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Thread: Why not copper algaecide?

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    Why not copper algaecide?

    Stopped by a friend's today to help her with her Intex pool that went green while they were away for a few days. She asked me about using algaecide, mentioning that they were swimming at a friend's pool and they claimed it cleared theirs right up.

    Me: "Well, PolyQuat can work if you want but it is more of a preventative after you get it cleared. I don't recommend copper algaecides. Copper is a preventative and can kill algae as well, but you know what else it does?"

    Her: "Does it turn hair green?"

    Me: "Yep, how do you know that?"

    Her: "We all had green hair after we left her house. I had to get special shampoo to get it all out."

    Me: "Yeah, stick to chlorine, that will clear this up. Just stay on top of it."

    Just amazes me the pains some people will go through to avoid actually maintaining their pools properly.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    I always want to warn folks more about the "Blue" products too. Folks just aren't aware that there is copper in those Chlorox Blue pool products.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Just amazes me the pains some people will go through to avoid actually maintaining their pools properly.
    Math is hard. Throwing money at it shows effort without having to learn things.

    It also lets you brag about how much more dedicated you are to your pool than those neighbors of yours who just dump cheap junk from the grocery store's laundry aisle into their pool and hope for the best.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    I'm in the minority here and it goes a little against what is commonly preached on this forum, but a algaecide is absolutely part of my arsenal for pool maintenance. With a CYA of 70 and a FC level of 7.5-8 ppm (0 CC), I came back home from vacation to a yellow mess with FC level of 5.0 and still no CC. I 100% think at this point its b/c my pool is irregular shaped (free form) and there are dead spots on some of those curves which allows things to grab hold. Backing into the woods probably opens my exposure to whatever is blowing out at any given time as well as multiple lakes within 1-2 miles of me.

    I throw PolyQuat in b/c aside from the small hit on FC in the beginning, there is no downside save my wallet. If it helps keep my pool clear, its worth the cost to me. Our pool season is short here in the NE, so for the 4 months my pool is open its not a deal breaker for me. SLAMing my pool for a week or two is.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    I always want to warn folks more about the "Blue" products too. Folks just aren't aware that there is copper in those Chlorox Blue pool products.
    It isn't just those products, I bet if I told her friend about the dangers of copper she would claim she doesn't put copper in, just algaecide. People don't look at product labels for pool supplies, it is all long words that don't make sense to them. I dare say that perhaps the companies purposefully use the longest chemical names possible to make it seem impossible to understand and to get people to just blindly follow the instructions given to them.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
    I'm in the minority here and it goes a little against what is commonly preached on this forum, but a algaecide is absolutely part of my arsenal for pool maintenance. With a CYA of 70 and a FC level of 7.5-8 ppm (0 CC), I came back home from vacation to a yellow mess with FC level of 5.0 and still no CC. I 100% think at this point its b/c my pool is irregular shaped (free form) and there are dead spots on some of those curves which allows things to grab hold. Backing into the woods probably opens my exposure to whatever is blowing out at any given time as well as multiple lakes within 1-2 miles of me.

    I throw PolyQuat in b/c aside from the small hit on FC in the beginning, there is no downside save my wallet. If it helps keep my pool clear, its worth the cost to me. Our pool season is short here in the NE, so for the 4 months my pool is open its not a deal breaker for me. SLAMing my pool for a week or two is.
    Polyquat is not a copper algaecide.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
    I'm in the minority here and it goes a little against what is commonly preached on this forum, but a algaecide is absolutely part of my arsenal for pool maintenance. With a CYA of 70 and a FC level of 7.5-8 ppm (0 CC), I came back home from vacation to a yellow mess with FC level of 5.0 and still no CC. I 100% think at this point its b/c my pool is irregular shaped (free form) and there are dead spots on some of those curves which allows things to grab hold. Backing into the woods probably opens my exposure to whatever is blowing out at any given time as well as multiple lakes within 1-2 miles of me.

