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Thread: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

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    Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Hi all, I'm new here and to pool maintenance in general so please excuse my ignorance with certain things. This is the first spring I've lived in this house, and opened the pool. Over the winter, it turned into a swamp. I'm having a real hard time getting the water to clear up. I've spent hundreds at the pool store so far, in chemicals. They test my water, tell me what to buy and I follow their instruction. However, it's still green and cloudy (although it got a little lighter now). I can't get a handle on this thing. I've read most of the stickies on this forum and others but I must be missing something.

    My pool is approximately 80,000 Liters (21,100 gal). I have a sand filter, and use bromine tablets (brominator).

    I went to the pool store yesterday and I was asked to add Alkalinity, and shock the pool using powered shock (sorry don't have the name in front of me). I did this, then scrubbed the walls and bottom to stir up any algae. Then I added a liter of Algaecide. So far, nothing's changed.

    With test strips, PH and Alkalinity numbers look fine. I do notice that my Bromine levels are low (around 1 PPM). But my brominator is full and on MAX, also I added some bromine tabs to the skimmer to help get the level up. This is what the pool store asked me to do.

    I'm really at a loss now - I'm going to take another water sample to the store today at 11AM to see the exact numbers are. I will post back my chemical numbers for you guys, and any help is greatly appreciated.

    IMG_20140530_180115.jpg
    IMG_20140530_180728.jpg

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    I just found the SLAM procedure ion the Pool School section. I will give this a shot, however I need to get a reliable test kit. Right now I use strips, but when I want exact numbers, I just take a sample to my pool store around the corner.

    Question, does it make any difference that my pool is Bromine (for SLAMing)? And the process says Liquid Bleach, they are literally referring to bleach I can buy at Walmart?

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Welcome to TFP!

    We can get your pool straightened out...no problem. But first, you will need to decide if you will follow our methods (which are based on science) or what I call the "Pool Store Method" (which is based on marketing and getting you to buy as many chemicals as they can sell you). The two methods are incompatible. The reason pool stores offer free testing is that it serves as a gateway for them to recommend all sorts of chemicals which helps their bottom line but does little for your pool. Plus, their testing is notably inaccurate, but I'll save that discussion for another day.

    Congratulations on recognizing the need to get a good test kit. You are already ahead of most. Being in Canada, our recommended test kits might not be able to be shipped there - maybe someone else can chime in and confirm if that's the case. If not, look for a Taylor test kit. You will need one that tests Free Chlorine (FC), Combined Chloramines (CC), pH, TA (Alkalinity), CYA (Stabilizer), and Calcium Hardness (CH) . As a reference, here are our Recommended Test Kits.

    Here's what I recommend:
    1. Get your test kit
    2. While you are waiting for it to arrive, read the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry and SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    3. When you get your test kit, run all tests except for CH (we can work on that later).
    4. Post your test results


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzo
    And the process says Liquid Bleach, they are literally referring to bleach I can buy at Walmart?
    Yes. Get the plain unscented variety.

    I will need someone to chime in on whether you can safely use liquid bleach in a brominated pool and what procedures need to be taken to prep the pool for that.
    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.

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    You can safely use liquid Chlorine in a bromine pool. Any additions of chlorine is immediately turned into bromine.

    Bromine is typically used in indoor pools and covered hot tubs because the bromine sanitizer cannot be protected from the sun with CYA like in chlorine pools. It appears that you are an outdoor pool exposed to sun light. Why would you be using bromine? Are you sure ?
    In ground 25,000 gallon - vinyl liner - Sand filter - residential pool
    Also maintain two commercial 190,000 gallon competitive indoor bromine facilities -9x Sand filters

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    I started the battle with the green monster in my pool a few days after receiving my TF-100 pool test kit. These folks on this site know their game better than any other site or pool store, guaranteed. Because of the difference between the two groups (one is here volunteering their years and years of knowledge while the other is there to sell you products and services), you can't follow both sets of directions. I would follow the advice on TFP and if it helps out, become a supporter to show your thanks (and because you saved $$)!

    I'm still learning about pool care and maintenance but in the 4 years of pool care, this is the first year I've done it right and saved money and it's because of TFP. The one suggestions I would make is to ask questions, regardless of how "dumb" you think they are. Very friendly and patient group here. The SLAM and PoolMath was tricky for me but after asking questions, I finally figured out how to read it.

    I wish you all the luck!
    14.6k gallon pool (24'x52" round), AG Pool with sand filter
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    Pool and all equipment installed June 2011
    Thank you for your help!

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Thanks for the reply! How about this kit:

    http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-K-2106-.../dp/B0002IXIIQ

    Also, almost everything I've read is referring to Chlorine (ie: FC). Is there anything I need to be aware of since I use bromine?

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Zadd View Post
    You can safely use liquid Chlorine in a bromine pool. Any additions of chlorine is immediately turned into bromine.

    Bromine is typically used in indoor pools and covered hot tubs because the bromine sanitizer cannot be protected from the sun with CYA like in chlorine pools. It appears that you are an outdoor pool exposed to sun light. Why would you be using bromine? Are you sure ?
    I moved here last year, I just continued using what the old owners used. Is switching as simple as switching to Chlorine tablets instead of Bromine tablets? I have a chlorinator device.

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    That kit apparently does not test CYA. That parameter is critical for using our methods.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzo
    Is switching as simple as switching to Chlorine tablets instead of Bromine tablets? I have a chlorinator device.
    I would not use the (trichlor) chlorine tabs as they also contain stabilizer (CYA). Higher levels of CYA cause you to maintain a higher FC level. Eventually, the CYA would build up to such a high level that the level of FC needed to maintain proper sanitation becomes impractical. At that point, you would need to drain & replace a significant amount of your water to bring the CYA level back down. That's why we recommend plain liquid bleach - it does not contain CYA and has no undesirable side effects.
    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.

