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Thread: Help with first SLAM

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    Help with first SLAM

    I need some help with my first real SLAM. This is my first full season as a pool owner and so far it has been a huge frustration and struggle. Finding this site has been the first encouraging step thus far so a big thank you to those that keep this site running! The pool started turning cloudy and then green a few weeks ago. I found this site last week and made an attempt at a SLAM without a good test kit by using the results of tests at 2 local pool stores. I added bleach 3 times the first day and once more the next, but I'm not sure I added enough any time and the first day I waited a couple hours between each shock. That was last weekend and since I have let the pool sit out of frustration and also because I knew I needed a good test kit or I was probably going to waste more money.

    So now my pool is a light to somewhat dark, cloudy blue; improvement, but I still can't see the bottom of the deep end, only half way probably and I know there is still a problem. I vacuumed early this week and removed a decent dirt/algae film off the bottom, although I couldn't see what I was removing in the deep end.

    My TF-100 came today and I completed my first round of tests with a plan to SLAM starting Friday afternoon. Here are my results:
    FC, CC = 0
    PH = 7.0
    TA = 110
    CH = 430
    CYA = 50

    So I know that I need to raise my PH first and will do that with Borax tomorrow or Friday before I SLAM. Using the Chlorine/CYA chart my shock FC should be 20. Does the presence of algae and cloudy water skew the CYA results? I didn't try running the water through a coffee filter first so I'm wondering if maybe my CYA may actually be less than 50. Any concerns with the CH being a bit high?

    I'll be making a clorox or liquid chlorine run tomorrow to pick up supplies. Any suggestions or comments on my results and how best to proceed are greatly appreciated. I'll provide updates this weekend as the SLAM progresses.
    Dan

    20'x40', 32k gallon IG pool, Plaster, Purex Triton DE filter
    TF-100 test kit
    SE Pennsylvania, Built ~ 2001 (by previous owner)

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Actually, you are in better shape than you think.

    You can leave your pH alone and SLAM at that level then tweak it after the SLAM....for several reasons, that's what I would suggest.

    Your water will not skew the CYA test. SLAM using 50 as the value....so your SLAM FC will be 20.

    No worries with your CH, either. Just like your pH is just a bit low, your CH is a bit high but it will have no affect on the process. Do keep an eye on it the remainder of the season, though.

    Get a bunch of chlorine/Clorox and you are all set. Follow the SLAM article carefully but, from your post, it looks like you already have.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Do you mind telling why I shouldn't raise the PH first? I'm just curious, since the extended post on cleaning up algae specifically talks about making sure the PH is at the right level prior to the SLAM.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    20'x40', 32k gallon IG pool, Plaster, Purex Triton DE filter
    TF-100 test kit
    SE Pennsylvania, Built ~ 2001 (by previous owner)

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    1. The chlorine is just ever so slightly more effective at low pH....not much, though

    2. It adds one more step to your process and usually newbies do better with the least amount of steps.

    3. pH of 7.0 is low but acceptable.

    4. Most pools tend to rise in pH naturally so it may be a bit higher anyway when your SLAM is finished.

    All these are very nuanced reasons...."splittin' fine hairs" as we say in the South. I am a big fan of not getting overly complicated, so will always try to save a parameter adjustment when advising newbies.

    It is just fine to elevate your pH if you feel the need.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Great! Thans for the information. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can. I'm all for simplifying the process so I'll skip raising the PH until after if it is still necessary.

    I'll be raiding local stores tonight for clorox. The pool calculator is showing 965oz for 8.25% which comes out to about 8 - 121oz containers. I know I can go back out and get more, but I'm thinking I want at least 16 available for the first two rounds. I've read to have 4 times the initial shock amount, which would mean 32 containers. Any thoughts on what would be a good initial purchase?
    Dan

    20'x40', 32k gallon IG pool, Plaster, Purex Triton DE filter
    TF-100 test kit
    SE Pennsylvania, Built ~ 2001 (by previous owner)

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Welcome!

    It might behoove you to look around at the hardware stores. This time of year, the pool supplies are stocked in a big way and sometimes the 10 or 12.5% stuff works out cheaper than the 8.25% chlorox. You'll get fewer strange looks if you buy mass quantities of pool chlorine instead of bleach, too. And places like Lowes have flatcarts that you can stack the stuff on rather than a plain shopping cart.

