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Thread: Mustard algae 4, us 0

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    Join Date
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    Wichita Falls, TX
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    Mustard algae 4, us 0

    Pertinent information:
    1. 20K gallon pool
    2. in ground pool
    3.gunnite pool
    4. Sand filter. Triton II TR60. Flow Rate - 63gpm
    5. 3/4hp pump. Single speed.
    6. Pool installed in the mid 1990's
    7. There is a Polaris 180 sweeper, but it is out of the pool.

    A little bacgkround -
    We purchased the house 4 years ago, and converted it to salt that very next spring. Within 1 year, I had replaced *every single piece of equipment*. The only thing that wasn't replaced was a the plumbing. Fast forward to the end of last year's swimming season - the chlorine generator died. During the death of the chlorine generator, I noticed a brownish cloud from the jets whenever I completed backwashing. The pool turned an awful color of blackish green over the winter and nothing I could do could get the pool to clear up. I did notice that the pool was almost completely crystal clear when the pressure in the filter got high and the water slowed down. I then began vacuuming the pool to get as much gack off the bottom of the pool as possible. What I was left with, is a pool that is now horribly infested with mustard algae (or so we were informed when we hired a pool company to come help get the pool opened for the season).

    We are in the process of selling our house now, and relocating to Central Texas. I am only home on the weekends, and I have enough other things that require my attention that we opted for said company to open the pool. The pool company's representative came out and promptly informed us that we have a mustard algae infestation and that the only thing that will kill mustard algae is chelated copper. This was two weeks ago. He poured a couple of bottles of chelated copper algeacide in the pool, and said that the mustard should be dead in a day or so. Two full weeks and six bottles later, all we have is a pool that's blue, and when I sweep the steps and sides, I get an awful yellow/brown cloud that mushrooms out into the water. We have spent a FORTUNE in chemicals and we no closer to being open than when we started. A few minutes of reading on this site and I saw several people with mustard algae, and they were able to beat it.

    We had a water sample taken and processed yesterday:
    CYA 59
    Total chlorine 14.6
    Free Chlorine 10.5
    Ph 8
    Total alkalinity 98
    Adj. Alkalinity 80
    Total hardness 411
    Salt 3500

    We put in chemicals per their instructions yesterday to adjust the Ph. They instructed us to put int Scale inhibitor, smart shock and 'pool tonic'.

    I am sick of spending a fortune on products that aren't working. Can someone PLEASE help me fix my pool?
    --i hate my pool
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    Order quality test kit. I have a TF 100 - easily worth the expense.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...its-comparison

    If chlorine is tested below 10 then recheck pH and correct. Don't adjust pH if chlorine is above 10 (test not reliable).

    Your shock level for mustard is 35, assuming you don't want to drain to drop that CYA a bit AND assuming the CYA they reported is correct (doubt)

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...rine-CYA-Chart

    Calculate amount of standard bleach to use to achieve that free chlorine level and start hitting it in the evening
    Keep it there until you meet the following criteria: water looks great, combined chlorine is <0.05 and overnight loss is less than 1.

    more details here about brushing, backwash etc.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

    it's simple but requires the right test kit and attention until all criteria are met. The above will almost guarantee success at the lowest possible expense.
    Copper works but expect some green hair.
    Your salt cell's 'super chlorinate' won't achieve the sustained levels you need to kill visible algae.

    and yes, standard bleach. Chlorine without calcium or CYA....good stuff. you'll need like a bunch of bottles depending on strength. use the calculator here:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    Don't hate your pool....hate the guy selling you all the unnecessary stuff
    15 K gal/gunnite, 600 gal attached SPA, Hayward: ProLogic, ColorLogic LED, Super II pumps, 400k BTU heater, StarClear cartridge filter for, SwimClear cartridge filter . Pentaire: booster

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/detai...l?hilit=corpus

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    This:

    I noticed a brownish cloud from the jets whenever I completed backwashing. The pool turned an awful color of blackish green over the winter and nothing I could do could get the pool to clear up. I did notice that the pool was almost completely crystal clear when the pressure in the filter got high

    Sounds to me like a channeled filter. When the filter started getting dirty, it worked. When you cleaned the layer off the top of the sand by backwashing, the dirty water once again found its way past the sand and out without being filtered.

