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Thread: Opening pool trouble

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    Opening pool trouble

    Edited for line breaks. Please include line breaks/paragraphs in your postings. Easier on our eyes! Thanks, Butterfly


    Hi,

    I am opening my pool on my own this year for the first time and having trouble.
    The pool is 20x40 about 36,000 gallons.

    I had a dark green swamp at opening but very little debris such as leaves because pool was closed correctly.

    The algae also left dark algae stains at water line.
    1st day I opened with 4lbs. alkalinity 10 pounds of powdered shock added 1 32oz bottle algaecide and brushed walls.

    2nd day I could see the shallow end barely. I tested water and noticed everything was at ideal levels except the free chlorine was eaten away or didn't hold and it wasn't showing any chlorine.The ph was slightly low 6.8. I added another 5 pounds shock and another bottle algaecide and added 4 lbs ph increaser and put 3 chlorine tabs in each skimmer.

    I vacuumed shallow end to waste which looked like algae clouds and some dead algae. I also and brushed walls again. At this point the filter needed to be backwashed every few hours because it seemed like it was getting clogged. I think the algaecide may have actually put more of a strain on the filter?

    I tested water on the 3rd day and now the free chlorine was at highest reading possible(dark purple on the strip) and has remained there since. I could see shallow end pretty clear (green tint) just dead algae which I vacuumed to waste still could not see deep end. I Tested the water again ph increaser had no effect still slightly low.

    I tested water on the 4th day still same readings everything was ideal levels ph was still slighlty low 6.8 and free chlorine maxed out but I still couldnt see bottom deep end maybe slight improvement in water clarity so I added another 5 pounds shock(up to 20lbs now ).At this point I didn't want to add any more ph increaser because from reading here and other forums when shocking the reading could be inaccurate and shock could drive it to a lower reading?

    i also didn't want to get ph high because I read if to high you have to drain the pool and renders shock ineffective? I also felt maybe I should give the filter a chance to do its thing since I had added a lot of shock and chemicals to the pool.

    The next couple of days water testing was the same free chlorine maxed out and the ph was slightly low 6.8. All I did over the next couple of days was backwash , vacuume to waste and brush. The water clarity did improve a little each day and I need to back wash the filter less frequently.

    Its been about a week and a half since I started. the shallow end is completely clear.The deep end seems clear on the edges with a little green in the center but I can see everything on the bottom.

    Yesterday I added another 5 pounds shock to get rid of the last little bit of green in deep end but it didn't seem to have any effect. There is no debris at all in the pool maybe a little dead algae here an there but not much I have vacuumed everything out. because this last bit didn't work im thinking the last bit of green maybe something else. I do have a lot of trees and this time of year brings a lot of pollen. Does the shock work on this to or is the filter the only thing that gets it out?


    I also have well water with a lot of metal in the water ,with all the all the backwashing and vacuuming to waste I have probably added a foot and a half of new water would this make the water green tinted?

    Should I not have added chlorine tabs and just added shock making me think I had added enough shock because my chlorine level is still maxed out. should I let the chlorine levels drop to ideal before trying to adjust ph?

    should I just let the filter do its job since its been getting better without adding anything and let chlorine level come down to ideal?

    After reading here "turning swamp in to sparkling oasis' and other forums it seems I may have done things out of order. It seems I should have adjusted ph first. Some places say add algaecide at the end and some say add in the beginning and I added while shocking.

    Any thoughts why this last shocking didn't work and what I may have done wrong that I still have this green tint in the center of the deep end its been a week and a half now.
    20x40 rectangle,hayward super pump, Hayward pro series sand filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool trouble

    Shocking the pool is a process, not a product, despite the labels on pool store chemicals.

    What was in the "powdered shock" you added?

    You need to ditch the strips, and order one of the recommended test kits ASAP.

    I assume this is a sand filter?

    Put your pools equipment and info in your signature - go to User Control Panel, then Edit Profile, then Edit Signature.

    We need to see numbers, a full set of test results - strips are pretty much worthless...
    FC
    CC
    PH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    Welcome to TFP!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Opening pool trouble

    Thanks for getting back

    I put the Aqua Chem shock plus 1lb bags in and it is a sand filter.
    Unfortunately I have been using the strips but here are the readings I have.
    I adjusted signature but I have Hayward super pump and Hayward pro series sand filter

    FC-10/20
    CC-doesn't say
    PH-6.8
    TA-120
    CH-100
    CYA-30-50
    20x40 rectangle,hayward super pump, Hayward pro series sand filter

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool trouble

    To reiterate what FPM said, you absolutely need a good test kit to know what your levels are. It would also benefit you and the pool greatly if you would read through Pool School a few times, front to back and become aquainted with the articles and why it's necesary to get to know your pool, what it needs, how you perform testing and balancing ect.... You don't need to be adding 2 jugs of agleacide to any pool, including yours.

