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Thread: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think...

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    New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think...

    Hi this is a great forum and some really good reading, thanks for everyone's efforts and knowledge sharing.

    Here's my situation and I apologize for not having accurate results posted (I'm at work right now), but I would love to understand what's going on in principle at a high level:

    There is a ~13k gallon below ground pool at my parents house. I think it's concrete or something and the original color was a light green (which is annoying when trying to figure out how much algae I got now). It used to be a beautiful pool when i was a kid, but ever since I left for college my parents stopped having a professional pool cleanercome in. My dad has been chlorinating it with liquid chlorine and brushing it, on and off every 2 weeks for the last 10 years. No other maintenance in terms of chemicals, just chlorine and brushing. Occasionally washing the filters (cartidges). Looking at the pool now...it does not look inviting at all, it's a darker green than it should be and it's cloudy.

    I've taken on the task of attacking this pool and getting it ready for the grand kids for this summer. I'm trying to read as much as possible, and getting advice from local pool store (Leslies) and here's what I've done so far. I went and bought powdered shock. Each bag of shock was supposed to be for a 15k pool. I used 2. I wasn't messing around. I wanted to destroy everything and anything . OK, so I guess that's my first mistake, after doing a bit of reading, I realize I should have balanced the pool beforehand, so I'm back pedaling a bit. After shocking, I ran my tests, PH was non existent as was Alkalinity results. So, I have a super chlorinated pool, which is very acidic and no alkalinity. I've read that PH and Alkalinity are tied to one another, so try and get alkalinity up first, and PH should follow. Pool store concurred after running my sample water, and recommended 15lbs of "Alkalinity Up", which I used. This helped bring the PH up a bit, but still well below 6.8.

    I took the water sample back to the store and he they said I need more alkalinity up....I used another 10lb bag this morning. So hopefully it'll be much more balanced when i get back from work to test it again.

    Here's the problem - The chlorine levels are THROUGH THE ROOF. I can't even tell you what the number is. I have a drop test, and if it turns a dark yellow, I know it's over the optimal levels. Well, when i put the drops in, it goes right past yellow into a dark pink. The pool store has confirmed that my chlorine levels are ridiculously high right now. It's been 3 days, I haven't added any chlorine...and it's not dropping at all.

    Furthermore, the pool is still green. I brush it everyday. I've got some cloudiness/sediment at the bottom that I assume will filter out eventually over the next week or so (I did a thorough clean of the filters before starting the project). After a good brushing the pool gets quite cloudy, but will settle after a couple of hours and the water will be relatively clear....but the actual pool surface seems to have a algae still stuck to it. At these high levels of chlorine (I realize this can be bad for my pool equipment), I would assume the algae would be completely destroyed and get bleached out....but it's not? How long will this take? And why are my chlorine levels not dropping AT ALL? I don't have a CYA measurement yet, but if it was high, I'd be losing chlorine...so not sure why CYA would matter at this point (I understand it's dangerous for equipment, but in terms of killing algae which is my primary goal right now, it shouldn't hinder it)

    I realize I have done things a bit backwards and I'm trying to get things balanced. But at this point I have large concentrate of chlorine int he pool.....and not a lot of results from an algae killing perspective, from what I can tell. Maybe I have some sort of chlorine resistant algae that has developed over the last 10 years? I noticed a leaf that had fallen on the surface yesterday is now bleached white.....but yet the darker green tint on my pool floor remains!!!! Any guidance would be appreciated....
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Join Date
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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    1. Get a good test kit from tftestkits.net. Take control of the pool yourself, don't depend on the pool store. Their test results can be inaccurate, and you can't measure your chlorine level accurately without the FAS-DPD test in the TF100 or K-2006 kits.

    2. Don't get advise from a pool store.

    3. You can raise pH with plain old Borax 20 Mule Team.

    4. CYA DOES MATTER NOW. It is possible you have a high CYA level, which means even at "ridiculously high" chlorine levels, it's all protected and not doing its job.

