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Thread: Need advice on Phosphates

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    Need advice on Phosphates

    Hello,
    I am new to this site and need advice about Phosphates in my pool.
    I live in Southern California and just started taking over the "pool guy" job after our former pool company let our pool turn green during there Christmas week break.
    During there break we had insane rainfall amounts and the landscape runoff ended up in the pool and turned it green. I found out there was no chlorine in the pool. So now I am taking over the water chemistry and I am starting at square one. The first thing I did was go to two different pool supply places and let them sell me there pool products for clearing up a green pool. It took 4 days of my Christmas break but I did get the pool back to a nice blue color. I am still trying to eliminate one of the pool supply places because I think they are not giving me an accurate reading on my water sample when they test it.
    Ok now my question about Phosphates. My reading from the pool store" Leslies" is 300, they claim they have a phosphate product called Phosfree that has a 5 year algae free guarantee. What do you think of this product?
    Thank you for any advice that you can give me.
    Jim

    FC: 3.0
    TC: 3.5
    PH: 7.6
    TA:100
    CYA:25

    San Marcos,California
    20K Pool, Pentair DE
    Above Ground, Pebble Tec
    1/2 HP Whisperflow Pump
    160gpm,IntelliChor SWG
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  2. Back To Top    #2
    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    Well, I guess that algae WILL eat phosphates, if you have them in your pool. Of course, if you don't have algae, you don't need to worry about that. Maintaining the proper chlorine level for your CYA level will take care of the algae, and you can save that boatload of money that the pool stores want for phosphate remover. Maybe buy yourself something nice.

    Good info in Pool School
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    I haven't got a clue what my phosphate level is. Never tested it, never treated it. Phosphates are only "evil" in that they are a food source for algae. If you don't have algae, who cares? Think of phosphates as algae fuel. Wood is fuel for a fire, but if you don't have a flame, it just sits there.

    Phosphate remover is just another profit center for the pool store. Oh, and I wouldn't trust their test results anyway. You won't have to read here long to find examples of how far out of range their test results are. Some people have gone so far as bringing in two samples from the same pool saying they are from two different pools, and posting the huge differences each sample tested.

    What you need is to read Pool School. Do it while you're waiting for your test kit to arrive - there are comparisons in one article in Pool School. Be 98% assured that the kit Leslies will sell you is not going to be the K-2006, but the K-2005, which is close, but lacking the critical FAS-DPD test. You can skip the article and just go order a TF100 and a speedstir, if time is important.

    If your posted numbers are anywhere near accurate, you don't have much work to do. Although I see they omitted CH, which tends to be a problem in California.

    Oh, one other thing: Welcome!
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    Richard & Ohm Boy summed it up pretty good. Keep your chems where they should be and forego the pool store magic fixes. Oh, and Welcome to TFP!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Prav's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    Amen!
    14'x30' (est. 14K gal) w/spillover spa (est. 500 gal) - 1995 // Diamond Brite Blue Quartz - 2006
    Hayward SwimPure Plus T-15 - 2013 // Zodiac MX-8 - 2013
    Plain ol' Intermatic mechanical timer // Pump: 1½ HP Pentair SuperFlo - 2012
    Filter: Hayward C17502(S) Cartridge Filter - 2011 // Heat Pump: Sunrunner/Aquapro 1300 (127K BTU) - 2011

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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    Thanks for the quick reply, I guess when I walk into these pool supply places I will need to ask the questions here first so I am armed with some knowledge.

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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    There are many phosphate removers on the market today. Any one of them will work, just make sure to read the label so you are dosing your pool correctly. It is absolutely vital that you vacuum up all the phosphates of the bottom of the pool and then clean your filter very thoroughly to rid the system of phosphates. The phosphates that fall out of suspension look like D.E. on the bottom of your pool. It will help tremendously with controlling algae blooms. You are essentially removing the food that the algae feeds on. A good rule of thumb is to shock your pool first and raise the chlorine to 8 ppm then treat your pool for phosphates the following day. Allow at least 8 hours of run time after you have dosed the pool.

