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Thread: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

  1. #1
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    Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    When i uncovered my intex 15x42 pool a week ago, i inadvertantly dumped the filth that was on the pool cover, into the pool. That caused a huge mess which i have skimmed as best I could but i also discovered that i had hundreds of tadpoles in the already green, algae filled water. I figured the best thing to do was drain the 4000 gallons and start over however, it all didn't drain out. I brushed everything down hosed out all that i could and then started to refill. Needless to say, it was still a nice shade of moss green but at least most of the tadpoles were gone. Yesterday i put in about 2 1/2 bags of shock and bought some sink and sweep then i found your website. The moss green is now a cloudy grey/green so i will assume that's improvement. I have read enough to know that you highly recommend the test kit which i will order however in the meantime, i am using strips. I'd like to know, based on what the unreliable strips say, what else i can/should do until the water test kit arrives...and Monday is a holiday so it'll be delayed. My readings are as follows:

    hardness 100
    TC 3
    FC somewhere between 3 and 10 but closer to 10 it appears
    ph too low to read
    TA 40
    CYA below 0

    Last year, i used chlorine tablets, baking soda, borax and shock so i have plenty of all of that on hand. What can I do in the meantime?

    Thanks.
    15'x42" AG Summer Escapes metal frame pool, 4000 gallons

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Use some borax to bring the pH up into range. What brand of shock product are you using?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    I am using Aqua Chem Shock Plus. So the ph should be the next step? I just want to make sure I am going to do things in the correct order as I read many disasters on here from doing it wrong.
    15'x42" AG Summer Escapes metal frame pool, 4000 gallons

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Quote Originally Posted by NwTnMom
    I am using Aqua Chem Shock Plus. So the ph should be the next step? I just want to make sure I am going to do things in the correct order as I read many disasters on here from doing it wrong.
    I believe your next step is to stop using the Aqua Chem Shock Plus. I'm pretty sure it's Dichlor and Dichlor will raise your CYA. Assuming those bags are 1lb. and you added 2 1/2 bags then your CYA should be in the high 30's from just those 2 1/2 bags. Have you added more than 2 1/2 bags? Does it say Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione or something similar on the bag?

    It's hard to recommend a course of action without a set of numbers from a reliable test kit. I can tell you what I did when I was in your situation without a proper test kit. Went to Walmart and bought the HTH 6 way test kit. Brought it home and tested my CYA. It was 60. Then I hopped on over to the CYA CHART and found my shock number was 24 ppm Chlorine. Then I hopped on over to the POOL CALCULATOR and filled in my pool volume at the top and clicked Trouble free pool.com at the bottom in the "Suggested Goals" section. Then I grabbed the OTO test and tested my Chlorine. The OTO test is the one where you match up the yellow color bar with your pool water.

    Since the OTO test only goes up to 5 ppm and I need I needed 24 ppm, I diluted my pool water at a 4 to 1 ratio. I took a shot glass of pool water and mixed it in a glass with 3 shots of distilled water. I then poured it into the OTO test. If the color matched up with the darkest yellow on 5, I knew I was around 20. It's not very accurate but I thought it was better than sitting on my thumbs till my test kit arrived. Once my test kit from TFTestkits came, it took only two days to pass the OCLT test. I thing the reason I lucked out this way is because I bought 12.5 % liquid chlorine and when I plugged in my numbers in POOL CALCULATOR I forgot to change it from the 6 % when I was using household bleach. My OTO test was brown. I was probably in the 40's ppm Chlorine.

    Anyways, that's what I did. If your test kit is only a few days out and you don't feel comfortable with my method, disregard my long drawn out post.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
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  5. #5
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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Quote Originally Posted by yeggim
    I'm pretty sure it's Dichlor and Dichlor will raise your CYA. Assuming those bags are 1lb. and you added 2 1/2 bags then your CYA should be in the high 30's from just those 2 1/2 bags. Have you added more than 2 1/2 bags? Does it say Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione or something similar on the bag?
    Spot on. Here's the MSDS for Aqua Chem Shock Plus. Four or five more bags of that stuff will make your pool nearly unmaintainable from a CYA perspective.
    TFP Moderator33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1.5HP PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater
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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Smykowski...ugh! So now what do I do?

    Yes, I am using dichlor since I still had some. As for the results, I have the hth 6 way strips and an HTH 3 way water test kit. These are my results as of a few minutes ago.

    FC 2
    PH 6.8
    TA 80
    TH 100
    CYA 0 (it's almost impossible to distinguish between the two colors on the strip but i'm leaning more towards the 0 instead of the 30-50)
    TC (diluted as you said) 5

    I do have a bottle of flock but I dont know how much to add. Currently my pool is still very milky and has been for two days now. I'm assuming all algae is dead but with having just a paper filter (and temps in the 90's), i'd like to clear it up, hence buying the flock. Where do I go from here?
    15'x42" AG Summer Escapes metal frame pool, 4000 gallons

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Also, I HAVE added CYA and yet I still have the above reading. I have a huge bottle sitting here but i'm still learning the calculator and perhaps i didn't read it right when i added some.
    15'x42" AG Summer Escapes metal frame pool, 4000 gallons

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Quote Originally Posted by NwTnMom
    Also, I HAVE added CYA and yet I still have the above reading. I have a huge bottle sitting here but i'm still learning the calculator and perhaps i didn't read it right when i added some.
    Until you know your accurate test results, a plan of action will be difficult, but we can try.

