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Thread: Time to shock again?

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    Time to shock again?

    OK, second year pool owner here. Although using the pucks last year, I followed guidelines here for everything else and never needed to shock it. Loaded it up good with bleach for the winter and crystal clear when I opened this spring. Anyway, I was hoping to switch over to straight bleach this year, but we've been out of town several times and the cartridge chlorinator just was much more convenient. Besides, we have a lot of pucks to use up, that are already paid for.

    So what's going on now. About a month ago, the water began to get cloudy and there was some "stuff" on the bottom. Looked like little patches of mud. Kind of a brownish gold, almost like clay soil. I thought it was just pollen, dirt, etc. Our chlorine level had dropped as low as 1-2 a couple times, but otherwise it remained above 3 or 4 according to the basic chlorine tester in my TF 100. We had lots of spring rain which may have contributed. I went ahead and started the shock process. Took the FC level up to 25 and kept it above 17 or so for the duration. I wasn't around all the time, so the level fluctuated some. (I did notice, after I went to shock level, I saw a bit of green show up in the bottom). After a few days, things cleared up, I did the overnight test and had less than 1 FC loss and CC was less than .5. I shocked for 1 more day and went back to normal operation with the pucks.

    The cloudiness never seemed to completely go away, but I may have been too critical.

    Well, I am getting a bit of cloudiness again, and the same stuff in the bottom. I went down with goggles and it looks like mud, but I am assuming algae. No green anywhere. My numbers look good to me. Since that first shock routine, FC has remained above 3 and mostly 5 or above according to the daily test.

    I have found that my daily test reads a bit higher than the more accurate drop test. According to the drop test today, I have FC of 4. According to the daily tester I have 5. I went ahead and tried some old litmus type that are old and it showed 1, but they are no good.

    Here are my numbers for the last few weeks.
    --------7/5----------7/15-------- 7/30
    FC------5.5-----------4------------4
    CC-------0------------0------------0
    TC------5.5-----------4------------4
    PH------7.8----------7.8----------7.5
    T/A-----200---------160----------190
    CH------300---------220----------260
    CYA-----55-----------40----------58/70
    Temp----86-----------88-----------89

    It's been very hot for a few weeks, my water temp has been as high as 91 degrees. My pool is in direct nearly all day and we do have quite a few leaves blow in through the day. MT the skimmer several times a day.
    As for the CYA level, when I read it, I generally have a lower number than my wife. On 7/5 are her numbers, 7/15 are my readings, on 7/30 that's mine listed first, with hers listed second.

    Is it time to shock again? What did I do wrong?
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Time to shock again?

    Unfortunately, the minimum FC for a CYA of 55 is 4ppm and it looks like you've dropped below 4ppm a few times since shocking.

    It's time to stop using the pucks, for good. Because if you're really at 58ppm like your eye sees, the minimum is 5ppm. If you're at 70ppm like she sees, the minimum is apparently still 5 but the max rises from 9 to 10ppm. Shock level is 18ppm. It's getting a bit up there in chlorine and pucks are not able to maintain those kinds of levels.

    I'd say yes, it's time to shock. But prepare to shock at 18ppm and do it with liquid chlorine. After the shocking is complete, maintain 5-10ppm always.

    I'd also say it's time to drain a bit and lower the CYA.
    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.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Time to shock again?

    Thanks frogabog. For some reason, I was thinking that I needed to keep it at 3 or higher. I actually backwashed today after taking readings, and will be doing so while shocking, so CYA should come down. I also thought folks here said you should allow the CYA to rise in the summer heat.

    I guess the daily tester for Chlorine is no good if I need to keep it above 5-10. Since it only reads up to 5. Do most folks here do the drop test daily, I was only doing that every week or two, unless I saw something unusual. Also is it typical for the daily tester to read lower than the more accurate drop test?

    One other question, what problems are caused by having the chlorine level too high?

    BTW, as for keeping the chlorine level high with the pucks, I have had the chlorinator on it's lowest setting most of the time, because it would drive the chlorine right up. We've actually been maintaining it at 5 or above according to the daily test. Except for a couple instances.

