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Thread: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

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    Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    First of all let me say thanks to a great site and all the great advice and tools. I found this site a couple of years ago after becoming very frustrated with taking care of my second pool and having it turn green far too often. Our first above ground 24ftx4ft pool was green once or twice in the 10 years that we had it is all I can remember. Our second pool however, has been green sooo many times it ain't funny. Our first pool dealer was out of business when we bought the second pool so I went with another company. With the first one, they never changed products and each year I got my kit was was pretty good to go for the summer. This other company they change brands and recommendations and young people so I became so frustrated with always having a green pool I surfed. I found this site and got that green pool under control. I followed the 'swamp' article and was good to go. Bought a better Taylor kit and had a good two seasons. Then last year had to do alot of travel and working toooo many hours and just lost my mind and lost this site so we sorta reverted back and lost track. Now after trying to get the swamp under control for a month and not being able to find this site I went through 2 rounds of Yellow Out, shock, granular chlorine and flock. Twice I got it clear, vaccummed it all to waste and thought it was ready. Turned the pump onto filter and it turned green again. During all those chemicals I never filtered, just recirculate, backwash, rinse, waste.

    So it turned green and then a hose busted while I was at work this past Thursday. Came home to find the pool drained below the skimmer. Since we got home after the pool stores were closed had to wait til Friday to get new hoses and start refilling the pool. Meantime Thursday and Friday evening I surfed and FINALLY found this site again. Which is now on the desktops of several computers bookmarked! So Saturday morning I was ready to begin the process of turning my swamp back. Pump is back working and water level up. Pump turned on filter and running. First order of business of getting a better test kit and getting bleach. The best kit I would find was the Total Poolcare DPD test kit from Leslie's. They were out of the one on here that is the service one. So I'm ordering the Chlorine only test kit from tfkits tonight. But I need some help now.

    Pool: Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

    On Saturday 11:30 with my new test kit my numbers were:

    FC .5
    TC .5
    CC 0
    ph 6.8
    TA 50
    CH 60
    CYA 30

    I put 6 jugs - 96oz in the pool I thought from running through the pool calculator and the shock chart on here that my target shock number was 12. I had to run an errand that took a little over an hour so hubby wasn't sure how much needed to be added while I was gone so he added another 2 jugs of 96 oz. When I got back at 1:30 and tested FC was back at .5 6 jugs added.

    2:40 FC 1 - 6 jugs added
    3:15 FC 5 - 4 jugs added
    3:50 FC 6 maybe more pink that 3:15 - 4 jugs
    4:15 FC same as above - 3 jugs
    4:50 FC looked same as above 4 jugs
    5:30 (didn't write it down on my notes but added 6 jugs
    6:45 it was magneta decided to see if this was the color in the AM.

    Backwashed / rinsed the filter several times during the day for good measure. (My guage has been messed up for awhile so usually I can tell it needs it and I just do it often.)

    On Sunday morning

    FC wasn't as magenta as it was the night before and the pool still green just not as green as Saturday. So I continued adding bleach every hour. Midmorning, we also brushed everything and decided to remove the wedding cake steps from the pool. When we did we found the cesspool that was hidding under the steps. I was able later to very easily vaccum this stuff out on waste. There's not any big leaves or piles of junk in the pool now. The water color late yesterday afternoon seemed to be a yellow-green. The yellow pollen ring around the water level is now a white powder but the pool is still green. This morning when I tested before leaving for work the pool was down to 1 which is not where I left it last night so I understand that means I still have algae. How I don't know because since Saturday, I've put 52 96oz jugs of bleach in, 10 of the 192oz jugs & 17 of the 128oz jugs .

    I can't even get a TA reading. I put the 5 drops that are supposed to turn it green and it turns it aqua blue. I start putting the other drops in and it turns it a yellowish color like bleach.

    The FC is more magenta than the PH.

    This morning I thought well maybe it's just still stirred up and maybe it really is dead so I'll turn the filter off and let it settle to the bottom then I'll vaccum to waste. Well that didn't help it's still green but I can see the bottom very well. Our eye on the ball was broken so while hubby went to get that I had him have them test the water to see what they tested the water at. He told me they used a strip so I don't know if I believe their test but here's what they said:

    CYA 300
    TA 40
    PH extremely high
    FC 10

    I have bleach, muratic acid, borax and baking soda on hand. We've got the return 'bubbling' the water now.

    Do I need to add the muratic acid to bring the ph down? do I add more bleach tonight and in the morning before work? Once I ever get this pool back clear it will be BBB for me and no more hockey pucks. Sorry for the long book but I figured getting most of the picture might help you help me from here.

