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Thread: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

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    byteme's Avatar
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    Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Greetings!

    We've had our pool for four years, and whenever we've pulled the cover off each year, the water has always been sparkling clean and simply needed the chemicals brought up to the correct levels. NOT this year! When we pulled the cover last week, the water was a lovely shade of Kelly Green and had the lovely fragrance of Eau de Swamp! We bought a new cover last fall that evidently let a whole lot of gunk into the water and it's been brewing all winter.

    Until I found this site a couple of days ago, I've been trying to clear things up with an inexpensive 5 way test kit and frequent trips to the pool supply store. I'm sure they we're trying to be helpful, (especially with spending money). The green went away after a couple of days but the water is still milky and murky. I can only see to a depth of about a foot. I loaded up the auto-chlorinator, cranked it up, left the pump running on high, have been vacuuming, brushing, cleaning the filter twice each day and tossing in powdered shock without really knowing what was going on...I've been guessing (and, judging from the results so far, not too well).

    Anyway, I found this site while Google searching and started reading. I've profoundly thanked the heavens, my departed ancestors and everyone else I can think of that I found you!! I registered and started reading everything again. Yesterday, I went and bought out the entire supply of bleach and borax at the local Walmart (10 gallons of 8.25% and five boxes of 20 Mule Team). Today I went to the pool supply store and purchased the Taylor K-2006 kit recommended here, brought it home, read the instructions and ran the tests. Here are the results (from 2:30 this afternoon):

    FC=15.5
    CC=1
    Ph=7.2
    TA=120
    CYA=90

    My guessing was getting the chlorine up, just not enough, but, in the process, I shot the CYA way up. (This was all PRE TFP!)

    Using the Chlorine/CYA Chart on the site, and the Pool Calculator, I've added the recommended amount of bleach to bring the chlorine level to 31. I brought the Ph up yesterday morning (using the Borax) and it has been consistent ever since.

    So, if I understand what I've read here correctly, I've shut off the auto chlorinator (primarily to keep from shooting the CYA up even more), keep the pump running on high, keep the Ph in line at about 7.2, keep the chlorine up to about 31 (checking every 2 hours during the day beginning bright and early each morning) and keep brushing until the water is sparkling clear again. Once that happens (which should be within a few days?) I let the FC drift back down to normal operating levels of 4 to 5, and bring the Ph up to 7.6-7.8. Did I understand correctly?

    Please let me know if there is anything I've overlooked, forgotten to do, or if you need any additional information.

    You are all exceptional people for being willing to take the time and make the effort to help clueless idiots like me, and I thank you and appreciate you very much.

    Thanks, again (and again, and again...)
    13500 gal above ground (24' round/4' deep), vinyl, 2hp/2 speed pump, ProClean cartridge filter (125 sq ft surface area), Hayward auto chlorinator (turned off!).

    "There once was a fellow named Harry, who's pool became green and contrary!
    Then he found TroubleFree, learned about BBB, now pool care's not quite as scary!"

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    You have everything about right. The only item you missed is that you should not attempt to adjust PH while at shock level. The PH test starts to get less reliable around an FC of 10, and by the time FC is at 20 it is completely useless. Having PH at 7.2 is just fine and it should still be fine by the time you are done shocking.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    byteme's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Thanks for such a quick reply!

    Yeah, I knew not to check the Ph while super-chlorinating, just forgot to mention it. But thank you for making sure!

    This has been quite an experience, which I don't ever care to repeat!

    I know this is a very subjective question, but any ideas about how long it should be before I should expect to see any improvement?

    Thanks!
    13500 gal above ground (24' round/4' deep), vinyl, 2hp/2 speed pump, ProClean cartridge filter (125 sq ft surface area), Hayward auto chlorinator (turned off!).

    "There once was a fellow named Harry, who's pool became green and contrary!
    Then he found TroubleFree, learned about BBB, now pool care's not quite as scary!"

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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    One more correction - with your CYA at 90ppm, you want to keep your FC in the 7-10ppm range once the pool is cleared up.
    20'x40' Oval 27,000 gallon Vinyl IG, Coverstar Auto Cover
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Welcome to tfp, byteme

    I just wanted to add that you may want to do a partial drain/refill to get the cya down to 30-50 ppm. This will make the rest of the shocking process easier to do. Your FC level you want to maintain at 90 ppm during the shocking process is 23 ppm FC.
    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: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Welcome,

    Others will chime in if I'm wrong, but I don't think you have to keep the pool running on high. Low should be good enough, also clean your cartridge filter when pressure rises 25% above clean. How long is highly variable, how bad, how consistent you can be on keeping FC up at shock...
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    byteme's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Thanks, all!

    Linen...thanks for correcting the target FC level. I must have misread the table. I thought of doing a partial drain/refill to bring down the CYA level, but I supposed I'm just impatient and didn't want to spend the time. Would doing that also help with the cleanup? The Pool Calculator recommends a 56% draw down to get the CYA back in line. Am I wrong to assume that replacing that much water would help with the algae, given that half the algae infested water would be replaced? I want to do this right and your opinion is important to me..