    You still need to shock as you have algae in the pool. It is not a product but a process.
    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: Opening pool trouble

    Planning on upgrading the test kit but in the interim wanted to get and idea if I was on the wrong track for opening the pool with info on hand and why after adding what I have I still have green tint in the deep end.
    As for the algaecide I read the directions for the amount per gallons of water as well as other forums and pool company videos for opening pools. I don't see why this would hurt if im killing algae. I was just wondering if its unnecessary step or could shock do the job itself and if important is there an order to adding it. Some people recommend adding it before the shock and aqua chem recommends doing it last.
    20x40 rectangle,hayward super pump, Hayward pro series sand filter

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool trouble

    Algaecide doesn't kill algae, it prevents it. Chlorine in any form will kill it. No need for algacide when opening a pool. Maybe when closing a pool, but even then, not required.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Opening pool trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by pooltrouble2013

    I am opening my pool on my own this year for the first time and having trouble.
    The pool is 20x40 about 36,000 gallons.
    What is your pool's surface?

    I had a dark green swamp at opening but very little debris such as leaves because pool was closed correctly.

    The algae also left dark algae stains at water line.
    Depending on the surface this can be corrected.

    1st day I opened with 4lbs. alkalinity 10 pounds of powdered shock added 1 32oz bottle algaecide and brushed walls.
    10 lbs of Aqua Chem powdered product (Dichlor most likely) would raise your CYA level to about 10-15 according to the Pool Calculator. It also lowered your PH pretty substantially. Not knowing what your CYA level was beforehand, not sure if you shocked high enough (You added enough to reach 19 FC) either way your next test revealed that your FC was consumed virtually immediately.

    2nd day I could see the shallow end barely. I tested water and noticed everything was at ideal levels except the free chlorine was eaten away or didn't hold and it wasn't showing any chlorine. The ph was slightly low 6.8. I added another 5 pounds shock and another bottle algaecide and added 4 lbs ph increaser and put 3 chlorine tabs in each skimmer.
    You raised your FC up to 9, increased your CYA and lowered your PH again with the Dichlor powder. If you had used liquid chlorine your PH would not have been affected. The tablets in the skimmer can destroy your skimmer plastic parts, FYI. They are acidic and are continuing to lower your PH while providing very little actually usable chlorine - as what they are adding is being consumed immediately and they are not helping to raise your FC to shock level.

    I vacuumed shallow end to waste which looked like algae clouds and some dead algae. I also and brushed walls again. At this point the filter needed to be backwashed every few hours because it seemed like it was getting clogged. I think the algaecide may have actually put more of a strain on the filter?
    Live algae and dead algae both clog filters - I suggest putting your filter on the "recirculate" settnig while killing and then vacuuming to waste when you can see the debris on the bottom. Backwashing every few hours at first once you are filtering is normal - but I don't think all your algae is dead.

    I tested water on the 3rd day and now the free chlorine was at highest reading possible(dark purple on the strip) and has remained there since. I could see shallow end pretty clear (green tint) just dead algae which I vacuumed to waste still could not see deep end. I Tested the water again ph increaser had no effect still slightly low.
    The PH increaser has no effect because I guarantee it's actually baking soda which will increase your Alkalinity, and the tablets in the skimmers are continuing to surpress the PH. Use Borax to raise PH.
    The FC has remained dark purple which tells us not much since we don't actually know what that level is. Since we don't know your CYA (its AT LEAST 20 from the Dichlor additions) we don't even know if 10 is high enough. Your CYA could be 50 so your shock level would be 20 which means your FC still isn't high enough. Is this starting to make sense?


    I tested water on the 4th day still same readings everything was ideal levels ph was still slighlty low 6.8 and free chlorine maxed out but I still couldnt see bottom deep end maybe slight improvement in water clarity so I added another 5 pounds shock(up to 20lbs now ).At this point I didn't want to add any more ph increaser because from reading here and other forums when shocking the reading could be inaccurate and shock could drive it to a lower reading?
    Yes, you are getting it. The Dichlor is acidic and it's lowering your PH. The increaser is raising your Alk not your PH. You should be using liquid chlorine to shock the pool (Shocking is a process, not a product - this has become my mantra!) Your CYA is now at least 25 ppm higher than when you started and you have lowered your PH and now have to spend more money to raise it. If you had used liquid chlorine from the beginning your costs would be about half what you are spending now.

    i also didn't want to get ph high because I read if to high you have to drain the pool and renders shock ineffective? I also felt maybe I should give the filter a chance to do its thing since I had added a lot of shock and chemicals to the pool.
    We almost never recommend draining a pool, and certainly not from high PH. Do you mean high CYA?
    Chlorine kills algae, filtering alone won't do much without proper FC levels.