    I throw PolyQuat in b/c aside from the small hit on FC in the beginning, there is no downside save my wallet. If it helps keep my pool clear, its worth the cost to me. Our pool season is short here in the NE, so for the 4 months my pool is open its not a deal breaker for me. SLAMing my pool for a week or two is.
    while it's not copper based it would get me curious why chlorine alone is not enough to sanitize my pool if I was in your shoes. It's not like algae grows in the woods in such numbers that being close affects anything. How did you manage to keep your FC=5 over vacation period? Did it drop below over that period? FC overnight loss is more sensitive test for algae presence than CC alone, I'd try to pass that just to make sure I'm not losing bleach unnecessarily. BTW pool is safe to swim in during SLAM, it won't shorten your season.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Polyquat is not a copper algaecide.
    I know that, I was more keyed in on the line about proper pool chemical balancing should negate the need for a algaecide at all. In my case, it really didn't/doesn't. I should have held my station fast when my wife wanted that natural looking free-form shape. It sure looks pretty, but it doesn't lend itself to good circulation.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Are all returns pointed the same way to create a circular flow? Have you tried reversing the flow direction? I did that last year and life got better.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
    I know that, I was more keyed in on the line about proper pool chemical balancing should negate the need for a algaecide at all. In my case, it really didn't/doesn't.
    Proper chemical balance negates any perceived need for algaecide 100% of the time. If you have dead spots in your circulation then the water in that area is not properly balanced or chlorinated. I understand you have trouble keeping your pool water properly circulated, but that is a problem with your pool and not a problem with TFPC.

    EDIT: I want to make it clear, I am not arguing against your use of PolyQuat. If it is helping you run your pool then it is your call on using it. What I am arguing is your assertion that there are cases where using algaecide is necessary. That isn't true. A pool should not have dead spots big enough for algae to be an ongoing problem and the small dead spots that do exist in every pool are easily taken care of with regular brushing. I have seen over and over people with dead spots in pools or improperly sized filter systems, or a number of other issues causing their pools to be more difficult. The answer to these problems is not to use algaecide, it is to correct the root problem. In these situations using algaecide is like living in a house with noxious fumes that cause constant headaches. Nobody would suggest that taking a Tylenol is fixing the problem, even though it makes the headache go away. Well algaecide isn't fixing the problem, it is just making the headache go away.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Lot of questions; I kind of thought my position might stir something up. I'm good like that usually.

    To the question of how I kept my chlorine up while on vacation, I have a SWG. I was holding 8ppm the week prior to my departure. I came back to yellow on the bottom and sides of my pool with TC of 5.0, no CC's at all.

    I can try changing the circulation to spin the other way I suppose; I didn't try that. I'll give it a shot.

    And I'm certainly *not* challenging the principles of TFP. If I had proper circulation through my exaggerated curves I'm sure I'd have no problem and in fact could probably lower my chlorine a little to be more in line with the target for my CYA. Sadly the pool is in, the pipes are in, the concrete is poured, etc. There is precious little I can do to affect any positive change (except maybe change the direction of the water/spin). Had I known any of this, I would have went with a 'normal' shaped pool, looks be darned. I don't have problems (so far) when I'm home as I always brush 1x or 2x a week, and at least every other day I run the brush along the bottom of the pool where the floor meets the wall. That's been keeping me crystal clear for awhile. But I know if my pool's chlorine drops below 7.5 - 7.0 and I'm not brushing and my algaecide ran out? It'll be SLAM time shortly.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    It seems that your SWG didn't keep up with the demand while you were away. Perhaps increasing the % would have helped?

    Would a robot pool cleaner help you keep those curves brushed?
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
    Lot of questions; I kind of thought my position might stir something up. I'm good like that usually.

    To the question of how I kept my chlorine up while on vacation, I have a SWG. I was holding 8ppm the week prior to my departure. I came back to yellow on the bottom and sides of my pool with TC of 5.0, no CC's at all.

    I can try changing the circulation to spin the other way I suppose; I didn't try that. I'll give it a shot.

