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Thread: Where to begin with our swamp?

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    Where to begin with our swamp?

    Hi there,
    We used a new cover this year, and unfortunately, it broke partway through the winter. As you can see, we are faced with a 20 x 40 foot swamp and no idea where to even begin. Obviously, the people at the pool store are trying to sell a copious amount of chemicals with no understanding of the issue. We have begun by removing leaves and other solids.

    Please help point us in the right direction. Thanks!!

    33,000 Gallon 20' x 40' In-Ground Vinyl
    DE Filter
    Michigan

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    Welcome to TFP!

    There is a great article here on cleaning up a green swamp. The first step is to get everything solid out that you possibly can.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    Welcome to the forum

    You came the right place and are off to a good start!
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    Mine looked just like that this year when I opened it. We had a colicy baby late in the season last year and pool care suffered badly (ok, we all suffered badly.) But we're past all that now and on our way to a nice blue pool. Our cover was intact and we had little to dig out, which is nice.

    The link that JasonLion posted has all the info you need, but feel free to ask as you go along. Mainly, you're going to want to dig out everything you can with a leaf net. If you haven't already, order a good test kit (Taylor K-2006 or TF-100.) This will allow you to post the full set of numbers that the folks on here are going to need to help you tackle that monster. But once you get to start adding chlorine, you'll see dramatic changes. Just remember, the more material you can scoop or vacuum out, the faster the water will clear. You won't believe how sparkling blue that nasty black water is going to be when you're done!!

    Good luck!

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    Hi there. Thanks for the replies so far!We just had our water tested and here are the results, according to the Bio Guard test system.

    FC - 0
    CC - 5
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 225
    CH - 170
    CYA - 70

    I've added a few gallons of bleach but I'm concerned we haven't hit it hard enough. The pool store people, naturally, recommended a pH reducer and their store brand bleach. His rationale was "Clorox has phosphates in it and they bond with water and make it the bleach less effective." Clearly, he struggled with introductory chemistry courses.
    33,000 Gallon 20' x 40' In-Ground Vinyl
    DE Filter
    Michigan

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    One wonders how anyone could imagine there where phosphates in bleach?

    CYA at 70 is a little high for a major clean up, but not a huge problem.

    I'm a little more worried about the high TA. There is some risk of the PH drifting up and it won't be possible to adjust PH during shocking. I suggest you lower the PH down to between 7.0 and 7.2 before starting to shock, just to give yourself some extra room in case the PH goes up while at shock level.

    Shock level with CYA at 70 is 20 to 28.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    Probably because there are phosphates in laundry detergent (not all, I know it's a blanket statement) and so if it's Clorox it must have phosphates too.

    Phosphates make a GREAT algae fertilizer. It would not be a good idea to have them in your pool!
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    Phosphates don't make any difference as long as you maintain the correct FC levels. Chlorine kills algae. If the algae is dead, it doesn't matter if there is algae food in the water or not.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    I'm talking lots of phosphates running off into into rivers, streams, ponds, etc. due to laundry detergent. I was actually making a funny, as in that must have been what the pool store guy was thinking of.
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    kevintoh,

    I feel your pain! My pool looks the same way. Good luck to you... and take comfort in knowing your not the only one having a swamp to clean!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Making progress!

    Thanks to everyone for their help! I appreciate it!!

    Here is where we stand today. I'm still having a couple of issues: I've been adding bleach based on calculations from the Pool Calculator (very cool site!!) and our FC readings are still pretty much zero. Should I be adding bleach daily? I added 7.5 gallons today and still haven't observed any improvement.


    33,000 Gallon 20' x 40' In-Ground Vinyl
    DE Filter
    Michigan

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    You should be adding bleach at least twice a day. If you go too long between bleach additions you don't make as much progress.

    From the photo, the shallow end looks good, but the deep end looks green and cloudy. You might not have very good water circulation in the deep end. Do you have a main drain that could be turned on? Or can you aim a return jet down into the deep end of the pool?