    Msgtdan...thanks. It could be my imagination, but running on low speed seems to get the crud off the surface better than high. I just figured (perhaps incorrectly) that high speed would get rid of the gunk quicker.

    Also, speaking of gunk on the surface, there is a ton of little whitish "flakes" (kinda like ugly snowflakes) on the surface. I'm assuming that is dead algae waiting to be sucked into the skimmer and filtered?
    13500 gal above ground (24' round/4' deep), vinyl, 2hp/2 speed pump, ProClean cartridge filter (125 sq ft surface area), Hayward auto chlorinator (turned off!).

    "There once was a fellow named Harry, who's pool became green and contrary!
    Then he found TroubleFree, learned about BBB, now pool care's not quite as scary!"

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Also, speaking of gunk on the surface, there is a ton of little whitish "flakes" (kinda like ugly snowflakes) on the surface. I'm assuming that is dead algae waiting to be sucked into the skimmer and filtered?
    Could be or could be airborne tree/flower junk. Whatever it is, chlorine & filtering should take care of it.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by byteme
    I thought of doing a partial drain/refill to bring down the CYA level, but I supposed I'm just impatient and didn't want to spend the time. Would doing that also help with the cleanup?
    It should. Lower FC levels to maintain, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteme
    The Pool Calculator recommends a 56% draw down to get the CYA back in line. Am I wrong to assume that replacing that much water would help with the algae, given that half the algae infested water would be replaced?
    I would replace 60%, then you will be at ~35 ppm cya, with plenty of room to go up a little if you need the chlorinator while on vacation.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteme
    your opinion is important to me..
    Your the first
    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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    byteme's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Ha! That's the way things are around here, too!

    So, I'm getting the submersible pump out and gonna start draining a little more than half the water. The drain/refill will take a day (it's a small pump and refilling with a hose). Once that's done, I'll test, go through a shock process then post again.

    I really, REALLY appreciate how prompt and helpful everyone is being.

    Thanks!
    13500 gal above ground (24' round/4' deep), vinyl, 2hp/2 speed pump, ProClean cartridge filter (125 sq ft surface area), Hayward auto chlorinator (turned off!).

    "There once was a fellow named Harry, who's pool became green and contrary!
    Then he found TroubleFree, learned about BBB, now pool care's not quite as scary!"

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    byteme's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Greetings!

    So, we drained roughly 60% of the water and refilled. We can see the bottom now, although it's still a bit hazy. I tested the water and here are the results:

    FC-12.5. (It was at 31 when we started draining so I expected it to be at about this level.)
    CC-0.5
    PH-7.4
    TA-70
    CYA-45

    Using the Chlorine/CYA table in Pool School, the shock value for a CYA of 45 is 18. So, I added the recommended amount of 8.25% bleach to bring it to 18. All of the other readings are within recommended levels. I've thoroughly brushed the walls from top to bottom and I'll vacuum in the morning when I can see (too dark now).

    I'll check the chlorine early in the morning and keep it at 18 until the water is clear (right?).

    Please let me know if there is anything I've overlooked. I really appreciate this site and the people who participate on it.
    Hopefully we'll be able to begin using it sometime this weekend. The grandkids are very anxious!

    Thanks!
    13500 gal above ground (24' round/4' deep), vinyl, 2hp/2 speed pump, ProClean cartridge filter (125 sq ft surface area), Hayward auto chlorinator (turned off!).

    "There once was a fellow named Harry, who's pool became green and contrary!
    Then he found TroubleFree, learned about BBB, now pool care's not quite as scary!"

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by byteme
    Greetings!

    So, we drained roughly 60% of the water and refilled. We can see the bottom now, although it's still a bit hazy. I tested the water and here are the results:

    FC-12.5. (It was at 31 when we started draining so I expected it to be at about this level.)
    CC-0.5
    PH-7.4
    TA-70
    CYA-45

    Using the Chlorine/CYA table in Pool School, the shock value for a CYA of 45 is 18. So, I added the recommended amount of 8.25% bleach to bring it to 18. All of the other readings are within recommended levels. I've thoroughly brushed the walls from top to bottom and I'll vacuum in the morning when I can see (too dark now).

    I'll check the chlorine early in the morning and keep it at 18 until the water is clear (right?).

    Please let me know if there is anything I've overlooked. I really appreciate this site and the people who participate on it.
    Hopefully we'll be able to begin using it sometime this weekend. The grandkids are very anxious!

    Thanks!
    You got it!

    Watch the filter pressure. Especially early on, you can see a real increase in pressure as the filter loads up with algae carcasses.

    [center:2it3hlll][/center:2it3hlll]
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    byteme's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Greetings!

    So, I've been monitoring the FC and CC at 2 hour intervals since 8:30 this morning (it's 2:30 now, so that's three FC tests) and it has been a constant 16.5 ppm (I haven't had to add any bleach at all to maintain that level.) I've thoroughly brushed and vacuumed the entire pool early this morning. The water is just slightly cloudy...you can see the bottom but it's just a wee bit hazy. I haven't performed any other water tests. I figured to wait until the FC level had returned to normal levels first.

