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Thread: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

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    Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Greetings!

    I'm new to TFP, and I have to give major props to this site - it has saved me quite a few times! So thank you so very much!! I am having an algae issue and I can't seem to find answers for a few of the questions I have. I'm trying to piece all of this information together to fix my specific problem, but I want to be sure I'm doing the right thing before playing chemist in our new 16K gallon above ground vinyl pool with a SWG and sand filter. Here's the current situation:

    Problem: Greenish hue to water, no blooms but pool sides/floor slippery. Stairs definitely green. SWG is currently OFF.

    Just had water tested at the pool store (SWG manual target #s in parenthesis):

    Total Chlorine: 2.4
    FC: 2.4 (1.0-3.0)
    pH: 7.5 (7.2-7.6)
    TA: 210 (80-120)
    CH: 225 (200-400)
    CYA: 45 (50-100)
    Satl: 3590 (3200-4000)

    Pool has been thoroughly brushed and vacuumed. Backwashed water greenish hue. Redirected return jet to just break water hoping to aerate. Utilized PoolMath calculator based on pH target 7.4 (first mistake by me, I think). Added 16oz MA ( second mistake - just saw it was the 'eco' kind. Said on bottle to use 1/4 of a bottle per 10K gallons. Oops).

    Questions
    1. Should I put the target pH in as 7.1 to further lower TA, then follow TFP "lowering TA" protocol? How long to wait in between doses of MA?
    2. Should I return the other bottle of MA and get the non-eco kind? Or ...
    2a. Should I add closer to 1/3 of the bottle?
    2b. How long should I wait before I test it?
    3. Once I add enough MA, how long until we can swim? I'd rather have my kids aerate the pool.
    4. If the pool is chlorinated properly (as far as the numbers tell me) is it safe to swim in even if it's green as the TA is being lowered?
    5. While I am fixing the TA/algae issue, should I keep the SWG OFF?

    There was something else but I forget what it was - this is more than enough to start! Any insight you may be able to provide would be VERY helpful! Thank you so much for your time!

    Best, Renee

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    You are overlooking the PRIME issue in your pool and should be done first.....then answer those questions.

    You need to SLAM your pool. Regardless of any FC level you might have, the fact remains you have living algae in your pool and must SLAM your pool to get rid of it.

    Now, after saying that, you will not be able to SLAM your pool without doing your own testing that can be trusted. Pool store numbers are bogus.....your own good testing is what we need to rely on to walk you through the SLAM process. You can read more about it in Pool School.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Welcome to TFP!

    Yep, must have a good test kit to maintain your pool. I use the TF-100from TFTestkits.net. It is the best value, here's why, Pool School - Test Kits Compared

    Here is the process, SLAM

    Another good thing to read is here, ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    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

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Thank you so much for your quick response! Just ordered the test kit. It's not due for delivery until next week - what can I do in the meantime? I have 4 gallons of liquid Chlorine on hand.

    I have been reading this site .... and reading ... and reading ... I'm am avid reader and a teacher and I am officially super-saturated with information I can't practically process because I've never done it! Looking forward to this adventure in Pool Store Independence!!!

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Quote Originally Posted by psurenee98 View Post
    Thank you so much for your quick response! Just ordered the test kit. It's not due for delivery until next week - what can I do in the meantime? I have 4 gallons of liquid Chlorine on hand.

    I have been reading this site .... and reading ... and reading ... I'm am avid reader and a teacher and I am officially super-saturated with information I can't practically process because I've never done it! Looking forward to this adventure in Pool Store Independence!!!
    2 gal of bleach right away with 1/2 gal daily afterwards. Tablets, pellets, Nature / Frog cartridges- out and never back again. Don't add anything to the water until your test kit arrives and you can provide reliable numbers. Just bleach, nothing else. Brushing and running filter 24/7 helps too.

    Please update your signature with pool / equipment details and post picture of the pool in daylight over stairs if possible.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    More here on what to out in your sig and how to do it, Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post
    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

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Thank you - adding the second gallon of liquid chlorine and letting the filter run all night.

    The SWG is still being by-passed until we finish the shock - is this ok?

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Yes, leave SWCG off for now.
    20k IG vinyl liner/Aqua Rite SWCG, T-15 cell/Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter/Polaris 280 with booster pump/Hayward Superpump 1 hp/city water/pool installed March 2004

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Quote Originally Posted by psurenee98 View Post
    Thank you - adding the second gallon of liquid chlorine and letting the filter run all night.

    The SWG is still being by-passed until we finish the shock - is this ok?
    What shock? That wasn't a shock- just some chlorine to get you through until your test kit arrives. We need reliable data to give you meaningful recommendations and that's why the test kit is essential. I just didn't want you to turn full green in between as you're showing signs of -1 day max to that event.

    You can keep your SWG off for now, will be slightly less confusing.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    The TF-100 test kit arrived and all tests have been completed! Here is the updated situation (with a +/- for operator error):
    FC - 3
    CC - .5
    TC - 3.5
    CH - 250ppm
    TA - 150
    CYA - 40
    NaCl - 3800ppm
    pH - 7.5

    SWG is still off. The water is a tad cloudy, but no green at all. I have continued adding 1/2 gallon of liquid chlorine each day, as well as vacuumed and brushed daily.

