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Thread: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

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    Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    Floc it! No, it's not some teenage slang term, it's a chemical that takes any floating particle in your pool water and settles it to the bottom. Flocculant is the full term and it's save my pool parties a billion times.

    If your pool is green and you're having people over soon (even tomorrow) to swim in it, you need to act fast! So here is how I use Floc to get rid of algae.
    NOTE: This will not kill the algae, it will only temporary remove it from your pool in case of a pool party emergency. You must kill algae by superchlorination and by keeping your pool chlorinated to keep the algae from growing back.

    1. Buy a bottle of Floc from your local pool store. The big box retailers like Wal-Mart or Target might have it, but you're better off at the place that caters specifically to swimming pools.

    2. Turn your pool filter to "Circulate" if you have a multi-port valve. You don't want this chemical passing through your filter, if you can help it. You just wanna mix the chemical into the water.

    3. Pour the Floc in your pool. Make sure you read and find out how much you will need for your size pool.

    4. Circulate the water for 2 hours and then shut off your pool. This allows the chemical to mix into the water and then stopping the pump allows it to start settling the algae to the bottom.

    5. Check back in 8 hours or so and all the algae (and other particles) will be in a big cloud at the bottom of your swimming pool

    6. Hook up your manual vacuum and vacuum out the algae off the bottom of your pool. Make sure you vacuum to "waste".

    You may need to vacuum a couple of times because moving the vacuum around the bottom will kick up the cloud back into the water. If this happens, just leave it alone and it will settle again. I've used this method so many times because my dad never took good care of his pool and was always hosting some sort of pool party. I've also saved a lot of other parties for my customers. If you have other ideas or thoughts, please feel free to post them. If you would like more info about this method you can contact me at my blog.
    Matt Giovanisci

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    A. It won't work overnight and it's a waste of time and money.
    B. Why bother? Just keep chlorine in the water and you'll never have to deal with it.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    I agree that you shouldn't have to do this if you take care of your pool's chemistry, but if you're in a pinch, this definitely works well. Takes a little elbow grease, so use it as a last resort.
    Matt Giovanisci

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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    The only way to keep algea out of a pool is a properly chlorinated pool. Once its there, only shocking the pool the correct way will get rid of the algea. As JohnT said, floc is a waste of money and can cause problems worse than the algea.
    You wont find too many here at TFP that subscribe to your methods. Mainly because they do not work.
    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.

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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    I just want to clarify that I understand that a properly chlorinated pool will keep algae from growing. I also know that shocking is the correct way to get rid of algae. However, this post was meant as a quick fix if you are in a pinch. The example I used was:
    If your pool is green and you're having people over soon (even tomorrow) to swim in it, you need to act fast!
    I will add to this post to make the necessary clarifications.
    Matt Giovanisci

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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    It's a time vs. money trade-off. As shown in this thread, chlorine alone can clear a pool, though it can take up to a week. In this case, it was around 4 days. Notice how the chlorine killed the algae, it settled to the bottom of the pool on its own, was mostly vacuumed up, and then several days of filtration/circulation along with brushing all at high chlorine levels cleared the pool. Yes, one could use a clarifier or flocculant, but it's extra money and not necessary. Though it often works, it does not always work.

    Of course, as was noted, it's a lot easier to prevent algae than it is to clear an algae bloom.
    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
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    We, as service pros, certainly appreciate the value of the OPs message. I have come to pools with this situation too many times to count. Getting someone on BBB is much easier when they can clear the swamp quickly. They remember how much fun the swamp was. Some never learn.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    Yes, service pros don't have the luxury of waiting days for a pool to clear just as they don't have the luxury of visiting a pool every day or two to add chlorine. The time/cost trade-off and economics of pool maintenance are quite different for pool service professionals than for homeowners willing to use BBB. Even then, some pool owners value the convenience more and have options such as The Liquidator or a saltwater chlorine generator and some may want to use additional products for clearing a pool faster (sometimes).

