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Thread: New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

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    New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

    Hello, all!

    Iíve been lurking around this forum for a little while absorbing as much as I can, and I think Iíve gathered enough information at this point that Iím comfortable with getting to work on my (soon to be) pool.

    First, some chemistry as measured by a Taylor K-2006 test kit:

    FC - 16ppm
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 80ppm
    CH - 360ppm
    CYA - A bit over 100 but Iím not sure by how much. I would guess itís at 120 or 140. I wasnít aware of the 1/2 tap water 1/2 pool water method when I performed the test for very high CYAs, but when I get a chance to get back to the pool I will take a more accurate measurement (Iím not full time in the house yet).

    I would say that the bottom and sides of the pool are about 1/3 covered in algae right now. Also, the skimmers are completely underwater, and my understanding is that the water level should only go about 1/3 up the skimmer. This is about a 10,000 gallon pool, and I do not yet have a grasp on the condition of the DE filter. It reads 22 psi, but I have no idea what the ďstartingĒ pressure is.

    So thatís where I am now. Hereís my plan of attack, with some questions sprinkled about:

    I need to get the CYA down. My present understanding is that ~40 is a good goal, so Iím probably going to need to drain something like 60% of the pool, then fill it up again with water from the hose.

    1) With a gunite pool thereís no problem with draining that 60% of water all at once right? The pool-ruining issues some people have to be careful with donít apply to me when draining massive amounts of water?

    2) I am afraid of doing the drain wrong and breaking my pool pump. Iíve read a bit here and there about ďprimingĒ water from the skimmers, but I donít quite have a handle on how to keep that water there. Around the pump, I see a set of three pipes coming out of the ground, one labeled ďSkimĒ, one labeled ďMainĒ, and one that is not labeled. When I drain the pool, am I supposed to close the ďSkimĒ pipe to keep priming water?

    3) Also, I have a solar collector that I can divert the flow of water through. If I have the water going through the solar collector, then shut off the pump, is that going to drain all the water from the collector and cause an issue when I turn the pump back on? Is there a valve Iím supposed to close to keep that ďprimedĒ as well?

    4) The FC is that high because thatís whatís appropriate for the high CYA, right? I know that the previous owner was using trichlor tablets (or their pool service, I donít really know how it was taken care of).

    5) The sight glass is totally green. Should I clean this out before tackling the algae problem I have?

    6) I brushed the pool a bit with the long pool brush and noticed that a lot of stuff that looks like algae isnít coming off. Is that going to require a more thorough cleaning, or is that just some leftover stain from algae thatís been there before and wonít come out?

    7) By the way, when you drain a pool, you just send that out the ďwasteĒ pipe, right?

    Thank you all for this wonderful forum, and thanks in advance for your time and patience with all these questions!
    IG Gunite, Diamond Brite
    12,000 gallons
    DE Filter (Hayward DE-3600)
    Hayward Super II Pump

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

    Quote Originally Posted by YellowYoshi View Post
    Hello, all!

    Iíve been lurking around this forum for a little while absorbing as much as I can, and I think Iíve gathered enough information at this point that Iím comfortable with getting to work on my (soon to be) pool.
    Welcome!


    First, some chemistry as measured by a Taylor K-2006 test kit:

    FC - 16ppm
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.4
    TA - 80ppm
    CH - 360ppm
    CYA - A bit over 100 but Iím not sure by how much. I would guess itís at 120 or 140. I wasnít aware of the 1/2 tap water 1/2 pool water method when I performed the test for very high CYAs, but when I get a chance to get back to the pool I will take a more accurate measurement (Iím not full time in the house yet).
    Excellent start. You have learned much, grasshopper.

    I would say that the bottom and sides of the pool are about 1/3 covered in algae right now. Also, the skimmers are completely underwater, and my understanding is that the water level should only go about 1/3 up the skimmer. This is about a 10,000 gallon pool, and I do not yet have a grasp on the condition of the DE filter. It reads 22 psi, but I have no idea what the ďstartingĒ pressure is.
    Sounds a little high, very typical if it's clogged with algae. You'll know soon enough if the pressures climbs dramatically and the water flow is weak.

    So thatís where I am now. Hereís my plan of attack, with some questions sprinkled about:

    I need to get the CYA down. My present understanding is that ~40 is a good goal, so Iím probably going to need to drain something like 60% of the pool, then fill it up again with water from the hose.

    1) With a gunite pool thereís no problem with draining that 60% of water all at once right? The pool-ruining issues some people have to be careful with donít apply to me when draining massive amounts of water?
    WRONG. Florida tends to be low and wet, so the chances of floating your pool are greater than most. http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-out-of-ground Maybe a quarter of the water at a time. It's less efficient, but it beats floating the pool.


