Become a TFP Supporter Welcome to our new server and new forum software. Pool School
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 61

Thread: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I drain?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Greenwood, South Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I drain?

    We have never had this much trouble with our 33 ft (25700 gallons) above ground pool. We did not cover it this past winter so leaves did get in and stay until we started cleaning in April (but we have done this for the past several winters). I went to my pool place that I bought the pool from and kept buying chemicals but never could get "clear" water in order to see the bottom. They recommended flocking which we did but this did not help either. They tested water and stated my calcium hardness was very high and maybe I should drain and start over. Whenever they promised to come over and look at my pool and they never showed, I decided to try the new pool place that had just opened to get some help. This was a Bioguard store which I had never used but at least I got to blue/green water but still not clear. At beginning of July, he finally tested for phosphates which were very high and they sold my Phosfree which I did that weekend. In 2 days, my water turned brown and I have never seen blue/green water since!! I have spent a small fortune since then trying to get something to change but whatever it is now is consuming my chlorine as soon as I put it in. I have treated it 1 more time with Phosfree since the test still shows it as high but I still can't seem to keep any chlorine. We weren't having this issue before I was told to treat for phosphates. Just to give an idea (and I keep chlorine tablets in skimmer) -- last Wed. I shocked with 5 scoops of the granular shock that I had to dissolve, on Thurs. I shocked with 7 scoops determined to get a chlorine reading. I took to the pool place to be tested and finally something (but only 1 FC) -- bought clarifier per their instructions and put in Friday night. On Saturday morning I took another water sample and again no chlorine!! I was sold 3 bags of shock (per what the Bioguard testing results stated was needed) and then told I must need "metal out" and bought 3 bottles of that. Nothing has changed at all in my pool's color and Sunday morning still not registering any shock per my testing strips. We are sick and tired of spending a fortune and getting nowhere and we are about the drain and refill at this point. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice to try before we do this?
    33 ft above ground (25700 gallons) pool
    sand filter
    3 years

  2. #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    21,587

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Welcome

    Given your use of tablets and granular "shock", I am guess this is a classic case of your stabilizer (CYA) being very high and thus making the chlorine ineffective at keeping the pool clear. It is not uncommon to hear the same story here. The tablets work fine for awhile (1-2years) in which time the CYA builds higher and higher until BOOM the pool goes green and you can not get it clear.

    Post up a full set of test results.

    If you CYA is indeed high, the only way to lower it is through water replacement.

    Read through Pool School a few times to learn more about your pool chemistry and what you need to do to get it under control.
    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, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  3. #3
    Senior Member kenmar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Schnecksville, PA
    Posts
    285

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    I am sorry to hear about the troubles you are experencing.
    Many people have arrived at this forum with similiar problems.... and have been helped by the wonderful/knowledgeable people here.
    Please take some time to read the pool school section of this board and at the same time, consider purchasing one of the fine water testing kits there.

    -Ken-
    20'x40' / 30,000 Gal / In Ground / Vinyl
    Pentair FNS 48 DE Filter / Pentair Challenger 1.5 HP Pump
    Jandy Lite2 400k BTU Propane Heater / Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TF-100 Test Kit / BBB
    Creator of SimplePool (BBB Friendly Android App) http://www.simplepool.net

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Greenwood, South Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    I should have noted this as well but actually my CYA level has been low twice this summer and I have added that both times as well. Last time I added was last Wednesday and was getting a reading of 40 on Saturday. I did not get those printed results but I will note below what Friday's readings were.

    Temp -85
    Saturation idx - 0.4
    TDS: 1000
    CYA:32
    Tot. Chlorine: 1
    Free Chlorie: 1
    pH: 7.7
    Tot. Alkalinity: 107
    Adj. Total Alk.: 97
    Tot. Hardness: 308
    33 ft above ground (25700 gallons) pool
    sand filter
    3 years

  5. #5
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    21,587

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Unfortunately, trusting a pool stores test results is not very reliable, especially for the CYA test. Having your own good test kit would be the best investment you can make to take control of your pool.

    Assuming these results are correct (BIG assumption), and given that the water is not clear, you need to go through the Shock Process as described in Pool School. This means maintaining your FC at shock level of 12ppm due to your CYA level of 30ppm ... note that the only chlorine test that reads that high is the FAS-DPD test which is in the test kits we recommend.

