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Thread: Trouble with SLAM Method...

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    Trouble with SLAM Method...

    I hope I'm posting in the right forum -- I'm new, but have been lurking for a bit and trying to do all of my homework. I have been trying to use the Pool Math calculator and have read the SLAM directions, as well as the page for recommended chemicals. However, I'm a little nervous that we're doing something wrong...

    Long story short (okay -- maybe not so short...): We bought a home that was rented for years, and then foreclosed on. It is an inground vinyl liner, approximately 45,000 gallons and L-shaped. The neighbors said that the pool had been consistently left open (and uncared for) for a duration of almost seven years. They did close it up this last winter, but upon opening in June, we had thousands of tadpoles and at least a foot of gunk (leaves, pine needles, miscellaneous debris) on the bottom of the pool. It opened black/brown.

    We attempted to shock it right away, then started scooping. We've removed heaps and heaps of debris. At this point, I'm sure there's still SOME debris down there, but most of the time, the leaf rake comes up relatively unburdened... Whenever we've scooped for a certain amount of days WITHOUT adding chemicals, the pool obviously turns brown after churning up muck and backtracks. At one point, we got more tadpoles... At least three times we've heavily shocked with probably twice the amount of chemicals necessary (via shock bags -- about 20 lbs.) and it has turned a lighter blue color, but always super cloudy so that we can't see clearly past about a foot, at best, past the surface.

    Upon finding TFP, I tried just bleach -- it didn't work as well, and I didn't have a kit for a long while as I tried to learn the ropes of pool ownership -- but just recently got a K2006 kit. Last night, we added bleach in an effort to keep the gunk/algae at bay. This time, we added 4 gallons. Before this, my husband tested FC, CC, and CYA, which all came up at zero after about four or five days without any bleach/chlorine additions).

    When I finally got the kit from Amazon late last night, I got up at 6 am this morning to test the water with these results (I'm sure there's some beginner's learning-curve error involved, but I followed directions carefully):

    FC: 4
    CC: 1
    CYA: 0 (The black dot was always visible with no change...)
    TA: 20-30 (I may have been a hair under the allotted water line, which is why I say 20-30, since it was between 2 and 3 drops that achieved the red color)
    pH: < 6.8 (it was more yellow than orangey-yellow enough to match the color on the scale... it took 5 drops to get to 7.2 color match)
    CH: 130

    I've read on the forum that it isn't necessary to increase CH with a vinyl liner, so I didn't adjust that. However, in my Taylor handbook (which I read the WHOLE thing at about 6am today.. haha) it indicated that I should sync up the pH and TA levels before shocking. I focused first on adding 8 lb. of Borax to increase the pH level and then 12 lb. of CYA (in socks -- some in the skimmer baskets, some in front of the return jets) to try to achieve 30ppm. I know I can't test for this for a while, but I thought it would help to maintain FC levels as I shock since it's been super hot here (95 degrees - humid - lots of direct sunlight to my pool). As my husband situated the CYA socks, I added 36 lb. of baking soda to increase the alkalinity.

    An hour after these three additions (I did the Borax, waited 30 min., then we did the CYA and the baking soda), I tested again. The results were as I thought they'd be, as best as I could have estimated (going off of the 50,000 size pool recommendations and slightly adjusting for 45,000 gal). My figures at 2:30 pm today were:

    FC: 3.4 ppm
    CC: .8 ppm
    CYA: not tested; assuming 30-40 ppm according to 12 lb. stabilizer addition from Walmart (at 98.5 CYA content)
    TA: 90-100 ppm (leaving room for user error -- again, this is only my second test)
    pH: ~7.0 (took one drop to achieve 7.2; two to 7.4)
    CH: not tested, based on what I read about 130 being sufficient for a vinyl liner (I hope that's a correct assumption)

    I read that pH will jump up some during shocking so proceeded with SLAM process and added 10 1-lb. bags of 54% chlorine hth Super Shock. (I know that it's not really recommended, but after dumping so much $$ in, and having 2 extra 10 lb. packages, we really wanted to use them up...).

    Then at 3:45, I retested. Still super hot and humid out with lots of direct sunlight. We continued scooping/vacuuming the bottom. Hard to get anything, as all gunk is probably in the deep end, if there is much left... I was a little confused, as I thought perhaps it would have sucked up much more FC. Readings were:

    FC: 12.6 - 15 (Did the 25 test, where 1 drop = 0.2, and at 12.6 it was mostly clear with just a tinge of pink -- at 15, the pink was almost gone, but unsure because of needing over 75 drops...)

