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Thread: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyness!

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    Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyness!

    Hello to everyone here on the TFB boards! I have been spending some days trying to educate myself better and in more dept. as I try to resolve what I thought was a stain at the bottom of my vinyl above ground pool. I found this website and must say that I am really impressed with the amount of information and help this website provides. I admire the helpfulness that everyone offers in the forums, and although I am not much of a forum poster I thought I would reach out for some advice on resolving a very draining problem.

    I will not list all I have done thus far as I have been working on this for some time but here is the latest.I did a test with a triclor tablet and vitamin C to see if my stain would disappear, however it did not respond. Two different pool stores have guided me bc I never really feel like one of them is quite interested or knowledgable . They suggessted I Shock with a non clorine product and add soda ash, and test with the vitamin C and clorine tablet, which i did. Stain still there. A few days later we took a sample to the other store (2) and explained our situation and brought pictures of the stain. They said it is black algea and said to add chlorine tablets to the skimmer, add Black Algeetrine, 1/2 gallon or muratic acid. The stain went away over night but came back two days later. It rained yesterday, so I shocked the pool in the later afternoon (we are running temps. at around 100 degrees in daytime and low to mid 70's overnight here). This morning the stain was gone so I took water samples to both pool stores so I could have a comparision to how equivilant or different the two stores were and to see what was going on. Here are the readings.

    Store #1 Store #2

    FAC 0 FAC .05
    TAC 0 TAC .69
    PH 7.0 PH 6.5
    TA 0 TA 0
    CYA 90 CYA 50
    Calcium Hardness 300 Calcium Hardness 274
    TDS 900 TDS 1500
    Saturated Index -3.1 Corrosive

    Pool #1 told me to add 1.5 pounds of Soda Ash and 2 pounds of Chlor Brite
    Pool #2 told me to add PH plus and shock it. He said the Black Algea is "at bay" right now and to keep the chlorine high.

    I am hoping I can get your opinions on this troubling problem. The stains are now reappearing as of 2:00 pm. I have not added the suggested chemicals as of yet but understand that I need to do something as soon as possible because of my results. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I am somewhat new so please forgive me if my questions seem very basic. I am continueing reading this site in hopes of having it all done at some point.
    Diana

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    Welcome to TFP!

    One thing to do is to figure out if it is really black algae or not. If you scratch black algae with a fingernail it will feel slimly and you will pick up some on your finger which when spread on paper will look green. Neither metal stains or calcium scale will be affected by a fingernail at all.

    I noticed that both stores listed your TA as zero. I really hope your TA isn't actually zero as that is very bad for the pool. Before getting involved with shocking you need to get the PH/TA question straightened out. Do you have any test kit of your own? Are you sure that both stores actually said TA was zero?
    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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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    Yes i do have a test sttrips from the store and and it also showed the TA as 0 this morning. :/

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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    I'm sorry, I forgot to add that both result sheets from the stores show the TA as 0 as well.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    When the TA is zero, the PH is 4.5 or lower, way way to low. Most of the common PH tests have a lower bound, 7.0, 6.8 or 6.5, they will report any PH below that as their lower limit, so the PH could be even lower than that.

    Very low PH can cause damage to the pool surface. You should raise the PH up to at least 7.0, which will also have the effect of raising the TA up as well. Doing this may require a fairly large amount of soda ash. Borax is slightly better to use to raise the PH, but if you have soda ash that is alright as well. Either way work on this soon to minimize the damage to the pool.
    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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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    Thank you for your help. I will go out and add the soda ash now. I do have plenty of that here as I just purchased it last week. Should I wait on the shock?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    Yes. Get your pH and TA in range first thing. You may have to add the soda ash repeatedly to get it up.

    Also note, test strips are notoriously inaccurate. You would be best served by ordering one of the test kits we recommend (see my signature). You MUST have the FAS-DPD chlorine test to accurately follow the shock PROCESS.

    While adjusting your pH and TA and waiting for your kit to arrive, read through Pool School a few times to start to understand your pool's chemistry. You will be amazed how quickly you will know more than the pool store employees ... and thus never fall for their sales pitch again.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    Thank you for your help. I am planning on buying the kit here on the site as soon as I get paid. For now, we are using the aquacheck kit from the pool store. I am currently looking for a better one to use until I can get the one from this site ordered.

    I added soda ash two different times thus far and have very little changes in the TA or the PH.

    Ph is currently reading 6.2 from the dip stick and TA is reading still 0. I have been trying to use the pool calculator to figure out the borax amount to add but was wondering if I should also add baking soda for the TA?
    Thank you again for your help.
    Diana

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    yes baking soda will raise the TA. Your pH is likely VERY low if your TA is zero so it may take s few additions of the borax to get a higher pH reading.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    no worries I added the borax according the the pool calculator but have not added the baking soda as I have just read your reply but wanted to post my levels after adding the additional borax.

