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Thread: My pool experience with algae

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    East Texas
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    My pool experience with algae

    My wife and I bought our first home in March 2013 and it had a pool (my wife's dream!). Neither of us had any experience maintaining a pool, but were excited to have one! The previous owner's had paid a pool service to come out weekly for years to maintain the pool. I wanted to see if we could take care of the pool ourselves before paying people a good chunk of money every month year after year. Unfortunately, we didn't do much with the pool initially, except skimming leaves/debris. I did some research online and of course found a whole range of ideas/products/theories, etc on keeping your pool clean. The previous owners had left some 3" chlorine tabs and granular chlorine that I occasionally threw in (based on an OTO test).

    I finally had a pool service guy come out and go through a "pool school" explaining the basics and fundamentals of how our pool system operated and ways to maintain it. (He was actually real helpful answering all my questions, not trying to sell me on his service). However, about a week later (after just putting 3" tabs of chlorine in a floater) I noticed a green color to the pool that didn't seem right...so I search the wonderful world wide web and found TFP! I was a little skeptical at first, but once I started reading through "Pool School" and different posts on algae I was hooked

    [attachment=2:3eivbxer]DSC_5403e.jpg[/attachment:3eivbxer]

    I decided to submit to the BBB theory, get rid of all the store chemicals and shock our pool with bleach.

    I only had at the time a 6 way kit from Wal-mart, so I decided to go by the color of the pool until I could order the FC test.

    I wouldn't classify our pool as a "swamp" but it didn't look crystal blue and inviting to swim in.

    So, on Monday evening April 15, I went to Wal-mart and bought 4 jugs of 8% bleach (thinking this would be a good start).
    We poured about 90 oz of bleach every 45 minutes that evening and let the pump run 24/7.
    Then we did the same thing all day April 16th (my wife would do it while I was a work- what a trooper).

    [attachment=1:3eivbxer]DSC_5421a.jpg[/attachment:3eivbxer]

    We started to notice a slight change from green to blue/green. I still didn't have the FC test yet, so we kept adding about 90oz of bleach every 45min-1 hr during the day on April 17th, 18, 19. By early on the 5th day the water was looking very blue and clear (such a good feeling!), we still hadn't received the FC test I had ordered so we kept adding bleach every hour just in case.

    [attachment=0:3eivbxer]DSC_5424a.jpg[/attachment:3eivbxer]

    When I finally was able to test the FC with FAS-DPD, I couldn't even get a color change from pink to clear after 100 drops. We stopped putting bleach in and I did the test the next 3 days and I quit adding drops after 70-80. So I decided the algae must be dead and gone, so we'll wait. All in all we used 47 jugs of 121oz bleach!

    We waited almost 2 weeks and finally the FC tested about 20. Just today it tested at 7 FC, so now I'm using the pool calculator and adding the necessary bleach each day.

    It's definitely been a learning experience and tested my patience and faith in the BBB theory but with lots of great education on this site and lots of P.O.P. I am happy to say we have a great clear, blue, balanced pool without lots of excessive chemicals and relying on pool service companies.

    Here are my latest test results:

    TA- 100
    pH- 7.6
    TH- 300
    CYA- 70
    FC- 7
    CC- 0

    One question I do have: is it still accurate if you add 5mL of pool water with 5mL of distilled water and then do the FAS-DPD test? I have done it a few times and it has been within about 1 ppm of using 10mL of pool water. If it is about the same accuracy, it seems like a good to only use 1/2 as many of the drops (just count the number drops which is equal to the FC, instead of multiplying by 0.5) Any thoughts?

    I will attach a few more pics on the next post.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    15K gal, IG plaster, Triton II TR-60 Sand Filter-275lb 63 GPM, Pentair-Challenger 2 HP pump; spa (no heater), Polaris 360 cleaner.

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    Join Date
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    East Texas
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    Re: My pool experience with algae

    [attachment=2:38i0ecvr]DSC_5428a.jpg[/attachment:38i0ecvr]

    [attachment=1:38i0ecvr]DSC_5431a.jpg[/attachment:38i0ecvr]

    [attachment=0:38i0ecvr]DSC_5661a.jpg[/attachment:38i0ecvr]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    15K gal, IG plaster, Triton II TR-60 Sand Filter-275lb 63 GPM, Pentair-Challenger 2 HP pump; spa (no heater), Polaris 360 cleaner.

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    East Texas
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    Re: My pool experience with algae

    [attachment=1:3dpqgu60]DSC_5657a.jpg[/attachment:3dpqgu60]

    [attachment=0:3dpqgu60]DSC_5658a.jpg[/attachment:3dpqgu60]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    15K gal, IG plaster, Triton II TR-60 Sand Filter-275lb 63 GPM, Pentair-Challenger 2 HP pump; spa (no heater), Polaris 360 cleaner.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    18,768

    Re: My pool experience with algae

    Why go to all the bother of dilution? If you're running super-high FC, use a 5 ml sample and each drop is 1.

    Which, by the way, you'll never need to do if you maintain FC all season. Many of us go years without needing the shock process.

    Great first post - we love 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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    Join Date
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    Re: My pool experience with algae

    Thanks Richard, that makes sense.

    Yeah, I tried to document the process the best I could, it's fun to look back at the pictures and see the changes.
    15K gal, IG plaster, Triton II TR-60 Sand Filter-275lb 63 GPM, Pentair-Challenger 2 HP pump; spa (no heater), Polaris 360 cleaner.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
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    8,649

    Re: My pool experience with algae

    Your pool looks great ...also a great example of why to get an appropriate test kit at the beginning of the process. Bleach at that high level can do some damage...though it sounds/looks like you are okay. The amount of bleach you used (if applied all at once) would have raised your pool to ~250 ppm FC

    For others reading this...this is why we don't recommend the blind high shock level approach prior to receiving an appropriate test kit.
    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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