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Thread: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

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    adoptolderkids's Avatar
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    Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Good heavens, it is AWFUL.

    Started opening this beast up over the weekend. The pool sat with a cover full of holes for at least two years, and the water was a nasty deep dark green. My husband emptied out half the water and refilled after getting the pump & filter going. Then we shut it off and netted out a ton of leaves. There may be more, but we can't see the bottom to check. We threw in 5 bags of super-shock on Saturday and backwashed the filter. The water went from dark green to light green. We threw in another bag yesterday, and scrubbed the sides and bottom as best we could. Started seeing mucous blobs in the water - total grossout! This morning I poured in about 30 oz of algaecide after scrubbing the entire thing again. The water is now a weird bluish-grey color. Still terribly murky. After adding the algaecide, the water got a gross thick film on the top in the section furthest from the return.

    Bought a test kit - strips. These numbers are the only ones it reads:

    FC - 0
    pH - 7.2
    Total Alkalinity - 40
    Total Hardness - 100
    Cyanuric Acid - 30-50

    After reading here, I see that we need to keep that FC number up, so I went and dumped in another bag of shock, but I guess I need to purchase a whole lot more! We wanted to be able to use the pool this weekend, but it sounds like this war might take a while. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I've never had a pool before, and I'm terrified I'm going to dump in the wrong stuff at the wrong time and completely ruin everything.
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Welcome to TFP (northern Neighbor)

    Stop using the powdered shock and attack with liquid chlorine. Powdered shock will either raise your hardness or stabilizer levels too much.

    Here are a few links that should help you out...getting a good test kit such as the TF100 (tftestkits.net) or the taylor k-2006 should be 1st priority.

    pool-school/defeating_algae

    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    turning-your-green-swamp-back-into-a-sparking-oasis-t4147.html

    pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Welcome to TFP!

    You should raise your TA level up to about 70 or 80.

    It is crucial that you get everything solid out of the pool that you possibly can.

    Instead of adding chlorine haphazardly, try to maintain FC at 15 more consistently until you stop losing chlorine overnight. That means testing and adding chlorine at least twice a day, more if practical.

    Algaecide isn't really going to help. Algaecide is best at preventing algae from getting started, and has little effect against a full bore algae bloom.

    How has the filter pressure been behaving? Have you been backwashing the filter as needed?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    adoptolderkids's Avatar
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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Thanks for the quick replies!

    We've backwashed the filter twice so far. Not at all today. The glass bulb thing gets dirty, and then we backwash. Should we be doing it more often? I will have my husband do it when he gets home from work today! I've been emptying the basket full of gunk every hour or so. The neighbor has a tree that shoots seeds over to our pool constantly. Lovely. I've had my kids out trying to keep up with the skimming. I think we have gotten as many leaves out as possible - nothing else is coming up, but it's hard to be certain when things are so murky!

    The filter pressure was at around 15 yesterday, today it's at about 18.

    The TA was at 80 the first time we tested it, but I guess it has gone down since yesterday.

    I'll be off for Walmart in about 2 hours. I will buy as much liquid chlorine as the cart can hold, if you're telling me that's what I need. I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, so I can pop out and add more on a schedule, no problem.

    Thanks for the links!
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    You want to backwash when the filter pressure goes up by about 6 psi from what it is when clean.

    Liquid chlorine/bleach is the best way to go (except for the carrying).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Welcome to TFP, the fine people here will have you clear and blue in no time.
    Currently Pooless

    Former Pool:Buster Crabbe resin and steel 30'x15' oval 52" ABG pool Pentair sand dollar filter 1.5 Pentair Dynamo pump13,500 gallons

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Well, I just retested the water again - an hour since dumping in a bag of the supershock, and the strip was reading at most a 1. I threw in the remaining 2 bags and I guess that is it until my husband gets home!

    I'm going to post pics in a minute, Melissa! The water is certainly looking blue-grey. Lots of foamy, filmy white. Blech. I just skimmed out another booger-bomb. lol
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Bottom of the pool gunk & seed pods.



    Pump & filter. It says "Hayward."


    It's a circle. Nothing special.


    Gross film.


    More nasty.


    It really has improved. I wish I had taken photos - it was GREEN, but it is now a blue-grey.
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Oh! Hate to spam my own thread, but how much chlorine should I purchase? I tried using the calculator, but I am apparently no good with it at all. I swear I'm not stupid, but I can't make it say anything other than the defaults.
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    I suggest getting six to eight large jugs of bleach, maybe a little more. If you don't use it all shocking you can always use it to add chlorine day to day.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    On the calculator:
    Select a "Suggested Goal Levels" near the bottom, I use troublefreepool.com
    Be sure you enter the volume of your pool, otherwise it is going to have no idea what to tell you. Other than that, don't have any idea why you'd be getting defaults.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    I am SUCH a spazz. I went to Walmart and looked at the bleach choices, and then bought nothing. NOTHING. I noticed that the super shock packages said calcium hypochlorite 40-55%, , and the great value regular bleach said sodium hypochlorite 6%. I started freaking that this was different and now I need reassurance that this isn't going to mess up the pool. Any worse than it is, I mean. That math is already considered in the calculator, yes?

