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Thread: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going green

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    First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going green

    First-time poster here so hopefully I will include all the relevant info. the first time.

    We have a 20' Intex pool (above-ground). One week ago, we set up and began to fill it. Got it full all the way up to the bottom of the filter connection when our breaker box broke at our house knocking out our well... and keeping us from further filling the pool. We had already dumped 6 bags of salt in it, as we were anticipating running a salt water system within the hour.

    We just got the well fixed last night (after much hoopla with the breaker box warranty company) and were able to finish filling the pool the last foot or so this morning. Hubby is gone to work right now though and will not be here to install the pump and filter until 4:00. In the meantime, the pool is going green on me - more and more so by the hour. I want to stop this before I have a big mess on my hands.

    Here were my test reads using hth test strips:
    salt -- 6.6 or 3290
    total hardness -- 50
    free chlorine -- 0/0
    ph -- 6.4
    Total Alkalinity -- 40
    Cyanuric Acid -- 0

    The pool has also got quite a bunch of debris in it, as we haven't vacuumed it yet or even skimmed it properly yet -- still trying to find the skimmer in the garage from our move.

    I realize that all my numbers are off. I think I have most things on hand to fix it (algaecide, shock, ph reducer, alkalinity increaser, test strips), but I need to know what to do first. The algae is my biggest concern. If I can do something before the hubby gets home and sets up the pump and filter, please tell me. I could even find something long (a broom handle or something) and stir it up like a big cooking pot on the stove, if I have to. Just help me stop this green please!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    You need to raise the pH but you need borax for that. I'd add about 3 lbs of baking soda (alkalinity increaser) and test the pH again.

    What is in the "shock" you have?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    Thanks for the response. I have something called "alkalinity increaser" -- not sure if it's baking soda, but I'm guessing it will do the trick. Should I go ahead and add this before we have the pump and filter set up? I still have a few hours until the hubby is going to get home and be able to get that up and running.

    Our shock is called "Cloud-Out" and contains potassium persulfate, sodium bisulphate, inert ingredients. This was the leftover shock I had from when we used a biguanide system 2 years ago on this pool (yes, it was fully drained and stored for a while -- I'm not doing a switchover to a new system). It does say that it can work for chlorine pools so I'm assuming it will work for salt water seems how that's basically the same thing, right?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    You can add the increaser but you need to stir it up real well. If you can do that it's ok, but if there's any doubt, I would wait till the pump is running.

    If you have one large jug of bleach you can add that as long as you can stir it real well.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    OK, it's 1:30 here. Hubby will be here by 3:30. Maybe I'll just wait for him to set up the pump before adding that increaser so it gets mixed up well. How long after I add the increaser can I add the next step (which I'm guessing is algaecide... or should I do shock next?)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    You should wait 30 minutes between additions.

    I recommend using bleach to raise the FC. As I said, one large jug of bleach is about what you need to add.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    I'm confused about why we would be adding bleach. Aren't the 6 bags of salt going to convert to chlorine once we get the equipment up and running in a few hours?... and won't that raise the fc? I don't want to raise it too high. And does one even use bleach for a salt water system? Sorry for all the questions -- I'm rather new to this and want to learn.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    You need to raise the FC quickly because you're already going green and you are going to have to shock and the swg won't raise the FC nearly fast enough. You're also going to have to have a good test kit in order to perform the shock process correctly. Once you get everything up and balanced and all the algea killed, then you can let the swg take over chlorinating the pool.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    GreatCanadian's Avatar
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    The chlorine produced by the SWG will be consumed practically as quickly as it is produced. You will not be able to raise your chlorine to shock level with the SWG. You need the FC level raised ASAP. As they've stated above, use bleach for that.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    Quote Originally Posted by damianhaarhoff
    Aren't the 6 bags of salt going to convert to chlorine once we get the equipment up and running in a few hours?... and won't that raise the fc?
    Not fast enough to make a difference at this point. SWG's are great at maintaining FC levels once your water is already balanced, but they definitely fail at getting ahead of a problem once it has started - mostly because it's usually not possible to generate enough chlorine fast enough to combat an algae bloom. You have an algae bloom once you start seeing cloudy (not yet green) water - the pool should be shocked at that point. Once it's already green, it DEFINITELY needs to be shocked. A pool can turn green in just a few days with no free chlorine. Yours has been set up a week now, the SWG is not going to be able to fix it. Once you have completed the shock process and your pool is balanced THEN you can switch over to the SWG.

    I dumped half a gallon of bleach in my pool when I was filling it (took two days to fill) then I continued adding bleach to keep my FC up for the next few days as I got my CYA level up and all of the salt dissolved in my pool. It was nearly a week after filling my pool that I finally turned my SWG on, but I stayed ahead of any problems by using bleach until everything was ready to go.

