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Thread: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

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    humrz28's Avatar
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    Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Hello everyone. I've been lurking around the forum for a couple of weeks now and thought I'd say hello! A little back-story, My fiance and I purchased a 16' x 48" round Intex AGP in July. Neither one of us has had a pool before so we're learning as we go to say the least. For the month of July the pool stayed crystal clear and was awesome. Our maintenance was newbie style and consisted of the floating chlorine tab holder with 3 tabs at all times. We purchased a "test kit", the dumb strip ones that are pretty much useless. Once the summer rains started so did our issues. We've battled the pea soup colored algae once already, two weeks ago. The "awesome" pool store suggested a shock treatment, which made the pool blue again, but still cloudy to the point you couldn't see the bottom. At the time, we also had the junk 1000 GPH pool pump that came with the pool and a horrible rechargeable vacuum for the bottom. Last weekend we returned the vacuum and thanks to the help of Amazon, installed an Intex 2500 GPH pump - Night and Day difference is an understatement!! We also ordered the vacuum attachment, that works amazing! So last weekend we had the joy of getting 6 inches of rain, thanks to Issac, and as of today the pool is back to the inviting color of pea soup green. We've spent a lot of time reading the BBB method and plan on implementing this process, it HAS to be better then the once a week trip to the pool store for testing and who knows what else. I ordered the Taylor K-2006 this morning and should have it by mid week next week. It stinks not having a sparkly pool for the holiday weekend My question *1 out of many I'm sure* is what would be the best way to approach our next move. Should we just drain the pool and start over or would it be worth trying to save? I plan on posting our test results when the kit comes in regardless of if its straight out of the hose fresh, or soup worthy I'm looking forward to learning the process from you guys, and if all goes well, never having to deal with the embarrassment and aggravation of algae again

    -Ashley
    16' x 48" Round Intex Vinyl AGP
    Intex 56633EG 2500 GPH Pump
    Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    I guess you will have to weigh which will be cheaper for you-bleach or water?

    If you have to pay for your water..................Go get some bleach and get ready to pour. How much? I am not sure.

    If you do not have to pay for your water......................or if you do not care about paying for it-drain and start over with the right tools.

    Let us know what you decide to do!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Welcome to tfp, humrz28

    Like kimkats said, you will have to decide how important it is to get it clean for the weekend and is it worth the water costs. Also, if you source water is high in metals, CH, etc. that may also help with the decision (or complicate it).

    With that said, it is likely that the quickest way to get clean water sometime over the holiday weekend is to do a drain/refill. If you do that, you should still start the shocking process and do the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT) since a quick drain/refill alone will not be able to eliminate all the algae in your system.
    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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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Thanks for the quick replies! I was leaning toward the refill process, we do have to pay for water, but luckily we are county and it only cost us roughly $20 to fill the pool originialy. I'm assuming it would be easier to get the water under control when its "fresh", even with the left over algae still in the system. The part that annoys me is we had to drain the pool half way last weekend to install the new pump, which involved cutting the liner. Ugh, live and learn, lol I will probably drain this weekend then post test results when the kit comes in and see where we need to go from there. It'll be so much easier when all we have to do is maintain the water, rather then fix the problems created.


    10:20pm, after a two second conversation with the other half, the pool is draining, lol. Hope to have the test kit soon and will update from there
    16' x 48" Round Intex Vinyl AGP
    Intex 56633EG 2500 GPH Pump
    Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    I would not wait for the kit to add bleach. I would add some bleach as soon as you can run the pump again or even earlier if you can/will get in the pool and walk around and mix it in good.

    Good luck!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Pool was emptied last night, spent the morning washing down the liner and fighting with brown widows, joy. While it was empty we took the time to relevel the bottom and get out some wrinkles we missed the first time around. Now we're refilling and will go from there
    16' x 48" Round Intex Vinyl AGP
    Intex 56633EG 2500 GPH Pump
    Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    SWEET! Now you have a clean starting point!

    Do you have CYA on hand? Have it ready to put in as soon as you can. In fact some people put it in a sock and let the hose run over it. Just an idea.

