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Thread: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back yard

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    Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back yard

    Hello all. I have a old but totally refurbished Anthony diving pool. Three years ago I had it completely redone with
    new plumbing (2"), skimmers (3), returns (5), filter (Triton sand), and 1.5 wisperflow pump. And of course
    the plaster was redone.

    Quite frankly I've had problems off and on every since. At the moment, the pool has gone
    green (green & cloudy; can't see bottom) again! Here are my #'s taken this AM.

    FC 2
    TC 2
    CC 0
    Ph 7.8
    TA 120

    Don't have a reading for CYA, but I did completely drain and acid wash the plaster last month. While close
    to some limits, those numbers look ok to me.

    This isn't the first time, only the most recent in the last several years where things have gone awry and I'm
    just about at a loss to resolve the ongoing problems with this pool.

    There is one complication that you should also know. There is a large tree (Cedar Elm) whose branches overhang
    the deep end. This time of year it dumps lots of leaves, twigs, ... in the pool. Currently all three skimmers will
    fill in a single day!

    One theory is the sand filter is overwhelmed (can't keep up and doesn't filter the smaller particles well enough).

    Over the early summer, the pool had gone green as well. At that time I was convinced that the media
    (ZeoSand) in the filter was the culprit. So I replaced it with regular pool grade sand. A day latter the pool was
    perfectly clear! No chemicals were added at this time. What does this tell us????

    Sorry to ramble and bounce around here but I felt I'd provide all the details/history so someone
    could point me in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Bill
    35000 Gallon Gunite Pool
    Pentair Triton II Fiberglass Sand Filter TR-140
    WisperFlow 1.5HP pump

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    The filter has very little to do with whether the water turns green or not. As long as the water is circulating and you maintain the appropriate level of FC for you CYA level (this is KEY and you really should invest in one of the recommended test kits to be able to take control of the pool), the water will not turn green from algae. Most dirt and such will settle to the bottom, so the water would be clear.

    Have you read the articles in Pool School (button at upper right) yet? They will give you a good introduction to the pool's chemistry. Then once you have the correct test kit, you can go through the Shock Process as described in Pool School to clear the water.

    What are you using to add chlorine to the pool?
    2ppm FC is pretty low for anything except a pool with 0 CYA ... although in that case, the sun is breaking down the FC very fast.
    With a good test kit, you will KNOW all the levels in the pool and we can make recommendations to get the chemical levels in line.

    BTW, even if the sand made the pool look clear, there could have still been algae hiding in the pool (or for a little while decomposing in the filter). Performing the OCLT (overnight chlorine loss test) will tell you if there is anything in the pool consuming the FC which would necessitate going through the shock process and then maintaining adequate FC ... you need the FAS-DPD chlorine test to do this accurately.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Obviously, it sounds like you need the Shock Process if the pool is turning green.

    Have you read

    Without knowing the CYA level, you don't know if the FC level is okay. Period. No arguments.
    Where'd you get the test results from? If they're from a pool store, don't trust them.
    What have you been using to chlorinate? Liquid? Pucks? Powders?

    Most certainly you need to adjust pH and get a CYA reading so you know a)what is shock value and b)what level will you need to maintain once it's clear.
    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: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Points well taken, I will get an updated kit that includes CYA and allows for the overnight test.

    While I don't have a CYA value to give you, please note that I drained the pool entirely
    last month and acid washed. One tub (sorry I don't have the lbs available to me now; will
    check how much used when I get home) of conditioner was added after the refill.

    The numbers were done by me this AM using a kit from Leslies.

    Bill
    35000 Gallon Gunite Pool
    Pentair Triton II Fiberglass Sand Filter TR-140
    WisperFlow 1.5HP pump

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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Bill, as others have noted, you will get helped through this process and I bet you will end up with water more clear than you have ever seen, but you need to get one of the recommended test kits. Read through the below "Sebring Pool Recovery Total Mess" thread and you will see just one example of the help around here. That will be you soon enough! You'll need some persistence and patience, but you will get there.
    Dedicated TFPer since 2012 with recommended test kit
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Quote Originally Posted by bschooly
    Points well taken, I will get an updated kit that includes CYA and allows for the overnight test.

    While I don't have a CYA value to give you, please note that I drained the pool entirely
    last month and acid washed. One tub (sorry I don't have the lbs available to me now; will
    check how much used when I get home) of conditioner was added after the refill.

    The numbers were done by me this AM using a kit from Leslies.

    Bill
    You can order just those tests from http://tftestkits.net and use your Leslies/Taylor kit for the rest. Same reagents.

