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Thread: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

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    Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Hello,

    I just moved into my first home and it has a pool. The previous owners had shocked it clear shortly before I moved in but it actually had a zero level of chlorine and some other issues. After a recent rain storm it turned a little green. Not knowing what I was doing I learned how to 1. up the TA: I bought Aquachem Alkalinity Increaser and brought the TA up to 120 2. up the CYA: the test kit I have only tests CL and BR, pH, and TA but I calculated how much Cyanuric acid to add (also Aquachem) and I got the TA up to 120.

    I took a water sample to Leslie's and here are my results:

    FAC: 2
    TA: 2
    pH: 7.6
    TA: 120
    CYA: 60
    Calcium Hardness: 80
    Phosphates: 0

    It has gotten greener. I can see the bottom of the shallow end (it's faint but I can see it) but the deep end is rather murky. Now based on the Chlorine / CYA Chart in Pool School is says I need to get my FC up to 24 in order to shock my pool. Prior to reading this I was told to use 2 lbs of shock by the guys at Leslie's. I used the Aquachem Shock Xtra Blue which also has algaecide (copper) in it. They said it should clear up my pool enough to swim tomorrow. So, I need to know what to do next. I'm really looking forward to actually using my pool but I have a sinking suspicion that this shock treatment may not be enough.

    I am smart enough to figure these things out but I do need very clear and detailed instructions written for somebody that doesn't really know the lingo. I'm not sure if I did it right but according to the pool calculator I need 6-7 gallons of bleach to properly shock my pool. Is this really going to take a week?


    I'll add this to my signature but here are my pool specs.

    20K Gallon Vinyl, Sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)
    20K Gallon Vinyl, Triton II TR60 sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Look in Pool School for information on the proper way to "shock" your pool Shock is a process, not a product. A one time dose of expensive pool store product WILL NOT cure an algae problem, much as the PS would have people believe. PS would go broke real quick if they actually helped you keep your pool clean and clear.

    Also in Pool School is a couple of pages on great test kits. While it may seem pricey at $45 - $70, this is cheap compared to the often erroneous results you get at a PS. They have no reason to give you accurate results, as that would reduce the amount of $$ they can extract from your wallet. Your best bang for your $$ is the TF-100 with the speedstir and XL options.

    Glad to see you have started already to use the PoolCalculator. As you read in Pool School, you will notice a slight discrepancy between school charts and calculator for shocking. One is more aggressive than the other, but both work fine.

    You will also note that for pH up, you can use 20 mule team borax, and for lowering pH, muriatic acid.

    Almost all "shock products" from the pool store contain CYA. Since your level is only a bit high according to L's test, you don't want to be adding more to your pool. Plain bleach will get better results.
    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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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Other than raising CYA up to 60, and adding shock and copper to pool you are on the right track by coming here. It may take a week. You need to follow shocking your pool in pool school to the T. You can swim up to shock level for your CYA level, if you really want to (meaning green pool).

    So your CYA level is calculated not tested, what was residual level from last year? Since you don't know we don't really know your CYA level. You really need to get your own test kit.

    At any rate your pool needs chlorine And to be properly shocked.

    Unfortunately it may need a big drain and refill.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
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    Test Kits - Pool Calculator - Chlorine/CYA Chart - Pool School

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    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: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Thanks guys!

    I think I had an "ah ha" moment Sunday morning after rereading the posting about algae and shocking. I went to the pool store and bought the high end FAS-DPD kit they had. I also stopped at the local dollar store and bought 21 bottles of bleach. I tested my CYA and the black dot consistently disappeared at or near 60ppm. I then went ahead and tested everything else. The pool calculator said add roughly five 96 oz bottles of bleach. I did that and measured the CL level again an hour later and added about 3 bottles. I kept on top of it until around 3pm because I had a reservation for a truck to empty my storage space. I left my house, emptied the space, and got back around 10pm. Tested again and hit it again with my last 3 bags of the aquachem shock (the remaining bottles of liquid bleach were in my trunk and I hadn't read any of these responses yet, so shame on me but I only used 5 bags of that stuff total.) We then unloaded the truck and picked up some construction debris that was left behind by the "lousy" contractor the previous owner hired to work on my house before I could buy it. I then left to return the U-haul truck and got back around 3:30 am. Bleary-eyed I tested the chlorine and added 1.3 bottles. I then showered and went to bed. This morning my girlfriend came upstairs as I was getting ready for work and was excited because the algae had finally started turning white/grey. I didn't have enough time to do a proper test so I hit it with another 1.5 bottles since it seemed to have leveled off to needing about 1.5 to return to shock level.

