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Thread: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to BBB

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    A little encouragement for those with algae and new to BBB

    I hardly ever post anymore, only when there's something I think might be useful, although I still browse the forum almost daily. With the swim season beginning, and seeing a lot of posts by new (and sometimes frustrated) people here, maybe this will help to offer a little encouragement.

    (Very) Long story follows and I'll preface with this - I've been BBB'ing since a little after this forum was created.

    Early last October, I had to leave home for work for a couple months. While the water was a little too cool to swim, it was still warm enough where the pool required daily (or every other day) attention. I knew that my wife, having to deal with her own job, the kids, and everything around the house, simply wouldn't be able to keep up with it. So I made the decision to just let it go for the winter, even knowing what I would be facing this spring.

    Fast forward to this spring, March 9th, to be exact. I got tired of looking at the green monster in the backyard. So...opening time! After adding water, this is what I started with. Yes there is a fallen tree behind the pool, which I started cleaning up, and am now procrastinating on finishing.



    I knew this was going to take a LOT of bleach! (will get a final count of jugs and a pic tomorrow)
    Testing and adding bleach hourly, this is what I had the next day:




    The first was taken in the morning, second that evening. Foam! And lots of it. Sometimes an inch or two thick, covering the pool!
    I didn't even think to test at first, but with the extreme chlorine consumption and astronomical CC's, I'm pretty sure beneath the foam was a solid 24 foot brick of ammonia! (yes that's a little exaggeration ) The water was far too murky for the CYA test. With no reagent, the dot disappeared well before the 100 mark, so I just used my last test result from last year and adjusted when it cleared up enough to do the test.

    Anyways, very little day to day improvement in water appearance. Although I wasn't having to add nearly as much bleach at a time, frustration was beginning to set in. Finally, by the 21st, there was enough improvement to take another pic.



    At this point, I'm nowhere near passing the OCLT, and I KNOW it! I'm not even dragging myself out of bed that early to try! So I just keep on trucking. Testing, adding bleach, backwashing, rinse & repeat. 12 days in, some improvement in appearance, and my supply of POP is running low...
    Actually at this point I think it was long gone, but I just kept going because if I threw in the towel now, all that money, effort, and bleach would be wasted.

    Pic from March 24th. Progress, but slooooowwww progress.



    March 31st: I passed the OCLT! Not sparkling water, but I lost 1 ppm FC overnight and CC was .5. Close, but not good enough for me. So I continued to hold it at shock level through that day and the next.

    April 2nd: Passed OCLT again - this time .5 ppm FC lost overnight and just the slightest hint of pink for CC, definitely not even .5. Still not good enough.

    April 3rd: Passed again, with no overnight FC loss and no CC's! Since this overnight test, barely any FC loss during the day, and still no detectible CC's.

    And a pic from today:



    As you can see, still not sparkling, not even close. But, (can't tell with the pic) I can see the bottom, and there is finally daily improvement. I'm not saying to stop the shocking process before the water is sparking, and I cannot emphasize this enough - if you're told by the knowledgeable people here to continue shocking, LISTEN TO THEM!

    So, with all that being said (and shown) this method works. It's tried and true. There's chemistry to back it up. Longtime BBB'ers can let their pools go and get frustrated with the process too. It happens. You all have no idea how tempting it was sometimes to want to go to the pool store to find something to try. But that doesn't always work, and can sometimes make things worse. BBB works. As long as you have a good test kit (and trust your testing!) and take the advice given here, it will work 100% of the time. The thousands of BBB'ers are a testament to that. Almost a month at shock level, 25 days (I think?) to pass the OCLT...it's a long time. But it does work.

    I hope this helps someone out there that may be feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and thinking to themselves "will my pool ever clear up?" It will.
    Now, since this has gotten a lot longer than I expected, enjoy your summer everyone!
    John

    24' round Vogue AGP 12,000 gal. Flotec AT251001-01 1HP pump, Hayward S310T2 sand filter, Aquarite SWG T-15
    TF-100 (found at TF Test Kits) with Speedstir and Samplesizer

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    By the way, this helps with the process more than you would ever believe! The extra gadgets make things a lot easier too.

