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Thread: Green Pool, No $

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    Green Pool, No $

    Hi everyone,

    I have been having an algae problem for the past week. Problem is, I can't afford a good testing kit in the near future, but don't want to let my pool deteriorate into a swamp either. Our financial situation caused us to discontinue our weekly pool service, and I'm hoping with the help of this site, I can DIY this problem and then maintain the pool myself.

    Over the past 48 hours, I've already poured in 34 (96 oz) bottles of 6% bleach. I pour in about 6 bottles, every 6 hours or so--I work & can't stay home to do it every hour. The pool improved a lot after the first application, but isn't really improving with each subsequent dose.

    Any advice on how to tackle this without a testing kit? Please keep in mind that I am on a *tight* budget at the moment, so any expensive options are out of the question. Maybe this weekend, with more time on my hands, I can tackle this once & for all? Thanks in advance!
    IG Plaster Pool, 16,800 gallons
    Pentair Clean & Clear cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Welcome to TFP.

    Do you have any kind of test kit?

    Can you take a sample to a local pool store and have them test it? If so, do that and post the test results. Don't buy anything from them.
    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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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    You can order just the FC and CC test to help you maintain shock value from the TF-100 recommended in pool school. But you won't know what your CYA level is without at least a pool store testing/best guess scenario.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Ok, going to run home during lunch & take a sample to the pool store. Will update with results. Thanks!
    IG Plaster Pool, 16,800 gallons
    Pentair Clean & Clear cartridge filter

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Welcome to tfp, misswho
    Quote Originally Posted by misswho
    Any advice on how to tackle this without a testing kit?
    I understand budget is tight, but I wouldn't. An appropriate test kit will make you process most efficient and end up saving you money. The cost of driving to the pool store, over dosing, under dosing and having to put more chemicals ($) into your pool are hidden costs that can be avoided with the appropriate test kit. Maybe look at the TF-50(see link in my sig for test kits)...it is a bit cheaper and will serve fine, just with fewer quantities of reagents.

    IMO, thinking you do not have enough money for a test kit is a fallacy when you need to maintain a pool which by definition can be expensive.
    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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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    What Linen said...

    You could easily spend the cost a kit on bleach mistakes without said kit. If your pool is green, it is loaded with algae which is stronger than you are if even 1ppm too little is used. What this means in reality is that you could add bleach over and over again with little or no effect. At $2.50/1.5 gallon at walmart (which is cheap) how many gallons of ineffective bleach would amount to the cost of a kit? Not too many really. The chances of not being able to get ahead of the algae without a test kit are very good, even with the kit the demand of maintaining shock level consistently can be daunting when schedules and life gets in the way.

    There are a lot of inexpensive pool owners here who more than understand the lack of funds situation. That's why we don't have big luxurious houses with gorgeous in ground pools, we're slumming it with our Intex style disposable pools for a reason :~} Some of us learned the hard way with less than adequate test kits and have come here to save others from doing the same.

    Do you by chance happen to have one of the HTH 6 way drop kits? If so, by adding the FAS-DPD kit and a bottle of CYA reagent from TFTestkits.net is all you need to complete it.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Getting pool stored cost me at least two test kits every visit.
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Results are in:
    • FC: 5
      TC: 5
      CYA: 100+
      TA: 140
      pH: 8
      TDS: 3000
      Salt: 1400


    Here's what the pool store told me:
    -Add 26 oz. of muriatic acid two times, 12 hrs apart
    -NO more liquid chlorine, since my salt level is so high
    -Recommended calcium chlorine instead

    I ended up buying a gallon of muriatic acid, but escaped the salesman's pressure to buy calcium chlorine. I will also consider purchasing a test kit through your links. So based on the store's assessment, what now? In my limited and beginner knowledge, my CYA is way too high, and I still need to get the FC up to kill off the rest of the algae. Is it safe to continue using bleach? What about my high salt content? Do I really need the special calcium chlorine? TIA!
    IG Plaster Pool, 16,800 gallons
    Pentair Clean & Clear cartridge filter

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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    From what I have learned over the past couple of months on this site, with a CYA level like that you almost need to drain about 1/2 your water and refill to lower cya.........the higher your cya, the more bleach you need to shock.........right now you are looking to maintain shock level of at least 40 FC

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Quote Originally Posted by misswho
    Here's what the pool store told me:
    -Add 26 oz. of muriatic acid two times, 12 hrs apart
    -NO more liquid chlorine, since my salt level is so high
    -Recommended calcium chlorine instead

    I ended up buying a gallon of muriatic acid, but escaped the salesman's pressure to buy calcium chlorine. I will also consider purchasing a test kit through your links. So based on the store's assessment, what now? In my limited and beginner knowledge, my CYA is way too high, and I still need to get the FC up to kill off the rest of the algae. Is it safe to continue using bleach? What about my high salt content? Do I really need the special calcium chlorine? TIA!
    Ahh yes...unfortunately you have run into the pool store way of doing things.

