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Thread: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

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    Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Fairly new to all this pool chemistry stuff, but I am a research nut so I have probably read this forum for something like 10 hours trying to wrap my head around it. Here's the story.
    Filled the Intex 4400 Gallon above ground metal frame pool at the beginning of summer, had some problems with the levels (my wife was trying to maintain it at the time, didn't end well) and began researching the BBB method and TFP. I raised the pool to shock level added a bunch of solid CYA to the pool and waited, keeping the pool at shock level for a couple of weeks. At this point I was using test strips and the water wasn't really improving, there was some obvious algae growth on the ladder and such, so when it came time for a 2.5 wk vacation, we drained 90% of it and left it to get out of control, figuring we'll drain it the rest of the way, scrub it clean, and refill it when we return.

    Fast forward 2.5 weeks, we return, drain the pool, clean it up as best as we could, and refill it. With my newfound knowledge I immediately brought the pool up to shock level and kept it there while trying to get everything else in line. Our water is very alkaline from the hose, about 230, so I've been dumping a ton of muriatic in to keep the ph in range, hoping to bring the TA down eventually.

    Anyway long story longer, the pool is starting to look greenish to me again, my wife says it looks orangish to her, I don't see it. Pictures of the pool make it look crystal clear, there's a pic at the bottom, if it helps. Normally I would say "obviously the tint is algae and you need to shock the pool, here's the problem. I was waiting for my K-2006 to come in the mail so I let my FC come down into a range where I could measure it before dumping a bunch more bleach in (wanted to have a point of reference so I didn't add 15 when there was already 15 in there). So the level came down to about 5PPM, I dumped in enough chlorine to take it to about 15 ( I didn't measure exactly, I needed to dump in 82 of a 192 oz bottle, and i had about half a bottle left, so I just dumped it all in. I've since received my test kit and did a FAS-DPD test to see where I was at. 2 full days after dumping in bleach to get the FC to about 15, I'm at 12, with 0 CC. I feel like 3PPM give or take a couple over the course of 2 full days, one of which was very rainy, when I have an unmeasurable amount of CYA in there, seems low for a pool swarming with algae, so I'm confused. Do I have algae based on the tinting of the water, or do I not based on my test results. Unfortunately I haven't been able to do the overnight test, well to be honest only because I don't really want to wake up at 5AM to check the pool .

    I feel like I've written a novel here, so I'll spare you and conclude with test results:
    FC: 12
    CC: 0
    PH: 7.6 (bringing this down AGAIN today)
    TA: 225
    CYA: not measurable, though there is some in there

    These measurements taken almost 48 hours after the levels should have been roughly:
    FC: 15
    CC: .5
    PH: 7.2
    TA: 225
    CYA: Not measurable

    To conclude, in my very noobish opinion, the levels look good, obviously I'd rather have a lower TA and not have to keep throwing acid in. The water doesn't look good except in pictures. Do I have a problem?


    Intex 15' x 4' AG Metal Frame (4400 Gal)
    Crappy stock Intex filter and pump.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Welcome to the forum

    Looks/sounds like algae. You should do the Overnight Free Chlorine Loss Test (Pool School) to determine the presence of live organics.

    Still, you need to shock until you meet the three criteria that show you are done shocking.
    See red lines in my sig.

    The pump/filter you have could be your biggest problem clearing the pool.

    I'm sure some intex folks that have changed out their originals will be around to talk about it.

    With 4400 gallons, you may want to dump and start over. See what some others recommend.
    We have an article in Pool School for pool-school/temporary_pool_guide that should help you decide.
    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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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Am I correct in reading that you put CYA in the pool and then went away on vacation for 2.5 weeks and the CYA is still not regiatering on the test? Wait, that cant be, you drained the pool! I would get your CYA somewhere between 30-50ppm and then bring the pool up to shock level and do an overnight test. You are going to have to drag yourself out of bed early to complete the test..there is no other way. If that turns out well I would just keep the filter running and it should slowly clear up. Your TA also looks high (I think) but I have never had to deal with that so I will reserve comment.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Yeah I'm sure my pump & filter is not helping the situation, is it possible that the tint to the water is dead algae and the crappy pump/filter is just not clearing the pool?

    As for the CYA question, I did put CYA in before the drain and refill, but after refilling it I put some back in, not enough, but I wanted to finish shocking before re-adding too much CYA. And yes, the TA is really high, that's how it comes from the hose, I'm going to have to keep dumping in acid and letting it rise and dumping in more acid to eventually bring the TA down, from what I understand.
    Intex 15' x 4' AG Metal Frame (4400 Gal)
    Crappy stock Intex filter and pump.

