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Thread: Algae Not Affected by Treatment

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    Algae Not Affected by Treatment

    I started following the guide "Turning Your Green Swamp Back into a Sparkling Oasis" on Saturday morning. My pH was 7.0 and CYA 30, so I had a target FC of 13. After a few hours, the FC started to hold, so I switched to checking twice a day. I lose a few PPM of FC between checks, and the CC is almost always 1.5. Visually, it looks like nothing is happening. The water is still almost the same shade of green as when I started, if not darker, and I'm not seeing the change to gray/white. I'm cleaning the filter once a day even though the filter pressure does not change (roughly 8PSI), and there is definitely green algae coming out of there. Any ideas on what's going on? There are two problems with my pump/filter system. There's a large amount of air getting into the system. The pump never loses prime, but you can see a lot of large bubbles coming out of the return valves. I just can't seem to fix it. Also, the pressure needle never stays still; it always bounces between 7 and 8PSI. I don't know if those are problems, but figured that I would mention it.
    15K AG, w. Chlorease SWG; 150 sqft cartridge (ClearwaterII); Two Speed pump, seems to only work on one speed; less than 10 yrs old; partially decked.

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    Re: Algae Not Affected by Treatment

    What are you using to test with?
    24' 52" Above Ground
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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Algae Not Affected by Treatment

    A week of shock, and no change? are you SURE you haven't been letting the chlorine drop below shock level at all during the entire time?

    You may have to bump it up to 15 - 16, and make sure it never drops below that at any time.

    If your level drops below shock, the algae has the opportunity to bounce back, and takes advantage of that. If you have to be away from the pool for work etc, bump it to where it won't be below shock when you return.

    As soon as you can during the process, thoroughly clean your steps and any other pool related equipment and toys with a strong solution of bleach and water.
    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: Algae Not Affected by Treatment

    Don't forget to brush the pool regularly as well. You may have very poor circulation, especially given the large air leak. The chlorine might not be mixing everywhere to kill the algae so you may mostly be seeing the algae happily staying alive where the circulation is poor. Though clearly fixing the air leak and getting the pump to work better will help, you can partially make up for that with decent brushing. If that turns out to be the problem, then you should find the FC dropping faster and you'll need to add more chlorine but should start to see the algae discolor and the pool turn more cloudy than green.

    This assumes the CYA number is accurate. What test kit are you using to get that number?
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Algae Not Affected by Treatment

    Adding to the above posts, you have a suction side air leak which is dramatically affecting your circulatory capacity. On top of that, you are either not cleaning your filter thoroughly (are you rinsing?) or your filter has a problem in that it is allowing dirt to return to the pool....That should never happen.

    I suggest you repair your filter and find that suction side leak and then restart the shock process. It'll be hard to get that pool crystal clear when your system is crippled like that.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Algae Not Affected by Treatment

    Sorry for responding so late; I was expecting an e-mail when there was activity in this thread, but I never got one. I finally logged on because I couldn't believe that nobody responded. Anyways, here are some answers to people's questions:

    I'm using the Taylor K-2006 test kit. BTW, I just ran out of R-0871 reagent for measuring chlorine. While waiting for my replacement to arrive in the mail, what else can I use? The people at Leslie's claim they no longer sell anything with this reagent. When measuring the CYA, I stop adding the drops when the black dot is completely invisible. If I see a shadow of it, I keep going. Leslie's also verified that the CYA is 30.

    The chlorine is dropping below shock level. For instance, yesterday morning, the FC was 13 (shock level), and when I got home in the evening, it was 10. I then brought it back up to 13 thinking it was OK since the FC was not dropping after an hour. I did not realize that it should never drop below the shock level. I will start targeting 15 as my new shock level. Charlie_R, could you please explain the part about the steps? I don't have anything else in the pool.

    I forgot to mention in my OP, but I have a Pac-Fab Mitra MA-160 cartridge filter system. I am spraying the filter with my hose. It seems to be working since the filters are going from green-ish to off-whitish when I'm done (mostly, but the ends are still green and hard to clean off).

    I had originally posted about the air leak at air-in-pac-fab-mitra-ma-160-filter-system-t57717.html, but followed the advice to first clear out the algae before dealing with the air leak. If it's more important to deal with the air leak first, is it time to call in a pool guy to find the leak as I've been unsuccessful so far?

    One more thing, if I'm to continue running the pump with the air leak, would it help if I keep the bleeder valve open so that I don't keep blowing air in the pool in hopes of circulating the water better? Or is it too late since I'm not sucking enough water into the pump already?

    Thanks for everybody's help.
    15K AG, w. Chlorease SWG; 150 sqft cartridge (ClearwaterII); Two Speed pump, seems to only work on one speed; less than 10 yrs old; partially decked.

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    Re: Algae Not Affected by Treatment

    I had originally posted about the air leak at air-in-pac-fab-mitra-ma-160-filter-system-t57717.html, but followed the advice to first clear out the algae before dealing with the air leak.
    Well, that advice was given because it looked like you had solved your air leak issue.
    The pump is holding prime. I shut off the pump at night, and in the morning, when I turned it back on, water started flowing immediately.
    As a side note to all newbies, it is always best to keep your information under one thread so responders can see your whole story.

    So, it seems as if your air leak has returned and, if it is large enough, it is affecting your systems capability to clear your pool in a timely manner.

    Back to your cloudy pool issue, there is no answer other than adequate chlorine. The shock process as described in the article in Pool School will clear your pool...there is no doubt about that. You probably need to review that article again and see that you are following those instructions precisely. If you are, your pool will clear.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Algae Not Affected by Treatment

    So I spent some time messing with the pump system. Not knowing what I was doing, I tried to adjust anything was adjustable, under the assumption that there was little I could do to make it much worse. I replaced the pump O-ring, and while it did make a difference (I think?), the problem was still there. Next I tried playing with the skimmer throttle. Normally it's set midway. When I completely closed it, the pump started to cycle. The pump basket filled with water and looked fine, then a few seconds later the pressure dropped and the water seemed to disappear (my pump cover is smoke colored so I can't see very well). A few seconds later, the water came back, and the pressure stabilized. It just kept cycling like this. Then I completely opened the throttle. All the air in the system disappeared, and everything looks fine. So I guess there's something wrong with the main drain? Perhaps a clog? Is there a problem if I keep the throttle wide open while I try to clean up the water? I figure it'll be easier to fix if I can see it.
    15K AG, w. Chlorease SWG; 150 sqft cartridge (ClearwaterII); Two Speed pump, seems to only work on one speed; less than 10 yrs old; partially decked.

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