    OK sorry, here's another question. The last time I shocked with straight bleach. What is wrong with trying the pool store shock, it seems simpler (which is probably deceiving)?
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  4. Back To Top    #4
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Time to shock again?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpampt
    Thanks frogabog. For some reason, I was thinking that I needed to keep it at 3 or higher. I actually backwashed today after taking readings, and will be doing so while shocking, so CYA should come down. I also thought folks here said you should allow the CYA to rise in the summer heat.
    It depends if you're using the wife's CYA number or yours. 70 is getting up there, hot high heat areas yes CYA can/should be a bit higher but that also means higher chlorine levels. I suppose you'll have to decide whose test result is valid before you determine if it's too high or not.

    I guess the daily tester for Chlorine is no good if I need to keep it above 5-10. Since it only reads up to 5. Do most folks here do the drop test daily, I was only doing that every week or two, unless I saw something unusual. Also is it typical for the daily tester to read lower than the more accurate drop test?I think the result is subjective, determining the yellow is difficult for me and I do prefer the FAS-DPD powder/r-0871 personally

    One other question, what problems are caused by having the chlorine level too high? Chlorine is safe for your pool up to mustard shock level, I wouldn't worry about that occurring unless you manually add it above mustard shock

    BTW, as for keeping the chlorine level high with the pucks, I have had the chlorinator on it's lowest setting most of the time, because it would drive the chlorine right up. We've actually been maintaining it at 5 or above according to the daily test. Except for a couple instances. The reason I pointed it out is that you're seeing junk on the floor which you think is algae, you've dropped below minimum a few times, leaves drop into the pool, AND the water is cloudy. Lots of reasons to think there are some organics in there eating your chlorine. Leaves are a big factor, dead once they fall from the tree and decaying as soon as they enter the pool.

    OK sorry, here's another question. The last time I shocked with straight bleach. What is wrong with trying the pool store shock, it seems simpler (which is probably deceiving)?
    Depends on what it is. If it's a dichlor shock it'll contain CYA which you don't want more of. If it's calcium hypochlorite it will add calcium which you may or may not have an issue with. Bleach is simply easier to manage and control, sometimes cheaper. Liquid chlorine shock from the pool store is just concentrated bleach, you'll want to price compare it I suppose.
    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.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Time to shock again?

    Thanks again. Hopefully, but doubtfully my last question.

    After some reading, it sounds like what I'm seeing could be mustard algae, so should I be taking the shock level on up to 34? Wow that's a lot of bleach.
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Time to shock again?

    BTW, usually the only times the chlorine levels would drop was when the chlorinator was needing replacement. Otherwise it seems to hold the level fine. I usually wouldn't even check it until I saw a drop in the chlorine level.

    I'm a bit nervous about switching over to adding bleach daily as it may be easy to miss a day, which would more than likely cause a drop below the recommended level. I also hate to try and switch over right now and try and figure my daily usage during this heat wave. Just call me a skeerty cat!
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Time to shock again?

    Does this stuff you think could be mustard algae live in the sun or the shade? How does it behave when you brush at it?

    I'd be fairly sure it was MA before bothering to MA shock it. Cuz I'm cheap like that and all... :~}
    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.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Time to shock again?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpampt
    BTW, usually the only times the chlorine levels would drop was when the chlorinator was needing replacement. Otherwise it seems to hold the level fine. I usually wouldn't even check it until I saw a drop in the chlorine level.

    I'm a bit nervous about switching over to adding bleach daily as it may be easy to miss a day, which would more than likely cause a drop below the recommended level. I also hate to try and switch over right now and try and figure my daily usage during this heat wave. Just call me a skeerty cat!
    If you're the only one in the household who could possibly put bleach in every day or be in charge of remembering to do it...??? or if you think you'd still forget the next morning and not go out and dose it up...???

    For us, swimming is done long before the adults go to sleep. Lots of time to remember to dose the pool (for us). Plus, it's not exactly common to loose all your chlorine if you dose the pool to the high end every dose. Some with high heat/sun/bathers dose a ppm or two above that just to be sure. I think most of us don't even hit minimum at the end of the day. 1-3ppm, maybe 4 is average loss/day.

    What I'm saying is... it works out. It takes me about 2 minutes to dose the pool every night, and if I test I add another 3 to that. Not too hard, and if you asked some people who know me they'd tell you "routines" are not my strong point.


    edit: I'm also considering NOT installing the SWG sitting in my back yard because it actually seems simpler to me to just stick w/bleach than bother w/buttons and codes and more plumbing and checking... I even like technology just fine :~}
    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.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Time to shock again?

