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Thread: Need advice for draining pool

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    Need advice for draining pool

    First my chemistry, which will tell you why I want to drain:
    FC - 3.5ppm
    CC - 0
    PH - 7.6 (5 drops to 7.2 acid demand)
    TA - 130ppm
    CH - 1675. Seriously
    CYA - off the scale, well over 100. Pool store said 120, k2006 reads half way to 100, so maybe 150

    I bought this house with pool a couple months ago, water was green by the time we closed on the house. My pool guy shocked (I think with dichlor) and cleaned, but when I asked what the black specs were, he said "black algae, so you will need to drain and acid wash". Then he took a sample to the pool store and said my TDS was 1300 so I really needed to drain, and "oh yeah, CYA is 120". Drain and acid wash estimate 600, 200 is for draining. He added copper algicide so that I "wouldn't need to keep your chlorine so high". He is using trichlor.

    Ok, so I never had a pool before and this all sounded like greek to me and I am not acid washing until I know what is what so I got on the internet and read and read, which led me here. I am probably going to fire the pool guy, but I find it unlikely I will want to add liquid bleach every day in the summer so we shall see. No acid wash for me, but the pool bottom looks somewhat stained (black and bits of brown here and there). House built in early 90s, not sure when pool was made. Probably same time, Shasta Pool.

    Anyway, so I still have black algae, getting worse. I have been supplementing the trichlor with liquid bleach to keep it at 10ppm but I didn't bother last week so it is now 3.5ppm. Pool guy says "I am liking the water better now." It was worse before, at least it is stable now.

    So, instead of using many bottles of bleach to shock to remove the black algae, I figure I have to at least partially drain to get that CYA down so I can shock the **** out of it and kill that black algae. Also, calcium down should help with the staining?

    The problem: My backwash hose goes to one side of the yard, or the jandy valve? can be changed to go under the pool and backwash to the other side of the yard. Small yard with a wall (Scottsdale), so I don't think I can drain enough in the yard, and city ordinances require me to drain to the yard or sewer clean out, but max to the sewer clean out is 12 ga a minute. Clean out is about 75ft from pool filter, maybe 100ft from pool. SO . . .

    Options I can think of:

    1. If I run a 2" hose for 75 feet to the sewer cleanout from the Hayward sand filter, and set it to waste, it will be too fast for the sewer and apparently back up. Can I use the jandy valve to partially slow the flow or will this hurt my pump?

    2. I could buy (or rent) a sump pump and run a garden hose the 100 feet or so to the sewer clean out. I am thinking to buy one, since I will do this pretty often (I plan to use trichlor because I am lazy and the sun is so dang strong here and I don't want to be adding stuff every night!). I see cheap weak pumps for as low as 35 bucks on Amazon, and I can get a long garden hose or two and do it that way. That should be slow enough for the sewer clean out. Anyone try the cheap pump route - any recommendations on which one is good or what to avoid?

    3. I could dump from the pump to the sides of the yard over and over and hope it doesn't flood the neighbors or damage the concrete walls on the edges of my property. I think the ground will become waterlogged pretty quickly though, even though this is desert out here. My usually backwash location is already pretty water logged and takes all day to drain sometimes from a few minutes of backwash.

    4. I could use RO, I just contacted them for a quote. Anyone know what that costs on average?

    On top of all this, our water is pretty hard here and I am a bit nervous about re balancing fresh water, but has to be better than what I have!

    Total noob here, looking for comments. Am I missing anything?
    13,000 ga, In Ground plaster, Hayward Sand filter, In floor pop ups, Barracuda G3
    Waterfall on separate pump
    Taylor K-2006 or Aquacheck 5 flavor strips

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    Sounds like you do have some problems. We can help you fix them though.

    First off, black algae is not an indication to to do acid wash. Doing an acid wash reportedly takes years of life off of your plaster and this is why I would not do it. One thing that you can try though is finding a service to do a reverse osmosis treatment to your water. They bring a truc to your home and process the pool water which will remove almost all of the CYA and CH to begin with. You are then left with fresh water that doesn't have the chemical problems that you are describing. Then, you can go ahead and shock your pool (this kills the black algae), brush it lots, and get it sparkly again.

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Sounds like you are on the right track. I have no opinion on best way to drain.

    My only reason to post is to be sure that you test your fill water before you start so you will know where you are starting from. Particularly CH.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    There are several options besides using trichlor that doesn't require daily additions. I'd strongly suggest you looking into one of those. And swcg or chlorine injection system would serve you well. I say that because you should try to control your water instead of it controlling you.

