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Thread: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

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    Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    I've been using TFP for several years for maintaining my pool. I a firm believer in it. I have a few flaws of my own, however, that have been preventing me from having an algae-free pool. With small children that I'm chasing after, I haven't been putting maintaining my pool chemistry as a priority. I'm paying the price with recurrent algae outbreaks, and of course I want to improve my methods. I do have a couple of questions, however.

    1) We use pucks. We just don't get out to the pool enough to keep adding chlorine on a daily basis or every other day basis. The pucks are definitely having a negative impact on the gunite near the skimmers. We know that for sure. I'm thinking of getting one of those floater things. I know those can get stuck near stairs, etc., and still impact gunite negatively, however I was thinking that might at least help it not be in the same spot all the time. Thoughts?

    2) We get algae very quickly. Of course, I've admitted to not adding bleach as needed as much as I should. Our pool also only gets full sun for maybe 5 hours or so a day due to lots of trees in our yard. I think that impacts the algae as well. I'm wondering if we did spend the money to lower phosphates (another thread got me curious), would that maybe help when we lapse on the chlorine to not help the algae bloom as fast? If so, what's required to lower them, and what would an ideal number be? I don't currently know what the number is. I know a year or so ago Leslie's said it was high. I can't look at my notes right this second.

    3) Thirdly, my CYA is at 35. Would the chlorine hold better or be more effective if I got CYA up to 50 or is 35 okay?

    I think that's all my questions for now. Thanks!

    -Dana
    13,500 gallons
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    1) We never recommend putting pucks into the skimmer. Get a floater if you insist on trying to use them.

    2) I think you would be much better off (and save yourself a good bit of money and grief) by just maintain adequate FC. Phosphates are meaningless if you maintain adequate FC. If you just do not trust yourself to maintain the FC, then lowering the phosphates might help. You could also start using an algeacide (poly 60) which might help. Chlorine WILL help and not cost you nearly as much.

    3) With continues use of pucks, I am very surprised your CYA is that low. Why don't you post up a full set of test results.

    If you are lacking in the attention you are providing the pool, you might should consider an automatic method of adding chlorine. SWG or liquidator or peristaltic pump.
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    1) Never leave pucks in the skimmer when the pump is off. Floaters are a little better, but they still tend to end up against a wall in the same place over and over, so they don't really solve the problem. If you are set on using pucks, a tablet feeder at the equipment pad is the way to go. However, we don't recommend using tablets/pucks at all.

    2) Something is off about your water chemistry one way or another. Without a full set of test results it is impossible to guess what that might be. However, it isn't phosphates. Phosphates don't really matter. As long as you maintain appropriate FC levels the phosphate level can be in the thousands without any problems.

    3) CYA between 30 and 50 is just fine.
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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    Any test results?
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    Thanks everyone. Sorry I was MIA for a bit. I'm at peace with forgetting about phosphates for now. We haven't used pucks in some time actually, part of the reason our FC hasn't been kept up well. I did buy a floater and will use that when we do use pucks, but I'm hoping to change my daily routine a bit to incorporate better water testing and just using bleach more.

    Now my concern is about my water chemistry in general. I've been SLAMing for about 4 or 5 days. We had a mild algae breakout - "mild" to me is you could see it on the walls of the pool but the entire pool wasn't green. Water was clear of course until after we brushed the algae into the pool and then it was cloudy, but only for a day even with frequent (2x/day) brushings. That surprised me that the water cleared up so fast. With that, I haven't been able to pass the OCLT. I'm actually wondering if my test kit could be "old" - it's a year old. I just ordered (last night) new stuff to test my CYA and chlorine (as of this morning I can't do the chlorine test because I'm out of the powder).

    So I'm wondering, is there really still something eating up our chlorine? Or could it be a faulty test kit (which seems like a stretch, honestly)? Water is crystal clear - even had a friend who used to install pools comment on how our water was sparkling.

