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Thread: newbie asks.. Mustard Algae?

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    newbie asks.. Mustard Algae?

    Hello,

    This is my first post here. I'm new to being a pool owner. Vinyl Pool, Built in 1999. 20,000 gallons I believe. 16 x 32 and seems to be about 8 feet in the deep and 3-4 feet in the shallow end. My wife and I bought a house the end of last summer here in Massachusetts. I was working nights and didn't have time to learn the pool, so I paid pool guys reccomended by the previous owner to close it for us in Early September.

    During the winter, the cover fell in the pool. I paid the same pool gguys to open it in May. They said the cover was too small, and I noticed that some of the water bags holding it on deflated. They dumped 25 gallons of liquid shock and 5 gallons of an algaecide (Not sure which one). All in all I think they had done a good job opening and closing except for two things. 1. $350 a visit = way too much money. 2. They hooked the chorinator on backwards.

    I was looking in the Chlorinator once a week marveling on how well the pucks were doing and how slow they were dissolving. Well, the pool turned green, I went through a lot of Shocking (Mostly Liquid, Some Calcium Hypochlorite). Now it is Crystal Clear. I also hooked the chlorinator up correctly.

    I'm left with some brown sediment that I think is Mustard Algae. I've vaccumed it, cleand the cartridge filter and then shocked with 25 gallons of liquid bleach . It seemed to reduce it a bit, but I still have sediment left behind. Brush it, it turns into a brown cloud. An hour or so later, it is back.

    I've done some research, bought a Taylor TF-100 and really hope you guys can help. My wife is ticked with all the time I'm spent out at the pool, we have a 4 month old, and I've been missing out on time with her.

    Free Chlorine = 5
    CC = .5 or 0, not sure
    Alkalinity = 140-160, not sure about reading
    PH = 7.5
    Hardness is about 125 according to Insta Test 6 Test Strips, havent had time to do Taylor for this.
    Cyanuric Acid is at or near 0

    Interestingly enough, my test strips say my free and Total Chlorine is .5 ppm, significantly less then the Taylor.

    I attached 3 pictures. Note the yellow stain on the crease of the liner in the second picture. The 3rd pic is the stairs.

    [attachment=2:135abgi9]1.jpg[/attachment:135abgi9]
    [attachment=1:135abgi9]2.jpg[/attachment:135abgi9]
    [attachment=0:135abgi9]3.jpg[/attachment:135abgi9]

    I'm giving the whole story to show how naive I was to being originally. Now Just need some advice what to do. Is this Mustard Algae? How much chlorine should I really be adding to shock my pool? How much should it need a week to stay normal operating?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 1.jpg (43.5 KB, 111 views)
    • File Type: jpg 2.jpg (37.6 KB, 111 views)
    • File Type: jpg 3.jpg (35.8 KB, 111 views)
    Pool Size = 20,000 Gallons (I Think previous Owner said this. Used a Pool calculator for 16x32 8 ft. in deep end, Seems Right)
    Filter = Cartridge Filter, Seems really large. 2 Cartridge Filters and a little long pipe thingy in middle of them.
    Inground Vinyl Pool
    Pump Flow Rate = Unknown, though by Kill-A-Watt Meter it is 1400 watts / About 2 HP
    Pool Installation year = 1999

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Re: newbie asks.. Mustard Algae?

    Well, first of all I think your CYA number may be off. If you've been using pucks, you've got CYA in the pool. Did it turn cloudy at all? Maybe you're interpreting the results backwards. When there's 0 CYA, the water doesn't turn cloudy and never obscures the dot. If it's super cloudy, and only a small amount of it obscures the dot, you're well over 100 and a drain is in order.

    Secondly, are you brushing those stained areas when shocking? Are you brushing at all? It might help. Also, to get behind any crevices and niches, or lights with a toothbrush as algae can hide in these areas.

    Third, you do not need to shock your pool regularly. If your test results say shock, then begin shocking. Otherwise, you'll maintain a minimum and maximum chlorine level and never (cross fingers) need to shock again.

    Please read pool school (upper right of each page, white button) and pay particular attention to the "how to shock your pool" section. It's not a product, a noun, or a one time event. Shocking is a process, of maintaining shock level until the three criteria are passed (clear water, <.5ppm CC, and 1ppm or less overnight loss of chlorine).

    So, I think before you do much else, take time to read pool school and understand what shocking is, and isn't and what it takes to maintain shock level consistently (time, testing, and continual additions of bleach to maintain shock level). You've got the test kit, so you can do this right away.

    It will take some time however, and I'm a mom... so I understand your wife's concern over the time spent on the pool. But when you're done dealing with this pool problem and are on board with BBB your time spent with the pool will be only a few minutes each day. To get there, it'll take some time though. The reward is many, many hours available for babies, plus if she wants to play with the baby in the pool, I'm sure she'll want it to be clean. So you HAVE to fix it, right?

