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Thread: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

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    SPKNout4CHRIST's Avatar
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    New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Hello all! I am new to pools...we just purchased our home and it has an inground pool that has been uncovered all winter and left unattended while on the market for at least 3-4 months. I doubt it has been looked after since Sept or Oct. Anyway the water is horribly green to say the least and I cannot see past 2 or 3 inches below the surface. I have visited my local pool store and had the water tested and I have put in Super Soluble, Banish, and Lo' n Slo as per my pool store. Here is my setup: I have an inground vinyl pool with a WhisperFlo 1HP pump, Pentair FNS Plus 60 D/E filter, Pentair Miniplus NT Heater (not turned on), Mineral Springs MS-10 system with cell (is not producing sanitizer due to low minerals...about 1800ppm). I have brushed yesturday and today. The pump has been running for 7 days tomorrow and I still cannot see the bottom and cannot tell a lot of difference. I have backwashed the filter twice and cleaned the hair and lint pot in the pump. Okay, so I am wondering if I need to open the filter and clean off the grids from within the filter (they have not been cleaned to my knowledge since Sept or Oct)? Also, what suggestions do you have for me to help get this green out? Below are the numbers from my last trip to the pool store (yesturday). If I left off any numbers or information please let me know and I will add. Thank you in advance for any help and God bless!!

    Saturation Idx: -0.5
    CYA: 30
    Tot. Chl: 0.2
    Free Chl: 0.2
    pH: 7.6
    Tot. Alk: 38
    Adj. Tot. Alk: 29
    Tot. Hardness: 214
    Minerals: 1800-2000
    Borates: 39
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    If your FC and Tc are truly .2-----------------there AIN'T none in there. See the chlorine/CYa chart in pool school and instructions for shocking and holding shock level. You also need to know the gallon capacity of your pool. You're gonna need a bunch of liquid bleach.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    SPKNout4CHRIST's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    I added 4 lbs of super soluble yesturday and plan to get the water tested tomorrow morning. The pool is 22,600 gallons. How much bleach do you estimate I would need?
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Welcome to TFP.

    The issue you have is that you do not have enough chlorine in your pool. You need to add enough chlorine to start killing all the algea. Algea will start using up the chlorine so you need to keep adding it to maintain a level that will keep killing the algea. Shocking the pool is not a one time addition. You must keep adding chlorine to the water so that over time you will get ahead of the algea and kill it completely.
    In tjhe upper right corner of the web page is "Pool School". There are lots of really good articles to help get you started. One is
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    This will give you an idea of where to start. The first thing to do at this point is stay out of the pool store. All that stuff they are telling you to add isnt doing any good at this point. Your pH looks ok, the TA is a little low, but that can be fixed later. You need to get on the track of killling the algea. The best thing to do is go to the grocery store and buy several gallons of liquid chlorox. If you will ost back the gallons of water in the pool, we can tell you how much to get.
    the second thing to look into is a good test kit so you can test you own water. There is no substitute for a good test kit.
    My suggestion at this point is read through pool school and read it again Then, post back with questions. People are here to help.
    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: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Welcome!!

    Time for you to visit pool school. Especially the section on algae.

    And bookmark this link to Pool Calculator It will do the math for you. First thing is killing that algae. Ignore the rest for now; CYA is good, pH is acceptable and you won't be able to test and adjust it during shocking anyway. The rest is easy to fix later.

    Pool school will discuss test kits, but if you really want to get your pool in shape as fast and as cheap as possible, head for http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html and order up a TF100. Now. I recommend a speedstir as well. In fact, if you're going through shocking (It's a process, not a product nor a one-time activity) get some extra FAS-DPD powder and R-0871. You'll be needing more; may as well combine it all and save on shipping. Avoid the Pool Store as much as possible, they are more interested in selling you snake oils than making it troublefree.

    Watch the flow coming out the return jets, as well as the pressure gauge on your filter. If it slows down, or builds up pressure, backflush. Once you have a good kill on the algae, that's when I'd do a teardown and thorough cleaning, and get a baseline pressure reading then, with clean water and clean grids.

