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Thread: My algae odyssey - do I sound bitter?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    My algae odyssey - do I sound bitter?

    Hello all, I am new to the forum (posting anyway) and need some help. This is our second year with a pool (purchased the house). Last year was a disaster; the pool didn't get opened until mid June because the prior owner couldn't find the time to come by. After he did we opened to a swamp, he assured me it would clear up in a couple weeks and he would stop back by to check on us. Well long story short we did everything possible, we were at the pool store every day, sunk about $1500 in chemicals, we shocked, we drained, we had chlorine lock, we flocked we vacuumed. The algae would not go away. Finally after about 2 months (mid august) the pool began to clear. We could see the shallow end. Then we go on vacation for a week, it rains 1 day and we are back to a swamp again. We tried and failed to clear the pool up at the end of the summer. We hit it hard again, no luck. October we close the pool, it looked awful.

    Open this year (April), clear water, Algae covering every inch of the floor. We vacuum to waste (after about 10 minutes vacuum would lose it's prime), we brush, we shock, flock again, fight scale, fight phosphates; things start to look better. By May things are looking good, water is blue, can see the bottom of the shallow end faint white dust on the bottom. The day before Memorial day Saturday i decide to vacuum up some leaves. I pull out my little handy leaf vac i bought on-line, suck up some chorine on the little end, all is well. Move to the deep end(I can't see the very bottom but I know leaves are there) as I think I am sucking up leaves guess what.... I pull the vac up to pull it out and empty the leaves, low and behold there was a good amount of algae still alive on the bottom (how you may ask after $900 in chemicals for 2 months). So this vacuum which is transfering water at a high rate proceeds to spread this algae through the entire pool turning it green the day before 20 people are coming over. To say I felt sick would be an understatement.

    So back to the pool store on Tuesday (did I mention the giant thunderstorm Sunday night turning the pool right back to the dark green I love). More chlorine, more shock, at one point we put in 25 pounds of granular chorine over a 3 day stretch.

    So 10 days ago I find this site and start the bleach journey. After reading this site and recognizing that everytime I shocked the pool I was increasing the CYA thus decreasing my odds of killing the mustard algae I knew what I had to do. I had a CYA of 119 . I drained the pool partially and refilled getting it down to 30-50 according to the strip. In 2 days the pool turned blue using roughly 1500 oz 6% bleach. It looks great compared to what we are used to, we seem to be at an impasse. Here my friends is where my boggle lies. We are selling this house, my wife is getting moved offices, plus we are having another child so we want a better location plus more room. I know you are going to say get the better test kit to get accurate readings but spending another $85 is not something I want to do given the history. The strips I have show free chlorine at 10+ PH-7.5 CYA 30-50 and Alk at good levels. Due to my hatred of said algea and the fact that I need the pool to look good I have hit the pool w/ 9 1.42 gallon 6% jugs every evening. The pool seems to be holding the chlorine level throughout the day as I test prior to shocking. My question is am I hitting it too hard? If according to the strip I have at least 10 FC every night before shocking, should I only put in enough to get to 65% of my CYA (assumed as 50) to continue fighting the mustard algae. I can't see any visible and have not had time to dive down and look in the deep end.

    So in summary my question, am I putting in too much chlorine thus increasing the cloudiness of the water. It is blue but blurry by the second step. Is that possible? Am I just adding too much in general but expecting the water to clear too soon? I am 8 days in to adding bleach. Should I decrease to say 500 oz a day because the pool appears to be holding the 10+ reading when I test. I am just afraid to let it fall and the algae come back like last year. The water looks good; it just seems to have gotten a bit cloudier over the last 2 days. You can't sell a house w/ the main selling point of a pool when the pool looks like ****.

    BTW, the prior owner has never come back by. I have fought this algae plus fought getting the pump to keep a good pressure the entire time I have lived here. The wife and I saw him in WaWa a month ago and she had to stop me from saying something to him. I am quite angered with him.

    Thank you all so much, I wouldn’t be this far without you.

    18 X 32 IG, 20,000 Gallons, Vinyl Liner, Hayward Sand Filter.
    13'x25.5' Splash Superpool 10500 gals
    18" Sand Filter w/Hayward Pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    If I were you, I'd calculate your shock needs based on your CYA levels, hit it with this and hold it there. No need to use more.

    Is there a chance the powdered shock you used was calcium hypochlorite? Calcium can cause a hazy look to the water.

    Another thing you could try is something that many say improves the filtering ability of their sand filter- Add enough DE to raise the filter pressure by 1 psi.

    So, is the new place gonna have a pool?

    Good luck

  3. Back To Top    #3
    We have used 3 different kinds of shock so it could be. We just used what ever the pool store said we needed.

    Yea, I have some filter cleaner that I was going to use tonight during back wash. I have some DE as well (I have every chemical known to man) I may try that.

    The new place will NOT have a pool. I can't do it anymore. I have occured some much frustration from this thing. We are looking to move to a community wit ha pool though. We calculated the pool dues yearly to be cheaper than actually owning one.

    Although after fiding this site my stance has softened a bit.

    Did I mention the $198 pool cleaning I had done in order to get the house ready for showings? The guy was cruising along the shallow end looked great, was almost totally clear. Then he just gets lazy, brushes everything up turning the whole thing green (this was after our last Floc) and dumps some shock in. "That should kill the rest of it".

    Thanks for the advice...
    13'x25.5' Splash Superpool 10500 gals
    18" Sand Filter w/Hayward Pump

  4. Back To Top    #4
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Wow, I sympathize with you buddy, good luck.

    FYI, my test strips say my CYA is 30-50 but my Wal-mart 6 -way says my CYA is 70....
    I'm somewhat of a newbie to BBB myself but if it were me, I would ere on the high side of bleach to make sure the algea doesn't come back, assuming you aren't swimming in it. Test your other numbers, like TA and CH, the calcium might cloud your water? Best of luck
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD
    You can dilute the water one to one with distilled water and test that and multiply the result by two. it won't be very accurate, but it is better than guessing.

    Too much bleach won't cloud the water. It can take the filter some time to clear the water after you have killed the algae. Without accurate chlorine readings it is impossible to tell if you have beat the algae or not. Have you backwashed/cleanded the filter recently?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Yea, I backwash every day. I am going to move to twice a day and add some filter cleaner this evening. I will swing by the two pool places near me and get the water tested. I know they may not be 100% accurate but they should provide more data than the strips. I do also have ye old dual tube chlorine and ph tester with the red and yellow dots liquid. That and a worn out vacuum head are what the prior owner left me.

    I had family that lived in Silver Spring for a long time...
    13'x25.5' Splash Superpool 10500 gals
    18" Sand Filter w/Hayward Pump

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Just remember, if you try the DE trick, you lose it when you backwash

    Also there is a school of thought that sand filters don't filter fine particulate's nearly as well when they are clean or freshly backwashed as when they are dirty. DE added to a freshly backwashed sand filter kind of dirties it quickly

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    You sound understandably frustrated. It is too bad that you found this site so late, you may have had an opportunity to enjoy your pool before you move.

    I went through an extended algae battle earlier this season (and there is a thread which documents the progress). It took a lot of bleach and a lot of patience, but the pool did eventually clear up. You can get a cheaper test kit from Walmart and dilute your sample to test for higher amounts of free chlorine. It isn't precise, but it will give you an idea of how much chlorine you need to add. Backwash, vacuum, brush and keep your chlorine up to shock level according to the chart and you should get the pool clear fairly quickly.

    Good luck!
    17K gallon in-gound pool, black plaster, Polaris 380, cartridge filter system

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