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Thread: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

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    BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    I apologize for the length, but I need to get all details so that hopefully someone can help me.

    When I opened my pool, I had some discoloration on my steps. Water was nice and clear and had no issues with balancing and starting up. The discoloration was bothering me so I looked online and read about the Vitamin C test. So, I tried it and it took the staining away in that spot. I took a water sample to the local pool store and explained what I had and let them test my water. All tests were good with the exception of my water being too soft (???). Anyway, he said that's where my staining was coming from because I have a heater and I was getting traces of metal in my water. He tested for metals, but got nothing. He advised the AA treatment followed by the Metal Free, but my chlorine had to drop to 0-1 first. So, I shut the chlorinator down and waited. Sprinkled the AA and in less than 2 minutes my steps were beautiful (water was perfect at this point). Waited the hour and then added metal free and circulated 24 hrs.

    Two days later, my water started getting cloudy. I turned the chlorinator back on and started bringing up levels slowly. Day four cloudy, blue/green and now some algae on the walls. Shocked and ran filter overnight, added algaecide in the morning. Continued to run filter. 24 hours later - no improvement and now have a yellowish staining back on my steps with yellowish "dirt" also. So, before I did anything else, I went back to the store with a sample and the instructions they gave me. Told them I followed them exactly and now this is what I have (showed a picture to). Of course, same guy is not working that day. She couldn't understand why they would have me put metal free in, when no metals showed in water. Ph was low at this point but all else was good with exception of soft water. No phosphates - so no algae of any form. Was told to adjust Ph, circulate over night and add clarifier to collect all the particles in the pool. Did that, circulated 24 hrs. Turned filter off Thursday morning and let it sit. Weather was bad Friday, so Saturday morning I vacuumed to waste. Little better, but no major improvement. Added fresh water and continued to run filter.

    Sunday - angry at this point I'm not gaining any improvement. Time to try a different store. Took all my paperwork, instruction sheets and photos. They stated I should have not added the Metal Free and that is my problem, staining was from minerals and not metal. We now have to kill everything with a "super" shock. Vacuumed again, backwashed, rinsed and added 2 gallons of liquid shock (my pool is 26,000 gal) - chlorine was at 4.1 already. He said to run filter and water should turn to a cloudy blue - then I should add granular shock (3 bags) and it should clear abut 24 hrs after that (about Wednesday). If not, to come back. My Ph and alkalinity were slightly low (7.0) and he said that was due to the Metal free pulling it out. But not to add those just yet as I would be wasting money and I could adjust once I got it clear

    I leave Friday for vacation and do not want to come back to a mess!! Am I on the right track?? Has this happened to anyone else. I am so frustrated!!

    My steps are not quite as bad as in the photo (yesterday), but rest of pool is the same. I've also noticed where the debris usually collects from the jets, there is an orange color in those areas even after I vacuumed everything yesterday.

    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give.
    April
    20x40 keyhole, with 8' deep end, vinyl, sand filter
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    Intex 15X48 AGP intex 2500GPH and skimmer kit
    Between Portland Oregon, and Olympia Washington

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Wow ... there is just so much bad information what you were told.

    No. You are not on the right track. You need to order one of the Recommended Test Kits and stop wasting money at the pool stores. While waiting for the test kit to arrive, read Pool School ... a few times. Unfortunately, this is not going to be completely fixed by Friday.

    Correctly some of the bad info: The Vitamin C worked, that means there was metals, and the minerals they are talking about ARE metals.

    Here is an article in Pool School about metals.
    pool-school/metal%20stains

    I think you were close to the right approach, but you failed to use an algaecide to prevent the water from turning before you got the FC back up. Dealing with metals and the shock process is sort of a catch 22 because removing the stains may lead to algae (like for you), but the act of raising the FC levels for the shock process can end up making the stains come back.
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    question - why would I want to add algaecide if I have no algae? Sorry, if that's a dumb question. I will never have a test kit ordered and arrived before I leave with the holiday on Thursday. Unless I can get one at a pool store locally. What do you recommend I do in the mean time and while I'm away? I can run the filter 24 hrs while I'm home. My timer is set to run the filter is 4-8, twice a day. Should I just have it run as scheduled while I'm gone?
    Intex 15X48 AGP intex 2500GPH and skimmer kit
    Between Portland Oregon, and Olympia Washington

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Algaecide is used to prevent algae ... not to really to remove it.

    You will only maybe have a chance finding the K-2006 locally if you have a commercial supply warehouse ... the smaller retail stores do not usually carry them.

    How long are you going to be gone? How are you planning to chlorinate your pool while you are gone?

    Honestly, you are not going to get it fixed before you leave and if you are going to be gone for more than a few days and don't have an automated method to add chlorine every day, you are not going to be returning to a clear pool anyways. I would consider just punting and focus on dealing with it when you get back.

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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by awalters143
    question - why would I want to add algaecide if I have no algae? Sorry, if that's a dumb question.
    Not a dumb question at all, you never would have gotten it explained correctly from the pool store.

