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Thread: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

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    First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Hi Guys,

    Ive opened our pool for the first time (bought house last summer).
    Its 25000 gal vinyl liner pool probably 15+ years old, chlorine with a cartridge filter.
    When I opened the pool it was green and nasty.

    I've tried to get my water chemistry in line. I was having trouble getting the Free Chlorine up with shock and took a water sample to be tested today.

    FAC - 1.5
    TAC - 2.0
    CH - 150
    CYA - 28
    TA - 80
    pH - 7.3

    I wanted to get the FAC up so added 4 gallons of 8.5% NaOLC.

    After 4 hours I have FAC and TAC at 10 each.
    The other reading are about the same before bleach addition.

    The water has been clearing but is far from clear. I have a green have and the water is cloudy.
    What would/should I do at this point?

    Thanks,

    Bryan (Pool NewB)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Welcome, Bryan!

    We can help you get your pool clear. However, it won't happen if you have to run to the pool store to get the water tested. What you need is a SLAM. That is, raising the chlorine level high - in your case, to about 12 - and rechecking it and adding more to keep it at 12 every few hours until it's sparkling. It can take weeks.

    We have lengthy instructions in Pool School. But for the moment, why not check out the stories here. They've been through it. Just do what they did. You will need a proper test kit to do it.
    First Time Shocking with Bleach
    Pretty black pool
    A little encouragement for those with algae and new to BBB
    Frog Filled Green Swamp to Oasis---Work in Progress!!!
    Before and After Pool Pics
    Before and after!
    A final picture set of how well the BBB method works!
    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: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Thanks for the quick response...
    I do have test strips, and am aware of their inability to get the full job done. I will invest in a proper test kit in the very near future.
    As mentioned, the FC and TAC are now at 10 (via Leslie's test strip). I can smell the chlorine...
    I will recheck tomorrow and add more bleach to keep the FC and TAC above 10 until the water clears.

    Would it be beneficial to add some Leslie's Pool Bright (the blue organic pool coag stuff) to help with the cloudiness? I am thinking that the algea is mostly dead/gone and the water is just now very hazy/cloudy. It has a blue-green tint and gets cloudier as I brush the bottom. Should I also start the vac process or just continue with the brushing?
    Thanks,
    Bryan

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    No snake oils. Yes to vacuuming. The more organic stuff you can get out, the faster it will clear. Right now the bleach is working on amy organic matter in the pool. You want it working on the algae. Keep tabs on filter pressure. It will probabl;y load up.
    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: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Progress Note:

    I had the FC up to over 10 (limit of my test strips) last night and this morning the FCL and TCL were both down to 5ish... Unfortunately I ran out of bleach so I will get more and start the slam again with consistency this afternoon. The water is clearing up a bit but still cloudy and a bit blue/green especially in the deep end.

    My filter pressure is up to about 20psi. I pulled the cartridge and hosed it down before doing a vac with a new psi of 13. Lots of green funk in the filter. The results of the vac were pretty nasty. I have a lot of worms and millipede-like creatures in the skimmer. Gross. Some leaves and plant material as well but the volume wasn't anything crazy, maybe a basket full. After the vac the psi in the filter was up to 23psi and it was greener than when I first cleaned it, so I assume I pulled a lot of fine particulate matter off the bottom of the pool.

    What is the best way to clean the filter. I have a second filter (purchased 2) but I would rather keep using this one as long as possible. Is there any solutions that aid cleaning or should I just use water pressure from a garden nozzle?

    The flow right now looks pretty poor as a result of the cartridge gumming up....

    Any other suggestions

    Thanks,

    Bryan

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    You are shooting in the dark without a FAS-DPD chlorine test.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    What he said.

    re: cleaning the cartridge, I start by shooting water from the inside with a hose nozzle to get the easy stuff off, then hold each pleat apart and shoot the nozzle "along" the pleat (rather than straight in) to drive the gunk down to one end and then out. There are "dunking in solution" steps (don't remember if soap or something else) but while you're in de-gunking mode I would concentrate on getting the filter 95% clean (which is pretty quick) 'cause you'll probably be doing it a lot.

    BTW if you're trying to reconcile my post with my signature, I do have a cartridge filter / pump but it's not hooked up to the tub so I haul it out of the basement every so often, sit it on the deck beside the tub, and run hoses over the rim and into the water.
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Thanks.
    As I'm learning more, I see why pool plumbing has valves that allow vac-to-waste, as every time I vac the bottom of the pool my cartridge stops flowing.
    I also understand regenerative filters now...
    Given this is my first pool, first opening, and a learning experience I will enjoy the process and continue to learn.
    Test kit is in the mail.
    Thanks,
    Bryan

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    If my strips measure Free and Total Chlorine, why am I shooting in the dark (accuracy of the strips aside)?
    I am using the strips to keep both the FAC and TAC above 10 (upper limit of the test strip). Will this not work? I assume I am in the 10-15 range???
    The pool seems to be slowly clearing, but the filter is really giving me a hard time with gumming up and raising the psi. This is quite a process. I can barely see the shallow bottom but the water is very cloudy. Slightly green/blue in the deep end but improving.

