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Thread: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain, etc

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    my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain, etc

    We just bought a house with a pool that sat uncovered for 2 years. After scooping 3 bags of leaves, 1000+ worms and tadpoles, 20+ frogs, 2 turtles, and 1 "God only knows what", I got the pump running and....ok, don't freak out.....took a sample to the pool store and asked them what to do.

    $200 and one week later, my pool looked worse so I got on the interwebs and found Trouble Free Pool. : )

    Armed with a TF100 and 60 gallons of bleach, I declared war Friday night. The first thing I found out was that my stinkin pool store had really screwed me by having me add 4 lbs of stabilizer. Thank goodness I couldn't get it to dissolve and stopped after 1 lb. Turns out my CYA was already at 60- not the 11 their "fancy machine" had spit out.

    So now I'm having to shock at a FC of 34 and it been going well for the last day and 1/2. I've been testing and adding bleach every 3-4 hours during the day and FC is starting to stay up while CC has been slowly dropping from 4 to now 2.5. Here is where I am right now:

    FC= 34 (nailed it!)
    CC=2.5
    CYA= 60
    PH= 7.2
    TA= 110

    So here are my questions:

    1. We are supposed to have heavy rains this evening. Do I need to shock any differently? Will this have any effect on my FC or CC?
    2. What's the best timing for backwashing? Just before adding bleach, just after, or in between?
    3. How will I know if I should change my sand? My water is getting less green, but now is just turning grey and no less cloudy (in fact maybe worse) I'm concerned that the sand may have never been changed since pool was 5 yrs old when we got it.
    4. Should I add a little DE to the skimmer or Sink and Sweep?
    5. When is a good time to vacuum to waste? I would need to add well water to keep level above skimmer if I did.

    Thanks so much to all of you who have posted previously, shared your knowledge, and saved me from the pool store!!

    ~awindram
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    1) Not really. You might raise FC 1 or 2 higher than you would otherwise, but it shouldn't really matter.
    2) Before is better because then you don't lose any during backwashing, but it is only a small difference.
    3) Sand doesn't normally ever need to be changed. You do want to open up the filter and rinse out the sand ever couple of years.
    4) Adding DE while shocking can speed things up a little, but it means paying more attention as the filter pressure will go up more quickly and the filter will need to be backwashed more often. I don't recommend using sink and sweep.
    5) You only need to vacuum to waste if there is a lot of debris in the pool all concentrated in one place. This is quite rare (unless you use floc).
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    Welcome!

    You've been Pool-stored.

    Quote Originally Posted by awindram

    So here are my questions:

    1. We are supposed to have heavy rains this evening. Do I need to shock any differently? Will this have any effect on my FC or CC?
    2. What's the best timing for backwashing? Just before adding bleach, just after, or in between?
    3. How will I know if I should change my sand? My water is getting less green, but now is just turning grey and no less cloudy (in fact maybe worse) I'm concerned that the sand may have never been changed since pool was 5 yrs old when we got it.
    4. Should I add a little DE to the skimmer or Sink and Sweep?
    5. When is a good time to vacuum to waste? I would need to add well water to keep level above skimmer if I did.

    Thanks so much to all of you who have posted previously, shared your knowledge, and saved me from the pool store!!

    ~awindram
    1) Nope. Unless you're talking like 6" of rain, it will have minimal effect on the shock process. On the other hand...rainwater is CYA-free, so it would give you an opportunity to reduce that, especially if you could divert a downspout to the pool and double or triple the yield!

    2) Backwash when the pressure increases 25% from clean or you notice the returns are sluggish.

    3) Sand doesn't wear out.

    4) DE will likely help clear the cloudiness. Stick around to watch the pressure, because it will probably go up really fast and need backwashing soon. You'll go up 25% on pressure in no time.

    5) How much crud is still on the bottom? How much rain is predicted? Do you have iron in the well water? These all factor into the decision whether to vacuum to waste. It can use a LOT of water, and some folks' wells can't keep up with the demand.
    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: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    hmmm...sand doesn't wear out or need to be changed?....Looks like I really was POOL STORED!!

    I'm no where near being close to seeing the bottom so I have no idea how much crud is still down there. I did vac once before I started the shock process and giant globs of algae came out. It was wicked nasty!! I was having to backwash every 4-6 hours, and now I'm down to every other day, but my water level is now just barely enough to hold the skimmer flap down. I think I'll see how much rain we get tonight and see if its enough to offset a vacuum without having to add too much well water. There is some iron in the well.

    I've seen huge boxes of DE at Home Depot, but where does one buy "just a little bit"? (and how much is "just a little bit" anyway? 2 cups?)