    5. Read Pool School, the button at the top right. Read "How to Shock your Pool" and learn that it's a process.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    1. Answer: Ok, thanks, I'd like to get a kit where i can post results on this forum for guidance. Tftestkits.net takes 4 days to deliver, I'd liket o pick one up today. Do you have any recommendations of a local kit?

    2. Don't get advise from a pool store. Answer: Ok thanks!


    3. You can raise pH with plain old Borax 20 Mule Team. Answer: Laundry Detergent? How would I know how much to put in? Seems like a more expensive option.

    4. CYA DOES MATTER NOW. It is possible you have a high CYA level, which means even at "ridiculously high" chlorine levels, it's all protected and not doing its job.
    Answer: I though if the CYA was high, the chlorine would burn off very quickly...which it's not doing.

    5. Read Pool School, the button at the top right. Read "How to Shock your Pool" and learn that it's a process.
    Answer: I've read this. I understand it's a process. Just hoping to get some clarity on a few things...which you are doing right now. Thank you.
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Borax is not detergent. Use poolcalculator.com to determine how much to add. It's cheaper than anything you'll get at the pool store, that's why it's recommended.

    CYA shields chlorine. Think of it like sunscreen. So high CYA will help hold chlorine, but in large doses it will make your chlorine ineffective.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Thanks RobbieH!!!

    I purchased the TF100 test kit and will be testing the results this evening and posting it. Given the water hasn't been replaced for 10 years (other than standard evaporation) and the fact that my dad used a lot of tablets, I'm guessing the CYA is pretty high. I used a test strip (which I know is inaccurate) and it was showing 300 for CYA. It's been over five days and the original shock I put in the pool has not diminished at all. There is no pool cover and it gets plenty of sun for northern california. The entire pool still wreaks of chlorine and tests through the roof. The pool is still a bit green as well.

    I'm anticipating that I'll need to drain and replace some water. Won't know for sure until i do my test with the TF100. I'm trying to figure out what the best way to go about the drain procedure is. There's nothing posted about best practices in Pool School topics. After a bit of reading I've learned that if my CYA is truly that high, I'll need to drain at least 60% of the pool. Suggestions have been to rent a sumppump from homedepot. I guess that while it's draining I'll use the opportunity to replace one of the undewater pool lights that have burnt out.

    -Is there anything else I should be doing?
    -Should I be treating/scrubbing the surface while it's drained, if so what chemical (I freqently hear "acid wash")?
    -If i'm not draining it completely, won't the chemicals from the scrub/wash go into the remaining water that's sitting in the pool?
    -If I'm replacing the water, what chemicles should I "expect" to replace...i.e. will I need to bring the PH up or down? alkalnity?

    Moving forward only liquid chlorine! no tablets!!!!
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    I know you're anxious to get started but posting those test results is really the first step. Just about everyone here on the forum who responds to questions has lost a lot of faith in pool store and strip testing but that will all be over and done with once you post those results.

    If those dark green stains are still there you may have some other issues but the best thing to do will be to get your CYA manageable and then go from there. Sounds like you won't need any chlorine.....aside from the stains, how does your water look?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Yes very anxious!

    The water itself is fairly clear, and getting more clear everyday (very subtley). But the pool surface/concrete itself (even though the concrete is green) is still a darker shade that it should be...with dark patches as well. That is of course until I brush it, and then I get cloudiness everywhere that settles after a few hours. The vacuum can't seem to pick that stuff up since it's too fine...so i guess that's the filter's job over the next few weeks. But it's not a white or grey cloud..it's a green cloud when brushing. I'm not seeing the bleaching effect that I was expecting.

    Here are some pictures for your reference.