    Deep Cleaning won't cost you anything but some water and time. And if it works, the dead algae will actually filter out instead of getting shot back into the pool.

    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!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    Welcome to TFP!

    First, a deep breath is in order. Understand that you are not the problem...The problem is the conventional wisdom you are being told and sold. Algaecides of any kind are useless on an existing algae bloom. All a copper-based algaecide will do is add metals to the water and increase the risk of metal staining. Plain old chlorine, in the proper dosage, is all you need to kill algae, including mustard algae.

    Before we begin, understand that this is a hands-on process. If you will not be in town to devote the time needed to remedy this situation, you will need a trusted family member or friend to help out. We will be here to provide assistance as needed.

    To clear this up, here's what you need to do:
    1. Put aside all chemicals except for plain unscented liquid bleach. Don't have any? Time to stock up - as in about a compact pickup-loads worth - seriously. You will go through much of it during the SLAM process - this is what will clear your pool. See if you can return any unused chemicals you were sold.
    2. Order one of the Recommended Test Kits. You will need it to test your chlorine during the SLAM process.
    3. Based on your pH of 8, I would get a bottle or two of Muriatic Acid to lower the pH (see step 6).
    4. While you are waiting for your test kit, read these two articles: ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain. The first article gives an overview of managing pool water chemistry and the second outlines the process you will need to go through once you have your liquid bleach and test kit in hand.
    5. Let FC drop below 10 in preparation for Step 6.
    6. Although you recently had the water tested, run the following tests when your test kit arrives: pH, Free Chlorine (FC), Combined Chloramines (CC), CYA, and TA. Note the results of each. Refer to the Extended Test Kit Directions if needed. If there are any discrepancies between your results and the first test that you had "processed", trust your results. If CYA is over 50, and since several bottles of copper algaecide have been added to the water, I would do a partial drain & refill (D&R) to get CYA in the 30-40 ppm range. Lowering the CYA will make it easier to manage FC during the SLAM process. In addition, the D&R will dump some of the copper from the algaecides thereby lessening the chance of future metal staining. If a D&R is necessary, use the PoolMath tool to determine how much water should be drained and then refilled.
    7. If necessary, use Muriatic Acid to adjust your pH down to around 7.2 right before you begin the SLAM process. PoolMath can help determine the dosage amount needed to reach this level. Then do not test or adjust pH until the SLAM process is complete.
    8. Expect to be at this step for a while...Begin the SLAM process and follow the procedures outlined in the SLAM article. During this process, test FC and CC only. No point in testing any other parameters until the SLAM is done. Since you have mustard algae, the target FC level is higher than it is for green algae. Therefore, you want to keep FC at a target level of 60% of your CYA level. For example, assuming your current CYA of 59 is correct, your FC target during the SLAM process is about 35 ppm, figured as follows: 59 * 0.6= 35.4. The PoolMath tool will help you determine the amount of bleach to add to your pool based on your FC test results and your target FC level.
    9. When the SLAM process is done, let FC drop below 10 and run a full suite of tests. Adjust pH if necessary.
    10. Bring CYA up to between 60-80 as recommended for a SWG pool. This is easy to do and we can explain it after your pool is cleared up.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    I am going to go against our standard advice. If you were going to continue living in this house and wanted to learn to take control of your pool then I would be giving the same advice as Richard, BoDarvile, and savela. The method we recommend does work and it works beautifully if you are willing to invest the time to follow all the steps and the money for a high quality test kit. However, since you are selling this home and are not there during the week and doubtless have a million things to do for the move when you are there my advice is this: Drain the pool. Deep clean the sand filter. Repair the SWG.

    Brush the pool well then drain it about 75%. Keep at least a foot of water in the shallow end of the pool. While the pool is draining deep clean the sand filter. Be sure to backwash and rinse before setting it on filter once the pool is full again. Repair the SWG so you can run it on a timer while you are away to keep the pool clear. Once the pool is full add enough CYA to reach 70ppm if you repair the SWG, or 30ppm if you do not repair it. Use PoolMath to determine your target chemical levels and what you will need to reach them.

    If for some reason you cannot drain the pool. Then you will need to follow the slam procedures as closely as you can to clear the pool, and you will need to deep clean the sand filter.

