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Thread: I'm in bad shape...please help?

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    I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Hello Everyone,
    First, this is a wonderful website full of excellent information; thank you to everyone who helps support this site!

    Now to "la problema": I opened my 18,000 gallon in-ground pool 9 days ago. It was a green swamp, so I got my levels right and began shocking. It quickly turned from green to blue but has remained so cloudy I can only see down to the second step. I added bleach yesterday morning and when I came home 8 hours later my FC was not even registering. So after doing reading on the algae board I thought I may have algae. I began the algae protocol specified (checking every 1/2 hour for FC level...adding shock if it dropped, etc.). I thought I may have beaten it, but this morning my pool looks even worse. The only thing I can chalk it up to is that I brushed it for the first time yesterday so I may have released algae or particulates into the water.

    I do not yet have the Taylor test kit (it's in the mail!), so unfortunately I only know that my FC is over 5. So here are my questions:

    Can I add too much shock and damage anything (other than my pocket book)?
    Is algae always visible or can it manifest in a very cloudy pool?

    Thank you in advance....I'm desperate!

    Jen

    CYA: 34
    FC: 7.4
    pH: 7.5
    TA: 127
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    You won't know if you have completed the shock process until you get the test kit and accurately measure your FC level. It will take time for all the dead algae to filter out, that is probably what most of the cloudiness is.

    Once your test kit arrives use the pool calculator to determine your shock level and complete the shock process.
    TFP Moderator
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenandthegang
    Hello Everyone,
    First, this is a wonderful website full of excellent information; thank you to everyone who helps support this site!

    We thank you

    Now to "la problema": I opened my 18,000 gallon in-ground pool 9 days ago. It was a green swamp, so I got my levels right and began shocking. It quickly turned from green to blue but has remained so cloudy I can only see down to the second step. I added bleach yesterday morning and when I came home 8 hours later my FC was not even registering. So after doing reading on the algae board I thought I may have algae. I began the algae protocol specified (checking every 1/2 hour for FC level...adding shock if it dropped, etc.). I thought I may have beaten it, but this morning my pool looks even worse. The only thing I can chalk it up to is that I brushed it for the first time yesterday so I may have released algae or particulates into the water.
    Brushing daily is part of the shock process.

    I do not yet have the Taylor test kit (it's in the mail!), so unfortunately I only know that my FC is over 5. So here are my questions:

    Good on you for ordering a recommended kit

    Can I add too much shock and damage anything (other than my pocket book)?
    Yes

    Is algae always visible or can it manifest in a very cloudy pool?
    There are thousands of types of algae, some are not visible.

    Thank you in advance....I'm desperate!

    Jen

    CYA: 34
    FC: 7.4
    pH: 7.5
    TA: 127
    Please add your pool and equipment in your sig. This will help us help you.

    Keep the filter running 24/7 and only add plain bleach/liquid chlorine. We'll help you with the amounts to add to keep the green monster somewhat under control until you get the test kit. Wed will need to know the pool gallon.

    Welcome to the forum
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    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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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Thank you for answering! My biggest frustration is that until my test kit comes I don't know how to maintain shock levels since I can't test for anything over 5ppm. So, any help you can give me on that would be GREAT! Also, a basic protocol for the next few days until the kit comes would be super helpful. Here's what I'm planning to do:
    1. brush the pool right now (including in the crevices, around inlets and light)
    2. shock it with granular (Is this okay? I'm transitioning to BBB but am out of bleach and would like to use up the granular I have....but will the sun just eat it up? also, should I shock to mustard algae levels even though I don't see any?)
    3. keep the filter running
    4. should I shock again later today?

    Thanks in advance for your help, it's SO appreciated!

    Thank you again!
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

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    bmann71's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Jenandthegang hello.

    One of the many things you'll learn on this site is not to throw something in the pool w/o first knowing why it's going in. Since you don't know the CYA level of your water you may be adding to the problem by using the granular chlorine. It contains CYA which is very useful at the right amount but a real headache at the wrong high levels.

    I suggest brushing like you said and then taking a deep breath and grabbing a cold beverage of your choice and waiting for the test kit to arrive. (by the way, do you have a tracking number for your kit so you'll know how many beverages you'll need to pick up? )

    After your numbers are known the good people here will have you swimming in the pool that will make your neighbors jealous with envy!

    cheers
    Ponduke
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    I agree with bmann.. don't use the granular shock until you know your cya level... You may only add to your problems. CYA tests at the pool stores are usually very unreliable at best.

