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Thread: First time green pool

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    First time green pool

    I have had my pool for around 20 years and have always been able to maintain a good balance and get it clear after a Phoenix dust storm. About just over a week we had a big dust storm again and my pool started getting cloudy. I immediately shocked it, but it did not clear up and started turning green. I attempted one more shock, but the pool stayed green.

    This last weekend I decided to get my water tested at Leslie's with the following results:
    FAC 8
    TAC 8
    CYA 180
    TA 110
    pH 7.2
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    TDS 4500
    Pho 300

    I have never drained my pool but realized based on the numbers that it is probably something I need to do. Since I prefer maintaining the pool myself, research led me to this forum and I am planning to follow the help over here since it seems there is a lot of good advice and common sense.

    It seems I will have to trust the results from Leslie's or buy a new test kit, which I am still debating.

    Do you have a suggested path of treatment based on the above numbers, or do I need to get a test kit first before doing anything else.

    It is difficult to drain the pool this time of the year due to the heat, but it is something I should do in any case since it has not been done in 20 years. Looks like I will have to drain around 70% of the water, but then what?

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: First time green pool

    Welcome to TFP

    Unfortunately leslie's is probably not even close on your results... the only way to know for sure is to get your own test kit.. Did they mix 1/2 tap water when they did the CYA test to come up with 180 CYA? I love the TF100 test kit but the taylor K-2006 is also great just a smaller amount of reagents, they do have the K-2006C and that has more reagents..

    You can take control of your pool and be nice and sparkly
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    Re: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by vaalpens View Post
    I have had my pool for around 20 years and have always been able to maintain a good balance and get it clear after a Phoenix dust storm. About just over a week we had a big dust storm again and my pool started getting cloudy. I immediately shocked it, but it did not clear up and started turning green. I attempted one more shock, but the pool stayed green.

    This last weekend I decided to get my water tested at Leslie's with the following results:
    FAC 8
    TAC 8
    CYA 180
    TA 110
    pH 7.2
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    TDS 4500
    Pho 300

    I have never drained my pool but realized based on the numbers that it is probably something I need to do. Since I prefer maintaining the pool myself, research led me to this forum and I am planning to follow the help over here since it seems there is a lot of good advice and common sense.

    It seems I will have to trust the results from Leslie's or buy a new test kit, which I am still debating.

    Do you have a suggested path of treatment based on the above numbers, or do I need to get a test kit first before doing anything else.

    It is difficult to drain the pool this time of the year due to the heat, but it is something I should do in any case since it has not been done in 20 years. Looks like I will have to drain around 70% of the water, but then what?

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.
    Welcome to TFP!

    A proper test kit is really needed if you plan to follow our recommendations.

    I see that you have a plaster pool, did Leslie's give you a CH level? You did not post one. Proper CH (& CSI) is very important to the health of your plaster.
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First time green pool

    I love my TF-100 (with speed stir!). Mix like a pro. Don't think of it as an annoying expense. It's a product your pool needs - just like a chemical. But this test kit will save you time and money in the long-run via accuracy and 100% control of your water. No doubt your CYA will need to come down, and unfortunately the only way to do that is water exchange. The sooner the better so that you can balance your CYA and FC according to the Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart. Once you have the right test kit in use, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it. Great to have you with us.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: First time green pool

    Thanks for all the comments and advice.

    It is a given that I need to drain a percentage of my water, but before I do it I need to plan ahead and know what the next steps will be. I would appreciate it if you can give me some idea what will follow after I have filled the pool.
    -Do I need to add anything while filling the pool?
    -What is the first step after filling the pool?
    -I understand now the importance of CYA and FC, but when does pH balance come into play?
    -I assume I will have to deal with one thing at a time, is there a specific sequence you have to follow?

    Thanks again for helping me out with advice.
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First time green pool

    Once you lower the CYA and confirm it's at a much better level (CYA of 50 for example), then you'll adjust pH to 7.2 and increase FC to 20 to begin your "SLAM" to clear any remaining green algae. If you end-up with a different CYA, then adjust your SLAM FC accordingly. You'll maintain that FC until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria. After the SLAM is complete, you'll simply maintain pH in the mid-7s like normal and adjust any other levels as required. PH is important for managing acidic/corrosion properties in your water, but not the algae. The algae is controlled solely by maintaining the proper FC/CYA ratio. I wouldn't waste too much chemicals on your water until you complete the water exchange, then start the SLAM. Hope that helps.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Once you lower the CYA and confirm it's at a much better level (CYA of 50 for example), then you'll adjust pH to 7.2 and increase FC to 20 to begin your "SLAM" to clear any remaining green algae. If you end-up with a different CYA, then adjust your SLAM FC accordingly. You'll maintain that FC until you pass all 3 SLAM criteria. After the SLAM is complete, you'll simply maintain pH in the mid-7s like normal and adjust any other levels as required. PH is important for managing acidic/corrosion properties in your water, but not the algae. The algae is controlled solely by maintaining the proper FC/CYA ratio. I wouldn't waste too much chemicals on your water until you complete the water exchange, then start the SLAM. Hope that helps.
    Thanks for responding to my questions.