    Thanks,
    cindy
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Quote Originally Posted by TNBandmom
    I can't even get a TA reading. I put the 5 drops that are supposed to turn it green and it turns it aqua blue. I start putting the other drops in and it turns it a yellowish color like bleach.
    It does that with high Chlorine. Blue > yellow is as good as green > red

    CYA 300
    TA 40
    PH extremely high
    FC 10

    I have bleach, muratic acid, borax and baking soda on hand. We've got the return 'bubbling' the water now.

    Do I need to add the muratic acid to bring the ph down? do I add more bleach tonight and in the morning before work? Once I ever get this pool back clear it will be BBB for me and no more hockey pucks. Sorry for the long book but I figured getting most of the picture might help you help me from here.

    Thanks,
    cindy
    300 on CYA? Or is that a typo? Usually the pool store says 100+ cuz that's as high as their strips read.

    If it's really that high, you'll never get enough Chlorine in there to kill it all. Ignore the pH at the moment - it's going to be wrong on account of the immensely high chlorine.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Welcome! Or maybe welcome back!

    Along with what Richard320 said:
    I take it you are using the DPD drop test, not the FAS-DPD powder+drop test. With very high chlorine levels the DPD test can "bleach out" and look like nothing when actually you got plenty. That's why we recommend the FAS-DPD test.

    So, the net effect is, you know how much you've dumped in but you don't know what your FC level is really. Until the FAS-DPD test you ordered (you DID order it??) arrives, you can try diluting your pool water sample 50-50 with chlorine-free water (e.g. distilled water) and see if your DPD test shows a level; that will at least give you some clue where you are.

    It sure sounds like you know what you ought to be doing; once you get that FAS-DPD you'll be ready to take total control of the situation.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Ignore that pool store's test results - and trust your own.

    That is a typo, right?

    With Paul's suggestion - the 50/50 mix will allow you to read up to 10. If you go with 2 parts distilled, 1 part pool water, you can read up to 15 (though it loses some accuracy.) 3 parts distilled, 1 part pool - read it up to 20. The more dilution the less accurate. You hopefully will have your FAS-DPD test soon!

    The TA test - high FC levels will make the colors change as you described. How many drops did it take to turn yellow? That's your TA level.

    I agree with above, let the FC drop down to "normal" and retest the PH. Levels above 10 make readings inaccurate.
    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

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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Thanks for the suggestions. The CYA level from the pool store was 300 that they wrote down. I didn't do a typo here. When my husband described the test strips I just threw the piece of paper I had sent him with down on the desk.

    When I test the CYA I get between 40 and 50 when the black dot disappears for me. straight pool water no dilution.

    We went to the store and got some distilled water. I mixed 1 cup of distilled water and 1 cup of pool water in another measuring cup. Then tested this in my chlorine test kit. It was still magenta - above the level 5 color on the test kit.

    I think I have the Single chlorine kit ordered. I didn't get a confirmation from the order page so I've sent them an email to find out for sure.

    TA - 7 drops and I get yellow. straight pool water. no dilution.

    do I add any bleach tonight or just let the pump continue to run?
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    We'll trust the CYA 40-50 number you got. According to the Chlorine/CYA Chart your shock level would be in the 16-20 range, and I'm guessing you're already in that ballpark. So, you can let it be tonight.

    If the FC seems to be down in the 10 range or less in the morning, you can test pH as well, and see what you get. If not, well, chlorine is more crucial at this stage.

    Next time you dump in some chlorine, wait 30-60 minutes and then try 1 part pool water to 2 parts distilled, so you'd triple the FC reading. You want to be at the top of the chart with that dilution, until the FAS-DPD shows up and you can get a more accurate reading.

    TA test sounds like it would be 70. A reasonable number, probably not worth repeating the test until you're done shocking. (But if you just have to play with the new kit--I've been there, yep--you could try using 3 drops of R-0007 instead of 2, to zap some of the excess chlorine, and maybe the colors will be more like what the instructions say. If not, well, let it go for now.)
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    This link has helpful pics/tips on doing the CYA test

    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Ch...P?ContentID=44

    Are you confident you followed the directions? Mixing, letting it sit for a minute or so and then shaking to mix for 30 secs. Then with your back to the sun, hold the vial waist high using your body as shade for the vial add the solution and stop when the dot vanishes.

