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Thread: Can I just close the thing?

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    Can I just close the thing?

    This is my first year of pool ownership. Everything seemed to go fine at first. The pool is a 35k gallon gunite pool. We opened the pool. Shocked and watched it go from disgusting green to grey to cloudy blue to blue. Used chlorine tabs and kept the water balanced from early June on and had no real issues. Than about two weeks ago a storm threw off the PH and alkalinity. Spent some money on alkalinity up chemicals and used the last of my soda ash to restore the balance and by this point the pool got a bit green. Used some shock. No results. Used a lot more shock. Still no results. Another storm came and threw the PH down from 7.4 to 6.1. I gave up. The pool is now swamp green. We are going out of town for a weekend and it is getting too cold to use the pool regularly since we do not have a heater and any time the night time temperatures drop into the low 70s or lower the water is a bit chilly. My question is can I just partially drain the water down to about 2/3 and close the pool in its current disgusting state? I REALLY do not want to spend another $100+ on shock before closing it knowing that I will have to re-shock it when I re-open next spring. MY plan was to drain it down to below the return lines, blow the water out of the return lines and cap them off and put the cover on. Than to drain the filters and pump, open the connection joints for the returns and leave it for the winter. Am I missing anything that needs to be done? I live in Maryland just outside of Washington DC.
    35000 gallon plaster, 1.5HP hayward pump, dual sand filters (old tagelus top mount and newer hayward side mount)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    You can close now and deal with the algae in the spring if you really want to, but you will want to test and adjust the PH at some point in the fall to avoid any risk of scaling. You don't actually save much work that way, since you usually don't need to shock in the spring if you close well. Still, as long as you check and adjust the PH at some point in the fall, you will be alright closing now.
    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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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Its temperate enough here is Seattle that I don't both with most of the "closing stuff" so I can't help you there.

    But I will say that if you read through the "Pool School" (top right corner) and buy a good test kit you'll probably save a lot on pool chems. Pool store tests tend to be inaccurate and erratic, I for one have trouble believing that a store moved your ph down that far. Rainwater is mildly acidic, but the aeration will counter act that and besides it is not that much water.

    Reading “Pool School” will also help you buy your chemicals at the grocery store for a lot less.
    20,000 Gallon kidney sort of a sand filtered gunite in ground pool w/ hot tub.

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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Yeah there is definitely a feeling of someone sticking their hand in my pocket every time i go to the pool store. Quick and deep hatred has definitely developed. I will read it over. There was quite a bit of rain, probably about two inches worth and I used the less than stellar aquackeck test strips before throwing in the towel. The pool went from blue and clear with a very mild greenish tint to deep dark dark forest green and no longer transparent enough to see more than 1.5 to 2 feet down over the course of five days. What really bothered me was that after it began to turn somewhat green 15lb of shock did nothing to repel the algea. How can that be? That was when I just decided to call it quits for the year.
    35000 gallon plaster, 1.5HP hayward pump, dual sand filters (old tagelus top mount and newer hayward side mount)

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Whats happened here is pretty easy to explain, really. Here's my guess.

    The pucks you use to chlorinate your pool are the main culprit. The strips you are using to test with are the second issue. Lets starts with the pucks. These contain stabilized chlorine. That is they contain chlorine plus stabilizer, or CYA. CYA is a good thing. It keeps the sun from burning up all your free chlorine (FC). But, there a catch. Too much CYA can and will cause your chlorine to become ineffective. As your CYA goes up, you need more and more FC to keep the algea away. Thats what pucks do. They are ok from the time you open through about now. Then, the CYA they have been adding all season starts to become so high, it takes more FC to do the job. Thats where you are now. Unless you know your CYA level, it will be hard for us to know how much FC you will need to add to clear the pool. It can be cleared, but you may need to drain a little water to get your CYA down to a managable number. That granualr shock you added may or may not contain CYA. If it does, it's just adding to the problem. What are the ingredients on the bag?
    The second problem is with your alkalinity, probably. The pucks are acidic. They will drive down the pH. Your TA needs to be 100 or so to buffer the acid effect of the pucks. The alkalinity increaser you bought is plain old baking soda you can buy at walmart, so dont buy any more at the pool store.
    What you need to do now is post back the test numbers you got from the pool store. We need, FC, CC, TA, Ph, Calcium hardness, and most important, CYA.
    Your going to have to clear this now, or in the spring. Either way, you can do this without the pool store. Baking soda, bleach, and borax will do the trick. Along with probably some water drain and fill, a little pateience, and help from people here. The other thing you will need is a good test kit. No substitute for a good test kit when you are shocking the pool. TFtestkits is a good one, Taylor makes a good one as well. In the mean time, a 6 way kit from walmart beats the strips. You can clear this if your willing to do it, and listen to the advice given here.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    I work from home and am definitely willing to do this now and maybe get a few more days of use before closing down for the season. I just couldn't bring myself to spend another $100+ or $200 at the pool store buying products with no identifiable ingredients and being told "just add this" by people who could not answer any questions and reminded me of used car sales people. The CYA level was 40. PH is currently 6.2 and TA is 100. Will need to test CC and FC. Calcium hardness was 200.
    35000 gallon plaster, 1.5HP hayward pump, dual sand filters (old tagelus top mount and newer hayward side mount)

