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Thread: Am I Done SLAMing?

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    Am I Done SLAMing?

    I'm looking at the pool this morning to test and it's looking pretty good. I've had been adding bleach at pretty high levels for the past two days (finally got my CYA up to 50 on Monday, so I brought my FC up to 20 and have been trying to maintain that while testing 3-4 times per day and adding more bleach as needed). The pool looks pretty good. I can actually see the bottom now. I can also see the dirt when I vacuum, which is a new thing.

    My question is: how clear is clear? Like as clear as a glass of water? I'm going to try to shut off the filter tonight and see how clear the water looks. (I think the ripples from the movement of the water are effecting a little bit of the visibility.) How clear should I really expect the water to be?

    And if the water is clear enough, then what?

    Should I perform the OCLT test first and see if I pass that?

    Or should I see if I'm passing the CC tests first when I'm testing for FC? Because I'm not always getting 0.5's on those. Occasionally getting 1's when I test for FC.

    Any help with how to wind down the SLAming process would help. The kids are anxious to get in the pool!
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    CC part is easiest to check first, then an OCLT if your water looks "pretty clear". Can take a couple days to filter out remaining dead algae or particulates. Your filter good and clean?
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    You are done when:

    CC is 0.5 or lower;
    You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    And the water is clear.


    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.


    You are worried about definition of # 3, but state you have failed # 1 and have not done # 2 yet.
    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: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    You are done when:

    CC is 0.5 or lower;
    You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    And the water is clear.


    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.


    You are worried about definition of # 3, but haven't done 1 or 2 yet.
    Oh, sorry, I didn't know they were listed in the order that I should do them. I'll look for CC to consistently test below 0.5 then? Then I'll do the OCLT (that one is the biggest pain because it means getting up early to test). And then I'll check for the clearness of the water?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
    CC part is easiest to check first, then an OCLT if your water looks "pretty clear". Can take a couple days to filter out remaining dead algae or particulates. Your filter good and clean?
    It's a brand new filter this year and I'm spraying it every few days since I started SLAMing so hopefully that means it's pretty clean.
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Others have given you good guidance. I did however want to give you this gem of a post that Duraleigh (site owner) posted just recently in another thread. It's a great summary of the concept behind a SLAM...


    Time after Time after Time, we see people stop the SLAM too early and algae returns. You might want to think of the SLAM as two phases......an algae killing phase and a filtering and cleaning phase.

    However, Those two phases cannot be separated. There is no CLEAR point where you can drop the chlorination and just filter.

    So to simplify our process, we teach to simply maintain the SLAM value right to the very end of crystal clear water and passing the OCLT and .5 ppm CC's or less.

    You may consume a LITTLE BIT of extra chlorine but it is the insurance you need to make sure algae cannot get back in your pool.

    I am not sure if that's the scientific answer you are seeking but that is why we designed the SLAM to be effective in every case.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ellemgee View Post
    Oh, sorry, I didn't know they were listed in the order that I should do them. I'll look for CC to consistently test below 0.5 then? Then I'll do the OCLT (that one is the biggest pain because it means getting up early to test). And then I'll check for the clearness of the water?
    Please. No need to apologize. I don't know that they are in any order of importance. But I do know all three are required. But being that 2 of the 3 tests are 100% objective based on chemical testing where the other is highly subjective, I would put more credence on the chemical tests first.
    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Typically with a SLAM, you'll have the less than 0.5 CC criteria passed first once most of the algae has been killed. Then you'll likely be in a race to see if your OCLT will pass first or the "crystal clear" water will be there. Usually those two criteria will closely coincide, unless your filter is undersized, you have a filtration issue/malfunction or sometimes sand filters take a little longer to get water clear. The easiest way to describe crystal clear is that you can tell heads or tails on a dime in the deepest part of your pool or you can see the type of screw heads your main drain has, phillips or flat.
    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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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Clear is "you can tell if a dime is heads or tails in the deep end" clear. Like a glass of water clear. Many pool owners have never seen it so their expectations of clear are too low.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    This is the first time I ever heard the heads or tails on a dime description of clear. I love that.
    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: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    The easiest way to describe crystal clear is that you can tell heads or tails on a dime in the deepest part of your pool or you can see the type of screw heads your main drain has, phillips or flat.
    Wow. That is clear. I have an above ground with the vinyl liner, so no drains with screw heads, but now I'm kind of tempted to drop a dime in there because the water is looking pretty good. CC tested at 0.5 last night, but at 1 this morning, so I don't think I'm there yet. Will keep SLAMing until I see better results.