    If you are confident you did the test correctly then go with your results. I don't trust test strips for CYA levels at all - they are terribly inaccurate.
    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

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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Thanks for the continued help. I did let it sit over night. checking it this morning there is some more dirt patches in the floor this morning that wasn't there yesterday. It's amazing that with the filter running and the water circulating that it will still drop the dirt. With the yellow out you always had to turn the filter off to let anything drop. Argh with that mess.

    Anyway I did check the chlorine and it is still magneta but not as magneta as last night so I think it did use up some during the night. I'm going to backwash/rinse and add 6 jugs since no one will be home later to check or add any. It's supposed to rain today and temps are climbing back to the 80's this week.

    On the testing I did follow that link. I found it on some message I had read on here. I was glad I did find it. The very first test I did the water was all the way at the top line before it looked like the pics. I didn't think I had done the test right since it was full before the dot disappeared so that's when I searched some more on here and found that link. then I repeated the test and set the microwave timer to be sure I shook that vial for 30 seconds. Then I felt confident with that number.

    I used to test outside. But this year since the chemistry of the pool seemed so out of whack and I really wanted it to get to the gray stage as fast as I could since my family gets home so late in the evening and there's not time to vaccum on waste but on the weekends. So this year I've been testing inside so I could do the testing, run over to the computer and input the numbers in the calculator before heading back out to do the medicating. Now that I think about that being a photographer, the indoors lighting may be throwing it off too. But until that chlorine test gets here, I just keep trying to keep that chlorine that shade of magneta.

    Thanks again for all the help.
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    The indoor lighting will throw off the CYA test- its better to do that test outdoors in sunlight if possible.

    Make sure you add the appropriate chlorine dose - don't see your pool specs to know if its vinyl or plaster or how many gallons your pool is but 6 jugs seems like an awful lot of bleach - more is not always better....
    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

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    With the yellow out you always had to turn the filter off ...
    Yellowout, eh? Is this recent? I think its an ammonia product, so it may have wiped out some chlorine.

    The big problem seems to be that you can't get an accurate snapshot of your FC/CC levels. You posted that yesterday [q]This morning when I tested before leaving for work the pool was down to 1...[/q] which does indicate that your chlorine is being consumed. Obviously, getting (and KEEPING) the FC level high enough is key to defeating the algae outbreak, and you'll need to be diligent about it. Hopefully your test kit will arrive soon. It's really tough to do this without accurate numbers.

    And don't try to lower the PH now. You started out with a ph of 6.8, which is as low as a kit will measure, so it could be even lower than that. It is reading high now due to the elevated chlorine levels, so you will need to check it once you know the chlorine has dropped back down.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    The indoor lighting will throw off the CYA test- its better to do that test outdoors in sunlight if possible.
    When looking at the CYA test outdoors, have your back to the sun and shade the tube with your body while you look down into it holding it in front of you. You want strong indirect light, but do not want direct sunlight on it or else you'll get an artificially lower reading. If you have to do the test indoors, then turn on as many lights as possible, but do not stand under any light (i.e. have strong indirect light, not direct light).
    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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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Thanks for the extra help. The kit is on its way. So right now my goal is to test the chlorine and maintain this level of green or less in the pool until the weekend. I figure with this kit as long as I test in the morning and in the afternoon and still get the same shade of magenta that is darker than this level I can at least not get any worse til the weekend when I'll be home and able to hit it hard again. This afternoon the chlorine is more of a violet color in the test. I did this test outside and then came inside to the same lighting as I've been doing the other tests so that I could confirm this was a different color from my magenta of last night.

    Thanks also to the post about not trying to lower the ph right now. When I had put soooo much in this weekend and it wasn't clearing as much as it had the year before last when I did follow this process using a lesser test kit and just throwing bleach at it but not as much as I threw at it this past weekend I was getting really worried that there was something else binding the chlorine and it wasn't working as well as it should.

    The yellow out bouts were in March of this year. I did yellow out, bags of shock, and quick dissolving chlorine granular form. Ran the filter on recirculate only. It turned grey. I flocked it. I vaccumed and vaccumed and vaccumed on waste. It appeared to be clear. (backwash/rinse/fill pool many times) I turned the pump on filter on monday of last week. Came home on Tuesday and the pool was green! Wasn't happy. Hit the internet determined to find this site again. Thursday came home to a broken hose and a drained pool. Found the site some time toward the middle end of week and started making the attack plan that would happen over the weekend. Hubby fixed hose Friday night, started filling pool, (drained below skimmer) finished filling Saturday morning. Sent husband to other pool store Leslie's to see if they had the big kit in and test the water. They didn't have the kit and assumed me the difference was minor that the big difference was just the size of the vials. (well hmpf on that now as that wasn't the case) Hubby also came home with a computer printout that was like the one the pool store I bought the pool from used. I had started going to Leslie's two years ago and liked it because they did all the tests manual drops and not any strips. Well it appears they've changed so I just have to keep it from going any greener between now and kit arriving and I've got plenty of bleach on hand. I went to Sam's Sunday afternoon and calculated how much I would need in order to last until this coming Saturday if I had to shock once in the morning and once in the afternoon at the rate I was maintaining over the weekend on the hour.

