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Thread: Newbie with Algae and vacuum side leak

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Dallas TX

    Newbie with Algae and vacuum side leak

    Hello TFP folks,

    I have spotty green algae on the plaster and tiles. Water is perfectly clear. Been using chlorine tabs in two pool floats for a couple months then blindly shocked heavy with HTH calcium hypochlorite -- four one-pound bags three weeks ago that helped a little. Then HTH Super Algae Guard to no effect. Dumped three more bags of HTH calcium hypochlorite last weekend. Have also brushed and vacuumed twice a week and cleaned the filter grids then recharged with DE.

    Now I'm getting serious. HTH test strips tell me:
    pH 7.5
    Hardness 600ppm
    Alkalinity 120ppm
    TOTAL Chlorine (off the chart, estimated to be ~40ppm by testing a 10X dilution)
    FREE Chlorine Unknown
    Cyanuric Acid 80ppm
    I can come back with better chlorine numbers on Monday: I work at a lab so can do free testing. ATM these are test strips results.

    Tonight I drained three inches of water and added four inches back, then dumped two gallons of 8% hypochlorite bleach into pool after brushing.
    We're having drought here in N Texas so I don't want to drain/refill any more water for now. So what to do about the algae?

    Next problem: Apparently there's a leak on the vacuum side. I get bubbles coming out the jets and even after bleeding the DE tank they won't stop. When the pump stops the basket has to be re-primed every time to start up again, or run pump dry for 30 seconds which I assume is very hard on the pump.

    Thanks for any advice and replies. This pool came with the house so time to learn...
    IG Plaster pool. 14,000 gallons. Approx 10 years old.
    DE Filter

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Fallsburg, NY

    Re: Newbie with Algae and vacuum side leak

    First step, order a proper test kit. Test strips tell us nothing, they are very inaccurate.
    Second step, read pool school, especially the section on the relationship between FC and CYA
    8638 gallon 20'x52" Intex ultra frame round AG. 2650 gph Intex Sand Filter. Intex krystal Klear SWG. (newer model that includes copper ion generation) Hayward 1091LX skimmer, Kreepy Krauly lil shark. Taylor K-2006 w/speed stir and sample sizer. New this year, Intex PureSpa - dichlor-> bleach method for sanitizing.
    New pool, 16'x36' (approx 18000 gal) in ground pool, Haywood DE filter

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Newbie with Algae and vacuum side leak


    Algae and high CYA can be fixed with water replacement and bleach. But a good test kit will be needed. 'nuff said. You've probably been reading in pool school about that.

    For the air leak, start with the easy things. The water level in the skimmer. Sticking flapper. When the pump is on, you shouldn't see a vortex in the water. If you do, there's your air source. Then open up the pump basket and check that big O-ring. Even a tiny hairline crack will cause a huge air leak. So, no cracks, no grit or blades of grass, plenty of pool lube on it. Feel the drain plugs on the bottom of the pump and be sure they're good and snug. If you still haven't found it, start coating the pipe connections with shaving cream. If the bubbles stop and/or you see a gap in the foam where it's being sucked in, you found it. Good luck.
    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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