    Hang in there until you get that test kit and read the Pool School topic on how to shock your pool, and stock up on some chlorine while you wait for it. You will have it up and running beautifully shortly after that.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Hello bmann71,
    My CYA is 34, my pH is 7.5 and my TA is 127. I listed it in my first post under my name where my equipment info was supposed to go, sorry about that.

    So based on all I've read here, a CYA reading of 34 should be just about right - not so low as to cause the chlorine to burn right out, but not so high as to require crazy amounts of chlorine. What I'd like to know is this: is it worth shocking it daily (and if so, should I go up to mustard algae levels?) before my test comes, or should I just wait and let it get greener and cloudier?

    Thanks for tolerating my questions...I'm a faithful student and have learned a lot from this site already, but am still working it all out.
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Until the good test kit arrives, you could try guesstimating the FC by diluting your sample water with chlorine-free water (bottled drinking water or distilled water) 50-50 or 33.33 -66.67, pour that into your tester and double or triple your reading to get an idea opf where you are.

    You haven't posted a CH number, so STOP USING GRANULAR SHOCK. It's adding either CYA, of which you have a nice number, or CH, of which we know nothing. Plain Chlorox or "liquid shock" is the stuff to use. No unwanted ingredients, no nasty side effects.

    Back to Pool School with you
    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: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Hello Richard 320,
    I'm honored you chimed in...you're one of the only guys on here with a photo, how nice! Bad me, I forgot to list my CH....which is (drumroll, pleeeeease)....237. So that could stand to come up slightly to the bottom suggested range for plaster of 250.

    Thanks for the guesstimating idea for FC...I'll give it a try.

    I think I'm going to be beaten and whipped if I even mention this word again, but if I want to use up my (gulp) *granular* just so I don't waste the money I put into buying it, is that okay, given that my CH is on the low side and my CYA is okay?
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenandthegang
    Hello Richard 320,
    I'm honored you chimed in...you're one of the only guys on here with a photo, how nice! Bad me, I forgot to list my CH....which is (drumroll, pleeeeease)....237. So that could stand to come up slightly to the bottom suggested range for plaster of 250.

    Thanks for the guesstimating idea for FC...I'll give it a try.

    I think I'm going to be beaten and whipped if I even mention this word again, but if I want to use up my (gulp) *granular* just so I don't waste the money I put into buying it, is that okay, given that my CH is on the low side and my CYA is okay?
    It depends on what the granular is, and if you trust those readings.

    I find 237 to be a little too precise.. the drop kits only measure in 10s. Your bathroom scale measures in 1s. Would you believe someone who said they weighed 152.3 lbs?

    You'll be raising CYA or CH with the granular. Better read the label.
    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: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenandthegang
    Hello bmann71,
    My CYA is 34, my pH is 7.5 and my TA is 127. I listed it in my first post under my name where my equipment info was supposed to go, sorry about that.

    So based on all I've read here, a CYA reading of 34 should be just about right - not so low as to cause the chlorine to burn right out, but not so high as to require crazy amounts of chlorine. What I'd like to know is this: is it worth shocking it daily (and if so, should I go up to mustard algae levels?) before my test comes, or should I just wait and let it get greener and cloudier?

    Thanks for tolerating my questions...I'm a faithful student and have learned a lot from this site already, but am still working it all out.
    When I read in your initial post that you hadn't yet received your own test kit I assumed those numbers were from the guy that you were helping put his kid thru college (aka pool store dude) so I didn't pay much attention to your numbers.
    Ponduke
    20,000 gal/ Fiberglass IG/ Sta-rite s7m120 cartridge filter/Sta-rite SR400NA 400,000 btu heater/Polaris 360 Cleaner/K-2006 Test Kit
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Okay, thank you guys! I'll be back in a few days after I've received my test kit.
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Haven't received my test kit yet, but I have been trying Richard's FC guesstimating trick. Seems to work well at least giving me an idea of where the FC is, though I can't tell if I had OCL. I've been following the instructions from "turning your swamp into a sparkling oasis," and keeping the FC at slightly higher than required shock levels (based on the CYA/chlorine chart), but it continues to be very milky and I can only see the bottom at a depth of about 2 feet with not even slight improvement for the past four days. I was reading a long previous thread from a woman named Lisa who had persistent OCL despite a clear pool (very-slight-algae-t58643.html), and the suggestion for her was to shock to Mustard Algae levels.

    Assuming all my other levels are in order, is there a downside to me trying that, other than using up chlorine? (Can I damage the pool or throw other things out of whack?)