    Part of the Ascorbic Acid treatment requires letting the FC drop to basically zero. Problem is, while FC is zero, you're basically inviting algae to gain a foothold in the pool. The purpose of adding the algaecide is to prevent algae from growing for the short period of time you have no chlorine in the pool while you're treating the metals. The "algaecide in lieu of chlorine" strategy does not work for a long period of time, but it will get the job done in this specific type of circumstance.
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    I will be gone 6 days and I have an automatic chlorinator installed so it can continue to add while the filter is running.
    Intex 15X48 AGP intex 2500GPH and skimmer kit
    Between Portland Oregon, and Olympia Washington

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Let me guess ... your chlorinator uses tablets. Do you have any idea what your CYA level is? Are you aware that the tablets add stabilizer in addition to the chlorine and while the chlorine in consumed, the stabilizer builds up higher and higher. And as the stabilizer level get higher, the required FC level to prevent algae gets higher ... to a point where eventually the tablets do not add enough FC so your water turns green.

    We see this all the time. Read up in Pool School and in a few hours you will know more than the employees at the pool store.
    pool-school/pool_water_chemistry
    pool-school/types_chlorine_pool

    Any chance that the tablets you are using are "triple acting" or something fancy like that ... meaning they are adding copper (metal/minerals) to your water and have now caused your metal problems?
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by awalters143
    My timer is set to run the filter is 4-8, twice a day. Should I just have it run as scheduled while I'm gone?
    Sorry, can't help myself on this. This is one of my pet hates. Who on earth decided it was a good idea to split the filter cycles?

    Think about your pool as a room. The skimmer box and returns are typically installed in the top third of the room (yes you may have a main drain or a cleaner but you get the idea). Therefore the water in the top third of the room is turned over lots and lots and lots before the next layer is turned over and so on to get the bottom corners to finally get turned over once.

    For my money it makes a lot more sense to run the filter cycle as one continuous go, rather than split into two cycles.

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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Who on earth decided it was a good idea to split the filter cycles?
    I would be one of them. Running on 2 or even three cycles in a 24 hour period gives the filter more opportunity to remove dirt if it has been deposited by swimmers in between the cycles.

    I doubt continuous or split cycles is a deal breaker either way, but I like the idea of the filter having another opportunity to catch debris.
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by JustLooking
    Quote Originally Posted by awalters143
    My timer is set to run the filter is 4-8, twice a day. Should I just have it run as scheduled while I'm gone?
    Sorry, can't help myself on this. This is one of my pet hates. Who on earth decided it was a good idea to split the filter cycles?

    Think about your pool as a room. The skimmer box and returns are typically installed in the top third of the room (yes you may have a main drain or a cleaner but you get the idea). Therefore the water in the top third of the room is turned over lots and lots and lots before the next layer is turned over and so on to get the bottom corners to finally get turned over once.

    For my money it makes a lot more sense to run the filter cycle as one continuous go, rather than split into two cycles.
    For one with a SWG it makes even more sense to run mutiple cycles.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by JustLooking
    Sorry, can't help myself on this. This is one of my pet hates. Who on earth decided it was a good idea to split the filter cycles?

    Think about your pool as a room. The skimmer box and returns are typically installed in the top third of the room (yes you may have a main drain or a cleaner but you get the idea). Therefore the water in the top third of the room is turned over lots and lots and lots before the next layer is turned over and so on to get the bottom corners to finally get turned over once.

    For my money it makes a lot more sense to run the filter cycle as one continuous go, rather than split into two cycles.
    For someone that's been in this industry all their life you don't know much about pools or rooms do you? Just like the room you made the analogy to has aimable registers, most all the pools I've seen, heard about and dealt with, have aimable return eyeballs. So the statement that the air (water in our case) at the top is turned over many times before the next layer is turned over, simply isn't true. You can adjust the eyeballs to create some pretty complex circulation patterns if you try.

    Just for the record, I also run my pump in multiple cycles per day. And I do it for surface cleaning more than anything mainly because full circulation and mixing happens within a few minutes in my pool.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    I will jump on the band wagon and reveal that I too split my run times. Mainly so the SWG runs some at night, building up the FC bank before the sun starts basking it down.
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Gee that sparked a response didn't it.

    I dont see the purpose in personalising comments. Perhaps there is a reason i say what I say, as I said have been doing this a very long time.

    The chlorination argument for salt water chlorinators is okay but really not relevant. Correctly sized the chlorinator should produce x mg/l over a run cycle of y. As long as the pool is also run when used the split cycle is simply reducing the chlorine produced over time and splitting in two rather than producing in one lump. A little like adding a cup of chlorine in the morning and a cup at night.

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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    So do you run your house hvac system all at one time and then turn it off for the rest of the time? To use the room analogy. I split my pool run times to try and catch the junk before it sinks to the bottom.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    I run my SWG 4 times a day. This is so that my low chlorine point never gets as low as it would it I ran it all in the evening.
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    Re: BEYOND frustrated, ugly water and need help (long)

    Quote Originally Posted by JustLooking
    Gee that sparked a response didn't it.

    I dont see the purpose in personalising comments. Perhaps there is a reason i say what I say, as I said have been doing this a very long time.

    The chlorination argument for salt water chlorinators is okay but really not relevant. Correctly sized the chlorinator should produce x mg/l over a run cycle of y. As long as the pool is also run when used the split cycle is simply reducing the chlorine produced over time and splitting in two rather than producing in one lump. A little like adding a cup of chlorine in the morning and a cup at night.
    He wasn't making it personal and you got a response because we take information, and mis-information seriously here. The layer analogy you put forth simply is just not true. Something like that only adds to the confusion of a new user trying to gain knowledge and information to help themselves.
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