    2) I am afraid of doing the drain wrong and breaking my pool pump. Iíve read a bit here and there about ďprimingĒ water from the skimmers, but I donít quite have a handle on how to keep that water there. Around the pump, I see a set of three pipes coming out of the ground, one labeled ďSkimĒ, one labeled ďMainĒ, and one that is not labeled. When I drain the pool, am I supposed to close the ďSkimĒ pipe to keep priming water?
    If you set it to draw from "main" and shut the rest off, you're pulling from the very bottom of the pool and you won't lose prime by sucking air. You can brush all the stuff that way and have it sucked away. And if you have a "waste setting" you're set.

    3) Also, I have a solar collector that I can divert the flow of water through. If I have the water going through the solar collector, then shut off the pump, is that going to drain all the water from the collector and cause an issue when I turn the pump back on? Is there a valve Iím supposed to close to keep that ďprimedĒ as well?
    I don't have solar. Can't help there.

    4) The FC is that high because thatís whatís appropriate for the high CYA, right? I know that the previous owner was using trichlor tablets (or their pool service, I donít really know how it was taken care of).
    They were probably trying to clear it before the sale.

    5) The sight glass is totally green. Should I clean this out before tackling the algae problem I have?
    It should be clear before you try to backwash

    6) I brushed the pool a bit with the long pool brush and noticed that a lot of stuff that looks like algae isnít coming off. Is that going to require a more thorough cleaning, or is that just some leftover stain from algae thatís been there before and wonít come out?
    It could be scale or stains. Once the water is clear, you'll have a better idea. If you can post pictures, that's helpful. I know, too murky for pictures now.

    7) By the way, when you drain a pool, you just send that out the ďwasteĒ pipe, right?
    yes.

    Thank you all for this wonderful forum, and thanks in advance for your time and patience with all these questions!
    Take pictures! We love green-to-clean stories.
    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: New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

    Thank you for the reply! You might have saved me a great deal of headache I'll look to be more safe than sorry and drain only a little bit at a time.

    The pool really isn't as green as I made it out to be. In fact, you're right in your guess that they were trying to clear it before the sale. When I first walked up to the house it was a total swamp, and they actually got it most of the way clear. It's slowly reverting back to its old ways now, so I wanted to get a jump on it before it got totally out of hand.

    Next time I get out to the house I'll take some pictures and post them. It should be plenty clear enough to give you guys an idea.

    By the way, what's the standard way to tell whether a pipe is on or off? Is the water moving when the valve is turned perpendicular or parallel with the pipe? I'm not handy (yet) but this house is my opportunity to change my ways :P

    You said that the sight glass should be clear before I try to backwash. Is that generally the case? Will it become clear as I treat the water, then once it's totally clear I'm safe to backwash?

    Does anyone else here have a solar collector that can tell whether I should take extra care when turning the pump off and on?
    IG Gunite, Diamond Brite
    12,000 gallons
    DE Filter (Hayward DE-3600)
    Hayward Super II Pump

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

    Welcome to TFP!

    Correctly installed solar panels are designed to drain when the pump is off.

    Do you have pool valves or PVC ball valves? Pool valves say "closed" opposite the handle, so they are open when the handle is perpendicular. PVC ball valves are closed when the handle is perpendicular.

    Take off the sight glass and clean it. You should only see water in it while backwashing, on waste, or on rinse.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

    Thanks, you guys are the best! I'll put up some pictures in a day or so and see if you guys know what the stains are.
    IG Gunite, Diamond Brite
    12,000 gallons
    DE Filter (Hayward DE-3600)
    Hayward Super II Pump

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    Re: New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

    I've brushed my pool pretty thoroughly and the water looks clear, but there's something left over that won't scrub away with my pool brush. Is this yellow mustard algae? It's growing primarily on the steps in my pool. The deep end seems mostly spared.

    IMAG0225.jpg
    IG Gunite, Diamond Brite
    12,000 gallons
    DE Filter (Hayward DE-3600)
    Hayward Super II Pump

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

    I'm no inground expert, but based on your thread title, it's probably scale forming below the waterline. There are plenty of people with experience that will be along to help.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: New pool owner - Cloudy pool w/ algae

    Quote Originally Posted by YellowYoshi View Post
    I've brushed my pool pretty thoroughly and the water looks clear, but there's something left over that won't scrub away with my pool brush. Is this yellow mustard algae? It's growing primarily on the steps in my pool. The deep end seems mostly spared.

    IMAG0225.jpg
    That sort of looks like scale that's been stained with algae. Once the SLAM process is complete and you can let the FC drop below 10 so the pH reading is accurate, keep the pH towards the low end and brush that stuff with a stainless steel brush. If it is scale, it will dissolve at a glacial pace, but it will disappear. Think months, not days.
    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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