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Thread: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

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    HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Hi everyone!

    I have a 15,000 gallon in-ground pool with a SAND filter. I had it up and running all summer last year with the help of this forum and the pool school. It was great!!

    However, over the winter, I haven't touched it.... and didn't have a cover on it... So, as you can guess, it was a swamp and has a ton of leaves in the bottom of it.

    So, here's the scoop:
    I followed the instructions in pool school to clean a swamp (turning-your-green-swamp-back-into-a-sparkling-oasis-t4147.html).

    It looked like it was working really well at first. The water got cloudy (cloudy green) and started going from green to blue/green. However, my FC level basically never went down... I mean, the article said "The first few times the FC level is likely to be either zero or quite low" but mine did a REALLY good job of staying at almost shock level every time I tested it. Is that ok? Now, it's still green and doesn't look like it's changing even though I'm keeping the chlorine at shock level. I heard it was supposed to turn milky... does that just take a while with a sand filter or did I mess something up?

    SECONDARY ISSUE:
    My plastic steps and the plastic parts of my ladder and skimmers all have some sort of brown/rusty staining. I realize that it's because I didn't take care of my pool, but is there a way to clean that? Will it go away when I get my pool cleaned up? What chemical imbalance caused that?
    Thanks!
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Depending on the particular situation you could not lose much FC during the shock process. So it may be fine for you. Also, dead algae doesn't always turn whitish. Sometimes it stays green even though it's dead.

    It does take a sand filter some time to clear up a pool. Have you gotten all the debris out of the pool? That's an important step.

    Once you get finished shocking you can try a few things to clean the plastics. I use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Bama beat me, but here is my take...

    It should be using at least some chlorine if it is destroying organics, and the sun should be using some too. Are you saying it is staying at the shock FC level without adding additional chlorine? Do you have a auto chlorinator on the pool (puck feeder, swg, or liquid pump, etc.) that could be adding chlorine? Can you post a full set of tests?

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinSummerlin
    Now, it's still green and doesn't look like it's changing even though I'm keeping the chlorine at shock level.
    Is it opaque or clear...i.e. is the water tinted green, but you can still see the bottom clearly or is it cloudy green, where the bottom is partially/fulled obscured?
    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: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Thanks, Bama. I actually had already considered Magic Erasers! Good call!

    I have attempted to get everything out of the pool, but I broke one of my poles when trying to get my leaf rake out with a large number of leaves. Now I have one that is just barely long enough to reach the deep end. I got as many leaves as I could and I'm attempting to get more every day. I ran out of DPD powder and R-0871 in my taylor kit yesterday. I'm flying blind right now and I hate it. I've got some on the way right now.

    I'll just make sure and keep the pool at shock level as best as I can tell until my chemicals can get here... might be another day or two.


    To answer you, linen:
    I can't really post a full test due to running out of testing chemicals.

    The pool is opaque. I can't see the bottom of the deep end OR the shallow end. Both are obscured.

    Actually, I found out this morning that the bleach I was using was 8.25% sodium hypochlorite as opposed to the 6% that i thought it was.... which means I got the chlorine level waaay above shock level and when I checked it, it was down to 12 (which is shock level). Which means that it was losing chlorine (a good sign).
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinSummerlin
    Actually, I found out this morning that the bleach I was using was 8.25% sodium hypochlorite as opposed to the 6% that i thought it was.... which means I got the chlorine level waaay above shock level and when I checked it, it was down to 12 (which is shock level). Which means that it was losing chlorine (a good sign).
    That makes sense...keep up the good work of killing off those organics (and get your test kit refills )
    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: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    It looks like you've been given enough information to resolve your current problem. I'm sure you know the best way to avoid this problem in the future is to use a winter pool cover to keep the debris out of your pool. This will in turn help to avoid the big algae surprise in the spring when you try to open the pool...
    A.O.Smith Pump 2HP, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter 60 (for 60 sqft), Jandy Caretaker 5 port, MiniMax 400 pool heater, Rainbow chlorinator, Aqualink
    Secondary pump for leaf trapper/fountain 1 HP on Hayward Cartridge Filter model C12002
    Polaris 2 peak HP blower for spa
    20,000 gallon pool

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by AllPoolFilters
    It looks like you've been given enough information to resolve your current problem. I'm sure you know the best way to avoid this problem in the future is to use a winter pool cover to keep the debris out of your pool. This will in turn help to avoid the big algae surprise in the spring when you try to open the pool...
    Definitely!