    Question (as I am new to this): what is causing my CC to fluctuation between 0.5 and 1? Is it the algae in the water? Is it possible it's user error or that I'm doing the test wrong in any way? I keep adding drops to determine my FC until the water has turned from pink to totally clear, then I add a single drop from the second bottle and see if the water turns pink or not, then add drops of the first bottle until it clears up. Am I supposed to be constantly swirling the water this entire time? (It's tough with only two hands to manage everything without splashing chemicals all over me.) I usually take a quick break to record my FC number before adding the single drop from the second bottle. Not sure if that makes a difference at all?
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ellemgee View Post
    then I add a single drop from the second bottle and see if the water turns pink or not,
    5 drops not 1 of The "second" bottle which is R-0003..... And get a Speed Stir. They are very cool.
    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: Am I Done SLAMing?

    The "coolest" thing about the speed stir is the increase in accuracy. Eliminates having to "Pat your head and rub your belly" at the same time.

    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ellemgee View Post
    Question (as I am new to this): what is causing my CC to fluctuation between 0.5 and 1? Is it the algae in the water? Is it possible it's user error or that I'm doing the test wrong in any way? I keep adding drops to determine my FC until the water has turned from pink to totally clear, then I add a single drop from the second bottle and see if the water turns pink or not, then add drops of the first bottle until it clears up. Am I supposed to be constantly swirling the water this entire time? (It's tough with only two hands to manage everything without splashing chemicals all over me.) I usually take a quick break to record my FC number before adding the single drop from the second bottle. Not sure if that makes a difference at all?
    Okay, I just realized that, yes, this is user error as I have been adding one drop from the second bottle (R-0003) instead of 5 DROPS. Blerg. Not reading carefully! Hopefully that's making the difference and it means my CC is in the clear (not the other way around). I'm at work, but I'll retest with the correct method when I get home.

    Also realized that I have been using the regular graduated cylinder to test for FC, not the one marked “Chlorine only." Is that an issue? Is there a way to clean it so that it can be used for future test? Sigh. Again, moving to fast and not reading everything carefully.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    5 drops not 1 of The "second" bottle which is R-0003..... And get a Speed Stir. They are very cool.
    Thank you! I just saw this, too! Went online to review the videos and directions and saw my mistake! Hopefully this means my CC is okay! Fingers crossed! Speed stir does look pretty cool, by the way
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ellemgee View Post
    Thank you! I just saw this, too! Went online to review the videos and directions and saw my mistake! Hopefully this means my CC is okay! Fingers crossed! Speed stir does look pretty cool, by the way
    At first glance, the Speed Stir seems like an extravagance, a toy, a "hey, look at my fancy test kit bling!" item. But when you start using it, you realize it's a pretty powerful tool for consistent and quicker testing.
    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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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    If ONE drop of R-0003 is already turning the clear solution back to pink, FIVE drops defiantly will. Meaning you have cc's. Just a matter of how much.

    As far as the vials. 10ml is 10ml. It doesn't matter. The reason you have one market "Cl Only" is because the plastic will cloud up over time from the FAS/DPD powder. So some of us prefer to have one dedicated for that. As long as you rinse them well after use it won't affect results. You can occasionally clean if it gets cloudy by stirring a little bleach in there and then rinse.
    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: Am I Done SLAMing?

    At this point I have more vials than tests performed.