    And I'm certainly *not* challenging the principles of TFP. If I had proper circulation through my exaggerated curves I'm sure I'd have no problem and in fact could probably lower my chlorine a little to be more in line with the target for my CYA. Sadly the pool is in, the pipes are in, the concrete is poured, etc. There is precious little I can do to affect any positive change (except maybe change the direction of the water/spin). Had I known any of this, I would have went with a 'normal' shaped pool, looks be darned. I don't have problems (so far) when I'm home as I always brush 1x or 2x a week, and at least every other day I run the brush along the bottom of the pool where the floor meets the wall. That's been keeping me crystal clear for awhile. But I know if my pool's chlorine drops below 7.5 - 7.0 and I'm not brushing and my algaecide ran out? It'll be SLAM time shortly.
    I think picture of your curved pool with skimmers / returns marked might help this discussion, you never know. You have 2 skimmers and 10 returns - this is one more skimmer and 6 more returns than my mostly rectangular but bigger pool has and I don't have problems you describe. If anything rectangular pool could have problems in the corners but builders of my pool were smart enough to place returns there so I don't have truly 'dead' spots.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Unless of course its Mustard algae. I did follow the Mustard Algae TFP guide to completion earlier this summer. Including being obscenely obsessed with putting everything I could find in the pool and spraying everything else w/ Chlorox Bleach. However, I DID get mustard algae last year from SOMEWHERE. It just may be that I'm prone to its introduction for whatever reason, and my chlorine level / algaecide regimen is as such b/c of that. It can be yellowish green; I might be perennially fighting mustard for all I know. Doing enough to hold it at bay, even though the spores are floating around in there.
    Last edited by s1njin; 08-10-2016 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Clarification
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    S1njin,

    Thousands of TFP pools use the same numbers you post and never have a problem with algae and never use algaecide. So, since we know that to be true, we have to figure out what is different about your pool. I repeat myself too much but, "chlorine is chlorine and algae is algae and water is water". So, what makes your pool different. I don't know that answer but that is the question. Since you say you are brushing every other day, that should eliminate the discussion of the curves, right?

    You say you got algae when you were on vacation, so no one brushed then, right? That brings the shape of your pool back into contention. Do you get algae when you are home and able to brush every other day?

    Again, algaecide is simply NOT REQUIRED in a normal pool with normal parameters. We have to figure out what's different.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    I'm clear when I brush. Sometimes I'll see a very small amount of green on one or two particular seams. Sometimes but not always. I haven't had an outbreak if I brush and keep my CL at 9.5-10.5 (mustard algae target).
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by s1njin View Post
    I'm clear when I brush. Sometimes I'll see a very small amount of green on one or two particular seams. Sometimes but not always. I haven't had an outbreak if I brush and keep my CL at 9.5-10.5 (mustard algae target).
    The algae you are seeing on the seems of the liner is dead algae. That means you are having live (invisible) algae in your pool and need to brush more often. So, if brushing works for you, have you tried just keeping the FC up and brushing - without using any algaecide?

    It's important you understand I don't care if you use an algaecide or not.

    What is important to me that we find out what is different about your pool or your pool water management practices that causes algae when your parameters are normal.....something is different.
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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    Can it be dead algae if it still has a color to it? I thought dead algae was grey.

    I haven't tried keeping the chlorine up w/o using the aglaecide. After my first SLAM b/c of my mustard algae outbreak, I just started adding PolyQuat as insurance. Mostly b/c I had my mustard algae outbreak a few weeks after SLAMing the pool for my spring startup. I was so upset that I had to re-slam so soon.
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    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Why not copper algaecide?

    The thing that throws me off, mustard algae should sort of 'poof' when brushed right? I have waved my pool brush right over the seams but the marks don't 'poof'. I recall mustard being like pollen in that it is easily disturbed; what I have isn't. I have to actually put the brush on it. So if its NOT mustard and my FC is almost double the target - what the heck?
    42' natural free-form pool, vinyl lined, 6' deep end, 21,400 gallons
    2 HP Hayward Superpump, Hayward Aquarite SWG, AquaComfort 125k btu heat pump, 350lb Hayward Pro Series sand filter
    2 skimmers, 2 floor drains, 10 returns (6 in the pool, 2 in the steps, 2 in the swim-out)
    TF-100 Test Kit

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