    How has the filter pressure been behaving? Have you been cleaning/backwashing the filter?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    You should be adding bleach at least twice a day. If you go too long between bleach additions you don't make as much progress.

    From the photo, the shallow end looks good, but the deep end looks green and cloudy. You might not have very good water circulation in the deep end. Do you have a main drain that could be turned on? Or can you aim a return jet down into the deep end of the pool?

    How has the filter pressure been behaving? Have you been cleaning/backwashing the filter?
    Thanks for the reply, Jason. We have been backwashing regularly and the bottom drain is on. I'll try to adjust the single deep-end return to point down. As far as bleach goes - should I add the full dose that the Pool Calculator recommends twice daily? IIRC it says to add like 11 gallons to go from 0 FC to 20 FC. That would be quite a bit of bleach for one day!
    33,000 Gallon 20' x 40' In-Ground Vinyl
    DE Filter
    Michigan

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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    You add what you need to in order to get to your FC target. If the FC dropped to zero each time, then yes you'd add enough to get to your FC target, but adding it more frequently will likely not have it get to zero so you shouldn't have to add as much. In fact, by keeping the FC up higher for longer, you will get ahead of the losses and in the long run will use less chlorine.
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    The best thing to do is test each time before an addition and put that number in the Now column of the Pool Calc. That'll tell you how much to add. That way if it's not zero you'll only be adding what's required to get from where you are to shock level. You'll soon start noticing that you're adding less and less each time.
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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    I do about a dozen of these a year... looks like you're getting close. But I've had pools "eat-up" 40ppm of chlorine in less than an hour... On a recent job, the pool "ate" almost 200ppm of FC before it held. I thought I got all of the "muck" out of the bottom, but every time I poured chlorine in it, more stuff just kept floating to the top!

    For contrast, I am just finishing another swamp clean-up from yesterday where we did a 70% drain (CYA ~200ppm)... I poured in some drop-out the night before, and slowly vacuumed everything to waste - and used about 40ppm on the whole job (just tested - FC holding at 19ppm this morning).

    [edit - This job from yesterday, CYA ~200ppm, was being serviced by the "#1" pool guy in our area. Needless to say, they're now my customer... I hope the competition keeps performing quality work!]



    [edited to add today's "after" picture - falls adjusting T/A in this picture...]

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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    Even us "veterans" open to swamp conditions. Due to an extended turkey season and teenage kid sport schedule, I didn't pull back the mesh cover until 2 weeks ago. Loveliest emerald green I've seen in a long time! It took 6 days of maintaining shock level, constant 24/7 circulation, daily brushing, pH balancing, and after another 6 days of slowly clearing I added clarifier was rewarded the next morning with a clear pool. (I've never used clarifier before but had heard many here give positive marks ONCE chlorine held and pool was balanced). Total of 12 days. I went through testing chemicals and had to order more from Taylor direct. I had confidence that it would clear as I've been down this road before. Yours too will clear.

    And just smile at your pool store employees, they don't know any better.
    CaryB
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Where to begin with our swamp?

    I didn't see any mention of you getting your own quality test kit. If you're just depending on the pool stores BioGard test system, keep in mind that FC will max out at 5 even if you're over that. You should get a Taylor K-2006 or TFTestkits TF-100 so you can test your chlorine level yourself.

    As JasonLion said, you should be adding chlorine twice a day, but it should be based on how much FC is there at the time you're going to add it. This is where the poolcalculator is really handy. You put in your "now" number and your "target" number (based on what your CYA level is) and it will tell you how much you need to add. Do that twice a day to keep your pool at shock level and with brushing, vacuuming and filtration it will be crystal clear.

    -- Pete
    32x16 ft Grecian rectangular vinyl pool 8ft on deep end - 19000 gal. 18" Hayward S-240 sand filter. 250K BTU Pentair MasterTemp heater. Hayward 3/4 HP Super Pump.

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