    I didn't retest CC because I wanted to preserve reagents for further testing. The pool was still very green. We backwashed -- though I know with CYA still dissolving, it's ill-advised, but it was clogged -- and added another 2 gallons of 10% chlorine just to ensure I was above shock level. Then at 5:00 did a new test. At this point, FC read 21.5. If I added two more gallons, this would mean that the FC didn't decrease much (hard to believe) or I wrongly estimated size/impact of chlorine additive. Thought continuing to add would be a good idea, since all was still green (if anything, somewhat grayer tint, but still green). We put in another 4 gallons out of frustration. 3 of those gallons were 10%. One was 12.5%.

    I tested again, about an hour later, and FC level was at appx. 21.5 and CC is 1.5-2ppm.This HAS to mean the pool ate up something in terms of FC, no? Still green, with filter running, so I waited an hour and added again my 5 remaining gallons, thinking we had to shock it hard. These gallons were all 12.5%.

    The only thing I can think of is that the sand must be replaced or deep-cleaned. We have a Hayward pump that my husband just replaced the spider gasket. That's what forced us to stop this past week in our efforts and set us back.

    I hope we're not being overzealous with chlorine in figuring more is better.. Can someone confirm/give feedback as to my current progress? Again, in the past, we super-shocked -- so to speak -- with shock bags and it turned a brighter blue, though very cloudy. This time, it's green. Shouldn't it be bluer, based on past progress, or no, since there are fewer additives in straight bleach (although the initial shock effort today was the same shock bags -- though 10, rather than 20, 1-lb. bags).

    SO frustrated right now and so much money down the drain. I just want to clear this up. It's been so, so long and my husband is at his wit's end!! So am I!
    Inground 45,000 gal. Vinyl / Hayward High-Rate Sand Filter (S310T) - Vari-Flo Valve (SP71) / Taylor K2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Welcome to TFP!

    There is no point to raising FC above shock level for your CYA, FC/CYA Chart. It just wastes chlorine. Chlorine does not decay 1 ppm at a time it decays on a percentage basis. So, the higher above shock level it is the more you lose, especially to the sun with no CYA. Squeeze the CYA sock regularly to dissolve the CYA faster. It is best to simply follow the SLAM process diligently. Test and raise FC to shock level every 2-3 hours if you can, 3 or 4 times per day if you can't. Brush daily. This process works well and thousands of people have cleared up black tadpole infested swamps following the steps listed in the process, SLAM. Backwash the filter when the pressure rises 25%above clean pressure.

    Use a 10ml sample for your FAS/DPD chlorine test and count each drop as 0.5 ppm FC. This will speed up the test a bit and conserve reagent. You can order more at TFTestkits.net.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    You can do this !!!! It will take time and lots of chlorine. Test FC as often as you can and keep the FC at SLAM level.

    We would love to see before and during pictures.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    hoskim's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    You will get crystal clear water soon !!! Not sure how often you are checking your filter but try.....I checked, backwashed, rinsed, and cleaned (twice) my filter before / during SLAM. And took more than a week....patience

    25,000 Gal, in-ground w/ vinyl liner
    Hayward SP2303VSP (1.5 HP) / DE filter (4820)
    Aqua Rite SWG / T-CELL-9 (v1.5)
    Polaris 380, PB4-60 Booster Pump (post-2012) / Aqua Heat Pump (S95)
    TF-100 Test Kit with Speedstir

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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Don't forget to brush the pool!
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Thanks, guys! It almost looks cloudier green today than it was when I started. Oh well. I'll keep brushing (it doesn't feel like it's doing much? It's a rubber brush.) Would it be this way if I have to clean the sand? (Edit: is that what you mean that you had to clean the filter twice?)

    The filter pressure is going up so it may need another backwash soon! Is it weird after all these chemicals that it looks like there's soapy stuff on the surface?
    Inground 45,000 gal. Vinyl / Hayward High-Rate Sand Filter (S310T) - Vari-Flo Valve (SP71) / Taylor K2006

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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    This is how to deep clean a sand filter:Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter it really works! I did mine a few weeks ago.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    hoskim's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    As for my DE filter, I took out all grids and completely cleaned..before opening, after opening the during SLAM

    25,000 Gal, in-ground w/ vinyl liner
    Hayward SP2303VSP (1.5 HP) / DE filter (4820)
    Aqua Rite SWG / T-CELL-9 (v1.5)
    Polaris 380, PB4-60 Booster Pump (post-2012) / Aqua Heat Pump (S95)
    TF-100 Test Kit with Speedstir

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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Thanks, PAGirl! I'm not sure if I can do this by myself. I'll wait for my husband to come home tonight!