    Per dip stick
    PH between 6.8 and 7.2
    TA maybe 30
    FC 1

    Wondering if I should now just add the baking soda only in hopes of bringing up the TA. I'm not sure how much that will affect the PH though but maybe there is some room there to work with?

    Diana

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    Put the baking soda in it will not have much affect on the pH ... and you have a little more pH raising to do anyway.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    these guys are geniouses<<<<<<if thats how you spell it.......lol....thes guys will have you sparkling blue in no time
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    when i seen the ta of 0 i almost fell out of my chair
    18x52 intex ultra frame pool 6981 gallons, 1 HP LL pump with 19 in sand filter,BBB method,borax 50ppm
    leslies DPD test kit + fas-dpd chlorine test kit + borates test strips
    thru wall skimmer,hard plumbed with 2 returns 1 1/2 sch 40 pvc
    1 large fountain 1 inch sch 40 pvc,shut off ball valves on all

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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    Yes these guys are genious!!!! I'm still trying to keep it all straight in my head but I think that reading over pool school several times has given me a good start. It sure is comforting knowing I can get on here and look up my questions or just ask if I don't understand something. I just find myself trying to remember exactly where I saw something previously that pertained to my situation. haha!! I have been all over this site! I apologize in advance for some of my questions. Im struggling a little bit with keeping some of the info. straight!
    As I have been working on my ph and ta, I have the latest reads from my water sample that I took in to the pool store today. Still working on getting the proper kit that I need.

    FAC 0
    TAC 1.5
    PH 8.4
    TA 50
    CYA 25
    Calcium Hardness 225
    TDS - I think the first number is a 2, so it would be 2850
    Phosphates 200

    I'm still working on getting everything straight before I even think about the stain and or black algea, (which I don't really think it is because we couldn't not feel anything at all when we scraped it with our fingernail as suggested.)

    Do you think that I should still stay focused on FIRST getting my PH and TA in order and adjusted before anything else? I am getting ready to go back through the pool school to read over a high PH and a low TA. I will see what the pool calculator suggests on getting the TA up without raising the PH.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    it is important to get your pH in the mid 7s. With pH that high you could start seeing scaling

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    You are making good progress, The PH overshot a little, but that is going to be easy to correct. As soon as you have the PH in the 7s it is time to start adding chlorine.
    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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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    Thanks for the reply's!! I made sseveral adjustments and added the recommended Baking soda, Muriatic Acid, Stabilizer and bleach per the wonderful pool calculator over the last 24 hours. Vacumed before today's additives (not sure if that was the right thing to do or not) and just took ANOTHER sample in as I am unable to purchase the test kit as of yet. :/ Working on getting the proper kit as soon as I can! Ahhh!
    Here are my latest numbers and my pool has a green tint now, which is a color I can happily say I haven't seen in several summer seasons. Its not cloudy or murkey, just a green brightness instead of blue. Reminding me of my initial problem, and almost glaring me in the eye, was the ugly black yuck just resting at the bottom while I have been stressing just trying to get the chemistry back. Ugh! I'm sure my battle with that is going to be a doozy! For now, back to the numbers per the pool store...

    FAC 5
    TAC 5
    Bromine 0
    PH 8.0
    TA 90
    CYA 50
    Calcium Hardness 200
    TDS 950 (guess what I thought was a 2 on this last time was a 0 which would have made it 850 last test)

    How do you think these numbers are looking! I'm feeling a little better now then when my PH and TA were 0 thats for sure.

    I might try to take a picture of the black monster at the bottom just so you can see his ugliness as well. haha! hmm...let me see if I can figure out the picture attachment!
    Diana

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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    whoops did not mean to say the PH was originally 0.....only the TA!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    pH is still too high. Get it down on the 7s.

    You really need a test kit as it will make clearing the pool so much easier having the factual results.

    Posted with Tapatalk ... sorry if I sound short ... hate typing on phone
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Pool Store help not working - black algea/Stain? crazyne

    I went to leslie's today to check on the test kit price that is recommended and the most complete kit they had in the store was the "DPD Complete Chlorint Kit." It was not the FAS-DPD one. The guy working there said he thought they would probably be getting more in "at some time." Would the DPD complete kit do me any good.

    It says it checks: Kit contains tests for free, combined, and total chlorine (.5 to 5ppm), total bromine (1 to 10ppm), pH (7.0 to 8.0) with acid and base demand, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid.

    Earlier today I added more Muriatic Acid and here are my latest numbers: THey show my PH went down quite a bit. I was expecting may down to 7.9 but not that much. Here they are:

    FAC 2.5
    TAC 2.5
    PH 7.4
    TA 70 (down from 90)
    CYA 50
    Caclium Hardness 300
    TDS 1000
    Phosphates 200

    Should I bring the PH back up a bit before I start to work on figuring out what the black yuck is at the bottom? The pool is still clear but with a sparkling green instead of a sparkling blue. Not green cloudy and bad looking, just a slighter green rather then blue. Not sure if that is the starting of anything or not?

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