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Thread: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

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    Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    HI everyone,
    Brand new member here, and first time pool owner this summer.
    We have a 12ft 30" intex metal frame pool with an Intex Saltwater generator.
    I had been running the pump and filter for 2 hours each evening, but missed a couple nights this summer as my pump does not have a timer.

    We have had zero problems until a few days ago I noticed some brown 'sediment' on the bottom of the pool. It seems to be tending towards the areas where there are slight wrinkles. At first I thought - dirt - so I vacuumed it up (with one of those vacuums that connects to a garden hose, using a nylon stocking to catch particles) and the pool looked great, until the next day when it all returned. So next I thought uhoh - algae - so I put my SWG on Boost for about 16 hrs (through about lunchtime yesterday). I will note that there is nothing on the sides of the pool, the water is crystal clear and nothing is slimy.

    I tested the water last night when it got dark (about 9 hours after ending the Boost cycle) and again this morning before the sun was up. This is from a 6 way test strip:
    PM Reading
    TH 0
    FC 10 (that is as high as my strips go... so I'm assuming it could have been higher)
    pH 7.5
    TA 120
    CYA 0 (is this possible?)

    AM Reading
    TH 0
    FC 10 (again, could have been higher)
    pH 7.5
    TA 120
    CYA 0 or 30-50 (hard to tell, but was a little darker than the evening reading)

    Today I tried to scoop some of this stuff out with my skimmer, lined with a t-shirt, but I noticed that as soon as I got close to this stuff it pretty much disintegrated into the water.

    WHAT IS IT??? Any ideas?

    I'm planning to retest the water overnight tonight to see if I am losing any FC overnight, since it was too hard to tell last night.

    Thanks for any help or insight.
    Rachel

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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    Welcome to the forum.

    You are not running your pump nearly enough to keep your pool clean. you should be at LEAST 4 hours daily and probably more like 10 hours to get your pool clear.

    What you describe sounds like dead algae.

    For a pool your size, I would suggest that you start running the pump about 10 hours daily and add 1 pint of Clorox to the pool each evening. Vacuum the pool daily and hopefully the debris will disappear and not return if you will keep adding the Clorox.

    At this point in the season, I would disregard CYA and focus on keeping your pH right where it is and make sure you bring your FC up to about 6-8 ppm each evening.

    At some point, you need to ditch the strips and get a test kit like the Taylor K-1000 that will test much more accurately for pH and chlorine. The strips are worthless.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    Thanks for the advice. To clarify, I should run the pump 10 hours, but is it ok to keep the filter on for just 2 hours a day?

    We do have another test kit HTH 6 way test kit (http://www.amazon.com/Arch-Chemical-919 ... y+test+kit) but I was a little unsure of it, so I will try that today.

    Is there a way to get the dead algae out of the water?

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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    but is it ok to keep the filter on for just 2 hours a day?
    I don't think you can separate them but both should run 10 hours daily until your pool is clean then perhaps as low as four but two hours is not enough.

    If you can't vacuum the dead algae, brush it up into the water and let the pump and filter filter it out.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    Your pump and filter work simultaneously. The filter is a passive unit, so unless you have a valve setting that bypasses the filter, it is in use while the pump is running. Is your saltwater chlorine generator (SWG) a separate unit? Most of them are separate from the pump and filter. You should have it running when the pump is running and check the FC to see if it is putting out enough chlorine after about 4 hours. With no CYA your daily FC target is 1-3 ppm of FC. If your CYA is 30 you should have a target of 2-6 ppm of FC.

    When you vacuum you are removing the dead algae, problem is you still have live algae in the water so until you kill it all you will see it return on a daily basis. How much longer do you plan to use the pool this season? If you have another month or two of swim-able weather you may want to SLAM
    the pool.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    We have
    Intex Krystal Clear Salt System - 15000 gal.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064O ... UTF8&psc=1
    and
    Intex 56637EG 1000-Gallon Filter Pump AC 110 to 120-Volt
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005QI ... UTF8&psc=1

    Am I missing something?

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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    Ahh, ok, now I see that the filter is part of the pump (some reason I thought it was part of the SWG). I guess my question is how many hours/day should the SWG be running. Also 10 (and then 4 after pool is clean)?
    I just went out and cleaned out the filter which I have never done since we set up our pool almost 2 months ago, it was pretty dirty, maybe that will help the water clear up faster.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    You should run the swg as long as it takes to keep the FC at the level it needs to be at for the amount of CYA in your pool. There's no set amount of time. It's based on daily testing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    OK, I have been running the pump/filter 10 hrs a day as advised. Checked the FC last night after dark and this morning and it showed about a 5 both times using the HTH 6 way test kit (not the strips). I ran the SWG for 2 hours today (early morning). Just tested again after a very sunny day, and the FC is 0-0.5. Still have some of that gunk in the pool, but it is very light and just disappears when I get close with the skimmer. Trying to get the pool ok for the weekend, since we are having company.
    Any ideas. Should the FC be dipping so low just from the sun? I guess 2 hrs is not enough for the SWG.
    I'm also planning to throw 1 pint of bleach in tonight and tomorrow night.

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    Re: Algae or Dirt or Pollen?

    If you have no CYA, you will lose something like 50% of your chlorine to the sun in an hour. So for example, if you start at 6, in one hour you will be down to 3, in another hour you will be down to 1.5. So in 6 hours of sun, you will be down to an unmeasurable level of chlorine.
    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
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