I wanted to share my story with the hope to help others.
My husband and I purchased our first house last winter in Long Island, NY. With the house came a 30 year old 16x32 inground pool with a vinyl liner and a very old Hayward sand filter. We are new to the pool world and our families and friends didnít own inground pools either so we were really on our own.
At the end of May we hired a pool company open the pool for us. The pool was swamp green and scary looking. They took the cover off and put everything back together and left the filter running. I thought having a pool company open the pool meant that they cleared it up to pristine swimming condition but I was wrong. They came back a few days later and vacuumed the leaves out and added a little shock and we never heard from them again. What a waste of money that was. After spending $350 we decided not to use them again and try to handle this ourselves.
We went to the local pool store to see if they could offer any suggestions. Another complete waste of time and money. They tested our water and proceeded to sell us two huge canisters of calcium and PH adjuster. But offered no solution to get rid of the algae. And remember we have a vinyl liner pool. So calcium isnít even a factor for us which I later learned. I then decided to do some research online and read about a product called Yellow Out. I sent my husband back to the pool store to purchase this product with some powdered shock. We used the Yellow Out and the next day the pool was cloudy teal. We were very excited because after a week, some progress! We kept on shocking for a few nights with the powdered shock and backwashing the filter but there was really no change after the Yellow Out. Some people suggested using Clarifier. We bought that and it didn't work either.
Now we were very anxious, why isnít anything working after 2 weeks? I then found this website and purchased a Taylor Test Kit. I read Pool School & How to Defeat Algae. I bought a ton of Bleach from Wallmart and started using the BBB method. My pool went from cloudy teal to cloudy blue within a few days. I bought more and more bleach and tested my levels religiously and every day saw some progress. All of the levels we perfect, we continued to keep it at shock level and I added a little DE to the filter. But it was still very slow to clear, this was our third week and my Husband was very nervous. So he decided to call another pool company to take a look at our old sand filter because he thought that might be the issue now. I didnít mind having someone look at the filter but didnít want them to sell us any chemicals because I was happy with the progress of the bleach and wanted to continue with it. The pool guy said we could get through the year with the old filter but our pool will never clear because we have Phosphates of about 500 and we would reach a Chlorine Lock. If we wanted clear water he would have to do a Phosphate treatment that would cost us $150 for each visit. And we should have him change our sand which would be another $250. He asked what we were doing up to this point and he looked horrified. He said to never use household bleach because it wasnít pure and to never ever use DE on a sand filter. He thought I was nuts. Iím happy to say we declined his ďtreatmentĒ. Once he left I researched everything he said and found it all to be BS. I wasnít going to be Pool Stored anymore.
I continued the BBB method through the fourth week and added more DE with hopes to clear the fine particles still clouding the water. During this fourth week I was starting to see the liner on the floor and even starting to see the walls of the deep end! A few days later and I am soooooo happy to say that we are CRYSTAL CLEAR!! Take that pool man!
With a ton of patience and dedication you can clear your pool with common household bleach. So many people told me I was crazy, I would bleach my liner, itís not safe, ect. But little do they know it contains the same ingredients as the stuff you buy at the pool store.
The amount of bleach to clear my pool seemed extremely excessive. My husband and I laugh because the garbage men and our neighbors must think weíre trying to clean up a murder scene with all this bleach. But the BBB method works!
Thank you so much to the people who post their stories and to those who offer their advice. I wouldíve ended up spending triple or quadruple the amount to clear up this pool if I never found this site. This was really the only place I found to be honest. Good luck everyone!