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Thread: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

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    TonyM's Avatar
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    New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Hi all - first post here, so if I am posting in the wrong location or leaving anything out please feel free to push me in the right direction.

    If I set up my signature correctly, it will have all of the details of what I have. We bought a house last year that came with a 27' AG that was left uncovered for the winter. I am a DIY kind of guy, so naturally when it came time to tackle this beast I started doing some research.

    Unfortunately, we wasted a little $ in the beginning (before I found this forum) on poor shocking techniques. Taking the pool store advice of shock,flock, rock and drop (or something along those lines), we were left with the same thing. Beautiful green water.

    So, this week I start the BBB method. I have not ordered a 'good' test kit yet, as I was trying to make due with the $30 worth of strip tests that we bought prior to reading TFP.

    With that said, I started by testing the status with the strips, and got:

    TH=250
    TC=2
    FC=0
    pH=6.8
    TA=20
    CYA=0

    so, we added 4# (sock) of CYA, and started adding 6% bleach (big bottles) as instructed. Following the 'how to shock' post and the 'turn your green pool' stickys, we continued to check - add - check (while brushing the sides).

    At the end of the day yesterday, I was at;

    TH=250
    TC=2..5
    FC=0
    pH=6.2
    TA=0
    CYA=0

    Of course, we underestimated the needed chlorine so I sent the wife off to get more bleach. I also asked her to have the pool store to check the water and to write down the levels for me as i was not trusting the strips that I had. By this point, there was a noticable difference in the water. It was no longer green, but hazy grey - so i felt that I might have more FC that I was showing.

    (warning - beginning a mini rant here)

    So my wife goes to the store for chemicals and swings by the pool store to get the water checked. The lady at the pool gave my wife the generic answer; "your water tests good. you need to go home, add 2 bags of shock tonight then add algaecide tomorrow morning and leave it alone for two days and the water will be crystal clear".

    Now, my wife is confused. She gives a brief description of what we have been doing (BBB) and thats when the pool lady goes off. She basicall made my wife feel like an idiot, told he we would ruin the liner and that the water would never be clear doing it the 'dumb way'. She talked my wife into buying some algaecide, along with 250# of pool sand (all not refundable, of course). Needless to say, I called he back and gave her my opinion aling with a 'last time you get my money' speech...

    (/rant)

    So, before the pool lady ruined our relationship she did give me the numbers from her test (sample taken at 10 am, CST / pool under shade till noon).;

    FC=.06
    TC=1.27
    pH=6.92
    CH=103
    TA=45
    CYA=32

    This is a huge difference from what i was reading.

    With that said, I am looking for advice. I can guess that most will suggest that i get a good test kit (i was thinking TF-100) which i will gladly order (if so advised), but that will not likely be here until next week (being Friday afternoon as i type this).

    I am also looking for advice to help get my wife more comfortable with this. She really got rattled by the pool lady (who told her who are you going to believe - me, or a bunch of idiots on the internet?)

    I hope this is enough info to help you help me. My goal is to be posting clear water pictures on here in a week (and, i will be emailing them to the pool lady as well )

    Tony
    17k gal, Swim Pro Sand filter (Filt. rate 25gpm/ft^2, Flt/BW 80gpm), AG, Vinyl, 1HP Haywood power pro LX pump (60gpm), TF-100 Test kit, Speedstir

    Carl Spackler: "You got a pool over there?"
    Ty Webb: "We have a pond in the back. We have a pool and a pond. The pond would be good for you."

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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    I'd say, back flush, plug those numbers in the pool calculator do what it says, brush, and back flush again tomorrow. You aren't too far off.
    16 x 32 15300 gal. IG Vinyl Jandy pump, Jandy sand filter, Paramount circulation system, Automatic pool cover.

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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Tony, sorry to hear about your pool store experience, but glad you found TFP! Pool store test results are notoriously wrong...but then again, so are test strips. That being said, I think you are on the right track by following shocking instructions. I would not worry about any of the levels except FC at the moment. Of course, you will want at least a LITTLE CYA in your pool, but you added CYA in a sock..so it might just take a few more days to register on your test.

    Use the pool calculator to figure out how much bleach to add, and just keep it up until your TF-100 arrives (or K-2006). Either kit will do you wonders! In the mean time, the more you can read in Pool School, the better!

    And yes, your signature info did work

    PS Welcome to TFP!

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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    One more thought (about helping your wife more comfortable), is show her these forums. Pool school is very informative, and might be a good thing for BOTH of you. Also, show her how many users are active on this forum (numbers on bottom of home page). If BBB method didn't work so well, I would imagine that at least A FEW of the THOUSANDS of users here would be posting about it....just my 2 cents. You are on the right track, just keep it up!

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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    If those #'s are anywhere near correct, then your first order of business is to get your pH up into the low 7's (using borax) ASAP.

    Once pH is in the low to mid 7's, retest TA and raise it to about 70 using baking soda.

