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Thread: Have you ever started from scratch?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Have you ever started from scratch?

    Hi there

    I have been having so many problems with my pool. I won't bore you with all of the details suffice to say that although I have tried to follow best practice as per this site I still have a cloudy green pool with a brown plating on the surfaces. I know what the problems are, and I thought I knew what the solutions were - but no dice.

    (My ph is in range, my cyanuric levels are good, total alk good, chlorine levels all good, hardness in range, plenty of non copper algeacide in water, been flocked to dead and removed to waste. Can sequestrate iron content (but can't remove it). I've done this over an over but within a day or so of a clear pool it goes to mush)

    My question is. Has anyone ever got to the point where it is just better to dump all of the water and start over? It feels like an extreme step but usual remedies are not working and I worry that I am just creating a toxic sludge (things that just don't show up in a normal test)

    Thanks in advance if you can help.....

    Any ideas?

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    If you can provide some more information, such as a full set of results from the pool and fill water, type of pool, pool volume, list of all equipment, all chemicals added, pump run times, filter pressure, when the pool was last filled etc., then we will be able to better assist. Pictures would also be helpful.

    Pool

    FC
    CC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    Cya
    Salt
    iron
    copper
    TDS
    Water Temp

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    James,

    Some of this info is in the thread Infuriating Brown Plating where I surmise the following from info in that thread.

    From test strips:
    pH 7.2
    TA 120
    FC < 10

    Pool store readings: (I think)
    FC between 5 and 10
    CYA 160
    CH 103

    Later readings (probably from pool store again):
    TA 165
    pH 7.2
    FC 2.5
    CYA 162
    CH 200

    As noted in this post, the good news is that after getting and using ascorbic acid, the stains went away within an hour and that pretty much confirms that the stains are iron. A sequestrant (which sounded like HEDP) and a polymer (maybe a clarifier?) was then added. The pool was still cloudy and a copper-based algaecide was added and the FC increased which then had the stains return, probably because the pH was raised too quickly from adding chlorine and not enough HEDP was used.

    koos, your high CYA level prevents the chlorine from doing its job in clearing the pool and keeping it free of algae which is probably where the cloudiness is coming from. Since you have to dilute the water to lower the CYA level anyway, then yes doing at least a partial drain/refill would be a good idea. If you do a more complete drain, be careful if your water table is high and if this is an in-ground pool (you said it was 8000 gallon fiberglass but didn't say if this is above-ground or in-ground). However, note that your fill water might be high in iron so would not get rid of your problem.

    Also note that by adding copper algaecide you have made your metals problem even worse (as was noted in the other thread) so please stop adding products to your pool. Either listen to the advice here and follow it and not what the pool store tells you or decide you don't want TFP advice and let the pool store handle your issues, but don't mix the two together. You most certainly did not "follow best practice as per this site" and your statement that "my cyanuric levels are good" is not true. As noted in the detailed link from Metals in the Water and Metal Sequestrants that referred to the detailed Ascorbic Treatment to rid Pool of metal stains, it says explicitly "Do not shock! Do not shock for at least 2 weeks!" and gives other information about keeping the pH lower, using sufficient HEDP, etc. You added multiple products including a polymer (clarifier?) and copper-based algaecide that we never suggested. The ascorbic acid worked to remove the iron stains. It's what you did after that which then caused problems. Anyway, with the high CYA, you won't get your pool clear very effectively and even if you did it would take a lot of chlorine to maintain it so doing the drain/refill at least enough to lower the CYA level substantially (and remove the metals after using ascorbic acid again) is probably your best bet.
    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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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Hi guys. Thank you for the response.

    The levels I published were quite a while back, the CYA has been dropping slowly (and would have come from the tablets - I stopped that a while ago). I suspect the CYA is now around 100 - still a bit high but I will get a full report in a day or two.

    I may well have cooked the pool by adding floculant and I'm sure I'm getting pH bounce. We have quite a bit of rain and a lot of wind which doesn't help.

    I will also post a picture shortly.