    First, when did you order your kit, and when do you expect it to be delivered?

    What exactly did you put in this year after opening. You said 2.5lbs of the dichlor product. What about the CYA? How much, and what's the name on the bottle?

    Can you take a sample to the pool store for a test? It's not as accurate as your own testing with a drop based kit, but it's better than the strips. Don't buy anything, just get the test.

    Here's my thought process...if we can find out what your correct (or close to it) CYA level is, we can get enough bleach in the pool to safely keep any growth at bay until you get your test kit.
    TFP Moderator33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1.5HP 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
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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    IDK when the kit will arrive as it's a holiday today. Order was placed yesterday. I have put in the bags of dichlor, borax to bring my ph up (although it's still low it appears), and aquamate stabilizer. I can try to get a test sample to the store as they are open for a few more hrs today but it's 1/2 hr away. If i make it, i'll post my numbers.
    15'x42" AG Summer Escapes metal frame pool, 4000 gallons

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    The dichlor raised your CYA by 33ppm. Every pound of aquamate stabilizer you put in raised your CYA by 26. Do you know how many pounds you put in? And powdered CYA doesn't show up on a test for almost a week, but rest assured it's in there and doing its job. I'm asking all of these questions because it's very hard to guess what to with chlorine without knowing what the CYA level is.

    (I'm taking advice from duraleigh on another thread and applying it here...) Based on what you said so far, you could put in 3 quarts of bleach to start, and then put in another quart every day after that until you get the test kit. You likely won't make much forward progress, but it's better than nothing and you could hopefully hold the algae at bay until you get accurate test results (at which point the real battle will begin).

    I know this is exasperating, but keep with it. We'll get your pool clear.
    TFP Moderator33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1.5HP 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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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    If your water rates aren't too expensive, it might be better to just drain and start over. If that's doable, we can walk you through the process of balancing your water and you might be able to swim tomorrow or the next day. I don't know how fast those Intex pools drain but you should be able to drain, hose out most of the sediment and refill in 24 hours or so.

    Even if it's longer, a refill might be worth it because your basic Intex cartridge filter is not known for being very robust. After killing the Algae, the filtering process with those filters could take awhile.

    Success hinges on you knowing exactly what it is you're putting in your pool and what those chemicals do once you put them there. Once you know that, pool care is a breeze. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ignorance is not stupidity. Ignorance is just "not yet knowing". The dumbest question is the one you don't ask. If you have the least little doubt about anything just hop on over here and ask. I had the good fortune to find this site and pore over hundreds of threads during the winter. Every question I had somebody had already asked and been answered. So I have to give a great big thanks to the askers and the answerers.
    Bill
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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Thanks everyone. I was able to get my water tested and the results are as follows.

    FC 7.78
    TC 7.78
    CC 0
    pH 6.8
    TA 80
    CYA 42

    They said all i need to do was up the pH and change, change, change the filter to get it clear. It was also suggested that i could drain and refill the pool which IS doable and if it'd get us swimming faster, i can. It took a day to drain and about 7 hrs to fill it back up. We are on well water so water price isn't an issue. I also stopped and picked up several bottles of bleach so i'll be doing BBB instead of using shock now. So, based on the reading, what is the consensus? Drain and then balance or keep going with what's in there?
    15'x42" AG Summer Escapes metal frame pool, 4000 gallons

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    I don't trust pool store results, especially CYA results. Can you remember exactly how many bags of that shock and how much stabilizer you added? Here's the thing. CYA (stabilizer) doesn't show up right away in tests. It usually takes 5 to 7 days to fully register on the test.

    Here's where we stand:
    With the two and a half bags of shock you're in the 30 range of CYA. That's not counting the stabilizer you added or additional bags of shock. An 8 oz cup (by volume) of stabilizer will raise your CYA another 15 ppm. That puts you into the 50 range. That's not bad if that's all you added. I started last year to basically clear water with just few patches of algae. With a decent size sand filter it still took the better part of 4 days to clear. And that's running the pump 24/7. My vote goes to a drain and refill.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    I am pretty sure that I have put in 3 bags of the shock (i found two 1/2 empty bags and used 2 new ones) and maybe 3/4 of the small container of stabilizer. It's what was left from last year. I just added that two days ago (the stabilizer). Maybe i read the calculator wrong and totally messed that up but the way i look at it, it can take days to clear or days to drain, refill and adjust the water. I just checked it and i CAN see further down than before...maybe 2 1/2 feet but the kiddos are getting anxious. Would a partial water change be very benificial or would it be best to totally drain? I can't get out the last 4" or so of water as I tried that last week.
    15'x42" AG Summer Escapes metal frame pool, 4000 gallons

