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Thread: I may make an enemy but...

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    I may make an enemy but...

    G'day Everyone,

    I hope no one get's upset, but I see a whole lot of posts here about how to
    clean up a really green pool. So I though I'd write a post that will help everone out!

    Firstly...I'm going to explain things in a very basic way so that everyone reading
    this will understand. You don't need to be a pool professor to do this ok...

    There is only 2 things that you need to do to get a pool perfect...Yes only 2!

    Now I say this assuming that your pump and filter are the correct size
    and running perfectly.

    OK...The 2 Things are...

    1. Chemicals – How are the levels?
    2. Visual – Does it look good?

    When looking at your pool you need to check what is like chemically and
    what it looks like visually.

    Now...with chemicals you obviously need to test the water to do this you
    can do it at home with your own test kit. Otherwise you can go down to
    your local pool shop.

    Any decent pool shop will offer free pool testing. Another way to find
    out if your pool shop is **** or not is if they are testing your water
    using strips. Instead of drops or tablets.

    You want to test the following 7 things in your water.

    Free Chlorine
    Total Chlorine
    Total Alkalinity
    pH
    Calcium Hardness
    Cyanuric Acid
    Salt (if you have a salt pool)

    Your pool shop can test for these.

    If your doing a test at home you can probably only test for

    Chlorine
    Alkalinity
    PH
    Cyanuric Acid

    And that perfectly OK, as long as your using tablets or drops...don't
    use strips as they are ****.

    Now your only trying to clean up a green pool here...your not going
    for the worlds best water test!

    You want to clean up this **** thing as quick as you can before you
    suffer the embarrassment of someone seeing it less than perfect.

    So as a bare minimum you want to check chlorine and Ph if that is
    all you can test at home. But i do stress to get all 7 done to do it properly.

    Anyway you want to get the chlorine high and the ph normal...that
    means a big shock dose of chlorine and this is usually 4-7 times your
    normal daily dose of chlorine in one hit.

    A shock dose of chlorine should be enough to change the color of the
    water within 10-15 minutes. If it has not changed within this time
    period...add some more until it does. Even if it only changes the
    water a couple of shades lighter that will be fine.

    But before you do that you want to adjust the ph to be within 7.5 – 7.6.
    Then shock the pool with your chlorine.

    If its only green water that maybe all you need to do...but if it much
    worse you will need to do a few more things.

    Now lets say that your pool is worse...its a moldy looking green pea
    soup of a science experiment gone wrong. We can still fix this...

    This is what you do...

    Adjust the ph to 7.5 – 7.6
    Shock the pool with chlorine
    Add a floculent

    Make sure all the chemicals are churning in the pool really well.
    Getting the pump to circulate all the chemicals you've added into
    the pool for about 1 hour.

    Then turn everything off so the water is completely still for 24-48 hours...and
    I mean completely still. Unplug everything that runs on electricity during this
    time just in case the timer kicks in and stirs everything up. You need the
    floc to settle the dead algae and debris to the bottom of the pool.

    Once the floc has settled everything to the bottom of the pool it should look
    like the water is perfectly clear at the top and a sludgy type gunk at the bottom.
    Don't touch the pool until this happens. If it's still a little cloudy it means you
    need to wait a little longer because it is still trying to settle. Have patients...

    Once the pool is ready its time to vacuum the gunk at the bottom to waste.
    You want to vacuum this stuff right out of the pool. If you have a sand filter or
    D.E. Filter all you have to do is turn the filter handle to waste and start vacuuming.

    If you run out of water...just fill the pool again and vacuum again until you
    have gotten everything.

    Remember your vacuuming water out of the pool, so you want the pool to
    have plenty of water in it to start with. That is so you don't run out of water
    half way through vacuuming. But sometimes that cant be helped...just fill
    and vacuum again until your done.