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    Does this stuff you think could be mustard algae live in the sun or the shade? How does it behave when you brush at it?

    I'd be fairly sure it was MA before bothering to MA shock it. Cuz I'm cheap like that and all... :~}
    I'm assuming either sun or shade, didn't see that info anywhere. I don't see anything sticking to the sides though which I thought was common to all the algae's. When I brush at it, it seems to dissolve into the water, doesn't seem to float around. Maybe it's only pollen or something (wishful thinking).

    Yep! Cheapo here too!
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Time to shock again?

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    Quote Originally Posted by rpampt
    BTW, usually the only times the chlorine levels would drop was when the chlorinator was needing replacement. Otherwise it seems to hold the level fine. I usually wouldn't even check it until I saw a drop in the chlorine level.

    I'm a bit nervous about switching over to adding bleach daily as it may be easy to miss a day, which would more than likely cause a drop below the recommended level. I also hate to try and switch over right now and try and figure my daily usage during this heat wave. Just call me a skeerty cat!
    If you're the only one in the household who could possibly put bleach in every day or be in charge of remembering to do it...??? or if you think you'd still forget the next morning and not go out and dose it up...???

    For us, swimming is done long before the adults go to sleep. Lots of time to remember to dose the pool (for us). Plus, it's not exactly common to loose all your chlorine if you dose the pool to the high end every dose. Some with high heat/sun/bathers dose a ppm or two above that just to be sure. I think most of us don't even hit minimum at the end of the day. 1-3ppm, maybe 4 is average loss/day.

    What I'm saying is... it works out. It takes me about 2 minutes to dose the pool every night, and if I test I add another 3 to that. Not too hard, and if you asked some people who know me they'd tell you "routines" are not my strong point.


    edit: I'm also considering NOT installing the SWG sitting in my back yard because it actually seems simpler to me to just stick w/bleach than bother w/buttons and codes and more plumbing and checking... I even like technology just fine :~}
    Am I correct when reading the pool calculator? If I lower my cya to 40 and my FC minimum is 4 and at the end of the day it's 4 and I want to raise it to 9 so it lasts until the next night, I need to add 1-174 oz jug of 6% bleach.? That seems like a lot of bleach and costs a lot more than the pucks (of course I proven that I can mess up with them too).
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  11. Back To Top    #11
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Time to shock again?

    Mustard algae tends to grow in the shadows apparently. I think it also poofs into a cloud when disturbed.

    The levels for 40ppm are 3 minimum and 7 top end. If you feel you need to boost it due to bathers/sun/heat, you should know after a few days of testing at the end of the day. Under normal circumstances a day won't eat all your chlorine and leave you at minimum. If it does, raising CYA a tad can help, or some like to bump it a little higher in the evening to be sure.

    It's up to you, and probably best for you to decide after a few days of night time testing and condition notes tell you more about how your pool behaves. I'd test after dosing at night a couple times as well to make sure you've got the correct dosage/ppm for your pool. If you add 3ppm, the pool should test at 3ppm higher. Quality assurance so to speak.
    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.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Time to shock again?

    With CYA at 40, the normal FC range is 3 to 7, and never below 3. That doesn't mean you will need to go all the way up to 7 in order to keep FC at at least 3 the next day. Usually the level you need to aim for is lower than 7. In practice, when things are working well, you will tend to need to add about 2 ppm of chlorine each day, not 5.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Time to shock again?

    where are you located? I'm in central CA with absolutely no clouds from June to August except maybe 3 days. I have no trees or other shade and I mange fine at 40 CYA. I keep it low to use pucks if we travel and to be able to use the OTO test for daily numbers. I'm pretty fanatical about testing and the whole family knows how to test and add chlorine. If I bring my FC up to 6, I'm usually at 4 around dinner time. I do dose morning and evening most days to be safe but if I know the morning will be too busy before work/school I just does up right before dark. I've had no algae outbreaks and I'm right at a year of operation on pool.

    Don't be afraid to chunk the pucks and take control of your pool. And definitely use liquid chlorine or bleach to shock. I use liquid chlorine from Lowes/Home Depot for daily use because it's as cheap as bleach in my area and smaller doses are needed.
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Time to shock again?