    And at what rate does chlorine come down?
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenandthegang
    Haven't received my test kit yet, but I have been trying Richard's FC guesstimating trick. Seems to work well at least giving me an idea of where the FC is, though I can't tell if I had OCL. I've been following the instructions from "turning your swamp into a sparkling oasis," and keeping the FC at slightly higher than required shock levels (based on the CYA/chlorine chart), but it continues to be very milky and I can only see the bottom at a depth of about 2 feet with not even slight improvement for the past four days. I was reading a long previous thread from a woman named Lisa who had persistent OCL despite a clear pool (very-slight-algae-t58643.html), and the suggestion for her was to shock to Mustard Algae levels.

    Assuming all my other levels are in order, is there a downside to me trying that, other than using up chlorine? (Can I damage the pool or throw other things out of whack?)

    And at what rate does chlorine come down?
    You don't need to worry about bleaching out a plaster pool the way you would with a vinyl pool. Try it.

    FC comes down pretty fast when either sun or algae are present. A day or two.
    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!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Got my kit and have some numbers:
    FC 12.5
    pH 7.0
    TA 125
    CYA 75
    CH 227

    I noticed in the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry that CYA is typically kept between 70 and 80 for pools with high levels of direct sunlight. My pool receives sun most of the day - from sunrise until late afternoon - and is not surrounded by trees, so I presume 75 is a good level for us. However, I believe I have mustard algae and therefore the shock level I need to maintain for 24 hours is approx 43ppm, and the note on the chart suggests that a partial drain/refill may be more practical in situations like this. Could you please advise what you would do in a situation like this?
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

  16. Back To Top    #16
    pepsiholic's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Hi!

    My pool is also in direct sunlight from sunup to sundown, but I find a cya of 50 does just fine for me. I normally lose around 2 ppm's of chlorine per day. The only thing about having a cya in the 70's is that it's going to take more bleach to maintain it and a lot more if you get an algae outbreak. You might find it easier to clear the water if you do lower your cya a bit. I'll let the experts chime in, they walked me through a baqucil conversion a couple of years ago and I have never looked back. It takes a quart or less of bleach every night to keep me "trouble free" and everyone always comments on how I have the "sparkliest" water in the neighborhood...lol
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenandthegang
    Got my kit and have some numbers:
    FC 12.5
    pH 7.0
    TA 125
    CYA 75
    CH 227

    I noticed in the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry that CYA is typically kept between 70 and 80 for pools with high levels of direct sunlight. My pool receives sun most of the day - from sunrise until late afternoon - and is not surrounded by trees, so I presume 75 is a good level for us. However, I believe I have mustard algae and therefore the shock level I need to maintain for 24 hours is approx 43ppm, and the note on the chart suggests that a partial drain/refill may be more practical in situations like this. Could you please advise what you would do in a situation like this?
    First, what is the CC from the test?

    Second, how is CH 227 when is in increments of 10's? Typo?
    CH test is # of drops X 10.

    Why do you think you have mustard algae?
    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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  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Hello pepsiholic and butterfly, thank you both for chiming in.

    The CC was 1 earlier today, and .5 now.

    As for CH, unfortunately I can't get the test to cooperate (operator error, I guess!). I must have metals in my water because my test was turning to purple, not blue, and even when I put the some of the reagent in first, as the Taylor test kit suggests, I didn't get a definite end point. So 227 was from the pool store.

    As for the mustard algae question....in September of last year while my pool was still open we did some traveling. Upon our return I noticed visible yellow algae on the shaded walls...brushed off, returned stubbornly....and then before you know it, I had the pool guy come close the pool for me. When I opened it a week and a half ago I remember thinking that it was a lot "swampier" than in previous years (dark, slimy green, lots of leaves, etc.) but since it's subjective, I just wrote it off. I shocked it (using my best guess....that was before I turned to the pool calculator) with 3 or 4 pounds of granular first thing in the morning, and by mid-day I had no FC showing up on the test (despite good CYA levels). Now I can keep the FC up but can't seem to get the pool to clear up from a thick, hazy/milky white that prohibits me from seeing the bottom, and my filter is running 24/7 and is staying clean (I've cleaned it once since opening). So I'm wondering if I was harboring mustard algae all winter and now paying the consequences.

    I'm just not sure if it's dead algae floating around or an impending algae boom....if it is dead algae, should I try floc? I know the opinions on this board are mixed about that.
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: I'm in bad shape...please help?

    Okay, it's 5:50am and I did the OCLT. Last night my FC was 10.5 and my CC was .5. This morning my FC was 10 and my CC was .5. So based on what I've read, I should just wait for the water to clear up through filtering? I guess now I'm just wondering if I should try floc or something that will help increase the size of the particles to aid in filtration.
    18,000 gallons IG plaster pool
    cartridge filter
    2 speed pump

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