    Its always a good idea to have a running hose filling up the pool while your
    vacuuming- this might just give you enough time and water to finish the job.
    Make sure that the water from this hose doesn't stir up the water again.

    Otherwise you'll have to wait another 24-48 hours to vacuum again.

    Another tip is to not vacuum to fast...go slow so you don't stir up the gunk again!

    Well...there you go! You've just learnt the basics of how to clean up a green
    pool, but you must remember that this is basic knowledge.

    Hope this helps someone?

    Take Care,

    Michael Silvester

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    There are a lot of people who know a lot more than me on these forums, so I will let them really get into it (and also correct me if I am wrong) but from the knowledge ive gained here, I would think they would suggest some things differently.

    If your doing a test at home you can probably only test for

    Chlorine
    Alkalinity
    PH
    Cyanuric Acid
    Most people would suggest buying the TF Test Kit from http://www.tftestkits.com/ While you wait on that, since your pool is green NOW, a the 5 or 6 way test kits at Wal-Mart can help get over the hump immediately.


    Anyway you want to get the chlorine high and the ph normal...that
    means a big shock dose of chlorine and this is usually 4-7 times your
    normal daily dose of chlorine in one hit.

    A shock dose of chlorine should be enough to change the color of the
    water within 10-15 minutes. If it has not changed within this time
    period...add some more until it does. Even if it only changes the
    water a couple of shades lighter that will be fine.
    You should use your CYA measurement and Bens Best Guess Chart to determine your shock level of chlorine. You should test the water 2-3 times a day, and bring your chlorine level to the shock level listed in the chart each time you test it. This level should be held for 2-3 days, or until your chlorine holds its level overnight. Then it can be allowed to drift back down to the normal level.



    Then turn everything off so the water is completely still for 24-48 hours...and
    I mean completely still. Unplug everything that runs on electricity during this
    time just in case the timer kicks in and stirs everything up. You need the
    floc to settle the dead algae and debris to the bottom of the pool.
    Most people here would not suggest turning your pump off, in fact, they would suggest running it 24/7 while you are going through the cleaning process. Also, I have learned on here that floc is not neccessary in 99% of the cases.

    If you run out of water...just fill the pool again and vacuum again until you
    have gotten everything.
    I mean, really?

    I dont think you will make anyone mad with your post, I just think you do things a different way.
    18' Round ABG (8000 gallon)
    Hayward X-Stream Cartridge Filter
    1.5hp Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pump
    80 sq. ft. solar panels
    Goldline automated solar controller

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    Hi Mate,

    Thanks for your comments!

    I provided this information for people
    to clean up a swampy pool as fast as possible.

    In my opinion this is the quickest way
    to do it!

    I did say that this is basic information,
    we were not going for the worlds best
    pool test.

    This will work every single time without
    getting technical for people that are
    time challenged and water testing dummies.

    As simple as my instructions sound...you
    should not dismiss it as "Not as Helpful"

    I find that the more basic that you make
    it the more people that will understand
    the techniques to actually follow through
    with it!

    Take Care,

    Michael Silvester

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    krcossin's Avatar
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    I appreciate reading your recommendations Michael. Your very good at telling a story easy to read and explain, as appose to some that give short answers that sometimes leaves simple people like me wondering what it all means. I encourage you to keep sharing your experiences with us mate.
    2007 - 24' AG Doughboy Desert Spring dished 1.5', with DB Power Pak II-1hp pump, DB Sequel I Plus DE, Hayward H-Series Heater 100k + 8gal LQ.

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    I agree with the idea of turning pumps off, I did it this spring upon opening to a green slime, poured in my chlorine, manually swirled it around, and voila..a day later it was all dead and laying on the bottom of the pool.

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    Michael,
    I don't think even the experts here would disagree with much of your advice (exceptions noted below) but I think we're going for a level or two above that of your "Algae Killing for Dummies" technique. While I don't doubt that your methods will work, without gaining a basic understanding of water chemistry a pool owner will inevitably end up with a swamp again down the road.

