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Thread: FC, Algae and Phosphate issues

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    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Central PA
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    6

    FC, Algae and Phosphate issues

    Hello all - I am new to this forum and am desperate for help.

    My pool has been just plain wrong all summer, and my fix-it bill is now at about $2100.00!

    Here is where I am at: FC = 0; CC = 0.3, TA = 100; PH = 7.2; Iron and Copper = 0, Calcium = 230ppm; CYA = 90, Phosphates = 2000ppm.

    I run an auto tab feeder with 90% available Trichlor, sand filter, and my pool is 18 x 36 in ground, approximately 25,500 gal. vinyl liner. Pump runs 24/7 and I live in Central PA. Water temperature sits around 76 degrees.

    My pool is constantly green, the liner is terribly stained, I burn through 10lbs of tabs a week at least. The pool store had me purchase over the course of the summer a total of 6 bottles of polyquat 60, 6 bottles of ascorbic acid, (which would clear my pool to blue and I tried to get my FC up after 1 week like the directions said which worked for about 2 days), 3 bottles of metal out, 3 bottles of polysheen blue, 75 lbs of PH increaser, 25 lbs of Alkalinity Increaser, 30 bags of 65% dichlor burn out shock, 12 lbs of non-chlorine oxidizer, 10 lbs of sand conditioner and I estimate I have purchased well over 200 lbs of 3" 90% trichlor feeder tabs, and they have all been used and my chemical tub is empty (and so is my wallet).

    Out of desperation, and 9 hours of internet education, I thought I would try this wonderful BBB method. Last night I poured in 4,200 oz. of Clorox 6% bleach to get my FC to 24. This morning my pool is still green, starting to cloud up, and yes, my FC reading stayed at ZERO.

    What am I doing wrong????

    Any help or opinions would be greatly appreciated prior to the bulldozer's arrival

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
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    12,082

    Re: FC, Algae and Phosphate issues

    Welcome to TFP!

    Do you have a good test kit yet? If not, then I wouldn't trust the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) number of 90. With all of the Trichlor tabs and Dichlor shock you have been using, your CYA level may be much higher than 90. Even at 90, I would do a partial drain/refill to lower the CYA level. It is something you would eventually have to do anyway and a lower CYA level will make it much easier to kill the algae. In a 25,500 gallon pool, 200 pounds of Trichlor tabs/pucks (about 400 tabs) would increase CYA by 522 ppm (and 860 ppm FC) while 30 1-pound(?) bags of Dichlor shock would increase CYA by 78 ppm (and FC by 71 ppm). You will have some dilution of water from backwashing your sand filter, but probably not that much -- your CYA level is probably still very high.

    Without a good test kit with a FAS-DPD chlorine test, you may have chlorine in the pool and not know it. The DPD chlorine test (shades of pink/red) will bleach out above 5 ppm having you think you don't have any chlorine when in fact you do. I strongly recommend you get either the Taylor K-2006 kit you can get at a good online price here or the TF100 kit from tftestkits.net here with the latter test having 36% more volume of reagents so is less expensive per test (plus Dave ships it very quickly). In your case with algae and cloudiness, it is probably the case that your chlorine is zero but it's much better to have a good test kit to know for sure.

    Chlorine will turn algae from green to gray so if the water is "starting to cloud up" then this could be a good thing. See this post for how a pool gets cleared of algae using chlorine alone, though this example is probably much worse than yours and it doesn't have the high CYA level. Also, read Defeating Algae and note that shocking isn't a one-time dump some chlorine and forget about it process, but rather where you maintain a high FC level. It also takes time (days) to clear an algae bloom. Again, please get a good test kit and verify the CYA level which if high will require a partial drain/refill to lower.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    6

    Re: FC, Algae and Phosphate issues

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    See this post for how a pool gets cleared of algae using chlorine alone, though this example is probably much worse than yours and it doesn't have the high CYA level.
    My pool looks like "end of day 2" only mine is end of day 146 and won't push past yuk.

    The pool store sold me a Pentair 78HR with extra droppers that weren't in the box and Aquacheck test strips. They told me to run all of the tests with the droppers, then run all of the dipsticks (why can't they put all the tests on ONE dipstick anyway?) and compare results to make sure I did it right. So I do both sets of test 3 times a day.

    I did drain and refill my pool 10% when the CYA was 200 and the reading dropped, so I was confident it was pretty good, but maybe not.

    The lastest pool store advice is $170.00 of phosfree, but I am skeptical and my hubby is so DUN with the pool.

    Did somebody tatoo fat wallet on my forehead before I walk into the pool store and not tell me?

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,077

    Re: FC, Algae and Phosphate issues

    Your pool is easy to fix. Keep two things in mind.....


    1. Chlorine is consumable. Algae consumes it. The bleach (chlorine) you put in your pool was consumed by algae. You need more chlorine and lot's of it but......

    2. YOur CYA is way too high for the chlorine to be very effective. As a first step (after getting your own high quality test kit and reading Pool School) is to do a partial drain (probably 50%) of your pool to get your CYA down. That CYA is coming from the pucks....you must stop using them or your probnlem will never be solved.

    Well, that was more like 6-7 things but I wanted to make the point about where your chlorine went and how important it is to get your CYA under control. The pucks are exacerbating the issue.

    Once you have prepared yourself for the drain that you must do, post back and we'll talk you thru how to shock your pool and get it crystal clear.

    Again, it's very easy to get your pool clear but you will have to rethink some of the things you've been doing. There are a ton of nice people here willing to help with any questions you may have
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    6

    Re: FC, Algae and Phosphate issues

    Thanks for the advice. I am off to dig out my pool pump, order a better test kit, and mutter very nice things about the pool person who had me buy a huge, very expensive TUB of "water conditioner" to dump in my pool along with the "winterizer algicide" this past march!

    I am glad there are places to go where people help, everyone looks out for each other, and advice is not based on sales-for-profit and end of season inventory reduction!

  6. Back To Top    #6
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,965

    Re: FC, Algae and Phosphate issues

    Good luck - most of us have been pool stored (and more than once) so we know how you feel!

    Keep us posted
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Prairie Du Chien, Wi (SW Wisconsin)
    Posts
    24

    Re: FC, Algae and Phosphate issues

    Just a note of support from someone who has been there and paid as much as you have. I lost control of my pool last year due to a trip followed by a death in family. Over $2000 spend on Phos Free ( levels varied from 2000+ to under 200), chlorine and non-chlorine shock, 50# pails of dichlor and 3" trichlor pucks as well as metal free and algaecide. I called 3 different pool stores and had 2 of them test the water. Not one of them said a word about the cya level or amount of chlorine and algaecide I added. They even sold me flocculants to try and they are a pain in the arse to vacuum up.

    Bottom line is my cya was over 120 due to all the stabilized chlorine I used to kill the algae blanket on the bottom and sides of the pool. Finally found this site and started with BBB. I had to pump out over 30,000 gal of water but it is now clear as a glass of water and I returned all the unused dischlor and trichlor.

    I had so much algaecide in that my water foamed when I addded dichlor also when I aerated.

    Keep up with the BBB and get the good test kit. You will never regret it.
    56,000 gal in-ground vinyl liner, 22' x 44' with 10' deep dive well (only 8' long shallow end)
    1 hp Hayward Superpump, runs 24/7, 300# Hayward S244T sand filter
    Hayward H300 300,000 BTU LP gas heater, Rainbow auto chlorinator w/ check valve
    Liquidator liquid chlorine feeder, Polaris 380 pool cleaner with 3/4 hp booster pump

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