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Thread: Please help me get my pool back!

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    Please help me get my pool back!

    Hi all,

    I bought one of the test kits recommended here (TF-100). Here is the back story: We had an algae problem and treated it with lots of chlorine tablets (supplemented with the addition of granular chlorine--lots of it). I continually vacuumed out what appeared to be dead algae day after day (on waste). Eventually, the water became clear and I resumed using the Polaris for day-to-day cleaning. About this time I found this forum and ordered the TF-100 test kit. Everything seemed fine.

    Kit in hand, I went out to test the water. I did the chlorine test and the color went to blood red rather than some gradation of yellow. I assumed that this reflected the excess chlorine that I put in when fighting the algae so I just let it go. Day after day I tested the chlorine and it eventually seemed to "settle" at a reading that suggested a level above 5.0 on chlorine. I thought that this was OK, but was a little concerned that it stayed so high for so long.

    Fast forward about 10 days. We were leaving on vacation for 4 days. I checked the chlorine again and it remained above 5.0. (PH read 7.2+). I thought that since we were going away it might be prudent to put a few tablets in the chlorinator so my wife put in 4 tablets. After all, the last thing we wanted was to come home to algae.

    Of course, we came home to algae! The bottom of the pool was completely green (including some of the sides). I thought that since it rained while we were gone maybe the chlorine level finally dropped. I took my test kit to the pool determined to make accurate readings. With great care, I came up with the following:

    FC: 8.5
    CC: 0
    PH: 7.2
    TA: 110
    HARD: 130
    CYA: 70
    PH: 7.2

    These are the readings I got when the pool was obviously inundated with algae. Please help me get a clear pool again!!

    Thanks so much!
    36,000 gallons, vinyl liner, Alabama, use TF-100 test kit, manual vacuuming when needed, sand filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Welcome to TFP!

    You got the best kit available, yet in most of the post you seem to indicate using the basic yellow OTO chlorine test and not the FAS-DPD which is the key.

    Your CYA is a little on the high side. Replacing water to lower the CYA would be a good first step which will make the next step, the SLAM process, easier. [slam:2m2uqfsu][/slam:2m2uqfsu]
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    If you can do so with clean, cost effective water, replace 30-40% of the water in to pool with fresh clean water.

    You CYA is making your chlorine very ineffective. You need to keep your FC above 5FC at all times with a CYA of 70 and now that you need to SLAM the algae, you need a shock level of 28FC to start SLAMing and you need to keep it at 28 until you pass the OCLT.

    If you were to replace 40% of the water, you be looking at a shock level of about 16FC.

    As to you comment about the FC test, you should be seeing a very pink solution to start the test and it will turn clear when you get the correct number of drops. See Extended directions
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Thanks so much for your reply. I am not clear on what the FAS-DPD test is, but I will search the forums for it and figure it out. I will also check the link you provided and will post on my progress! I should note that I have a 36,000 gallon inground pool with a vinyl liner. The final thing I would like to mention is that the test strips that we always used to use show that our pool has no chlorine at all. It is interesting to me that the TF-100 shows very high chlorine and the test strip shows none.

    Edit: I see a post has been added while I type this so I will check that out as well.
    36,000 gallons, vinyl liner, Alabama, use TF-100 test kit, manual vacuuming when needed, sand filter

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Do you have the small screw top container R-0870 DPD powder? Here is a shot from the TF website. Mine have white (not yellow labels)

    This is the powder that goes in the "chlorine Only" tube. It should be in your TF-100 kit. You then add drops from the R-0871 until the solution turns clear. See the instructions I linked above.

    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Oh... test strips... throw them away. They lie and are essentially useless for chlorine levels. Some strips work but not chlorine ones.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    I do have the powder and I used in the testing that I mentioned above. I believe that is how I got the chlorine readings. I went through all the tests in the instructions and I was very careful--down to wiping the nozzle on one test after each drop!

    Edit: in reply to the picture posted--that is exactly what I have and what I used in the tests. The results are what I posted in the OP.
    36,000 gallons, vinyl liner, Alabama, use TF-100 test kit, manual vacuuming when needed, sand filter

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Sounds like you are ok for testing. I would think your next step would be to determine of you want to keep your CYA at 70 or lower it before starting the SLAM. The cya you have likely from pucks and floaters. Liquid chlorine or bleach are your friends to kill off algae.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Welcome, I agree with others it looks like you let your FC get below its minimal level for your CYA level, see chart in pool school:
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

    as you can see in the chart with a CYA level of 70 on a manual dosed pool you should never let your FC get below 5 ppm, by adding the trichlor pucks while you were gone, you added even more CYA to your pool, which reduced the FC effectiveness that much more, likely helping things get out of hand. Chances are it was already on the way to this when you tested an TC (total chlorine which is CC+FC) level using the OTO (shades of yellow) chlorine test that read below 5 ppm before you left on your trip. The OTO test is great for determining if you have chlorine in the pool and works for daily testing as long as your CYA level is kept in the 30-40 ppm range, anything above that and you simply don't have enough testing range with the OTO test. As others have said now you have the choice of doing a partial drain then attacking the algae or attempting to do it at your current elevated CYA levels. If you have an in ground pool and high water table you will want to do multiple partial drains to avoid risk of floating your pool, if a vinyl liner pool you always want to keep at least a foot of water over the bottom to keep wrinkles from forming.

