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Thread: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

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    Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Hello Everyone-
    Like many, this is my first post and of course pool problems brought me here! Wish it was under better circumstances

    I'm throwing any pride I have left out the window and giving you all the details. I am spiraling downward quickly with all this and it's time to take a step back and put a plan in place to get back on track. If any of you can help me do this, it would be very much appreciated!

    30' Round

    My pool is about 6 'TROUBLE FREE' years old until this year. Every year to this point has been easy. Never an issue. Pool store water test when opening in the spring and again when closing at end of summer and added whatever they told me to add at each. Otherwise just weekly shocking. Water always crystal clear when taking the cover off in the spring. Like I said, easy!

    Now let's talk about what has taken place so far this year...
    Took cover off to clear water a couple weeks ago. A small amount of dead leaves fell into the pool when the cover was removed. Thinking the pump would be up and running soon after I didn't go fishing them out immediately.
    My pump up untll now has been a Hayward CC15093STL X-Stream cartridge filter with 1.5hp Matrix pump. I usually store everything in the shed each year but this past winter I drained it all out but it never made it into the shed. So it was out all winter. When starting it the first time this year I immediately had water gushing out of the bottom of the pump. Turning off the pump, the water still gushed out. I initially thought it was a bad seal but my brother in law told me that if it was still pouring out after it was turned off that it was likely cracked. So I bought a new pump thinking I could possibly fix the old one and use as a backup at some point. Got the new pump and hooked up, turned on, and the underside of the filter tank started dripping water. Took that apart and the bottom of the plastic filter tank had a huge crack in it. Ugh.

    We were then going to return the pump I bought and get a whole new pump and filter setup. Right about that time a co-worker of my wife said they were taking down their pool and if we wanted their sand filter and pump we could have it. It's a Hayward S180T with a 1.5hp pump. I was leaving for business for 3 days and under pressure, I went and picked it up and figured I would give it a try to save the money of buying a whole setup. The guy knew nothing about it as his wife took care of the pool and I knew nothing about sand filters. It was transported with the sand and everything in and was turned on its side quite a bit in the process. Got it home and hooked it up and immediately noticed a)the bottom drain cap was broken off and b)it had no pressure gauge. We ordered those online and I left for my business trip.

    The two parts came in while I was gone and my wife put them on and started the pump. Sent me a great video of it running. Fantastic - we thought. However the next day she woke up and the pool had turned green AND the filter had blown a ton of sand into the pool! Ugh #2.

    Got home the next day and did research online to figure out the lateral assembly had likely cracked in transit. Took it apart and sure enough, the vertical plastic tube was completely cracked. Went and bought new lateral assembly for $80. Installed that with all new sand and appeared to run fine. The initial pressure reading was 11psi. After the first back-wash, it is now 7psi which seems very low to me but the flow seems ok. It has an SP714 vari flo valve which I think has seen its better days. It's very hard to turn the selector. The plastic washer it turns on looks cracked. I get a good drip out of the waste tube even when on 'filtration' setting when nothing should be coming out of it. I also got water in the pressure valve at some point while doing backwashes/rinses. Not sure when but I removed it and it cleared it out. I did take the vari flo valve off today and re-lubed the O-ring and cleaned sand out from it. It still drips at the waste hose though.

    Now to the green water. I went to the pool store with a water sample last weekend (7 days ago) and they sold me stuff the usual opening stuff I need plus a clarifier and said to run the pump non-stop. I did that and continued adding powdered calcium hypochlorite in the evenings to try to knock out the green. Maybe 1-2 pounds a night by the seat of my pants. I could not find my test kit and even if I did, it was a very basic one. I have since read and know I really need one of the recommended good kits. I will order one this weekend. The green got knocked down considerably but it appears to have leveled off and is not getting any better. I can see the bottom but it's very cloudy.

    I have been running the filter 24/7 for 7 days.
    I have been vacuuming the bottom to waste every night and re-adding water to get back above skimmer line.
    I have been brushing the pool down every night.
    Backwashing filter once in morning and once at night.