    I'm not opposed to cleaning the pool of algae every spring, but it's all the "stuff" that gets in the pool that's the real chore. I may leave it untouched all winter again, but hopefully I'll buy a cover and at least be able to keep most/all of the leaves out for next year.
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    UPDATE: My pool water is becoming clearer. I can now see the bottom of the shallow end and some of the walls in the deep end. However, now I have another problem. There's a lot of sand in my pool. If you can help with that, follow up over here where I posted a thread about it (filter-problem-sand-in-my-pool-t57374.html).
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Ok. My pool is getting a lot clearer, but it's taken this long to do it... as you can see, my initial post was on April 9th. Now it's April 24th and the water in the deep end is still a little green, though I can see the bottom clearly now. The water in the shallow end is pretty clear and starting to look good.

    Here are my numbers as of my last test (5 minutes ago):
    Chlorine: 11 (just put 110oz of 8.25% bleach in it so it should be around 16 after that)
    pH: 7.1-7.2
    TA: ~75
    CH: ~65
    CYA: ~40

    So why is it taking so long to clear the water up? It's been 2 weeks. I have a couple theories....

    1. First theory: My main drains on my pool have been disabled since I bought the house because the pipes weren't winterized and they leaked severely. Everything ran smoothly last year, but I have a theory that the water in the bottom of the deep end isn't circulating enough because of that. (This is something I've worried about ever since disabling those drains).

    2. Second theory: All the sand that has come out of my filter and into the pool has left it a little less effective than it typically would be and that's causing it not to filter as well.

    Any ideas/help/criticisms?
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    How religious have you been about keeping FC constantly at 16 ppm? That really is the key.

    but mine did a REALLY good job of staying at almost shock level every time I tested it
    I would suspect a serious testing error. A pool laden with organics CONSUMES chlorine....lots of it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinSummerlin
    Ok. My pool is getting a lot clearer, but it's taken this long to do it... as you can see, my initial post was on April 9th. Now it's April 24th and the water in the deep end is still a little green, though I can see the bottom clearly now. The water in the shallow end is pretty clear and starting to look good.

    Here are my numbers as of my last test (5 minutes ago):
    Chlorine: 11 (just put 110oz of 8.25% bleach in it so it should be around 16 after that)
    pH: 7.1-7.2
    TA: ~75
    CH: ~65
    CYA: ~40

    So why is it taking so long to clear the water up? It's been 2 weeks. I have a couple theories....

    1. First theory: My main drains on my pool have been disabled since I bought the house because the pipes weren't winterized and they leaked severely. Everything ran smoothly last year, but I have a theory that the water in the bottom of the deep end isn't circulating enough because of that. (This is something I've worried about ever since disabling those drains).

    2. Second theory: All the sand that has come out of my filter and into the pool has left it a little less effective than it typically would be and that's causing it not to filter as well.

    Any ideas/help/criticisms?
    1) See if you can't point a return down to the deep end to get that water circulating
    2) Shock level for 40 CYA is about 16. pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock That's what you shoot for each time you add bleach, and you need to replenish it every couple hours. It shouldn't drop so low between additions. That way you'll kill the algae a lot faster than it can reproduce. If not, you kill a bunch, but within a couple hours, it's recovering. That's why it's taking so long.
    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.
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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Ok... so I need to test in another couple of hours and put more in it? I've been testing like every morning, afternoon and night. I can't do it more than that throughout the day because I work, but I can test it a few times during the stretch of time after work. If I test in the morning and then in the afternoon it's only lost about 1.5ppm to 2ppm or so. Not really a whole lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    How religious have you been about keeping FC constantly at 16 ppm? That really is the key.

    but mine did a REALLY good job of staying at almost shock level every time I tested it
    I would suspect a serious testing error. A pool laden with organics CONSUMES chlorine....lots of it.
    There weren't any testing errors unless the instructions were wrong about how to test. I've been following them to the letter. I used the same testing kit with the same instructions all summer last summer as well and the pool was great.