    Using http://www.poolcalculator.com/, a 35 lb bucket of trichlor pucks in a 35000 pool will raise CYA to 67! If it was a bigger or smaller bucket, the numbers will of course be different. See Effects of Adding Chemicals at the bottom of the http://www.poolcalculator.com/
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Please realize that it is VERY unlikely that you will find the recommended test kit locally ... Leslie's does not typically carry them and will look at you funny if you ask for the K-2006 FAS-DPD kit ... it is NOT the same as the K-2005. They will either not know what the 2006 is or will say it is the same as the 2005 or will tell you that there is not reason you need it since they test the water for free (inaccurate and not repeatable, but free).

    Really the best value is the TF-100 that is only sold by 1 company online (well really 2, but 1 is a reseller). See the link in my signature for a comparison.

    Check out this chart as well: pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    2ppm FC is the absolute minimum it should be if you have some CYA in the water and you would likely be better maintaining in the 3-4ppm range. Also note that depending on your CYA level, the shock FC level that must be maintained is at least 10ppm ... and that is why you need the FAS-DPD chlorine test.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Please realize that it is VERY unlikely that you will find the recommended test kit locally ... Leslie's does not typically carry them and will look at you funny if you ask for the K-2006 FAS-DPD kit ... it is NOT the same as the K-2005. They will either not know what the 2006 is or will say it is the same as the 2005 or will tell you that there is not reason you need it since they test the water for free (inaccurate and not repeatable, but free).

    Really the best value is the TF-100 that is only sold by 1 company online (well really 2, but 1 is a reseller). See the link in my signature for a comparison.

    Check out this chart as well: pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    2ppm FC is the absolute minimum it should be if you have some CYA in the water and you would likely be better maintaining in the 3-4ppm range. Also note that depending on your CYA level, the shock FC level that must be maintained is at least 10ppm ... and that is why you need the FAS-DPD chlorine test.
    Thanks I will buy the kit online. But I can't afford to wait. Can I assume for now that algae is the issue and begin a new round of shock treatment?
    35000 Gallon Gunite Pool
    Pentair Triton II Fiberglass Sand Filter TR-140
    WisperFlow 1.5HP pump

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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Quote Originally Posted by bschooly
    Thanks I will buy the kit online. But I can't afford to wait. Can I assume for now that algae is the issue and begin a new round of shock treatment?
    Yes and no.

    You're working blind. If you guess wrong and overdose the chlorine, you'll lose a disproportionate amount to sunlight; FC loss to sunlight is a percentage, not a fixed PPM. So If you shove it up to 40, you may lose 20 to sunlight, whereas if you put at 20, you'll only lose 10. Then there's the opposite - you underdose it. In which case all you've done is stunt the algae without actually killing it faster than it can reproduce. Which means all the bleach you added was for nothing.

    The Shock Process is not a one-time blast of bleach. It can mean adding a couple gallons every few hours.




    How much you need depends on how much you have, and you can't test it if your kit only goes to 5. (As an aside, by comparison testing over the summer, I've found that anything from 4 to 7 looks like 5 to me.)

    How many pounds of pucks did you add to the pool since the refill? That will give you a rough idea of what the CYA level is. And if it's way high, you might want to drain off some water and refill to get it to a manageable level. The water cost will be made up by using less bleach.
    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: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Quote Originally Posted by bschooly

    You're working blind. If you guess wrong and overdose the chlorine, you'll lose a disproportionate amount to sunlight; FC loss to sunlight is a percentage, not a fixed PPM. So If you shove it up to 40, you may lose 20 to sunlight, whereas if you put at 20, you'll only lose 10. Then there's the opposite - you underdose it. In which case all you've done is stunt the algae without actually killing it faster than it can reproduce. Which means all the bleach you added was for nothing.

    The Shock Process is not a one-time blast of bleach. It can mean adding a couple gallons every few hours.




    How much you need depends on how much you have, and you can't test it if your kit only goes to 5. (As an aside, by comparison testing over the summer, I've found that anything from 4 to 7 looks like 5 to me.)

    How many pounds of pucks did you add to the pool since the refill? That will give you a rough idea of what the CYA level is. And if it's way high, you might want to drain off some water and refill to get it to a manageable level. The water cost will be made up by using less bleach.
    I have a 10 puck feeder. Probably hasn't been filled but 2-3 times. I think the target CYA was 40 when I added the conditioner. So I think that's still a good number. I'm ok with going
    over this time; Anything to get this back ...
    35000 Gallon Gunite Pool
    Pentair Triton II Fiberglass Sand Filter TR-140
    WisperFlow 1.5HP pump

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Using the pool calculator, for 35 kgallon pool, 1 gallon of 6% bleach will raise the FC by 1.8ppm.