    If you maintain the correct FC levels, there is NEVER a need to worry about phosphates or for adding any algaecides, etc.
    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, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    445

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    That CYA number is very suspect. It really isn't possible to measure CYA to that kind of accuracy without very expensive equipment. If that was done at a pool store they probably used a strip test that is then read by a machine. They look impressive - but the results are usually wrong - especially CYA

    Also - if you are using pucks and dichlor shock regularly it just doesn't make sense that your CYA wouldn't be much higher - unless you've had a tremendous amount of rain recently.

    (Jason beat me to it - but same story here )

    At the moment the only thing your pool needs is Chlorine. Lots and lots of chlorine. Right now you are in a cycle where you add enough chlorine to kill some percentage of the algae - and then you let it grow back. In pool school you'll find information on how to properly shock your pool.

    In order to do the shock process correctly you'll need a proper test kit, you may need to drain some of the water to get the CYA in check. But if you follow the advice here on this board - your pool will clear up and be trouble free as long as you stay on top of it.
    15500 Gal Gunite/Plaster circa 1960

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    913

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Three steps to a clean pool-
    -order test kit- pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison Go ahead and order the bigger one as you will need to do a LOT of testing.
    -Read pool school over and over
    -Stop going to the pool store.

    It can be done. This wonderful group can/will help you.

    Good luck!

    Kim
    33x52 round AG 25,600 gals built July 20, 2012 Taylor 2006 test kit
    Waterway Clear Water 22" Sand Filter System with 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl
    pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Greenwood, South Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    I have ordered a test kit -- can I start the shocking process tonight or should I wait until my test kit arrives? My husband is ready to start draining tonight or tomorrow since we have "drained" our pockets over the last few months and he wants to have a decent pool in the next week. I could not figure out with the pool calculator link how many liquid bleach gallons I will need to start shocking my pool.
    33 ft above ground (25700 gallons) pool
    sand filter
    3 years

  9. #9
    Senior Member linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,780

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    How old is your liner? If you are serious about draining, the liner may not be reusable...older liners less likely then newer ones.

    I would wait until you get your test kit. It is no surprise that having accurate test results can really speed up fixing water problems.
    TFP Moderator who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  10. #10
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    21,587

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Really would be best to confirm the CYA. Again, assuming it is 30ppm, your FC shock level is 12ppm (according to the Pool School chart).

    In poolcalculator, put your pool size at the top. At the bottom select your pool type and "bleach". Then in the Now column put your current results and in the Target column put what you would like to achieve. It will then tell you what would need to be added to reach each target.

    To start the shock process, you first lower you pH to around 7.2 (put 7.7 in the Now and 7.2 in the Target and it will say how much acid to add) ... this is because the pH test is not valid when FC > 10ppm.

    Then put your current FC in and put 12ppm in the Target (or maybe aim a little higher as you want to maintain the FC at the shock level and it will drop quickly to start). It will then tell you how much bleach to add.

    But you have to realize you will need to be testing and adding bleach every hour or so to start ... if you can not measure the high FC levels ... then you are just guessing.

    {BTW, I get 62oz of acid to lower the pH and 586oz of 6% bleach to get from 1 to 12ppm FC}
    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, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Greenwood, South Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    I received my test kit yesterday and I tested my pool last night and these are the results I got:

    FC: 0
    CC: .5 or near 1
    TA: 80
    Calcium Hardness: 550
    CYA: 30
    PH: 8.2

    I took a sample to the pool store just to compare results (without buying one thing this time) and these are the results from there:

    FC: 0
    CC: 0.8
    TA: 81
    CYA: 48
    PH: 8.1

    One note my pool store did make is how my water sample looked brown and smelled like a wet dog! It has been their conclusion (which from any of these tests I cannot rule out) is that I have some sort of reaction that turned my water brown and why I cannot get it to clear up. I am ready to start the shocking process and have read the directions in pool school -- I just want to make sure that how I am planning on proceeding is correct.

    I do not have any Muriatic acid yet and will have to get some tonight since I understand I need to get my PH level down before I start the shocking process. I could do this step tonight and then start the shocking process tomorrow once I leave work. I know once I begin that I will have to do these steps several times throughout tomorrow and this weekend.

    Do you think I have had some type of chemical reaction and therefore even this will not work? Should I worry about how high my CH is and will this affect this process? Do you agree with starting the process tonight with lowering the PH and beginning the shocking process tomorrow once I have the time to do this several times or could I start to shock tonight as well?

    Thanks for any assistance!
    33 ft above ground (25700 gallons) pool
    sand filter
    3 years

  12. #12
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    21,587

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Sounds like you have the plan. Lower pH and start the shock process. After adding the acid, let the pump mix the water for 30-60 minutes and verify the pH. Once it is in the low 7s, you can start adding bleach up to shock level (FC of 12ppm for a CYA of 30ppm) immediately.

