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Thread: First experience with possible algae

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    First experience with possible algae

    I am a new member to this forum and new pool owner. I have been visiting a local pool store and things were not too bad the first time, but after good rain\storm this past weekend; my pool has not come clean.

    Test results on Saturday were:

    CYA: 30
    TC: 0.1
    FC: 0
    pH: 8.2
    TA: 92
    Total Adj.A: 92
    Total Hardness: 246
    Salt: 2800
    Borates: Not Tested

    I used 4lbs of PH-, 6lbs of stabilizer and 3 bags of burnout 3. I kept seeing (what I thought was) brown dirt on the pool floor after vacuuming 3 times and sweeping twice, so I went up there again today. I believe what led to this is I had my SWG set too low (35%) and I have since bumped it up to 80% (currently super chlorinating). Since I still had aqua colored water and the brown spots kept settling on the floor, I went back up there. I ruled out sand as it quickly disappears when disturbed. I also backwashed again in hopes of getting rid of some of the algae.

    So I went up there again today and here are my results.

    Today (7-31)
    CYA: 45
    TC: 6.5
    FC: 6.5
    pH: 7.9
    TA: 83
    Total Adj.A: 69
    Total Hardness: 275
    Salt: 2900
    Borates: Not Tested

    I was told it was likely dead algae that needed to be filtered around. They also sent me home with 25lbs of Alkalinity Plus, more stabilizer and told to add more PH-. So after an expensive few days, I wanted to learn how to do this myself and get a "second opinion".

    Based on what I have stated, am I being told the correct things to do at this point?

    Thanks in advance.
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: First experience with possible algae

    Pool store testing is highly suspect. Remember, they are not there to help you clean your pool, they have no interest in that. If your pool was in great shape, how could they sell you expensive chemicals?

    First step for you should be getting the appropriate test kit. http://tftestkits.net/

    Check the bottles/bags of the chemicals they sold you.

    pH up is likely to be the chemical name for borax, TA increaser is most probably arm & hammer baking soda.

    Best chlorinator for your pool, and you will need lots of it, will be plain old household bleach.

    You will need to start reading Pool School, link in upper right of the page. Pay particular attention to the sections on Algae and SLAMing your pool.
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First experience with possible algae

    Welcome to tfp, SilverJK

    Charlie_R gives you good advice!
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R
    pH up is likely to be the chemical name for borax
    Just one correction though, "ph up" products are typically soda ash/washing soda.

    You do not need the TA increaser (it is the same as baking soda) since your TA is about perfect for a swg. See this pool school article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ater_generator Pay particular attention to the cya range (70-80) this is important for your swg to operate efficiently. Do not add any more stabilizer yet though, since it does sound like you are fighting algae. As Charlie mentioned, using bleach/liquid chlorine to kill it is the best way to go. It saves on your swg cell life and the swg really cant provide the amount of chlorine you are going to need to use as fast as you need it. See this pool school article on the SLAM process: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...king_your_pool You will need a appropriate test kit to do the process effectively. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: First experience with possible algae

    okay, so I'm a little confused by SLAM. It says to use bleach to reach shock levels; how do I measure the amount of bleach to use based on my FC level? Also, I have to get my pH and CYA levels correct to even start that, right?

    The pool store's sheet says my TA should be 80-125 and mine is at 69, that's not correct?

    Since my pH was high, I added PH minus to lower it. I currently have a test kit from Home Depot and I find it difficult to read. The colors I get are usually not what I have to choose from.

    As of tonight, I have already added the TA increaser and some pH minus; however I'm stuck on how to measure liquid chorine\bleach to fight the algae. For what it's worth, the algae is not as bad as it was a few days ago.
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: First experience with possible algae

    I bought a 2 cup measuring cup just for my pool. It has has oz. printed on it. I keep it with my bleach.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: First experience with possible algae

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverJK
    okay, so I'm a little confused by SLAM. It says to use bleach to reach shock levels; how do I measure the amount of bleach to use based on my FC level? Also, I have to get my pH and CYA levels correct to even start that, right?