    IMO your best option is to have R/O done and then use softened water to refill for evaporation/splashout. That will solve a multitude of issues. Stick an swcg on there and all you'll need to do is test a couple times a week. No wasting tons of water or worry about flooding the yard or neighbors ever so often.
    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
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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    If you do elect to drain, consider just running a garden hose from the pool to the sewer clean out. If the sewer clean out is lower than the pool, simply siphoning via a garden hose will slowly drain your pool. I doubt that you could get as much as 12 GPM this way. Takes a while, but it's free!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Fill water chem based on test strip:

    Total Hardness: 250
    CC - O
    FC - O
    PH 8.4
    TA - 180

    I will use the K-2006 at some point, especially to check the ph, but looks ok for fill.

    I am not sure if my fill water is going though my water softener or not.

    I hope to get a quote from the Rev Osmosis guy today.

    The black algae is in there, mocking me.
    13,000 ga, In Ground plaster, Hayward Sand filter, In floor pop ups, Barracuda G3
    Waterfall on separate pump
    Taylor K-2006 or Aquacheck 5 flavor strips

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Hi MJ1964 and welcome to TFP!

    I would never trust strips for checking pool water, at least don't base it as a true reading, USE only the K-2006 or TF-100 kits.
    Follow only the test kit results, and use the pool school charts and pool calculator here. If you mix results of what the pool store/guy and your testing results, you will never get this right. Trust your testing only with these proper kits.

    The RO would be the best option for me if I was in your shoes.
    This forum has been a true blessing for me and many, many others.
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    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Calsaway hasn't gotten back to me, so I think I will try a partial drain on my own. I will buy a cheap pump from Amazon and a cheep 100 foot hose from Lowes. The clean out is on the same level as the IG pool, so I doubt I can siphon. My main concern now is that a very cheap pump might not have enough force to push the water over the long run - 100 feet. We shall see.

    Thanks for the SWCG idea, I always wanted one of those but didn't think it was something I could easily add to the system. I have been poking around this forum and I think I can plumb in an intex SWCG. My concern there is that it will slow the force of the water coming out of the pump and my in floor pop ups won't work as well - anyone try that with a caretaker type system?

    I am also looking at something like the Liquidator. I haven't figured out how those attach yet, maybe same problem with pop ups?

    Thanks for the suggestions guys! Oh, and Taylor recommends using test strips for daily checks and the DPS kits for weekly more detailed checks. The strips seem pretty accurate, if less precise. I won't rely on the strips for important stuff though, thanks.
    13,000 ga, In Ground plaster, Hayward Sand filter, In floor pop ups, Barracuda G3
    Waterfall on separate pump
    Taylor K-2006 or Aquacheck 5 flavor strips

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Oh, and Taylor recommends using test strips for daily checks and the DPS kits for weekly more detailed checks.
    If you search "test strips" on this forum, you will get hundreds of results....virtually all negative.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    I just ordered a submersible sump pump from Amazon, hopefully will do a partial drain this weekend and get my CYA down so I can shock. Will lowering the CH also help? I am wondering if the high sat index is interfering with treating the algae.
    13,000 ga, In Ground plaster, Hayward Sand filter, In floor pop ups, Barracuda G3
    Waterfall on separate pump
    Taylor K-2006 or Aquacheck 5 flavor strips

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    I don't have an in-floor cleaning system, but the flow through my returns is about the same since I plumbed in the Intex SWCG.
    12,800 gallon IG plaster kidney-shaped pool, waterslide, 800 gallon spa.
    1HP 2 speed Sta-Rite pool pump, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite spa jet pump. 2 skimmers, 1 main drain
    Purex-Triton TR-60 325 lb.sand filter. 2" Plumbing, Intex SWCG, TF-100 test kit.
    Link to pics of my pool! http://www.troublefreepool.com/my-oasis-t26558.html

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    The Liquidator will not affect your flow rate.

    Did the RO guys get back to you yet?
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    as far as the cheap sump pump not being able to do the job.... I used a $12 boat bilge pump to keep my dig drained... slow but it worked.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    OP-

    OK, I drained almost half the pool. You are right about a low power pump, the 1/5 HP Superior pump worked great but basically took all weekend (didn't run over night - something about electricity and water and sewer unsupervised said NO). Went down about 1" per hour it seemed. My run is too long - 150 hose. Next time I will buy a 12' hose so it will be 112', should reach and work better. I didn't want more power because I didn't want to overwhelm the sewer clean out. I didn't, so it was a success!

    Here are my new numbers after refilling today with tap water and letting mix a few hours with the pool filter on:

    FC - 7.5 (I added chlorine while it was low)
    CC - .5
    PH - 7.8
    TA 130-140
    CH 600
    CYA - 100?

    I am new to the testing, so I am not very confident in the CYA, but I sure could not see the dot starting around 100. I think it is right.

    My CYA must have been even higher than I thought. I can't drain again until after T-day.

    So, do I stabilize before I shock? I think so, since shocking at CYA 100 will be a pain. My plan is to balance, and then drain again in two weeks maybe by 1/3 maybe half, re balance then shock?