    After pH and TA are in line, then you can start/continue the shock process.

    You need a good test kit. Strips are not reliable, to say the least.

    Welcome to the forum
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Tony, welcome to TFP! I can see you got pool stored! Not only did they get your wallet but they got your wife as well. Anyway, like others have already said get the right test kit as soon as you can and read "pool school" so you have a decent understanding about what goes on here. All of the "idiots" here at TFP's will have your school crystal clear in no time. I joined last year after my pool store had me dump over 75lbs of shock in my pool because they said I had high chlorine demand. That was after I had dumped 75lbs in when I closed the pool the previous season because of this so called demand. Anyway, not wanting to dump any more $$ into the pool store I found TFP and the BBB method. My pool was crystal clear all year, I understand what is going on with my pool, and I never go to the pool store for anything. Trash the test strips, they will cost you more then they are worth.
    18x36 Vinyl In-ground w/roman ends 27,400G, Hayward 3/4hp with 300# sand filter. Hayward heat pump heater

    Pool School
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej
    One more thought (about helping your wife more comfortable), is show her these forums. Pool school is very informative, and might be a good thing for BOTH of you. Also, show her how many users are active on this forum (numbers on bottom of home page). If BBB method didn't work so well, I would imagine that at least A FEW of the THOUSANDS of users here would be posting about it....just my 2 cents. You are on the right track, just keep it up!
    Also remind her that we dont have an agenda, the pool stores agenda is to sell your more chemicals.
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

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    TonyM's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Wow - this is what I was looking for. I am beginning to like this pool now

    So, should I maintain what I have been doing over the weekend (keeping FC high, running filter, scrubbing, backwashing), or wait until the test kit gets here next week and start from there?

    I am OK with 'writing off' what I have done thus far as 'stupid tax', and starting from scratch if need-be.

    The pool is still looking 'grey', but I do not trust these cheap strips to give me any accurate information.

    One other thing I forgot to mention earlier - We have a choice of water to add (when needed) - spring water or 'county' water (chlorinated). Which is better to use to top off the pool (after many back-washings)?

    Also, since we cannot see the bottom - we are only assuming that we have BW to waste all of the debris on the bottom.

    Tony
    17k gal, Swim Pro Sand filter (Filt. rate 25gpm/ft^2, Flt/BW 80gpm), AG, Vinyl, 1HP Haywood power pro LX pump (60gpm), TF-100 Test kit, Speedstir

    Carl Spackler: "You got a pool over there?"
    Ty Webb: "We have a pond in the back. We have a pool and a pond. The pond would be good for you."

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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    I think you should proceed with shocking. Dave ships the TFTestkits very quickly, so you will get the kit pretty soon. Use pool calculator to calculate doses. Your test strips are not ideal, but better than nothing (for now).

    Not sure which water would be better for you. Is there any other difference in the county water besides chlorine? Seems like the extra chlorine would be a good thing, but not sure if there are any other factors.

    The more debris you can get out by hand or with vacuum (to waste), the better.

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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    I am proudly one of those idiots on the internet who would suggest to you to follow Butterfly's advice before you start to shock.

    While the shock process is what you need to clear your pool, you need to get your pH in order first because you will not be able to do so once the shock process begins.

    So follow Butterfly's advice right to the letter....you can join us as idiots (but who coincidentally know what they're talkin' about ) on the internet and we'll have at least three of us!!

    (meant to be funny, I hope, but the advice is spot on the money)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    I agree with all of the above.

    If it makes your wife feel any better, I felt like an idiot listening to the advice of the pool store for two years. I'm educated now.

    In the future, when the "people who know what they're doing" (sarcasm tag) try to tell her something else, tell her to roll her eyes and politely say "ok, I'll try it" while walking away. Meanwhile have her read over your shoulder. Somebody said it before, and I'll reiterate. We aren't trying to sell anything. We want everyone to understand their pool, and maintain it easily and cheaply, without lining anyone's pockets.

    And welcome to the forum.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    With the TA that low it needs adjusting now. Handle it and the pH and then resume shocking.
    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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    TonyM's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Glad to be on the forum, and proud to be "one of the idiots".

    I had to run out tonight, but just got back and added chlorine to bring the FC up. It was just after dark, and we used the 'super packs' that we have on-hand from the pre-TFP pool-store era (might as well use them up).

    The pool is looking better, but still is cloudy and grey. My plan for tomorrow is to shock, scrub, backwash and re-fill to try to keep it as chlorinated as possible (even though the strips are probably lying to me). I will also vacuum to waste again, topping off with chlorinated water.

    Before I order the kit in the morning, am I correct in my thinking (from reading) that the TF-100 is the way to go? I plan to place the order based on recommendations tomorrow, so that the kit is here by mid-week at the latest. my goal is to get on-top of this before the end of the month - then, get the plan together so that next year is algae-free (we have already bought a cover - and at a huge discount, by ordering it in march).