    As I wrote in this post, I used a polymeric clarifier myself when I had to get the pool clear by the next day after using a phosphate remover (in an experiment -- no intention to use it regularly) that severely clouded the pool. I could have just waited the 2-3 days it would have taken with circulation alone, but my wife needed to swim the next day and I didn't want her in a cloudy pool. The key is having the knowledge to know what different products do, how effective or ineffective they are, understanding alternatives, and making a rational informed decision or choice.
    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
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    Pool pro maintenance vs homeowner maintenance has come up before. As this site is geared to advice for the homeowner, we always emphasize and recommend any procedure from the standpoint of a homeowner.

    Some of the things we suggest are simply not practical for a pool pro to perform as he/she has the constraint of time and labor cost.

    It is good practice for all our pool pros on this forum to advise not based on what you need to do in your profession but rather what the homeowner can do because he will seldom have the same time and labor restrictions.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Pool pro maintenance vs homeowner maintenance has come up before. As this site is geared to advice for the homeowner, we always emphasize and recommend any procedure from the standpoint of a homeowner.
    And I, for one, am so thankful for it. I would have to fly to Maui to get "flocculant". No pool service (or pool chemicals) are available here, even if I wanted to use them.
    12' round above ground pool. 3,500 gal. Vinyl liner. Waterway Supreme Hi-Flo 48 frame pump. 1.5 hp. SWG. Sand filter with Zeobrite.

    Thanks, members of Trouble Free Pool, for being so friendly and informative!

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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    Quote Originally Posted by LauleaHere&There
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Pool pro maintenance vs homeowner maintenance has come up before. As this site is geared to advice for the homeowner, we always emphasize and recommend any procedure from the standpoint of a homeowner.
    And I, for one, am so thankful for it. I would have to fly to Maui to get "flocculant". No pool service (or pool chemicals) are available here, even if I wanted to use them.
    Me too.

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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae Overnight

    I agree with everyone on prevention, as well as targeting this site for the homeowner - but as a "pool pro" I think sharing with homeowners (here, or in person) is always good, so here it goes:

    When I get a panic call on fixing a swamp, generally we first address CYA if it is a problem - If it's over 80 (*), we won't address anything else and lose some (but not much) business "selling" a partial D&F.

    (*)we bid higher if it is over 60 to keep in mind the additional chlorine we will need.

    Once that's done, we add FC over the breakpoint/shockpoint as the sun starts going down, then show up a few hours later and add again (Many times, I've seen 40-50 ppm gone in a few hours... indicating that I've likely underbid the job ). If it calls for, we may show up a few hours later (by then, its midnight).

    Some of the factors that affect a G2C include (in my experience):
    - how green is the pool? If you put your net in and it disappears in the first 2-3", there could be more surprises in store...

    - how much **** is on the bottom - again, pretty tough to judge when you can only see your net through the first 2-3" of water. The more crud on the bottom (leaves, dirt, etc...) that you can't see, the longer the process is going to take. This stuff just seems to eat-up the chlorine. The worst pool we had took over a week to get clear enough to see the bottom - but that's because of the 1,000s and 1,000s of lbs of leaves on the bottom (the bottom had gone anaerobic and everything we pulled out was tar-black - not to mention the thousands of 1" water "cricket" nymphs (dragonfly?)).

    - Once the SC is complete and the algae is dead, we'll add the drop-out and then wait 12-24 hours (depending on the pool)

    - The BIGGEST FACTOR I've repeatedly found that makes a huge difference in the speed of clearing a pool with or without flocculant is what type of filter the pool has - something we (as a pool-pro, or a homeowner) don't have a lot of control over. If it is a cartridge filter, its generally 3-4 days from milky to clear... although a few pools have taken over a week. A D.E. filter, hands down, reigns in this area and can generally clear up the same pool in 24 hours or less. Since a DE tear-down is about the same labor as cleaning cartridges, I'll recommend DE to anyone willing to listen.

    - Lastly, perseverance is key - don't stop chlorinating till all the algae is DEAD.


    (And, edited for the jovial comment, seems to be the time of year where the pool pros actually have time to comment, and the homeowners already have their pools closed for the year!)
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