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Thread: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

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    They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    People,

    A while ago, I was advised here , gratefully, that I should stay away from snake oil products like phosphate remover in order to "clarify" my pool. Thing is, recently, Ive been dumping soooo much chlorine to little avail. Pool gets somewhat clear/"blu" vs green, then gets green so soon afterward (within days).

    I know first thing youre gonna ask is for "specs", so I can say specs on pool chemistry is always within limits- stabilizer has been about 60-80ppm, alkalinity is 120 or so, chlorine of course varies from shocks, then down to maybe 2-3ppm when getting greenish. Calcium is HIGH (450+ ppm). Some whitish scaling on pool tiles, thats all. Sand filter which is years old, but I backwash 1X/week.

    They said my phosphate is 700ppm. And they said algae used phos to "eat/grow", which we know is true, but to the extent that that is my problem- I am not convinced. They told me since we have a phospphate plant within about 40 miles away (straight shot), it is in the air, and that I also believe (we get iron dust from the Sahara in the SE US, why not phosphorous specs from 30-40 miles away).


    IF I remove the phos with the lanthanum elixir, will I get better control of my algae problem?

    Thanks!!!!
    16,000 gal in ground, marcite. FL.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Whatever is going on, it doesn't have to do with phosphates. My phosphate level is several thousand and I never have any problems. If you maintain chlorine at appropriate levels algae can't get started, regardless of the phosphate level.

    I recommend posting a full set of test results and doing some reading in Pool School.
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by noquacks View Post
    stabilizer has been about 60-80ppm ... chlorine of course varies from shocks, then down to maybe 2-3ppm when getting greenish.
    FC should never drop below 5/6 depending on actual CYA level. If it does, you're inviting algae to grow.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    1. You need to keep FC up to a sufficient level relative to CYA level. To do this, you need to know the CYA level for sure (I'd assume 80 if your tests are swaying) and you have to ensure it stays there from day to day. Testing and adding chlorine every few days isn't going to work, and algae is going to take hold.

    2. CYA at 80 is going to make your pool more difficult to maintain compared to if it were 40.

    3. Phosphates are not the problem.

    4. You don't have to backwash weekly. Wait until the pressure rises to 25% over the clean pressure.

    5. You don't have enough test data to determine the cause of the scaling. We will need to see CH, TA, and pH test results. I do see you posted TA of 120, which is high, and is most likely part of the problem.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    If your chlorine regularly drops to 2-3 ppm with a CYA level of 60-80, that's why you have algae.

    Instead of a pool-store-style "shock" which is a one-time megadose of chlorine, you might want to try a sustained SLAM. A "shock" may win the battle, but the war isn't won. You see that every time it turns green again. You need to kill it all and then keep it from starting again by better controlling the chlorine levels.

    If you're not willing to put in a few minutes daily (after the intensive SLAM) then maybe phosphate removers will work for you. Phosphates are the wood for the algae fire. You can either remove everything burnable or just smother any sparks with adequate chlorine.

    As an aside, just not having algae does not mean your pool is sanitary. You still need chlorine to kill bacteria and germs.
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Thanks, people- advice so fast!

    Now, "slam", "shock", bang or crash- What is this?? Ive maybe "slammed" my pool with 2 jugs at least 2X in past 6 weeks (from memory) then "shock" with a jug once every 5 days/week. Are yous saying Im not putting enough? If I am putting enough, s why do I still have algae? I DO put in a few minutes daily. EVERY day. I brush, and alternate pool vac/no pool vac.

    PO4 is the wood for fire- I agree. Then , another member says it doesnt matter. I appreciate your views, but we dont have consensus here on this.

    Good point on not backwashing until pressures go up. Thanks. JV- whats 5/6ths mean? 5/6 of ideal FC ppm? Something else?

    I apreciate the point of posting exact test results- I will have to wait until I get these- I dont have a kit- pool store results. Oh- pH is within- about 7.5.

    Thaks, people.
    16,000 gal in ground, marcite. FL.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Your minimum FC is either 5 (cya 60) or 6 (cya 80). Always has to be that or above.

    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    The SLAM process is not a one time shot. The M stands for MAINTAIN.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

    You don't need to do that "shock" you are describing. Just maintain proper FC and all will be well. If that is your only chlorine addition, then this is your problem. You can't wait 5 days to add more chlorine to your pool. It is consumed by the pool (sun, organics in the pool) and must be kept at the proper level at all times. We recommend DAILY doses.
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Ok...so... Phosphate is food for algae. Said so yourself.

    after all these people have replied .... I just have one question.

    Do you think you can starve the algae to death with phosphate remover? Every single spore of it? So you pool can be algae free? Why not just attack it like mentioned by all these other folks who know what they are talking about and not worry about starving it?

    Well, I guess thats more than 1 question....
    Divin Dave,
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by noquacks View Post
    PO4 is the wood for fire- I agree. Then , another member says it doesnt matter. I appreciate your views, but we dont have consensus here on this.
    No, there is a consensus, just a misunderstanding. Phosphates are certainly wood for the fire, or in this case let's call it a large field of dry grass. If there are sparks falling on this dry field, which is easier, removing all the grass or saturating the field with water? Keeping the FC at an appropriate level for your CYA will keep the hypothetical field wet and it doesn't matter how many sparks fall on it, it will not catch fire. So yes, phosphates are algae food, removing it could help slow algae growth, but phosphate does not matter if the algae dies before it can eat.
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    excellent analogy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    No, there is a consensus, just a misunderstanding. Phosphates are certainly wood for the fire, or in this case let's call it a large field of dry grass. If there are sparks falling on this dry field, which is easier, removing all the grass or saturating the field with water? Keeping the FC at an appropriate level for your CYA will keep the hypothetical field wet and it doesn't matter how many sparks fall on it, it will not catch fire. So yes, phosphates are algae food, removing it could help slow algae growth, but phosphate does not matter if the algae dies before it can eat.
    Divin Dave,
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    No, there is a consensus, just a misunderstanding. Phosphates are certainly wood for the fire, or in this case let's call it a large field of dry grass. If there are sparks falling on this dry field, which is easier, removing all the grass or saturating the field with water? Keeping the FC at an appropriate level for your CYA will keep the hypothetical field wet and it doesn't matter how many sparks fall on it, it will not catch fire. So yes, phosphates are algae food, removing it could help slow algae growth, but phosphate does not matter if the algae dies before it can eat.
    I'm stealing this.
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by noquacks View Post
    Thanks, people- advice so fast!