    (I'm running the pump about 20 hours per day and backwashing regularly (every day actually) pressure reads around I only used the floculant out of desperation as my daughter had a party.....

    I haven't and won't use copper based algaecide again - I'm only using a polymeric type.

    It is an inground so I am aware of the dangers. Once I have published the new levels and gotten a fresh answer from the forum I'm happy to stick to the recommendations - ascorbic treatment followed by partial dumping sounds good.

    I am worried there is now a cocktail of chemicals that is preventing anything from doing it's job.

    I'll post back soon - and thanks again for the prompt response.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Koos, you might want to review the Pool School information to make sure that you are following all of the recommended best practices. As long as you maintain the pool according to Pool School, your pool should be clean, clear and easy to maintain. Much of what you're doing does not follow the school procedures.

    Also, it is very important that you have and use one of the recommended test kits.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    My problem pool is compounded by the iron issue. Also, when I try and do anything 'slowly' with the pool it seems to go green or fluctuate wildly with some of the levels. so I add algaecide etc to try and keep it at bay. Anyhow. I'll get a current levels reading and upoad some pics soon.

    Another problem is that in New Zealand some of the simple products for BBB are just not available like in the US. Bleach for example is at most only 4% - I have never found a 6% solution as recommended by the forum.

    Please lets continue this conversation when I get the various levels. Maybe you guys can help with the order in which to cure the over-all problem (I'm just running the pump for the moment and trying to stabilise the Alkalinity level so my pH won't bounce so much).

    I will re-read the Pool School posting though - thank you.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW

    Also, it is very important that you have and use one of the recommended test kits.
    Take this to heart and get a real test kit
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
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  8. Back To Top    #8
    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Getting 4% bleach is not really a show-stopper, you just have to use more of it. Good luck getting it under control
    (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

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Quote Originally Posted by koos
    Another problem is that in New Zealand some of the simple products for BBB are just not available like in the US. Bleach for example is at most only 4% - I have never found a 6% solution as recommended by the forum.
    You should be able to find liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) at a pool supply place or other chemical supply place. Some examples:

    http://www.mitre10mega.co.nz/shop/outdo ... 5l_065371/

    http://www.clorogene.co.nz/swimming-poo ... -chlorine/

    http://www.iancoombes.co.nz/newzealand/chemicals.asp

    http://www.poolgard.com.au/sanitisers.html

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    As for pool test kits, if you can't get the Taylor K-2006, then get the Palintest SP 315C from ChemChek NZ. Ask them if they also have the Palintest FAS-DPD test. The Palintest SP 315C is equivalent to the Taylor K-2005 so is a DPD chlorine test that is a DPD chlorine test, but will also check pH, TA, CH, CYA.
    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"

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Hi All

    Thanks for the help so far. James W - thank you for the links. I have looked on the shelves at Mitre10 and they never have any but now I know what to show them. Either way you have given me several viable options - Brilliant. I do have a test kit that uses DPD for chlorine and tests pH and total Alk. For more than that I use the pool shop but I will look at getting the Palintest.

    Ok, here are some details as of December 8th. My question now would be - do I partial dump (1/3rd at a time) and refill over time or persevere with getting levels correct and let the filter work hard?

    Iron content in my area according to the water care laboratory - Max 0.0068, Min 0.001, Average 0.003 (mg/L) so the average as PPM is 0.003PPM (I think) I have no idea what a 'reasonable' level is but this is considered Grade A in NZ.

    Here are my levels today:

    CYN 70 - Going down slowly but surely
    FC - 3.00
    TDS - 900
    pH - 7.2 (what I aim for to lessen the iron plating)
    Alkalinity - 45 (low!!! I have just added 1kg of Sodium Bicarbonate to raise it)
    Calcium Hardness - 490 !!!!!! This has shot up - I will retest next week. Must have come from the chlorine granules? Will try and get liquid chlorine asap

    Langelier SI - -0.5

    No one around here can test for Iron or copper!