    I'm sure your realtor has told you a nasty looking pool will drive off many a home buyer. While everyone may not want a pool, few things are more inviting on a hot day than a crystal clear pool that sparkles like liquid diamonds.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    Wow, lots of good advice here (which is what I was hoping for).

    I purchased a test kit with Taylor testing chemicals. The only thing missing was a CYA test tube, which I had from another test kit.

    I ran another round of tests, and I have more questions. The test kit(s) I have only go to 5 on the Cl scale. When I ran the test, it was more pink/red than my scale accounts for, which isn't surprising since the BioGuard analysis said my total and free chlorine are both >`10.


    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    Let FC drop below 10 in preparation for Step 6.
    Is there any way to help speed this process along? I have been running the SWG at ~80% to help pump chlorine into the pool. Apparently it's working. Within the last few hours, I have turned the SWG down to 20 or 30% in an effort to get it to slow chlorine production.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    Based on your pH of 8, I would get a bottle or two of Muriatic Acid to lower the pH (see step 6).
    We were given instructions to add acid yesterday (which we did). I re-ran the Ph test, and it's now between 7.2 and 7.5

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    there my advice is this: Drain the pool. Deep clean the sand filter. Repair the SWG.

    Brush the pool well then drain it about 75%. Keep at least a foot of water in the shallow end of the pool. While the pool is draining deep clean the sand filter. Be sure to backwash and rinse before setting it on filter once the pool is full again. Repair the SWG so you can run it on a timer while you are away to keep the pool clear. Once the pool is full add enough CYA to reach 70ppm if you repair the SWG, or 30ppm if you do not repair it. Use PoolMath to determine your target chemical levels and what you will need to reach them.
    We have a couple of issues against us. The company who installed our SWG 4-ish years ago specifically recommended against a multi-port valve on our sand filter. They told us to go with a push-pull, (They also said that we would have no problems by converting to SW, but that's a discussion for another day.) so no deep cleaning for us. Compounding matters, we're already having to haul water in for evaporation. Not sure yet if it will be feasible to drain and add that much water. It may be a wash by the time we get bleach added to the pool. I replaced the SWG about 2 months ago with a brand-new identically sized unit.

    Is there an Idiot's Guide to Understanding Chlorine somewhere that I can read up on? TC - FC = CC has me

    thanks in advance for all of the hand holding.
    --i hate my pool

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    Is there an Idiot's Guide to Understanding Chlorine somewhere that I can read up on? TC - FC = CC has me
    Almost everything we teach about Pool Water Chemistry starts at "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School.

    Upon discovering this website, there is a natural tendency to rush and try to fix your pool in 24 hours or less. Don't fall victim to that. Your pool did not get in it's condition in 24 hours so it won't get fixed that fast either.

    Take your time, devour Pool School, and ask lots of questions........hundreds of really nice people here to help along the way.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8
    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    Let FC drop below 10 in preparation for Step 6.
    Quote Originally Posted by i hate my pool
    Is there any way to help speed this process along?
    The reason for letting FC drop below 10 is to get a reliable pH reading prior to beginning the SLAM.

    You will need to decide if you will completely drain & refill the pool or go through the SLAM process. Both alternatives are plausible and will work to get the pool in better condition. If you choose to completely drain & refill the pool, then you do not need to wait for FC to drop. You can begin the drain & refill at any time.

    I actually did ponder an alternative similar to what zea3 proposed. But with the water restrictions we have in place, I am extremely hesitant to recommend a complete drain & refill unless all other alternatives have been exhausted. Since I have heard that Wichita Falls has been even drier than we have been, you may want to look into any water restrictions that may be in place. There are various stages and some prohibit the complete draining & refilling of pools (topping off to maintain proper levels is OK). Even if there are restrictions, you could apply for a variance citing health/unsanitary conditions and/or risk of mosquito infestation if things really got out of hand.

    BTW, the filter sounds like it needs a deep cleaning regardless of which way you proceed.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    You will learn so much in Pool School. Once you start your SLAM, you will have to maintain it every day for a few days until it is complete.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae 4, us 0

    You should still deep clean the sand filter. The top should open to allow access to the sand bed. When you have finished backwash the filter until clear and rinse well.
    TFP Moderator
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