    To fight algae blooms we advocate bringing the water to shock level (per either Ben's Best Guess Table or Chem Geek's Best Guess Table which can be found in the stickies section on this forum), testing the water 3 or more times per day for free chlorine and returning it to shock level after each test until the pool is clear and it holds its free chlorine level overnight. Most here do not recommend the use of flocculents or clarifiers. We recommend running the filter pump 24x7 while fighting algae.

    More generally and more importantly, most on this forum advocate testing chlorine and pH daily and calcium hardness, alkalinity, and CYA at least monthly. The mantra is to use a good test kit to stay ahead of your water and don't let problems develop in the first place. That is truly the only way to have a Trouble Free Pool.

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    My apologies about the harshness of my closing, I have edited it to reflect more of what i meant .
    18' Round ABG (8000 gallon)
    Hayward X-Stream Cartridge Filter
    1.5hp Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pump
    80 sq. ft. solar panels
    Goldline automated solar controller

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    I agree, these instructions are aimed at total novices, while we strongly encourage people to learn more.

    There are some interesting tradeoffs with this approach. I would tend to lower the PH more, 7.2-7.4 instead of 7.5-7.6. The bleach will be more effective and 7.5-7.6 is a fairly narrow range to ask a novice to aim for. But the higher number is more likely to be close to where they are already, and so use less PH up/down chemicals.

    I like the idea of adding more bleach till you get a color change, our approach is significantly more complex here. But I wonder how high someone might go, particuarly if they turn out to not have green algae. There is some risk of people going way too high.

    Using flock could speed things up very dramatically. People often get depressed waiting for the filter to clear the pool. The big problem with this step is that it is not uncomon for people to not have a vacum to waste option. With a cartridge filter the filter could clog in minutes over and over using this approach. Plus the return will tend to stir things up again. Plus even if you can vacum to waste running the water level down has some minor risks. Still, if this turns four days of frustration into one day of hard work it might be worth it for some people.

    The real strength of the approach we advocate here is that it teaches people to test the water and to depend on their ability to test the water. When the pool does clear they see how staying on top of the chlorine levels won them a victory and that inspires them to take better care of their pool. The counter point to that is that it can be a little harsh on the people who have problems with testing or with consistancy, and end up with extra weeks of a green pool. Still they need to learn that lesson sometime, this gives them a format for learning with a big payoff at the end to really push it home.
    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

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    This is certainly an interesting thread. My add on would be for all of us to make newbies CLEARLY understand that chlorine is a consumable. Year after year, I see newbies post that they "brought the chlorine to proper levels last week and now it's all gone....what happened?".

    Probably the most troublesome area for beginners is to not grasp chlorine's purpose, what consumes it, and it's need for constant replenishment.

    The other issue I see is how frequently those of us with some experience will overwhelm a newbie with borax, or soda ash, or Caly hypo, or tri-chlor, or 6% or 5.25%. or 12.5%, or borates, or 7.0pH vs 7.8pH, or aerating out T/A....etc., etc. They have difficulty gleaning from all that info that it's chlorine that will clear their pool.....get the chlorine in there, clear the pool, then undertake the task of learning and understanding pool water chemistry.

    There is some terrific logic in the posts in this thread (mine being the exception ) and I hope it continues for a while.

    (I especially like Wolfmarsh's logic of buying the tftestkit!!! )
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  10. Back To Top    #10
    That first post reads an awful lot like an email I recently received

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    SeanB's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Michael. There is certainly more than one way to approach a lot of these problems.
    TFP Founder

    My Pool: 13K gal IG gunite with 7' spa, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Polaris 280 Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    I think the message here needs to continue to be that you DO need that big test kit even if you only have a very small pool.

    Algae is Gods way of getting people to the message boards to find out the truth, when they come we sure want to get them on the right track!

