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Thread: Phosphates...

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    Phosphates...

    Phosphates are basically algea food.

    Using BBB, we tend to not worry about phosphates, because we maintain adequate chlorine levels so that the algea never gets started in the first place.

    So... about once a month or so, I take my water into the pool store to get tested. I don't really care what their numbers or recomendations are. I just like the print out that I usually get that says: "Congratulations! Your pool is perfectly balanced". If anyone looks at me funny for using BBB, I take out the print out and say: "Pool store doesn't seem to have a problem with it."

    Every now and then when the pool store is not too busy, they test my phosphates and say: "Although the computer says you are perfectly balanced (here's your print out btw), your phosphate numbers are off the chart... you better buy some stuff from us."

    I have gotten quite adept at deflecting this. No worries.

    My winter closing procedure has pretty much been to turn off the filter and watch in wonderment as my sparkling oasis turns into an algea infested swamp.

    I'm OK with this. Honestly I rather enjoy the epic battle waged with the algea each year as I am opening the pool. In fact, I am considering making myself a super hero costume, and composing some theme music... but... ummm... you don't need to know this... Nevermind.

    Anyway... My question:

    Might is be a good idea to dump some phosphate remover in the pool as part of my closing routine just to keep things in check?...

    OR....

    Perhaps my routine of letting the pool go to swamp is keeping things in check by itself: The pool gets infected with algea... The algea eats the phosphates... In the sprint I kill the algea... and everything is wonderful again.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates...

    Such ponderment douth thou entertain!

    Why don't you try adding the phosphate remover this year and let us know if it worked for you. My suspicion is that you're still going to have to battle the algae next year.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates...

    Phosphate remover typically makes a cloudy mess out of the pool for a while until the filter catches up. It is also expensive. It is also completely useless unless you keep at it long enough to get the phosphate level way way down. Lowering phosphates just a little doesn't help at all.

    In most cases, the best thing to do is to keep the pump.filter running until the water gets down below 50 degrees and turn it back on as soon as the water gets back up to 50 degrees. That is normally enough to prevent algae, though it isn't 100% guaranteed. And if you do get algae, it is easy to kill off when the water is still cold.
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    Re: Phosphates...

    (wrote this as Jason posted)

    If you want to avoid getting the algae growth over the winter, you have several options where using a phosphate remover is just one of them. You can also close as late as possible when the water temp is below 50ºF and you can then open as early as possible before the water temp rises above 50ºF. You can add shock the pool with high chlorine levels and add Polyquat 60 algaecide when you are closing. You can add more chlorine and/or Polyquat during the winter manually stirring (unless frozen over).
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    Re: Phosphates...

    Thanks for the responses...

    I guess my concern is that the phosphate level will just grow and grow and grow until... Some unknown bad thing happens.

    That would seem particularly true if I execute algea preventive measures off-season.

    SO... if I were to let the pool go to algea in the winter... the algea would eat the phosphates, and that aforementioned unknown bad thing would never happen.

    (Or, maybe I just like ignoring the pool in the winter... And if I can tell my wife: "But algae is GOOD for the pool in the winter..."... Not going to happen, eh?)

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    Re: Phosphates...

    If you mostly remove the algae through filtration and backwashing/cleaning (after killing it with chlorine), then yes you are mostly removing the phosphates via removal of the algae. If you don't mind that, then it's one way of handling it. As for phosphates growing and growing, it's not as if the algae grow faster and faster since they are ultimately limited in their growth by sunlight and temperature. I had over 3000 ppb phosphates in my pool and some have had higher than that. I don't know what the high phosphate level you've had has been.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Phosphates...

    I'm OK with this. Honestly I rather enjoy the epic battle waged with the algea each year as I am opening the pool. In fact, I am considering making myself a super hero costume, and composing some theme music... but... ummm... you don't need to know this... Nevermind.
    lol okay now, if you decide to do this super hero costume w/music thing,
    please video it so we can all have some entertainment!
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