    I apologize for not being more trusting, but I didn't write anything down and then when I saw the difference in the names I got freaked out. I plan to go back after dinner if someone just tells me to stop being an idiot. (Walmart is 2 minutes from my house, so it isn't a big drive for me!)

    Robbie - I refreshed the page and it is working now. Thank you!
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Ok, my husband went with me and we just dumped the indicated amount of bleach into the pool. Now we start the every half-hour check!
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Breath in, breath out, repeat x3. Just about all of us here have been where you are now and we understand panic and confusion. Don't worry, you and the pool will be fine!

    You have been using calcium hypochlorite (we often call it cal-hypo). It is a form of powdered chlorine combined with calcium. It will not harm your pool when used properly. Bleach is liquid chlorine, which is what we at TFP recommend on a regular basis. When you buy liquid "shock" at the pool store it is also sodium hypochlorite only in a stronger concentration of 10-12%. It will not harm your pool when used properly.

    We recommend liquid chlorine since it does not add anything to the pool that would be problematic over time. Calcium hypochlorite adds calcium to the water. Calcium within the recommended range is a good thing. Too much calcium can lead to problems with scale formation over time. The only way to reduce the amount of calcium in a pool is to have a reverse osmosis water treatment (not widely available) or to drain and refill a percentage of the water. This problem is more likely to affect plaster pool surfaces than vinyl liners.
    There are other powdered "shock" products that contain dichlor or trichlor. Dichlor/trichlor shocks also contain CYA (cyuanic acid, also known as stabilizer or conditioner). The standard recommended range for CYA is 30-50. CYA in the recommended range is a good thing. It protects the chlorine from UV rays so that is effective longer. Too much CYA will provide too much protection to the chlorine and it won't sanitize the pool unless you increase the amount of chlorine used. Chlorine tablets are usually trichlor and also contain CYA. Over use of tablets will result in too much CYA as well. Like calcium, the only way to lower the CYA is with reverse osmosis, or draining and refilling a percentage of the water. This is why we like liquid chlorine, it doesn't add anything extra to the water other than a little salt.

    This is also why we recommend a high quality test kit, such as the TF 100 or the Taylor K2006. Either of these test kits will allow you to perform your own tests so you will be able to properly dose your pool and not toss chemicals in blindly and hope they work. Since you are clearing a swampy mess you will need to know your free chlorine (FC) levels so you can complete the shock process. That means testing and dosing the pool every couple of hours at first. Test strips will not give an accurate reading and are not helpful when shocking a pool. Pool store testing is a little better, but not much. However, until you have a high quality test kit, take a sample of water to the pool store and have it tested. Do not buy anything from the pool store! (buy some liquid chlorine if you feel guilty) Oh, and sometimes Walmart has the HtH 6 way test kit. It is drop based and while not as good as the TF100 or Taylor kits, it is way better than strips. Post the results here and we will help you to proceed.
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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Thank you for being so nice! I am easily stressed out, but I'm much calmer at the moment. Yeah, right now we just have the strips. It looks like the huge amount of bleach we poured in jumped us up to between 3 and 5 - at least that is what it looks like. You're right that they suck. lol
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    That range isn't high enough to shock the pool. If you don't get high enough to shock, you'll be fighting a losing battle. It is good you got the regular bleach! With your CYA level, I'd shoot for 15 to 16 ppm of FC. Will your current test kit measure that high?

    If you are right that your FC is 4, you'll need to add 3 more of the 96oz 6% bottles of bleach.
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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Oh...we've been accussed of being nice every so often

    Seriously, getting a kit and posting a full set of test results in this thread will help us get you in the right direction. It may seem like a lot of bleach, but every gallon of 6% bleach is approximately 6ppm of FC in a 10K gal pool.

    You want to get your FC up to about 15 or more, depnding on you CYA/Stabilizer level, which is why those strips become useless when they stop at 5ppm
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    I edited my post, but based on my calculations you need 3 more 96 oz bottles of 6% bleach if 4 ppm is accurate, and you'll need to hold it there, so buy more! sounds like your strips stop at 5 though, so I don't know what to tell you
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    My strips read to 10. We added in more bottles, and our last two readings (both within a half hour of each other) seem to be holding at that number. The bottles we purchased are 182 fl. oz, if I'm remembering correctly. According to the pool calculator, we needed about 348 fl oz to go from a reading of 1 to 15 FC. We dumped in 2 bottles and got between a 3 & 5 reading about 45 minutes later. That reading told us to dump in around 274 fl oz. - we dumped in another two bottles and again checked that 45 minutes later. We got the 10 max reading. Dumped in one bottle - and here we are at the max 10 reading again.

    I think we might check it one more time tonight before going to sleep. Should we dump in one or more bottles again, even if we're getting the 10?

    I do intend on getting a better test kit!
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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    Re: Proud new owner of an above-ground SWAMP

    Oh! And I have to say I am nervous about letting the pump run all night unattended.We haven't done that before. Even after backwashing tonight, the gauge was reading at 19. It won't explode overnight, right? Should we do a longer backwash? Right now my husband lets it run out for a minute, minute and a half. I've read conflicting ideas about letting it run longer.

    Edited to add - thunderstorms expected tonight. LOVELY.
    Holly
    12K gal above-ground, sand filter in Rochester, NY

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