    I can't wait to hear that you have been floating in you CLEAN/CLEAR pool with a cold one in your hand!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Alrighty, so we got our k-2006 in today and just got done wrapping up test number one. We refilled our pool on Sunday/Monday and haven't done anything to it as of yet. Love that it's still as crystal clear as it was a few days ago. I used a digital oven thermometer to get a rough idea of the pool temp, I completely forgot to purchase a pool thermometer yesterday. Our levels are as follows:

    Temp - 86.5F
    FC - 2ppm
    Ph - 7.4
    TA - 150ppm
    CH - 150ppm
    CYA - I'm assuming we are at 0. I filled the small container to the very top and could still see the dot on the bottom, it wasn't cloudy at all.
    CC = 0

    So from what I gather by plugging the information into the pool calculator and going off it's standard recommendations is we should raise the FC by adding 96oz of bleach. Raise the pH a little by adding 13oz of Borax. The CH we could raise by adding 81oz of calcium chloride, even though it still falls in the allowed recommendations. And to add 69oz of liquid stabilizer to raise the CYA.

    I hope I've read things right, it didn't seem nearly as intimidating as I originally thought Also, here's a pic of our little setup. Small fence is to keep the 4 legged kids out of the "Human Only Area" We have direct sunlight almost all day, around 5pm it gets some shade from another row of trees like the ones in the picture.

    16' x 48" Round Intex Vinyl AGP
    Intex 56633EG 2500 GPH Pump
    Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Doesn't it feel great to have a nice clean pool to start fresh with?
    Now you can do it the cheapest & best way, staying out of the pool stores and keeping them out of your wallet.
    Yes, it is indeed much, much less intimidating once you know what's in your water /w a kood test kit like you just purchased, it makes things sooo much easier by taking the guesswork out of it and restoring confidence in your ability to properly maintain it and your confidence in your pool.
    You're definitely on your way there.

    As for your numbers...
    I would leave your pH alone, it's an OK number, it's within the safe range and it may very well rise on it's own.

    Your TA should be fine, unless you get a saltwater chlorine generator "SWG".
    As for now, it's just dandy, so I wouldn't worry about it. TA is basically a pH buffer, if it's super high, your pH will climb up slowly or jump up. If it's really low, it can swing around all over the place.
    Pool calculator just makes suggestions based on predefined "good" values, but remember, everyone's pool is different and a TA of 150 isn't anything to worry about, you'll know if there's a problem as stated above, as you'll see the pH change in one of those ways.
    As you get to know your pool, and see what it does on a daily basis from regular testing, you'll begin to learn what is "normal" for it.
    When it deviates from "normal" is when you need to address the change.

    CH, don't worry about that either, that's the amount of calcium in your pool, you only need to be concerned with this number if you have a plaster pool. Vinyl doesn't apply.
    So just leave that as is.

    CYA is the biggest concern, that needs to be added right away, just add what the pool calculator tells you to add to reach a CYA of 30ppm.
    This helps to protect your chlorine from being destroyed by the sun. Without it, you'll lose chlorine faster than you can put it in just about.
    You can buy it just about anywhere that sells pool stuff. It's usually sold as "stabilizer", just make sure it's 99/100% Cyanuric Acid and nothing else. Call around for the best price, if you buy it at a pool store if they have a good price, that's fine, just don't buy anything else they try to sell you. Say NO! NOPE! and UHUH!!
    Although HTH available at Walmart, has one that contains some sulfuric acid, I have used it and have had no problems with it. That container in your size pool should last you at least several seasons, it doesn't get used up or evaporate, it stays in there, aside from splashout, draining water off from overfill due to rains, vacuuming with a non pump run vacuum, IE. the vacuum that attaches to your garden hose, etc..

    Place the powder in an old sock, tie it shut, then tie the remaining bit to your ladder and just let it sit there. Give it a squeeze throughout the day, a white cloud will come out, that's OK, keep your pump running until it's all dissolved. A little likes to stay behind in the sock, so you'll have to tie it smaller to squeeze that out and coax it free into that dusty cloud.
    It's OK to swim in the pool with the sock in there.
    Do not test for CYA for 1 week after it all dissolves out of the sock, it won't show up in your CYA test until then, otherwise you'll just be wasting reagent on it.
    But it does start working as soon as it dissolves in.