    If you have your own test kit, follow directions, and only add what's needed, you can have a crystal clear, sparkling pool that will be the envy of the neighbors in less than a month. Probably more like two weeks.
    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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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Quote Originally Posted by SPKNout4CHRIST
    The pool is 22,600 gallons. How much bleach do you estimate I would need?
    With your stabilizer level at 30 (not sure thats a real number at this point but we will go with it) you will need to raise the chlorine level to around 20 ppm. For your size pool, thats about 7 gallons of 6% bleach. However, you will need closer to 20 gallons more than likely, since you are going to need to keep adding bleach to maintain that 20 ppm. The other tihng you can do if you can find it is to buy some 12% chlorinating liquid (its bleach just double concentrate) and you can cut down the number of jugs.
    Run the filter 24/7 while shocking the pool.
    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: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Is it okay for me to add the bleach to the pool even though it is a salt water pool using the mineral springs system? I guess I was under the impression not to add chlorine to the pool since it has that system that makes its own. I am completely clueless to what to do/not do for the mineral springs system. Thank you!

    Also, would it benefit me to clean the inside of the DE filter? I have backwashed, but have not cleaned the inside of the filter and it has not been cleaned to my knowledge since at least Sept or even earlier. The starting PSI after adding DE is around 21 PSI.
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Adding liqud chlorine does nothing to the SWG. While you are shocking, the SWG can help you MAINTAIN the shock level. To get to shock level, you need liquid chlorine, because you want to get the FC level up fast. Since your salt is too low for the SWG to produce chlorine, you can either add salt and use the SWG to help with the shock process, or just use liquid while shocking and worry about the salt later.
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Do I need to clean the grids on the inside of my DE filter by taking them out and washing them off?
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    I would go ahead and open up the filter and clean off the grids. Since you PSI is already around 20 they are likely pretty dirty. Note what your clean starting pressure is after the grids are clean and fresh DE has been added.

    I do have some concerns about the Mineral Springs system. I have done a little research and all I can find so far is that the system is a standard Goldline Saltwater Chlorine Generator (SWG), and a "propriatory blend of minerals, stabilizers, filter enhancements and buffers". I would want to know exactly what all those buffers, stabilizers, ect are before adding any more to the pool. You always want to know exactly what you are putting in the pool so you can stay on top of your water chemistry. Odds are they contain things you don't want in the pool, such as copper and silver, or things you can get less expensively at the grocery store such as borates and baking soda.

    A SWG does not need a "mineral pack" to operate. Just make sure you have enough salt and the water is warm enough (above 60 degrees I think) to generate chlorine.

    Once you have algae you need to suppliment chlorine production with liquid chlorine to complete the shock process. The beauty of a SWG is that it produces a consistent amount of chlorine over a long period of time. That is great for keeping chlorine levels consistent in the pool, but the SWG will have a tough time keeping up with the voratious appetite of the algae! Trying to shock with a SWG alone will significantly shorten the life of your SWG cell. As the previous posts state, you need to bring the chlorine (FC) up to shock level and keep it the until you pass the overnight test (You lose less than 1 ppm FC from dark to dawn, your combined chlorine is .5 ppm or less, and the water is clear). Once you have passed the overnight test the shocking process will be complete and you can let your SWG take over chlorinating the pool.

    I just read up on some of the other stuff you put in the pool. Banish is a copper algaecide. You do not want to add copper to your pool! This can result in staining over time. Lo and Slow is pH reducer. You can use dry acid or muriatic acid (MA) to lower pH as well. MA will cost less. Super soluble is just dichlor granuels. Dichlor is a stabilzed chlorine product. You will need to keep a close eye on your CYA/stabilizer levels if you continue to use it in your pool. With a SWG you want to keep your CYA level around 70-80 ppm.
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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Ok. So I have soked it all in and have gone and purchased 18 bottles of 1.45 Gallon 6% bleach. I had another test run on the water this morning and the updated numbers are below. I am still trying to figure out the pool calculator, but should I go ahead and add 7 jugs of the bleach? What else do I need to do in regards to the numbers below to get the green out? Thank you all for the help and I feel that I am learning a lot!!

    CYA: 13
    Tot. Chl: .8
    Free Chl: .8
    pH: 7
    Tot. Alk: 24
    Adj Tot Alk: 20
    Tot. Hardness 252
    Minerals: 2200
    Borates: 46
    No Copper or Iron
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Dump in the bleach, 7 gallons.
    Your next purchase should be a good test kit. Either the TF-100 or the Taylor 2006. Look at your pool store results from those 2 tests. Your CYA was 30 and now its 13. Your TA was 38 now its 24. Your pH was 7.6 now its 7.0. See how these results are not accurate? In order to maintain the pool properly, you really need your own test kit. And, using the FAS-DPD test kit for chlorine is really the only way to measure FC during the shock process.