    John

    24' round Vogue AGP 12,000 gal. Flotec AT251001-01 1HP pump, Hayward S310T2 sand filter, Aquarite SWG T-15
    TF-100 (found at TF Test Kits) with Speedstir and Samplesizer

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Good post cheddar!!!!


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Similar algee green happened to my pool last week... Reading TFP was much more enlightening than the local pool store trying to sell more and more chemicals.
    Fresh Costco bleach can do miracles.
    32x15 IG Borate+Salt, Pentair VS+SVRS, howard swim pure 40 SWG, Pentair 4000 48sqft DE, Mastertemp 300, Electric Pool Cover, Polaris P93, 4 Kids for Aeration, ;)

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Great post! I love seeing these threads. Thanks for taking the time.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Love the pictures!
    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: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Great pics, John.

    You are VERY close to being crystal clear. The rest is mostly filtration but keep at it with the high FC. Run your pump 24/7 if you are not doing so already and backwash as necessary.

    "Sparkling" is an adjective you will soon be using.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Quote Originally Posted by cheddar85
    The water was far too murky for the CYA test. With no reagent, the dot disappeared well before the 100 mark, so I just used my last test result from last year and adjusted when it cleared up enough to do the test.
    While this may not be the best way to figure out your shock level, I think it's a good example of why you should keep test records. In my case, using a coffee filter to help clear the water enough for the CYA test just wasn't going to cut it. As we know, having too high of a FC level for an extended time can bleach and degrade a vinyl liner. On the flip side, if the FC level isn't high enough, you'll never clear the pool. So, having my last test result from last year helped a lot, since I know that no stabilizer was added after that.

    Just so all the information is out there, yes I did somewhat bleach the liner. When I was finally able to test CYA, it was 0.

    However, it does seem odd that it is taking so long to clear, considering the pump and filter I have, and that the standpipe/laterals and all the parts in the multiport were replaced last spring. As long as the pool continues to clear, and the filter pressure keeps rising, then I'll assume everything is working as intended.

    Dave - yes the pump has been running 24/7 since the day I started. I've been adding DE to the filter after each backwash, but I never have gotten a 1 psi rise on the gauge. I've added 2 1/2 cups and the needle barely moved, even after an hour or 2. Then again, it is a fairly large filter. So now, I just stick with 1 cup and after a couple of days, I have to backwash.

    Everyone else - glad you all like the pictures, I still have to get one of all the bleach bottles later today, and I will definitely post one when it's sparkling!

    If this helps one person who's frustrated and is about to give in and run to the pool store looking for the 'miracle in a bottle', then it's worth it. The only things you need are properly working equipment, bleach, hard work, and what I think may be the most important - patience! The pool didn't get like that overnight, after all!
    John

    24' round Vogue AGP 12,000 gal. Flotec AT251001-01 1HP pump, Hayward S310T2 sand filter, Aquarite SWG T-15
    TF-100 (found at TF Test Kits) with Speedstir and Samplesizer

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    As promised, the bleach pic!

    I didn't really think there were that many jugs, but seeing them all lined up like that really puts it in perspective.
    72 jugs, 121oz each. 8,712 total oz. for approximately 482.4 cumulative ppm. Wow. No wonder I got so many funny looks.

    John

    24' round Vogue AGP 12,000 gal. Flotec AT251001-01 1HP pump, Hayward S310T2 sand filter, Aquarite SWG T-15
    TF-100 (found at TF Test Kits) with Speedstir and Samplesizer

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Very nice collection cheddar !!!! Don't forget to recycle !!


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    I get funny looks when I buy 3-4 at a time.
    13,000 Plaster IG Pool approx
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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Wanted to provide an update...





    Three things are probably noticeable:

    1. There's a HUGE improvement!
    2. I really need to vacuum again...
    3. See how around the edges it looks brownish-green? Well that's just how it looks in the pics. It's really a nice shade of brown. Wonderful, iron staining. Every time I accidently put unsoftened water in the pool, it happens. Wonder why it never stains the bottom?

    Anyways, I found out why it was taking so long to clear. You see, even though my filter pressure was rising and I was backwashing, I just had a feeling something wasn't right with the filter. I had taken it apart four times to check, but each time everything appeared fine. Well I backwashed about a week and a half ago, and for the next week, the pressure didn't rise a bit. Back to check the filter again...

