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Thread: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

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    Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    We just moved into a house that was empty/unkept for 2 years. Pool was black/green. Although we had a pool at our last place, we rented and had a pool service that literally took care of everything. All we did was get any floaters out with a net throughout the week.

    I am reading pool school and we're determined to get this squared away on our own, but we are on a time crunch because the neighbor reported the pool about a week prior to us taking possession of the house. Now the city wants it taken care of immediately, which is quite an undertaking ($500/day fine after the 26th if we don't get it in order).

    So, here's where I am. Please keep in mind - DRAINING THE POOL IS NOT AN OPTION...
    We know there is a lot of debris on the bottom because we've run a skimmer pole along the bottom and brought up a lot of stuff. We aren't even fooling with the chemistry yet because we have to get the debris out before we can run our own pump/filter. Obviously we have to be able to SEE the debris before we can remove it.
    Our plan...
    1. Get the water clear enough to see the bottom and get to the debris.
    2. Sweep it (over a few days - I realize this will be a multi-step effort) to one end and use a trash pump to pull the big stuff out. Once that's done, we will begin using our own equipment to get the rest of it clean and begin working on the chemistry.

    I started the lightening/cleaning process two days ago with 4 bottles of bleach - mainly to kill the plagues of Egypt that were living and breeding in the pool. I have removed hundreds....yes, HUNDREDS of tadpoles and based on the number that continue to float to the top, I can only assume the bottom is covered with decomposing polywogs. The bleach did nothing for the color, by the way, but DID kill the tadpoles.
    Yesterday I put two lbs of shock in it in the morning - this was before I started reading pool school and other pointers and realized that 1. I needed 4 lbs per 10,000 gallons of water and, 2. that I should have done it in the evening. After the sun went in, we put two more lbs into the pool. There is a tremendous difference in the color - although it is still green, it is very light green and overnight the algae started to lift off and float up. The color change took place after the first two lbs and didn't change much overnight after the second shock. This is what concerns me and I want to make sure I am not wasting either time or resources if this isn't the best way to get the water clear enough to see the bottom. Today is Thursday and I was really hoping to be able to pump out the debris on Saturday, but I'm nowhere near being clear enough to see what's down there.

    I realize this is long-winded - as you can guess I'm a little overwhelmed with this, but also stoked to be figuring it out ourselves (pool company asked for $375 and 3 weeks to get it blue - we don't have 3 weeks and are hopeful that we can get it clear enough to pass the city's sniff test without spending $375).

    I'd be thrilled with any advice. Are we on the right track? I was planning to shock it again tonight - should I continue with this process or is there a faster or cheaper or better way? Right now I have a light green pea soup (I will try to post photos). Help!

    [attachment=1:2t119mtw]10162013 - 10 06 am.jpg[/attachment:2t119mtw] This is pre-shock, but post bleach

    [attachment=0:2t119mtw]10172013 11 am.jpg[/attachment:2t119mtw] This is 24 hours later after 4 lbs of shock
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    IG, 9500 gal, salt water, plaster with spa
    Hayward Star Clear Plus Cartridge Filter C1200
    1.5 HP Marathon pump/motor
    Age of pool unknown

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Welcome to TFP!

    You are on the right track, but you aren't being aggressive enough. Check out Defeating Algae
    if you haven't already. The key is to get the chlorine to shock level and keep it there all the time.

    I honestly think you are clear enough to not have to worry about the fine anymore, but you still want to hit it hard.

    Get a pool leaf rake at a pool store to help get the crud out of the bottom of the pool. The more you get out, the more of the chlorine that will go toward clearing the water.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Thank you SO much, John!
    Is there any benefit to using high concentration bleach over the powder shock treatment we're buying? Is it cheaper? When I bleached it, I used grocery store bought generic gallons of bleach. If I'm going to beat the **** out of it with chlorine, I want to do it in the most cost effective manner.

    I hope you're right about the clarity of the pool being enough - although I'm positive we'll have it cleaner by the 26th. The inspector was awfully nit-picky for someone who knows what this place looked like before we moved into it 2 weeks ago (the pool was not the only item on the agenda....we've done an insane amount of landscaping, tree cutting, pool enclosure repair, etc.).

    We thought this was going to be a winter project.....then we got a letter from the city 3 days after moving in. Silly me!
    IG, 9500 gal, salt water, plaster with spa
    Hayward Star Clear Plus Cartridge Filter C1200
    1.5 HP Marathon pump/motor
    Age of pool unknown

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    If it were me, I'd consider talking to your councilperson and showing them the pictures if the inspector gives any grief.

    Which chlorine source you use depends on the water chemistry. Powdered chlorine shock usually contains calcium, which you may need or you may not need. It will also usually cloud the water which you certainly don't need.
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    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Sorry to hear about the nosy neighbor issue. Never a good thing.

    I'll add a +1 on John's recommendation for using a pool leaf rake to drag out the big stuff.

    A couple of suggestions I have are to:
    1. stop using powdered shock, if it is trichlor based, it contains CYA which has a recommended level that if exceeded can really hamper your ability to successfully manage the pool. Stick with straight liquid bleach. Take pictures and save the empty jugs to show the inspector your intent and efforts.
    2. research and order a good test kit, which is going to be the key to success in this battle - check out the comparison in Pool School.
    3. check the volume estimate on your pool, 9500 gals looks a little low by my guess.

