Hey all. I live in an area that gets frequent dust storms in July/August every year. This latest bout of storms came at a time when I was extremely busy at work, and about an inch of dirt sat on my pool surface for about 10 days. I vacuumed it out, which took about 12 consecutive backwashes while I vacuumed. I was unaware that I could "vacuum to waste". Anyway, I eventually got rid of all the dirt, leaves, and whatever else came into my pool via the 4 dust storms we had during that week I neglected my pool. My automatic water leveler replenished the water I had backwashed, and I went back to work. A week later, I went outside, and realized all the backwashing had dropped my salt level to the point where my SWG was not producing any chlorine. The water was turning green, and I could see algae growing on the surface. So I went to Leslies, and bought some Chlor Brite (Dichlor) and Leslie's Algae Control (I have tried to google what exactly this stuff is, and I think it is 30% pesticide???) . I lowered my pH to 7.2, brushed everywhere, then shocked with 3 lbs of Dichlor and poured in the 32 ounces of Algae Control. I shocked again with 3 lbs per day and brushed for three days in a row. My water cleared up, but I had black algae stains in many areas (mostly the shady areas where the floor meets the wall). So I bought a wire brush and some black algae killer (Copper and Nitrogen), and more Dichlor. I went to town with the wire brush, shocked with 3 lbs of Dichlor, then waited about a half hour, and added 20 ounces of the Black Algae Killer mixed with 4 gallons of water. The next day, I brushed again, shocked with 2 lbs. of Dichlor, then added the remaining 12 ounces of Black Algae Killer. The following day (Friday, 8/14), I added 120 lbs. of salt to get my SWG going again. I ran the SWG at 100% for 24 hours. The algae had reduced significantly, but I wanted to find out how to get rid of it permanently, so I got on the internet and thankfully found you guys!!
Needless to say, I have wasted many hard earned dollars and time going to Leslie's. I realize this now after reading "Pool School" in its entirety. I am sold on the BBB method. I went to Walmart today, and bought 12 boxes of Borax, and (6) 182 ounce jugs of 6% generic bleach. I have been testing for 3 and a half years with the Taylor K-2005 that my pool plumber gave me when he originally started up my pool. It only tests chlorine up to 5 ppm, which doesn't do me any good when shocking to get rid of algae. I'm sick of taking my water sample to Leslie's to double check my work, and test for salt. So I just placed my order for a TF-100 test kit, some Aquacheck White Salt test strips, and some LaMotte Insta-Test Borate test strips. I still have 4 gallons of muriatic acid from my (hopefully) last trip to Leslie's.
Here are my test results from earlier this evening:
FC - 2 ppm
CC - 0 ppm
pH - 7.2
TA - 75
CH - 450 (Leslie's told me 300 yesterday, so I'm not sure)
CYA - 65
Obviously, the FC is being used up quickly, and my SWG ran at 100% for 24 hours. I thought my CC would be higher, but I'm not sure about this Taylor test kit anymore. Either way, I wanted to shock again, so I used Jason's Pool Calculator. It said to add 564 ounces of 6% bleach to raise my FC to 19 ppm. I know I can't effectively test for chlorine levels above 5 until my new test kit arrives, but I don't want the algae to get ahead of me again. So I turned off my SWG after getting these last test results, brushed the entire pool AGAIN, and added 3 of the 182 ounce jugs of bleach. I am going to bed now, and I want to do as much as I can tomorrow before I go back to work Monday. I will test the water and brush again when I wake up, and if the FC drops to a level below 5 ppm that I CAN see, I will add more bleach. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do until my new test kit arrives? I also have what looks like dirt on some areas of the pool floor, but it won't go away when I brush or vacuum. I read a little about yellow mustard algae, and I don't think that's what it is. It's starting to fade since I have been shocking the pool the last few days, so hopefully it will continue to disappear with the black algae.
Anyway, I am rambling now, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible here. Hopefully, someone more experienced than I am can point me in the right direction. My ultimate goal is to NEVER go back to Leslie's, kill the algae, get my water balanced, and get up to 50 ppm borates. I don't want to fall behind on this pool again; my work schedule is too crazy, and it gets out of control really quick. Based on what I have read here, it sounds like borates would help me to maintain my pool easier with my busy schedule. Thanks to everyone who put this website together. I wish I would have found something like this a lot sooner.