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Thread: Help! Need sparkling pool and had failures

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Help! Need sparkling pool and had failures

    Two years ago I had a friend helping and we used BBB. I struggled a lot with my pool last year, trying to do BBB. The same friend helped a little and during the first half of the season I was doing okay. I would mess up and it would start going green, but I'd just shock it. At the end of the season, however, I tried and it just kept going green. I am guessing it's because we had many weeks that were very hot and dry but then for a while we had a lot of rain. The rain is usually why my pool goes green.

    So, at the end of the season, the pool was quite green and swampy. I had made a couple attempts to shock it back, and one attempt got it blue but it quickly went green again a few days later. I ended up tossing a cover on it for the winter. I am putting my house on the market shortly, and will need to keep it perfect for months. Can't show this house with a less-than-sparkling-blue pool!

    Firstly, I guess I need to follow the swamp instructions and spend days and get the pool blue, but I am dreading having to maintain it constantly after that. I have done the swamp recovery instructions from this forum many times before, and was only successful half the time. When it didn't work, I was probably not using enough bleach OR not keeping the level up for long enough.

    I'm willing to never swim in the pool, so I was hoping for more tips based on that. Since I don't plan to get in, I am thinking I should keep the chlorine levels higher than normal (as a fail safe) and keep pH down around 7.0 so the bleach goes farther?

    This other friend of mine saw my failed attempts with dozens of bottles of bleach, and is convinced that bleach is not a good way to go. (Also the effort lugging around bleach was hard for me.) In my case, where I need the pool to LOOK good but not be swimmable, can I use tablet chlorine? (If it ends up swimmable, I will use it, but I would rather have less money and effort into the pool.)

    Also, I am not sure if I should keep the pool open without the black tarp cover in between showings. If I cover and uncover it, that's a lot of work, but at least I am cutting down on the sunlight and evaporation. (Water bill was killer last year, at least this is the start of the season with less heat.) Hopefully there's a lot of showings so I have to keep it open. Do I put the solar cover in betwee showings -- probably not?

    Can I use those additives that say they add "sparkle" to the water, or will that make things tougher?

    Normally in my area, I would wait until mid to late May to open the pool, but in this case the house will be going up late April or early May.

    Perhaps I should find someone who is sure they can keep the pool blue... ideas on how much this would cost me... and would they only need to come once a week? I have a tight budget and my friend is going to be ****** if I spend much, but as I said, the pool is very important for prospective buyers to see. Rather than me stressing and possibly getting green tinges to my pool, could be worth hiring. I also have a lot of other tasks that need my attention, but if I do it myself, I would try hard to monitor every day or two.

    I'd really appreciate any advice on what I should consider, do, or not do.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Need sparkling pool and had failures

    Sorry to hear about your issues. You'll need a good test kit . Failing to montior your pool water chemistry and not keeping the pool properly chlorinated in the past is what caused it to go green, not the rain . If you follow the shocking instructions (during which you'll need to monitor water chemistry) you can have a blue sparkly pool. However it requires a commitment and investment of time and money. Yes a good test kit may run you $50-$75, but think about how much chlorine you have likely used without much success...as you said likely due to not adding enough or keeping FC at shock level long enough

    If you can at least give us an accurate CYA reading and can invest some $ in a Fas-DPD chlorine test kit, we may be able to get you on the temporary road to recovery
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Need sparkling pool and had failures

    The whole process is easier when the water is cold. Algae grows much more slowly, so killing it is simpler.

    If you want the water to really sparkle, it is best to take the cover off and leave it off. Having a cover on most of the time does reduce the amount of chemicals you need to use, but it also makes things unstable and much more prone to serious problems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Help! Need sparkling pool and had failures

    You have not been using BBB. As noted in your threads Getting pool back to normal, Water is green & can't see. Help!, and Ready to turn my swamp into a swimming pool, you never got your own good test kit. You were relying on the pool store for readings which are often wrong and you then used an HTH test kit that had a CYA test and later a Taylor K-1001, but not a FAS-DPD test so could not test accurately for higher chlorine levels. In June, 2009, you noted lingering cloudiness which means that you either stopped the shock process too early or were not maintaining a high enough FC for your CYA level. At 50 ppm CYA, you would need to keep the FC at least at 4 ppm if not higher, but cannot accurately measure that with a DPD chlorine test.

