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Thread: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

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    Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Sorry in advance for the wall of text but we've had a month long "journey" trying to get a new to us pool opened. I've read a good portion of topics in the pool school and will be ordering my Taylor kit shortly as it seems everything is based on the readings and resolution that it provides. I have included as much detail as possible in hopes that someone can find something we overlooked.

    For a little background on the pool. Purchased a house in CT *that came with a 18' x 33' x 52" vinyl above ground pool and a 22inch sand filter. The previous owner had installed it 10 years ago and unfortunately a divorce caused him to be out of the house which meant that his son closed the pool. The filter was never disconnected and I don't know if any chemicals were added before the cover was put on. The pre-pot strainer housing, pressure gauge, and filter drain cap all broke due to freezing. The water level dropped to below the inlet sometime after these pieces had broke. The cover was basically fully intact and we were able to see the bottom partially when looking from the side.

    On May 10th we removed as many leaves off the cover as feasible and pulled the cover. The remaining water and leaves dropped into the pool. The pool was filled with approximately 6-8" of well water to bring the level to the middle of the skimmer opening. Since the filter was still broken at this point, we continued to pull as much debris out as possible with a skimmer. By the end of the day, the pool was a murky green from stirring up the debris/water and went to almost dark lagoon green by the next morning.

    For the next week we continued to pull out debris, add shock, and skim the surface. In total that week we added 6 gallons of shock and a floating chlorinator with one 3" tablet. It went from the dark green to a more reasonable algae green.*

    That weekend (5/18) the filter was repaired and we began to run it for ~8-12 hours a day at ~15psi (2-speed - high setting). I didn't want it running while I was away for fear of any issues. At this point we began to gain approximately 0.5-1" of clarity at the top of the water but it generally stayed the same hue of green. Whenever the filter ran up to ~20psi, I backwashed and rinsed until the outlet was as clear as it could get.
    Here's the first picture I took on 5/20.


    On 5/24 we moved to a 20-24 hour a day pump cycle and added 2 bottles of algaecide 50, 1 bottle of clarifier and another 2 gallons of shock. We had a good amount of foam and we brushed the entire pool.
    Picture from before chemicals


    Picture after chemicals


    The whole week the filter was run basically 24 hours a day with only a 15-30 gap of downtime due to the timer wheel setting. Every morning and evening the pool was skimmed to remove the foam as thoroughly as possible. We brushed every 2 or 3 days and continued to backwash as needed. At this point I had a good foamy/brown flow coming out when I backwashed and the color would be best described as green with a tan hue. The chlorine reading I was getting with my kit was still a constant highlighter yellow above the 3ppm scale. We had the water tested at this point by 2 different stores and they said all the levels were fine except for low calcium. Bought the calcium but never added it.

    5/31 We changed the 150lbs of sand in the filter, checked the internal "spider" for damage, and removed the ladder from the pool. The internals were fine and the ladder had a brown film even though we had been brushing it also. After the ladder was left out in the sun the exposed side went back to white.
    Here's a picture of the pool before the sand was changed.


    6/2 The pool was vacuumed and the bottom was not too filmy or dirty. The bottom does have a good number of folds and creases by feel. There was some dirt/sand? build up under the outlet and skimmer basket. The vacuuming stirred up the water even more and it looked worse.
    Here's the picture while it was being vacuumed.


    6/5 We added 5 bags of powdered shock as there was a very heavy rainstorm coming and to this point there wasn't much progress even though we continued to brush and skim as often as we could. I lose visibility of the skimmer or brush at ~2ft below the surface.

    6/9 Added another 4 gallons of shock after we had one day were the pool looked more green than the previous day. Checked the chlorine before adding it and it was still over 3ppm but was getting closer to the top of the scale in color. Also bleached the top rails.

    6/12 Still have ~2ft visibility, chlorine levels highlighter yellow again and placed the vacuum tube in the bottom center of the pool to try and pull water through the filter from a different location. Overnight we had a good amount of foam build up as the skimmer wasn't able to pull anything off the surface with the vacuum connected.*
    Here's the picture of the pool as of this morning*


    The foam that has been forming throughout the process is white/brown and we continue to brush/skim/vacuum. pH has been ideal or slightly high (7.4-8.0).

