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Thread: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near empty

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    Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near empty

    So I joined last week and been reading posts as I have time. My pool used to be green and cloudy. This season, it's been better, only accasionally cloudy, usually after I brush it or it gets heavy use. Some backgound - plaster is rough, not smooth, black algae present and hard to eliminate; pool is about 40 years old; replaced the pump and DE filter about 6 years ago; been using dichlor and trichlor (tabs) for many years; pool has never been drained.
    Starting this week, been using bleach (10%), takes about 1 gal every two days. Water is unusually clear now. TF100 Test Kit on UPS truck for delivery in a few hours.
    In the meantime, been using old trusty (?) OTO.
    TC varies from 0 to 3 (depending on when bleach is added),
    pH is about 7.0 (after adding 5 lbs of soda ash). After reading in this site, figured my CYA was sky-hi. Had pool store test yesterday. Sample was 50% pool water, 50% well water. CYA was about 120 or 130 - so doubling that would put it at an extremely high number. Not sure it's valid but the best I could do until later today.
    Will post my numbers later today in this thread.
    Decided I really needed to bite the bullet and replace water, so am draining as we speak.
    Finally to my question. As long as the sides are exposed, how do I (or should I) scrub the plaster to attack the black algae? What chemicals are recommended.
    And a big thank you for this site and to all the admins and moderators and members. I like it so much, I just became a platinum member.
    News at 11. -Kevin-
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    Use a metal bristled brush to scrub the heads off the spots and then spray them with diluted bleach. Once you refill the pool, raise the FC level up to shock for a few days and continue brushing. That should take care of the problems. You'll probably want ot keep your FC on the high side of recommended once you're up and running.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    Thanks Bama Rambler.
    Here are the results with water as is.
    FC=3
    CC=3
    TC=6
    Ph=7.2
    T/A=240
    CH=620
    CYA=400 (sample was 25% pool water, 75% well water)
    I won't be doing anything more until the pool is mostly drained and water replaced. Except scrubbing and spraying the walls when the water drops.
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    OK, the pool is now filling. This may take a day. Should I add chlorine as it fills to stop any algae growth? Is it worthwhile to test the water during filling?
    The next several days will be hot - 100+. Cooling comes by Thursday.

    Thanks -Kevin-
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    Not worth testing until full as it will constantly change during the fill. Your previous water samples mean nothing when it comes to the pool's actual chemistry. You certainly can take a fill water sample into the local shop and it's a good idea to do it since this will all be new water but combining both pool and fill water into one sample and then having it checked does nothing for you. Your TA by the way...is through the roof. If you are on a well, that would easily explain it. You need to address it the minute you turn off the tap so that everything else is easier to deal with, including that black algae you mentioned. It'll help your pH be in range or at least easier to control and that in turn will help whatever chlorine you add work more efficiently. This is new water, so besides getting your TA, pH and Cl right, you'll need to add stabilizer right off the bat to keep your chlorine actually in the pool and not getting knocked off by the sun's UV rays.
    You mention you have a DE filter. You should have clearer water than most. They filter down to 1 micron. A sand filter only does down to 40 microns. Clear, safe pool water relies on chemistry and filtration. Lack one of these and your pool will turn. If you have had issues with your clarity and your filter is operating properly, there's only one other culprit.
    One thing I should add here, regarding your black algae issue. Keep that FC level up for a bit and add what's called a polyquat algacide. It's expensive but it's the best thing out there to combat black or mustard alage effectively and works well in a high chlorine environment as compared to the cheaper "window wash" dimethyl algacide.
    15' x 42" Intex Easy Set Blue Blob AGP, 3100gal, Intex SWCG Titanium
    Hayward EC-30 DE/40GPM

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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    So I decided to empty the pool since the remaining water was too dirty after cleaning the sides.
    Pool now filled. Results:
    FC = 0
    CC = 0
    TC = 0
    pH = 7.5
    T/A = 220
    CH = 140
    CYA = 0
    Temp = 67.3
    CSI = 0.02
    I'm following the recommendations from The Pool Calculator. On my way to store to buy stabilizer and acid.
    Not sure how to approach lowering TA and increasing CH. How do I aerate the water? Who sells Calcium Chloride?
    Thanks -Kevin-
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    The easiest way to aerate is to aim an eyeball at the surface and let it do it for you. No rush about doing that. What are you aiming for your CYA to be?

    THat's pretty low CH for your location. The pool place is the easiest place to get it. Ag stores will usually have it also.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    Hmmm, don't have 'eyeballs', just pipe flush with the walls of the pool. Maybe I can rig up a shop vac to blow into the pool.
    I'll measure CH again, maybe cockpit error.
    CYA - The Pool Calc indicated a target of 30 - 50 so I'm going for 40.
    Thanks. -Kevin-
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    Rechecked the CH, still came up 140.
    Saw many examples of aerators on this site - should have looked first before wasting bandwidth asking. Anyway, will build one tomorrow. Then will start the lower pH, aerate process.
    CYA being added using the sock/skimmer method.
    Added bleach (after sun was off the pool surface) to bring TC up to 5
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    Now have Hardness Plus and acid/aerators. Does it matter whether I go after CH first then TA? Or the other way around? Simultaneously?
    Thanks to Rangeball for the aerator design and Bama Rambler for the help.
    BTW, the pool, even at this early stage, is sparkling!!! I never thought it was possible after enduring the last 30 years of an ugly pool. Huge thanks to everyone on TroublefreePool.com
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    Here are some pix of how I spent my 4th. Nice to see some positive progress.
    [attachment=2:2xzrc2ji]pumping_out.jpg[/attachment:2xzrc2ji]
    [attachment=1:2xzrc2ji]walls_scrubbed.jpg[/attachment:2xzrc2ji]
    [attachment=0:2xzrc2ji]refilled.jpg[/attachment:2xzrc2ji]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    Here are the aerators in action. 1" pvc, not to be used while pool is occupied
    [attachment=1:gwesk7l7]aerators(lo_res).jpg[/attachment:gwesk7l7]
    The downside of a clear pool - the defects are plainly visible. Like rust marks on the bottom from past bad times.
    [attachment=0:gwesk7l7]PoolBottom.jpg[/attachment:gwesk7l7]

    So now I'm enthused about re-plastering and tile replacement. Bye bye $$$.

    Thanks again. -Kevin-
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Kevin Blackwell
    38X18, 22K gal, in ground, kidney shape, gunite & white plaster, 1 HP Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro, 32 ft2 DE filter, KreepyKrauly auto pool cleaner, TF-100
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    Re: Newbie, advice on scrubbing walls while pool is near emp

    I suspect your FC will be eaten up pretty quickly at first. I would check it quite often and I would also bring it up to around 10ppm as that will help get rid of any remaining algae
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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