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Thread: From Baquacil to Chlorine to Green, Oh My!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    From Baquacil to Chlorine to Green, Oh My!

    Glad I found TFP tonight! Greetings from Chestertown, Maryland -- a small town on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

    We are a family of six with a physically handicapped daughter. Our pool was a prescription for her aqua-therapy.

    We have enjoyed our 30' round above-ground pool for three seasons with crystal-clear water and no water problems. We purchased and had the pool professionally installed through a nearby pool store in Delaware. We chose the Baquacil system on day 1 because we were told it would be a better option for our daughter's sensitive skin. I followed the weekly maintenance instructions and opening/closing instructions as best I could. It was expensive, but seemed worth it as we enjoyed such clear water for three seasons. We would put a cover over the pool each winter.

    Then we took the cover off in May of this year -- we found "cloudy" water!?. The cloudy appearance proved to be white gobs of grossness hanging on the sides of the pool and the bottom was covered -- you could sweep a path on the bottom with a broom.

    I took a sample of the white stuff with pool water to the Delaware pool store for diagnosis. Three staff each said "I've never seen that before." I took another sample to our local pool store and a 15-yr veteran diagnosed it as "white mold - very bad." She convinced me to switch from Baquacil to chlorine and gave me two choices - convert chemically to chlorine over a two week period or drain and clean the pool, replace the sand, and start over with new water.

    Since my wife insisted to have the pool ready ASAP, we opted for the drain, clean, and refill. It was expensive, but took only two days.

    For the new method of chlorine dispensing, the 15-yr veteran recommended the Pool Frog Mineral Water/Torpedo Pack system - to benefit our daughter's sensitive skin. "The chlorine level with this system would be 0.5ppm to 1.0ppm compared to higher amounts for other systems and the mineral water will moisturize instead of cause dry skin" is what she told me.

    After getting the Pool Frog installed and a few more days of back-and-forth taking water samples to the local pool store and following their instructions, the water was finally "balanced" and we were once again enjoying crystal-clear pool water.

    I was obsessed with keeping the water clean and balanced. I spent $800 to purchase a high-quality electronic robot to clean the bottom and sides of the pool. I loved the fact that I didn't have to hook up the vacuum hose and use the pump filter to clean the pool (it was always so difficult - took two people to get it hooked up correctly, and at least two hours for one person in the pool with the hose to clean the whole pool, etc.)

    Knowing our 18-day vacation was fast approaching, I tried desperately to find an electronic timer for the pump. Unsuccessful. So we asked a friend to watch our house, feed our pets, and keep an eye on the pool while we were away -- and we left the pump on the whole time.

    Maryland experienced several intense storms along with very hot days while we were away.

    Three days before our return from vacation, our friend sent us a photo of the pool via cell phone. On Wednesday, the day before, the pool was perfectly clear. On Thursday afternoon, the pool was green. I was horrified. There was nothing I could do until we returned home the following Sunday.

    At 8pm on Sunday, I saw with my own eyes a VERY GREEN pool and was heartbroken.

    I discovered an empty Pool Frog dispenser. With the pool running 24/7 the chlorine run out too soon. With no prior Pool Frog experience, I didn't know how long "normal" would be. The fresh rain water in combination with the heat and zero chlorine -- well, it was perfect conditions for algae.

    I backwashed the filter and I replaced the Pool Frog Torpedo Pak with a fresh one and turned the dispenser dial to 10 - maximum for Sunday overnight.

    It has been a week now and after several back-and-forth visits with the local pool store and conversations with the same 15-yr veteran, multiple purchases of various chemicals, I have shocked the pool twice and adjusted the alkalinity and pH level. And I have used my robot to clean the bottom and sides for a total of more than 20 hours -- lots of yellow and leaves and tree droppings in the bag collected in the process.

    The green is gone but the water is so cloudy that the robot disappears half-way down the 4-ft deep water -- let alone trying to see bottom. And my wife is asking me twice a day, "when will we have clear water again so we can safely swim?" I had no answers.

    Using the Frog test strips didn't make sense to me. And I didn't understand the numbers printed by the pool store's computer analysis report.

    Today, I decided to take control from the pool store staff and learn about pool chemistry. During my internet search for a proper test kit I could use myself, I accidentally found TFP via one of the product "comments."

    The Pool School has been quite educational and fit exactly what I needed.

    My new TF-100 test kit XL with Speedstir can't get here soon enough!

    Thank you for all the great information and TFP features. I am looking forward to freeing myself from the pool store and acquiring the quality tools, knowledge, and advice to solve my pool water issues.


