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Thread: Wedding cake steps and floaters

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    Wedding cake steps and floaters

    Could I put a chlorine floater up under my steps to help prevent algae growth under there? I have three sets of steps so I struggle with algae under there. I would use chlorine only tablets in them to prevent my CYA from going up. Whatcha think?
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    What are 'chlorine only' tabs? The only tabs I know of that go into floaters are trichlor or dichlor, both of which contain CYA. There's granular cal-hypo which doesn't have CYA in it but I don't know if that can be used in floaters. It dissolves very quickly and would probably not work in a floater.

    Your thought of putting a floater under the steps is valid but there are some other things you can do to prevent algae in those areas.

    * You can pour a small amount of your daily bleach volume behind the steps.
    * When you add water, you can hang the hose with a nozzle spray attachment behind the steps to really stir the water up.
    * You can drill several 2" holes into the sides on the bottom. This facilitates water circulation under the steps. Additionally, whenever you brush the pool you can push water against the steps to increase circulation.

    I have some photos of our modified wedding cake steps on my Website, link in my sig (Pool Issues). We don't get algae inside the steps using the methods described above.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    Thanks for your reply! Your site is very helpful.

    My Dad has some chlorine tablets that he uses for the pool at his business. I think these tablets are only sold for commercial use. I don't think it would be bad to use a couple just to keep under my steps clear. I called the company that sells them and they confirmed they are 65 percent chlorine, with the rest being a little calcium and the stuff needed to keep them together. No stabilizer.

    I have tried all the stuff on your site, but I don't have to add water that often due to rain and when I do it doesn't really seem to help. Also, swishing water in the holes doesn't really seem to help either. Clears it a little temporarily, but I don't think there is enough flow to send the mess out the other side. So it gets stirred up and then settles again. I also tried the turkey baster trick, but not consistantly. That is my fault.

    The steps I have are completely enclosed around the sides. The bottom is open and there are a few holes. I have thought about adding more holes, but would have to figure out how to get the steps out of the water and find someone who could drill them.

    So you don't think a floater is a bad or useless idea for the stale water in there?
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    My floater kept getting caught under the ladder on my above ground pool. I now have a faded area on the liner and the rails have some rust there as well. If you have a problem with algae in that area, then you have a circulation problem, or you are not using enough chlorine or a combination of the two. You could relocate the steps closer to the return, or try to adjust the return for better circulation.

    The tablets your dad has are cal-hypo tablets. They can also be problematic, since too much calcium can lead to scale formation and calcium clouding if you are not careful about maintaining the water balance. The only way to get rid of excess calcium is to drain the water. Plus without good circulation all you are going to have is a small area of over chlorinated water and algae all around under the steps.

    Could you post a set of current test results and a couple of pictures of the pool?
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    I'd be tempted to plumb a second return behind the steps if I was having a problem. It could be a small one plumbed with tubing if need be.
    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
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole

    The steps I have are completely enclosed around the sides. The bottom is open and there are a few holes.

    They're completely enclosed, including in the back where they come up against the pool wall? No wonder you have bad to no circulation in there.

    You really should find a way to drill extra holes all around. We did ours with an auger bit on an electric drill.

    How difficult is it for you to move the steps? With ours, once I pull out the hand rails I can just push the steps out of the way. They bobble and bounce a little with the water giving them some flotation. You might have to move them and scrub the pool bottom, then put them back.

    Like zea3 said, photos would be helpful.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/6436285...in/photostream

    I am trying to see if this photo will show up. I have been trying to post a photo for a few days. My waterproof camera broke, then I couldn't remember how to actually post a picture. Searching "how to post a picture" does not help...it gave me this thread as one of the options!

    One of our steps is different. It is enclosed top tp bottom except for a small rectangle area in the back and two round holes in the bottom. I don't know why it has the indented part. It is enclosed also. We had bags of rocks in this step, and we realized one of the bags had ripped open so we removed it. While we decided how to redo the weights, I tilted the steps over on their side so they wouldn't float away. Well, we have decided that we like our little island! We swim through the handlebar and we rest on the sides. With it on its side, it seems to get better circulation into it because of the holes in the bottom being faced towards the circulation path.

    One of the white steps is secured to the wall for the ladder and they don't move. The other white steps move but are so heavy because of the weight inside the steps that I can hardly move them. The weight in the white ones is somehow inside the actually step part. I don't really remember which one. It was just a solid rectangle box that my husband filled when we got the pool. We leave the steps in year round.

    FC: 8
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.8ish...
    TA: 120
    CYA: 45ish...

    I always struggle with the pH test. Someone on here helped me a while ago by telling me to look at them as pink or orange and that has helped. There was no orange in there! As for the CYA test, I play mind games with myself. There is still a little bit of black dot showing...if I squint I still see the black dot...

    Thanks for any suggestions!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    That is a beautifully clean pool!

    I see what you mean about the steps. They do appear to be fully enclosed except for that cubby hole in the back and the oval cutouts in the bottom. Depending on where they weights go I probably would cut several 2" holes placed all around. IMO, putting a floater with a tablet or stick in that cubby hole or inside the steps themselves would produce a too high chlorine concentration in a relatively confined area. I would worry about liner damage.

    Do you have a WallWhale brush? I bought mine at Leslie's some years ago. They really move an incredible amount of water with just some light brushing action. This might be just the tool you need to manually agitate the water behind and under your steps.

    I know what you mean with the Black Dot. I used to really worry about "do I still see it or is it my imagination?" Anymore, I go by how stable my chlorine demand is. If the pool is having a hard time holding chlorine and I think I can still see the dot, I add some CYA. There does come a time early on in the season when you know the dot is gone. That happens right around 50 ppm CYA. I have so much splashout what with the big dogs swimming and dragging many gallons of water out each time they leave the pool that I refill nearly every other day and have a dilution thing going. Overdosing on CYA isn't a major concern for me.

    Ted (username: waste) once wrote an excellent post about reading the pH. I wish I could find it again. He talked not so much about the numbers as about the color shades: bleached out yellow, rich yellow, yellow with orange, orange with pink, pink . . . something like that.
    Taylor Technologies has some instruction videos you might find useful.

    As to step weights, give some thought to cutting large diameter PVC pipe to fit inside whatever space there is in your steps. You cap one end, fill the tube with QuickCrete and let it sit overnight, then cap the other end. Nothing to split open and spill into your pool.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    I have the same cake steps that you have nole. Except the top rail is different. I did something similar to Anna with mine. I drilled holes in all the weight containters and used large rocks for weight. Now my containers get circulation too. I did this because the caps for the containers weren't keeping water out and I was getting a little green algae inside. The actual steps have those holes premade from the factory and that seems to be enough with the circulation. The only problem I have is that leaves and pollen get caught underneath over time, but I guess you can stick the garden hose in and flush that out. My steps are pretty close to the return and get good flow.
    24' AGP vinyl, 3/4hp Pentair 2-speed, Pentair Quad DE 60
    Pool Rover Jr.
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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding cake steps and floaters

    I have a few holes in my steps, but I'm sure I don't get a good flow through. Every few days when I am vacuuming, I take the hose off the vacuum head and fish it down into one of the larger holes and just let it draw that water into the filter.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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