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Thread: SLAM Confession/Question

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    SLAM Confession/Question

    I am new to the forum so this is a little long on background (and laughable rookie mistakes and impatience).

    Took over pool from landlord this season. Used all of the non-BBB methods to get an awful green swamp perfect by 5/26 (lots of cal-hypo).

    I got complacent w/ the crystal clear water. Added a puck or two per week at most (with no water testing) and the water still looked good (to me).

    Noticed some algae just starting to form on 6/13 before our vacation. It covered the floor, but still pretty blue and visible to the main drain. Scrubbed the pool and swept it to the main drain. Added three 1lb bags of 73% Cal-Hypo on 6/13 and two 3" (8oz?) trichlor pucks in the skimmer. Had the house sitter add 2 more pucks on 6/18 and add some water.

    Returned on 6/21 to a smooth green pool (of course).

    My TF100 arrives today, but here's the confession:

    I decided to SLAM on Sunday using a "visual approach" (after having a BioGuard strip-based pool store test showing as follows: FC 1.3, pH 7.6, TA 86, CH 170, and CYA 61).

    Chose a target FC of around 17 (because I was cheap and lazy). Bought 12 121oz bottles of Clorox 8.25%.

    At 4pm: Backwashed and added 4 jugs; added one 1lb bag of 73% Cal-Hypo to skimmer.

    At 5pm: Maybe a tad less brilliant, less pukey green. Added 2 jugs and one 1lb bag of Cal-Hypo to skimmer (learned at 7:15pm that that bag was a 53% trichlor bag instead, as I stupidly assumed I had inherited Cal-Hypo bags from landlord to go with my other Cal-Hypo bags). Also, turned on the water as it was a getting a little low (we have a mild leak but that's another post).

    Got water tested again at 5:30: Total Chlorine 10 (top limit of test?), FC 8.6, pH 8.2, TA 96, CH 157, and CYA 95 (?!).

    At 6pm: Added 2 more jugs to the returns, nice and slow. Turned off the water at around 6:30.

    At 7:15pm: Added 2 more jugs and one 1lb bag of Cal-Hypo (see note above--it was actually a trichlor bag).

    At 8:30pm: Added 2 more jugs.

    From 4pm to 8:30pm, I added 12 121 oz jugs of 8.25%, 1 1lb bag of 73% Cal-Hypo, and 2 1lb bags of 53% trichlor.

    This AM: The water is still green, although not the swampy puke green. It's a very dull, lake-type green, especially in the deep. The shallow is a little less green, more visible, and more grayish/bluish. Didn't add anything this AM other than about 1 hour of water. The PSI on the pump is still more or less at its normal level (12psi).

    Questions:

    1. How has yesterday's blind chemical dump impacted my ability to start over today and do a SLAM the right way, with a TF100 as my guide?

    2. Can I still do reliable-enough pre-SLAM tests of CYA to determine FC shock targets and tests of pH to know I can start, or would the dump throw TF100 tests all out of whack for SLAM purposes?

    3. If it is going to rain this afternoon and maybe this evening, then should I hold off on the SLAM? I plan on starting at 6pm and spending as many (rainy) hours into the night as it takes, if advisable.

    Basically, I was too impatient to wait a single day for the TF100 to arrive, dumped a ton of stuff in there, and would like to start over the proper way, as early as this afternoon, if possible. Willing to buy all new bleach, drain out water, etc. Whatever it takes. Lessons learned.

    Thanks!
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    1. Well, hopefully nothing you have done is going to bite you in the foot. You just need to do a full set of tests with your new kit and see where you need to go from there. One issue is if the FC > 10ppm, then you can not test the pH accurately ... and the pH needs to be adjusted before the SLAM.

    2. Should be fine. Assuming all the trichlor has dissolved, the CYA should show up on a CYA test.

    3. Algae does not take a break because of rain, why should you?

    Get some test result and post them up and we can get you straightened out
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Are there any TF100 tests that require sunlight?

