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Thread: Algae Issues

  1. Back To Top    #1

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Dallas, TX

    Algae Issues

    Hey guys, I'm new here to the forums, but not to pools. I have read a lot of information from here and certainly appreciate those who contribute to this site.

    Anyway, long story short, I have a route I take care of. Most pools along this route are well maintained and present no issue. There are a select few pools, however, that have consistent and difficult issues. Some of these pools are covered by trees, others are wide open. I will provide an example in hopes that someone can help crack the case!

    Example (25k gallons): First service visit ever; moderate algae, normal for the spring time, no problem. Started up with a shock and chem balance. Next week, clear as can be. Regular maintenance includes 2.5lbs of chlorine, FC comes in fine for CYA levels, tablets are topped off (I know, I know but I can only go once per week). Everything seems fine. Let's fast forward one month; mustard algae pops up after some heavy rainstorms. I put a little over my regular amount of chlorine/acid and ask the owner to drop in about a gallon or two of liquid chlorine after I leave (they preferred that over buying extra from me since they already had it). They said it clears up next day, but within a few days later it's back in full bloom. This sounds to me like inadequate chlorination! But two to three days? Their CYA runs about 70 with direct sunlight all day. Their FC is usually maintained at about 5ppm throughout the week. I want to say, however, while this algae is present, they haven't had much chlorine in the water (maybe 1-3ppm). This is when I start adding more chlorine regularly, they add some, clears up again, but yet comes back by my next visit. They have tablets (again CYA about 70), they add chlorine sometimes, but it's still inadequately chlorinated?

    This is actually one example, but the other pools are very similar. The others do not regularly use tablets however. What am I supposed to do/tell my customers? I've had one complain when I requested that they add chlorine in between visits, even though I told them that the chlorine level just needs to stay up throughout the week.

    By the way, chemistry is kept up properly (except chlorine levels, they drop at the end of the week). I don't have results to post but I use the Taylor test kit, the chemistry is always good with the occasional exception to TA and CH. All filters in these examples have been cleaned after algae seemed to go away.

    I'm completely against metal algaecides for wide-scale use unless there is black algae. My customers know this, and they avoid them as well. I think I will start using poly-quats. These seem to be a very subtle and preventative-minded algaecide. Aside from this, however, I only get once a week to work with, and I'm running out of ideas. Even close friends who are professionals (much more experience than me) are out of thoughts. I want to be sure that my customers are taken care of, and I'm almost tempted to simply leave them with a daily schedule since I'm starting to feel more and more useless for their pool. I just can't be there every few days like it needs. There has to be a way around this, every pool company does it.

    What do you guys think? Thank you in advance.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Algae Issues

    Interesting post. Normally,we gear what we teach to homeowners who are around their pools 24/7 so a lot of our advice just isn't practicable for your weekly visits. That said, you have developed a respect for CYA which is the stumbling block for so many commercial pool folks.

    Take a look at several articles in Pool School,

    Start with "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. Than read the SLAM article because your troublesome pools will need to be SLAMmed first and then kept up with higher chlorine levels than you are accustomed tpo. That pool with 70 CYA will take FC around 4-7 ppm and it should NEVER be allowed to drop below 4 ppm.

    Because our methods involve more intense brushing and more frequent chlorination, you will have to get pool owners more involved or charge more to come by more often,

    Not sure if we can help commercial folks much, but you have a good grasp of the chemistry and if you can get some willing participation from customers (or more money) then you can keep those pools crystal clear. Let us hear back from you after you read a bit.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Algae Issues

    Personally I think the best thing you can do for these customers is sell them on a liquid chlorine injection pump that will add a fixed amount of Chlorine each day, then you can adjust the FC manually and tweak the output settings on the pump on your weekly visits. This would stop the roller coaster ride of wildly swinging FC so common to commercial pool services with weekly visits.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    harleysilo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    North Georgia

    Re: Algae Issues

    Pre measured and filled labeled bottles of bleach, one for each day of they week, one or two labeled for "after pool party". You'd just need some professional looking labeled instructions.

    Isacc's idea is perect for those that will afford it.

    Obviously some customers will think hey I'm already doing it with these daily additions what am I paying pool guy for...but then they'd be here researching a soLuton themselves.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand

    Re: Algae Issues

    I think for those customers that have a swg or liquid chlorine injection you could maintain their pools following TFP quite easily

    However for those that dont you would need to do a little education and explain that chlorine gets used up daily and needs to be replenished often. Maybe run a higher CYA level, a preventative dose of polyquat, bring it up to slam level weekly and leave enough chlorine to replace the 2-4ppm loss mid week, in a nicely labelled jug. You could offer a mid week test and dose if they weren't happy to do so, but an extra charge would apply, maybe call it your Premium Service or something. In a business its a lot to do with marketing after all but personally if it were my business I would want to run a test trial to see if this would work

    For those that have algae I would suggest either following Harleys idea about a daily dose or have an algae clearing charge to cover what you need to do. You could I guess run it at mustard slam levels and get away with daily visits. Not sure what effect that would have on equipment liners staying that high for so long

    I could be way off base as I have never had a pool service or know anyone who has so I dont know how that all works. My gut feel is that you cannot run a pool at our target FC levels because it wont work with a weekly test and dose regime

    I wish you luck and if you can crack a system that works would love to know, so please keep us updated
    6000 gal, AG vinyl, Intex ultra frame 16ft, 1200 Gallon Sand Filter, DIY Solar, Clear Choice Labs Testing Kit

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