    You are going to have to decide on either advice from them or us. You can surmiss that their approach most likely to be more expensive, since they are in the business to make money. I can tell you this, the tfp method works and is based on knowing what levels your pool is at and what needs to be adjusted...from a science based perspective (though we try and boil it down and keep it simple).

    Case in point, you didn't list a Calcium hardness number. Did they measure it? If they didn't, using calcium hypochlorite...the "calcium chlorine" may in fact be a very bad idea. There arguement is the salt in liquid chlorine. In fact, my pool is at 3000 ppm salt, and has no problems, though I am also running a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (swg) but that really doesn't matter to the point that TDA from salt is not a problem.

    Regardless, if the pool store is right about your cya, you will need to do a drain and refill. But here is another problem, very often pool stores get this measurement wrong. Maybe your level is lower and you do not need to drain. Maybe it is actually much higher.

    Let us know if you are planning on following the tfp method and we can get you going. We are always here to help!
    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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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Like DeeMac said, you FIRST need to drain AT LEAST 50% of your pool and refill (most likely twice, like I had too) to get your CYA level down to the proper levels,and save you from needing alot of bleach. As per the pool calculator
    I came up with for your pool 31oz of 31.45% Muriatic acid to go from 8 to 7.5pH (which is all you need to do right now) just add it slowly in front of the return jet of the pool (good practice to wear safety goggles,gloves and a mask or hold your breath for the few it takes to poor it in)
    24,000 Gallon Vinyl Grecian IG,Triton2 Sand Filter / Pentair Super Flo 1 HP Dual Speed Pump ,
    Stenner Peristaltic Pump Injection w/15 gal drum,Stubbed up supply/return for future solar panels :)
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Take a gander at the information in pool school about using salt in non-SWG pools just for the improved "feel" of the water. Salt ain't gonna hurt your pool one bit. I'm also unaware that calcium chloride doesn't add salt, as is a natural byproduct of chlorine. And chlorine is chlorine... is chlorine. Plus, exactly how do they explain the high salt level in the first place if you haven't been using liquid chlorine exclusively for years already?

    Your CYA is far too high. That should have been their first recommendation, to reduce CYA to a reasonable level (30-40ppm) by draining, adjust pH to around 7.2-7.4 with acid, re-test, and then shock based on your adjusted CYA level (see pool school and pool calculator).

    I say drain first and then adjust pH because your fill water is likely around 8 (if city water) and there's not much reason to adjust pH on the full pool if you're just going to drain it away.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Regardless, if the pool store is right about your cya, you will need to do a drain and refill. But here is another problem, very often pool stores get this measurement wrong. Maybe your level is lower and you do not need to drain. Maybe it is actually much higher.
    How has the pool been chlorinated in the past? Is it pucks, granular, etc? Trichlor (the pucks) and dichlor ( sometimes what the granular chlorine is made of) both add cya to the pool.

    In your case, if you are willing to purchase the appropriate test kit, I might wait to do a drain/refill until you know where you really are...just in case it is not needed.
    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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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Buying from TFTestkits will give you the accurate results needed to fix your problem. It's also the cheapest way to go and you get the best service. I just placed an order (from tftestkits.net) on Tuesday night (10pm) and selected the slowest USPS delivery. It was on my doorstep at lunch today. Great service!

    I know exactly how you feel, I spent a couple weeks trying to decide what to do. Last season starting off I went to the pool store, two weeks later I knew that I wasn't doing things properly. After ordering my test kit and learning BBB I couldn't be happier. It probably took me a month or so to feel like I knew what was going on, but well worth it.

    Now I spend about $35/mo on chlorine and that's usually it.

    Always remember when dealing with pool stores that many of them will tell you anything (sometimes it's what they believe to be true).

    And, as everyone else has said, without accurately knowing your CYA level - there isn't much you can do besides guess (and that's how the pool store got you into this mess).
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Case in point, you didn't list a Calcium hardness number. Did they measure it?...