    And just to be sure, if someone wanted to start a SLAM in pouring down rain at midnight (i.e. they were crazy), they could (assuming they had a green light on the other pre-SLAM requirements)?

    Dying to get out there and do this right and hit it hard and fast (and after work hours are my only free hours until the weekend). Ha.
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Sure you can do it, but you need a good CYA number so you can determine what your FC level needs to be. If the 95 was a good number you are now probably 100 plus now with all that trichlor.

    At 100 + you either need to start the process with a water change to get to a more reasonable number or buy stock in Clorox before you start the SLAM.

    Doing the slam during the work week is OK, just know you need to test and add up to you FC level before work and as soon as you get home. Once home keep the FC level up and brush/sweep the pool a couple of times.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Well, the CYA test is supposed to be done outside in bright indirect sunlight. So that could be a problem to get you started. If you test inside, the value may be off some.

    But, if all is well, you can certainly start the SLAM at night ... almost ideal as all the FC will work on the stuff in the pool and not be lost to the sun.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Update:

    Got the TF100 today. Went out to the pool and, since 9am, the pool is way more blue and way less green--a cloudy blue with a light green, like I was hoping for. Cannot see to the deep, but it's a remarkable change from the lake-like dull dark green from this AM.

    I stumbled through my very first tests, starting at 8pm. They were as follows (with a little too much description since I'm brand new to the tests and unsure):

    FC: 21 on 1st reading; 21 on 2nd reading; 18 on 3rd reading (which happened after I sped up the drops). All 3 tests within 10 mins.

    CC: 2, I guess. Barely turned pink at all. 4 drops did it, at the most.

    CYA: Took this multiple times with 2 different samples. Never went above 50 and was usually closer to 40 or right at it. When my wife did it, she got it at around what I'd call the 48 mark. We did it in doors in bright light. I'm thinking 40.

    pH: At first I thought it was around 7.8 but the more I put it up to the light, the more it was closer to 7.5.

    TA: 100

    CH: 275

    I just tested the FC/CC, 1.5 hours later: This time it was 15 and 2. Again, a speedier test.

    I'll head over to Pool Math and revisit the SLAM article, but what now?

    Seems like I'm on my way, no? And got more lucky yesterday than I deserved?

    Thanks.
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Assuming the CYA of 40ppm, then you need to maintain the FC level at 16ppm until you pass the 3 criteria to stop the SLAM process.

    Luckily, your pH may be fine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Did you exchange some water in there someplace to cause such a drop in CYA?? Because normally CYA only lowers when you drain out water and replace with fresh CYA-free water.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    Did you exchange some water in there someplace to cause such a drop in CYA?? Because normally CYA only lowers when you drain out water and replace with fresh CYA-free water.
    Minimally. It got a few inches low and I brought it back up, and we had some rain yesterday. Not even close to the replacement % that I understand would be necessary to take it from 95 to 40-50.

    Hoping that the store test is just way off. For example, I did a 90 test on 5/25 and came back to the store on 5/26 and it was 10, with no replacement.

    I tested again this morning and it's no greater than 50. The black dot is still tricking my eyes between 50 and 40. That's 3 separate consistent tests.

    Decided to assume 50 since I'm leaving for work. The FC was 18 so I added 75oz of 8.25%. Also did some more scrubbing. We'll see tonight!

    Thanks again.
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    I'm not even out of the woods on the SLAM yet, so this might be premature, but if you have a newbie like me who is anxious to switch exclusively to the TFPC approach but who also inherited 37 lbs of 3" trichlor pucks, what is the role, if any, of those pucks going forward? I don't want to waste them, but also don't want to fall off the TFPC wagon out of the gate. Ha. Do they store reliably enough that I could use the bleach approach exclusively for a month or two until I am a little more experienced, and then introduce those to the "tool belt" a little later, on a limited basis, or is it "use 'em now or lose 'em" for the pucks?
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    They will store for years. Save them for when you need some cya or for vacations.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    How sensitive is the FC drop test to the speed of the drops and the motion on the swirling? I understand now why I hear such good things about the magnetic stirrer!