    Then dose your CL with bleach to 5ppm each night, after testing, use the pool calculator to tell you how much CL to add, enter your "now" number that you got from testing, then your target of "5". Then add what it tells you to the right, pour it in front of a return with the pump running.
    Test it the next day in the middle of the sunny hours to be sure you aren't loosing too much to the sun, so long as it doesn't dip down below 2ppm, you are good. If it is, then you need to add more CL at night, or raise your CYA to 40ppm and check from there.

    I like your 4 legged free, human only area. LOL
    That's cute.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    y_not has got you covered

    Quote Originally Posted by humrz28
    And to add 69oz of liquid stabilizer to raise the CYA.
    I would not pay the extra for liquid stabilizer, the granular stuff is just fine and much cheaper. y-not mentioned that hth stabilizer has sulfuric acid...I was not aware of that (still searching msds's to see this) but I have used many times in the past with no problems.

    Great looking pool area
    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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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    y_not has got you covered
    Thanks linen, trying to help out where I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Quote Originally Posted by humrz28
    And to add 69oz of liquid stabilizer to raise the CYA.
    I would not pay the extra for liquid stabilizer, the granular stuff is just fine and much cheaper.
    Absolutely, good catch! Missed that liquid was mentioned, if you have money to burn and don't like waiting, the liquid is great because there's no waiting for it to register on tests or to dissolve, which it does both right away. But there's no other reason to use it, like linen said, just stick with the powder and save yourself some money.

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    y-not mentioned that HTH "Arch Chemicals" brand stabilizer has sulfuric acid...I was not aware of that (still searching msds's to see this) but I have used many times in the past with no problems.
    I have also used it, no issues and it works just dandy, dissolves fast too, when you squeeze it that is.
    Regarding the sulfuric acid, it appears that this is part of the manufacturing process, whereby melamine is introduced into a highly concentrate solution of sulfuric acid, boiled, distilled, crystallized, then filtered off.
    So I'm betting this is a leftover of that process, as it's listed being of < 1% sulfuric acid.
    Here's the MSDS: HTH Stabilizer
    Here's the production process for CYA: Process For Preparing Pure CYA

    Keep in mind, I'm not a chemist, but this seems to be the answer from what I dug up.
    I'm sure chemgeek can weigh in on things if need be and I'm sure he probably will at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Great looking pool area
    Indeed! Very nice, something to be proud of.
    The neighbors will love you once you get your water all pretty.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Thanks again guys for all the help. I recently, and unexpectedly, lost my job so there's not a lot of play money *thank goodness I'm a saver at heart* - granulated was just fine. I went out today and bought the granulated stabilizer from our local Leslie's, probably paid too much, but I didn't want to drive all over, lol. It's still sitting out in the sock, almost completely dissolved. Also added some bleach, which has up back up to where we needed to be Looking forward to testing the CYA next week, just to be able to see improvement, I LOVE that, lol. So far so good I'm enjoying the BBB thing already!! Our neighbor has the same pool and hasn't been able to keep it clear since the day he bought it, I think they've used it 3 times since last summer. He's been pool stored a few times and since just given up. Once we get the hang of BBB, I'll have to be sure to point him to it as well
    16' x 48" Round Intex Vinyl AGP
    Intex 56633EG 2500 GPH Pump
    Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Quote Originally Posted by y_not
    So I'm betting this is a leftover of that process, as it's listed being of < 1% sulfuric acid.
    At < 1%, I wouldn't worry about it at all. For practical purposes, pretend it's not there.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Hmmmm, double posted for some reason when I edited.
    I Sowwwy!
    Mods, you can delete this if you want.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Quote Originally Posted by humrz28
    Thanks again guys for all the help. I recently, and unexpectedly, lost my job so there's not a lot of play money *thank goodness I'm a saver at heart* - granulated was just fine. I went out today and bought the granulated stabilizer from our local Leslie's, probably paid too much, but I didn't want to drive all over, lol. It's still sitting out in the sock, almost completely dissolved. Also added some bleach, which has up back up to where we needed to be Looking forward to testing the CYA next week, just to be able to see improvement, I LOVE that, lol. So far so good I'm enjoying the BBB thing already!! Our neighbor has the same pool and hasn't been able to keep it clear since the day he bought it, I think they've used it 3 times since last summer. He's been pool stored a few times and since just given up. Once we get the hang of BBB, I'll have to be sure to point him to it as well
    Sure thing, we love helping.

