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Thread: If not algae, what could it be?

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    If not algae, what could it be?

    Last year, we had a really bad problem with mustard algae, so this year we've been extra dilligent testing the water and keeping the chlorine level a little on the high side. The pool is crystal clear and has been all season long, however, I keep finding smudges of something that appears anywhere from yellowish/green to yellowish/orange on the bottom. It doesn't seem to react like algae if I run the brush or the edge of the skimmer over it because it doesn't poof into a little cloud and disappear. I have to use the vacuum to remove it, sometimes needing to scrub over it several times. In general, I don't see it at all until the filter is turned on. The circulating of the water seems to make it appear.

    I don't see much change in FC levels overnight, it stays pretty consistent and I haven't let it drop below 3 since we opened the pool. I do need to lower the ph and TA levels, though I don't think that would cause the smudges to appear.

    Here are my numbers this morning. I have a good test kit, so I think the numbers are accurate:

    TC - 5
    FC - 3
    ph - 8.4
    TA - 180
    CYA - 30

    Water temp is currently 76 degrees.

    We live in an old neighborhood with lots of huge, mature trees around. A few branches of a large maple tree hang over the pool. Could this be dirt or pollen? Would pollen require scrubbing to remove? I've become obsessed with this, I don't want to deal with another algae outbreak.

    Also, disregard the filter listed in my signature. I haven't updated my sig. yet, but we are now running a sand filter (not sure of the hp, I'll have to go take a look at it).
    15 x 24 AG Vinyl, 10,500 Gallons, 1 hp StaRite Pump, Cartridge Filter

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    Post up some test numbers from your good test kit for us to see? If a sand filter-----convince yourself it's not just pollen and super fine dirt by vacuuming to waste instead of filter. You can do it a third at a time to minimize water loss. If it thins out considerably...there's your answer. Thought I had your same problem and vac'ing to waste proved it was crud-----------not algae. You shock value for your CYA level is only 12-------so not that big a deal if you need to shock.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    I don't see much change in FC levels overnight, it stays pretty consistent and I haven't let it drop below 3 since we opened the pool. I do need to lower the ph and TA levels, though I don't think that would cause the smudges to appear.

    Here are my numbers this morning. I have a good test kit, so I think the numbers are accurate:

    TC - 5
    FC - 3
    ph - 8.4
    TA - 180
    CYA - 30
    Well, based on your test results, you have 2CC and need to shock your pool, but first lower your pH to about 7.2.

    Carefully follow the directions in Pool School for How to Shock Your Pool.

    After you have completed the shock process (see red lines in my sig), you can work on lowering your TA.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    OOPs!..........missed the 2 CC! What butterfly said.......................
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Samantha_in_AL's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    It's interesting that so many people are having the exact same problem I am lately. The only difference is that my CC is 0. I can't vacuum to waste because I have a cartridge filter. I don't know what the stuff is, but it's so fine a skimmer sock won't even catch it. My pool has been slightly cloudy for a few weeks now even though my numbers are good.
    AG 18' X 52" Round Pacifica Pool w/ Metal Diamond Unibead Liner. Installed in March 2007.
    2.5 HP Baquapure 2 Speed Pump, 200 GPM Waterway ProClean Cartridge Filter System.


    Former Baquacil user
    Converted to BBB in Fall of 2009 - Now I have a truly trouble free pool!

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    You can still vacuum to filter

    If the pool is cloudy and CC are zero, you should perform the OFCLT
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    My pool clouded up about two weeks ago also. It has been crystal clear for two years then for no reason that I could find it got very turbid. I didn't have algae - passed the over night chlorine test several times. I took the sand filter apart and flushed it out with a hose - it was absolutely, amazingly dirty and about 50% sealed off with dirt and some kind of hard white crust. I spent over 4 hours flushing it out on July 4th. The water has been slowly clearing up since then. It's still not as clear as it was, but it's getting better. I started adding one cup of DE to the filter after back washing and that seems to be making a difference, but I have to back wash about every two or three hours to keep any water moving.

    The fact that so many people seem to be having the same problem makes me wonder if some plant or tree is putting out a very fine pollen that is hard to filter.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    Something is very wrong if you are having to backwash a sand filter every 2-3 hours...not sure what it is but that's not right unless the pool is filled with algae particulates or you are perhaps adding too much DE. A properly operating sand filter is VERY slow at clearing a cloudy pool. It takes my filter about a week to get dull water to sparkle and that's only at the begining of the season after the opening shock
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    Something is very wrong if you are having to backwash a sand filter every 2-3 hours...not sure what it is but that's not right unless the pool is filled with algae particulates or you are perhaps adding too much DE. A properly operating sand filter is VERY slow at clearing a cloudy pool. It takes my filter about a week to get dull water to sparkle and that's only at the begining of the season after the opening shock
    I think something is wrong and I'm guessing that the problem is plugged laterals. I'm having a new liner installed in about two weeks and I'll remove all the sand from the filter at the same time and inspect the internals. If there is partial blockage of the inlet slots that would explain the behavior I'm seeing.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    FastCougar's Avatar
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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha_in_AL
    I can't vacuum to waste because I have a cartridge filter
    Not true ... hope this helps!

    [youtube:2nqv16il]59YLxfBJ_-4[/youtube:2nqv16il]
    16,000 gallon 27'x52" Above Ground Pool
    Hayward XStream CC1000 Filter w/1HP Pump (hard plumbed)
    My Build Thread

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    Re: If not algae, what could it be?

    I'm beginning to suspect volcanic ash! What was the last big eruption? time to circle the globe....
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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