    Is there a particular area of the pool that is best for testing. I did my testing right where it goes from shallow to deep and away from the returns.
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Just be consistent where you take the sample.

    You want to do the test fairly quickly, like a drop per second (or faster at the start) and be swirling the entire time ... the SpeedStir is well worth it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    As an update, the pool is looking better.

    Very blue (but sort of hazy) in the shallow, as I have swept all of the dead algae to the deep. The deep end is a mixture of blue/green (mostly blue)--I suspect that the main reason I am perceiving green in the deep is that there is so much dead algae collected on the floor there. Still cannot see drain.

    Yesterday evening's readings:

    ph: 7.5
    FC: 19 or so (I am still struggling to get consistent tests, and running out of testing agent in the process: within 5 mins, I got 37, 38, and 39 drops).
    CC: 0
    CYA: 40 (but I'm going blind distinguishing between 40 and 50--I think it's closer to 40).

    To be safe, I am using an FC target of 20. I added about 40 oz of 8.25% last night before bed. This morning, I got 36 drops (I guess) and, therefore, added another 80 oz of 8.25%.

    When I can see the drain, I might try to start vacuuming.

    Note: There were two times where I went all the way to 50 drops, but it seemed like a false test, as if a stubborn strain of pink appeared during the test and wouldn't go away.
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    37-39 drops is pretty much within the accuracy of the test ... 38 +/- 1 drop

    At these higher FC levels, you may need a little more powder than normal. If you use too little powder, it can cause issues.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Good point. I was being a little hard on myself with the exactness.

    Should I wait until I can see the drain before I vaccuum? I'm nervous about vaccuuming because it seems like last time I did it, the pump lost its prime within 5 minutes and it was difficult to get it back. Thought I had screwed it up. If I vacuum to waste using one of those skimmer adaptor plates, then, other than making sure I get all of the air out of the hose, is there anything I should watch out for?

    Will vaccuuming drain the water below the skimmer such that I need to stop, refill, and then keep going? Or does the skimmer level become irrelevant as long as I got a tight connection with the adaptor plate? Probably a dumb question. Wasnt sure if the pump is sucking air when the water level gets below the skimmer or if the water filling the hose during the vaccuum guarantees that the pump is not sucking air.
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    You should not lose prime while vacuuming, unless air is getting drawn in.
    A skimmer plate is not likely an air tight seal which would allow draining below the skimmer.
    You could fill the pool up extra high before vacuuming to have more time.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Stop testing CYA unless you have done something to actually change it. It should be where it was last, unless you added something with stabilizer or drained water, perhaps by overflowing with rain for example.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona View Post
    Stop testing CYA unless you have done something to actually change it. It should be where it was last, unless you added something with stabilizer or drained water, perhaps by overflowing with rain for example.
    Thanks. I was mainly testing it because I added 32 oz of trichlor bags on Sunday before adopting the BBB approach. I tested again tonight (before reading this) and got as follows:

    FC: 12 (?!)
    CC: 0
    CYA: 40
    pH: 7.5

    Does that drop in FC since this morning seem strange given that it has been holding pretty well otherwise? I tested twice and got 24 drops. We had some pretty good rain for 30 minutes about 1 hour before I tested--would that throw off a surface level test?

    Also, I've been assuming 50 CYA this week (even though 40 was probably more accurate) and thus a 20 FC target. Wanted to overshoot rather than undershoot. Should I still assume 50 and therefore bring the 12 FC to 20 or should I switch to a 16 FC target?

    Water looks more or less the same tonight versus this morning--maybe a little better in deep. Still can't see drain. Saw some brown dead looking algae stains in shallow that I had swept away last night.
    18x36; 27k gal; vinyl AG; Pentair SuperFlo (SF-N1-1A) 2 speed 1.0 HP Pump; Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter Model S-220T (250lb; 52GPM). Built: 1980. New Liner: Jul. 2013. TF100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SLAM Confession/Question

    Was the water circulating before you tested?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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