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Thread: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

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    stevenm's Avatar
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    Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Hi all!

    First off, I'd like to thank all of you for all of the great content on this forum. Hopefully this will make my life easier in the future!

    A little back story: About 2-3 years ago, our pool began to leak, losing about 1" of water per day. After running some tests, we called in the "professionals" to replace the liner. They drained the pool, installed the liner, and refilled the pool. And it continued to leak. It turns out that they had neglected to pressure-check the lines, and most of the pipes had cracked over the time between the pool leaking and them fixing the liner (it kind of sat there for a while until we were in a position financially to do the repair). Another winter goes by, and this summer we finally got around to replacing all of the lines with 1.5" flex hose, losing the main drain in the process (too expensive/difficult to replace, although next season we plan on seeing if it can be salvaged). At this point, the water is already algae-laden. We finally get our pump at the time running (1 HP Hayward Super Pump) and begin to treat the pool. Of course, since that would be too easy, the pump dies after about a week or two of service (it ran dry for a day or two due to a valve being turned the wrong way and never really recovered). A couple days go by, then we order a new pump (a 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo). Another week goes by as we wait for the pump to arrive, and in the meantime I found this forum. Now the pump is installed and running, and we're ready to get rid of the algae.

    Please note that I'm currently sitting on a stockpile of 73% cal-hypo, a bunch of 3" chlorine tabs, and a couple of bottles of copper-based algecide, all purchased before I found this forum. Therefore, I plan on chlorinating with cal-hypo until I run out, then I plan on switching to BBB. Chlorine tabs and algecide I'll slowly add over the coming years just to get rid of it (no blond hair here!).

    Now, down to treatment. Since all I have in the way of test kits is a really old (3+ years) OTO two-way kit, and since none of the local pool stores (of which there are 5 or 6) have even heard of Taylor testing kits, I brought a water sample over to a local pool store (Tarson) to be tested. The important points are listed below:

    • FC - 0[/*:m:2gv1lf7b]
    • TC - 0.4[/*:m:2gv1lf7b]
    • pH - 7.8[/*:m:2gv1lf7b]
    • TA - 51[/*:m:2gv1lf7b]
    • CH - 254 (listed as Total Hardness on the sheet)[/*:m:2gv1lf7b]
    • CYA - 0[/*:m:2gv1lf7b]


    The levels are largely accurate from what I can tell; the pool is mostly fill water without much treatment, which explains the CYA, and the higher PH, low FC, and a bit of CC is probably from the 1 dose of shock we put in before getting it tested. It's probably worth mentioning that it's a computerized test strip-based BioGuard-branded test. That, and the "expert" at the pool store was probably 15-18.

    Anyway, I shocked it again and brushed it with the vacuum head (not plugged in, of course). I also added 6 lbs. of BioGuard stabilizer (100% CYA) in socks by the returns and one in the skimmer last night, which has mostly dissolved. Based on the label, this should bring the CYA up to about 20-30. The kid at the pool store also sold us a 25 lb. bag of "Balance Pak 100" to raise the alkalinity, which I didn't realize until it was too late that it was baking soda. Needless to say, I'm returning that if they let me.

    Here's what it looks like now:

    [attachment=1:2gv1lf7b]9-1-12 Deep.jpg[/attachment:2gv1lf7b]

    [attachment=0:2gv1lf7b]9-1-12 Shallow.jpg[/attachment:2gv1lf7b]

    At this point, I'm hoping to get a Taylor K-1005 test kit; the better kits are a little too expensive for us right now: http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-K-1005-...dp/B003054WO2/

    Any comments or suggestions are appreciated! Right now I'm trying to follow the getting rid of algae guide (http://www.troublefreepool.com/turni...sis-t4147.html) with what I have and hope I get a better test kit soon.
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    27,000 gal. vinyl in-ground pool w/ 1.5" piping, 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Welcome to TFP.

    You definitely need a good test kit. Since you have an OTO kit I suggest getting the TF-50. It'll do till next year.

