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Thread: Why won't this stuff Die?!

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    Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Hi Everyone. Been a long time follower of the forums but my first post. We have been fighting an algae problem since the end of last season. Pool place thought it was stuck in the Zeosand we had in the filter so we replaced that at the beginning of this season with new sand. Had a tough time clearing the pool but were able to eventually clear it with bleach. Unfortunately the algae problem keeps coming back. It always starts in the seams and then eventually coats the bottom of the pool. The seams are always a dark color and there are usually some small clusters of algae around it. If you brush, it creates a cloud of it in front of the brush (no better way to describe it) I have vacuumed the entire pool to waste several times and we have tried the suggestions in many of these posts but it keeps returning. I believe it is Mustard algae but not positive. We have followed the recommendations of the pool calculator on this site and brought the chlorine levels up beyond mustard algae shock levels but it just returns. We have sanitized the pool equipment/toys and bathing suits. My readings right now are as follows:

    CYA: 60 ppm
    FC: 4 ppm
    PH: 7.3
    Alkalinity: 100
    Hardness: 240
    Salt: 2900 ppm

    After we have vacuumed to waste all visible algae, I shock and then brush everything. I have even removed the light from the niche and cleaned in there. Really at a loss at this point. Hoping someone can help so the target employees stop looking at me like I murdered someone every time I buy 10 gallons of bleach.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
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    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Hi, welcome to TFP! I can see by the test results you posted you are not currently at shock level. I have a few questions. How high did you target for shock level, and what do you use to test the water? You are using only bleach?
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Hi! Thanks for the quick reply. No, we are not at shock level right now. We thought we'd seek some additional advice before we continued with the bleach. We are only using bleach and based on the results from the pool calculator we were raising it to 45ppm (our CYA was 79 at the time we did it last) I since vacuumed a lot of water out and refilled. Along with some heavy rain, the CYA is now down to the level above. As soon as I post a question, I start to see what I may be doing wrong. I need to get a better test kit. I have the basic taylor one and have been relying on that and my morning daily runs to the pool store.
    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Other than having to slam you are not keeping your FC high enough. I keep mine at 7.5ppm target at around 45 ppm. Don't have a SWG so maybe you can keep it that low but I will the other TFP'ers pipe in
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Thanks for the replies. I think I am going to have to go the slam route. But I do have a question about that. The pool calculator is telling me mustard algae shock level is around 34ppm FC and it recommends about 6 gallons of 8% bleach. Can someone recommend a test kit that will test that high of a level? I see some out there but they are test strips and I know that they are generally frowned upon.
    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    The TF-100 kit, TFTestkits.net, with XL option (extra FC test reagents) is what I have and am very happy with it. A little more expensive but it'll last about 2 years and refills can be purchased in the spring for ~$35. It will allow you to test everything required to maintain your pool sans salt test.

    Mustard algae is thought to be common, but is actually quite rare. It is killed basically the same way as regular algae but with one extra step. It is all here in this link: Pool School - Mustard Algae
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Are you sure that is algae? The seams of my liner are always the first places that show very fine dirt that puffs up when I brush it. Especially if it's dry and windy out, like it has been this summer. Or when I first open my pool, it takes a few weeks before I can get all the dust/dirt properly filtered out by brushing. You might want to do an OCLT and post those results. Odds are if you pass the OCLT and your water is clear and CC < 0.5, that it's not algae. But you need to know those numbers first before determining anything.
    TF-100 Test kit, 24,000 gal. free form Vinyl. mybluepool AC-600 SWG, STA-RITE S7MD60 DE filter, 3/4 HP STA-RITE MPRA6D pump, Polaris 280 w/booster, Raypack Propane heater, Looplock mesh cover; All located in New England.

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Quote Originally Posted by run53 View Post
    Are you sure that is algae? The seams of my liner are always the first places that show very fine dirt that puffs up when I brush it. Especially if it's dry and windy out, like it has been this summer. Or when I first open my pool, it takes a few weeks before I can get all the dust/dirt properly filtered out by brushing. You might want to do an OCLT and post those results. Odds are if you pass the OCLT and your water is clear and CC < 0.5, that it's not algae. But you need to know those numbers first before determining anything.
    While the overnight chlorine loss test can give you an idea as to a lurking problem, it can't be done without a FAS-DPD chlorine test.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Quote Originally Posted by AimeeH View Post
    While the overnight chlorine loss test can give you an idea as to a lurking problem, it can't be done without a FAS-DPD chlorine test.
    But of course
    TF-100 Test kit, 24,000 gal. free form Vinyl. mybluepool AC-600 SWG, STA-RITE S7MD60 DE filter, 3/4 HP STA-RITE MPRA6D pump, Polaris 280 w/booster, Raypack Propane heater, Looplock mesh cover; All located in New England.

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Thanks Pool Tool. I will order one of those up right away. It's still cheaper than what Leslies is charging for the taylor FAS-DPD kit.

    You've got me thinking after reading that article...It never seems to be on the sidewalls. It starts on the bottom and then continues up the slopes to the side walls but I don't think I've ever seen it on the vertical surfaces. It also doesn't seem to start in shady areas. If i go in the pool it has almost a slimy feel to it and if I stand on the slope to the deep end I will slide right down. Once it starts on the floor it pretty much puffs up wherever I brush. If there is that much pollen in the water wouldn't it appear hazy? The water itself is very clear and I've vacuumed the bottom countless times.