    CH does not change anything with the process (nor does TA).

    There is a chance that there is a bacteria that converts the CYA to ammonia which shows up as CC ... that could explain the CYA lower than expected. Not sure why the water is brown, but the answer to most problems is more chlorine.
    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, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Greenwood, South Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Thanks for the advice and hopefully my brown water will start turning clear by the end of the weekend!! I will post my progress!!
    33 ft above ground (25700 gallons) pool
    sand filter
    3 years

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    185

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Just make sure you don't let the fc drop below shock value otherwise you might have to start the entire shock process over again, when I shocked my pool this last spring my fc was almost completely gone within 2 hours, so basically need to keep testing the fc every couple of hours until you get an idea of how much is being consumed by the pool.
    Biggest advise I can give you is don't give up, it's not that uncommon for the shock process to take2-3 weeks but may be less, will just need to check the overnight chlorine usage to be sure.
    Once you get past the shock process you will be able to enjoy the pool as the rest of us have!
    So hang in there and ask questions, great group here that's very willing to help!
    18' x 33' Aqua leader AGP (~19k gal) w/hayward swimpro voyager cartridge filter and 2hp hayward pump.
    8 Gal LQ, hayward heater.

  15. #15
    Member R.J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    59

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Depending on when you get started tomorrow night, you should be able to get several additions of bleach in before bed. When you do finally call it a night, make sure the last dose of bleach gets you well above shock level since you won't be able to add any while you're sleeping. If you're diligent about brushing testing and maintaining shock level, you should see some improvement by Sunday night. Hang in there, you can do it!
    18 x 48 Intex Ultra Frame
    2500 gph cartridge filter
    Intex SWG

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Greenwood, South Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    I have been in the shocking process since last Friday morning. Brown color is gone but I have been at a mint blue/green since Tuesday (still cloudy as well). I have been testing every morning and evening (before and after work) and bringing my FC levels up accordingly as well as brushing every evening. Water does not appear to be changing much in the last few days. I realize with a sand filter it may be a slow process especially with only 1 return. I had been shocking to a FC of 15 but after reading more discussions here at TFP, I decided to start last night shocking to a level of 18. Also we have been getting some big storms the past 3 evenings that have dumped a lot of rain. I brought down my PH to 7.2 before I started the shocking process and read that I will not get an accurate reading during it but with all of this rain, is there something else that I need to be doing to help speed up this process. I know I still have a ways to go to "clear" water as I am losing approximately 3ppm's overnight but since I will have more time on the weekend to stay on top of it, I was looking for any advice/tips. Also wondering is it normal that my CC is usually .5 in the evening but 1 in the morning? That's what is has been the last several days.

    This morning:
    FC:14
    CC:1
    33 ft above ground (25700 gallons) pool
    sand filter
    3 years

  17. #17
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    5,308

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    You can add a cup or 2 of DE to the filter to help filter out some of the dead algae. The longer you can keep the pool at shock level the quicker the process will go. If you have only been able to bring it to shock level once or twice a day that is why your pool is taking longer to clear. If you can, test every hour or two and bring the FC back to shock level as needed. Keep the filter running 24/7 until the pool is clear, and backwash as needed.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21" round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
    Love TFP? Become a
    TFP Supporter!

  18. #18
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    21,587

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    the sun helps break down the CC, so that may explain what you are seeing.

    If the FC drops below 10, do a quick pH check.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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, Dolphin Diagnostic Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Gone: Hayward RS1500 pump, undersized DIY solar heater, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Greenwood, South Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    I have only let FC drop to 9 one night after rain kept me from a late night test and addition of chlorine. Otherwise I have been trying to stay as close as possible. Is it okay to be shocking at 18 at this point? I did another CYA test last evening (not with sunlight) and it looked like to be 35 - 40. Should I add any muriatic acid just in case to bring down PH or should I not worry about that until later. The great deal of rain in the past couple of days has probably slowed this process down. Thanks for the help!
    33 ft above ground (25700 gallons) pool
    sand filter
    3 years

  20. #20
    Senior Member ivyleager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Raleigh-Durham,NC
    Posts
    474

    Re: Fighting with pool all summer -- any advice before I dra

    Yes, keep the pH in the 7.2 range, and keep the filter running 24/7. I'd trust a pH reading if your chlorine is under 10, at least that's my experience with my pool.
    CaryB
    36 x 18 IG vinyl, 25K, 1 HP pump, sand filter
    1 skimmer, 2 returns, no main drain
    Old school: PoolSolutions test kit

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •