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Thread: green water, what's wrong?

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    john redcorn's Avatar
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    green water, what's wrong?

    It's been rainy and/or cold (like 60s!) for the last week and a half and brought our water temp down to 70, no one was interested in swimming or maintenance. It left a bunch of junk at the bottom but water was perfectly clear until wife decided couple days ago to brush everything down before vacuuming when it warmed up. She vacuumed, got the floor clean, filtering + swg running non-stop since, I vacuumed again today.

    Chlorine levels have been way high last few days but were way low at times during the rain. (laziness + crazy intex pump/swg timers) I thought maybe the sand in filter had got channeled and stuff was getting through so i opened it up and mixed up sand just now.

    She thinks we need clarifier or flocculent, I'm wondering if those are "pool-stored" type things. We have zeolite sand that is supposed to catch smaller junk (unless that's a pool-stored thing too)

    I'm going to give it 24hrs after today's sand-stirring before I do anything else but any ideas?

    Can you see the vacuum at the bottom?
    ------------------------------------
    18' Summer escapes with original skimmer + intex pump + intex sand filter w/ Zeolite, Intex SWG. 1x ecosaver 50sqft solar panel with dedicated pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: green water, what's wrong?

    Please post a complete set of water test results and tell use how transparent the water is (not really obvious from the picture). With that information we should be able to give you a meaningful answer.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    john redcorn's Avatar
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    Re: green water, what's wrong?

    Sadly I have no full test kit, Admitting that I feel like a person on bikeforums.net asking the spandex princes about something they pedal from walmart or a hipoint-owner on any gun forum asking about draw and fire techniques. Pool's just always been completely perfect since we got the swg and using a $6 oto + phenol test kit once or twice a week. Never been any need to do anything except backwash when flow gets low and vacuum when dirty. I've really just had the pool store test my salt + cya like twice a year. And both of those are good as of a month ago. I could be wrong but I wouldn't think low salt or low cya is a culprit due to my high chlorine levels since swg has been running non-stop for 2-3 days + the fact that water was completely clear (but with a dirty floor) until she brushed it all down. Thoughts?
    ------------------------------------
    18' Summer escapes with original skimmer + intex pump + intex sand filter w/ Zeolite, Intex SWG. 1x ecosaver 50sqft solar panel with dedicated pump.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: green water, what's wrong?

    Hard to guess. Pools really only turn green for 2 reasons:

    The most likely is that the FC level dropped too low for the CYA level (see FC/CYA Chart). This will be green and cloudy.

    The other is that metals somehow built up in the pool and then turned the water green. If you are using an Intex SWG with the copper, that could be a possibility here. This will be green, but crystal clear.

    Sounds like time to invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits and stop sticking your head in the sand
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: green water, what's wrong?

    You have been around here for over a year, so I will assume that you have probably seen that not much credence is given to pool store testing. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing.

    For us to provide help you will need to pick up one of the recommended test kits. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. All the kits on the list contain that test while very few other kits do. The kits sold at the pool store generally won't won't cut it, but be careful pool store employees are known to say “it's the same thing”. Generally it's not!

    Can't comment on your thoughts of low salt as I don't have a SWG, but the thought of low CYA would be backwards. The higher the CYA the less effective chlorine is in the water. Maybe high CYA has caught up with you? Do you use other forms of chlorine? Dichlor/Trichlor shock? Tab floater?

    I would suggest reading the Pool School (link at the top of every page). I see a SLAM in your future.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: green water, what's wrong?

    If the pH is out of whack, it can cause metals to turn colors. That's why we ask. And if the OTO test is blinding tweetybird yellow or beyond and into school bus yellow or shades of orange, the pH test is invalid. The phenol red reacts with the chlorine and reads falsely high. Is the water clear, but green, or is it cloudy? Crystal clear but green is metals. Green and cloudy is probably algae, but that doesn't preclude metals, too.

    If it is algae, and you intend to clear it using our methods, you will need to invest in a proper test kit with the FAS-DPD chlorine test. Best bang for the buck is a TF100 with the XL option (for swamp clearing). It should carry you through the cleanup, the rest of the summer, and probably through most of next year as well. It's a good investment.
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    john redcorn's Avatar
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    Re: green water, what's wrong?

    It is greenish and looks bad in the pic but it really is mostly clear. Copper ion gen has not been connected at all.

    Everytime I've went to pool store its been the same lady testing who's definitely no high-schooler and really seems like she knows her stuff and not just looking to sell. I'll probably have them test again or finally get my own kit.

    Have not used any other chlorine sources other than swg. Added like 2 pounds cya at startup to 7000g for ~50ppm so I should be a little low with backwashing since then and not high.
    ------------------------------------
    18' Summer escapes with original skimmer + intex pump + intex sand filter w/ Zeolite, Intex SWG. 1x ecosaver 50sqft solar panel with dedicated pump.

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    Re: green water, what's wrong?

    A picture taken at the steps looking down is usually best for us getting a perspective on distance and clarity as the steps offer a reference.

    Need to know what your numbers are as "chlorine has been why high" to you might not be way high to me or through the ceiling for someone else. Until you break down and get a good test kit (TF100 or K2006) at least post a current set of pool store numbers. I know everyone hates it but it's better than nothing.

    Do you use other forms of chlorine? Dichlor/Trichlor shock? Tab floater?

    She thinks we need clarifier or flocculent - add algaecide and yup, pool stored.
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