    Here are my pool store test results from yesterday:
    Free Chlorine 2.5 ppm
    Total Chlorine 2.5ppm
    Combined Chloring 0.0ppm
    pH 7.5
    Alkalinity 0ppm
    Cyanuric Acid 5ppm
    Copper 0.08ppm
    Iron 0 ppm

    Last night I added 6 gallons of 8.25% Chlorox
    I have Cyanuric Acid stabilizer (5 lbs) I can add
    Have not done anything for Alkalinity yet - they recommended 15lb Alkalite.

    So that's where I'm at.
    Summary:
    Pool moderately green and cloudy
    Filter not known to be running 100% and is it undersized?

    Has anyone actually read this far??

    Grateful for any help. At wits end!!

    P.S. - Trying to upload pics but it's failing. Will keep trying.

    Chris

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    You need bleach, CYA and get your TA up.

    I would recommend you add a gallon of bleach daily to keep the green boogey man at bay til you get your test kit. Add the CYA to 30 and read up in Pool School on how to SLAM your pool and the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry. That is your starting point. Also take a look at the FC/ CYA chart As they share a very important relationship.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Okay, the filter issue: I'd say 95% probability you have a bad spider gasket in the multiport valve. It's really common, and if you've taken the valve apart once already, it should be no challenge to replace the gasket. There are even videos on youtube.

    The chemistry doesn't compute. With zero TA, your pH should be somewhere below the tester's ability to read. 7.5 pH is ideal, and you just won't have that with zero TA. And since those two test results are doubtful, all of them are doubtful. Before you add anything, find your test kit.

    There is one exception: you know you need chlorine. Period. Even a crystal clear sparkling pool will need to be fed daily. So... since it's green, just a bare minimum dose will get consumed fast. My advice - and worth every penny you paid for it - is to add 5 ppm FC every day. If there is CYA (and it's likely there is more residual than 5) it's way below shock level. Don't expect it to clear the pool. At best, it will stall things until you can do things right.
    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: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Edit: Pics still not uploading. Will try to host somewhere else and link to.

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    bridgman's Avatar
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    So... since it's green, just a bare minimum dose will get consumed fast. My advice - and worth every penny you paid for it - is to add 5 ppm FC every day.
    Chris, if you're reading this and wondering "what does adding 5 ppm mean, how much is that ?"...

    - open a new window/tab & click on the "PoolMath" button near the top of the page

    - if you know your pool volume in gallons enter it, otherwise go to "Estimating pool volume" near the bottom of the page and enter pool volume / water depth to get an approximate number and enter that at the top

    - find the FC row (right near the top), enter 0 into Now and 5 into Target

    - enter 8.25 into the bleach percentage -- calculator will tell you how much bleach you need for 5ppm (I made a bunch of guesses about your pool and got 1.25 gallons)

    If you've already used PoolMath then ignore this and carry on
    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: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Ok this should work. Thanks for the quick replies!
    The funny thing about the spider gasket is that when I pulled the valve off earlier today I looked at what I thought was it. The weird thing was that it appeared to me to be molded right into the valve itself and not removable. I know some people say they are tough to remove and need to be scraped out but this really looked built in. I will pull it again and look now and post a picture if needed.





    Last edited by Butterfly; 06-14-2014 at 01:00 PM. Reason: added img code to pics

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Ah the joys of a used sand filter! I also bought one used and did not occur to me to backwash it before hooking it up. Odds are the filter you bought also had freeze damage. It was a brutal winter and a lot of folks are seeing freeze damage that have not had it in years past.

    Back to your pool. Backwash when you have a 20% rise in pressure or when the return flow is greatly reduced. Backwashing too often does not speed things up and you waste water and chemicals doing so. Until your test kit comes in continue to vacuum and add a large jug of plain unscented 8% bleach each day. That should keep things from getting worse while waiting on the test kit to arrive. We would also like to know more about your pool. Please edit your signature to include information about the pool such as pool type (above ground or in ground), surface (vinyl, plaster, or fiberglass), size in gallons, pump brand and horsepower, filter type (sand, DE, or cartridge), filter brand and size, and any water features, cleaning systems, and if there is a spa (attached or detached). It will show up at the bottom of everything you post and it is easier for us to help you if we don't have to search the thread for this information.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Pulled the valve apart again. What I believe to be the spider gasket is what is white, correct? Looking at pictures of a replacement it does look similar and that it should all pull out of there I think.



