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Thread: New to pools - afraid of Algae

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    steinholder's Avatar
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    New to pools - afraid of Algae

    Greetings,
    I am looking at opening my pool for the second time, more scared than the first. I have yet to bring it out, clean and prepare it. Last year I battled Algae at least three times, I would like avoid that this time. I have a Walmart test kit, and have seen so many recommended chemical levels I am thoroughly confused. I used granular chlorine last year, planning to go with LIQUID this year (local price is 6.99/Gal).

    I plan to fill it, shock it, test it, and balance... But what should I watch the closest for the algae problem? I would like to use the BBB method but the wife is going to just kill me if we have a green pool at 107 degrees this year.

    I am in a high risk category here, and would really appreciate a little feedback regarding algae control. Thanks!
    22'x52" AG Ultra Frame Intex - 12,500 gal (47K liter)
    Manual Liquid Chlorine - 1HP 100# Hayward sand filter
    Lots of sun, trees, pollen & wind - 50ppm Borates
    4nd season grateful TFP fan

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    Welcome to TFP!

    All of your levels need to be kept generally in range. Still, by far the most important one, as far as algae goes, is keeping your FC level within the correct range given your CYA level. The higher your CYA level, the higher you need to keep FC.

    There are several different chemical levels to keep in mind, but once you get used to it most of them are very easy to keep in range. If you are using liquid chlorine, neither CH or CYA will change very much through the season, and TA changes only slowly. PH can vary a lot in some situations, but usually it can be kept fairly stable. That leaves only FC that you need to keep track of every day.
    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

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    If you have the HTH 6-way kit with the CYA test you'll be in pretty good shape. It only has enough reagent for a couple of tests so be stingy with it. Once you know the CYA level you can use the pool calc to add enough to get to about 50 ppm once it's clear.

    As Jason said, the most important chem is the FC level for your CYA.

    If you ahven't already you should read Pool School articles on levels and balance.
    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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    steinholder's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    I will continue to read up and be prepared to test. I think last year I ignored the CYA level. Thanks so much!
    22'x52" AG Ultra Frame Intex - 12,500 gal (47K liter)
    Manual Liquid Chlorine - 1HP 100# Hayward sand filter
    Lots of sun, trees, pollen & wind - 50ppm Borates
    4nd season grateful TFP fan

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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    Hi steinholder and welcome to TFP!
    Well, I can say don't be afraid. We can help.
    I was in the same spot last year, always chasing my tail and being pool stored to death, Oh you need this... and a week later we suggest that, etc, etc, meanwhile the pool was never that great.
    So I decided that I wanted to know about pool water chemistry and did a Google search and landed here.
    Did some reading and realized that I need a good test kit if I was going to understand my pool water, got the TF-100 kit from here:
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html
    Followed the instructions here:
    what-we-need-to-know-to-answer-your-questions-t10341.html
    Post your test results here and we can direct you to success.
    I have learned that it really isn't that hard, just in the beginning.
    With the TF-100 kit I was able to see how my pool behaved and was able to apply the science taught here and the pool does exactly what it told to do. For your concern with algae it will be very simple to defeat and control. The TF-100 test kit is the best tool in the tool box, it will help you fix many issues you might have and prevent. This forum was the cheapest college education I ever got! It was FREE!
    I became a TFP Lifetime member to give back to support this forum and help newbies like you!
    click-here-to-become-a-troublefreepool-com-supporter-t183.html

    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

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    steinholder's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    Thank you Chuck! I am planning to the back up in about 10 days, I can't wait to apply what I have already learned. I was using Dichlor through the whole Summer, I had no idea what I was doing to the CYA. As soon as I can I will post test results for advice.

    Looking forward to Summer!
    22'x52" AG Ultra Frame Intex - 12,500 gal (47K liter)
    Manual Liquid Chlorine - 1HP 100# Hayward sand filter
    Lots of sun, trees, pollen & wind - 50ppm Borates
    4nd season grateful TFP fan

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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    I second the vote for the TF-100 test kit. You can use any of the kits recommended in Pool School, Test Kits Compared. The TF-100 is more bang for the buck though.

    The second most important thing is to keep records. When you tested, what you got, what you did and what you were hoping to accomplish. It is all too easy to let the chemicals slide for several days and then (not so suddenly, really) things can get out of control. If you wrote it down, you can see on your test log book that you needed to tend to the pool yesterday, not tomorrow. Knowing that, you can pay more attention and catch it before algae gets a toehold in your pool.

    When I test I record FC and pH each time. Then I record what chlorine and/or muriatic acid I added and what level I was hoping to get to. If I test FC again and it has fallen too fast, I suspect that algae may be lurking and so I hit it a bit harder until it holds the levels I expect.

    What is really neat is when your pool is so sparkly that a hint of dullness is enough to tell you the chemicals are not correct. The downside to Sparklypoolitis is that you may never want to get into a public pool again. I was just at a hotel in Austin and while the pool was clear it was a bit too cold for me. The hot tub, however had a nice clear emerald tint to it and I didn't want to get in. I noticed the maintainence man at the hot tub and for a short while it was nice and blue and I complimented him on it. But before the day was out it was greenish again. No hot tub for me, so sorry.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    steinholder's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    I will make up a log via Excel. Great idea! We are also thinking of upgrading the pump and filter to a 2500gph Intex. Do you think that will help? The original pump is awful weak..
    22'x52" AG Ultra Frame Intex - 12,500 gal (47K liter)
    Manual Liquid Chlorine - 1HP 100# Hayward sand filter
    Lots of sun, trees, pollen & wind - 50ppm Borates
    4nd season grateful TFP fan

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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    steinholder, there are some pool logs from users on this forum. I use the one by Bama Rambler, I made a few changes to it as I log the hours of run time for SWCG and average water temps. If you search the forum you will find several, it might save you some time.
    18' x 42" Intex (4786 Gal @ 80% capacity) Intex 8110 SWCG, 2000 GPH cartridge filter.
    Full Sun, Well Water, Borates at approx. 50
    TFTestKit-100--The Pool Calculator--Pool School

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools - afraid of Algae

    Quote Originally Posted by steinholder
    I used granular chlorine last year, planning to go with LIQUID this year (local price is 6.99/Gal).
    Check at your local Menard's for cheaper liquid chlorine. It's $3.99 a gallon here.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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