    The pool store's sheet says my TA should be 80-125 and mine is at 69, that's not correct?Pool store's numbers are designed to sell you on the need for their products.

    Since my pH was high, I added PH minus to lower it. I currently have a test kit from Home Depot and I find it difficult to read. The colors I get are usually not what I have to choose from.Now you know why we advocate for a drops based test, where you are not trying to compare colors. http://tftestkits.net/

    As of tonight, I have already added the TA increaser and some pH minus; however I'm stuck on how to measure liquid chorine\bleach to fight the algae. For what it's worth, the algae is not as bad as it was a few days ago.
    Most of us use Muriatic acid to bring our pH down. TA and pH are interconnected, so if you adjust pH, your TA will drop. Use Borax or soda ash to bring the TA back up.

    I'll say it again, read pool school. There is http://www.poolcalculator.com/ to help you in how much bleach to add.

    The very best thing you can do at this time is to BUY A GOOD TEST KIT. I cannot stress this enough. Without good accurate numbers you will be forever shooting in the dark at a target that you cannot see. Pool stores cannot supply these numbers. Once you purchase one of the recommended test kits and start to use it, all else will fall in place quickly. I guarantee it.
    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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    Join Date
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    Re: First experience with possible algae

    Most of us use Muriatic acid to bring our pH down. TA and pH are interconnected, so if you adjust pH, your TA will drop. Use Borax or soda ash to bring the TA back up.
    Not exactly. Soda ash is used to raise both pH and TA, Borsx is used to raise pH without much effect on TA. Baking soda is what is used to raise TA, which has no effect on pH.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Re: First experience with possible algae

    okay, so I'm going to start with a test kit. I'm a little concerned about the test kit as I have difficulty with the one from the home improvement stores that uses the drops. I think I know what my levels are but I'm told differently at the pool store. Any of the recommended ones here will satisfy my needs?

    Until that comes in (likely a few days) I do not have much choice but to follow the pool stores recommendation. I've been running my Aqua Rite (T-15) on supercholrinate constantly for almost 3 days now. It is getting a little bit better, but I'm considering adding something to assist it until I can get my chemicals correct.

    Considering I'm doing this blindly, anything else I can do? Another shock treatment? Also, is there a preferred place to get the chemicals that we are recommending (muratic acid, borax, soda ash); I do not know what those things are? I will catch up on the pool school and figure out what I need to be doing.

    Thanks everyone
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

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    Join Date
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    Re: First experience with possible algae

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverJK
    okay, so I'm going to start with a test kit. I'm a little concerned about the test kit as I have difficulty with the one from the home improvement stores that uses the drops. I think I know what my levels are but I'm told differently at the pool store. Any of the recommended ones here will satisfy my needs?

    Until that comes in (likely a few days) I do not have much choice but to follow the pool stores recommendation. I've been running my Aqua Rite (T-15) on supercholrinate constantly for almost 3 days now. It is getting a little bit better, but I'm considering adding something to assist it until I can get my chemicals correct.

    Considering I'm doing this blindly, anything else I can do? Another shock treatment? Also, is there a preferred place to get the chemicals that we are recommending (muratic acid, borax, soda ash); I do not know what those things are? I will catch up on the pool school and figure out what I need to be doing.

    Thanks everyone
    The better test kits are easier to use. The chlorine test for instance has you add a powder to the water. If chlorine is present the water turns red. Add drops until the water turns clear. Multiply the number of drops by .5 and the answer is the level of free chlorine. At no time are you comparing colors. I did simplify this a little but the directions are easy to follow and there are videos you can watch as well.

    The pool calculator is a god send. Play with it. Read the relationship between free chlorine and CYA in pool school. Plug the starting numbers and target values into the pool calculator and it will tell you how much to add to reach a target value. Play with it a little, it is easier than it looks.

    Pool store chlorine numbers are usually suspect but right now that's all you have. The pool calculator will help remove some of the in the dark feeling until you get a better test kit.

    It's a really good feeing the first time you test, add what the pool calculator said and retest and all your numbers match.
    16,500 gallon, 18" x 38" Grecian; IG Vinyl, Hayward DE

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