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Thread: Help! 5 kids dying to swim but pool is a swamp!

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    Help! 5 kids dying to swim but pool is a swamp!

    Went to the pool store last Thursday with a water sample and got following numbers:

    CYA 116
    TC 1
    FC .5
    pH 7.2
    Adj. Total Alk 82
    tot. hardness 296

    At their suggestion, I added 12 lbs. of "Balance Pack" to raise alkalinity (which I understand now was very expensive baking soda?) They also suggested adding 2 bags of "burn out," which I did. I then called yesterday and told them it was still like pea soup and they said add 4 bags of shock, so I did (bag says it is sodium trichlor-somthing-or-other) and then added 2 or 3 more for good measure. Today, I bought and put in half a gallon of algecide, which was more wasted money I suspect. I am in the process of ordering a "real" test kit, but the cheap-o one I have should be dark yellow for heavy chlorination and it has been showing orange, which I assume is very heavy clorination, since I added all of that shock yesterday.

    I don't think there is anything on the bottom of the pool leaf-wise as I have been running the vacuum a lot, but the pool is really like pea soup. You can barely see the second step of the ladder. I thought that my adding a ton of shock would have made a difference since yesterday, but I really see no difference at all!! Please help - 5 whiny kids here that want to swim!

    Thanks,

    Erin
    27' AG round pool; vinyl liner; 1 HP pump; 40 GPM Tagleus sand filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The very first thing you need to do is to lower your CYA level. High CYA levels cause all kinds of problems, including the one you are having right now. You need to get your CYA level under 100, and preferably under 80. The only practical way to lower CYA levels is by replacing water.

    Once you have done that, read through my cleaning up your green swamp article and follow the advice there. And remember that there is no substitute for getting a top quality test kit, there is no better investment in your pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    With that much CYA, the algae will have a feast, and it will be nearly impossible to achieve enough chlorine to shock the algae dead. Try to cut your CYA levels in half. Are you using trichlor or other stabilized chlorine to get the CYA so high?

    Don't waste money on algaecide. Polyquats can be helpful at preventing algae growths, but in the end, it's the chlorine that will really kill it. You need to shock hard and maintain it for a long time. See chem_geek's post (I think in the chem 101 section... about CYA and Cl... it's stickied in one of the forums) to see how much chlorine you'd need to shock at that level of CYA. It would be enormous. Like truckloads of bleach enormous...

    Don't listen to the pool store people who tell you that algaecide is more important than chlorine in killing algae though. It's not.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    And after you do your drain/refill to get your CYA down, use un~sented bleach from the laundry isle at your local grocery store.

    You can get it clean and clear but you have to drop the CYA first!

    You'll soon be the queen of your sparkling pool if you listen to the great advice given from the members here!

    Good Luck! We're here if you need us!
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Ditto to what Jason and Matt said.

    Also, in Jason's signature, read the links "the Pool Calculator" and "The Stickies" which will tell you tons of info - you'll be glad you did.

    No more bags of shock. Lower your pool water below your skimmer, and then add new water. You may have to do that twice. After it has circulated, have them test for CYA again. Don't buy anything else from them....unless it's a good test kit.

    Post a complete set of test numbers after you have drained off some of that water. You won't make any progress till you do, or it will take you 100 gallons of bleach to do it, and you don't want to do that...do you?

    POP - Pool Owner Patience....you'll be fine, you CAN do it, and we will help you. No worries!

    As for the kiddies, they'll have to wait, they can play in the hose? Water balloon fight....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    OK - thanks for all the info. Can I ask how my CYA got too high? Also, on the pool store's test results sheet, it says that "ideal" CYA level is between 30-200, so why is my 116 a problem? Just curious. NIce to get the opinions of people who aren't trying to sell me anything. )
    27' AG round pool; vinyl liner; 1 HP pump; 40 GPM Tagleus sand filter

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Help! 5 kids dying to swim but pool is a swamp!

    Quote Originally Posted by queenofmyswamp
    You can barely see the second step of the ladder.
    Erin,

    I know the kids are hot and wanna swim but this statement above is the very reason why you should never let them, or anyone for that matter swim in a very green or cloudy pool. You'd never find them if one would go under and need help!
    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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    Casey's Avatar
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    Normal CYA is between 30-50 and I believe I read SWG like 70 or so. I'd assume that they would like 30-200 because it would keep customers lining their pockets on dope for their pools in high quantities.