    I'm still encouraged that I see dead algae on the floor of the pool which I can see the floor directly down very good considering the green color. It's definitely not as green as it was on Friday. And if I made it home while there was still sun on the pool I would probably be more encouraged that the majority of it was dead.

    So hopefully soon it will be over and ready to enjoy when the temps fully break.

    Thanks,
    Cindy
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Kit is here yeah! Pool is still a light green.

    here are my results:

    FC 32ppm (64 drops after the powder)
    CC .5 if that -it turned a very very slight pinkish color put 1 drop in and it was clear
    PH 7.5
    TA 90 (still turns blue then 9 drops to yellow)
    CH 60 (turned violet not red and then 6 drops to blue)
    CYA 40

    Pool: vinyl, above ground, 30ft x 4.5ft, Sand filter

    Ran the numbers through the pool calulator it says I need to add 44lbs calcium chloride and 3lbs 8oz of baking soda.

    Do I want to do this? Do I test chlorine again first thing in the morning?
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Your pool is vinyl, so you don't need calcium! I don't see why baking soda either; a TA of 90 should be good. Why do you want to raise it?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    I agree, your numbers are fine...
    Except the chlorine - it's way too high. You were overdosing on the bleach but you had no way to tell. Now you do!

    Edit: Be sure to check that PH level when the FC is below 10- the high FC is likely making the PH reading off...
    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

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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Ok so check chlorine in the morning and continue filtering 24x7. Saturday morning if the rain holds off I'll vaccum to waste as there is some spots of dead algae. Depending on the rain, I'll vaccum and test all weekend and see what we get.

    I don't want to raise anything I don't need too. I just want the green to go away! And then it to stay pretty and clear.

    Thanks for the help.
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Update on my less than clear pool. My water today in the Sunlight is still a light yellow-green color.

    Update on numbers since Thursday night when the kit came which are posted above:
    All tests done with no sunlight on the pool unless noted otherwise.

    Friday morn 33.5ppm
    Friday night 23 ppm
    Sat morn 21.5 ppm (9:45 cloudy no sunlight sprinkling)
    ---- major thunderstorm for several hours lots of rain - yard flooded
    --- In between storms had about an hour of clear where I could vaccum to waste /backwash/rinse.
    Sat 2:00pm 16.5 ppm
    ---- beautiful sun came out

    After this test I was reading the thread 'I Give Up' and followed the link for the 'channeled sand filter'. Had hubby read over that and he agreed to clean it for me. Boy was that nasty! He ended up taking the head and shift out. Sand was soooo yucky and clumped. I think we had replaced the sand about 3 years ago. He decided new sand would be easier. So we just finished cleaning and putting new sand in. The sand we got this time was 'enhanced pool filter sand'. Definitely a different consistency than what we had before. Also we got a new gauge. It's wonder to have an accurate pressure reading of 13 now and not 30.

    When the sun goes down this evening I'm going to test chlorine again and see where it's at. Then get some suggestions. Hoping it clears tomorrow of this color.

    Thanks for all the help.
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Tonight's test:

    FC 14ppm
    CC 0
    PH 7.2
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

  19. Back To Top    #19
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    Wow, that's quite an update... Okay, 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

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Algae - High chlorine - high TA - high PH - Need help

    this morning's test:

    FC 14ppm
    CC 0
    PH 7.5
    TA 80
    CH 50

    CYA not tested again until you guys recommend as I have enough for one test. Have to drive across town or stop tomorrow after work to get some more stuff.

    Pool water still has a green tint to it. I've been reading through the forum several hours this morning and am beginning to wonder if there's metals in the water. I can see more dirt deposits on the floor though and the skimmer basket was full this morning. I can see the ploor floor with no problems. When the sun gets more on the pool I'm going to take pics using a polarizing filter on the lens to cut the glare so I can post a pic of the water before I vaccum to waste so maybe you guys can tell me if I just need some more POP or to take some other steps.

    Thanks for a great site.
    Above Ground 30ft x 4.5 ft deep, vinyl liner, hayward 1.5hp sand filter

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