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Thread: It's green, but getting better ...

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    simste01's Avatar
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    It's green, but getting better ...

    Post #1: Before I say anything else, I must say thank you to all of you who so generously share your knowledge on this forum. We've had our pool (my wife's dream-come-true) for three seasons so far, this year will be the fourth. Until late last summer, I trusted the pool store who installed our pool. Their solution was generally 'buy a bunch of stuff and put it in'. It cost a lot and didn't work very well in my opinion.

    Late last summer after a really busy church pool party followed by two weeks of vacation with no one attending to the pool, it turned a sickly, cloudy green. Pool store instructions were to dump in over 50 pounds of “BioGuard Super Soluable” a few pounds at a time. By the time we closed the pool in late October it was not green, but still a bit cloudy. We closed it, winter hit, and we didn't see the pool cover until March.

    We opened on April 29 to a green mess. The folks at the pool store tested the water and the printout said the CYA was 30, and the free chlorine was around 5 ppm, and the rest was 'about right'. Oh, and they said there was no algae present. Right. We decided to scrap a chlorinator I never could get to dispense those hockey puck chlorine things and bought the SWG they recommended for our size pool.

    I have to believe they are good folks, I'm sure they were trying, but it wasn't working. So I found troublefreepools.com eight or ten days later, ordered the TF100 test kit that same night, and have been working with it since then. It's still a bit green, but I can see progress.

    Initial test results:

    FC 11.5
    pH 6.8
    TA 200
    CH 450
    CYA >100 – hadn't read the extended test kit instructions yet
    salt 5200
    CC 2
    temp 88 degrees F

    I replaced about a third of the water to start with which gave me the following:

    FC 4.5
    pH 7.2
    TA 240 (I discovered my source water from our well has a TA of 240 – who knew!)
    CH 300
    CYA >100 – still hadn't read enough
    salt 3200
    CC 1
    temp 75 degrees F

    I decided to tackle the green first and ran the FC up to 35 with bleach and have kept it there except for last night when I did the OCLT – it dropped 10 ppm overnight so I'm not done. But it's better. I figured out the CYA problem, and determined that it is about 120. With that level, I'm not sure the FC of 35 ppm is high enough to do the job.

    My plan is to keep SLAMing, then replace more water once it's cleaned up. I plan to install an aerator in a day or two in anticipation of needing to adjust the TA and pH to more reasonable levels. And I'm still studying the forum – what a wonderful resource!

    Suggestions?
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Before I say anything else, let me thank you for reading and learning and ordering a test kit!!!!

    You are off to a good start, but I would highly recommend replacing more water to lower that CYA down to 80ppm at the most before you continue to throw bleach that the problem.

    Are you using PoolMath? If you put your CYA of 120ppm in, it will calculate the SLAM level for you. But again, you need to get the CYA down.

    Regarding the TA? How did the drops look? Were they large like all the other drops or smaller and jumping off the tip? It is not uncommon for the first TA test to be higher than reality due to static build up in the reagent.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Before I say anything else, let me thank you for reading and learning and ordering a test kit!!!!
    Double what jblizzle just said. It is such a pleasure to help folks who have prearmed themselves with the knowledge you already have.

    Your pool will be crystal clear soon. Keep asking questions.....you'll get a lot of help
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Thank you!

    I am using PoolMath - but I missed the part where it calculates the shock level. More water replacement it is; I'll get that going as soon as it stops raining so hard.

    The drops on the TA test looked normal. I was careful to wipe the tip as instructed before each drop. I thought the result looked too high, so I repeated everything - same results. That's what led me to test my source water.
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    If you can get the CYA down to 70 or 80, it's doable. We usually don't recommend SLAMing at that level. However, you seems to have a good grasp of the process, just be diligent about maintaining your FC level.

    At the bottom of PoolMath there are three drop downs you have to fill in. Once those drop downs are set, the the FC levels for your CYA will populate (2nd row up or so).
    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: It's green, but getting better ...