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Ok, well, the CYA isnt as high as i would have thought. If it really is 40, thne it wont be too difficult to shock the pool. That being said, pool store numbers can be pretty inacurate. In any case, you need to put the following info in your signature to get started. We need pool type,(i.e. plaster, vinyl), filter type, size, and gallons. I see you have 35k plaster, but if you put it in your sig, it will be easy for people to see and they wont keep asking.

    I'll post a link to the pool calculator. Once you set this up, it will tell you how much bleach to add to shock your pool. The first thing you need to do is to raise your pH. You will need some borax and bleach. Your TA is fine. Post your pool size in gallons and we can get you started with some numbers. When you go to walmart to buy your bleach and borax, get a 6 way test kit. And..i cant stress enough, think about getting a good test kit.
    Are you sure your pH is 6.2?

    http://www.poolcalculator.com/
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Not 100% sure on PH any more. I have an older test kit that came with the house but the chemicals are all over a year old. Should I use that or get a new one?
    35000 gallon plaster, 1.5HP hayward pump, dual sand filters (old tagelus top mount and newer hayward side mount)

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Yes. Go to walmart and get a test kit. Then take a sample to the pool store and get their numbers. Post both back here and maybe between the 2 we can figure out where to go from here. If you had a pH of 7.4 then measured 6.1, I doubt that number is correct.
    You said your CH was 200, ph was 6.2, CYA was 40. How did you get those numbers? Strips? Pool store?

    We need some baseline numbers we can semi trust to get started.

    Get the following:

    Free chlorine (FC)
    combined chlorine (CC)
    Total Alk (TA)
    pH
    CYA
    CH
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Any updates?
    Just want to re-iterate that you should get a handle on the pH sooner rather than later. I would do that before taking on the green issue. A low pH, if it is that low, can damage your pool. Algea, while annoying, will not.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    I have not had a chance to run over to the pool store or to walmart yet. The crappy aquacheck strips I have seem to indicate a PH of 6.1 to 6.4 but I know that this is not very accurate. What damage can occur if the PH is low and the pump it off?
    35000 gallon plaster, 1.5HP hayward pump, dual sand filters (old tagelus top mount and newer hayward side mount)

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by pgvinter
    What damage can occur if the PH is low and the pump it off?
    You just dont want it that low for an extended period of time. It can start to be corrosive. You wouldnt want it to set all winter that low. I doubt it's that low, but you need to find out.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    It would be strange for it to have dropped that much due to a few inches of rain with TA of 100 but who knows. Pools seem to be an eternal mystery.
    35000 gallon plaster, 1.5HP hayward pump, dual sand filters (old tagelus top mount and newer hayward side mount)

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by pgvinter
    It would be strange for it to have dropped that much due to a few inches of rain with TA of 100 but who knows. Pools seem to be an eternal mystery.
    They are really not that much of a mystery! (Deep end subjects notwithstanding...)

    I know you have spent a lot of money already trying to clear your pool, but you need to make one more investment that will save you money in the long run, put you in the drivers seat, and most importantly, uncover the eternal mystery of pool.

    The test kit bk is recommending might get you by to the end of the season, but if you want to take charge and free yourself from the pool store you must have a reliable test kit! See this link: Test Kits Compared
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Can I just close the thing?

    I will join the chorus that you need a good test kit, so might as well get it now. The TF test kit that was recommended is the one I use and I really like it better than any I used in the past. I also got the automatic stirrer and it really does help. The Taylor 206 will also work, but I could not find it locally. However, the part of the TF Test kit that is used for PH is readily available. I think you can find that at WalMart or almost any place that sells a test kit. Your looking for one that uses Phenol Red drops to measure the PH. If you find one made by Taylor the solution is numbered R-0014. Other brands may have a different numbering system. I would try to get at least the PH test kit today and at least you will know what you need to do to get the PH in range.
    Larry in Texas

    Above ground 7,700 gallons, 19 inch sand filter ( 2 sq. ft.), Liquidator, and a WaterWay Hi-Flo Pump with an A.O. Smith 1 hp SF 1.0 motor.

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