    Given that the FC has remained unchanged (the sky has been mostly cloudy until the past 30 minutes), would it be safe to presume that:

    A. The algae has been eradicated
    B. The slight cloudiness is from the recently demised algae that will eventually be filtered out
    C. That I can allow the FC to return to normal then perform the remaining water tests
    D. That if those test are within normal ranges, we can begin using the pool

    Of course, I'll check the FC am and pm for the next couple of days, then resume testing once each evening after sunset. (And the auto chlorinator will stay OFF unless I'm going to be gone for a few days.)

    Thanks for your assistance, advice and patience, everyone.
    13500 gal above ground (24' round/4' deep), vinyl, 2hp/2 speed pump, ProClean cartridge filter (125 sq ft surface area), Hayward auto chlorinator (turned off!).

    "There once was a fellow named Harry, who's pool became green and contrary!
    Then he found TroubleFree, learned about BBB, now pool care's not quite as scary!"

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    You are probably correct that it's all dead, but in order to he done shocking, you need to pass all three criteria, first of which is crystal clear water. Better to hold it up at shock level for an extra day or two than give up too early and have algae come back. I'd wait until it clears.
    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
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    You're not done shocking until:

    1) Water is clear
    2) CC are .5 or less
    3) OCLT is less than 1 ppm. That's overnight chlorine loss test, it's a sure fire way to tell if you've killed everything.

    I'd keep it at shock level today and do OCLT tomorrow morning before any sun hits the pool. Test your FC in the evening tonight, then early tomorrow before sun hits pool and if your loss is less than 1ppm, your CC are .5 or less and water is clear then you are done shock and can let FC levels drop to your target. My guess is you'll pass the OCLT but it helps to be positive.
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    How bothersome are the we's in we becoming regarding wanting to swim? It is safe to swim up to shock level for you pool and as you know shock level is dependent on your CYA level. I didn't see your latest CC reading.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Hi, all. The CC is at 0.5 or less. I've been using the 10ml test. It takes one drop to change from red to clear. Should I do the 25ml sample and get a more accurate reading?

    The grandkids are just being kids...not obnoxious, just asking everytime they're here...which is daily because they live just down the street. I'm not going to let anyone in until I get the "ok" from you folks. I've never had an algae problem before so this isn't something I know about and don't know when I can know for certain that it's well and truly over.

    I know it sounds cliched but I really am thankful I found this site, all the information it has and, especially, all of you who take your valuable time to help us novices.

    So, I'll keep the FC up to shock levels and do the overnight loss test in the morning. I'll post again then.

    Thanks, all!
    13500 gal above ground (24' round/4' deep), vinyl, 2hp/2 speed pump, ProClean cartridge filter (125 sq ft surface area), Hayward auto chlorinator (turned off!).

    "There once was a fellow named Harry, who's pool became green and contrary!
    Then he found TroubleFree, learned about BBB, now pool care's not quite as scary!"

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by byteme
    Hi, all. The CC is at 0.5 or less. I've been using the 10ml test. It takes one drop to change from red to clear. Should I do the 25ml sample and get a more accurate reading?
    No, 10ml test is just fine.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    byteme's Avatar
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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    Greetings, all, and happy Friday!

    So, last night's readings, taken at 9:30, were FC-17, CC-0.5.
    This morning's readings, taken at 7:30, are FC-16.5, CC-0.5.

    The water is clear... not a bit of haziness. Would you agree that the 0.5 FC difference between the pm/am samples is acceptable and probably due to minute variables in testing?

    Given the advice everyone has been kind enough to give, would you agree that the algae has been defeated and it's safe to return to normal chlorine levels?

    If so, I'll let the FC drop to 5 (CYA was 45 when I started the shock process), then test PH and TA. Would you recommend testing CYA again, too?

    My once back to normal, my plan is to test pm/am for a week to monitor for overnight FC drops. After the week, for routine monitoring, I plan to test and adjust each evening. Is that a sound plan? Also, what is an acceptable overnight drop that would provide a margin of error from testing and not really indicate a potential problem, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5. (Assuming that the CC level remains at 0.5 or less)?

    Once again, thank you to everyone who has given of their valuable time to help! I'm hoping as I gain experience, I'll be able to return the kindnesses and help someone else.

    Thanks,
    Harry
    13500 gal above ground (24' round/4' deep), vinyl, 2hp/2 speed pump, ProClean cartridge filter (125 sq ft surface area), Hayward auto chlorinator (turned off!).

    "There once was a fellow named Harry, who's pool became green and contrary!
    Then he found TroubleFree, learned about BBB, now pool care's not quite as scary!"

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    Re: Please tell me I'm doing it right?!?

    You are finished with the shock process when....
    1. Your pool water is sparkling
    2. Your CC's are .5ppm or less
    3. You can hold your FC overnight without losing more than 1ppm.

    Looks like you meet all three!
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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