    The low pH will probably correct itself by the time you're through. All the agitation from the pump running so long as well as the 110 TA should fix it.

    We like pictures, by the way.
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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    So I went through my first afternoon/evening of SLAMing. I wanted to post my progress and see if anyone has any thoughts.

    Based on my test yesterday with no FC or CC I started at 3:00 this afternoon with a FC shock of 20 and used 5 gal of 12.5%.

    3:45 Test: FC = 1.5, CC = 2; added another 5 gal of 12.5%
    4:30 Test: FC = 13.5, CC = 1; added 3 - 121 oz of 8.25%
    5:30 Test: FC = 13.5, CC = 1; added 3 - 121 oz of 8.25%
    6:30 Test: FC = 14.5, CC = 1; added 2.5 - 121 oz of 8.25%
    8:15 Test: FC = 14.0, CC = 1; added 3 - 121 oz of 8.25%

    I brushed the pool before I started and then once more in the middle of the process. The pool is now a more murky blue color and looks better, but I still can't see the bottom of the deep end. It seems like the chlorine is still fighting something and I'm not counting on the OCTL to provide positive results. I guess I'll just start fresh tomorrow morning. I have not backwashed the DE filter - is that something I should do before I start up again tomorrow? Any other thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    20'x40', 32k gallon IG pool, Plaster, Purex Triton DE filter
    TF-100 test kit
    SE Pennsylvania, Built ~ 2001 (by previous owner)

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    You should backwash when the pressure rises 25% above clean pressure. Do you have a light? There have been a lot of reports of gunk living back there.
    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: Help with first SLAM

    Pressure has been consistent since I started. Pool water looks similar this morning except for a noticeable film on the bottom that I am going to vacuum out. Measured chlorine at 7:15 this morning: FC = 8.5, CC = 1.0 so I added another 4.5 - 121oz 8.25%. I was hoping to see quicker results, but I guess I just need to keep up the SLAM. Running out this morning for more chlorine.
    Dan

    20'x40', 32k gallon IG pool, Plaster, Purex Triton DE filter
    TF-100 test kit
    SE Pennsylvania, Built ~ 2001 (by previous owner)

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    The longer you can maintain shock level the quicker this will go. By that I mean days to a week rather than weeks.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    I just finished my first SLAM. I went from pea soup green to crystal clear in 10 days. Just stay consistent and keep the faith just like you have been.
    Date of Build: Dec, 2009 near Atlanta; 17000 gal; IG vinyl; SWG w/ sand filter; Hayward Super Pump 3/4HP

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    You are not quite adding enough chlorine to raise it up to 20 ppm. You want to stay at or slightly above 20 as long as possible. The chlorine is being consumed quickly at first due to all the algae. As the chlorine kills the algae it will take less to maintain the 20 ppm level. By not keep it at shock level, the process will take longer.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Update on my SLAM:

    I treated it consistently every 1-2 hours Saturday & Sunday. Brushed both days and vacuumed on Saturday. I checked this morning and the water is definitely looking as good as it has in a few weeks. Still not clear, but closer. The CC was 0.5 or less all yesterday. The OCLT lost a bit more than 1ppm this morning, but it was close. I won't be able to test as frequently today, but will go home to check over lunch and then again in the evening. So I'm passing 1 of the 3 tests and the other 2 appear close. I'm hoping maybe tomorrow will bring success, but if not I can at least tell it is working and I'm close.

    After all this work and time spent it boggles my mind the way the pool stores just throw out their recommendations, i.e. buy 2 L of algaecide or 6 pounds of shock and you'll be good! I wish I found this site at the beginning of the season and I could have saved a lot of time, money & stress.
    Dan

    20'x40', 32k gallon IG pool, Plaster, Purex Triton DE filter
    TF-100 test kit
    SE Pennsylvania, Built ~ 2001 (by previous owner)

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Quote Originally Posted by D&Jplus7
    After all this work and time spent it boggles my mind the way the pool stores just throw out their recommendations, i.e. buy 2 L of algaecide or 6 pounds of shock and you'll be good! I wish I found this site at the beginning of the season and I could have saved a lot of time, money & stress.
    It is amazing, isn't it? BTW, that quote pretty much solidifies the fact that you're a true BBB'er.
    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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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Dan I understand your pain! I also went the same route with the pool stores before finding this site. My SLAM is now on day 5 and each day the water is getting clearer. Still a bit cloudy this morning. Keep up the good work!!!
    6423 AG Intex 18 x 48 Intex 2100 GPH Sand Filter Pool Pump TF100 test kit