    The ultimatum has been placed recently and I have another week and a half of trying before the whole pool is drained and water delivered. I'd rather not go down that route because we'll still need to play the chemistry game as they bring water straight from a nearby town supply for an outrageous cost.*

    Thanks for any help in advance,
    HopefullyFloating

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need to add shock ever hour or so, not every few days. Forget the algaecide and clarifier and shock, shock, shock, shock.

    Follow the Defeating Algae process meticulously and you'll be nearly there by the weekend.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Thanks for the response. We're expecting to get upwards of 4 inches of rain overnight into tomorrow. Will I lose ground to the problem if I can't start the process until tomorrow afternoon? Also, does the brown staining on the ladder indicate that I'm fighting green and mustard algae?

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Not likely mustard algae. Probably just organic debris from the winter.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Use LIQUID bleach/chlorine when you are doing the shock PROCESS.

    Order your test kit right now. Until it gets here do the best you can. Look for some of the past swamp to clear posts to see the amount of chlorine you will be using.

    Good luck!
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    A couple links that should be helpful:
    Defeating Algae
    Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis
    Shocking Your Pool PROCESS

    What test kit are you using? Is it one of the Recommended Test Kits?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    A follow up question after seeing some more progress over the weekend. I can now see the top of the vacuum head when it sits on the bottom but not the bottom itself. My filter has raised in pressure to the point where I want to backwash it but my water level is low. We have a well with iron and maganese that I've tried to avoid using after the initial 6-8 inch fill. There's no significant rain forecasted for the week.

    Should I fill the pool so I can get the filter backwashed throughly or just continue with it running until we get some more rain?

    The TF100 is in the mail so i wont need to keep guessing on my chlorine levels and get some more specific advise based on my readings.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    You should be backwashing when there pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure. If you have to add water to do so, then so be it. If you wait too long, the flow rate and filtering capability are greatly reduced.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    My tf100 kit arrived yesterday and I have some readings to help me finish up the rest of the process. I can finally see the bottom of the pool but there is still a green tint to the water.

    Last night at 7:30 - 71degrees outside unknown pool temp
    pH - 7.2
    FC - 17.5
    CC - 0.5
    TA - 120
    CYA - less than 20 (added reagent to slightly over top of label - dot still visible but opaque when cylinder was full)

    This morning at 7:00
    FC - 13.5/14
    CC - 0.5

    At this point should I add additional stabilizer to help hold the chlorine as I finish shocking?

    We added roughly 16 gallons of shock last friday through sunday and put some oxidation shock in on monday evening.

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Lets make sure we are using the same words... Gallons of shock? What exactly are you using? It will be listed in the Active ingredients panel.

    In general, we use the word bleach. This can be chlorox 8.25%, the pool variety liquid sanitizer (10%) or the liquid chlorine from a pool supply store (12%). These are essentially the same stuff in different strengths. Think BudLight, Bud, OldEnglish beer.

    We recommend you ONLY use liquid bleach to sanitize the pool and kill the algae. The solid forms have other chemicals that can work against your initial needs and goals.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    The shock is 12.5% Calcium Hypochlorite if memory serves me right. MegaShock from Ocean State if that helps.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Check this again. Cal-hypo is a solid form of chlorine and usually a much higher concentration than that. Likely you meant sodium and not calcium.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    I'm not home currently but that does sound correct. I'm going to continue the shocking tonight through the weekend in hopes that the water is clear enough that friends and family will want to swim. Here's to hoping they forget the images of the black lagoon that it started out as.

    Should I be adding stabilizer to bring the level up or would it be better to wait until I get the water clear? Would I ever be able to pass the overnight test with cya under 20?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Usually best to have a stabilizer level of about 30 ppm before starting the shock process. But a low stabilizer level should not affect the OCLT because there is no sun at night to worry about.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Even more progress over the weekend. Started friday with my tf100 in hand and a green hue in generally clear water. I added about 2 cups of DE after obtaining a bag from a coworker. My FC was around 3.5 and CC still at 0.5 so another dosing of bleach was added to get the FC to 10. The pool was clear enough that we actually had friends in both saturday and sunday. Now I just need the green to continue fading and I can start to use the word sparkling or success. Thanks for the help and advice so far.

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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Some pictures of the clearing water. I'm going to give it another solid brushing tonight and keep my FC near 10 until I have a truely clear pool. Thanks for keeping me away from the pool store after the rough start.








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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Oh what a lovely pond you have...

    Looking MUCH better! Won't be long now.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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