    There are Intex pools going up all over the world before they are even completely full you are talking about every kid in the neighborhood and most of their dogs taking a dip, and an industry that is misleading people into thinking that as long as they float that puck and keep the TC in the safe zone on that 2 way test, and shock once in awhile, all is well.

    And I was one of them! I do not know how I never made anyone sick. I look back and cringe, I was one that would not let my kids swim in the pond in the pasture because I feared Ecoli. I thought they had a safe pool.

    Then I learn that without keeping FC at a safe level, you are talking about the potential for something just like an Ecoli outbreak. What is the cost of that test kit, 60 or 70 dollars, compared to even one child getting Ecoli or something along those lines?
    Fort Wayne IG Vinyl 18 x 36 (22,000 G)
    3/4 hp Pentair Pump
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    Mount Airy, NC

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The big problem with this step is that it is not uncomon for people to not have a vacum to waste option. With a cartridge filter the filter could clog in minutes over and over using this approach. Plus the return will tend to stir things up again.
    This is exactly my problem. Whatever is in my pool (algae/pollen) when I vac the filter clogs quickly and I have to switch it out for another. Even then I only get about 70% of whatever the **** is on the bottom of my pool. My only vac to waste option is to unhook the return from the pool and let it spill on the ground. Assuming it is pollen, if I did the vac to waste every few days to keep up with it I'd not have water in my pool anymore.
    27' Round Might Sun AG Pool 18000 Gallon Intex Krystal Clear SWG Hayward Pump/Filter on a Timer

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    My only vac to waste option is to unhook the return from the pool and let it spill on the ground.

    Has anyone else ever done this with a cartridge filter? Sounds like you would lose quite a bit of water which would throw your CYA levels off.
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
    Hayward PowerFlo Matrix dual-speed 1HP pump, 75 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    4G Liquidator, Aquabot POOL ROVER S2-40

  15. Back To Top    #15
    crokett, how about an in-line leaf canister with a skimmer sock plus maybe another skimmer sock in your pump basket that will let you catch stuff ahead of your filter?

    For people without a backwash option, what if you plumbed a T or Y in after the pump that could be valved, one line going to the filter for normal operation and then closed and the other opened bypassing the filter and hooked to a hose for vacuuming to waste? Seems like it'd be easy enough to do, probably cheaper than multiple cartridges, and could save additional headache.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by heatmisr
    My only vac to waste option is to unhook the return from the pool and let it spill on the ground.

    Has anyone else ever done this with a cartridge filter? Sounds like you would lose quite a bit of water which would throw your CYA levels off.
    I haven't actually done that yet but if I wanted to vac to waste that would be my only option. And as you mention it would whack out all my levels when I refilled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rangeball
    crokett, how about an in-line leaf canister with a skimmer sock plus maybe another skimmer sock in your pump basket that will let you catch stuff ahead of your filter?
    If by skimmer sock you mean the net inline with the vac then that is what I have as part of the vac attachment. It fits in the surface skimmer, er, pump basket. Does a great job on the leaves but doesn't catch the aforementioned **** that is on the bottom of my pool. The filter does that until it clogs and I have to clean it. You can look for my thread in the Algae section. I was thinking of trying to rig a coffe filter in there. Seriously.
    27' Round Might Sun AG Pool 18000 Gallon Intex Krystal Clear SWG Hayward Pump/Filter on a Timer

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by heatmisr
    My only vac to waste option is to unhook the return from the pool and let it spill on the ground.
    What about unhooking your pump from your filter? Doing the above doesn't bypass the filter.

    Has anyone else ever done this with a cartridge filter? Sounds like you would lose quite a bit of water which would throw your CYA levels off.
    This is essential what vaccuming to waste is- bypassing the filter and getting rid of water and gunk. If you have a lot of gunk to clear, you can lose a bunch of water, as well as dilluting certain chemicals like you noted.