    Now I've done this before. Take the top off the multiport, check the spring, the o rings on the shaft (even though they wouldn't cause my problem) and the spider gasket. On this multiport, the spider gasket isn't attached to the key assembly, or whatever it's called. It's in the lower half of the multiport. When I've checked it before, the gasket was always slightly submerged in water. This time, I drained some water out of the filter so I could get a really good look. Gasket looks great, absolutely pristine, just like every other time I've checked it. So I rub my finger across the spokes. Guess what? My finger was black afterwards! I think I didn't notice before because with the gasket underwater, the disintegrating gasket wasn't sticking to my finger.

    Finally, I knew it! Something was wrong with the filter! Luckily last year I bought a kit at the pool store, that way I had it when I needed it. I rebuilt the valve, put it all back together, and had to backwash 6 hours later. After all this time I finally started to see significant daily improvement. It only took a month and a half!

    By the way, whoever decided to super glue that gasket on the bottom AND the sides....I will find you.
    It took over 3 hours to get that out!
    John

    24' round Vogue AGP 12,000 gal. Flotec AT251001-01 1HP pump, Hayward S310T2 sand filter, Aquarite SWG T-15
    TF-100 (found at TF Test Kits) with Speedstir and Samplesizer

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Quote Originally Posted by cheddar85
    By the way, whoever decided to super glue that gasket on the bottom AND the sides....I will find you.
    I wasn't me

    Glad it is finally working!
    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: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Awesome Job Cheddar!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Thanks Casey. BTW, how's your pool install going? I know you can't wait!
    John

    24' round Vogue AGP 12,000 gal. Flotec AT251001-01 1HP pump, Hayward S310T2 sand filter, Aquarite SWG T-15
    TF-100 (found at TF Test Kits) with Speedstir and Samplesizer

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    When did you take a picture of my test kit?! LOL! I've been meaning to take that same photo of the bleach jugs too, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

    Excellent job, and thanks for providing encouragement to others. Stellar example!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' X 48" 7600 +/- gallons
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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Quote Originally Posted by cheddar85 View Post
    As promised, the bleach pic!
    I bought 12 jugs at WalMart at midnight - checker gives me a funny look, I just told him "ever seen breaking bad?"
    ~26,000 gal (still dialing it in) / in-ground saltwater (Hayward T-CELL-15) / Blue Granite PebbleSheen / 2hp WhisperFlo pumps (main), 1.5hp WhisperFlo pump (waterfall) / Pentair DE filter / AquaLogic control / Polaris cleaner aka "Trackie" / Dallas, TX

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Thanks for posting. I know this system works but......after buying so much bleach at Walmart that they had me pull to the loading dock and loaded it on a pallet into my truck......it's nice to be reminded it will payoff.
    Sharkline Matrix 15' x 30' x 54" Oval, Pentair Clean & Clear 150 sq. ft. Cartridge Filter, 1-1/2 HP OptiFlo Dual speed Pump, TF-100 test kit, borates

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    I have finally found a picture of what my pool looked like when I bought it
    I have been working on it for a month now and had no luck
    I have added 30 gallons of bleach and cant get the algae to die I did get some clearing enough to see my cya is 0
    Should I keep SLAMing? I have invested in $200 worth of bleach which is expensive where I live. I have maintained slam level for two weeks straight if I need this much I will go broke!

    Quote Originally Posted by cheddar85 View Post
    As promised, the bleach pic!

    I didn't really think there were that many jugs, but seeing them all lined up like that really puts it in perspective.
    72 jugs, 121oz each. 8,712 total oz. for approximately 482.4 cumulative ppm. Wow. No wonder I got so many funny looks.

    24 in round above ground pool with sand filter

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    Re: A little encouragement for those with algae and new to B

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruff.jay View Post
    I have added 30 gallons of bleach and cant get the algae to die I did get some clearing enough to see my cya is 0
    Should I keep SLAMing?

    Is your CYA still zero? If so, you need to bring it up to 30. The sun is likely burning off all of your FC before it has a chance to work. That may be why you're not seeing more progress.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
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