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Thread: Greetings from Swampville!

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    Greetings from Swampville!

    Hello! Just found this site and have my test kit ordered. I will post results when it arrives friday.

    In the meantime, Swampville is well on it's way to Sparklecity! We bought a distressed property that had not been resided in for 2 years. Yes, that means the lovely pool was not maintained or covered for 2 years. However, we have spent a dang fortune with the local pool people. It was a toxic waste dump. We've never had a pool before, and I was honestly afraid to go near the pool! So we hired the pool folks to get it clean. They began coming April 21st. Well, they dumped a ton of chemicals in and came back day after day and finally began leaf raking out the foot of sludge at the bottom. Each time they did this, they had to pour more chemicals in. I finally figured out that they should have done that from day one, before putting the expensive chemicals in (you can sludge blind in green swampwater).....Anyway, I stopped them after too much money was spent and we still had lots of sludge about 2 weeks ago. I did learn a few things from them, including using our spare pump in the basement to bypass the filter completely.

    So I have been on my own for a few weeks continuing to leaf rake, shock, etc. Last week, I brought a sample to a pool store and they said everything was perfect. Well, the water was still cloudy, so that made no sense. We still could not see to the bottom. I shocked some more, and this week, it has been a bit clearer. Yesterday, I finally got the last remaining items from the bottom- a child's sock, a really disgusting 1' piece of plywood, and a pair of underwear. The clearer water did allow me to see small troubling spots of brownish dirt that kept reappearing the last few days. The pool store told me that it was probably dirt from my filter, that had a leak and they could schedule a day to come fix it. I finally felt safe enough to go in 2 days ago, just to quickly check if the brown dirt was gritty or not. Well, it was not gritty and despite vacuuming and the shock, the brown dirt would return to certain parts of the pool. Yes, Mustard Algae. I am convinced of it. So, now after $150 of chemicals in the past two days, I set in earnest to solve this issue without spending $s more.

    Is it okay to vacuum the algae through the filter system and backwash? I see we need to wash everything in site, and soak the rake, vacuum etc to prevent further infestation, but should I be vacuuming to waste? I hate to lose a lot of water after all the expensive chemicals! However, in reading tonight, it appears I will be moving to your system as soon as the kit comes and I can get my hands on LC.

    Again, I will post my test results once they come in. My poor kids really want to swim! I was sure I would be gazing at their bobbing little heads by now when I started 6 weeks ago. Thank you in advance for helping me move from Swampville to Sparklecity. I just hope we'll get there soon! Maine has a very short pool season!
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Welcome to TFP. You have made a great first step by taking control of your pool and ordering a test kit. Once the kit arrives, run all of the tests and post your results here. Someone will be along to guide you in the right direction.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Welcome!

    If the pool store has been dumping buckets of powders and jugs of snake oils into the pool, you may discover the CYA is too high and you'll have to drain some water anyway. So go ahead and vacuum to waste or vacuum and backwash and be done with it and don't fret. If they used any copper-based algaecides, you're actually doing yourself a favor. And if they added stuff you really needed, it's easy to raise levels later. It's losing excess that's the problem.

    In all the reading you're doing while you anxiously await your Junior Scientist Playset, include Extended Test Kit Directions. If CYA is super high, you'll need to use the dilution method described.
    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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    rlefig's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Follow the advice on here. I went through the same thing this spring changeing a 1971 inground swamp with water as black as coffee and 1 month later it is clear, sparkly and we have been swimming a number of times.
    1971 Gunite 31x16 IG Kidney shape pool approx 18000 Gallons
    EcoFinish Blue Lagoon
    Sta-rite System3 S7M120 Cartridge Filter
    A.O. Smith 3/4 HP motor, starite pump
    TF100 test kit

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    To your question in bold, it is most certainly okay/preferred to filter out all that dead algae and such, then backwash it out. You can Vacuum to waste or through the filter. Personally I'd vote filter, as I've noticed the pump can drain a TON of water in short periods...and vacuuming takes a bit of time. In reality there is likely not a wrong answer on this. (except maybe vac. with valve set to recirc )