    Fortunately vaccuming isn't a commonly needed procedure, just when there's big problems. I did a bit when I opened, and haven't had to since.

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Funny, this is the third forum I have read that exact message on...all with the same "I might make an enemy" title which I do not understand at all.

    Trying to drive some traffic to your site Mike?

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangeball
    What about unhooking your pump from your filter? Doing the above doesn't bypass the filter.
    Understood, but that I can't do unless I take the filter out of the pump. Cartridge filter is in the pump. Plus I'm still not sure if what needs to be vacuumed is pollen or algae. If algae what I did today should kill it and once I vac I should not need to again. If pollen then I expect more back in the pool the next time I vacuum. But if I were to get enough pollen out, would the chlorine start to take care of what gets in? As I mentioned, assuming pollen if it can't be balanced so the chlorine starts to take care of the pollen, I really can't vacuum to waste and refill the pool all the time.
    27' Round Might Sun AG Pool 18000 Gallon Intex Krystal Clear SWG Hayward Pump/Filter on a Timer

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    The main advantage to what Michael presented is that it is a qualitative approach. If you don't do any testing and have an algae bloom, then shocking a pool to typical "shock level" of chlorine (whatever that is -- probably depends on the manufacturer bottle recommendation) and then seeing the result and then adding more, etc. has you figure out how much chlorine you need to at least go from green to cloudy.

    The problem is twofold. What do you do next? That is, how much MORE chlorine do you add and how frequently. There is a much slower indication of clearing after that initial green-to-cloudy mess, but the algae is not all dead yet (though it mostly is) and can be reintroduced. In fact, long before the pool turned green, it turned dull and then cloudy since that's what green algae looks like in a pool before there is so much of it that it turns the pool green. If a pool owner stops adding chlorine at that point, the algae can bloom again as the chlorine gets used up oxidizing the dead stuff and can go towards zero at which point new algae (blown in, not quite killed, etc.) can re-establish. Now it takes a while for new algae to take hold so maybe the floc and vacuum happen fast enough, but having chlorine in the pool at all times is key.

    See this post (which I copied from the Pool Forum so that people outside North America could see it) and notice that 10 minutes after initial shock the pool noticeably clears and algae drops to the floor (this is upon opening with LOTS of algae). Then notice how it takes a few days to get completely clear. This latter stage can be accelerated with a floc for those that can vacuum to waste, but it's not necessary if one is patient. However, in some situations with poor circulation, such as above-ground pools with no floor drain, a floc helps a lot because the stuff in the lower depths doesn't get circulated very well through the filter (unless you manually churn the water frequently).

    The second problem is knowing when you are completely free of algae. A crystal clear pool is not quite there. If there is still measurable overnight Free Chlorine loss (of 0.5 ppm FC or more; certainly 1 ppm FC or more) then there are still organics, including dead algae, getting killed or oxidized in the pool. If there is still measurable Combined Chlorine (0.5 ppm or more), then all organics are not yet fully oxidized. Only when all three things happen (clear pool, no FC overnight loss, no CCs) are you really done and can safely lower the chlorine level to "normal" levels. Otherwise, you will have higher-than-normal chlorine demand which can get the FC too low and you're back at square one.

    So the quantitative approach has advantages, not least of which is having people maintain their pools better, but Michael's approach is also good BEFORE the user gets themselves a test kit, which can sometimes take days. It is certainly better than doing nothing at all. The only time I see it as being a problem that could be quite frustrating is when the CYA level is sky high. In that situation, it takes so much chlorine to kill the algae quickly that the user might get frustrated early on. Then, after they are done and realize they need to drain/refill anyway, well it just seems like a big waste of money adding all the chlorine then removing lots of water. In these cases, it might make more sense to only add a smaller amount of chlorine (or no chlorine if it's already a swamp and has been like that for a while) but to do a partial drain/refill to get the CYA lower at the same time since that's going to have to be done eventually anyway.

    Richard
    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"

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