    I'm so appreciative of your help! This forum has truly saved my pool. My husband was ready to fill it in!

    ~awindram
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    At your stage of clearing, don't worry about DE. If you can't see the bottom, DE will only clog your filter up quickly and not help you.

    It is used as a "final touch" when a pool is almost crystal clear but not quite.....not your situation.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    I've been shocking for a full week now an seemed to have reached a plateau. Free Chlorine is holding steady overnight, CC is hovering around 1, but water is not clearing at all. When I started visibility was 1" and by day three I could see the second step (barely), but no change since then. Color changed from dark green, to bright green, to now dull grayish green and has been holding this way for the last 4-5 days. I can see "particulate" in the water when I brush. Pump has been running 24/7, but I'm worried it's just not filtering. I'm backwashing when the pressure doubles (from 10 to 20) which happens about every 3 days now.

    Should I get the sand filter looked at, or am I just being impatient? I'm curious to know more about rinsing the sand, and if it might be helpful in this situation.

    Thanks!
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    Are you still holding the FC at shock value? You should be backwashing after a 25% rise in psi.
    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: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    As it says in the Pool School article on how to perform the shock process:

    If you have a sand filter, you can speed up the process of clearing up the water by adding a little DE to your filter. See Add DE to a Sand Filter for more information.
    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: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    As it says in the Pool School article on how to perform the shock process:

    If you have a sand filter, you can speed up the process of clearing up the water by adding a little DE to your filter. See Add DE to a Sand Filter for more information.
    Thanks for the link about adding DE! I knew I had read that post earlier but couldn't find it again.

    I'm also thinking about turning off the pump for a couple of hours and letting the junk settle, then vacuuming to waste. We've gotten 6" of rain over the last 3 days so I've got some extra water to spare. : )
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    I tried a little DE and the water did clear up a teeny tiny bit (about 4"-6" more visibility). I noticed that the pressure coming out of the jets went WAY down though, so after 2 days I backwashed it out. Pressure returned to normal.

    I called a few pool companies in my area to see if they would come look at my filter and they all just kept telling me I needed to shock more. When I told then I was shocking at FC =34 with liquid bleach, they completely dismissed me and said to call back after I had used "6 scoops" of chlorine at night for two days.

    Am I just being impatient? I'm now on day 13 of shocking the pool at FC of 34. I'm starting to worry that this cant be good for my vinyl liner. I've been VERY vigilant about keeping the chlorine up, cleaning the skimmer and pump filter, brushing, backwashing. Even vacuumed to waste twice. The water IS very slowly clearing but it will be months at this rate before I could swim.

    I'm curious to know how long it has taken other people to clear their "algae pools"?
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    [attachment=0:2uz81rxi]photo-9.JPG[/attachment:2uz81rxi]Here's a pic from a couple of days ago:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    Quote Originally Posted by awindram
    I tried a little DE and the water did clear up a teeny tiny bit (about 4"-6" more visibility). I noticed that the pressure coming out of the jets went WAY down though, so after 2 days I backwashed it out. Pressure returned to normal.
    That happened because the filter was clogged from filtering out that goo!!!

    If you had added more DE after the backwash, you would have had it happen again, but you would have gained another 6" of visibility. And so on. And your pool might be crystal clear by now.
    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: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    agggh...that's what I was afraid of. Oh well. I've only lost a day. Will go add the DE back right now.

    So no worries about straining the pump? It definitely sounded "different" when the jets were slow.

    And I'm guessing the reduced circulation is not a problem either? I could see areas of dirt (or dead algae?) collecting on the steps where they had not previously.

    Lastly, I still would love to hear any one else's timeline for clearing their pool. I have absolutely no frame of reference as I've never owned a pool before. Pool guys and store keep telling me it should only take a few days.

    ~Discouraged
    18000 gal, inground, vinyl
    sand filter, 3/4 hp pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: my 1st opening-shocking algae-?s about backwashing,rain,

    Quote Originally Posted by awindram
    agggh...that's what I was afraid of. Oh well. I've only lost a day. Will go add the DE back right now.

    So no worries about straining the pump? It definitely sounded "different" when the jets were slow.

    And I'm guessing the reduced circulation is not a problem either? I could see areas of dirt (or dead algae?) collecting on the steps where they had not previously.

    Lastly, I still would love to hear any one else's timeline for clearing their pool. I have absolutely no frame of reference as I've never owned a pool before. Pool guys and store keep telling me it should only take a few days.

    ~Discouraged
    Backwash when the pressure increases 25%. So if it runs 12 psi normally, backwash at 15 and recharge the DE.
    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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