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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Generally speaking, live algae is green and dead algae is white/gray. Like I said, I would bring the CYA up to 30 and shock the pool until you pass the overnight test. If your pool get a lot of sun I would raise the CYA to 50-60 after you pass the overnight test.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Others are more expert at this than I am, but a thought...your picture looks great, seems like we can see the liner squares fine. Do you fill from your own well, or is it city water? Since you FC dropped very little over 2 days, you CC is 0, and you water appears tinted but clear (not cloudly where the bottom is obsucured), I am wondering if you have metals? Others are more experts than I, so listen to them first, but I fill from a well, and I first learned I had metals by going through something similar to what you are describing.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    If you are using the stock cartridge filters with your intex pool, I would buy one of these sand filters instead:

    http://www.myquickbuy.com/servlet/the-1 ... tal/Detail

    That is about the best price I found, and the water is a lot clearer now.

    You can read "heads or tails" on a penny dropped into the water.
    IG Gunite 25,000 gallons STA-RITE S7M120 cartridge filter 100GPM

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    I think that water looks green. I can't see the bottom tile pattern, at all. (looking at my pool, same except 3ft smaller round, about same distance away... I could count the tiles on the bottom)

    Daughter just saw pic, she said "that looks like our pool, but it's foggier. Looks like grey, ours looks like blue"

    So as far as how good the pic looks, maybe that helps you with a general feel of it.

    I also notice your skimmer is tipped towards the edge. Not that it is "the" problem, but you will get better performance out of it if you tip it slightly towards the water circulation flow instead. It'll give you a higher percentage of skimmed material that way.

    I would shock and maintain, but I'd also add CYA today as well. Do you know how much CYA you put in before? If you know exactly how much you put in, you should be able to add to that and have a fairly accurate estimate to use w/pool calculator.

    I have recently purchased a sand filter, although it hasn't arrived yet so I can't really comment on that. We currently use two intex style 1000gph pumps, and they work to circulate the water quite well (both). Filtering is great, except for fines. I do not think these filters are so inadequate that it would be the cause of the continuously green water, however they ARE inadequate. Especially just one.

    Watch the skimmer, if it stops sucking the top and having a "swirl" action check the pump for 1)air, and 2) debris in the filter.

    Rinse the filter by blasting w/garden hose, replace. Don't throw it away. They work better for filtering when they've got a bit of gunk in them anyway so used filters are just fine. Intex would rather you spend $5/week on filters than tell you that you can do this.

    Are you sure you've got 4400 gallons? I ask because I have calculated my 15x48" Intex to be ~4800 gallons, and that's with the water height at exactly 41" (low). You might be undershooting shock level due to inaccurate volume. If you measure the water level, and then use that for the calculator volume field you should have a fairly accurate number for your pool.

    Go play with your test kit some more, is good fun yano... you can try lowering PH to 7.2-7.4, but you might be getting inaccurate readings right now due to FC being over 10 so maybe leave that for the time being?
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    is it possible that the tint to the water is dead algae and the crappy pump/filter is just not clearing the pool?
    Bingo! Continue to hold your FC level up at shock until the pool water is clear. Run that pump 24/7...probably for the rest of the summer.

    These measurements taken almost 48 hours after the levels should have been roughly:
    FC: 15
    CC: .5
    PH: 7.2
    TA: 225
    CYA: Not measurable
    I don't understand what the sentence means....more info please. What is your CYA ppm? Less than 20?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    is it possible that the tint to the water is dead algae and the crappy pump/filter is just not clearing the pool?
    Bingo! Continue to hold your FC level up at shock until the pool water is clear. Run that pump 24/7...probably for the rest of the summer.
    I would never recommend shutting Intex filters off. We never have, on any of our various sized Intex pools. Even now w/two, they run 24/7 all summer.

    I shudder to think of what may happen if they were to be off part time.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    is it possible that the tint to the water is dead algae and the crappy pump/filter is just not clearing the pool?
    Bingo! Continue to hold your FC level up at shock until the pool water is clear. Run that pump 24/7...probably for the rest of the summer.

    [quote:3daegdxt]These measurements taken almost 48 hours after the levels should have been roughly:
    FC: 15
    CC: .5
    PH: 7.2
    TA: 225
    CYA: Not measurable
    I don't understand what the sentence means....more info please. What is your CYA ppm? Less than 20?[/quote:3daegdxt]
    Yes my tube fills up and I can still see the bottom, so I can't say how much is in there, based on how much I added I'd say maybe 10-15PPM, but with the amount of overflow (combination of rain and overfilling initially) I can't say for sure. What I was trying to explain was that over a period of about 48 hours i only lost 3 FC or so, and my ph went up .4.

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    I think that water looks green. I can't see the bottom tile pattern, at all. (looking at my pool, same except 3ft smaller round, about same distance away... I could count the tiles on the bottom)

    Daughter just saw pic, she said "that looks like our pool, but it's foggier. Looks like grey, ours looks like blue"

    So as far as how good the pic looks, maybe that helps you with a general feel of it.

    I also notice your skimmer is tipped towards the edge. Not that it is "the" problem, but you will get better performance out of it if you tip it slightly towards the water circulation flow instead. It'll give you a higher percentage of skimmed material that way.

    I would shock and maintain, but I'd also add CYA today as well. Do you know how much CYA you put in before? If you know exactly how much you put in, you should be able to add to that and have a fairly accurate estimate to use w/pool calculator.