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    I am working on this same very same thing. Just bough t a home with a pool. Looks like the pool hasn't been open in a year and a half (Mesh cover). Paid $150 for someone to open.... I don't have a good FAS-DPD test kit (on order) and I tried the SLAM process with little luck. However, reading this I see that I am not using enough chlorine and gave up to quickly. And I have not maintained due to inadequate test kit and my pump kept losing prime.

    Anyways, this thread has renewed my drive and my pump is working now. So, as soon as I receive my test kit I will SLAM with renewed intensity!

    Also, my initial run-ins with the 'pool store' has led me to believe that they pray on ignorance to buy their products and use their service. Eg. the first thing I was told is that I need new sand in my filter. The next was to buy their $200 bucket of shock, and when I stated I was using bleach I was told to at least buy their liquid chlorine as it's 20% and household bleach is 3%. I later found out their liquid chlorine is 12.5% and my household bleach is 8.25%, not that it matters, nor did I take the time to explain it to them... They also did not know what a FAS-DPD test kit was...
    20K gal, IG vinyl, intelliFlo variable speed pump, SD60 sand filter

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Update:

    Getting a little frustrated, but trying to be patient. CC has been at 0.5 or less for over two days now. I didn't notice much of a difference in the appearance of the water this morning, but it could just be minor. I still haven't passed the OCLT: it decreased by 3ppm overnight. I'm at work and my wife is busy this week so the best I can do is test/treat in the morning, over lunch and then 1-2 times in the evening. Maybe that is the reason for the delay in seeing this to a conclusion. It just seems close, yet I can't get clear water or pass the OCLT so it is definitely frustrating. Will keep it up today and as long as needed.
    Dan

    20'x40', 32k gallon IG pool, Plaster, Purex Triton DE filter
    TF-100 test kit
    SE Pennsylvania, Built ~ 2001 (by previous owner)

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Dan hang in there. I didn't see clear water for 5 days. Failed the OCLT this morning. FC dropped by 3 like yours did. Keep the faith. I sometimes feel as frustrated as you, but I am sticking to the program!
    6423 AG Intex 18 x 48 Intex 2100 GPH Sand Filter Pool Pump TF100 test kit

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    Re: Help with first SLAM

    Quote Originally Posted by D&Jplus7
    Update:

    Getting a little frustrated, but trying to be patient. CC has been at 0.5 or less for over two days now. I didn't notice much of a difference in the appearance of the water this morning, but it could just be minor. I still haven't passed the OCLT: it decreased by 3ppm overnight. I'm at work and my wife is busy this week so the best I can do is test/treat in the morning, over lunch and then 1-2 times in the evening. Maybe that is the reason for the delay in seeing this to a conclusion. It just seems close, yet I can't get clear water or pass the OCLT so it is definitely frustrating. Will keep it up today and as long as needed.
    It didn't turn into a swamp overnight, and it always takes longer to clean a mess than make one. think-i-may-have-found-my-fc-demand-issue-t65957.html
    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: Help with first SLAM

    Went home at lunch today and could see the bottom of the deep end for the first time in weeks! However, I noticed film and what I'm assuming is some clumps of algae on the floor so I did a quick brush job to stir that up and then I couldn't see the bottom anymore. FC dropped about 5ppm in the 6 hours since I checked it this morning.

    I'm trying to understand the chemistry behind FC & CC. If I'm consistently reading CC of 0.5 or less, what is causing my FC to drop at night? CC above 0.5 indicates the FC is breaking down something, correct? So if I'm getting low readings the FC shouldn't be used up. Maybe that is not the correct interpretation. I'm just curious how it all works together.

    I do have two lights so if the water clears up and my CC results stay good, but I still can't pass the OCLT then maybe I need to look more closely at them.
    Dan

    20'x40', 32k gallon IG pool, Plaster, Purex Triton DE filter
    TF-100 test kit
    SE Pennsylvania, Built ~ 2001 (by previous owner)

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