    If it is in fact pollen I'm guessing I should do the OCLT test run53 recommended to see if I pass or is there another way? And then if it does appear to be pollen what would be the best way to get rid of it? Could it be blowing right past my sand filter and that's why it keeps coming back? My neighbor was telling me that he had to have someone come in this year with a DE filter to clear his water. He also mentioned that the pool guy said that his pump was too large for his filter which was causing the particles to blow right by the sand. Don't know if that's a fair statement or a bunch of hooey.

    I really appreciate everyone's input on here. I've gotten more help in one night than I have at the pool store for the past 2 months.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by run53 View Post
    Are you sure that is algae? The seams of my liner are always the first places that show very fine dirt that puffs up when I brush it. Especially if it's dry and windy out, like it has been this summer. Or when I first open my pool, it takes a few weeks before I can get all the dust/dirt properly filtered out by brushing. You might want to do an OCLT and post those results. Odds are if you pass the OCLT and your water is clear and CC < 0.5, that it's not algae. But you need to know those numbers first before determining anything.
    After reading Pool Tools article...I am not. I'm wondering if it's pollen. I will have to wait for my test kit to get here unfortunately since no one around here seems to carry anything good.

    I'm just afraid that by the time it gets here and by the time I determine if it's algae or pollen I'll have a huge mess on my hand.
    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Mksmith,

    Your description and picture say regular algae to me. The answer is still SLAM. And if you want to take it to mustard algae slam after that, feel free.

    I've experienced returning algae before due to my own neglect so what I can tell you is brush, brush and brush.....especially during slam. I learned my lesson because I hated brushing. Look for algae hiding places to brush like behind the frames or faceplates of returns and skimmers.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Thanks AimeeH! I was digging through my cabinet just now and found a DPD test kit I had purchased at the end of last season...(3 kids, I think my mind is fried) Anyway, I just tested the water and came up with the following:

    FC = 4
    TC = 4
    CC = 0

    I know free chlorine was 4 last night and total chlorine was the same (strip test) I know I know strips suck but it does seem to be matching the results of my taylor kit. If chlorine level didn't change from yesterday could that still be algae or should I be leaning more toward pollen or some other debris now?
    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mksmith View Post
    Thanks AimeeH! I was digging through my cabinet just now and found a DPD test kit I had purchased at the end of last season...(3 kids, I think my mind is fried) Anyway, I just tested the water and came up with the following:

    FC = 4
    TC = 4
    CC = 0

    I know free chlorine was 4 last night and total chlorine was the same (strip test) I know I know strips suck but it does seem to be matching the results of my taylor kit. If chlorine level didn't change from yesterday could that still be algae or should I be leaning more toward pollen or some other debris now?
    If you were running your SWG, yes it is possible that it is algae. If you do have the FAS-DPD chlorine drop test, you can do an OCLT to confirm a loss of less that 1ppm overnight. But turn the SWG OFF. And do me a favor? Brush that stuff up before you do that initial base test after dark.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Quote Originally Posted by AimeeH View Post
    If you were running your SWG, yes it is possible that it is algae. If you do have the FAS-DPD chlorine drop test, you can do an OCLT to confirm a loss of less that 1ppm overnight. But turn the SWG OFF. And do me a favor? Brush that stuff up before you do that initial base test after dark.
    Ok thanks. Will do. I'll post the results tomorrow.
    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Tested this morning and readings look to be exactly the same as last night. I brushed everything last night before the test.

    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    I am late to this thread but it appears to me it is going to stall out if you are not careful.

    1. That is dead algae in your pool and it is not mustard algae

    2. You appear reluctant to order a test kit. Having no precision test kit and depending on the pool store is what got you here. Everything we teach involves you having an FAS/DPD test kit....not DPD and not one left from last year.

    3. If you decide to get a kit, we can immediately help you or we can struggle along with pool store advice and incomplete test results and more guess work......you have to make that choice

    4. Where is "Brick"?

    I know I am being abrupt and harsh but we've been doing this for ten years and we know how to clear your pool. You have to make the decision to learn from us and that begins with precision test results (all of them) that will help us help you
    Dave S.
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Thanks duraleigh. Abrupt and harsh are fine.

    1. Really? Wouldn't have thought that. Always thought dead algae was more of a grayish color

    2. Not at all, I was just mistaken thinking that what I had was sufficient. I'm trying to learn while I'm here and I now realize that FAS/DPD is different than just a DPD kit. I have ordered up one with rush shipping.

    3. Got one on order While I'm waiting for it to arrive do you have any recommendations as to what I can do to keep the problem from exploding into a huge problem? Or should I just wait and not do anything?

    4. Central NJ. Near the shore.
    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Each evening, add 1 gallon of clorox to your pool until your test kit gets in. Then post your results like this....

    pH
    FC
    CC
    CH
    TA
    CYA

    If you ordered from TFtestkits, it will ship today and you should have it on Monday...maybe Tuesday.

    Post up those test results.....we'll get you cleared up.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School......that's the basis for all we teach.
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    Please add NJ to your location in your profile so it shows up over there <----- on each post. Click my profile or settings upper right.

    If you ordered a K-2006 be prepared to order more reagents if you start to get low so the SLAM can continue. Here is a comparison on number of tests in each kit, Pool School - Test Kits Compared
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    Re: Why won't this stuff Die?!

    My test kit arrived early I ordered extra so hopefully I should be good. My results are as follows:

    pH 7.8
    FC 17
    CC 0
    CH 200
    TA 110
    CYA 65

    Entire bottom of the pool is green and puffs up green when you brush it. I have been adding the 1 gallon of bleach and brushing each night.
    28000 Gallon 22 x 40 IG. 2HP Hayward superpump. 300LB Hayward sand filter. Hayward Aqua Rite salt system T-15 salt cell.

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