    Taking it up to shock level. Then will try and maintain it. I work 12 hour days, sometimes days, sometimes nights, so the time for bleach addition can vary. I should have plenty of the 12.5% left over after shocking and will give the bleach a try and see if I can keep up with it. Any other ideas on the type algae are welcome.

    I guess closer to 2-3 per day of chlorine is a little better, but still 1/2 a jug a day of the 6% seems to be a lot of $$$ And to reiterate, I am a cheapskate.

    So I'll try and lower my CYA through backwashing each day while shocking.
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Time to shock again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sportsman
    where are you located? I'm in central CA with absolutely no clouds from June to August except maybe 3 days. I have no trees or other shade and I mange fine at 40 CYA. I keep it low to use pucks if we travel and to be able to use the OTO test for daily numbers. I'm pretty fanatical about testing and the whole family knows how to test and add chlorine. If I bring my FC up to 6, I'm usually at 4 around dinner time. I do dose morning and evening most days to be safe but if I know the morning will be too busy before work/school I just does up right before dark. I've had no algae outbreaks and I'm right at a year of operation on pool.

    Don't be afraid to chunk the pucks and take control of your pool. And definitely use liquid chlorine or bleach to shock. I use liquid chlorine from Lowes/Home Depot for daily use because it's as cheap as bleach in my area and smaller doses are needed.
    I'm in SE Indiana. We are in the middle of a very hot stretch of historical numbers. Heat index has been over 100 just about every day for the last few weeks. My schedule is difficult to have a routine, but my wife can help out. Thanks for the input.
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Time to shock again?

    good luck! I'm a cheapskate too but my costs are about $15 a month in liquid chlorine and maybe $5 for muriatic acid. My price is $6.86 for 2 gallons of 10.5%.
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Time to shock again?

    OK, update. I'm holding the pool at shock level, but don't think that's the issue. After more online reading, this seems to be some type of dust, not algae. I went in and hand vacuumed off the bottom through siphon hose. The brown stuff sucks right up like dust, almost. There is none on the sides whatsoever. It is so fine, that it goes right through my sand filter. I tried to suck some through a white washrag and most of it went right through. I read where some folks have run their return through a fine sock and it caught it and the pool cleared up.

    I have enough reagent to maybe test my chlorine once more, so I'm just guessing at my chlorine level today, but will check tonite. Worst case, it's too high, me thinks. I had ordered more reagent, and it should arrive tomorrow.

    The water is still just a hair cloudy, but it seems it's been that way awhile, maybe I'm being too critical. Since I probably don't have enough reagent, I can't do the overnite test, but I'm guessing it's good. So I'll keep shocking and do the test tomorrow night.

    What do you folks think?
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Time to shock again?

    If the dust is too fine to get caught in your sand filter, you might try to Add DE to a Sand Filter or might try using the Slime Bag™/
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Time to shock again?

    Yes, that adding DE to the sand filter sounds like the way to go. Will try that this week. Thanks for the link, I didn't find that before.
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Time to shock again?

    I finished shocking, but don't really think it was needed. I've backflushed and drained some water to lower the CYA. I added some DE to the filter, it drover the backpressure up in a few hours, so I backwashed and did it again. Looks like it will last longer this time, I'm thinking it may need a backflush again tomorrow, then hopefully it will start lasting longer after it gets the water really clean. All haziness in the water is gone already.

    I vacuumed up any of the brown stuff all the bottom 2 days in a row, then we had a wind storm this morning, so I vacuumed it good again today. So everything is looking good. Will try the straight bleach now and see how it works. Any tips on making the changeover are appreciated. I think check the chlorine in the evening and raise it to about 9 and see how that works for a few days. I'm guessing losing 1 over night and 3 during the day which would drop it to 5 by the next evening. We just set a record for the most consecutive days in the 90's, ever. I think about 19 in a row now, so it's been hot. Does that sound reasonable?

    Here are my numbers.
    FC 7.5
    CC 0
    TC 7.5
    PH 7.6
    T/A 170
    CH 240
    CYA 40
    Temp 82

    Thanks for all the help folks.
    Round AG 17000 gals. Hayward PowerFlo 1 H.P. 60gpm Sand Filter Aqua Smarte Cannister Chlorine Feeder

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