    Let us know if you are planning on following the tfp method and we can get you going. We are always here to help!
    I don't think they measured the calcium & I am planning on following the TFP method and any/all advice from here. I was just reporting what the pool store told me, in case that would help in your initial assessments.

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    Take a gander at the information in pool school about using salt in non-SWG pools just for the improved "feel" of the water. Salt ain't gonna hurt your pool one bit. I'm also unaware that calcium chloride doesn't add salt, as is a natural byproduct of chlorine. And chlorine is chlorine... is chlorine. Plus, exactly how do they explain the high salt level in the first place if you haven't been using liquid chlorine exclusively for years already?
    They said it was from shocking with liquid chlorine, since liquid chlorine/bleach = sodium (<-salt) hypochlorite.

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    How has the pool been chlorinated in the past? Is it pucks, granular, etc? Trichlor (the pucks) and dichlor ( sometimes what the granular chlorine is made of) both add cya to the pool.
    We had weekly pool service, so I'm not exactly sure of the type, but we have a floater that has pucks, and I think I saw the guy putting granular in it too once in a while? Sorry I'm uncertain on this.

    I think my best bet is to order a test kit. You should all be earning commission from TFT as you have done a great job convincing me haha. So in the meantime while waiting for the kit, what are your suggestions?
    -Stop everything?
    -Continue pouring bleach?
    -Start draining? Or wait?

    Thanks again, you are all FANTASTIC!
    IG Plaster Pool, 16,800 gallons
    Pentair Clean & Clear cartridge filter

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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    If it was me I wouldn't add anything other than liquid chlorine, until your test kit arrives.

    The owner of this site also owns TFTestkits. We advocate these sites because we're so happy with the results (and service provided)
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Please send my commission check to the following address.....................JUST KIDDING! Please take this into consideration first. Your CYA level could easily be 200. You don't even want to try to shock at that level. Before you get a test kit ordered, you could take a sample back to the the pool store using 50% pool water and 50% bottled water and have them just test it for CYA level. Double their reported result. You'll get a lot better idea if you need to drain it down or not. Your salt level is just fine. Using bleach is just fine Good luck and keep us posted.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    My opinion - If there have been pucks used, even if the pool store number is not correct, I do think your CYA will be high. While you wait for the kit to come in, I think I would go ahead and drain some of the pool. You don't want to drain a lot at a time, so this may be a good time to drain about a foot, refill, let pump circulate for a bit and repeat.

    Pretend CYA is 150 and you drain 25%.
    After drain/refill 1 - CYA = 112.5
    After drain/refill 2 - CYA = 84.375
    After drain/refill 3 - CYA = 63.28
    After drain/refill 4 - CYA = 47.76

    Pretend CYA is 100 and you drain 25%.
    After drain/refill 1 - CYA = 75
    After drain/refill 2 - CYA = 56.25
    After drain/refill 3 - CYA = 42.18
    ~~ Allison ~~
    Intex 18' x 48" Easy Set Pool, approximately 5455 gallons
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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    I stand corrected on the calcium chloride and salt. It makes sense duh, since nowhere in "calcium chloride" does "sodium" appear.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Green Pool, No $

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedo
    If it was me I wouldn't add anything other than liquid chlorine, until your test kit arrives.
    How much do you suggest? Is it wasteful to do this since I don't have my CYA under control? Or will it stave off further growth? I'm so confused...

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp
    Please send my commission check to the following address.....................JUST KIDDING!
    Your salt level is just fine. Using bleach is just fine Good luck and keep us posted.
    Hahaha Thanks for reassurance on the salt!

    Quote Originally Posted by aa62579
    My opinion - If there have been pucks used, even if the pool store number is not correct, I do think your CYA will be high. While you wait for the kit to come in, I think I would go ahead and drain some of the pool. You don't want to drain a lot at a time, so this may be a good time to drain about a foot, refill, let pump circulate for a bit and repeat.
    Ok, this is going to show how pool-dumb I am, but how do I even go about draining the pool? Do I have to go buy a pump? Sorry for my ignorance...

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    I stand corrected on the calcium chloride and salt. It makes sense duh, since nowhere in "calcium chloride" does "sodium" appear.
    Not trying to correct anyone here, just reporting. Sorry if I came across harsh...my apologies!

    Thanks for walking me through this...I would be penniless from the pool store without you guys!
    IG Plaster Pool, 16,800 gallons
    Pentair Clean & Clear cartridge filter

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