    Tony
    17k gal, Swim Pro Sand filter (Filt. rate 25gpm/ft^2, Flt/BW 80gpm), AG, Vinyl, 1HP Haywood power pro LX pump (60gpm), TF-100 Test kit, Speedstir

    Carl Spackler: "You got a pool over there?"
    Ty Webb: "We have a pond in the back. We have a pool and a pond. The pond would be good for you."

  14. Back To Top    #14
    TonyM's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Dave - just saw your post after I posted my reply.

    So, should I also bring the pH up tonight (after adding chlorine)? It's a nice night in southern Tennessee, so I don't mind working well into the night

    Tony
    17k gal, Swim Pro Sand filter (Filt. rate 25gpm/ft^2, Flt/BW 80gpm), AG, Vinyl, 1HP Haywood power pro LX pump (60gpm), TF-100 Test kit, Speedstir

    Carl Spackler: "You got a pool over there?"
    Ty Webb: "We have a pond in the back. We have a pool and a pond. The pond would be good for you."

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    TonyM's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Hey y'all! This is the wife [Torrie]. I appreciate all the advice as well as the emotional support. I wish I could take every one of y'all with me to the pool store, for back up, after the way she made everyone in that store think I was a complete idiot. She yelled at me like I was her kid that had just run out into traffic, because I told her we had poured gallons of bleach in last night. The hubs called her and took care of it....but I'm still embarrassed about how she made me look.(Small town...I knew everyone in there. )
    So thank you all for making me feel a little better.
    17k gal, Swim Pro Sand filter (Filt. rate 25gpm/ft^2, Flt/BW 80gpm), AG, Vinyl, 1HP Haywood power pro LX pump (60gpm), TF-100 Test kit, Speedstir

    Carl Spackler: "You got a pool over there?"
    Ty Webb: "We have a pond in the back. We have a pool and a pond. The pond would be good for you."

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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM
    Glad to be on the forum, and proud to be "one of the idiots".

    I had to run out tonight, but just got back and added chlorine to bring the FC up. It was just after dark, and we used the 'super packs' that we have on-hand from the pre-TFP pool-store era (might as well use them up).

    The pool is looking better, but still is cloudy and grey. My plan for tomorrow is to shock, scrub, backwash and re-fill to try to keep it as chlorinated as possible (even though the strips are probably lying to me). I will also vacuum to waste again, topping off with chlorinated water.

    Before I order the kit in the morning, am I correct in my thinking (from reading) that the TF-100 is the way to go? I plan to place the order based on recommendations tomorrow, so that the kit is here by mid-week at the latest. my goal is to get on-top of this before the end of the month - then, get the plan together so that next year is algae-free (we have already bought a cover - and at a huge discount, by ordering it in march).

    Tony
    The TF 100 kit is supposed to be a good deal because of the volume of reagents. But the taylor 2006 kit is fine (I use it). You might be able to go to your local pool store and either buy the k2006 kit or the most critical components of it. For example if you go to leslies site they have several kits

    For example this kit isnt a good value, but it can get you going right away
    http://www.lesliespool.com/Home/Pool-Ch ... 81329.html

    I have amazon prime so I can get overnight shipping for 3.99
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Before I order the kit in the morning, am I correct in my thinking (from reading) that the TF-100 is the way to go? I plan to place the order based on recommendations tomorrow, so that the kit is here by mid-week at the latest. my goal is to get on-top of this before the end of the month - then, get the plan together so that next year is algae-free (we have already bought a cover - and at a huge discount, by ordering it in march).
    You are correct, the TF100 is the fav kit around here. Dave (duraleigh) owns TFTestkits and also this TroubleFreePool site

    You can compare recommended test kits here: pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison

    duraleigh also sells the Taylor K-2006 kit on his site. Same as the TF100, but less chems so you can't do as many tests as you can with the TF100.

    If you need a link to TFTestkits, just look in my sig ( and lots of others, too )
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    You should invite the pool lady to your grand opening pool party.
    16x32 Oval In-ground Vinyl, ~17,000 gallons, Hayward 1hp Superpump, Hayward S245T Sand Filter

    Worn out sand? sand-filter-expert-help-t30049.html
    Drain the easy way: cyanuric-acid-blues-draining-pool-t43843.html
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html , pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock , pool-school/shocking_your_pool

  19. Back To Top    #19
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Welcome to tfp, TonyM and Torrie

    We are here to answer any/all of your questions. I would just get the tf100, it is so worth the money and the day or two wait.

    And Torrie, we won't yell at you here, I promise
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner, fighting algae after a winter uncovered

    Torrent, First off don't let that pool store lady may you feel bad. She was just seeing her money flying out the door. The funny thing is, she probably sells liquid shock which is just a stronger version of bleach.

    It's ok to add one chemical an hour after adding the last.
    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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