. For now though, it's best to hold-tight and wait for that test kit. If you hit it with too much bleach and your metal content is high, you leave yourself open for metal staining. Plus, your CYA will determine how high your FC needs to be to clear the algae. The last thing we would want you to do is just dump chlorine in the water, simply guessing/hoping it's close enough. Besides protecting your liner, we don't want you to waste money either. For now, simply adding about 1/2 - 1 gallon of regaulr bleach each evening should suffice until you can test the water with your new kit.

    At 20K, and about $225 for 5,500 gallons of fresh water, you're looking at about $550 (50% exchange) or almost $1,000 (total water exchange) for water replacement whereas the regular bleach will work for substantially less. Even if you used 20 gallons on regular bleach as an example @ $3 per gallon, that's only $60. To me what would drive a water replacement more than anything is if you do have excess iron in the water. That would be worth the replacement rather than just to treat the algae with bleach.
    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
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Your mess cover lets a lot of debris enter the pool, right? Squirrels too, huh? (ugh!)

    I personally would suggest a solid cover. I have an autocover, but up in PA you probably need one of those solid covers with the brass clips in your deck? You might still get a little debris in but nothing like a mess cover allows. The good ones aren't cheap, admittedly, but the protection they afford is worth it to me.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Just so you know, the dichlor you used contains CYA. Dichlor and trichlor are stabilized with CYA, calcium hypochlorite is stabilized with calcium.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Congratulations on the birth of your son.

    If you are on well water, the mesh cover may still be the best route as it allows you fill the pool through rain and melted snow. No risk of metals and no 5 bills for trucked in water. I'd also shoot for a mid May opening. If you are SLAMming now, you're spending about the same amount of money (if not more) as if your pool had been open for the last 5-6 weeks. Plus you have the added benefit of having your pool ready for the 80 degree weekends we are currently experiencing and coming up. My pool was a dark kelly green when I opened it on May 14. It was almost cleared up by the next morning and my season-opening SLAM was complete three days later. If your pool is opened that early, it doesn't matter as much how long your SLAM takes, because the water is too cold to swim in anyways.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Nightmare Opening

    Just wanted to report back that the opening went great once I started following SLAM. My problem before was I just wasn't keeping the chlorine levels high enough to keep up with the algae; I'd kill a bunch; filter it out; but the chlorine got eaten up so quickly that I was fighting a newly grown algae the next day.
    16x32 in ground vinyl pool. 48 square foot DE filter (though using fiber clear, DE alternative). 3/4hp super pump. Chlorine.

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