    The higher the CYA, the more Dope you need... er chlorine you need.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Yeah, I once had a pool store employee tell me "not to worry about that" when I asked about CYA....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    But what did I do or add to cause the CYA level to be too high? I want to avoid doing it again.

    As an attorney, I use lots of "CYA letters" - maybe that had something to do with it? ) Seriously though, what causes it to go up?

    Thanks,
    Erin
    27' AG round pool; vinyl liner; 1 HP pump; 40 GPM Tagleus sand filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    CYA is also called "stabilizer" so you may have added it seperately because the pool store instructed you to. It is also in di-chlor or tri-chlor forms of chlorine. So if you were using di-chlor granules in a bag of "shock" or tri-chlor pucks in a floater, you are adding CYA. It's also easy to overestimate how much CYA you "need" and put too much in.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    The "Burn Out" is a granular shock, probably di-chlor? Were you using other granular shock too?

    You probably had a good amount of CYA in there from last year and over time it just got too high.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Well if "stabalizer" is also CYA, there is a good part of the answer. About a week and a half ago, they sold me a big container (6 lbs, maybe) of stabilizer, and I have added many bags of shock. Let's not discuss how much money I spent on that trip to the pool store for chemicals, that were all added in one day. Ugh.
    27' AG round pool; vinyl liner; 1 HP pump; 40 GPM Tagleus sand filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    CYA can also take up to a week to fully dissolve and show up in testing. So if you put in a bunch one day, then took your water for testing and they said "add more xyz" that has CYA in it, before it was completely dissolved and registered on the test.....voila - it's already too high.

    Frustrating, isn't it?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Hi Erin,

    Quote Originally Posted by queenofmyswamp
    As an attorney, I use lots of "CYA letters" -
    ...too funny!

    When you have time, please list all your pool and equipment info in your signature.

    The best investment we made in our pool was a good test kit. I recommend the TF Test kit sold by duraleigh, one of our members. (link in my sig) He is also here giving A-1 customer service.

    Welcome to the forum
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Moved from another thread to keep everything together. JasonLion

    Quote Originally Posted by queenofmyswamp
    OK - wrote post last night about algae infested pool (titled Help - 5 kids...). Y'all said my CYA was too high so I did partial drain and refill today and borrowed a fancy test kit from a friend and here is where I am:

    Total C - higher than Taylor test goes - dark pink
    Avail C - exact same as TC - Is this a bad thing??

    CYA is down to 80 - is this okay now?? What should my "target" be?

    Any help for where to go from here is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much,

    Erin


    Ok - just used the dilution directions to test chlorine and my TC and FC are at a 10 - no difference, but I still don't know if that is good or bad...
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Your test results indicate that you have FC >10 and CC near 0. That is a good thing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by queenofmyswamp
    OK - thanks for all the info. Can I ask how my CYA got too high? Also, on the pool store's test results sheet, it says that "ideal" CYA level is between 30-200, so why is my 116 a problem? Just curious. NIce to get the opinions of people who aren't trying to sell me anything. )
    I work in a pool store and I can answer that. It's simple ecomonics. They want to continue selling your tricdhlor tabs and then algaecides and clarifiers once the pool is overstabilzied. The "CYA 30-200 is Chemtura's corporate stance. They are the largest manufacturer of trichlor and have several well known brand names that they own such as Bioguard, Sun, Omni, Guardex, AquaChem (Walmart) and Pooltime(Home Depot). I am willing to bet that your poolstore is a Bioguard Dealer (or one of Chemtura's other lines) and is using strips for water testing? Am I right?

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Waterbear can probably verify this, but I've noticed that when I get my water tested at the local pool store, it says "Bioguard" on the top with a logo. I've heard that Bioguard actually manufactures the testing machines and gives them to pool stores so that they will sell more chemicals. The software always spits out a need to purchase 20 useless things. Last time I brought my water in (water tested perfect btw), it told me to add more cya, add defoamer, add a metal remover, add a clarifier, and a few more things I don't remember.

    The owner of the store highlighted a few that she said mattered and told me to ignore the rest (which may be unusual).

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Yes, my test results say "BioGuard" at the top. <sigh>

    I just got back from Dollar General with 17 jugs of bleach. Where from here?? Never mentioned the size of my pool I guess. We have a 27-ft. above ground - about 17k gallons.

    Are you all saying that this BBB method with eliminate my need for clarifier? Woo-hoo to that if it's true!! I have spent lots of $$ on that over the last few summers!!!
    27' AG round pool; vinyl liner; 1 HP pump; 40 GPM Tagleus sand filter

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