    I'm sure several others with more experience than I will be along to provide additional and more thorough input through the afternoon.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Thanks for the input, JTaves! I've got 10 lbs of powder shock out there and I'm going to use it up before moving on to liquid bleach.
    I did the water calculations on an online calculator. Our pool isn't very deep (5ft on one end and 3ft on the other). I came up with roughly 9500 gallons, but I will re-check our measurements and calculate again.
    I was just checking out test kits online. We're definitely not at the "chemistry" stage yet, I gotta get the **** out of it first. Bought a leaf rake online at Home Depot to pick up this afternoon (we try to patronize local businesses, but on pool supplies, they just can't compete with the prices and we're trying not to go broke).
    Thanks again!
    IG, 9500 gal, salt water, plaster with spa
    Hayward Star Clear Plus Cartridge Filter C1200
    1.5 HP Marathon pump/motor
    Age of pool unknown

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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    One more quick question....
    "Sink & Sweep"? Bother with that or no?
    IG, 9500 gal, salt water, plaster with spa
    Hayward Star Clear Plus Cartridge Filter C1200
    1.5 HP Marathon pump/motor
    Age of pool unknown

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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    I will caution you against adding any more of the powdered shock until you understand what it contains and have a good idea what your personal/current test results actually are. Depending on the content of your powdered shock, you very easily could exceed recommended levels of Calcium or stabilizer, resulting in the need to drain quite a bit (read perhaps half the pool or more). Liquid bleach is cheap and you may find a need for the powder later after you learn how to manage the current beast.

    That 10 lbs of 'shock' if it is trichlor based could easily raise your stabilizer/CYA by 70ppm - while lowering your Ph by 6.
    Or it could be a Cal-Hypo product that increases hardness by 47ppm and salt by 67.

    Please take some time to read up in the pool school. In many of the articles you will see reference to managing CYA or stabilizer. In particular you will develop an understanding of CYA or Cyanuric Acid- "Sometimes called stabilizer or conditioner, it helps protect the chlorine from 'burning off' in direct sunlight. Too little and most of your chlorine can be lost in about 30 minutes of direct sun. Too much and it interferes with your chlorine's ability to sanitizer and kill algae. For outdoor pools the recommended range is 30-50 ppm unless you have a salt water chlorine generator, then the recommended range is 70-80 ppm. For indoor pools the recommended target is around 20 ppm."
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Quote Originally Posted by bporter
    Thanks for the input, JTaves! I've got 10 lbs of powder shock out there and I'm going to use it up before moving on to liquid bleach.
    Powdered shock can severely cloud the water, which is the last thing you want.
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Welcome to tfp, bporter

    As mentioned by jtaves85mcss, the first thing you really need to do is get an appropriate test kit. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison Without that you are flying blind. tftestkits.net has fast shipping, so you may be able to get it by the beginning of next week. Next, posting a full set of test numbers will help us help you. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...efore_you_post
    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: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    You really are at the "chemistry" stage. If you want it cleared fast you need to know your CYA levels so you can keep the chlorine at shock levels, filters running, and scooping out junk till it's clear. As linen said, order a test kit, post a set of results, and follow the advice given. Adding the shock might actually be slowing you down and costing you more in the long run.
    Intex Ultra Frame 26'x52"
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Thank you so much for all your advice! I'm really glad I found this site!!!
    IG, 9500 gal, salt water, plaster with spa
    Hayward Star Clear Plus Cartridge Filter C1200
    1.5 HP Marathon pump/motor
    Age of pool unknown

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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    I guess I will jump in on this too. First welcome to the forum. Looks like you are well on your way. Taking care of a pool really is easy with some basic knowledge and you will be able to get that here. The first thing to understand is pool stores are in the business to make money. They will point blank lie to your face to see a product. What you will find on this site is proven science when it comes to pools. If you have water in the pool you will always be in the chemistry stage. Things might over lap, but chemistry is key. The term "shock" is a value mainly based on the CYA level of the pool. Shock is "not" a product that you put in the pool. With that said, your first thing is to get a good test kit. The one you need will have the FAS-DPD test and they are not really sold in pool stores. They will try to sell you a DPD kit and say it's the same. The TF-100 is your best bang for the buck. The other is the K-2006. Both use the same Taylor regents but the TF-100 gives more test you will need. When you get your results, mainly the CYA, you will know your shock level. Then the key is to maintain the shock level until it's clear. You might have to add chlorine every two hours the first day but that's just to get ahead. Most pool store products add unwanted things to your pool. Bleach will add the chlorine and a little salt. My pool looked about like yours after hurricane Ike. I think I used about $80 worth of walmart bleach. The kit is an investment that will save you money down the road.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Glad you found us too. Even though you have it, I would strongly suggest moving to bleach/liquid chlorine and holding off the powder until we know more. It may cause other problems you don't want and bleach will not. It may take a lot, but it will be worth it. Please consider doing that. At least for now. As said, you cannot go wrong with the TF100 kit and there isn't a better value on the market. Welcome to the forum, and do keep us posted.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    It's been 3 days, hows it going ? Pic's ? bad or good TFP will help you so much... They are a wealth of information & support..
    13k - Martinique 15x30 52"
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    It's going really well. We gave it heck this weekend......here's the updated photos.
    As you can see, we also removed some of the trees that were the source of some of the crud getting into our enclosure.
    We're feeling really good about the results so far.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    IG, 9500 gal, salt water, plaster with spa
    Hayward Star Clear Plus Cartridge Filter C1200
    1.5 HP Marathon pump/motor
    Age of pool unknown

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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Lookin' good

    Keep your FC up at SLAM value. Run your pump 'til it's crystal clear. Clean the filter and brush/vacuum.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Good job! We love pictures!
    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: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Yep, good job and you will have this going your way soon. Just keep pounding and don't let that FC fall.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Killing the Loch Ness - am I on the right track?

    Looks Great! You've really made progress this past weekend, and even power washed the concrete! Keep it up!
    "I feel most at home in the water. I disappear. That's where I belong."
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