    Above-ground 30' Round Vinyl Liner Pool - 22,000 gallons. Hayward pool pump and round ball sand filter. New water and pump this year -- Pool Frog System recommended by local pool store. No automatic pump timer (yet). Electronic robot pool cleaner. Trying to recover from green pool after 18 day vacation.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: From Baquacil to Chlorine to Green, Oh My!

    Welcome to TFP!

    That is quite a story! Your TF-100 can't get there soon enough for us either. Seems like you are well on your way already!
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Lima, OH

    Re: From Baquacil to Chlorine to Green, Oh My!

    Welcome! Keep us posted on how the progress comes along!

    Summer waves AG, 4800 gallons approximately when to fill level, 18'x48" metal frame with vinyl liner pool. TF100 test kit ordered. Running on stock pump and cartridge filter. Running on city water.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Re: From Baquacil to Chlorine to Green, Oh My!

    While waiting for my TF-100 test kit to arrive, I added three jugs of 8.25% bleach at dusk and let the pool filter run overnight. The next morning we could see the blue pattern of the liner at the bottom, and there were little pockets of "cloud" on the bottom. I ran my bottom-cleaning robot for three one-hour sessions, cleaning the catch-bag each time. We could physically see where the robot had been on the bottom as it cleaned through the white pockets. But the robot stirred up the water and it became cloudy again.

    Next, we added two more jugs of 8.25% bleach and let the pool filter that overnight. Once again, the next morning (yesterday) we could see the bottom blue pattern better and more little swirls of "cloud" on the bottom. Again, I ran my robot in bottom-only mode for two one-hour sessions. Still a bit cloudy, so I added one more jug of 8.25% bleach and ran the filter all day yesterday.

    My TF-100 kit arrived yesterday afternoon but we had plans to go out for the evening and when we arrived home at midnight I turned off the pool filter to let the water settle for the night.

    This morning the pool water was much clearer with smaller amounts of little white clouds on the bottom. I left the pool water still as I ran a one-hour robot cleaning on bottom-only mode. Afterward, the water was still clear and I used the TF-100 kit with the following results:

    pH = 7.2
    CYA = 40
    FC = 3.5
    CC = 0.5
    TC = 4.0
    TA = 110
    CH = 200

    I was amazed. With these numbers and clear water, I guess I no longer need to SLAM. I turned on the pool filter and gave the teenagers the 'Ok' to swim, which they had been dying do for a week.

    We had a storm late this afternoon here on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay and some fresh water was added to the pool. I haven't checked the chemistry yet, but the water level was a bit low anyway.

    Before sundown at 8:30pm, I replaced the Pool Frog Torpedo Pak (chlorine dispenser) and have the Frog set to level 5 of 10. Then I backwashed the filter (lots and lots of white water flushed out of the filter).

    I hope this closes the chapter on our "green" experience. Any one have any thoughts or comments? I'm all ears.

    Above-ground 30' Round Vinyl Liner Pool - 22,000 gallons. Hayward pool pump and round ball sand filter. New water and pump this year -- Pool Frog System recommended by local pool store. No automatic pump timer (yet). Electronic robot pool cleaner. Trying to recover from green pool after 18 day vacation.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    'burbs of Augusta, Georgia

    Re: From Baquacil to Chlorine to Green, Oh My!

    Pool Frog systems add copper to your pool. Copper is not something we causes staining to the pool and green hair/nails.

    A SLAM is something that needs to be maintained beyond just the first sight of clear water- one needs to understand that algae develop a protective mechanism called biofilm which protects it from the chlorine. TFP says that to end the SLAM successfully one needs to:
    1) clear water
    2) Perform an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT) to determine there is nothing organic in the water --> Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
    3) CCs in the water test at 0.5 or less

    Have you done this?
    Maddie :) 12K 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

  6. Back To Top    #6
    jcowart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Labelle, TX

    Re: From Baquacil to Chlorine to Green, Oh My!

    All I can say is welcome and I enjoyed your story that got you here. Now that your here, you are well on your way of taking ownership of your pool. Every pool has it's own personality. You said you enjoyed the topics in pool school. We only ask one thing for you to fully take control of your pool. That is TFP and pool store advise some times do not match. We base our information on proven science and what works. Pool stores are in the business of selling chemicals after they offer a free water test. You might notice the recommendations for chlorine is much higher than pool stores. The pool chemical company's use the published EPA documents from drinking water. It cost a lot of money for a government standard and the EPA already has one in place. What is does not account for is CYA added to pools. CYA will bond to a chlorine molecule and somewhat protect it from the UV of the sun. It also buffers the harshness of the chlorine, so even though the PPM free chlorine is higher, the body, equipment, swimsuits see a much lower effect from chlorine. Good luck and ask questions. That's what this forum is for.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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