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    All I can remember is an old saying ..... "Once a bromine pool, always a bromine pool" , so please let's wait for confirmation/more information before starting a process.....

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    That kit apparently does not test CYA. That parameter is critical for using our methods.


    I would not use the (trichlor) chlorine tabs as they also contain stabilizer (CYA). Higher levels of CYA cause you to maintain a higher FC level. Eventually, the CYA would build up to such a high level that the level of FC needed to maintain proper sanitation becomes impractical. At that point, you would need to drain & replace a significant amount of your water to bring the CYA level back down. That's why we recommend plain liquid bleach - it does not contain CYA and has no undesirable side effects.
    Stupid question, but are you basically saying I don't need the chlorinator? If I stop using Bromine, I would dump liquid bleach in to keep my FC at an acceptable level?

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    If you are or have been a bromine pool then there is a reserve of that chemical in the water which will always transform your chlorine additions to bromine. The only way to get rid of the bromine reserve is to drain it out. That why they say "once a bromine pool always a bromine pool".

    Don't do anything just yet until some experts from this forum chime in.
    In ground 25,000 gallon - vinyl liner - Sand filter - residential pool
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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    The problem with chlorine tabs is that they add stabilizer aka cyanuric acid, which is a Good Thing in small quantities but which accumulates and makes reasonable chlorine levels ineffective over time. Recommended practice here is to use bleach aka chlorinating liquid aka "liquid chlorine" (it's not really liquid chlorine BTW) which requires more frequent interaction but also has no side effects.

    One good option for liquid chlorine in Toronto is good 'ol Canadian Tire -- they have 5 liter jugs of Purox for $5.99 and the same in their house brand for a dollar less. Seems to be cheaper than any of the regular bleach prices I have been able to find.

    EDIT -- just one more caution that it seems you need to get rid of pretty much *all* of the bromine before you convert to chlorine so read up on that carefully if you're thinking that way.
    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: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Thanks everyone. However, I'm still curious how the bromine will affect the formulas and quantities when trying to balance my pool. Since everything I read on this forum is referring to chlorine, free chlorine, etc..

    I'll wait until someone can chime in on the bromine thing. Thanks again.

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzo
    Stupid question, but are you basically saying I don't need the chlorinator? If I stop using Bromine, I would dump liquid bleach in to keep my FC at an acceptable level?
    Not a stupid question at all...Yes, you would dump the liquid bleach into the pool to maintain FC. I would empty the chlorinator, but turn it up to the maximum setting just to avoid water stagnating in the chlorinator. You could use the trichlor tabs (assuming your chlorinator is compatible with them) when you go on vacation to maintain FC while the pool is unattended. Yes, that will add some CYA, but it will be a small amount.

    Before proceeding, please wait for more confirmation on how to handle the current bromine situation.
    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.

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzo View Post
    I'm still curious how the bromine will affect the formulas and quantities when trying to balance my pool. Since everything I read on this forum is referring to chlorine, free chlorine, etc...
    All the chemical tests are the same except for a few exceptions:
    1)CYA is not tested in a bromine pool because it is useless in bromine application
    2) FC is tested the same but number is multiplied by 2.25 to get Free Bromine number. Example FC=2 ppm then FB =4.5. I typically test as if it were a chlorine pool so that I can refer to the guidelines listed on this forum
    3) Combined Chlorine (CC) is not tested in bromine pools. Some sort of test interference

    The following are the same in either pool:
    1) pH scale
    2) TA
    3) CH
    In ground 25,000 gallon - vinyl liner - Sand filter - residential pool
    Also maintain two commercial 190,000 gallon competitive indoor bromine facilities -9x Sand filters

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    When you are ordering a Taylor Test kit from Canada, go to the Taylor website. They have a link for Canadian customers there. You can get the correct kit this way. Canadian Tire has a sale on pool chlorine and their bleach this week. Stock up!

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    I was just at Crappy Tire, they have the 5L bottles of Liquid Chlorine for 3.99$. How many is it worth it to buy? Not sure if they go bad..

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzo
    How many is it worth it to buy? Not sure if they go bad..
    Reagents should last at least a year if they are kept in a climate-controlled location out of direct sunlight. They may even last 2 years if the reagents haven't been sitting on the store shelf for too long.
    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
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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    According to the manufacture's website, the Aquarius Liquid Chlorine is 10.8%, which is on sale at Canadian Tire for $3.99 for 5L. One of the experts can give best advice, but my short answer would be lots. You will likely need 20 jugs or more to do the SLAM. Depends on your CYA levels.

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    Re: Can't shake this green cloudy pool - new pool owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Zadd View Post
    All the chemical tests are the same except for a few exceptions:
    1)CYA is not tested in a bromine pool because it is useless in bromine application
    2) FC is tested the same but number is multiplied by 2.25 to get Free Bromine number. Example FC=2 ppm then FB =4.5. I typically test as if it were a chlorine pool so that I can refer to the guidelines listed on this forum
    3) Combined Chlorine (CC) is not tested in bromine pools. Some sort of test interference

    The following are the same in either pool:
    1) pH scale
    2) TA
    3) CH
    Ok so CYA is not a factor for me. I'm having a hard time keeping my Total Bromine above 1ppm.

    My TA is around 110, and PH is around 7.3.

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