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Thread: Please help!!!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Palm Harbor, Florida
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    Please help!!!

    My wife and I bought a home a couple of months ago. This is my first time dealing with a pool. I have struggled with algae almost since day one. I refuse to pay a someone to clean/care for my pool if I have the ability to do it myself. I have read lots of information and bought a K-2006 test kit. Here are my latest measurements: FC = 12.6ppm; CC = 0.2ppm or less; pH = 7.2 - 7.3; Total Alkalinity = 100ppm; Calcium Hardness = 220ppm; CYA = 55 - 60. My free chlorine is so high because I dumped 6 to 8 gallons of bleach in it early last week to combat another algae bloom. My pool is 12,150 gallons.

    Here is the cycle: I get algae when my pool statistics are normal; my 8 year old daughter gets upset because I tell her she can't swim; I get upset because I don't know what I'm doing wrong; I dump bleach (6% or 10% gallons, whichever I have on hand) to raise the FC above 20ppm (this past go around it was up to 30ppm), I monitor pH, etc, and dial it back in; I scrub the pool; the algae dies and the pool gets milky blue; I clean the filter; the water gets clear; we swim for a week; then back comes the algae.

    The bottom and sides of my pool have yellow splotches...as if it's slightly camouflaged. There are also a few black patches that I can't get rid off. I have scrubbed hard enough to lose some of the steel hairs from the brush. Also, when I brush, some grey clouds of debris/dead algae/dirt/I don't know what puff up. I try to vacuum it up, but maybe I'm not vacuuming enough? I think that I'm not scrubbing away all of the algae and it's hiding in these yellow spots. I think the algae then continues to creep back up. What do you guys think? I live in Florida, by the way, so it's hot and humid here. Also, the pool canopy has a ton of green algae on it, but I'm putting off pressure washing it until I can figure out my pool...and I'm also afraid of that algae falling into the pool - but it probably falls into the pool every time it rains!

    What should I do about these yellow and black patches? Do you think I need to have the pool resurfaced? There are a few places where the pool plaster is coming up and crumbles if i rub my feet/hands against it. The house was built in 1986. The previous owners had a 'pool boy.' The pool looked fine when we bought the house; then again, we probably weren't looking at it so microscopically before we bought the house. We saw blue water and thought "cool." The only reason we got a pool is for our daughter...and it's p!ssing me off to no end that I'm constantly fighting it . ANY advice would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, i'll plan on vacuuming for a long time this afternoon to see if that gets rid of those small clouds of grey whenever i brush the bottom. By the way, I have attached two pictures for reference.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Please help!!!

    How are you chlorinating this pool normally?

    Your CYA is 60, which means your SLAM level is 24 which has to be *maintained* until the pool passes three tests:
    1) water is clear
    2) Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT) yields a loss of 1 or less Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
    3) Your CCs are 0.5 or less
    Have you reviewed how we do a SLAM?---> SLAM

    Based on your CYA of 60, you should be keeping your FC at 7ppm, perhaps a skosh higher to cover expected daily loses. Never let it drop below 5 or you risk an algae outbreak. Your CYA level works in conjunction with the chlorine, so if the CYA is high, the FC has to be higher too. See?---> FC/CYA Chart

    Do you need to reorder some reagents to prepare for a SLAM? You'll need to test often, and using fresh liquid chlorine attack that pool. You also need to brush daily while SLAMing to disrupt algae hiding under biofilm. Do you have areas of poor circulation? They may require more attention with brushing normally too.

    Holler back with any more questions

    Yip
    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.
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Please help!!!

    Hi Kri5,
    welcome to TFP.

    Well, you are almost doing the right thing by raising the chlorine level to get rid of the algae. The problem is, you arent quite raising it high enough and keeping it there for long enough to completely eradicate the algae.

    Then the FC drops back down a bit, to a FC level not sufficient to prevent the algae from blooming back up on you.

    You need to perform what we here at TFP call a SLAM. SHOCK LEVEL and *MAINTAIN*. Emphasis on the Maintain part.
    Yip has provided the links that contain the instructions. If you will follow those instructions, you will get rid of the algae.
    When the slam is over, if you will maintain your FC/CYA ratio per the chart yip provided, you wont get algae again. It Is That Simple.

