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Thread: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

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    New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Hi everyone. I found this site yesterday and have spent the last two days pouring over the information and smacking myself on the side of the head because it all makes such perfect sense. I just wish I had found this before we opened our pool this year.

    My question is...right now I'm dealing with a cloudy greenish pool. I don't have a *good* test kit yet, but am in the process of ordering one. I wish there was somewhere I could just buy one today so I'd have my own numbers. Anyway, I did take a sample of water to the pool store today and attempted to get the readings from them that everyone posts on here. When I specifically asked about my "stabilizer" reading, they said they don't test for that. I sort of explained what I had learned on here....and they gave me this look. So...my question is...is there someway to figure out what my CYA is on my own? I stopped at Sam's and stocked up on bleach, but I'm not really sure how much to put in. When they tested my chlorine, it was low, he said under 1 and my Ph level was ideal. There is another pool center about 1/2 hour from here that I can take my water to tomorrow, but in the meantime....how much bleach do I add to fight this algae? I poured one 96 oz bottle in when I got home about two hours ago, and I just tested my water with my pathetic test kit I do own and it's a bright, bright, yellow. But since it doesn't read over 5.0, I don't know the actual reading. How much and how often should I add bleach?

    Thank you for your help. I'm actually excited to go with this system and see my pool a sparkling blue like all you have managed to do. I just need some help getting there.

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    It is more or less impossible to get a reliable CYA reading from cloudy or murky water. The good test is thrown off by cloudy water, so you are reduced to using test strips (if you can find ones that test CYA), which aren't bothered by cloudy water, but they aren't very good to begin with so get a real level once the water clears up. There is one way to guess at your CYA level without a test, but it requires that you be able to hold a FC level overnight, which is very doubtful at this point.

    Without knowing the CYA level, you could try adding 3 gallons of bleach, wait an hour, test the water, if the test reads below 5 add 3 more gallons of bleach, and repeat that process (wait an hour, test, add bleach if chlorine below 5) as many times as you can. That approach will usually work for CYA levels up to about 70 or 80. If CYA is extremely high it will just be a waste of effort unless you use huge quantities of bleach.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Jason has given you great advice, as usual!

    I just wanted to say welcome to TFP!

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Jason, thank you for the very quick reply. I added 3 gallons and will check before I go to bed and add more if needed as well as tomorrow. I hope I can get this cleared up. My pool got cloudy after I was advised to add a "Ph increaser" because my Ph was so low. I could kick myself now not only for messing up the pool, but for throwing away $15. I know the algae is an issue in and of itself, but the cloudiness just adds to the annoyance. As for the CYA, I've used the tablets of chlorine for about a month now after uncovering our pool for the season. Is there any way to guess how much CYA I've put in there? The water level was about 3/4 full when we opened and was clear, but not crystal clear. I never put stabilizer in my pool last year after we refilled it after adding a new liner. I've only used the tablets. I hope my level isn't too high.

    Thanks for the welcome Mermaid Queen. I feel very fortunate to have found this place and like I said, wish I would've found it sooner.

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    If you know how many tablets you used, and how many oz per tablet for your tablets, you can use the Effects of adding chemicals section of my Pool Calculator, it is near the bottom, to figure out how much CYA you added to the pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    I doubt I could estimate how many I've used. I wouldn't even know where to begin. But I'll give it a look and see. I just tested my pool and of course, the chlorine is off the charts for the test kit I've got. It's a very dark, dark, gold color. So I'm assuming it's still pretty high. I just added another 3 gallons of 6% bleach. I'm going to be gone most of the day, so I guess I'll just add more when I get home. I feel like I'm doing this so blindly, I hate it.

    I'm going to order my test kit today so I'll have it on hand soon. Do they for sure not sell these in any stores so I could get one today?

    Thank you!!

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    TF100 kits are not sold in any stores, but if you order before 2pm, Dave will ship it today!!! Can't beat that!

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Thank you! My head is spinning from searching online for the best price for these and also which one to order. Is this one: https://asp5.secure-shopping.com/spspoo ... 1200&path=

    a good enough one? Will it test my chlorine levels high enough? I think I found this one listed on the board somewhere. I've looked at so many and re-read so many posts about them, that I'm seriously confused about which one to buy. I'm so worried I'm going to order one that won't do what I need it to do. Can you link me to the one you are talking about?

    Thank you so much!

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Nevermind....just saw the link in your siggie!
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    That is a good price for the K-2006. The TF-100 from TF Test Kits costs more but you get more, so it is at least as good a deal.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Thanks Jason. But will that test my chlorine level over 5? I saw a description on a website for it and it said it tests only up to 5. Like I said, I've got so much information going through my head, that I'm beyond confused at this point.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    The Taylor K-2006 includes the FAS-DPD chlorine test, which tests levels up to 50+ to the nearest 0.5 or 0.2, depending on how you do the test. The very similar Taylor K-2005 only tests chlorine up to either 5, or 10 at reduced precision, depending on how you do the test.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Let's not forget the CarlD "patented" Shot Glass method to get you through until the FAS-DPD kit arrives. For this you'll need distilled water. That's steam-distilled, not filtered. Virtually every supermarket and chain drugstore has it. You'll need a clean shot glass and clean measuring cup.

    1) get one shot of pool water and dump it in the measuring cup.
    2) Add two shots of distilled water and mix.
    3) Use THIS diluted pool water in your test kit.
    4) Triple your reading. So if it reads "5" you have 15ppm of total chlorine.

    You CAN use only one shot of distilled water but then you double your reading.

    Or, if you need to go higher, use 3 shots of distilled water and quadruple your reading.

    Simple! And it works reasonably well.