    Now, "slam", "shock", bang or crash- What is this?? Ive maybe "slammed" my pool with 2 jugs at least 2X in past 6 weeks (from memory) then "shock" with a jug once every 5 days/week. Are yous saying Im not putting enough? If I am putting enough, s why do I still have algae? I DO put in a few minutes daily. EVERY day. I brush, and alternate pool vac/no pool vac.

    PO4 is the wood for fire- I agree. Then , another member says it doesnt matter. I appreciate your views, but we dont have consensus here on this.

    Good point on not backwashing until pressures go up. Thanks. JV- whats 5/6ths mean? 5/6 of ideal FC ppm? Something else?

    I apreciate the point of posting exact test results- I will have to wait until I get these- I dont have a kit- pool store results. Oh- pH is within- about 7.5.

    Thaks, people.
    Aha!!! Algae might be a small problem but your biggest problem is..............Pool Store Testing!!!!

    If you are just going by what the pool store told you, you really don't know how high your CYA might be.

    If you really want to get better control of your algae problem, I would take the $20+ dollars you are planning to spend for the Phos free and put it towards one of the recommended test kits. A good test kit has been the most important purchase I made towards gaining control of my pool.
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    I get it, people. Thanks for all the explanations. Good to know I dont have to "shock" the pool- just maintain it. I never knew that tip. Why are these pool stores hyping up so much this "shock " mentality. Oh well. OK, TFP, know where I could buy this $20 (or even $30) kit? Online would be easy......Oh- I do my own pH with a good meter, and Chlorine- I can titrate it easy too. Rest- I need a kit.

    Meanwhile, I just dumped another jug in, and brushed like mmad. running the motor overnight.....

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    Your minimum FC is either 5 (cya 60) or 6 (cya 80). Always has to be that or above.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    OK, good to know this relationship. never knew that. have to remember the 5/6 rule.
    16,000 gal in ground, marcite. FL.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Actually. Go to pool school. Click on the Handy Reference link. Check out the CYA/Chlorine chart. For every CYA level, the is a range of FC you must adhere to. Use that chart. There is no 5/6 rule.

    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    Actually. Go to pool school. Click on the Handy Reference link. Check out the CYA/Chlorine chart. For every CYA level, the is a range of FC you must adhere to. Use that chart. There is no 5/6 rule.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    OK, JV, looks like I need an edjukayshun- going back to school. Thnaks, man.
    16,000 gal in ground, marcite. FL.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    You DO need to shock. Again and again and again. We call the process Shock Level and Maintain.

    Shock as an adjective means high enough chlorine to kill off algae faster than it can reproduce without fading the liner or losing excessive amounts to the sun.

    Shock as a verb isn't used here because it gets confused with...

    Shock as a noun, which is a generic term pool stores use for different forms of powdered chlorine compounds as well as a strong non-chlorine oxidizer. Is that bag of shock 1,3-dichloro-1,3,5-triazinane-2,4,6-trione or 1,3,5-Trichloro-1,3,5-triazinane-2,4,6-trione or Calcium Hypochlorite or Lithium Hypochlorite or Potassium peroxymonosulfate? Answer: yes. Clear as mud, huh?

    A pool store "shock(verb)" is but one battle in the war on algae. You can win one battle but still lose the war. If you don't kill all the algae spores, they will regroup and grow some more and come back to fight again. You need to kill them all, every last one of them, and then you've won the war. And then you just settle into the nice easy routine of testing the FC, plug the numbers into pool math, and dump X amount of bleach in to maintain the FC levels.

    For a test kit, skip all the reading and head straight to http://tftestkits.net and order a TF100. You might want to spring for the XL option now, since you'll be using a lot of powder during the SLAM and you'll save on shipping if you order the refill upfront.


    Pool store shock SLAM


    The SLAM shouldn't have to be repeated, but it might stop while you're reading.
    Hit F5 to reload and watch them side-by-side.
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    You either chase the green monster with the bleach/chlorine or it will chase you from using the pool. One of you will win... which one will it be? You or the green monster?

    SLAMing Your Pool
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    Re: They're trying to sell me phosphate elixir again. Now Im confused.

    Let me put it another way, if you were in the business of selling stuff to put out fires (algae) would you rather sell someone the tools they need to put the fire out all the way and keep it out for a small amount of money, or tools to knock it back to a smouldering mess, so it could flare back up again over and over?


    The simple fact is it is nearly impossible to successfully follow our SLAM process without a high quality FAS-DPD chlorine test that you can run multiple times per day, and an accurate CYA turbidity test so you can know your correct level of chlorine. So all you have been doing with this pool store test and shock routine is to randomly dump buckets of water onto a wild fire until you can't smell smoke, never making sure you had enough water to put out the fire, or do any confirmation testing that the fire was really out (OCLT, overnight chlorine loss test).
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