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Quote Originally Posted by NwTnMom
    I am pretty sure that I have put in 3 bags of the shock (i found two 1/2 empty bags and used 2 new ones) and maybe 3/4 of the small container of stabilizer. It's what was left from last year. I just added that two days ago (the stabilizer). Maybe i read the calculator wrong and totally messed that up but the way i look at it, it can take days to clear or days to drain, refill and adjust the water. I just checked it and i CAN see further down than before...maybe 2 1/2 feet but the kiddos are getting anxious. Would a partial water change be very benificial or would it be best to totally drain? I can't get out the last 4" or so of water as I tried that last week.
    Ok, don't take this the wrong way but 3/4 of a small container of stabilizer is of little use in the way of information. Was it granular or liquid? Trust me, it's not a put down but knowing amounts is something that you yourself will have to embrace. Don't worry, you'll be a mad scientist in no time. Now if it was 3/4's of a 3 lb container of granular--your CYA is gonna be sky high. If it was liquid it's a little lower but still higher than what's called for. See where I'm going with this?

    When it comes to chlorination, an accurate as possible stabilizer (CYA) number is the most important aspect of the process. If your CYA numbers are high, you'll have to drain some water anyways. My vote is still to drain and refill. I'd drain 75% of the water down to a foot or so and refill. Until you have a reliable CYA number, it's impossible to know how to proceed with the water you have in there now. If you do drain you'll still need a reliable CYA test to determine how much is left. I feel for ya Mom. I wish there were a simple answer. I still believe the fastest and simplest solution is to drain. Some folks in hot climates where the sun hits the pool all day sometimes run a higher CYA. What area are you in?
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    No offense. I'm just learning it all so I know i am going to make mistakes. It was granular stabilizer...3/4 of a 1lb container. I agree that draining may be the easiest but i wanted to be sure before i wasted all that water that i just put in there a few days ago. :/ As for my location, i am in north west tennessee. The sun is on the pool for roughly 6-7 hrs a day at this time of year.
    15'x42" AG Summer Escapes metal frame pool, 4000 gallons

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    I'd vote for draining and refilling. The intex filters are not great and it will take along time to get rid of the dead algae. If the water is free, refilling is
    the quickest and cheapest solution. It would be hard to make progress without the test kit anyway.
    28K, 20' x 40' IG - Vinyl Liner, Hayward DE Filter, 1.5HP Pump, 250K Hayward BTU Heater, Aquabot Breeze 4WD robotic cleaner

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Quote Originally Posted by NwTnMom
    No offense. I'm just learning it all so I know i am going to make mistakes. It was granular stabilizer...3/4 of a 1lb container. I agree that draining may be the easiest but i wanted to be sure before i wasted all that water that i just put in there a few days ago. :/ As for my location, i am in north west tennessee. The sun is on the pool for roughly 6-7 hrs a day at this time of year.
    That ain't so bad. I'm estimating you're in the 60's and the pool store test says your around 42 ppm CYA. I think it's safe to proceed and split the difference and go with 50 ppm as your CYA number. That means your shock number is 20 ppm Chlorine. It has to be unscented Bleach or liquid Chlorine from here on out. They're both the same thing but different strengths.

    First thing to do is adjust your PH in the 7.2 to 7.5 range. Once you have that settled don't worry about till your done shocking and your water is sparkling clear. Have you read how to SHOCK YOUR POOL? I'd dump a gallon of bleach in tonight and run the filter non stop but cleaning the cartridge as necessary. If you can get the water tested tomorrow bring it back up to 20 by using the POOL CALCULATOR. Plug in your test numbers in the right box and put 20 in the left box. Make sure you have the number 6 in the % box in the FC section. An extra filter cartridge would help. It would be a quick swap and you can clean the dirty one at a more leisurely pace.

    Once your test kit comes, we can fine tune and adjust with solid information. Good luck Ma. I'm rootin for ya.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    I vote for treat the water. I am not an expert, but I have successfully run Intex pools for 8 years. Since you have already drained and refilled once, I'd be cautious about doing it again on a well, unless you are pretty confident you won't cause problems there. Swamps can be cleared. Plan on running your filter 24/7, and adding copious amounts of bleach. Turn your test orange, retest in several hours, and bring it right back up. It's not the end of the world if it back tracks a little, but you have just wasted whatever $$ you just used on bleach, so stay on top of it. Once the flow from the pump slows down, put in a clean cartridge and rinse the used one until it runs clear. I find using my kitchen sprayer with hot water works best. Check the intakes (under the basket, where it connects to the wall) for any clogs. It's not magic for existing problems, but put in the bottle recomended treatment dose of Polyquat 60, and then keep at the maintenance dose. And make sure you physically remove all the debris you can. If you have a skimmer basket, buy a box of knee highs and keep those over the unit, but make sure you don't impede water flow.

    Good luck!
    Intex 15'x48" frame set, 4500 gallons, cartridge filter. 7th year Intex owner.

  20. #20
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    Re: Newbie battling algae in intex frame pool

    Just based on what you put in this year, your CYA is about 55. If any made it through the winter, it will be higher than that. Given the low volume and in your situation, low cost, I would lean toward draining as well.
    TFP Moderator33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1.5HP 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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