    If you target shock FC level is ~15ppm (assuming you CYA estimate is close), and you are at ~2ppm, you need to add ~ 7 gallons of bleach to raise the FC to shock level ... then you have to try to maintain it there (which you will be doing blind). It is very difficult to guess how quickly the FC is going to drop due to the sun and organics in the pool.

    If you wait for the FC to drop low enough to measure and then dose back up, you have already lost ground by letting it drop.

    Make sure you have read and understand the shock process.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Wait a minute, do you mean that you've a) added stabilizer to 40 ppm AND used 20 -30 tricolor pucks when you wrote this:
    I have a 10 puck feeder. Probably hasn't been filled but 2-3 times. I think the target CYA was 40 when I added the conditioner. So I think that's still a good number.
    If so, your cya will be higher than 40 because pucks add 6 ppm of cya for every 10 ppm of chlorine.

    Or did you mean you've only ever USED the auto feeder a few times? Ad hoc, as opposed to your principal source of sanitation...

    My cya is 40, and the lowest I let my chlorine drop at that number is five (target) to be on the safe side. So I
    would hazard a guess that chronic low chlorine is what caused your outbreak. Once you get it cleared up and read up in pool school, you'll find it's quite easy to maintain the pool if you follow the bbb method and ensur your chlorine snd cya stay in the recommended ranges...which means no pucks!
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Really you're just dumping bleach down the drain and not killing much of any algae at all when you're flying blind like that.
    Because it goes like this. Kill some algae>Algae recovers>Kill more algae>Even more recovers. You can potentially end up with more algae than when you started, or at the minimum have barely made a dent if you aren't about the same as where you started.

    You don't even know when you have hit shock level without a FAS-DPD, nothing else can accurately measure the high FC levels.
    You risk damage to your equipment as well as your pool surface/liner.
    Then, you don't know 30min later how much the algae ate up, thus how much to add back in to bring it back up to shock. Wash, rinse repeat.
    Yeah, OTO will show INSANELY high FC levels, even straight bleach. But you can't really tell what it is. Just a ballpark.

    It just can't be done successfully nor long term. IE. It'll come back if you think you're done and you aren't, because you have no way to verify it.

    Just leave it sit until you get your kit. It comes in fast!!
    You have had problems with it for years, a few more days isn't going to kill it.

    --Our prescription for a pain free pool would be a healthy dose of POP (Pool Owner Patience). Then once you get your kit, followed up by testing, posting, dosing and more POP. Then a happy pool.
    Hang in there, yo can do it!!! We're all here to help and cheer you on. As most of us have been right where you are. What we do works and it ain't rocket science.
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Well I have started the process anyway. Tested FC this AM. Showed 0. By my estimate, my CYA is
    at 32. From what I've read I need a shock level around 14. The pool calc says 871 oz of bleach.

    So I have added that. After an hour I will go to Leslies and get a CYA and FC readings so I can add back
    more bleach. My plan is to repeat this cycle.

    Will this work?

    Bill
    35000 Gallon Gunite Pool
    Pentair Triton II Fiberglass Sand Filter TR-140
    WisperFlow 1.5HP pump

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    Not really.

    Leslie test only goes up to 5ppm in chlorine, so they may just tell you it is too high if it has not dropped that low ... of course you could measure that. But like was said, if it drops that low, you are losing ground.

    And CYA seems to be historically the test they are worst at.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    You are right again. I thought surely they would have the advanced kit. I called and asked.
    Nope! The guy was like "why do you need to know numbers above 5?" and "just wait a day and
    shock again". I tried to explain but decided it was pointless to do so....

    Pool is clearing. Still green, but clear, not cloudy... I did the inferior FC test and the chlorine
    levels are probably still 10+ if one can extrapolate the darkness (assuming linear relationship).

    Can't wait to get a real test kit and get on top of this once and for all. Plus use the BBB method
    and only use pucks sparingly.

    Thanks everyone for the help thus far.

    Bill
    35000 Gallon Gunite Pool
    Pentair Triton II Fiberglass Sand Filter TR-140
    WisperFlow 1.5HP pump

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    Re: Near suicidal; need guru to solve the beast in the back

    By inferior FC test are you referring to diluting the water sample with distilled water that has no chlorine in it? Note that tap water usually has either chlorine or monochloramine in it, but for a rough estimate you can ignore it for a 50/50 dilution. If you were to do a 2:1 or 3:1 dilution, then what's in the tap water will make more of a difference in your final result.
    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
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