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Thread: Persistent algae issue

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    Persistent algae issue

    Hi everyone,

    Just registered today because I am at my wits end with our pool. My hubby usually cares for the pool but since he's been battling this algae issue, I stepped in to help and am learning as I go. We've been battling this issue since mid-July. I called our local pool place to get help on how to get rid of it. Our pool was green, the entire pool. Well, the last two weeks we've been very persistent and followed the guidance of our pool store...Brush the sides, walls to the bottom, then vacuum to waste, shock every other day, making sure to clean off all cleaning equipment afterwards. This has been such a process. We've been doing this process for the past week and a half.

    The water has been crystal clear the past few days, thank god. Last night was the first time there were a few clumps of dead algae (all white). The pool place said we should be able to vacuum to filter this time rather than to waste and I was so relieved as we have used so much water the past few weeks battling this. Well, the bottom was entirely clear afterwards and my husband poured some algacide in it (the whole bottle). Needless to say, this morning we notice more clumps of what we think is algae at the bottom of the deep end again. Not nowhere what it was like before, but it's there in clumps. Some whitish within the clumps but not all, so some of it may be live????

    What do we do now? So exhausted with all of this and just want a clear pool so we can close it soon. We live in NJ, weather has been in the 80s last week and this week so not too too hot like it was in July.
    25,000 gal
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    1 horsepower pump (don't know flow rate)
    14 years

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    1) Stop going to the pool store
    2) Order your own test kit
    3) Read Pool School.

    We have no idea what you've been chlorinating with nor what you've used to "shock". There's a very good chance you'll need to replace more water if the CYA level is too high. Get Pool Schooled so you can speak our language.
    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!

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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Wow. Okay.

    Keep in mind you're talking to someone who has two very small children at home with her and doesn't have a ton of time to get "Pool Schooled" and is just sincerely seeking help.
    25,000 gal
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    1 horsepower pump (don't know flow rate)
    14 years

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    I'm sure all of you know what live algae looks like.
    Got a pic?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    You obviously need to maintain shock level, but as mentioned above there are a few things we need to know.

    If you don't have a good test kit, we can use numbers from the pool store to start with.

    pH
    FC - free chlorine
    CC - conbined chlorine
    TA - alkalinity
    CH - hardness
    CYA - stabilizer

    Tell us as many of those things as you can.

    We also need;
    The size of your pool in gallons
    What type of pool it is
    The surface of the pool (vinyl, plaster, fiberglas)

    Once you answer that we an be of more help.
    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: Persistent algae issue

    Tested these this morning and just retested and got the following with our own test kit:

    pH - Between 7.4 and 7.6
    FC - free chlorine - 3.0
    CC - conbined chlorine - 3.0
    TA - alkalinity - 150
    CH - hardness (Don't have this in my kit - Husband has tested this at pool store but not sure what the last numbers were)
    CYA - stabilizer (Same as CH above.)

    Husband shocked the night before last, and he used an algacide last night. We were running the filter 24/7 the past whole week and since we vacuumed all the dead algae last night, we put the filter back on a timer to give it a rest. This morning is when we saw clumps again, looking more like dirt, but I can't imagine that much dirt entered between last night and this morning.

    He is using chlorine tablets. We do have liquid chlorine as well. I've read a little about CYA causing chlorine to lose it's effectiveness and I am now totally confused and wonder if that was the culprit which caused the algae to begin with.


    We also need;
    The size of your pool in gallons - About 25,000
    What type of pool it is - Inground
    The surface of the pool (vinyl, plaster, fiberglas) - Vinyl

    I took pics but they are apparently too large to post on the forum. Not even sure if you'd be able to tell from the pics if it's live algae because it looks a lot like dirt.

    I'm sure I have to read up on pool school, but like I said I don't have a lot of time to do that with two kids. I appreicate your kindness and trying to help me. I don't know much at all about pools and am just starting to learn so I can help my husband next year so this doesn't happen again.

    Where would shock level be, and does that mean we should be adding shock every night?
    25,000 gal
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    1 horsepower pump (don't know flow rate)
    14 years

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    In order to know what your shock level is you have to know what the CYA level is. Pool stores don't tell you that because they're still living in the past and don't recognize the FC/CYA relationship.

