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Thread: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

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    Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    This site has been helpful but having a pool almost doesn't seem worth it at times! Anyway, here's my results from this evening's test. Pool has not been real clear the last few days, a little cloudy and everyday there's some yellow/green algae even after shocking yesterday. Alkalinity has always been waaaay high, added two 5 lb buckets over time last year trying to get it down per Leslie's pool instructions and it didn't make a dent in it, stayed high. PH is usually mostly fine despite that.

    6/21 Test results:
    FC - 2.5
    CC - 1
    pH -7.8
    TA - 370
    CH - 380
    CYA - 10 or maybe 0? not sure since I could still see black dot when it was completely full (using my TFT100 kit)

    We have well water on a water softener, all our outdoor water goes through the softener too, no way around it. Haven't tested just our water this season yet.

    Also this year when we opened the pool there was about a 4 in dark brown to blackish ring around the base of the wall around the entire pool. Did the vitamin C test, that did nothing. There are also brown spot stains here and there. Obviously a bad closing....

    I'm sure there are several things that need fixed here, where do I begin. Also, I should let you know that I just ordered a t cell so we can start using our salt chlorinator, so that will be a whole new learning process in about a week or so. But first thing is first....

    Thanks all who contribute info and expertise here or my family would have a huge sandbox by now!

    And just noticed in my signature it should say Hayward pump, not sure of size or flow.
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Welcome!..............now go shock your pool due to CC 1.0 ! Read shocking your pool in pool school. Bump your CYA level to 30 as well and shock at that level.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Welcome to TFP!

    Your description doesn't sound exactly like calcium scaling, but calcium scaling is extremely likely given your very high TA. What is your fill water TA level? Running through a softener, it shouldn't be all that high, but TA doesn't get up to 370 by it's self either and fill water is the only really likely source.

    You need to get your CYA level up soon. The recommended level is between 30 and 50. Shocking is difficult when CYA is that low.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    CYA to 30, then get pH to 7.5, then shock the pool using these instructions. Read this thread for more in depth info.

    Also, could you explain what you meant by this:
    Quote Originally Posted by lsheridan
    Alkalinity has always been waaaay high, added two 5 lb buckets over time last year trying to get it down per Leslie's pool instructions and it didn't make a dent in it, stayed high. PH is usually mostly fine despite that.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd 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: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    The alkaline has always been about as high as it is now or in that range anyway. Last season, the pool store told me to use dry acid to bring it down (sorry left that out before) and after going through two bucket fulls of dry acid over time trying to bring down alkalinity it did almost nothing to lower it. Pool store said not to worry about it then since PH stayed mostly within range.
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Ok so after pump running all night and backwashing this morning, I'm letting my pump run for 24 hours instead of 8-10 like I normally do, to see if that will help battle the algae problem as well. I want to start the BBB method. So I'll get cyanuric acid today to get the CYA up, is that the right thing to use with the BBB method? Tonight I will also test our source water to see if that's my alkalinity problem which most likely is but if so, then what do I do? We do have to add about an inch of water a day in this heat so it could be a daily battle.
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Quote Originally Posted by lsheridan
    Ok so after pump running all night and backwashing this morning, I'm letting my pump run for 24 hours instead of 8-10 like I normally do, to see if that will help battle the algae problem as well. I want to start the BBB method. So I'll get cyanuric acid today to get the CYA up, is that the right thing to use with the BBB method? Tonight I will also test our source water to see if that's my alkalinity problem which most likely is but if so, then what do I do? We do have to add about an inch of water a day in this heat so it could be a daily battle.
    You have discussed everything except the single most important thing to fix your pool....chlorine.

    read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School then read "How to Shock Your Pool". Chlorine is the prime ingredient you need.

    1. Assume you have zero CYA and then purchase enough to get to 30ppm and put it in your pool.

    2. Start the shock process by bringing your chlorine up to 12 ppm or so and then plan on replenishing it back to 12ppm at least three times daily.