    So from what I've read the pool stores set you up to be put into a vicious cycle. They sell you the chlorine that you know you need but it's laced with a substance that makes you need even more chlorine. So if you follow their instructions you will eventually get an algae problem because they tell you that the FC should be 2-4 but they don't adjust for the higher level needed when your CYA is high. Then they tell you inaccurate information on shocking the pool. That's insane. They are almost as bad as drug dealers. So, I'm seriously thinking about going home for lunch and testing the pool and hitting it with more bleach. I have a tub of chlorine tabs. I've only ever used two of them which are still in my floater. Do they also increase my CYA level? If so would I just use them when my CYA is low? What else are they good for? What else is the floater good for?

    One of the problems I ran into when buying bleach at Dollar Tree was the bottle wasn't labeled with the percentage of bleach in it. I assumed it had 6% and so far my test results seem to match up with that (more or less) but is there a way to tell what that percentage of Bleach really is? I noticed that the bleach in my local Walmart was marked 8.25% and sold as concentrated. The jug it came in was under a gallon but more than the 96 ounce bottle at the dollar store and cost about $3. What bleach is recommended and where should I get it from?

    One last question. Pool cleaning robots, where should I look on the forum for information, recommendations, and used robots for sale?
    20K Gallon Vinyl, Triton II TR60 sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)

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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Yes, those tabs will increase your CYA. At 60, you are really at the limit of where you should be. You can use them when your CYA is low, yes. The floater is good for nothing but those tabs.

    As far as the bleach, as long as you are finding at least 6%, you are good to go. Costco has Clorox really cheap.

    I would not buy a used robot, you might get one that's on the verge of needing a lot of parts.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurge
    So from what I've read the pool stores set you up to be put into a vicious cycle. They sell you the chlorine that you know you need but it's laced with a substance that makes you need even more chlorine. So if you follow their instructions you will eventually get an algae problem because they tell you that the FC should be 2-4 but they don't adjust for the higher level needed when your CYA is high. Then they tell you inaccurate information on shocking the pool. That's insane. They are almost as bad as drug dealers. So, I'm seriously thinking about going home for lunch and testing the pool and hitting it with more bleach. I have a tub of chlorine tabs. I've only ever used two of them which are still in my floater. Do they also increase my CYA level?
    That's a pretty accurate appraisal. Except you left out the mps shock, the clarifier, the flocculent, and whatever new-and-improved product they can offer to try to fix things.
    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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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Tabs last forever. Save them and use them for vacations or other situations where they're appropriate.

    Also, the paragraph you posted above proves you've "got it" and are officially on BBB. Nice work.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurge
    What else is the floater good for?
    Uhhhh... holding yer beer?
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    You guys are too funny.

    My water has been too warm to keep the beer cold enough but I like that idea!!!

    Unfortunately, I bought enough tabs for all of this year and part of next year. Well at least I have an easy way to up my CYA when needed. So in the "Swamp to Oasis" post Jason mentions flocking being an option after the algae is all dead. (nominal change in FC overnight.) Where you flock and vacuum everything out to waste. I was thinking this would be a good idea on two counts, 1. I get to use my pool that much quicker and 2. removing some of the water and replacing it will get my CYA level lower and closer to the more reasonable range of below 50. Is there any reason to not try flocking?