    If you always use tablets, your CYA may be pretty high and, yes, that will certainly contrbute to you getting algae and most certainly is a major reason you can't get rid of it.

    You should consider investing in a good test kit. What test kit do you currently have?

    Hopefully the number you listed as CC is actually TC.
    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: Persistent algae issue

    Quote Originally Posted by freddy2012
    Wow. Okay.

    Keep in mind you're talking to someone who has two very small children at home with her and doesn't have a ton of time to get "Pool Schooled" and is just sincerely seeking help.
    Don't take it like that. Richard320 was not being short with you, he was being succinct. Reading Pool School is not a homework assignment. It's a necessary step in the communication process that takes place in solving pool problems. Having a rudimentary understanding of the chemicals used, their effect and their names facilitates that process. It will be a time saver when as Richard aptly puts it, we speak the same language. Welcome to TFP.

    A CYA test result is paramount before anything can be recommended.
    A proper test kit is just as important. Having test results that are more precise than any pool store and don't require a trip to said pool store will also save time and money.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Anyone recommend a good test kit? I guess I need one that includes everything, including CYA and hardness too.
    25,000 gal
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    1 horsepower pump (don't know flow rate)
    14 years

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Welcome to tfp, freddy2012

    Quote Originally Posted by freddy2012
    Anyone recommend a good test kit? I guess I need one that includes everything, including CYA and hardness too.
    See this pool school article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison I like the tf-100, most bang for buck, and Dave (username: duraleigh) has fast shipping.
    TFP Expert 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.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Welcome

    Looks like you have gotten good advice. Getting one of the recommended test kits is the best investment you can make to maintain your pool ... no more guessing what is going on in the pool or relying on the pool store to tell you what you need (so they can make money).

    The key to a good kit is the FAS-DPD chlorine test ... and it is very rare to find that locally, thus requiring you to order it online.
    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!

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
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    NW FL
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Don't get discouraged, the fastest way to get the results you want will be to get a handle on what is happening and why, once you do, it will be easier, actually intuitive... I can relate to the small children issue, even tho mine is older... It wasn't that long ago...

    I know you are whupped... I was there earlier this summer... So I know it is going to feel like it is taking forever to see progress when it has already felt like forever.. Just keep reminding yourself what was done in the past didn't work like you wanted, and there are plenty of pix and encouraging stories from others who have been in the same boat..... Hang in there!!!!!

    I can cheer you on, but others here will be able to better tell you next steps... Keep reporting back!!!! And welcome

    (and ummmmm, if you can figure out a way, don't let your hubby dump anything more in!! )

    At the end of my post-vacation-clean-up



    About a week later.... Pictures are not as good as they could have been, late afternoon, camera pointed into the sun, and shadow from shrubs across half the pool... If sun ever comes out and stays out, hope to reshoot better pix





    Oh, and IMHO&E, try not to cheap out on the test kit, if you are going to have a pool again next year, the tf-100 would be your best bet.... Don't do like I did, I went looking for a better filter and saw a display of taylor kits, had just started reading here, so knew they were good, I started to pull a big one off the shelf and the poolstore lady "shooed" me away from it, said it was for commercial use only... I was totally newbie and little intimidated... She said the one I wanted was for residential.... I didn't have all the test kit variations memorized, so I thought the one I got was a smaller version... Sigh.... Now I know better..... Anyway.. I thought I had to have one IMMEDIATELY but would have been better off waiting for one from Dave.... Lesson learned... I will be using up what I have and buying next one from Dave.

    Fas-dpd is critical to maintain control over pool... Fwiw

    Good luck...
    ~6500 gal 18' x 52" easy set agp, 7th year
    Intex 2650 sand filter, chlorine
    TF100 Test Kit
    Becoming a TFP lifetime supporter and purchasing the TF100 is absolutely the best money I have ever spent! :-D

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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Thanks everyone.