    Meanwhile Jason's ad hoc guessing advice for how much bleach to add was simply brilliant!
    Stay ahead of your water!

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Thank you for that Carl. I'll definitely do that until I get my test kit.

    And Jason, thanks for the clarification on the test kit. I ordered it. I finally have some real numbers from the pool store:

    PH: 7.3
    TA: 70
    CH: 120
    CYA: 40 (yay!)
    TC: 13.5
    FC: 10

    I'm off to do the pool calculator/CYA/Chlorine chart to figure out what all these numbers mean, but if anyone wants to help me out here, I certainly wouldn't refuse it. :P Pool is still cloudy and somewhat greenish, but I do think it's getting better? It's not as much of an improvement that I would like, but I do realize I need to be patient.

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    I just punched all my numbers in and I realize I need to up my FC to 15. Is there a chart or something that shows how much bleach to add to increase your FC? I remember seeing something about it...but I don't know where it is. I'd also like to know this so when I do get my pool back on track, I know how much to add for maintenance. I'm thinking I need to go outside (It's 2 am here) and dump some bleach in. I'm just not sure how much.

    Off to search......

    Edited to add: Figured it out. The pool calculator is now my best friend. So many "a-ha" moments happening as the rest of you sleep.

    Out to dump some bleach into the pool.

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    The pool calculator will tell you.

    But the Rule of Thumb uses the same formula.

    If you add 1 gallon of bleach to 10,000 gallons of water, it will add FC equal to the concentration. So if that gallon is 5 1/4%, it will add 5.25ppm of chlorine.
    If that gallon is 6%, it will add 6ppm.

    If you double the water to 20,000 gallons, you need 2 gallons of bleach at 6% to raise your FC 6ppm.

    If you have 15,000 gallons, you need 1 1/2 gallons of bleach at 6% to raise your FC 6ppm.

    If you add 3/4 of a gallon of Ultra Bleach (6%) to 10,000 gallons you get an increase of 4.5 ppm.

    See how it works? You have 13,000 gallons. So if you want to increase your pool by 5 ppm (5.25 is close enough) you'll add 1 gallon plus 1/3 of a gallon of 5.25%.

    It's too early in the morning to figure out in my head how much 6% you need to increase 13,000 gallons by 5%, but 1 gallon may do it (?) Edit: 1.1 gallons.

    The formula for the FC increase in ppm (Parts per Million) by adding bleach is:
    FC added = (1 million / pool gallons) * (gallons of bleach added) * (bleach concentration as a decimal, not a percent so 5.25% is .0525)

    The bleach calculator is easier but I'm a little atavistic about some things.
    Stay ahead of your water!

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Okay, so here is my pool this morning. http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j200/ ... t=pool.jpg

    There was still some green algae in the filter, but obviously, the pool is now more blue than green. In checking the chlorine with my basic kit, it looks like it is just a hair darker than the darkest yellow which is 5. I need to get some distilled water to do Carl's test until my kit arrives. I haven't added anything to it yet. I wanted to know....I need to add baking soda according to the readings from the pool store, but when do I do that? Do I add the bleach first? Or should I do the baking soda, then add the bleach? And do I wait in between? I know it's hard to guess this without knowing the exact chlorine reading. But your best guess is appreciated. I feel like I'm on my way to a clear pool thanks to you guys!

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    Don't worry about the TA right now. If you are using bleach TA should be around 70 to 90, so you are good. If you are using trichlor TA should be around 100 to 120, but 70 is good enough so that you can wait till later.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    So, will the cloudiness just clear up as the algae disappears then? I can't really tell if the pool is getting any clearer; I need to take an "up close" picture of the ladder everyday to compare each time. I took a sample into the pool store today and here are my numbers. I haven't added bleach since yesterday; not sure if I should? The pump has run nonstop all week.

    PH: 7.7
    TA: 70
    CYA: 70 (up from 40)
    CH: 180
    TC: 10.4
    FC: 9.4

    Why would my CYA go up? Is this just a subjective thing? They do that strip test thing on the computer. I can't wait until I have my own kit to do this on my own. I haven't used any pucks since starting on this site so I know I haven't added any. It has rained here a lot the last few days; would that affect it? I'd think that would make it go lower.

    So, I know it's hard to guess, but based on my chlorine readings, would you say it's safe to assume my algae is gone since the level has stayed up since yesterday? I only added 1.5 gallons since my reading on Thursday. If that's the case, what do I do from here? There was a tinge of green on the cartridge today when I changed it, but I'm thinking it would probably be good to soak them in some bleachy water to make sure they are completely algae free. Is that okay to do? But then again, wouldn't the super high chlorine take care of that anyway? (I'm still learning...thanks for bearing with me.)

    Once again, THANK YOU SO MUCH. I wish I could bake you cookies or something to show my appreciation.

    Kristi
    My pool:

    24 foot, 13,000 gallons.
    1 HP Pump; cartridge filter

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New here...algae, CYA, etc...

    It can take the filter up to a week to clear the water after the algae is all dead. The trick is knowing if the algae is all dead or not. The pool store test results do suggest that the algae is dead, but it is nearly impossible to be sure without a FAS-DPD chlorine test or waiting to see what happens.

    The water test with test strips and an electronic strip reader is not particularly precise. The results will vary from test to test. You will have a much better idea when you get your test kit. Till then there is no way of knowing the "real" level.

    The chlorine in the pool water will take care of sanitizing the cartridges.

    If the algae is dead (and your filter is working) you should see a visible improvement in the water each day. At first the difference may only be visible around the stairs/ladder. Without a test kit that may be your best way of knowing if the algae is dead.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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