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Thread: Need help with out of control pool...

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    Need help with out of control pool...

    My pool is out of control. I've been fighting with it for 6 weeks since we've opened it this spring.

    It's a 24' x 4' doughboy steel side, sand filter, and a salt system. I replaced the sand & checked the laterals but it appears the spider gasket needs to be replaced now as well, so I'm wondering if it's filtering properly...

    Of course it started as a swampy green thing this spring, I got it white... tried to vaccum but I can't even see close to the floor.

    pH was high, so I used muratic acid until I got it down, but now it's on the low end. Alkalinity is still high. FC is low, everything is else is in a good range. The amount of shock I've put in this thing is just disgusting, seriously with that much chemicals we should just fry from chemical burns when we get in.

    Changed the sand. Scrubbed the sides best I could, and then it was greener than our grass, so I tried a bunch of algecide last night, this morning we're milky light green... Before scrubbing the sides I had it to the point where I could see half way down, still not enough to vacuum thoroughly though.

    Please help, I've dumped a TON of money into the pool this year already, I'm a nursing student with two kids and we're living on one income. I'd really love to get a robot and all the other fun stuff to make this easier, but it's not in the budget right now, I don't know how well vacuuming is doing when I can't even see what I'm vacuuming. With how much money in chemicals I've dumped in this pool I could have probably bought one already!

    I've thought about draining it and starting over, but then I'll have re-balance and it will be freezing. But at this point, I'm wondering if that's the best way...
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Can you post a full set of you test results so we can see what you have to work with?
    15ft round above ground pool (6600 gallons)
    Sand filter
    Jandy gas heater
    Intermatic timer

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    It can probably be saved as is. But we're gonna need your numbers most importantly on your CYA and Free Chlorine levels. A full set of numbers for the crew here to help is best. Don't panic yet!
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    I have
    200 Hardness
    0.2 FC
    7.8 pH ( went up since yesterday )
    Alkalinity is off the test high on one strip, and 150 on the other... ( I'm going to go with the 150 on that though)
    0 cya

    And I just went to backflush after almost a week of cloudy green then swamp green pool and the water flushed clear, so I'm guessing my biggest factor is that my filter is not working properly... I can't see it being clear after running for nearly a week with that kind of water, and it will probably be the end of the summer before I can replace it, and I've been fighting with this pool for the last 6 weeks. My husband says I'm dumb for letting it get it me but after hundreds of dollars worth of chemicals and products, and sand, and parts I am just at the breaking point with this. I'm totally open to suggestions, but I probably won't be able to do much until the 15th, next pay day, and by then it's going to be like starting the battle all over again...

    Sorry guys... I feel so hopeless on this right now. I maintained this pool for my grandparents for years before we moved it here, and I've never had issues like this that I couldn't get cleared up.
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Okay, so I went out and did another round of shock. I figured try the massive shock method...

    Also added some stabilizer today to help prevent chlorine loss. Does anyone know if that gasket needing replaced would cause the filter to filter poorly? I have not been able to find a lot of parts for this filter, it's a jacuzzi tidewater. I have not opened to the top and seen what the gasket looks like, but if it's a flat gasket I can create a new one using a gasket kit easily and have it done this weekend. If I have to order one it will take longer.
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Without any CYA, you were losing all of your chlorine to sunlight very quickly during the day. Now that you have added some stabilizer it should be much simpler to get ahead of the algae.

    The most effective way to get rid of algae is to test and add chlorine every hour or two for several hours on the first day. See How to Shock Your Pool for more details.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    I will read that as well. I read the swamp ( that's about the right term for mine!) into an sparkling oasis as well. I'm going to head out now and check the levels again...

    We also have a solar cover for it, it needs to be washed off, but will putting it on be helpful in this mission as well? We haven't used it this year because the deck is not complete and without the deck it's a real bear to put on and off, but it can be done.
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Leaving the cover off while shocking actually helps because sunlight helps burn off CC's. But, sunlight also burns off your chlorine. Once the CYA is in your pool, as Jason said, you will start making some progress.