    We're closing the pool shortly after Labor Day, so I think I will have to invest in a new kit for next year. I also have lots to learn on Pool School as well between now and before next opening. I won't be able to learn it all before we close. Therefore, we'll just have to do what we can to continue to keep it clear before closing. Right now, it's under control. The other night we resorted to Yellow Treat and that completely killed everything at the bottom. Vacuumed the dead algae from the bottom Friday and then there were traces left today of dead algae as well (probably from leftover that got pushed around frm vacuuming the previous night). This is the best it has looked. No new growth, nothing on the bottom, and water is clear. Hopefully we're over the hump. Fingers crossed. Will continue to test water daily to make sure chlorine, pH, and alkaline are okay (sometimes I test a few times throughout the day...I tend to get obssessed!) and will probably have to test for CYA and CH at "pool store" (do I dare say that word on here - LOL!) for now until next year when we are more knowledgable about this and can test ourselves with a better kit.

    Anyway, I am going to read up on Pool School but since this is all new to me, and someone mentioned high CYA above, I would just like to see if my train of thought is correct on this CYA/FC issue: So, if CYA levels get too high (I assume you are speaking about the CYA in the tablets), that starts to render the chlorine less effective; therefore, your chlorine levels will drop significantly, allowing algae to grow (if the levels go below 1 ppm). Is this correct?
    25,000 gal
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    1 horsepower pump (don't know flow rate)
    14 years

  14. Back To Top    #14
    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    You almost have it right... the conditions for algae growth will exist if your chlorine drops below your target number based on the amount of CYA in your pool.

    Most people have no idea what is actually needed to balance their pool chemistry and rely on pool stores recommendations and materials that they read, but do not fully understand. The method here is quite simple even though it can seem overwhelming at first. We dose our pools with a specific amount of CYA (stabilizer/conditioner) right in the beginning and that number remains pretty constant throughout the season. With that number, we can use the calculator here to figure out the minimum chlorine levels that we must maintain for our specific pool set-up. To do that, we use liquid chlorine (bleach) as it will not add any additional CYA like stabilized pucks will do, therefore it takes the guesswork out of maintaining the pool.

    I highly recommend coming back here at your opening next year and start out fresh with a new understanding of your pool. You will not be sorry. Ask as many questions as you need to until you are comfortable with your understanding of your pool and its needs. My pool is the ONLY thing I have control over in my life.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Okay, I'm back.

    I'm hoping someone could give me a list of possible reasons why dead algae may not be going away. Our pool has been crystal clear for a week now; however, every day there is still remaining dead algae at the bottom. Since my last post after the Yellow Treat, we vacuumed to waste (just in case) the traces of dead algae entirely from the pool. Well, each day there is still some left over. I don't get it. (Is it really being pushed around that much each time we vacuum?? They are in clumps that are very easy to see and vacuum.) At one point, it was less and less. I also noticed our pool wasn't holding our chlorine levels too well either, so we figured we should get everything checked. Went to the pool store on 8/26 and the results were:

    FC: 1.08
    TC: 1.08
    pH: 7.4
    CH: 183
    ALK: 119
    CYA: 38
    Phosphates: 200

    Well, they told us to get a phosphate remover to remove the phosphates since we had an algae problem and it seemed the pool wasn't holding chlorine. So, we put that in Sat night, ran filter 24 h., and then next day my husband vacuumed to filter what little dead algae there was, backwashed, and then shocked last night and ran filter 24 h. again.

    Well, this morning, there is lots of white dead algae at the bottom, more than there was previously. The water is still crystal. I just checked out chlorine, ph, and alk and they are all okay right now (chlorine is good probably due to the shock last night.)

    Anyway, I read about algae on pool school and it really doesn't address this specific issue.

    My questions are:
    1. What could be causing dead algae to continously reappear every morning after vacuuming the night before, mostly vacuuming to waste accept for the other night where he vacuumed through the filter and backwashed right after since it was dead and we thought we'd be safe.

    2. What could the issue be where the pool isn't holding the chlorine levels if the phosphates aren't truly the issue? (I guess the phosphate remover takes time to work so it'll be hard to tell if it helps our chlorine situation, so this is basically a preemptive question.) I know CYA could be an issue but our numbers are okay. We have been doing a lot of refilling of water when vacuuming to waste so maybe all of the fresh water is causing low chlorine levels??? (It's very possible the refilling may have caused the phosphates.)