    Do you know your filters baseline/clean PSI? dose the gauge work? let it get filled with crud to about a 25% increase over baseline and then backwash.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Thank you folks for the thoughts so far! Okay, leak at hose connection while vacuuming caused an airlock. Ugh. Got that taken care of, after an hour. I am not an extremely handy or scientific person, however, I believe I can be converted. So I think the CYA is ok. I had the pool folks test it yesterday and they said it was at 41. I followed all their instructions yesterday, and the algae was present again within 6 -8 hours. I had raised the ph to 7.8 as they recommended and gave three shocks after using their "Yellow out" algaecide. And brought the alkalinity up to 120. When I saw the algae again, I added a bit more ph and then 6 more lbs of shock. At 4 am, the algae was there again.

    I did the home test kit from the pool store (not the Taylor's etc that you folks recommend) and now the ph is still like 7.5 but there is absolutely no chorline, free or otherwise. Home test kit showed the following

    ph- 7.5
    fc- 0
    tc-0
    alkalinity-120
    cya- 40

    What do you follks recommend I do between now and friday when my kit comes? 2 days with no chlorine is bad, bad, bad. It is almost clear, and there was less algae today then yesterday. Any thoughts to get me through for the next few days?

    Yes, the gauge works. I will look at the motor and post about that next.

    THANK YOU ALL!
    Last edited by Jeniloohoo; 06-11-2014 at 03:00 PM. Reason: typo
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    PS- Pool store said the PH should be at 7.8 to 8.0. Looks like you folks disagree, and if my home kit is at all accurate, then my ph is fine....Also, I did vacuum just now and will continue to that. Will post a pic of the pool next with the pump info.
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    A chlorine reading of zero is likely to be accurate enough.

    I would continue raising to shock level at least twice a day as best you can. That should maintain any progress you have made to this point and might perhaps be enough to make further progress.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    A chlorine reading of zero is likely to be accurate enough.

    I would continue raising to shock level at least twice a day as best you can. That should maintain any progress you have made to this point and might perhaps be enough to make further progress.
    I am sorry to keep asking questions. So, according to your great pool math calculator, to deal with mustard algae, I need 7 gallons of bleach (6%). Does this sound right?


    THANK YOU.
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Hi Jenniloohoo. Richard320 and JasonLion have been giving you very sound advice. You should be on your way if you follow their directions. I can't offer any other advice than they already have. Recheck your figures on the pool math calculator. For an 18,000 gal pool non SWG with a 40 CYA going from 0 to 16 slam level FC using 6% bleach, 7 gallons sounds like it might be too much. Just double check your figures. You are in great hands!
    16,000 gallon Oval Vinyl Liner Pool (new liner 2014)
    Custom built in 1999 to be half in-ground and half out (sloped yard) vermiculite bottom, laser sighted to Florida Room and Deck
    Purex Triton Model cc100 Cartridge Filter, 100 gpm flow rate, Penfair 1HP Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Thanks joegus! It looked like I need to go to 24 slam level for yellow mustard algae. The pool test kit showed high levels of chlorine still this morning. Waiting for my Taylor kit coming tomorrow. There was considerably less algae this am, which I vacuumed to filter and backwashed/rinsed. Here is a picture from April at Swampville. I will upload a picture from yesterday next. Making progress!!!!!!!! I am so appreciative of this site and all the time people take to read/post.

    Last edited by Jeniloohoo; 06-12-2014 at 10:06 AM. Reason: flickr problems
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Welcome to TFP!

    I'm just gonna throw this out there. Not an expert on the subject but I wouldn't worry too much about it being mustard algae yet. It could just be stuff settling in low flow/circulation areas of the pool. You have started with quite a swamp and the filter has tons of work to do. In the meantime it could just be stuff that hasn't filtered yet settling back down after being "stirred". It seems like mustard algae isn't all that common and shows up in shady spots. From that one pic your pool doesn't look very shady.

