I live in a little rural village in Spain and also have an ecosmarte pool that has given us no end of problems with algae and staining. though we've had it for less than a year. The first time (last year) we asked our local ecosmarte supplier for advice and followed it to the letter, only to be told later by the US rep that by doing what we did (shock the pool with non chlorine shock) we had 'bound' the stain to the pool. The result was a resurfacing and retiling exercise that cost us 3,500 euros. Now the algae is back (black algae too - we're told it's the worst to get rid of). We have had enough of the ecosmarte system and cannot rely on it any more as we now have to return to the UK suddenly due to family illness and want to rent the house out - which we can't do with an algae-ridden pool. Such a shame - the ecosmarte system has always kept the water crystal clear but the tiled walls and floor have large amounts of black staining. So we need to convert to chlorine asap and we only have 10 days before we have to leave (we will have a maintenance contract in place from that time onwards but want to get as much done before then as the maintenance guy is not a pool expert - there aren't any of those in our tiny spanish village!!!). I see from the previous posts that the advice is to drain the pool by 50 - 75% to reduce the copper before converting to chlorine - can anyone advise me if I'm right in thinking we need to:
1. partially drain the pool and refill until the copper is under .3ppm
2. make sure all the other relevant levels are correct (ph, water hardness etc)
3. then shock the pool and presumably also acid clean the filter to get rid of algae etc
4. we've also been told to use copper sulphate and scrubbing to get rid of the black algae, though we also have some Bayrol Desalgin we were going to try first - I suspect all the products are different here than in the US, but it says its a "liquid algaecide with a broadband effect against all kinds of algae"
5. then we can start using a chlorine system? (here the most popular one is just to use 4 in 1 chlorine tablets that you put in your skimmer basket - I think they also contain algaecide, flocculant and clarifyer)
I would love to be able to spend longer researching better systems but a) we don't have the time - the pool must be up & running again within a couple of weeks unless that's totally impossible, and b) we've spent so much on the pool already (and the ecosmarte system!!) that we need to use the cheapest effective system which seems to be those tablets...
I apologise if I am repeating advice already given, and also if I sound ignorant of the issues (I am!) but would appreciate any help at this point as it all seems to be becoming a bit overwhelming...neither my husband or I have ever had a pool before and we're so busy getting everything packed and prepared to be ready to leave in time, and we just get really confused by all the seemingly contradictory info available...