    Disregard TA for now...leave your pH alone...CH is fine.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Thanks, Dave. Yes I did plan on the chlorine once I got the CYA up, I thought that was the order of things. Thanks for the clarification and direction though, you've all been a great help! I'm off to the store today to get bleach to shock and cyanuric acid. Wish me luck!
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Still working on the algae problem, finally read thoroughly "again" the advice given above about shocking and pool school info...got cya up to 35 but read somewhere the algae can throw that off but it's still got to be better than it was at 0. Did a source water test today on our alkalinity and gave up after adding enough drops that tells me it's over 500 (test showed alk at 440 for the pool today). So now it's time to get someone out here to test our water softener to battle that piece. In the meantime, pump is running non stop, FC is at 15 CC is .5 after shocking and stayed there for over an hour now, I'll wait til morning now to test for the overnight levels of FC and hoping for good news but will shock more if needed. Does that all sound like I'm on the right track? Oh and ph is 7.8.

    Thanks all for your help and advice.
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    This morning FC is at 11.5 and 0 CC so FC is down a little, adding more liquid chlorine this morning to get it back up some and will test this evening after work and work hard to keep on top of it over the weekend. Need to kill the algae! (yellow algae I think but hard to tell for sure if it's yellow or light green). In the meantime it's the hottest days of the year here in Ohio and we can't use our pool!!! But we'll get there.
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    For what it's worth on the TA issue, my softener does nothing for the TA, CH is 0, but the TA stays the same as the hard pre softened water.
    12,900 Gal. 24' X 48" ABG Vinyl Round (17th Birthday)
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    50ppm Borates, June '12

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Being new to this all can be overwhelming but once you understand by reading and re-reading articles in Pool School and following the advice given on these forums, you will soon have crystal clear water.

    DO NOT follow the advice of anyone at any pool store unless it coincides with what is discussed on these forums. They may be nice people but most don't have a clue on what to do besides following the instructions given to them by their chemical suppliers. I go to a little hole in the wall pool supply store since they carry 12.5% liquid chlorine at a great price and can get me any parts I need in less than 24 hours. But even they toe the company line on how to start up a pool and treat 'problems'. I saw them sell a guy almost $200 worth of chemicals to open his pool. I haven't spent $200 yet on parts and supplies this year and I have had my pool open for 6 weeks.

    Be patient and diligent. By doing that, you will have a clear pool that really will be trouble free in a very short time.

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Ok so my pump has been running over 48 hours now, still have yellow algae problem, have been shocking to keep chlorine levels ranging from 11-15. My cya was 35 yesterday, now my ph has creeped up to 8.0. Been shocking for 2 days algae looks only slightly better.

    So my questions...
    1 Do I just keep shocking until algae goes away?
    2 Do I keep pump running until it goes away?
    3 Should I add muriatic acid now to lower ph or wait?

    Thanks!
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    If you have mustard algae and your CYA is 35 then your shock level should be 22. If you aren't hitting this number you aren't going to get it. If it is regular algae, you need to keep it above 14.

    Make sure you are following the rules for shocking as described in Pool School.

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    the algae is a yellow to yellow/green, so I'm not sure if it's mustard algae or regular algae.
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    If FC is over 10 ppm, don't try to get a reading on pH, the tests are not valid at high FC. Just let that be until you have the algae under control.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Ok thanks, I'll just keep battling the algae, I've put in 7 gallons in 48 hours but I'll keep at it, hope I can have it licked soon! Finally found 15% liquid shock today at Mebards, had been using 10 & 6%.
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Maintain shock level and don't forget to brush it. The way to kill it is to brush, it breaks the cell walls so the chlorine can get to it.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    I got a little carried away on the shock , FC is at 26 now! CC is at 0. I've been brushing twice a day so I'll keep that up and the FC and I'll get it there eventually. Thanks for all the advice, you've been a great help!
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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    Re: Help! Pool troubles....new at this

    Finally progress! Woke up this morning to a cloudy white pool and no yellow/green! Bringing FC up again to be sure it's all licked and will check again in the morning, this site and your expertise has been a tremendous help, I don't know what I would have done without it!!! I'm anxious to get through this hopefully final shock phase so I can then balance things out and we can all swim again! (good thing since the grandkids are coming this weekend and wouldn't be happy if they couldn't swim!)

    Once we're balanced I'm finally ready to go SWG, everything is ready just wanted to wait out the algae issues first. Now I'll be back her regularly for more learning with that little addition. Will also be fully BBB method at this point as well, have it all bought and ready to go, no more pool store chemicals and mumbo jumbo for me anymore!

    Thanks again all!
    Leslie
    15,360 gal/IG/Vinyl/Sand/Hayward Pump 1HP/SWG

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