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Thread: Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimmer

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    Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimmer

    Good morning all. I moved into my new house Jan 27, 2012 and it included my pool which was sparkling and clear at the time. I've been watching and exploring this forum since then and have learned so much about chemical care and I think I'm getting pretty good at it. Thanks so much!

    Here is my issue: I have my suction pool cleaner run overnight and this morning went for a swim and decided there were quite a few "floaties" on the top that the cleaner wasn't going to be able to get and should go through the skimmer. So I shut the pump off, turned the handle from "sweep" to "skimmer" and started the pump back up again. When I did this, green water came out of my waterfall into the pool for about 30 seconds to a minute and then the water started running clear.

    I backwashed my pump about 2 weeks ago for the first time since I moved in -and it did have quite a bit of stuff in it and the whole system seemed to run much more efficiently after that. I also replaced the pressure gauge on top of the pump about a month ago.

    Should I not be switching back and forth between the skimmer and the sweep like that? Could it possibly need to be backwashed again already? Is it natural for some green water to come out when switching from sweep to skimmer?

    Thanks so much for any information you can give me on this.

    Joni
    15,000 gallon freeform in-ground pebbletech pool with waterfall and aerator. (pool is 10-12 years old?)
    Hayward ProSeries Plus Sand filter. 99gpm design flow rate.
    Barracuda G3 suction cleaner.
    Liquid Chlorinator.
    Surprise, AZ.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimme

    Switching back and forth should not cause green water to come out of anywhere. How often does it get switched between the two?
    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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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimme

    Green water in no way, in any pool or pool apparatus... is normal or good. Green is indicative of all of two things almost every time. Either algae, or copper. So, in your case there is apparently a reservoir of water left in the equipment when you turn the skimmer off. It got algae from not being exposed to chlorine.

    Sounds like it dumped that algae water into your pool and there's likely some left in the lines as well. I'd test the water and see if you've got combined chlorine and watch FC levels today. Keep running the skimmer system for a day or two, and test the water to make sure nothing is getting wonked. You might use more chlorine today than normal but it'll likely go back to normal in a day or so. Then make sure to run your skimmer once a day at least, so that treated water will enter the system.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimme

    Frogabog has a point, but it could also be copper in much the same way, water gets trapped from circulating, you have a high level of copper in the water and it is right at the tipping point on saturation, the pH shifts in this trapped water due to contact with minerals, etc. just enough to let it turn green. Copper typically gets in pool water one of three ways: Fill water has high levels of copper, through the use of copper based algaecides, or copper pipes in equipment, like a pool heater with copper heat exchanger (most modern pool heaters don't use copper for this, but many older ones did)

    Ike
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    Re: Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimme

    Thanks so much for the input. I had let the pump run on the sweep for several days without switching to the skimmer, so it might have been the water sitting there for too long. I've developed a new routine where I run the skimmer at night and sweep in the morning when I'm home (because it sometimes gets stuck on the steps and I need to give it a push). Another couple mental notes: The chlorine levels all look good (FC=4, TC=4, CC=0). I add the chlorine at night and test around 6 am every morning. They've been consistently good for the last month. My test kit only measures ph up to 8.2 and I can tell it's higher than that and my Alkalinity is high - 170. (I'll be ordering a TFPS school shortly so I can get more accurate measures.) I'm working on bringing that down. It was originally 220. Not sure why it's so high. I checked the city water levels online and that shows alkalinity at 120. Just checked the copper level as well and it's at: MCLG=1.3, Action Level=1.3, 90th percentile=.18.
    15,000 gallon freeform in-ground pebbletech pool with waterfall and aerator. (pool is 10-12 years old?)
    Hayward ProSeries Plus Sand filter. 99gpm design flow rate.
    Barracuda G3 suction cleaner.
    Liquid Chlorinator.
    Surprise, AZ.

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    Re: Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimme

    Quote Originally Posted by AzLuckee
    I had let the pump run on the sweep for several days without switching to the skimmer, so it might have been the water sitting there for too long.
    Not sure of your setup but can you leave some of the flow through the skimmer while the cleaner is running?
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

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    Re: Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimme

    I haven't tried that. My setup has a handle that switches from sweep to skimmer, so I just always did one or the other. I will try it part way and see how that works.
    15,000 gallon freeform in-ground pebbletech pool with waterfall and aerator. (pool is 10-12 years old?)
    Hayward ProSeries Plus Sand filter. 99gpm design flow rate.
    Barracuda G3 suction cleaner.
    Liquid Chlorinator.
    Surprise, AZ.

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    DCAG's Avatar
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    Re: Waterfall runs green when switching from sweep to skimme

    Quote Originally Posted by AzLuckee
    My test kit only measures ph up to 8.2 and I can tell it's higher than that
    You may want to lower that with some acid, it will also bring down your TA. Your waterfall will raise ph.

    Dan
    16' X 24' Wilkes Pools "Genesis", 10K Gal
    Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1 hp, & 18" Pro Series sand (S180T)

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