    Now, do you have an OTO chlorine kit? You can probably get one at the pool store or even walmart, although they may not be out yet this time of year at walmart. The kit will only measure up to 5 ppm, but you can use a dilution method to get close as to what your FC levels are.
    The key here is to not let the FC drop too much below shock level while you are killlng all that algea. If the FC drops to a low level, the algea will just take hold again.
    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: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    I am currently cleaning the filter manually. It is covered all over in algae. I will then dump the 7 gallons of bleach. No I do not have a OTO chlorine test kit. I bought some $10 test kit at the pool store, but that is all that I have right now in the way of testing.
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    I have added 7 gallons of bleach (1 hr ago) and just tested the water with the kit that I have. It shows free chl up to 10ppm and the color it came out as was a lot darker than that. Do I need to add more bleach now or wait? What should I do about adding more bleach until I can get a better kit? Thanks!
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Your $10 kit is probably an OTO kit. It's got 2 tests? One with Red for PH and 1 yellow for Chlorine?

    BK has pointed out all the things I noticed so I'll just echo -

    1) It is impossible that those pool store tests are correct. Too much bouncing around.
    2) Dont worry about all TA, CH, etc for now. There'll be a time to adjust those. For now they are fine and you just need chlorine. Lots and lots of chlorine.
    3) Take it easy on the Super Soluble. It's a mix of CYA and chlorine. Once the CYA goes in you can't get it out. You want some CYA but you're probably around 30 - 50ppm right now.
    4) Make sure you reload your DE filter with DE - (Just in case )

    We are all gonna say - Get a TF100 test kit. I promise this isn't just another $100 pool solution ala the pool store. With a good test kit and the knowledge to use it there is no reason you can't operate your pool with the SWG for just a few bucks a month in Chemicals.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    Try diluting your pool water sample 50/50 with tap water. That way you can guestimate your chlorine at the higher levels.

    Dont stop adding chlorine. If you kill half the algae and then let it double in size - you are right back where you started - and that chlorine is wasted cost.

    So Test 50/50 and if your still around "10" = actually 20ppm cause you diluted your water - wait an hour or so and test again.

    Keep that chlorine up in the shock range - 15 -20ppm (making some big CYA assumptions)
    Keep the pump running 24/7 to filter out the dead algae

    You wont be able to do a true overnight loss test with an OTO kit - so you wont know exactly when you are done shocking. You will notice you stop losing chlorine in your oto test. If it were me I'd keep it at shock level until it stopped dropping and then continue at shock level for a couple more days just to be sure.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    I have added a total of 8.5 gallons of bleach so far. I have added right at 11.5 gallons of bleach so far. 7 gallons early yesturday afternoon. Checked the levels again about an hour later and added 1.42 more gallons (1.42 gallon jugs) and then checked off and on until about 9 pm when I added 2.84 more gallons before calling it a night. I checked the levels this morning and it was still reading at least a 10 with the dilluted water testing. Should I add more bleach this morning or wait until later? The water is still green, but seems to have more of a blueish tint to it, or maybe that is wishful thinking on my part! I will be gone for church later for a couple of hours and am wondering if I should add some more to make sure it does not go below while I am gone. Thanks!
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    1. did you add DE when you cleaned filter ?
    2. is pump running 24 hours a day ?
    3. did you vacuum pool bottom ?

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    1. Yes, I added DE to the filter when I cleaned the filter. I have been watching the pressure and it has risen about 5 PSI
    2. Yes, the pump is running non-stop.
    3. No. I have not vacuumed the pool yet. I have been brushing it each day, but still cannot see the bottom in the shallow or the deep end. I planned to brush it today after church, but it seems it is going to rain all day.
    22,600 gal. Vinyl Inground, FNS Plus 60 DE Filter, WhisperFlo 1HP Pump, SWG, Dolphin Nautilus

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    Re: New to Pools..Algae and Filter Question

    for all the green pools I've seen locally, the quickest way to a clear water pool included always vacuuming the waste from the bottom as you may now have a dead biomass that could be substantial at the bottom.

    do you have a pool cleaner or a manual vacuum ? if no, a simple hose setup/long pole/manual vacuum head from home depot will do but the easiest way is to connect your cleaner (ie. "the pool cleaner", "hayward poolvac" etc) and let it run along and pickup the detritus to the filter.

    depending on the stuff coming out, I would likely vacuum to waste (open the waste valve and allow the water to be flushed to the lawn but be careful with the chlorine killing your garden or lawn) for at least a short duration so I can see what is coming out from the bottom (duration less than 5 minutes), others have different preferences and your water situation may dictate best course of action.

    one recent escapade included a total drain (literally about 75% of the water volume) until we could see the sludge at bottom. I simply used tall boots and moved the submersible pump around the bottom. then filled up with new water and pool was all ready in 24 hours. cost of water was rebated by local utility for the sewer portion.

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