    And here are the pictures:
    [attachment=1:2eoe2t02]Pool-overview-1.jpg[/attachment:2eoe2t02]

    [attachment=0:2eoe2t02]Pool-steps.jpg[/attachment:2eoe2t02]

    If I use a floculant the pool will clear briefly (even after vacuuming to waste) and it is a baby blue colour with white streaks (the fibreglass is quite old but not damaged).There is a yellow/brown haze which is the iron plating but more disturbingly there is the general murkyness which looks laden with dead and living algae despite there being plenty of non-copper algaecide in there). It seems that when I try and fix one problem (iron for example) a different problem attacks (algea)

    Give me your opinions. Thank you.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Quote Originally Posted by koos
    My question now would be - do I partial dump (1/3rd at a time) and refill over time or persevere with getting levels correct and let the filter work hard?

    Iron content in my area according to the water care laboratory - Max 0.0068, Min 0.001, Average 0.003 (mg/L) so the average as PPM is 0.003PPM (I think) I have no idea what a 'reasonable' level is but this is considered Grade A in NZ.
    :
    If I use a floculant the pool will clear briefly (even after vacuuming to waste) and it is a baby blue colour with white streaks (the fibreglass is quite old but not damaged).There is a yellow/brown haze which is the iron plating but more disturbingly there is the general murkyness which looks laden with dead and living algae despite there being plenty of non-copper algaecide in there). It seems that when I try and fix one problem (iron for example) a different problem attacks (algea)
    The iron levels you are quoting from the water care laboratory are very low. Iron staining occurs when you get iron levels in the 0.5 ppm range though even 0.2 ppm can show up if the pH gets high. So one question would be where the iron came from in your pool? Is there any stainless steel or iron metal rusting anywhere such as ladders or rails? Did you ever use Trichlor pucks in the skimmer (how were you using Trichlor pucks)?

    You basically have two choices. You can do the drain/refill of your water after doing an ascorbic acid treatment to get the iron from the stains into the water OR you can significantly lower the pH and then shock with chlorine (bleach or chlorinating liquid) in order to kill the algae. Since the latter won't get rid of the iron, if I were you I would do the former -- get the iron stains into solution using ascorbic acid, do a drain/refill to remove the iron (and some of the algae), and after the refill then lower the pH to 7.2 and shock with chlorine (how much depends on how low you get your CYA -- getting it to the 30-50 ppm range would be reasonable).

    Please stop using the algaecide and flocculant products. You cannot mix pool store advice with ours and if you continue to do so you are just going to create more problems. Some algaecides will have a high chlorine demand. The green in your water indicates that the algaecide is not working and you need to get more chlorine into the pool, but if you shock without first lowering the pH then you'll get your iron staining back again.

    I am a bit concerned that your CYA level is dropping unless you are diluting the water -- is that what you have been doing? Otherwise, the pool store doing your tests may not be giving you accurate results. Another possibility is that if the FC level has gotten to zero, that bacteria are converting the CYA into ammonia -- that is bad since that will create a HUGE chlorine demand.
    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"

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    In addition to the chemistry, I suspect some issues related to the pump and filter. What equipment do you have?

    Also, if the pool is painted, there is probably chalking, which can cause considerable and persistent cloudiness. If it's just fiberglass, then the fiberglass might be chalking and in need of refinishing.

    It looks like there might be some mustard algae, which is much more difficult to kill. You have to be very consistent with maintaining full shock levels until you have only 1 ppm FC loss overnight and the water is clear.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    No idea how the iron got in the pool. There are no metalic parts in the system, no rails, no steps. I did find a few nails and a few rusted hair pins a while back - maybe caused the problem?

    CYA has been dropping probably due to a lot of rain here and I frequently vac to waste so over a 8 weeks or so there has been some water replacement.

    I'm going to get liquid chlorine - found an outlet at last (regulations in Auckland are very strict for the storage of bulk liquid chlorine so only a couple of places stock it!)

    My pump is an almost new DAVEY 3/4 HP and my sand filter is also nearly new with all pvc piping. I'm pretty sure the pump and filter are okay.