    Last edited by Butterfly; 06-14-2014 at 01:01 PM. Reason: added img code to pics

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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Hi chrisj and welcome to TFP

    When you post a pic from PhotoBucket just copy/paste the img code here inside the post and viola, magic, the pic appears
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Yes, the white part is the spider gasket. It may be glued in. Not sure of the exact breakdown, but I know one manufacturer changed designs and that whole rotor piece needs to be replaced since they stopped the gasket. Just tote that piece down to the pool store when you buy a replacement gasket to be sure you get exactly what you need. Shut the pump timer off before you go
    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: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Thanks! I think that was the only link type I didn't try!

    Also thanks everyone for the lightning fast responses! If no one is too concerned that the pump/filter I'm using is undersized then I will push forward with it.
    Will order a good test kit and continue to add a gallon or so of bleach per day until it arrives.

    By the way, my wife was hounding me to just get this HTH Green to Blue treatment she read about online. I've refused -mostly because its made out of aluminum chloride which I believe is the same stuff in deodorant which could be linked to Alzheimers disease. I wonder if it just stays in the pool permanently or breaks down like chlorine does? I have no plans to get it but I am curious if any of you had any thoughts on what happens to stuff like that long term once added to the pool?

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    You don't need snake oil, magic elixirs, and you certainly don't need metals. Get your filter sorted and SLAM.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    If the metals build up too high and the pH gets in the wrong range, you end up with metal stains. Aluminum would look like the grey stuff you get on your hands and can't wash off after handling old lawn furniture or aluminum canoes.
    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: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Updates: Ordered new spider gasket for the filter. Will have in a couple days.
    No water test yet but took this mornings water to a different pool store:
    Total Chlorine 10.0
    Free Chlorine 10.0
    pH 7.2
    Total Alkalinity 110
    Calcium Hardness 300
    Stabilizer 30

    I'm currently running stabilizer through a sock in the skimmer. Should I be doing it a faster way to get it in quicker?
    Water is very slowly getting less green. Cloudiness has not really changed.
    Also my filter pressure never changes. I wonder if that has anything to do with the leaky gasket which will be replaced. It's stays at around 6-7 psi regardless.

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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    For the first time tonight I finally feel like I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!
    Tough to see from the picture but huge increase in clarity when I got home from work today. On the left is last week and on the right is tonight.
    Still have a ways to go but I'm getting there!


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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    When my daughter got home from school today she danced around the house yelling "It's a miracle. It's a miracle!"
    Massive improvement today.
    I ended up getting a whole new multi valve for the filter instead of just the spider gasket. It arrived today. The other washers under the lever were shot too making it impossible to turn. I know you can rebuild them but now that I got the whole new valve I'm thrilled with it. Turns like butter!


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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    This is GREAT Chris!! You are giving me hope!!
    11K gal, IG plaster, Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed, 4 cartridge filter, The Pool Cleaner, Heliocol Solar heating

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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Hey, that's great !!
    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: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!



    Just wanted to give some closure on this thread and put this 'exciting' couple of weeks behind me!
    You can see by the picture that I am fully clear and in business. Pool is cleaner than ever.
    Looking back, the challenges were two-fold. One challenge was the algae itself and the other was getting my 'new to me' sander filter 100% operational. I really like the sand filter better than my cartridge filter I had previously.
    Also I want to add that at some point during all the stress of this and taking apart the filter and putting it back together several times I accidentally swapped the input and output water lines going to the multi flo valve on the filter tank. Hence only 6 psi of pressure for several days!! As soon as I realized my mistake the pool was literally clear in about 24 hours (after shocking for a week that is).

    I'd really like to thank everyone for the VERY FAST advice when I posted my original questions. I'd also like to thank everyone for encouraging me to stay strong and use only chlorine and properly balanced water to fix my problem and not get involved with using other harsh or potentially dangerous chemicals in the pool. I feel really good about that.

    Have a great summer everyone.
    Chris
    30' Round, Hayward S180 Sand Filter w/ 1.5hp single speed Hayward pump

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Algae & Pump Questions - At Your Mercy!

    Looks fabulous! Enjoy!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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