    I do not understand the resistance you had to buying either a Taylor K-2006 or a TF-100 test kit (or the FAS-DPD chlorine only test kit) since accurate testing is one of the most important tenants of the BBB method, another being maintaining an FC level appropriate to the CYA level. The least important aspect of BBB is using bleach. I use 12.5% chlorinating liquid, for example, and others use Cal-Hypo or Trichlor on occasion so long as they know the side effects. In Should I use my Sani King Perform Max? Liquidator?, it sounds like doing manual dosing is too inconvenient and I suspect that means skipping doses and not having a FAS-DPD to know the true chlorine level which would explain problems if the FC were too low for the CYA level. This is why automated dosing systems such as The Liquidator or a peristaltic pump or a saltwater chlorine generator (SWG) are good options for those who either want more convenience or who cannot otherwise maintain proper FC/CYA levels.
    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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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Help! Need sparkling pool and had failures

    You are right, and I have the FAS-DPD for this year. What I was doing the previous year worked pretty good overall, and in the start of last year, so I was surprised I had so much trouble for the last half of last year. (Last year I used the proper CYA test too, using R-0013, but found it hard to read and had to make guesses a little.)

    I do think I wasn't keeping the shock levels up for long enough, I should have gone another day or so. Also there was probably algae that didn't get brushed, some parts are hard to reach, I don't know if the deep end can be reached When it gets bad, most of the visible algae is in the shallow end.

    Many times the pool was blue for days to weeks, or only slightly green. However I'm guessing I was only "barely" keeping the pool in check most of the time. Almost all of the times it went green was after rain. I think the pH went up, eating up my chlorine, so I was getting in the habit of dumping muriatic acid after rain, but it was taking a lot of the muriatic acid too, I don't want to be dumping in half a gallon every week or so! pH would go so high, like 7.8-8.2+.

    Friend tweaked TA at the start of the season and it seemed fine the whole time. I hardly messed with CYA levels except for getting it to 30+ at the start of the season. I know 30 is a bit low, I might have an easier time if I got it higher? I only did enough to be sure I was over 30 for the next months, because mine started out so low. Based on the pool calculator, I ended up adding something like 12 lbs of baking soda and it still was only barely there, so I added another 6 lbs I believe. I wasn't keen on adding another 18 lbs. Maybe I should add more.

    My vinyl liner is falling on one side, and that concrete exposure could cause complications I suppose. Water does seem to leak out there somewhat, which was causing me problems because I'd add fresh water... causing my chemical levels to drop (I am guessing)... but perhaps it was okay, since it was just a tiny percentage of the pool volume.
    Inground oval approx 17.5' x 35' (with middle of deep end 9'?) so guessing 27000 gallons. Vinyl liner, BBB chlorine. Dolphin. Portable fullsize spa not currently in use.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Help! Need sparkling pool and had failures

    In order to fully take control of your pool, you need to be comitted to doing so. It sounds as though you never really got to that point. Clearing a green pool takes work and then, once clear, adherance to the protocols that we teach folks to follow is required to maintain things. Let up for a moment and you are back to square one again, only to have to start all over once more. Because BBB takes a bit of testing, learning, and doing, all of which require an investment of time and some money initially to buy testing items, this may be something that at the current time, you are just unable to dedicate yourself fully to. Because of that, you may be best served by using a pool service until such a time that you are willing and able to go forward with BBB on your own as a whole. It's not something that we tell people to do typically, but because you want to sell the place and appearances matter so much right now and it sounds like you have a full plate already, this may be the best thing for you to do at the moment. But, if you really want to handle it on your own and use BBB (which always works when done correctly) commit yourself to the task and do it.

    As an aside, you really should have the liner looked at where it has come down on one side. It's not a good thing to have water under the liner like that.

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