    Your expertise is greatly appreciated!
    25,000 gal
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    1 horsepower pump (don't know flow rate)
    14 years

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    My answers are:
    1. You have not performed the shock process correctly until you passed the 3 tests to stop ... so you are still likely killing algae. You also let your FC drop too low allowing the algae to grow.

    2. Phosphates are meaningless and just a way for pool stores to separate you from your money. You are not holding chlorine because you are still killing algae. Phosphates are algae food. Maintaining adequate FC means algae can not live ... so does not matter if there is food.

    My questions are:
    1. Are you going to listen to the pool store or the no-skin-in-the-game advice you find here? Trying to do both is not going to work.

    2. Have you order the most important piece of equipment for your pool ... a good test kit?
    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!

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Persistent algae issue

    I intend on listening to the advice here but it's kind of late (as we are closing the pool in a week) for me to get caught up on pool school and learn all of your lingo, and honestly, by the time I order a test kit and get it, the pool will be closed (as stated in my post above). I plan on doing all of this for next year. I DON'T want to listen to the pool store but since you guys obviously can't help me (as I don't have a test kit), I am trying to go by the seat of my pants and just make it enough to close the pool in good condition. Is there a problem with asking general questions here? I have nowhere else to turn for advice BUT the pool store right now. Like I mentioned above, I am an amateur and am just learning. However, I don't get a real welcoming feeling from some individuals on here.
    25,000 gal
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    1 horsepower pump (don't know flow rate)
    14 years

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    You are more than welcome to ask general questions here ... although some times we are "short" after answering the same questions through the entire season (sorry about that). But, it is hard to give advice based on "questionable" test data.

    What kind of testing do you have available currently besides the pool store?

    To correctly follow the shock process, you have to be testing the chlorine often to maintain the high levels ... and I doubt you want to be driving to the pool store every few hours for testing. For that matter, most pool stores do not use a test that will go above 5ppm FC either They just do not understand the relationship between CYA and FC.

    So you have 1-2 weeks left in the season correct? I would recommend getting a cheap chlorine test and just trying to maintain the FC at/above the max on the test. As long as the water is clear, the pool is generally safe to swim in and you should be able to get through the season.
    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!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    So you have 1-2 weeks left in the season correct? I would recommend getting a cheap chlorine test and just trying to maintain the FC at/above the max on the test. As long as the water is clear, the pool is generally safe to swim in and you should be able to get through the season.
    Honestly, I could care less if we swim in it this year at all before closing. I'm so fed up and am tossing this year out as a bad year.

    I have been checking the chlorine, pH, and alk every day, sometimes several times a day with our own test kit. I tested it earlier today and the chlorine was the highest it can go on the kit, 3.0+. Then again, we shocked it last night. So when you say to maintain the FC at or above the max level, how do we do that? Should we be putting more tablets in the chlorinator? My husband has 7 in there now. We have 25,000 gallon, 1 horsepower pump. (He's trying to find the flow rate but are having trouble finding that info.It's a Sparco High-Rate Sand filter but can't find it anywhere online.) It seems the only time we get the FC to a 3 or more is shocking it the night before. (I'll have to check the FC tomorrow a.m to see if it is holding steady. That will be the test)

    Also, my major question is...if it is still algae, why isn't the water greenish and why aren't we seeing the clumps multiplying during the day? I don't understand where it is coming from if it is truly algae. We have been vacuuming every night completely clear and there are always a few clumps leftover the next morning, white ones. I don't get it. If there is residue of live algae, where is it hiding?
    25,000 gal
    Sand filter
    IG
    Vinyl
    1 horsepower pump (don't know flow rate)
    14 years

  20. Back To Top    #20
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Persistent algae issue

    Taking control of your own pool water can be challenging at first...we have all been there when we were starting to take control...but you can do this

    Let me point out a couple pool school articles to get you started:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ater_chemistry
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...efeating_algae

    These will be good starting points, and are very light reading.

    Read those then ask any questions you still have (and you will have them).
    TFP Expert 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.

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