    Last full test I did was 5/31. I know you won't love that. I was in a hurry to get the SLAM started on the 13th after being out of town and just did that without doing a full test. My pH is likely high right now but I'll test it later once my FC is down. pH runs high for me often.

    5/31, 6:15p:
    FC: 12
    CC: 0
    TC: 12
    pH: 7.5
    TA: 100
    CH: 200
    CYA: 30

    On the above test, we had an even milder breakout of algae. I SLAMed and did the OCLT and passed the OCLT. I did make a mistake, however, of overlooking a tiny bit of algae that was still in our spa that is connected to the pool. I believe that algae was a sign that there was still need to SLAM, but I was ignorant and didn't think anything of it. In looking back, when I saw algae on the 13th, I wondered if this outbreak was connected to the previous one not being fully taken care of.

    6/13, 2p: Husband brushed the pool then added 2 121oz containers (from WalMart - said to be equal to the 182oz containers) and after that I tested and had a FC of 7, so I added one more jug to try to get up to shock level of 16 for CYA of 30

    6/13, 5:20p: FC: 6 - added 3 jugs at separate times trying to get up to shock level

    6/13, 9:10p: FC: 20 - didn't bother OCLTing since I knew we weren't ready for that - pool is running continuously at this point

    6/14, 11a: FC: 6 - added a jug to bring up to shock

    6/14, 11:45a: FC: 9 - added another jug

    6/14, 5:10p: FC: 9 - added a jug

    6/14, 5:50p: FC: 14 - added 1/2 jug

    6/14, 8:40p: FC: 13 - added 1/2 jug

    6/14, 10:05p: FC: 16.5

    6/15, 4:25p: FC: 2 - added 2 jugs

    6/15, 8:30p: FC: 10.5 - added 1 jug

    6/15, 9:30p: FC: 16.5 - attempting OCLT

    6/16, 6:15a: FC: 14 - fail OCLT - added a jug at some point during the day to bring back up to shock

    6/16, 9:30p: FC: 8.5 - added another jug

    6/16, 10p: FC: 15.5 - not shock level but I knew I didn't have enough powder to test but one more time so I went with 15.5 for OCLT

    6/17, 6a: FC: 12.5 - fail OCLT

    I don't know if all of that is TMI, but I figured I'd tell you anyway just in case it's helpful. I just can't seem to understand why we didn't pass the OCLT again. We have no CCs showing up during testing. Water is crystal clear and beautiful, no apparent signs of algae anywhere, brushing has been anywhere from 1-2x a day. We've backwashed, etc. Thoughts?
    13,500 gallons
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    bridgman's Avatar
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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    I guess the first advice at this point would be to check & brush behind steps, ladders, light fixtures and anything else that touches the water but doesn't get full circulation.
    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: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    Thanks! We have brushed every hiding spot in the pool. The normal spots that have hiding algae have no signs of algae anywhere. I'm just not sure what's going on. So weird.
    13,500 gallons
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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    Organics do not have to be visible, so keep on SLAMming until you pass the OCLT. You need to kill everything and the only true way of knowing you have accomplished that is with the OCLT.
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  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    What would your advice be for SLAMing the pool while I wait for the powder to come so I can test my chlorine levels? Should I just add in a jug or two a day of bleach to keep the levels at least up until we get the stuff to test and keep the pump running at night still?
    13,500 gallons
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  10. Back To Top    #10
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    Have you considered getting an SWG or chlorine injection pump if daily manual chlorine dosing is too much of chore?
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Question about phosphates and a puck floater

    If you have the OTO chlorine test you can vaguely go by the following colors to estimate the FC level. If the sample turns a particularly vivid yellow the TC level is between 5 and 15, light orange is between 10 and 20, dark orange is between 15 and 30, and brown is 30 or higher.

    If you are not too concerned with the power bill, then continue to run the pump 24/7 and don't stop brushing.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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