    You're doing right following the shock process. Keep reading and following it and you'll do fine.
    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
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    stevenm's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Update: The pool water has lightened up after adding 3 bags of cal-hypo last night, but is still cloudy and now has a swirly white foam on top:

    [attachment=0:3a0mw3cs]9-2-12 Swirls.jpg[/attachment:3a0mw3cs]

    Working on getting a test kit! Nobody in town carries Taylor test kits, so I guess I'm going to have to pay for shipping.
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    27,000 gal. vinyl in-ground pool w/ 1.5" piping, 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    I would stop using calhypo, you do not want to raise your CH level too high. Getting a good test kit is the only way to ensure you are reaching shock level and maintaining that level of FC until you are done with shocking process (have met all three shocking criteria), as described in Pool School.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenm
    Hi all!

    At this point, I'm hoping to get a Taylor K-1005 test kit; the better kits are a little too expensive for us right now: http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-K-1005-...dp/B003054WO2/

    Any comments or suggestions are appreciated! Right now I'm trying to follow the getting rid of algae guide (http://www.troublefreepool.com/turni...sis-t4147.html) with what I have and hope I get a better test kit soon.
    The taylor 1005 isnt going to be helpful. The key test you need is the fas-dpd test. You can search on amazon to get the individual reagents. It contains a powder, and 2 liquid reagents.

    0870 - powder
    0871 - titrating reagent (this tests for chlorine)
    R004 part of the CC test

    This kit contains the 3 reagents bundled just for fas-dpd, but seems a bit more expensive than just buying the individual units in larger volumes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Replacemen ... ds=fas-dpd
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Quote Originally Posted by march2012
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenm
    Hi all!

    At this point, I'm hoping to get a Taylor K-1005 test kit; the better kits are a little too expensive for us right now: http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-K-1005-...dp/B003054WO2/

    Any comments or suggestions are appreciated! Right now I'm trying to follow the getting rid of algae guide (http://www.troublefreepool.com/turni...sis-t4147.html) with what I have and hope I get a better test kit soon.
    The taylor 1005 isnt going to be helpful. The key test you need is the fas-dpd test. You can search on amazon to get the individual reagents. It contains a powder, and 2 liquid reagents.

    0870 - powder
    0871 - titrating reagent (this tests for chlorine)
    R004 part of the CC test

    This kit contains the 3 reagents bundled just for fas-dpd, but seems a bit more expensive than just buying the individual units in larger volumes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Replacemen ... ds=fas-dpd
    Too bad R0004 is the PH reagent and not Taylor R-0003 which is the DPD Reagent #3 and is the CC part of the test

    TFtestkits.net carries the FAS-DPD testkit with the correct reagents
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Quote Originally Posted by march2012
    The key test you need is the fas-dpd test. You can search on amazon to get the individual reagents. It contains a powder, and 2 liquid reagents.

    0870 - powder
    0871 - titrating reagent (this tests for chlorine)
    R004 part of the CC test

    This kit contains the 3 reagents bundled just for fas-dpd, but seems a bit more expensive than just buying the individual units in larger volumes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Replacemen ... ds=fas-dpd
    Or you can get it here with over double the R0871 reagent ... which you will need a lot of while in the shock process.

    http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlorine- ... t-p47.html
    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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    stevenm's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Just ordered the TF-100, which I hope arrives by the end of the week!

    I added some DE to the filter today per the instructions in pool school to help clear up some of the cloudyness. The sand filter was working, but was taking its dear time. Once the kit arrives I'll run a full array of tests and post the results, then continue with the shocking process, as I imagine my guesswork hasn't completely cleared it up.
    27,000 gal. vinyl in-ground pool w/ 1.5" piping, 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    stevenm's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Woohoo! Just got home to find my TF-100 waiting for me!