    Here's what you get to do tonight Mr. Dad... Go get the baby, sit in front of the puter snuggling, and read pool school. Everyone is happy!
    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.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: newbie asks.. Mustard Algae?

    Thanks for the response! I appreciate you taking the time to respond with that much info. You reminded me of some more things I should post...

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    Well, first of all I think your CYA number may be off. If you've been using pucks, you've got CYA in the pool. Did it turn cloudy at all? Maybe you're interpreting the results backwards. When there's 0 CYA, the water doesn't turn cloudy and never obscures the dot. If it's super cloudy, and only a small amount of it obscures the dot, you're well over 100 and a drain is in order.
    When I first took over the pool, I was using test strips which always said that the CYA was at 0. I've was using them up until the other day, when i was excited to get the Taylor kit. Tested it. That water never got cloudy, I kept the cylinder at waist level, I'm confident my reading is correct. We were getting a lot a rain up until a month ago, and the pool required frequent partial drains to not go over the top. Mabye this has always kept the levels low over time, because it never had a large does of CYA at once. I've only gone through 6 pucks since May, I only realized recently that the chlorinator was on backwards. (But was adding copious amounts of bleach in my confusion and newbness) I'm guessing thats how the CYA levels were at where they were as well.

    I also forgot to mention I was shocking at sunset, so I got the full length of the night for minimal chlorine loss.

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    Secondly, are you brushing those stained areas when shocking? Are you brushing at all? It might help. Also, to get behind any crevices and niches, or lights with a toothbrush as algae can hide in these areas.
    I forgot to mention this before, but yes. I was brushing these yellow areas and the brown patches. Brushing the yellow areas had no effect on them. The brown patches dissapeared into a cloud of brown dust, and then re-appeared and hour or so later .The only thing I was not brushing is the pool light, which may be my problem. I'll figure out how to take it off and get in there for brushing.

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    Third, you do not need to shock your pool regularly. If your test results say shock, then begin shocking. Otherwise, you'll maintain a minimum and maximum chlorine level and never (cross fingers) need to shock again.

    Please read pool school (upper right of each page, white button) and pay particular attention to the "how to shock your pool" section. It's not a product, a noun, or a one time event. Shocking is a process, of maintaining shock level until the three criteria are passed (clear water, <.5ppm CC, and 1ppm or less overnight loss of chlorine).

    So, I think before you do much else, take time to read pool school and understand what shocking is, and isn't and what it takes to maintain shock level consistently (time, testing, and continual additions of bleach to maintain shock level). You've got the test kit, so you can do this right away.
    Hmmm... I was shocking the pool b/c I thought I had to until I got rid of the algae problem. Don't worry, I'm definitely aware its not a product. I guess I'm still not sure if this is Mustard Algae, but it has all the characteristics of it from what I've read. If it is, at what level would I have to maintain shock in order to combat this thing? I'm a little unclear on the calculations for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    It will take some time however, and I'm a mom... so I understand your wife's concern over the time spent on the pool. But when you're done dealing with this pool problem and are on board with BBB your time spent with the pool will be only a few minutes each day. To get there, it'll take some time though. The reward is many, many hours available for babies, plus if she wants to play with the baby in the pool, I'm sure she'll want it to be clean. So you HAVE to fix it, right?

    Here's what you get to do tonight Mr. Dad... Go get the baby, sit in front of the puter snuggling, and read pool school. Everyone is happy!
    Thanks for your understanding. Glad you know where I'm coming from. Again, thanks for the time you put in your reply! I have skimmed through pool school, paying special attention to shocking and the algae sections. I'll give it a thorough read. I also will do an overnight loss of chlorine test.

    In the meantime, If anyone knows... (Nagging the heck outta me in the back of my brain when I'm at work and at home....)

    1. Is this Mustard Algae? (Based on the pictures and the fact I can't get rid of this stuff)
    2. How do I calculate holding my Pool at shock level / Normal levels.
    Pool Size = 20,000 Gallons (I Think previous Owner said this. Used a Pool calculator for 16x32 8 ft. in deep end, Seems Right)
    Filter = Cartridge Filter, Seems really large. 2 Cartridge Filters and a little long pipe thingy in middle of them.
    Inground Vinyl Pool
    Pump Flow Rate = Unknown, though by Kill-A-Watt Meter it is 1400 watts / About 2 HP
    Pool Installation year = 1999

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: newbie asks.. Mustard Algae?

    You need to raise your CYA level. The recommended level is 30 to 50.

    The photos do not look like mustard algae, they look like dead algae or other debris accumulating in spots with lower circulation, though it is always difficult to tell from photos.
    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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