    1 from a Taylor branded test kit - (Genuine bought direct)
    1 from a Leslie's Test (Also Genuine Taylor with Leslie's Label on box)
    1 That came with the Speed Stir (Believe that's made by Taylor)
    1 From the TFTests FAS/DPD test bought separately (That's the one marked "Cl Only" - a bit shorter and fatter)
    and finally one from the genuine Taylor K-1515-A Drop Test Kit FAS-DPD bought directly from Taylor

    5 vials. All do the same thing. So I dedicate separate ones for my Cl, CH and TA tests and the others are spares.

    That doesn't include the 2 different comparators I have, the CYA tests and vials and spare tips I hang onto when a reagent runs out. No wonder I needed to buy a tackle box to stay organized!
    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: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    If ONE drop of R-0003 is already turning the clear solution back to pink, FIVE drops defiantly will. Meaning you have cc's. Just a matter of how much.
    Fudge.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    As far as the vials. 10ml is 10ml. It doesn't matter. The reason you have one market "Cl Only" is because the plastic will cloud up over time from the FAS/DPD powder. So some of us prefer to have one dedicated for that. As long as you rinse them well after use it won't affect results. You can occasionally clean if it gets cloudy by stirring a little bleach in there and then rinse.
    Good to know about the vials though. I'll just switch the the "Chlorine Only" one from now on since it's in there.
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Just have to add, that the sample sizer and the graduated cylinder that comes with are even better with the speed stir. These ensure that your water samples are consistent 10ml and 25ml. You can get those with your refills next year.
    13700 gal, 32'x16'x54" AG oval, vinyl, Echo Canyon II, 8500 series, Narrow Yard, Safety Fence & Stair, Sta-Rite Crystal Flow T-210WF, 44 GPM, Hayward SP1580TL 1HP Pump, Aqua Luminator, Festiva wedding cake steps, March 2006, TFT-100, Speed-Stir, Sample Sizer. Avatar Credit: TJ Townsend

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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    Quick update: retested when I got home with the correct number of R-0003 drops (five) and the water barely turned pink. I recorded it as 0.5 anyhow, because I thought I saw just the tiniest hint of pink. Gonna keep SLAMing and testing. Am also looking into the Speed Stir for the future. Maybe I will put it on my Christmas list so I can feel awesome every time I test next summer.
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    Re: Am I Done SLAMing?

    So, it's 5AM here in Cleveland and I just did my first OCLT and, guess what, I passed? Last night, after sundown at 10PM, I had a FC of 20ppm and this morning at 5AM (before sunup here) I also got 20ppm. So that means there are no living things in my pool eating up the chlorine over night, right? Yay!

    My CC tests have also consistently come back with results of either 0 or 0.5 since I started doing them correctly (adding those five drops instead of one drop is pretty helpful). I also realized that I might have been interpreting the results incorrectly. I should have been looking for the water to change to the color pink, correct? Like the color that it turns when I dump in the DPD Powder? What I was mostly seeing were really subtle color changes. What I have been seeing in the last few days (if I saw any color changes at all) were not even changes from clear to pink, but clear to not-as-clear or clear to slightly-murkier. I still recorded those as 0.5, but I was seeing much clearer water after adding the five drops. Thanks for helping me clear up that user error.

    I'm also gonna drop a dime in the pool when the sun comes up just to see what side it lands up. That one made my husband laugh, but he's thinking we can see. The pool can only be 4 1/2 feet deep at the most, so I'm thinking we can see which side up it lands.

    So, if we're good on the two chemical tests and the water does prove to be as clear as I think it is, what is the next step? Am I done SLAMing now? Should I repeat OCLT tomorrow morning just to be safe? We're headed to a family party today, so we won't be in the pool anyway. Is it safer to maintain the SLAM levels today and keep running the filter one day more? Let them drift down tomorrow so we can finally swim?

    WWTFPD?
    Just bought first above-ground pool!
    24' x 54" round Matrix by Sharkline
    150 sq. ft. Pentair cartridge filter with 1 1/2 HP dual speed pump
    Looking into heaters now...
    Any help is appreciated!

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