    Ike
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  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Thanks everyone! I think I am going to backwash the water down below the skimmers and then fill it up to the top with tap water. I am assuming that will lower the CYA some but maybe not much. From what I gather from reading here, it will take a while for any change in CYA to be detected, so I am going to assume that it will lower it to around 60? Then I'll start the slamming process described in the link above. I seem to remember reading here that it is best to look for bleach that is a 6% solution, is that correct?
    36,000 gallons, vinyl liner, Alabama, use TF-100 test kit, manual vacuuming when needed, sand filter

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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    It takes about a week for the CYA to show up on a test. Assume it is at whatever level you aimed for. It doesn't matter what percentage the bleach is, as long as a percentage is listed. You can use this calculator to see what gets you the best deal.
    John
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Bleach is now sold in 8.25% concentration instead of 6%, and the jug sizes have changed as well. A regular jug holds 64 ounces and a large jug holds 121. If you use the Pool calculator
    keep in mind the number of jugs will be incorrect. Just look at how many ounces are needed and do the math to determine how many jugs are needed.



    Just as an FYI, the test strips where showing 0 FC due to bleaching out.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    I thought the strips were showing zero because they are wrong...LOL
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    Do you have the small screw top container R-0870 DPD powder? Here is a shot from the TF website. Mine have white (not yellow labels)

    This is the powder that goes in the "chlorine Only" tube. It should be in your TF-100 kit. You then add drops from the R-0871 until the solution turns clear. See the instructions I linked above.

    Regarding that "chlorine only" tube.....

    I have never used it. I use the tube that came with my speedstir for all the tests. Am I doing it wrong? should I be using the "chlorine only" tube?
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    As long as the tube you are using has the volume marked as needed for the test you should be fine. Just be sure you rinse it out well after use.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    The K-2006 does not even come with a different tube. The reason for the separate tube is that the FAS-DPD can leave a residue and stain in the tube ... so I always use that tube for the FAS-DPD and the other tube for the rest of the tests.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    I have drained much more water than I originally planned. I got a nice pump and took the water level down significantly below the skimmer. I know this still isn't enough, but like I said, I am willing to do this with a higher CYA. I am now going to operate under the assumption that it is about 55. Do I pour the bleach in the pool all around the sides, right in front of the skimmer, or is there a better way to apply all of this bleach? Thanks for your help!
    36,000 gallons, vinyl liner, Alabama, use TF-100 test kit, manual vacuuming when needed, sand filter

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    Quote Originally Posted by daskiker
    I have drained much more water than I originally planned. I got a nice pump and took the water level down significantly below the skimmer. I know this still isn't enough, but like I said, I am willing to do this with a higher CYA. I am now going to operate under the assumption that it is about 55. Do I pour the bleach in the pool all around the sides, right in front of the skimmer, or is there a better way to apply all of this bleach? Thanks for your help!
    In front of the returns, so it gets dispersed and spreads out quickly. Brushing also mixes it up good, as it scrapes the slimy protective payer off the algae.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    It's been 6 days and I still have no oasis. Now, I am still learning here, so I probably have made a few mistakes but I want to lay it all out so that if any of you are so inclined you might help me. You have read my starting values in my earlier post. Those values, are as "correct" as I can possibly get them because I was extremely careful in taking them.

    I began in earnest the day after I posted that I had drained the pool and estimated my CYA was around 55. I consulted the calculator and though I can't remember the actual amount of ounces of chlorine I was to add, I bought and added the amount of bleach that was necessary to shock the pool for mustard algae. Granted, I did this by adding all but 3 gallons of said bleach on day 1 and then the rest on day 2. I then let the pool sit for a day with the pump running.

    On day 3, I felt like there was noticeable progress, so I let the pool continue going without additional treatment. (I brushed the pool each day FYI).

    On day 4, I thought that I should check the chlorine level and I got a reading of 34 FC. I also decided to check the CYA and this time I got a reading of 80. I shrugged this off because the instructions said that this test was something you had to get a "feel" for. Nonetheless, since the reading was high and I didn't want to waste my previous efforts, I dumped another 3 jugs of 96 oz. of chlorine in to be on the safe side.

    On day 5, I did not test the pool but added two more 96 oz. of chlorine jugs to the pool. (At this point, I am thinking that adding more chlorine is better than having too little and didn't want to waste all of the solution from my test kit to get an accurate reading on such high FC levels).

    On day 6 (today), it rained hard for much of the day. When the rain stopped, I went and looked at the pool water. It still looks cloudy, though I can see some debris items at the bottom of the pool that were not visible when this battle began. The water also has a definite, pungent, smell of chlorine. I poured 4 more jugs of chlorine in the water. I want this algae gone!

    The frustrating thing is that I have been brushing the pool each day and as I type this there is still a layer of algae on the bottom of the deep end....and to me it looks like "new growth" because I just brushed the deep end yesterday.

    Should I just be patient or am I making a rookie mistake? Thanks in advance.
    36,000 gallons, vinyl liner, Alabama, use TF-100 test kit, manual vacuuming when needed, sand filter

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Please help me get my pool back!

    We do not recommend what your are doing. Why even have a test kit if you are not going to use it? You should test and use the calculator every time. And that should be every few hours, not days. As of now you have no record of your FC consumption or a CC history, so no idea if you are making progress. Plus if you are shoot too high on the FC, you could be causing damage.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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