    I don't want to raise it too high. And does one even use bleach for a salt water system? Sorry for all the questions -- I'm rather new to this and want to learn.
    You really want to raise it to shock level ASAP to combat the algae, so I don't understand your concerns of raising it "too high" - it's not going to stay there beyond the shock process (levels will drop quickly once you stop adding bleach to keep it at shock level). Yes, if you ever have a need to shock your pool (as you do currently) you will need to use bleach (or another form of chlorine, but bleach is easy because it doesn't add anything else that will mess with your water balance). Likewise if you test your water on any given day and find your FC is lower than it should be, adding bleach is a quick and easy way to bring it up - relying on the SWG to "bring up" a low FC will typically lead to an algae bloom, especially if there was some reason (such as scale on the plates) causing the SWG not to run as well as it could. What I do with my pool is adjust my FC with bleach when it's low, then I either check my plates and clean them if I need to, or I bump up my SWG timer to run longer time the next time it runs, and test over the course of a few days to make sure it's maintaining those chlorine levels.

    The SWG is not a problem solver and it's certainly not a "set it and forget it" system - you'll still need to perform regular water testing and you have to manually manage (by adding bleach, or completing the shock process if necessary) any major issues you may encounter.
    Summer Escapes 15'x42" AGP, Intex 14" sand filter, Intex SWG

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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    OK, getting the pump, filter, and salt water system all going now. Going to add the alkalinity booster now as well and stir it up with a paddle. Wait about 30 minutes then a gallon of bleach and stir it up with that paddle again. Skim it, brush it, and re-test in the morning to see what needs adjusting. Do you all never use the expensive shock treatements? Just simple bleach every time? I also have a container of algaecide looking at me here on the counter. Don't use it?

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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    Oh wait... re-reading your advice. Don't start the salt water system yet. Wait 'til it's testing better, then start. Got it.

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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    I got my son in there to stir up the alkalinity increaser really well (told him to not put his head under the water, of course). Got the pump and filter running. Son did comment when he was in there that the floors and walls are slimy, and I can see actual black algae particles kicking up as he walks around. Got son out and got the bleach in. What to expect from this point? Just re-test in the morning and vacuum up the dead algae tomorrow?

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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    If you get the chlorine in your pool to shock level it will go from green and murky to cloudy blue pretty quickly - from there you'll need to keep brushing algae off the sides of your pool and filter everything out of the water.

    I don't think it was mentioned and no one has asked, but what kind of filter does your pool have, the cartridge one or a sand filter? It will be basically impossible to completely clear the water with the stock intex cartridge if that is what you have, but it is possible to replace the cartridge itself with a better quality one from Unicel for about $10 that will be able to clear the water. If you have a sand filter then you don't have much to worry about.
    Summer Escapes 15'x42" AGP, Intex 14" sand filter, Intex SWG

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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    Yes, it's blue again, but still visible algae on the sides. I'll start brushing it tomorrow.

    And our filter is the standard Intex filter. Hope this works. I've wanted to buy a stronger pump and the sand filter, but had to get the salt water system first. One thing at a time for the ol' budget....

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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    Well if you can find a Unicel C-4607 that is the best replacement for the stock intex filter. They run about $10 if you can find them... Amazon seems to be out at the moment though.
    Summer Escapes 15'x42" AGP, Intex 14" sand filter, Intex SWG

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    What is the model number of your pump/filter?

    If it takes the A or C carts, Sarah is correct. If it takes the B, then the Unicel C-5315 will be what you need. Those are about $14 on Amazon.
    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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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    It does take the A carts so I'll look into those better filters.

    Now, the pool is beautifully blue again. Just need to vacuum up a little bit of dead algae on the bottom. However, just re-tested this morning and some of my numbers are still off. Here's what I got:

    TH -- 100 (no clue how to pull this number up to the proper range)
    FC -- 0/0 (not sure why this is as I dumped a large container of bleach in there last night -- should I dump another large container of bleach in now?)
    PH -- 7.2 (looks like I need to add some more baking soda immediately to pull it up just a bit)
    TA -- 80
    CA -- 0 (I haven't a clue what to do about this number)

    We're running the pump non-stop right now. Hubby will get the better filter this afternoon, and start the salt water system then as well (now that the pool is more stabilized). Please help me, if you can, get the rest of these numbers where they're supposed to be. Thanks!

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    TH = Total Hardness. Fine where it's at.

    FC = Free Chlorine. If you have had algae in your pool, it will continue to drop even after the water LOOKS clear. That is why the shock is a PROCESS, not a product.

    pH = measurement of acid/alkaline of your fluid (water in this case). Fine where it's at.

    CA = CYA??? = stabilizer. Have you added any in the past week? If not, you need to. Either by using dichloro, or trichloro or Cyanuric acid.

    DON'T start the SWCG yet. You are not through the shock process yet!

    You must pass the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test. OCLT = no more than 1 ppm loss of chlorine overnight, less than .5 CC (combined Chlorine) and water clear. All three must be passed. You have not passed this yet.

    Use the Pool Calculator to give you the proper dosages of what you need. Be aware that if you use dichloro or trichloro to add you stabilizer, you will need to keep a close eye on your pH.
    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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    Re: First-time poster! Intex pool, newly set up, going gree

    Thanks for the info. I'm new to a salt water system. We've only used a biguanide system in the past, so I never dealt with cyanuric acid. I'll get hubby to pick some up on his way home and add that in this afternoon.

    So, go ahead and add some more bleach this morning using the pool calculator to figure out how much?

    We have a bunch of kids coming over tomorrow evening, and the idea is that they would be swimming. Any chance of this being safe enough for them by then?

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