    My suggestion to you is to (at least) shock each evening/night. Once the sun is off the pool, all chlorine will go to fighting the nasties.
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  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    I do usually shock in the evening. I dumped more chlorine and more CYA earlier and we're currently at a milky white with just a hint of green. Filter was bogging and I back washed it and did get some green out this time. Will shock again when we get home from town, and see how it's doing in the morning! Fingers crossed.
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    What kind of shock product were you using?
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    I have mostly been using the powdered shock pouches, but yesterday I used the "algacide" liquid, I actually dumped in 4 gallons of that in yesterday's battle. I'll update in the morning and we'll go from there...
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

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    poolgirl22's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    There are a couple types of powdered shock and they add different things to the water. Please read the label if you still have it and let us know what it is so we can get an idea of what you've added to the pool.

    Also, while you're at it, what was in the algaecide you added?

    We generally don't advocate the use of algaecides because chlorine is what fights algae best and lots of it. You said your pool was milky with a hint of green, which to me says you are getting there.

    Please post another set of results and take another look at the basics in pool school. You should be using the pool calculator to help you in your additions.
    Randomly throwing some of this and a bunch of that doesn't help...a consistent, organized, methodical process using the resources here will yield you great results. And, once it's cleared up, you'll be amazed how easy this will be.

    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
    16,100 gallon, 18x38 3.5 ft deep oval AG, Vinyl, Sand, 1hp pump
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  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Also, over time you would be helped by maintaining a record of what you add to the pool, exactly what it was (brand and contents) and the volume added. Memory gets fuzzy over time and some of these chemicals will stay in the water and can affect thing that are added later; ie, copper in an algaecide or shock product can become an issue.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Okay this morning we are milky with NO green! I added more stabilizer, 2 lbs, then more shock. Should I add clarifier? Filter was sluggish so I backwashed, we had more green in there, so it must be doing it's job to some extent. Today is overcast so it's a good day to do whatever. I also need to run in and get salt as it's telling me the salt is low so if there is anything else I may need in the next few days/week whatever please offer suggestions so I can pick it up. I'll need more stabilizer I'm sure as I put the last in this morning.

    I have
    200 Hardness
    0.2 FC
    7.4 pH ( went down .2 since yesterday )
    Alkalinity 160 ( went up 10 parts )
    0 cya


    For the last 15 lbs of powdered shock I used Blast One Shot brand:
    50% calcium hypochlorite
    50% "other ingredients" ( doesn't say what ingredients)

    Prior to that I was using HTH Super Sock It shock n swim ( I don't have the ingredients of it off hand but have empties outside )
    The HTH stabilizer and conditioner.

    I'd have to get the brand of the clarifier I have as well, what I remember off the top of my head is super concentrated clarifier.

    I live in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska and chemical selection is not huge unfortunately, but I'm open to suggestions on good brands, etc.

    Thanks so much for your patience and knowledge. Everyone here swims, but I'm the only one who maintains and it can get very frustrating. I wish I would have found you guys sooner!
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

  15. Back To Top    #15
    poolgirl22's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Good for you for taking steps to give everyone a good environment to swim. You'll get there. We love to help.
    I think what's happened is that no matter how much chlorine you've added it's getting eaten up by whatever organics (and sun too) more quickly than you are adding it. No matter what type of chlorine you use you still have to use enough of it at one time, long enough, and consistently enough to fully shock the pool.

    Let me put some numbers to your pool. I have a 4ft wall as well but water is only 3.75 ft deep. So, using that I show your gallons as 11800.
    The pool calculator shows to get to 40 CYA you'd need 4lbs of stabilizer. It can take up to a week to show up. And truthfully, if you are using strips(are you?) to determine CYA or other tests, you're likely not going to get an accurate result. You need to get a good test kit,e especially since you live out where pool store testing is not available. If you've used no shock products with dichlor and no trichlor tablets the 2lbs would get you to about 20 CYA. How many pounds of stabilizer have you added total within the last 7-9 days?

    For now, assuming the 2lbs your shock level according to the cya chart in pool school is FC 10. However, depending on how much CYA you've added total, it could be higher than that. So try to determine how many pounds of CYA you've added that are not yet showing up.

    Your .2 FC isn't high enough to properly shock the pool or, frankly, maintain any kind of sanitary condition in the pool for swimmers. Again, according to the pool calculator, using the arbitrary 20 CYA you'll need to add 240 oz of bleach to get to shock level. Then you'll need to test it as much as hourly to see if it dropped, then use that figure to put in the pool calculator to get back to 10. Without a fas-dpd chlorine test from a quality kit, you really have no way of knowing where you are for sure.