    I have recently purchased a sand filter, although it hasn't arrived yet so I can't really comment on that. We currently use two intex style 1000gph pumps, and they work to circulate the water quite well (both). Filtering is great, except for fines. I do not think these filters are so inadequate that it would be the cause of the continuously green water, however they ARE inadequate. Especially just one.

    Watch the skimmer, if it stops sucking the top and having a "swirl" action check the pump for 1)air, and 2) debris in the filter.

    Rinse the filter by blasting w/garden hose, replace. Don't throw it away. They work better for filtering when they've got a bit of gunk in them anyway so used filters are just fine. Intex would rather you spend $5/week on filters than tell you that you can do this.

    Are you sure you've got 4400 gallons? I ask because I have calculated my 15x48" Intex to be ~4800 gallons, and that's with the water height at exactly 41" (low). You might be undershooting shock level due to inaccurate volume. If you measure the water level, and then use that for the calculator volume field you should have a fairly accurate number for your pool.

    Go play with your test kit some more, is good fun yano... you can try lowering PH to 7.2-7.4, but you might be getting inaccurate readings right now due to FC being over 10 so maybe leave that for the time being?
    The skimmer is tipped toward the edge because the pool is too full, it wasn't skimming adequately when it was straight up and down, the little inner floater was floating too high.

    As for the size of the pool, my wife swore up and down it was 18' but I thought it was 15', she was fairly certain so I posted that, it's definitely 4400 gal so I guess I was right and it's 15'.

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Others are more expert at this than I am, but a thought...your picture looks great, seems like we can see the liner squares fine. Do you fill from your own well, or is it city water? Since you FC dropped very little over 2 days, you CC is 0, and you water appears tinted but clear (not cloudly where the bottom is obsucured), I am wondering if you have metals? Others are more experts than I, so listen to them first, but I fill from a well, and I first learned I had metals by going through something similar to what you are describing.
    City water, I can see the squares but I've seen pictures of nice pool water and this does not look like those.

    Thanks everyone for your advice thus far.
    Intex 15' x 4' AG Metal Frame (4400 Gal)
    Crappy stock Intex filter and pump.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    15 legs, must be a 15 x 48.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Update:

    Last night after dark:
    FC-7.5PPM CC-.5PPM

    Just now (6am, light outside, no direct sun on pool yet):
    FC-7.5PPM CC-0PPM

    Didn't really think CC would go down overnight, might chalk it up to the +- of the test.
    Intex 15' x 4' AG Metal Frame (4400 Gal)
    Crappy stock Intex filter and pump.

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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Okay. Those are pretty good numbers and it looks like you have killed almost all the algae in your pool. What remains now is to filter, filter, filter.

    Clean the cartridge frequently, stir up the visible stuff or vacuum it up if you can and keep that pump running.

    While you are doing all that, purchase 1.25 lbs of granular CYA or .5 gallons of the liquid and put it in the pool. That'll get your CYA to 50ppm. Keep adding chlorine on a daily basis to keep the FC just about where it is until your pool is crystal clear....don't let it get below 4-5ppm.

    Run that pump 24/7!!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    Since you need CYA and chlorine, you could use dichlor to raise both.

    Good directions for you in Pool School for Sesonal and Temporary Pools.
    I gave you the link yeterday in my previous post

    Good luck!
    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.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    So since my last post, nothing has really changed with the pool, It still looks green to me. I've been regularly changing the cartridge (I have 2, so I've been swapping back and forth, the one that's not in the pump goes in a bucket of bleach water). The pump has been running 24/7. My chlorine is still lasting for what seems like a long time (it passed the overnight FC loss test and I haven't seen any evidence that it would not pass again). I'm trying to practice my POP but everything seems to point to not having an algae problem. That leaves me with 2 possibilities:
    1) My cartridge and/or filter suck. A lot.
    2) Something else is providing the green tint.

    I was definitely leaning toward the first, but I stumbled onto this thread that talked about a green tint coming from metals in the water (it's on page 3). Here are some new pictures that I hope to use to answer the questions that came up in that thread (cloudy or clear) so all of the expertise here can help me determine the issue in my pool. Thanks in advance.





    Intex 15' x 4' AG Metal Frame (4400 Gal)
    Crappy stock Intex filter and pump.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    You could try adding sequestrant but from the pics it's not metals. I vote for #1. Sorry
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Confused, pool looks bad but levels say all is well.

    I concur with Bama...since you are not on a well. Might be worth seeing if you can find your cities water metal content (I have a well, so I have not tried to get this info), or bring a sample of tap water somewhere to get it tested before you add a sequestrant. With that said, I would get a new filter if you plan to keep the pool (or even go larger). That walmart deal http://www.troublefreepool.com/free-...em-t35974.htmlwould have been great for you, but I think they are out of stock. From past experience, that intex cartridge filter that comes stock with that size pool (1000 gal/hour yeah right) can not adequately do the job, even if pool does not need shocking.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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