    If I go ahead and start dumping some water what is a safe amount to prevent the pool popping or moving, about 30% at a time? I have to get the iron out first and formost as even if I get the water clear a brown plating looks equally ugly. So I feel this is the first mission.

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    You can usually drain down to about 1 foot of water left in the shallow end so for a typical pool that's about a 2 to 2.5 foot drop in water level. With an average pool depth of 4.5 feet, that would be roughly a 50% drain. You could do one-third if you think your water table is particularly high, but it will take more partial drain/refills in that case.

    I agree with you that you should probably focus on getting the metals out of the water first by the partial drain/refill and then you'll be able to focus on getting rid of the algae without having as much problem with re-staining from shocking (though I'd still reduce the pH before shocking, but that'll be after you go through the drain/refill to remove metals). Don't forget to do the ascorbic acid treatment before you start doing the drain/refill since the idea is to get the metal stains off the fiberglass and have the metals in solution, either with the pH low (which should happen anyway when using ascorbic acid) or having HEDP sequestrant or both.
    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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  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Thanks Chem Geek. That is the route I will take. What with holidays and general crazy things happening I might not get a chance for a week or two. In the mean time should I just keep filtering and stabilizing the Alkalinity level or am I just wasting time and money?

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Well, if you don't have chlorine in the pool to kill off the algae, then it could continue to grow and be more of a mess for you. So I would lower the pH significantly, to the 7.0 to 7.2 range, then add chlorine to shock the pool. You may get some iron staining, but with the lower starting pH this will hopefully be minimized. However, the chlorine will get used up rather quickly killing the algae so you would need to add more frequently to keep up, especially at first. It doesn't take long to test and add chlorine.

    Note that for testing the higher chlorine levels without a FAS-DPD kit, you'll need to dilute the pool water sample before measuring with the DPD chlorine test.
    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"

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Hi there

    I hope everyone is having a good festive break.

    I have partially dumped my pool water and have started to try and get the water clear but I'm running into problems.....

    I dumped 50% and then refilled. I then dumped another 50% and refilled; so I guess I've replaced 75% of my old water. I had the new water mix tested and thankfully my old problems seem to have gone away. My Calcium Hardness level was 490 and is now 82 (a bit low), my TDS was 900 and is now 300. Of course, my ALK was too low (40) but my pH was okay (7.3). CYN was very low (13).

    I put in the recommended pH buffer and CYN but I will get it tested later today. According to my test kit my ALK is still low, about 80 but my pH has gone higher, to around 7.8. One good thing I noticed is that although the pH is high my original iron staining problem isn't coming back - the dumping of water seems to have gotten it out of my system.

    So the problem is this. I got liquid chlorine and I have been using it as suggested in the 'Algae prevention and treatment' posts. The FC is holding over night but the pool is still murky and greenish. On day one - with the new water in the pool and the pH buffer dissolved (and CYN) the water was close to black. By the second day it had gotten more green and certainly lighter and I could see the top step again (just). I have kept the filter going 24/7 and backwashed and rinsed every 12 hours. After day 3 the pool looks much the same, maybe slightly clearer but still has a pea green hue.

    What do I do? How can I raise my ALK to optimum level without raising my pH even more? Is it just patience? I want to stick to the BBB method and I'm not going to introduce any other 'magic' ingredients to the pool.

    My pool shop gave me some DE for the filter but I think maybe too early to use yet.

    I'm dissappointed that the water is still green dispite maintaining shock levels. I was hoping is would be grey/ white by now. I'll update levels again later after another trip to the pool shop.

    Any advice??? (But I hope you are all swimming !)

    Regards
    Koos

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    What kind of filter do you have? If it is a de filter and you haven't put any de in the. The filter is not doing anything and in fact you're possibly damaging the grids.

    Have you read pool school and the sub article on defeating algae?
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Have you ever started from scratch?

    Hi Carlscan 26

    It is a sand filter. The filter is about 12 months old, as is the sand.

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