    [attachment=0:3604s85b]TF-100.JPG[/attachment:3604s85b]

    Here's the results of the initial test:

    • FC - 4[/*:m:3604s85b]
    • CC - 1[/*:m:3604s85b]
    • TA -130[/*:m:3604s85b]
    • CH - 230[/*:m:3604s85b]
    • pH - 7.5[/*:m:3604s85b]
    • CYA - < 20 (filled to the top and could still kind of see the dot; assuming it's around 15 or so)[/*:m:3604s85b]


    My plan now is to begin following the shocking guide again, this time with 12.5% liquid bleach. I'm also going to add some MA to bring the pH down to 7.2 before beginning, as indicated in the shocking guide. I'm probably going to end up going out to get more CYA as well; going from 15 to 40 with trichlor will take forever (about 21 tablets). About how long does a trichlor tab take to dissolve?

    Any additional suggestions?
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    27,000 gal. vinyl in-ground pool w/ 1.5" piping, 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    Sounds like a decent plan.

    Your CYA is anything between 0 and 20ppm. Ideally you want to be at least at about 30ppm for the shock process to protect the chlorine. You may want to add about 20ppm and then test again in a week to see where you are at.

    Trichlor will dissolve faster if it has more flow passing over it. It is also acidic and dissolving fast will lower your pH.

    I would suggest:
    - Add 20ppm CYA and assume you are at 40ppm (may find it to be lower than that in a week when you re-test).
    - Lower the pH to around 7.2
    - Start the shock process with liquid chlorine (using shock level for 40ppm).
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  11. Back To Top    #11
    stevenm's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    I went out and got the necessary chemicals today:

    [attachment=2:3at6fg1h]9-15-12 Chemicals.jpg[/attachment:3at6fg1h]

    In went the CYA in two socks by the returns (only 4lbs, but I figured I'd do the rest with Trichlor):

    [attachment=1:3at6fg1h]9-15-12 Shallow CYA Sock.jpg[/attachment:3at6fg1h]
    [attachment=0:3at6fg1h]9-15-12 Deep CYA Sock.jpg[/attachment:3at6fg1h]

    93 oz. of the 12.5% bleach seen above was also added, bringing the newly-tested FC level of 7.5 (I added some Trichlor last night) up to the shock level for my current CYA. I had something going on this afternoon so I wasn't able to keep on it, but tomorrow is another day.....

    I retested the pH as well; the Trichlor did in fact lower it to the required 7.2 overnight, so I didn't end up using the muriatic acid. BTW, those looking for MA in Lowe's should check the painting supplies aisle (which is the aisle furthest to the left in the paint section in my Lowe's) on the bottom shelf. The bottle pictured above is what you want (I laughed at the "safer" stuff; 1/2 the concentration at the same price!).

    I've been informed of your love of pictures, so I figured I'd satisfy your cravings.
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    You seem to be well underway, so congrats. My only tip is that it will all go faster now if you dose to maintain the shock level at all times. Any time it drops below shock value, you are giving the algae a chance to catch up, which prolongs the affair!
    Cheers!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    I would suggest moving the CYA sock away from the side of the pool. Just 3-4 inches or so would be fine but it is probably not a good idea to have it touching the side.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Getting Rid of Algae: My Story

    OK, time for an update!

    The CYA (4lbs.) has completely dissolved and I've added 6 tablets of Trichlor, which, according to the Pool Calculator and some of my own math, should bring me up to a CYA of about 40. The Trichlor has also done a nice job of maintaining my new shock level of 15, but it's almost completely dissolved, so I'm going to have to switch back to bleach tomorrow.

    Test results from 5 minutes ago:

    • FC - 16.5[/*:m:3j3w6jhq]
    • CC - 0.5[/*:m:3j3w6jhq]
    • pH - ~7.2 (it's just a tad darker than the 7.2 color, but definitely not 7.5)[/*:m:3j3w6jhq]


    And a new pic:

    [attachment=0:3j3w6jhq]9-19-12 Deep.jpg[/attachment:3j3w6jhq]

    The DE has been doing a great job helping my sand filter along. The shallow end is very clear and the deep end is starting to clear up.
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    27,000 gal. vinyl in-ground pool w/ 1.5" piping, 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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