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Thread: Pool help - algae, staining, CYA levels uggghhhh!

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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Oxford, MS
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    Pool help - algae, staining, CYA levels uggghhhh!

    Hello all,

    I have owned a pool for 7 or 8 years now, and it's the worst experience I have ever had. I hope someone can ease the pain, so to speak. But first, a little background.

    My pool is 30,000 gallons, plaster, sand filter, mineral cartridge sanitation system. My problems began with a flood a few years ago - we flooded and while rebuilding the house to be liveable, we ingored the pool (priorities). When the pool turned green and started stinking, we gave it some attention. Long story short, we drained about half the water, scooped out a dozen wheelbarrow loads of mud, leaves, sticks, fish, etc, refilled, and had a pool professional come and get the chemicals balanced. Ever since then we have been fighting algae. If I turn my head for just a moment - green fuzz starts growng on the walls of the pool.

    Had pool professionals come back last year and they determined we had high phosphates, so we started that routine testing and treatmetn and things got a little better. Pool still not as "stable" as when it was new. We have just lived with the algae battle - lots of shock/chlorine tabs, sweeping, etc.

    This year, we decided to do something about all the ugly stains left behind from the flood. A vitamin C tab confirmed the stains are metal, so I set out to find some ascorbic acid. I also bought me one of those handy dandy test kit with the strips that test for 6 different things, including CYA. My CYA reads around 100, which I have learned can only be cured with a drain/refill, and the high CYA inhibits the chlorine from doing its job. All this time I though I had my chlorine where it should be........I guess that explains to some degree the algae. I guess the high CYA come from all the shock /tabs I've dumped in address the algae.

    After getting my ph to 7.2, and chlorine to 0, I dumped 3 lbs of ascorbic acid in the pool and let it circulate. An hour later there were no visual improvements. I dumped the remaining 2 lbs in, and we will see what it looks like at the end of the day.

    So.....here's my question for the pool experts:
    1) If the ascorbic acid doesn't do the trick, (I have to drain much of the pool anyway for CYA), what can I use on the dry surface to remove the metal? I will drain the entire pool if needed. I recognize the stains are heavy and old.

    2) Because of my algae difficulties, and the fact I have to do a drain, should I wash the pool surface with highly concentrated bleach to kill the algae, and flush the filter and plumbing lines with bleach?

    3) What would you do if this were your headache?

    I have removed the mineral cartridge, and probaly will not use another. I guess I will up the cholrine.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Indiana
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    Re: Pool help - algae, staining, CYA levels uggghhhh!

    I know completely draining the pool can be dangerous (to the pool that is) since pressure from below could lift it up or crack it so you may want to be careful before doing that. I would give the ascorbic acid some more time. You will also want to get a more reliable test kit like everyone here talks about. I have the TF100 and it is great. I have used the 6 way strips and they can be hard to read and aren't as accurate as the TF100. After getting an accurate cya reading, partially drain and refill as much as necessary to get your cya down to 50 and then start the slam process. Then maintain your Chlorine at 4 or more depending on cya level and that should prevent the algae. I would guess the high cya is preventing your chlorine from working which is why you have the chronic algae problems.
    Wish I could help more with the staining, but fortunately for me, I haven't experienced that.
    IG plaster, 22,000 gallon, Jacuzzi Laser Sand filter

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    Jun 2014
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    Oxford, MS
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    Re: Pool help - algae, staining, CYA levels uggghhhh!

    Thanks for the input mfed. I am concerned about the buoyancy issue, although my pool is supposed to have the pressure relieving valvesin the main drains. I suppose the upside is if it floats out of the ground, my algae and staining issues are solved!!! I've already calculated the number of dumptrucks needed to fill-er-up.

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    Re: Pool help - algae, staining, CYA levels uggghhhh!

    If you have read much here, you will find we don't teach any magic method. Instead, we educate you about the parameters you need to understand to manage your pool correctly. Keep reading a bit more and if you decide you want to undertake this eye-opening experience, we will help.

    From your posts, I am not sure you are willing to travel the path we teach so read some more testimonials and then read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. That'll give you the basics. We can easily turn your pool crystal clear if you have the incentive to learn.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool help - algae, staining, CYA levels uggghhhh!

    duraleigh,

    Thank you for reading my post; however, you have mistaken frustration for unwillingness. I would have never bothered with the post if I were unwilling, and I don't expect there to be some kind of magic solution to my issues.

    In the time I have spend searching through the posts and reading the articles, I have not run across anything that would give me the answer to the two qustions I posed. The overwhelming majority of posts and discussions on this site contemplate a pool being full of water. My questions are predicated upon my pool being drained, thus two straight forward questions:

    1) If the ascorbic acid doesn't do the trick, (I have to drain much of the pool anyway for CYA), what can I use on the dry surface to remove the metal? I will drain the entire pool if needed. I recognize the stains are heavy and old.

    2) Because of my algae difficulties, and the fact I have to do a drain, should I wash the pool surface with highly concentrated bleach to kill the algae, and flush the filter and plumbing lines with bleach?

    And I can restate the third question: Given the fact I must drain half the pool, and potentially all the pool, are there other measures that would be wise to employ given the pool's history and current problem.

    Thank you

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    Jun 2009
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    Re: Pool help - algae, staining, CYA levels uggghhhh!

    I have no experience with staining so I cannot help there, but I can offer my take on the other questions. Simply put, your algae issues are not related to a problem with the pool surface but through mismanagement. The mismanagement is not through your fault, the people you thought were experts were only salesmen. So the best thing you can do is try to forget everything they ever told you about chlorine, phosphates, or anything else.

    So after you figure out your staining issue (also probably caused by the "professionals"):
    0. Decide if you are truly ready to give this a shot. This isn't a negative comment, but as Mr. Miyagi said, "Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape." You do TFPC "I guess so," squish like grape.
    1. Carefully place all of your test strips in the nearest trash receptacle. They are worthless.
    2. Get a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 test kit, these kits allow you to accurately measure the most important levels.
    3. After accurately testing your CYA adjust it as needed through draining.
    4. Carefully read and reread the SLAM article in the pool school and prepare to do that. This will clean out everything and get you on the right path.
    5. Be amazed that you will never go through the stress you went through the past years!

    And we will be here to help you along the way.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
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    Re: Pool help - algae, staining, CYA levels uggghhhh!

    Hi and welcome.

    I did a google search of "Acid wash a plaster pool" and this was the first article:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lean-with-pics!

    So I'd suggest maybe try the power wash method and then refill, and then go with the AA treatment for any metal staining, if its all over. If it's a spotty stain situation maybe spot treat with AA while it's drained? Do you have pics?

    Before you do drain, I get that you were somewhat sarcastic about the truckloads of dirt... you may want to verify your water table. Whatever you decide, please post before and after pool porn pics. We love this stuff. lol
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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