    A clarifier isn't necessary. You need bleach. Lots of it. Go to Walmart and get the large jugs of GV regular bleach. Like 12 of them. And order a test kit...we like the TFT100. Until we know a good CYA number and an accurate way to measure FC past 5 it's going to be a slow climb to sparkliness...

    Edit: Ok, you mentioned salt...I don't know a lot about SWG, but I think it's recommended to shut it down while you are trying to shock the pool so you don't waste cell life.
    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
    16,100 gallon, 18x38 3.5 ft deep oval AG, Vinyl, Sand, 1hp pump
    http://www.poolservicestech.com Liquidator
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/
    http://www.tftestkits.net TFT100 test kit

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    I shut the salt down anyway since the salt was low it just sits and beeps consistently. It does work well in raising the FC though when I'm not having a swamp monster taking over the pool.

    Yesterday I added about 1 lb of stabilizer yesterday.

    I will see about getting a test kit. I'll definitely pick up the bleach though, do I put that in through the skimmer or into the pool? All at once or how much at a time?

    I tried the calc, but I couldn't seem to get it to work, I don't know if I didn't put something in right or what I did wrong.

    ETA: I did get it working this time! But this will not bring me to shock level right? Usually before I shock with the powder, we get in and stir everything up, should we do that before the bleach shock? Should I try to vacuum? I don't feel like I do any good trying because I can't see a darn thing!
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Tonight we're a beautiful blue color ( cloudy still, but if it wasn't it would be gorgeous ) this is the best it has looked this year thanks to all of the great help and articles here.

    I tossed in two more lbs of shock because I was unable to get to the store today, but I will tomorrow.
    I checked and the CYA is still reading at 0, but the FC was up to 5/10 on one strip ( the HTH brand ) and still at .20 for the other ( intex brand )... so yea. But you can really smell the chlorine in it either way.

    Tomorrow... bleach.

    Once I get it to the shock point then what do I do? Will it start to clear up on it's own? Do I need to do something at that point? Just trying to plan ahead. I live 30 min. from town and don't get in every day and such. Thanks!
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    You may want to stock up on bleach then. Once you reach shock level you will want to maintain that level until:
    1. Your overnight FC loss is less than 1ppm
    2. Your CC is less than .5ppm
    3. Your pool is sparkling and clear.

    The chlorine you smell isn't actually the chlorine you added. It's the by product created when that chlorine interacts with algae and other organics to kill it. In other words, you're making headway. Keep up with it and be persistant with shocking and testing.
    18'x24' (10,000 gal) above ground pool, 19" Proline sand filter (45 GPM), Jacuzzi 1.5 HP 2 speed pump

  19. Back To Top    #19
    poolgirl22's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShockerLU3

    The chlorine you smell isn't actually the chlorine you added. It's the by product created when that chlorine interacts with algae and other organics to kill it. In other words, you're making headway. Keep up with it and be persistant with shocking and testing.
    Second this...I'm at 9 ppm FC and no CCs and you don't smell chlorine here.
    Backyard pool-less, but used to be.....
    16,100 gallon, 18x38 3.5 ft deep oval AG, Vinyl, Sand, 1hp pump
    http://www.poolservicestech.com Liquidator
    http://www.poolcalculator.com/
    http://www.tftestkits.net TFT100 test kit

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Need help with out of control pool...

    Right now I'm hoping to just maintain the current status until the 15th. That is pay day and when I'll be able to get more chemicals. Picked up some bleach and CYA today, but that's all I've got until then.

    This morning FC was up some, cya was still at 0, I added 2 more lbs of CYA, 3 jugs of bleach ( appx 190 oz each )... Backwashed this morning as filter was sluggish and flushed white.

    Swam today and stirred up everything off the bottom so it's now green again... Should I be trying to vacuum or just let it be?

    ETA: It's not swamp green again, it's a milky green this time, which means there is a lot of algae genocide going on in there! I hit it with another 2 lbs just now that we got done. FC before that was up to about 8/10 according to the strips.
    Owner of a cloudy but no longer swampy green AG 24' x 4' Doughboy, sand filter with SWG. Soon to be a crystal clear oasis!

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