    2 Days ago
    [attachment=2:11zathh7]photo 1.JPG[/attachment:11zathh7]
    1 Day ago
    [attachment=1:11zathh7]photo 2.JPG[/attachment:11zathh7]
    This morning
    [attachment=0:11zathh7]photo 3.JPG[/attachment:11zathh7]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Have you tested your water for copper or other metals? What percentage of the green is due to the pool's color?

    Don't mind me... just thinking out loud
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Yep...well...the pool store did (leslie's) and stated that there was no issue there... That's the only thing I have to go off of. Will I be able to test that with the TF100 test tonight?
    While the pool is green and was orignally green, it was definetly a lighter green. See that step in the deep end? The whole pool was more like that color, maybe a little lighter.
    It's been so long with this dark green I can hardly remember.
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Alright Pool Helping Guidance Givers. I have my TF100 Test kit finally. And I ran the same tests twice to to make sure I wasn't insane.

    Here are my results:
    FC 0 - No drops, after the scoop was put in it turned pink for a split second then clear again (repeated test to ensure I was correct)
    CC - Could not get a reading, I added over 60 drops and it never got clear. The standard chlorine test is through the roof as well (please read up)
    TA - 140
    CYA well over 100, it was even below 1/2 of where the 100 started..it looked like that would be 300 but there are no results above 100.
    The Calcium hardness test also did not work at all for me, it never turned blue..even after 50 drops.
    PH 7.0

    Regarding total chlorine genearl tests. I don't even get yellow, I get deep red...and after a few minutes it starts clumping pretty bad. I KNOW the chlorine is super high as I double shocked it. It's just not going down....even after a week...yet the algae green remains!!!!

    [attachment=0:2y8p7ink]securedownload.jpg[/attachment:2y8p7ink]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    You didn't use enough powder in the FAS-DPD test. If it flashes pink add another scoop. That's really moot at this point though. You need to drain a lot of water to get the CYA down. Once you've done that you can run the tests again.
    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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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Ok...I guess I'm draining tomorrow.

    The forum says about 60% of the pool is sufficient to replace. Pool store (who I don't listen to). Said to replace it all just to be sure.

    A couple of questions:
    1) what do you recommend for quantity to drain?
    2) should I scrub the empty pool with chlorine?
    3) sump pump from home depot?
    4) when replaced by fresh water, what are the order of operations for adding chemicals to water? how do I get some levels of CYA back in? And what should I expect in terms of the chemicals I need I.eacid vs base. Mot sure where fresh water starts at....

    Thank you!
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Do you know what the water table is where you are? If you don't know, you shouldn't drain it completely. I suggest draining it till there's about 6" left in the shallow end.
    A good thing to do is test your fill water especially for CH.
    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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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    I don't know the water table, how do find out?
    What does testing my CH do? Regardless of what it is, I don't really have another water source...

    Any guidance on pump/scrub (if any) process.

    Thanks for the help.
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    By testing the CH of your fill water you'll know what to expect to have when you're done refilling.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    If you are unsure about the water table, don't empty it completely. It might float the pool, breaking pipes.

    Try diluting your sample 1:3 with tap water and then run the CYA test on that. Multiply what you get by 3 and you'll have a better idea what CYA is and how much water needs to be replaced.

    Test the fill water for pH and TA. Then you'll know if you're going to need a bunch of acid or a bunch of borax to balance it.

    pH is first on a fresh fill. While that is mixing, measure out the CYA into a sock then hang it in front of a return. Then chlorinate it. Give it an hour to mix, brush as much as your arms can take, then test everything except CYA (It won't register for a week or so) and post results. Someone will be along to guide you.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Thanks everyone for your help. I drained it all the way after double checking the table. It's beautfuil now...

    THANKS AGAIN!!! See pics below... Now it's time to work on the plumbing!





    Cheers,

    Ali
    13K Gallon below ground concrete pool.
    Uincel c-7477 cartridge filter system x4
    TF100 Test Kit

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New Comer - Read Pool School - Fighting algae, I think..

    Be sure to get some FC in it and keep it in there until you get the CYA up.
    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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