    For you to maintain your pool yourself, you need to be able to test all of the water parameters yourself and test it with a reliable test kit. You will need this kit. Its the best investment you can make for you pool water and your sanity.
    Its the TF-100, available a TFTestkits.net
    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.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Please help!!!

    Yip and Divin Dave, THANKS SO MUCH for replying! Please answer a few more questions. I thought my CYA level of 60 was normal. Anyway, I thought we are not supposed to swim in water with FC higher than 5ppm. However, Yip is telling me to keep it above 5?!? So, the CYA must act as a 'buffer' against FC for our skin???? Also, what do you guys think those yellow and black patches are? Are they algae? By the way, I own a K-2006 test kit, so hopefully that will suffice. I will read up on the SLAM and FC/CYA chart tomorrow morning.

    This site is great. Thanks again for your replies.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Please help!!!

    The K-2006 uses the exact same test reagents as the TF-100, but just has a little less of them. You will go through a lot of the FAS/DPD reagents during a SLAM, so you really will need more of them. Ger them order now so they arrive before you run out during the SLAM. See if you can just order the XL option to the TF-100 whihc is the reagents you will need.

    If you have some spare cash, I also have and recommend the SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. They speed testing and accuracy.

    Dave is correct, you need to maintain the chlorine level of the pool until all the algae is dead. I will tell you, it didn't get this way overnight and it will take time to clear. Please don't get impatient and start buying/using magic potions form the pool store.

    Now, to the key issue, what did the previous owners (and you maybe) use to chlorinate the pool on a daily basis? 3" chlorine pucks in a floater? The pool industry refuses to recognize the connection between CYA/Stabilizer and the ability of chlorine to do it's thing sanitizing the water. others here can give you the scientific details if you want, but lets just say CYA locks the ability of chlorine to sanitize. The more CYA you have the more chlorine you need to keep in the pool to keep algae at bay. I took over my pool with a CYA of about 250 (CYA tests above 100 are just a guess, not very specific contrary to what the pool store says). With a CYA of 250 I had to keep my chlorine level at around 20 just to keep algae away. Now, where do most folks get all the CYA in their water? Those pucks that are so easy to use are almost half CYA. It just keeps building up in the water. If you could do a partial drain and refill it would lower the amount of chlorine you need during the SLAM by lowering the CYA in the water.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Please help!!!

    Also, you can use a 10ml sample to test your FC/CC. The directions are on the inner lid of your kit. Multiply the drop count by 0.5 or divide by 2.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Please help!!!

    Hi Kri5,
    the 2006 is a great kit. You are ready to start slamming.

    As for whoever told you not to swim with FC above 5, they dont understand the FC/CYA relationship. It is perfect safe to swim with FC up to 40% of the CYA level. So with CYA of 60, you are good with FC up to 24. It might be a bit harsh on the swimsuit though, but people and skin will see no ill effects.

    What the CYA does is 'buffer' the FC,. Keeping it from being burned off by UV from the sun, and then releases it slowly as needed. It's this buffering effect that makes it ok to get in the water with higher levels of FC. Its a percentage factor and entirely dependent upon how much CYA is in the water.
    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.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Palm Harbor, Florida
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    Re: Please help!!!

    Thanks to all for the info, but please answer one more question. Are those yellow and black spots in my pool algae?...or are they just stains? The algae I normally get is green. I will bring the chlorine level back up to 24ppm and keep it there until the overnight loss is less than 1. That will be painless, especially now that you guys have told me that it is safe for my daughter to swim in FC of 24. However, I'd sure like to know if those yellow spots are algae.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Please help!!!

    And yes, I (and the previous owner) was using the chlorine tablets in a chlorinator that is built into the system...so, apparently I wasted my money on those. I guess you guys just chlorinate with bleach? Maybe I'll be able to use those tablets if the CYA level drops below 30? I'm guessing you guys keep your CYA around 30?

    I have a million other questions about my pool, but my main questions now are 1) What are those yellow blotches and black spots in my pool (is it algae? If not, what are they and how do I get rid of them), and 2) What does it mean when some spots of your pool surface appear to be crumbling? Does the entire pool need to be resurfaced?

    Also, strands of my steel brush keep coming off. I hope they don't tear up my filter!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Please help!!!

    Please add your pool info to your signature so that we can better help you. More here on what to put in your signature and how to do it, Pool School - Read This Before You Post

    SLAM the pool first and pass that and if the stains are still there we can work on them later. I would buy a new brush.
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