    I have ordered the Taylor K-2006 since it was the test kit I could get the quickest, by September 1. So it looks like I have put big toe into the TPFC method pool, and now just have to take this all the way to completion, the deep end.

    I just have one follow-up question for now:

    When you say "then you'll adjust pH to 7.2 and increase FC to 20 to begin your "SLAM" to clear any remaining green algae.". Does this mean I adjust these at the same time or take care of pH first, and then the FC when pH has been corrected?
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: First time green pool

    After the water exchange, you'll have your new CYA - so that's already done. "Before" increasing FC for the SLAM, check/adjust pH to 7.2 first. We adjust pH before increasing FC to a higher level because pH will give a false reading when FC is over 10. So to summarize: Water exchange - confirm/adjust pH - then "SLAM" by increasing the FC as noted on the Chlorine/CYA Chart. Hope that helps.
    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: First time green pool

    Always adjust PH before your SLAM. The PH test is unreliable when your FC is 10 or higher, so adjusting to 7.2 is the way to go since you can't monitor it during the SLAM.

    I would go ahead and stock up on some plain bleach. Wal-Mart great value 8.25% is usually fresh, cheap and easily available. They sometimes carry 10%, but make sure to check the date so that it fresh. Liquid chlorine degrades over time, so fresher is better. Some pool store and tire centers may carry 10 gallon carboys of liquid chlorine, but you should price compare it.

    You'll probably need to order more of the FAS-DPD FC test reagents soon because you might run out before your finish your SLAM. Your kit will only give you 25 tests which is not always enough to finish a SLAM. You'll also need to perform this test daily when maintaining your FC once the SLAM is complete.

    Post up a full set of results when you get your kit and we'll help you get to where you need to be. The CYA test is light sensitive so you need to do it in full sunlight, back to the sun, hold vial at waist level with two fingers. Any results between numbers needs to be rounded up to the next highest level.
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig Heater 336K BTU, TF-100 test kit.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

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    Re: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    After the water exchange, you'll have your new CYA - so that's already done. "Before" increasing FC for the SLAM, check/adjust pH to 7.2 first. We adjust pH before increasing FC to a higher level because pH will give a false reading when FC is over 10. So to summarize: Water exchange - confirm/adjust pH - then "SLAM" by increasing the FC as noted on the Chlorine/CYA Chart. Hope that helps.
    Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my questions.

    The recommended level for pH shows 7.5-7.8 for a plaster pool and bleach. Is your 7.2 recommendation based on what SLAM will do to the pH level, or is 7.2 just the correct level?
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by kcindc View Post
    Always adjust PH before your SLAM. The PH test is unreliable when your FC is 10 or higher, so adjusting to 7.2 is the way to go since you can't monitor it during the SLAM.

    I would go ahead and stock up on some plain bleach. Wal-Mart great value 8.25% is usually fresh, cheap and easily available. They sometimes carry 10%, but make sure to check the date so that it fresh. Liquid chlorine degrades over time, so fresher is better. Some pool store and tire centers may carry 10 gallon carboys of liquid chlorine, but you should price compare it.

    You'll probably need to order more of the FAS-DPD FC test reagents soon because you might run out before your finish your SLAM. Your kit will only give you 25 tests which is not always enough to finish a SLAM. You'll also need to perform this test daily when maintaining your FC once the SLAM is complete.

    Post up a full set of results when you get your kit and we'll help you get to where you need to be. The CYA test is light sensitive so you need to do it in full sunlight, back to the sun, hold vial at waist level with two fingers. Any results between numbers needs to be rounded up to the next highest level.
    Thanks for the information.

    I have already started looking at bleach prices, and will probably get out tomorrow to pick up a few jugs. What will be a good starting number of jugs to get. I can't store to many outside or in my garage since the temperatures are still very high this time of year in Phoenix.

    My calculation so far is that if I get to a CYA of 50, then I will probably need 3 x 121oz 8.25% bleach just to get to the shock level of 20.

    The CYA test will be new to me, so i will have to read up a bit to make sure I am able to get the correct number. Full sunlight won't be difficult to find in Phoenix.
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by vaalpens View Post
    Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my questions.