    FYI, with appx. 32ppm FC (after my massive dumping of chlorine yesterday), this is what the surface looks like:
    image.jpg
    Inground 45,000 gal. Vinyl / Hayward High-Rate Sand Filter (S310T) - Vari-Flo Valve (SP71) / Taylor K2006

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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Have you added algaecide? It looks a little foamy. (Also, be sure to use regular, Unscented bleach. Be sure to avoid the splash less.)
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    No - no algaecide. All of the bleach is, indeed, regular and unscented. I did use some shock packets to start though. Wondering if it's that? There was a lot of baking soda and Borax put in, as well as CYA, yesterday.
    Inground 45,000 gal. Vinyl / Hayward High-Rate Sand Filter (S310T) - Vari-Flo Valve (SP71) / Taylor K2006

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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    you're on your way!
    Stay with it and you will Love your pool very soon.

    be sure to brush around the return jets, light, ladders, etc. really well when your brush.
    Algae likes to cling/hide here.

    Your pool will sparkle, and you can keep it that way with a little time each day.
    I feed mine each evening after the sun is off the pool.
    takes about 3 minutes.
    please post pics after SLAM is complete.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    It is on the edge of turning to blue. The best thing you can do for your sanity is to take a picture of the pool looking down at the steps each day. That will show you the color change your eyes cannot see day to day. We would love to see them so we can tell how things are going.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    image.jpg

    Here is a photo of it this morning. Is it suppose to be so foamy?

    Couple questions:

    1. We had super heavy rains last night, thus the high water level. In between bouts of thunder and lightning, ran out and dumped a couple gallons of 8.25% in while hubby backwashed. Had no time to test for fear of electrocution. Anything else I should do than continue to monitor the FC level?

    2. My jets are bubbling. I know there's a leak somewhere - we intend to discover it's hiding spot today. After the rains, there were small bubbles all over the pool. Actual bubbles. Not this foam stuff, although the foam was worse after heavy rain. Any "first steps" you recommend? We are thinking its a suction side one... Hubby fears it's underground. There is a leak you can see, at the pump, though. I wonder if it's how the filter box seals, too. Investigative work today.

    Oh joyous occasion!

    3. ALSO, we intend to clean the filter sand. We plan to follow the steps PAGirl provided earlier in this thread. After sitting for seven years, is it better to replace the sand or just stick with cleaning it? Right now, the pressure usually says 20 - but I think we need a new gauge. When it gets to about 30 or a bit over, it clogs, so I try backwashing at 30 or just under.
    Inground 45,000 gal. Vinyl / Hayward High-Rate Sand Filter (S310T) - Vari-Flo Valve (SP71) / Taylor K2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Just cleaning the sand is fine. All sand is really old already. We recommend back washing the filter when pressure rises 20-25% above clean pressure.

    The most common place for a suctions side leak is the o-ring on the pump basket. More here, Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Ugh. SOS. We took apart the filter to clean it and noticed the white PVC-looking pipe (stand pipe?) is cracked. We are continuing to drain the filter and will have to remove the sand, I'm sure.

    From here, what do I do? Just replace it and add the 500 lbs. of required sand (as per the side of the pump)? Should I put the submersible pump in tonight? Just keep the shock level of FC up and wait it out until tomorrow when we can replace and fix it?
    Inground 45,000 gal. Vinyl / Hayward High-Rate Sand Filter (S310T) - Vari-Flo Valve (SP71) / Taylor K2006

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Yes, you will have to remove the sand to replace the stand pipe. If you can load it into large containers or a wheelbarrow you can still clean the sand with the water hose. After you add chlorine, brush the pool and let the submersible pump run to keep water moving.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    As per the foam in your pool: my pool looked like this briefly at the beginning of the season when I had to add a lot of CYA and put some of the socks in front of the returns. Once you fix your filter, it will clear fairly quickly. I only hang my CYA socks in the skimmer basket now
    ~17,500 gal. IG Fiberglass, Viking "Cambridge"; installed 6/2015
    SWG Hayward Turbo Cell T-9
    Hayward Hi-Rate Sand Filter
    Hayward Max-Flo XL pump
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    That foam is odd for sure.....I HAVE to ask but think I already know the answer.........Please check the bleach/chlorine....are you SURE it is just plain stuff? No pretty smells, no splashless, just plain bleach/chlorine.

    Is there ANY one else that might be "helping" with the pool? As in adding something to try to help you out?

    Are you putting a cover on it at any time?

    I am just throwing ideas and questions out there to see if anyone of them help trigger an idea or insight. I hope something helps.

    We will get your pool clear. It will be a journey for sure but one worth going on!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Trouble with SLAM Method...

    Thanks for double checking. I really have no clue! Like a PP said, perhaps because I also have socks full of CYA suspended in front of the returns. No cover at any point... No fancy bleach. Just the concentrated 8.25%. No known helpers, unless the yard gnomes have taken it upon themselves to help out of pity from watching the long drawn struggle..Haha

    I know there are bubbles from the returns. That's all I can think of!
    Inground 45,000 gal. Vinyl / Hayward High-Rate Sand Filter (S310T) - Vari-Flo Valve (SP71) / Taylor K2006

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