    GRRRRR, what a bummer on the job thing. I'm so sorry to hear that, always sad news when you lose your job, regardless of why. It's just a drag!!
    But hang in there though, it has a plus side, you have more time for yourself, your family, friends and others. Gives you a bit of a break, to recharge, recompose yourself and build a better game plan for anything in your life that needs it. It's in a lot of ways a fresh start, a nice reset sometimes.
    Even if the job you had was the best job there is, there's always something better, or something that's more of a fit for you and you didn't even know it. Keep your chin up, you'll find something.

    Sounds like you're really getting into this, even enjoying doing it and on your way to a better, well balanced pool. Am I right?
    Testing is way fun, huh? *Mad scientist*

    Your poor neighbor, I feel for him, you'll have to knock some sense into him.
    But go gently, just wait till yours is fantastic looking and let it speak for itself, a lot of people are slow, resistant to change and don't like others telling them how they can do better, even if it is better. I'm not, but a lot of people are. I have learned infinite amounts of knowledge by listening to other people, the world is an university, an encyclopedia of collective knowledge, just there for the partaking.


    PS. Your dogs are completely & utterly adorable!! That look on the boxer's face is soooo cuuuuuttteee, I wanna take him home with me.


    [quote=chem geek]
    Quote Originally Posted by "y_not":1ckxv776
    So I'm betting this is a leftover of that process, as it's listed being of < 1% sulfuric acid.
    At < 1%, I wouldn't worry about it at all. For practical purposes, pretend it's not there.[/quote:1ckxv776]
    ChemGeek, as always, such a big help. I was wondering that exact same thing, since having sulfites in your pool is bad. I'll just pretend I didn't even see it.

    Cheers mate!
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    humrz28's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Ya, the job thing sucked. Almost 6 years with a company and not even a reason, just "you're burned out and too smart, you deserve more then we can give".... hmm, ok they're right, but still a weird way to get let go, lol. The dogs are absolutely loving the situation though And I'm getting quite a nice tan working on the pool. Life is good
    16' x 48" Round Intex Vinyl AGP
    Intex 56633EG 2500 GPH Pump
    Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Personally I would read the temporary pool article in pool school and follow those start up directions. It would be an easy way to get things back on track quickly.

    -sent with Tapatalk 2
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Thanks UWV. The pool is sparkly clean now, and being in Florida, it's far from temporary We're off to a great start!
    16' x 48" Round Intex Vinyl AGP
    Intex 56633EG 2500 GPH Pump
    Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Quote Originally Posted by humrz28
    Ya, the job thing sucked. Almost 6 years with a company and not even a reason, just "you're burned out and too smart, you deserve more then we can give".... hmm, ok they're right, but still a weird way to get let go, lol. The dogs are absolutely loving the situation though And I'm getting quite a nice tan working on the pool. Life is good
    Too smart? Try they weren't smart enough to utilize your intellect and put it to good use within the company.
    Can you say lawsuit?
    That's discrimination against a high intellect, a lawyer would have a total heyday with that. They can't do that, that is weird, and totally wrong.
    I'm really sorry, but at least you can go put your smarts to better use elsewhere.
    You obviously are very smart, as you have taken to this BBB thing like a duck to water. Good for you!! *pats on back, gives nod*
    Welcome to the genius club!

    The dogs are loving having you home & outside so much, huh?

    I don't tan, I burn.
    *Jealous*
    Yes, life is good with a trouble free pool you can enjoy and have fun with/in.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: Newbie Questions - of course the dreaded algae

    Employment without a contract is "at will". So long as the firing was not based on one of the legal classifications of discrimination (or is inconsistent with stated policy), the reason is irrelevant. I don't believe that being "too smart" is considered to be discriminatory, though it is certainly lame and not falling into the more normal reasons of not doing the job well or not getting along with others or simply cutting back on total headcount (i.e. cost cutting).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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