    So I replaced a third of the water which brought the CYA down to about 90. Full results:

    FC 20
    pH 7.8
    TA 260
    CH 300
    CYA 90
    salt 2000

    That didn't make me happy so I drained 16-18% of the water - it's filing up as I type. In view of the above results, I added 120 lbs of salt and 2 gallons of bleach once the draining was done just to be proactive. (That patience thing is really hard for me .... )
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Making good progress

    Remember the pH test is not valid when the FC > 10ppm
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    So while FC>10 I should just not bother to check pH? The last time I checked it with FC<10 it was 7.2 - is the high FC what made it read 7.8 today?
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Quote Originally Posted by simste01 View Post
    So while FC>10 I should just not bother to check pH? The last time I checked it with FC<10 it was 7.2 - is the high FC what made it read 7.8 today?
    Yes.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...els-with-R-007

    Unfortunately, the captions didn't make the transition to the new format. The first two pictures show the same pH, just different chlorine levels. Obviously, the pH readings are skewed....
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Got it - thank you. After replacing half of the water, the CYA may be about 80. That's a really tough test to read; I did it twice, once 'straight' and once diluted 50% and doubling the result. The key seems to be bright light - I tried holding it on the LED lights of the SpeedStir and it seemed a little easier. Is that okay, or does it distort the reading? (The CYA result seemed the same any way I did it, sun, kitchen lights, LED's. I did decide the Transitions lenses in my glasses were a problem in the sun!)

    Is there any other way to measure CYA levels?
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Is there any other way to measure CYA levels?
    Nope.....but repeat the test over and over by pouring the mixture back into the red tip bottle and then back into the view tube. It's just repetition but it will help you get comfortable with the test.

    When I first started doing it, my wife and I each did it independently to see how close our results would be. This test will get easy....just keep at it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Don't do the CYA test over the SpeedStir light or with bright light above you. It should be done in bright indirect sunlight.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Don't do the CYA test over the SpeedStir light or with bright light above you. It should be done in bright indirect sunlight.
    Okay. I'll keep practicing. Still SLAMing at this point. With the SWG running it's maintaining the SLAM FC level (31ppm) specified by PoolMath without much additional bleach. It's still green, but I can see the bottom well enough to remove the few leaves that were there.
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    FC 32.5
    CC 1
    pH not tested
    TA 270
    CH 250
    CYA 80
    salt 3000

    Still SLAMing. Adding about a quart of bleach a day. Still green, but not as cloudy and not as green so I guess that's progress. I'm thinking it won't be done by the end of this wek, and I will have to be away from it for 7 days. No one to tend to it while I'm gone. Anything I can do to not loose too much progress during that week?

    Also wondering about my sand filter - it's three years old, never been cleaned other than routine back washing. I reviewed the PoolSchool article on deep cleaning and wonder if I should plan to do that soon. I have a bottle of yellow stuff, KleenIt I think, that the pool store said I should pour into the skimmer during a back wash and then shut the pump off to let it soak. I didn't, but if I deep clean like in the article, it would be easy enough to pour it in as I fill the filter up, let it soak, and backwash it out. Supposed to wash out oils and stuff. Any value?
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    You should certainly do the sand cleaning. No idea if the Kleenit will help, but it should not hurt if you already have it.

    As far as vacation, just raise the FC up to SLAM level or a little higher and cover the pool if you can. Then hope for the best and keep SLAMing when you get back.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Thank you!
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    I think I win, thanks to all the help on troublefreepool.com!

    Before - about half way through the SLAM:
    IMG_0396_sm.jpg

    And today, about 10 days later:
    IMG_0398_sm.jpg

    FC = 32, and I haven't even begun to get things balanced, but its crystal clear, CC=<.5, and lost only 2ppm FC in 24 hours (covered the whole time so it was protected from the sun.) Thank you all SO much!!
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    If you lost 2ppm FC with it covered and protected, I'd be cautious and perform an OCLT tonight to verify if you're losing FC. If you do, You need to continue the SLAM.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Thank you for your comment - you're right to be cautious. I'm optimistic - I think if I had tested it 12 hours earlier ('overnight') I might have met the OCLT criteria. But I've put in too much work to risk stopping too soon. I plan to continue the SLAM for another week while I find time to get the filter cleaned and the pool scrubbed again. Then I'll do the OCLT. I've come this far, I can go another week.
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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    Re: It's green, but getting better ...

    Went on a week long vacation. Left the pool at SLAM level, with the SWG running. Came back to a higher FC than when I left (it was covered the whole time). Turned off the SWG, and passed OCLT last night with flying colors, lost ~1 ppm FC, CC =<.5, water crystal clear (in the three years we've had it it has never looked this clear). Left it open to the sun today to let the FC start to come down so I can get busy getting pH balanced. Time to break out the moonshine I picked up in Tennessee on the way home!

    I'll post full test results when the FC < 10 so I can get a pH reading. I know the TA is high, >200, and the CYA is 80-90 so it needs some work.
    14'x28', 11.7K gal, IG, vinyl. Automatic pool cover, 1hp Hayward single speed pump, Hayward sand filter, Hayward heat pump, Hayward Navigator, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Intellichlor IC15 SWG

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