    I am working on trying to upload a picture.
    19,5K gal 18' x 33' AG; Build/install 4/26/16
    Pooline sand filter; Splapool 1.5 HP 1 sp. pump Model: RS4G249I3L
    TF-100 test kit
    SWG NaClSWS AC 50784
    Pool fill initial H2O company, topped with well. No rest. as of 8/4/16

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Quote Originally Posted by psurenee98 View Post
    The TF-100 test kit arrived and all tests have been completed! Here is the updated situation (with a +/- for operator error):
    FC - 3
    CC - .5
    TC - 3.5
    CH - 250ppm
    TA - 150
    CYA - 40
    NaCl - 3800ppm
    pH - 7.5

    SWG is still off. The water is a tad cloudy, but no green at all. I have continued adding 1/2 gallon of liquid chlorine each day, as well as vacuumed and brushed daily.

    I am working on trying to upload a picture.
    Now you're talking Please bring your pH down to about 7.2 using MA (PoolMath), stock up on bleach (10 gal min) and SLAM away- bring your FC up to 16 using bleach and monitor it closely, every 2 hrs at the beginning. Pump/filter- 24/7 until you complete SLAM. You need to test mostly FC during SLAM other parameters can wait. Most of the rest of parameters are where they're supposed to be anyway.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    I'm getting the hang of it! Will add the MA tonight and start the SLaM in the morning when I can monitor levels.

    Should I have my return jet angled down to mix the MA? Should I then leave the filter run all night? And most importantly ...

    Can you swim during the SLAM?
    19,5K gal 18' x 33' AG; Build/install 4/26/16
    Pooline sand filter; Splapool 1.5 HP 1 sp. pump Model: RS4G249I3L
    TF-100 test kit
    SWG NaClSWS AC 50784
    Pool fill initial H2O company, topped with well. No rest. as of 8/4/16

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Quote Originally Posted by psurenee98 View Post
    I'm getting the hang of it! Will add the MA tonight and start the SLaM in the morning when I can monitor levels.

    Should I have my return jet angled down to mix the MA? Should I then leave the filter run all night? And most importantly ...

    Can you swim during the SLAM?
    MA mixes well even on its own so you can live returns whichever way you like. If they cause aeration then it would probably be better to turn them downwards.

    I'd leave filter on- you're going to have it 24/7 during SLAM anyway, is it to reduce electrical bill?

    Yes, you can if water is clear enough to see a swimmer at the bottom of the deep end. Besides you nobody will probably notice elevated FC level.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Was that CYA test done when it was bright and sunny outside?

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Was that CYA test done when it was bright and sunny outside?
    The CYA test was done at just as the pool went into complete shade. The pool gets about 6-7 hours of sunlight - today it was in direct sunlight about 4 hours. I'm in North Eastern Pennsylvania.
    19,5K gal 18' x 33' AG; Build/install 4/26/16
    Pooline sand filter; Splapool 1.5 HP 1 sp. pump Model: RS4G249I3L
    TF-100 test kit
    SWG NaClSWS AC 50784
    Pool fill initial H2O company, topped with well. No rest. as of 8/4/16

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    YOU need to be in bright, direct sunlight to do the test. Here is more info:
    Pool School - CYA

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    YOU need to be in bright, direct sunlight to do the test. Here is more info:
    Pool School - CYA
    Hi, thanks for the link. Sorry for not being clear - I was in bright sunlight and did my due diligence (or at least tried) executing the test to get an accurate read; the pool, however, was not.
    19,5K gal 18' x 33' AG; Build/install 4/26/16
    Pooline sand filter; Splapool 1.5 HP 1 sp. pump Model: RS4G249I3L
    TF-100 test kit
    SWG NaClSWS AC 50784
    Pool fill initial H2O company, topped with well. No rest. as of 8/4/16

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Fabulous, thank you so much for your help. Turned the return down - I think it was aerating (there were bubbles breaking the surface). I usually conserve electric when and where I can as a general rule - it's on a timer, but it's been running since Thursday anyway. No worries there!

    I'll keep you posted during the SLAM. Thanks again!
    19,5K gal 18' x 33' AG; Build/install 4/26/16
    Pooline sand filter; Splapool 1.5 HP 1 sp. pump Model: RS4G249I3L
    TF-100 test kit
    SWG NaClSWS AC 50784
    Pool fill initial H2O company, topped with well. No rest. as of 8/4/16

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Best of luck! Let us know if you have any questions.

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    Re: Algae in otherwise chemically "balanced" pool (TA is off the chart)

    Question already.

    Checked the CYA shock chart to find out what my shock FC should be, and for my SWG it says to have a CYA of 60-80. My CYA is at 40 (45 at best). Do I have to adjust the CYA before I SLAM?

    pH just registered 7.2 so otherwise I'm ready to go.
    19,5K gal 18' x 33' AG; Build/install 4/26/16
    Pooline sand filter; Splapool 1.5 HP 1 sp. pump Model: RS4G249I3L
    TF-100 test kit
    SWG NaClSWS AC 50784
    Pool fill initial H2O company, topped with well. No rest. as of 8/4/16

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