    So for now, 21oz of 14.5% MA? When do I add borax? (it is BBB after all). Thanks!

    Oh yes - of course the black algae is doing just fine, unaffected by all this. I also really noticed how there is some light brown sandy looking stuff (not sand, it doesn't move with brushing) on my blue plaster on the bottom here and there. Is that calcium scale that I can try to reduce by lowering my TA? Or will more draining to reduce CC be the ticket?
    13,000 ga, In Ground plaster, Hayward Sand filter, In floor pop ups, Barracuda G3
    Waterfall on separate pump
    Taylor K-2006 or Aquacheck 5 flavor strips

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    I am now wondering if I need to balance if I am doing a partial drain again in less than two weeks. Will this chemistry hold me till then (I will add more chlorine as needed of course)?
    13,000 ga, In Ground plaster, Hayward Sand filter, In floor pop ups, Barracuda G3
    Waterfall on separate pump
    Taylor K-2006 or Aquacheck 5 flavor strips

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    If those readings are correct, then you will need to add acid at some point soon because pH is already up and TA will tend to push it upwards more. Simplest rule of thumb for now is to keep FC always above minimum and keep pH around 7.4-7.6. Fine tune later, when you're done diluting.

    The tan stuff may very well be scale. It tends to form where circulation is poor. Worry about it when you're all done with the partial drains. Hit it with the brush as often as you can.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Finally did partial drain part II - not quite 50%
    With taylor:

    FC 11ppm
    PH 7.9
    TA 140
    CH 525
    CYA 65

    I am finally in business. Going to add 3 qts 14.5% MA to get PH to around 7.2, and then shock at around 19ppm (bleach) for a few days with brushing. Hopefully I can kill that black algae. Temps here are around 55 during the day and 33 at night - will shocking kill algae at this temp, or do I need to go higher with the chlorine?

    I am also wondering - 1 big bottle of bleach will take me to around 19ppm, the pool calc shock level - why not put three bottles in? With low temps and sun (for Arizona anyway), won't this help make sure I won't go below shock level while the chlorine kills my algae? No one will be swimming, so why not over kill on chlorine? Thanks!
    13,000 ga, In Ground plaster, Hayward Sand filter, In floor pop ups, Barracuda G3
    Waterfall on separate pump
    Taylor K-2006 or Aquacheck 5 flavor strips

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    so why not over kill on chlorine?
    The guidelines for max FC have developed over a period of time and include many factors......not the least of which is the affect of high FC on a vinyl liner. Since you have a gunite pool, the FC levels could be bumped up if you chose to do so.

    However, remember that two aspirins is good for a headache but twenty not so much. Accurate and timely dosing will get you into the habit of good pool water management.

    The most effective black algae treatment is to never let it get started in the first place. Once it does, then the next best treatment seems to be PROLONGED exposure to higher than normal FC levels rather than a one-time blast of FC.

    If it were my pool, I would elevate the FC to around 20ppm and have a goal of keeping it at that level until all visible signs of the algae are gone. For that matter, I would probably continue the FC at around 7-10ppm (based on CYA 65) for the remaining life of the pool or until I was absolutely sure that there were no traces of black algae remaining.

    BTW, black algae is probably misidentified more often than anything else. I wouldn't be absolutely sure that's what you have, especially if it seems to clear up rather quickly once you get your water chemistry correct.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Today's numbers after acid yesterday:

    FC: 10
    PH 7.3 (or 7.2)
    TA: 120

    I didn't realize TA goes down so slowly from acid, I am going to have to hit that harder and use the waterfall to push the PH back up.

    Interesting that FC fell only 1 ppm in 24 hours (from 9pm to 9pm). I am not brushing the black algae yet, and it is pretty cold, so I think that is why it is stable (plus the CYA).

    Duraleigh, not getting the black algae in the first place was not an option, since I bought the house with it there a few months ago. I am pretty sure it is black algae - slimy small black patches that have been spreading because my CYA was sky high and I didn't put in enough FC. When I first moved in, I had a greenish pool with the black spots, and the pool guy said I had black algae and he killed the green with a single shock.

    So, I am planning on going to around FC 40ppm and leaving in there for a few days, or letting it drift down and keeping it above 20ppm. I will start brushing tomorrow. I am thinking it will work, unless that ain't algae. I will try to take a pic. Thanks!
    13,000 ga, In Ground plaster, Hayward Sand filter, In floor pop ups, Barracuda G3
    Waterfall on separate pump
    Taylor K-2006 or Aquacheck 5 flavor strips

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    Re: Need advice for draining pool

    Sounds like a good plan. Do you have a stainless steel brush with which to expose the black algae to the FC? Black algae is especially tough for chlorine to penetrate and that brush will really assist knocking off the outer layer to help kill it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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