    The next couple of days water testing was the same free chlorine maxed out and the ph was slightly low 6.8. All I did over the next couple of days was backwash , vacuum to waste and brush. The water clarity did improve a little each day and I need to back wash the filter less frequently.
    So for at least a couple days you didn't add shock levels of chlorine. The tablets in the skimmers produced enough chlorine to prevent the algae outbreak from worsening - but you haven't maintained shock level and that's why your water isn't clear.

    Its been about a week and a half since I started. the shallow end is completely clear.The deep end seems clear on the edges with a little green in the center but I can see everything on the bottom.
    You still have algae in the bottom of the deep end.

    Yesterday I added another 5 pounds shock to get rid of the last little bit of green in deep end but it didn't seem to have any effect. There is no debris at all in the pool maybe a little dead algae here an there but not much I have vacuumed everything out. because this last bit didn't work im thinking the last bit of green maybe something else. I do have a lot of trees and this time of year brings a lot of pollen. Does the shock work on this to or is the filter the only thing that gets it out?
    Filter gets out pollen. Your water is green because you are not maintaining shock level of FC and you don't have a way to test to see if you are even reaching the correct shock level (at least 12 now since you added another dose of CYA via Dichlor. See the CYA chart - link in my sig.)

    I also have well water with a lot of metal in the water ,with all the all the backwashing and vacuuming to waste I have probably added a foot and a half of new water would this make the water green tinted?
    Your fill water is not your problem. Inadequate levels of FC and failure to follow the shock process correctly is where your focus should be.

    Should I not have added chlorine tabs and just added shock making me think I had added enough shock because my chlorine level is still maxed out. should I let the chlorine levels drop to ideal before trying to adjust ph?
    Yes never try to adjust PH while the FC is above 10. But in your case I would suggest you buy about 4 boxes of Borax, found in the laundry aisle, and add 2 of them today. I'm certain this will offset what the Dichlor did but the PH may be lower still.
    You have no idea if you added enough Dichlor to reach/maintain shock level. You need a good test kit.


    should I just let the filter do its job since its been getting better without adding anything and let chlorine level come down to ideal?
    No, you should be adding proper amounts of liquid chlorine until the water is clear and the FC is holding overnight. Use the Pool Calculator.

    After reading here "turning swamp in to sparkling oasis' and other forums it seems I may have done things out of order. It seems I should have adjusted ph first. Some places say add algaecide at the end and some say add in the beginning and I added while shocking.
    Yes, you did many things out of order and wasted your time and a lot of money.

    Any thoughts why this last shocking didn't work and what I may have done wrong that I still have this green tint in the center of the deep end its been a week and a half now.
    My thoughts are above. I also suggest going to Walmart and purchasing a $20 6-way DROP based test kit until you can order one of the recommended kits. This will at least give us an accurate reading on the PH and CYA levels and we can know for sure how high you should be shocking. The inexpensive kit won't tell us if you are reaching shock level but it's a better place to start than with strips.
    Okay, well going back to answer your original questions. But first, seeing your test results from strips - Strips are pretty much worthless but the fact it's showing low PH when the chlorine is high is concerning.

    Low PH can absolutely destroy liners, heaters and various equipment if too low long term. It's one of the main reasons we encourage a good test kit and taking control of your pool - to protect your investment. I hope that the strips are reading wrong in this case.

    CYA readings from strips are almost always incorrect. In fact, from personal history when I used strips they said 30-50 was my CYA level when in fact I was over 140. So in this case I can virtually guarantee that yours are reading wrong.

    My answers to your questions are in red above.

    BTW, algaecide is more of a preventative. Meaning add it before you see algae. It's an inhibitor. It actually does kill algae, but at a much much slower kill rate than chlorine. There isn't much point in adding it to clear up a green pool when chlorine will do it alone.

    In some rare cases we recommended Polyquat 60 algaecide, which is expensive, and like I said, rare circumstances.

    Please don't be offended by my answers - if they seem short. I'm just trying to be to the point - I want to help you to help yourself to take control of your pool. You need one of the 2 recommended test kits.

    Hope this helps.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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