    Regarding the Tabs just how much CYA do they add to your pool? I'm thinking if I lower the CYA enough (if I end up flocking and replacing the water) could I use the tabs and keep an eye on my CYA until it's back to where it should be or would that be stupid?
    20K Gallon Vinyl, Triton II TR60 sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)

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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    At the bottom of poolcalculator.com is a function that will tell you the effects of adding chemicals, including tabs. Be sure you have the size of your pool and all configured before using it.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    So progress.

    I had a big cloud of dead algae from shocking the pool. Wednesday night I broke down and flocked it. By Thursday evening I could see all the **** on the bottom. I vacuumed it but it had been raining in Woodstock GA all day since Wednesday and it got dark quickly and I don't have any substantial lighting outside yet. I vacuumed a bit more this morning before I left work but the level had gotten a little too low so I shut the pump off (it was sucking air at the skimmer.) The best part is I can finally see the bottom where the main drain is. I was so happy I went to Walmart and picked up a box of Borax and Baking Soda. I may not have been on BBB before but I sure as heck am on it now. I just got to finish the clean out tonight and turn the filter back on. If the sun ever comes out I'll be ready to swim (not that the rain will stop me for that matter!) I did dump a 96 ounce bottle of bleach into the water before I left as a precautionary measure. Typically once you have your pool running right what is the average amount of bleach you guys go through per week?
    20K Gallon Vinyl, Triton II TR60 sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)

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    alanpaul's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Thurge,
    In a week, I use about 320 oz. or 2.5 gallons of 10.5% chlorine for my pool, which is 3/4 the size of yours. My CYA is in the 50-60 range like yours.
    You'd likely use around 400 oz. or 3 to 3 1/2 gallons of the 10.5% chlorine in a week.
    If the strength is 8.25% bleach, you'll use more, approximately 500 oz. or 4 gallons in a week, if my calculations are correct.
    But each pool is a bit different. And the level you require is based on the amount of CYA in your pool.
    NOTE: Each floater puck and each bag of shock will raise your CYA, and the more CYA, the more chlorine is necessary.

    The Dollar Store bleach (Top Job) in my area is only 2.75%. The label says it's gentle. Well, yeah, it's 97% water!

    Welcome to TFP.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    So far I've been lucky and all of my tests have put the dollar store bleach I bought in the 6% chlorine range. Where do you get 10.5% bleach? I went and bought a DPD high end test kit at Leslie's thinking that it was the FAS-DPD test kit. It's a decent kit but I recently found out that the TF-100 (and even the real deal K-2006) use titration instead of a color scale/change. Thus it gives more accurate test results (I remember titration from Honors Chemistry in high school) but if they can do titration for TA in the basic OTO test kit that I have why don't they do the same for chlorine? I would think an accurate chlorine test would be more important than the total alkalinity test... Anyhow now that I have these two test kits is there some way I can get a bare minimum test kit? Something with just the chlorine test? I saw the TF-50 but it does CYA which I already have in the high end kit from Leslie's. I have heard that the TF-100 CYA test has a larger dot and is easier to read so maybe the TF-50 is the way to go. Any advice?
    20K Gallon Vinyl, Triton II TR60 sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)

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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    HOORAY! I finally got to swim today. It has been raining all week. As a result my CYA level went down to 45. Wednesday I flocked it, between Thursday evening and Friday evening I vacuumed to waste then ran the filter overnight. No sign of any more algae but I'm keeping my pool in the high range of FC for the new CYA level just in case. I guess my only remaining question is if I had waited it out would my filter have eventually cleared the dead algae or would I have needed to perhaps add DE to improve the filtering?

    Anyhow, thanks guys for your support and aid!
    20K Gallon Vinyl, Triton II TR60 sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)

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    alanpaul's Avatar
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    Re: Green Pool, not quite a swamp but... HELP!!!

    Eventually, yes. But how long is eventually?
    Adding some DE to your filter would speed up clearing the pool of dead algae as well as other fine particles. Note that DE must be replaced after backwashing.
    By the way, did you backwash your filter after floc and vacuum? It would be a good idea to rid the system of as much gunk as possible.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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