    The recommended level for pH shows 7.5-7.8 for a plaster pool and bleach. Is your 7.2 recommendation based on what SLAM will do to the pH level, or is 7.2 just the correct level?
    You want to lower it to 7.2 before SLAM due in part to the effects on PH of SLAM. AND.......the PH test becomes invalid at chlorine levels above 10ppm. So don't waste your reagents testing PH once at shock level for your CYA. Just focus on chlorine.

    How much bleach will you need? Hard to say. You want to get your FC at shock level for your CYA and keep it there. Testing often in the beginning and re-dosing with bleach to get it back. As you get a handle on the FC consumption, you can scale back on your testing. It is a process not a one time treatment.
    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: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by kcindc View Post
    You'll probably need to order more of the FAS-DPD FC test reagents soon because you might run out before your finish your SLAM. Your kit will only give you 25 tests which is not always enough to finish a SLAM. You'll also need to perform this test daily when maintaining your FC once the SLAM is complete.
    Thanks again for the advice.

    Since I don't have my test kit yet, I'm not sure which reagents I can/will run out of. Can you perhaps give me some idea which of the reagents will need to be ordered. Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by AimeeH View Post
    You want to lower it to 7.2 before SLAM due in part to the effects on PH of SLAM. AND.......the PH test becomes invalid at chlorine levels above 10ppm. So don't waste your reagents testing PH once at shock level for your CYA. Just focus on chlorine.

    How much bleach will you need? Hard to say. You want to get your FC at shock level for your CYA and keep it there. Testing often in the beginning and re-dosing with bleach to get it back. As you get a handle on the FC consumption, you can scale back on your testing. It is a process not a one time treatment.
    Thanks for the information.

    I am also looking at ordering some additional reagents since I am still waiting for the test kit. Any ideas which reagents will be highly used during the SLAM process?
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by vaalpens View Post
    Thanks again for the advice.

    Since I don't have my test kit yet, I'm not sure which reagents I can/will run out of. Can you perhaps give me some idea which of the reagents will need to be ordered. Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the information.

    I am also looking at ordering some additional reagents since I am still waiting for the test kit. Any ideas which reagents will be highly used during the SLAM process?
    The FC reagents R-870 (DPD powder) & R-871 (liquid) will go quickly during a SLAM. You can get larger refills at TF Testkits:
    http://tftestkits.net/XL-Option-p62.html
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    The FC reagents R-870 (DPD powder) & R-871 (liquid) will go quickly during a SLAM. You can get larger refills at TF Testkits:
    http://tftestkits.net/XL-Option-p62.html
    Thanks for the information. I have put a order in and should have it in a few days.
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: First time green pool

    Looks like my test kit will arrive tomorrow 9/1, not sure what time. My pool is getting to the point where I need to start doing something. Since the sun is going down, now will be a good time to drain the pool and replace the water. The problem is that I don't have a way to test the CYA level at this time, unless I get the kit early tomorrow, or take it to the pool store. Is there anything I can do when the pool is filled, but before I get the test kit. I have an old test kit that I can test the pH, assuming the reagents are still good.

    The reason why I want to drain/fill at night is that it is still around 100 during teh day, so it is probably not a good thing for the pool to be baking while draining or filling.

    Any advice will be appreciated.
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: First time green pool

    So I decided to start draining the pool even though I am still waiting for the test kit. For now I am using the pool store CYA value of 180 as a starting point and aiming to drain 78% of the water. once I have it filled I will wing it for a day, even if it means using my old kit and verifying it against some numbers from the pool store. I should have the kit before I need to start the slam, so I basically need to verify the CYA and get the pH to 7.2.

    Any advice will be appreciated.
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: First time green pool

    The pool has been filling over night and will probably need another 2-3 hours to fill.

    I just checked the status on my test kit and it is out for delivery. I should receive it today.

    Is there anything I should do at this time while waiting for the pool to fill? Do I need to brush it? Try and circulate the water? Anything to be added to the pool, or just wait until it is filled?

    I did not take a picture when the pool was green, but attached is a picture I took this morning.
    DSCN1651.jpg
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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    Re: First time green pool

    I'd just wait until it's up to the skimmer, turn on the pump, add a 1/2 gallon of bleach and test the CYA after circulating for 20-30 minutes.
    32K gallon Plaster - 1hp Hayward 2 speed Pump - Hayward S200 Sand Filter - TF100XL
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    Re: First time green pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bruce View Post
    I'd just wait until it's up to the skimmer, turn on the pump, add a 1/2 gallon of bleach and test the CYA after circulating for 20-30 minutes.
    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Should the water circulate through the filter, or bypass the filter?
    11K gal, concrete in-ground, plaster, Hayward S244T Pro Series sand filter, Kreepy Krauly, Taylor K-2006

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