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    With a 10 ppm limit and a 15 ppm error range, how close to your target do you really think you are?

    The recommended test kits have an accuracy of .2 ppm or .5 ppm depending on the sample size.

    While TC = FC + CC, with the lack of accuracy of your strips how will you know you passed the OCLT which demands an accuracy of .5 ppm, should you actually get your pool clear?

    Broken record warning -- The recommended kits measure the CC in a sequential test to your FC, and are as accurate as the FC test.

    What I'm saying here is that all of us that have been where you are, and learned from this site have no problems with pools turning green overnight. Yes there are several threads going where long time members have opened a green pool, but with the knowledge gained here, have already gotten their pools clear and swimmable. We know what the pool needs, and feed it only what it needs. How this is done is with the best kits available on the market. The TF-100 and it's little brother, the K-2006.

    Without the proper test kit and the proper feeding of your pool based on the results of those tests, you are in a **** shoot where the odds are stacked highly against you.

    Get the test kit! http://tftestkits.net
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    I am a scientist by training, and COMPLETELY understand the need for accuracy.
    I ordered my TF-100 today, and look forward to using it! BUT, in the interim, I have a funky pool.
    I guess I thought that keeping up my FC would be sufficient until I have the means to take accurate measurements.
    I'm nowhere neat the OCLT as my water is far from clear...

    If I'm reading what you say, should I abandon what I'm doing and wait for my TF-100?

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Keep vacuuming and adding bleach. You are at least making some progress, so things should go that much faster once you know exactly what your pool needs.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Thanks. Anything would be better than where I started.

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Hi Guys,
    So the TF-100 showed up today and I ran the numbers.

    pH - 7.5
    FC - 42
    CC - 1.5
    TC - 43.5
    CH - 250
    TA - 100
    CYA - 40

    Seems the strips were quite inaccurate in the high range of FC!
    Should I worry about the 42 or just let it do its thing?

    Thanks,
    Bryan
    25K In-Ground Vinyl, circa 1990. Hayward C800 with 1.5 HP Max-Flow Circa 1990???? In line Chlorinator. Raypak Heater.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Just to be sure, you used 10ml of water or 25 ml of water, and what factor did you multiply by?

    If the FC is really that high, I doubt the water is anything but grey or clear now!
    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: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    With your FC that high (are you sure you used the correct multiplier?), You should let it drift back down, but no lower that what the CYA/FC chart shows for SLAM level. If you did use the correct multiplier for the size of the sample, the CC may also not be accurate.

    Your pH is likely inaccurate, due to the high FC.

    Keep your pump running, and keep brushing/vacuuming. It will come together!
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    I had it at the 10ml mark per the instructions. 84 drops to clear.
    The water is mostly clear but cloudy. I can see the bottom of the shallow end but not the deeps end.
    There is a bit of greyish tint to the water. The filter has been gumming up daily but seems to be plugging up less yesterday/today
    I also have an inline chlorinator at full blast so I will go close that down as I clearly have enough chlorine in the water.

    What are the next steps? Test in the AM again?
    25K In-Ground Vinyl, circa 1990. Hayward C800 with 1.5 HP Max-Flow Circa 1990???? In line Chlorinator. Raypak Heater.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Yes, I'd say it is a safe bet that you'll still have plenty of FC left!
    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: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    ... I also found a pretty (dead) frog in the pump strainer. He must have jumped in yesterday and ben sucked up through the lower outlet.... Go figure.
    25K In-Ground Vinyl, circa 1990. Hayward C800 with 1.5 HP Max-Flow Circa 1990???? In line Chlorinator. Raypak Heater.

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    Re: First Year with a New Pool - Green and Ugly

    Update:

    The pool is almost spotless! I can now see the deep end and what I've missed vacuuming blindly. All debris is clear and all I get now is a little fine dirt/debris in spots. The filter has stopped gumming up and holding at 18psi. I haven't needed to add any chlorine in a few days which is good as I was away over the weekend.

    Today's levels:
    pH 7.5
    FC 23
    CC 0.5
    CH 250
    TA 90
    Didn't measure CYA but assume it's there as the FC is still holding

    Now I need some sun to bring down the FC and raise the temp!

    Hoping all is ready next weekend.
    25K In-Ground Vinyl, circa 1990. Hayward C800 with 1.5 HP Max-Flow Circa 1990???? In line Chlorinator. Raypak Heater.

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