    Also, I've been religious in that I've tested at least every 9 hours or so (work and all that).
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Well, there really is no explanation how an organic laden pool cannot consume chlorine. I am stumped.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    I would suggest you do an OCLT tonight...lets see what your loss is. Make sure the sun is off the pool and chlorine in (shoot for at least 16 ppm) for an hour before testing. Then test in the morning before the sun is up.

    Just to check...you are using the FAS-DPD chlorine test?
    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: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    I would suggest you do an OCLT tonight...lets see what your loss is. Make sure the sun is off the pool and chlorine in (shoot for at least 16 ppm) for an hour before testing. Then test in the morning before the sun is up.

    Just to check...you are using the FAS-DPD chlorine test?
    Yessir. Fas-dpd test.
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Anxious to hear if your number dropped overnight even with the green pool. I've been doing the shock treatment for the last two days and even from the very beginning my FC numbers never dropped over 2-3 ppm and that only happened once or twice in the very beginning. Started at 2 and shooting for 14 and its never been below 12. (CYA 30 ph 7.6) Nothing is turning white or grey - still green as pea soup although I can barely see the bottom when I sweep now. I've read over the "sparkling oasis" thing over and over to make sure I'm following it to a tee! Think its super weird that the chlorine doesn't seem to be working. The bloom was only a couple of days old when I started so it wasn't even THAT bad. This is my first time to try BBB and I know this takes time but its frustrating not seeing anything change and it appears my algae isn't consuming my chlorine
    Doughboy 1.5 Powerline & AquaView sand filter and BBB. 12k gallons in 24' vinyl AG.

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Have you gotten all the leaves out? Just keep going at them until you don't get any more, then let them settle down, and go after them again. That was the most difficult part of clearing mine up- getting all the leaves that I couldn't see.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' X 48" 7600 +/- gallons
    Columbia 50 LB sand filter/½ HP pump, $$ WELL spent(2nd best thing bought for the pool)
    Virginia Beach, VA
    TF100 test kit- Money WELL spent (best thing I've ever bought for the pool)
    Leisure bay hot tub

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Hey guys, I couldn't do the OCLT test the other night. I'm going to try and get it done tonight.

    To the guy who's working on his pool, it took a while for results to show up. Something that I thought of a couple days ago was to take the Chlorine a couple PPM above shock level so that if it falls when I can't be there, it will still be at shock level. Apparently keeping it at shock level for almost the entire day is the key to making sure the algae dies. Even still, the progress looked like it was happening VERY slowly. As I said earlier, it's been over 2 weeks and the deep end is still a little green. However, it's been looking the way it looks now for about 5-6 days... so I sort of hit a plateau that's taking a while to get over. For me, it stayed green for the first day or two, but you could tell that it was getting a little cloudy white (just a little).

    As for the leaves, I've gotten almost every one out of the pool. There is a very small amount of stuff still in the bottom (like less than a handful.... as well as a LOT of sand that has come out of my filter. I actually vacuumed the pool the other day and got a little more stuff out of it.
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    So, my pool has been clean for a couple weeks now.

    The OCLT came back great! Now I have to deal with some other things. I'll create a new thread in the appropriate forum for it.

    Thanks for everything, guys! You were a great help!
    -15,000 gallon vinyl liner in-ground pool
    -Pentair 1HP SuperFlo pump
    -Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Re: HELP! My algaefied (new word) pool needs help!

    Glad you got it!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' X 48" 7600 +/- gallons
    Columbia 50 LB sand filter/½ HP pump, $$ WELL spent(2nd best thing bought for the pool)
    Virginia Beach, VA
    TF100 test kit- Money WELL spent (best thing I've ever bought for the pool)
    Leisure bay hot tub

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