    In any case when that kit arrives you're gonna be fast on your way to sparklypoolitis!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Okay, that is very helpful. There is NO shade, you are correct Beens. It is a brownish "dust" kind of thing, not sand or dirt, and it shows up within hours of my shocking and cleaning. I would love it not to be algae. It is definitely not green or black. I hope you are right. Something is eating at the chlorine and making the water somewhat cloudy. Trying to upload a current pic from yesterday. Flickr is not my friend....
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    It could still be algae that's eating up the chlorine and the stuff settling at the bottom is leftover underwear bits. (lol ok probably not) It sounds more like unfiltered stuff settling to me. I think the SLAM is going to take care of that and you'll be all ready to go 100% on that when your kit comes in.

    I haven't tried flikr. I use photobucket and it's really simple. Upload the pics to photobucket and copy the "IMG" link from the page into a post.
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Quote Originally Posted by Beens View Post
    It could still be algae that's eating up the chlorine and the stuff settling at the bottom is leftover underwear bits. (lol ok probably not)
    We inherited amazingly disgusting things all over the property from the previous owners. I will not describe....

    Okay, so here are pics from last week and yesterday. You can see I am getting a handle on it. We honestly had more than a foot of sludge over the entire bottom. Perhaps the matter is just continuing to come out the filter. It is very fine. Should I try the sock thingymajingy in the skimmer?



    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Samantha_in_AL's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Jeniloohoo, you're making great progress. I would definitely be using a skimmer sock to help clear the water. Most of us here use knee high stockings. They are much cheaper than the pool store kind.
    AG 18' X 52" Round Pacifica Pool w/ Metal Diamond Unibead Liner. Installed in March 2007.
    2.5 HP Baquapure 2 Speed Pump, 200 GPM Waterway ProClean Cartridge Filter System.


    Former Baquacil user
    Converted to BBB in Fall of 2009 - Now I have a truly trouble free pool!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeniloohoo View Post
    We inherited amazingly disgusting things all over the property from the previous owners. I will not describe....

    Okay, so here are pics from last week and yesterday. You can see I am getting a handle on it. We honestly had more than a foot of sludge over the entire bottom. Perhaps the matter is just continuing to come out the filter. It is very fine. Should I try the sock thingymajingy in the skimmer?
    The sock will catch stuff on the surface. Fine stuff suspended in the water will take a while to filter out. Have you read the article on Adding DE to a Sand Filter?

    If by chance, you add the first cup and a minute later you see a white cloud come out the returns, don't add any more! That means the sand is channeled or one of the laterals is cracked or something else is broken inside the sand filter.
    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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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Thank you Samantha and Richard. Okay, I am pretty sure they left knee highs in our basement, but I'll spring for new ones.

    Richard, what is a lateral. I did tell my husband that one of the pool stores mentioned this as a possibility. I was afraid they were trying to upcharge me even more. Now I am suspicious and untrusting, lol. So, I did google Astral filters and I guess I can manage taking it apart, but finding the parts for it might be tricky. I don't want to not have the filter running. If this is NOT mustard algae, I am worried the lateral means plumbing from the basement to the pool? Kaching kaching this thing.
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Beens's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    The lateral is just a piece inside the sand filter. I don't know a lot about it because I haven't opened mine up, but it's an octopus lookin' thing in there. Just answering quickly so you don't worry about plumbing!

    Here you go, pics of the inside of a sand filter! http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-a-Sand-Filter

    I guess it's more like a pirate ship wheel!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.0 HP pump
    Hayward Pro Series S166T Sand Filter
    Original Intex Floating Skimmer

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Greetings from Swampville!

    Worry about what a lateral is only if you try DE and a cloud erupts out of the return. It could just be that the filter is overwhelmed, it doesn't have to be broken.
    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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