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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacifica
    There are many phosphate removers on the market today. Any one of them will work, just make sure to read the label so you are dosing your pool correctly. It is absolutely vital that you vacuum up all the phosphates of the bottom of the pool and then clean your filter very thoroughly to rid the system of phosphates. The phosphates that fall out of suspension look like D.E. on the bottom of your pool. It will help tremendously with controlling algae blooms. You are essentially removing the food that the algae feeds on. A good rule of thumb is to shock your pool first and raise the chlorine to 8 ppm then treat your pool for phosphates the following day. Allow at least 8 hours of run time after you have dosed the pool.
    Based on on most cya levels, I would bet that if you shock your pool you will already be above 8ppm for fc (free chlorine). Pacifica, not sure I am following your advice? Best bet is to read Pool School as stated. If you do shock, please use chlorine and not granules, otherwise you are wasting your money.

    FYI, your shock level would be 13 ppm based on your numbers.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacifica
    There are many phosphate removers on the market today. Any one of them will work, just make sure to read the label so you are dosing your pool correctly. It is absolutely vital that you vacuum up all the phosphates of the bottom of the pool and then clean your filter very thoroughly to rid the system of phosphates. The phosphates that fall out of suspension look like D.E. on the bottom of your pool. It will help tremendously with controlling algae blooms. You are essentially removing the food that the algae feeds on. A good rule of thumb is to shock your pool first and raise the chlorine to 8 ppm then treat your pool for phosphates the following day. Allow at least 8 hours of run time after you have dosed the pool.
    But what if the CYA is 200 or so because someone used a floater and pucks exclusively for a few years? 8 ppm isn't enough to maintain a clean pool, let alone kill anything.

    The simplest way to control algae blooms is to maintain the right FC for the CYA level.

    Interesting thread
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Guest

    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Quote Originally Posted by Pacifica
    There are many phosphate removers on the market today. Any one of them will work, just make sure to read the label so you are dosing your pool correctly. It is absolutely vital that you vacuum up all the phosphates of the bottom of the pool and then clean your filter very thoroughly to rid the system of phosphates. The phosphates that fall out of suspension look like D.E. on the bottom of your pool. It will help tremendously with controlling algae blooms. You are essentially removing the food that the algae feeds on. A good rule of thumb is to shock your pool first and raise the chlorine to 8 ppm then treat your pool for phosphates the following day. Allow at least 8 hours of run time after you have dosed the pool.
    But what if the CYA is 200 or so because someone used a floater and pucks exclusively for a few years? 8 ppm isn't enough to maintain a clean pool, let alone kill anything.

    The simplest way to control algae blooms is to maintain the right FC for the CYA level.




    Interesting thread

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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    A phosphate remover needs to be looked at in the same way that you look at an algaecide -- as insurance. It's not necessary if you maintain the appropriate FC/CYA level since chlorine alone can kill algae faster than it can grow regardless of phosphate or nitrate levels. I've had 3000+ ppb phosphates and others have had up to 5000 and prevented algae growth using chlorine alone. However, there's no question the pool is very reactive and unforgiving if you let the chlorine get too low -- hence "insurance". Your pool at 300 ppb is nowhere near being a problem and I wouldn't worry about that at all. I've got 400 ppb phosphates in my tap water that the water district uses for corrosion control.

    As for this "insurance" which is not necessary but it's available if you don't think you can maintain the appropriate chlorine level, you have choices and a phosphate remover is just one choice (which may not work well if you've got organic phosphates since those don't get removed). A weekly dose of PolyQuat 60 algaecide is another. Use of 50 ppm Borates is another. Even copper ions are an option, but now we're getting into something that has more potential side effects -- staining and blond hair that turns greenish.

    The vast majority of the pool owners on this forum use chlorine alone to control algae and that's generally what is recommended, but you do have options. It's just important to be educated about your choices.
    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"

  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Re: Need advice on Phosphates

    Phosphates are a buzz word in the industry today, since most people can't check for them and freak out when they hear about it. It is a great way for pool stores to make a sale, based on your fear.

    Like others have said, get a good test kit, read Pool School and take control of your pool. I'm one city over (Escondido), so PM me if you'd like me to test your water and take a look. No charge, and happy to help

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