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Thread: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

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    Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Hi everybody! Alright, so I've got a bit of a long story/process to tell you about here, and I **know** you're not going to be thrilled with all of it, but bear with me! First let me just say that reading through the forum has totally saved my pool. We've got an 18x36 IG pool (approx 30,000gal) with a Hayward sand filter (takes 300lbs of sand, dunno if that's important to note) that has looked like a dang lake for the last two years.

    Last year my mom and I spent a TON of money on **** from the pool store, and still couldn't swim in the darn thing...wound up closing it still looking like a lake. This year, we started down the saaaaame ridiculous road. Look, I'm an unemployed veteran and single mom...I don't have the money to go throwing around in a pool store for no results, so I started scouring the internet...then I came across this site, and the heavens opened up, choirs of angels began to sing, and rays of light started shining down upon my laptop. SO...basically I told my mom we're not doing jack at the pool store anymore...I had a plan, and I was gonna clear this water up myself.

    Before I go any further, I know you're going to scold me because I'm operating without a reliable test kit...yes I plan to get the TF-100, but as my mom just recently lost her job too, it's a bit low on my priority list (please don't yell at me! LOL)...anyway...I went to Target and bought 20 bottles (128oz) of bleach, and started the SLAM process. I knew I was at a disadvantage because of my test kit issues, but I figured that if I kept plugging away, something was bound to happen. This was two Fridays ago...I've been bleaching and bleaching, keeping my chlorine super high (I think), brushing the heck out of the pool, and vacuuming it religiously, as well as keeping the filter running 24/7, and backwashing it daily. I've been rewarded with a BLUE, albeit cloudy pool (actually, the pool went blue for me on Saturday...so in just over a week, I went from gross to blue and cloudy).

    Now, considering where I started, with absolutely DISGUSTING, dark green, almost swampy water (seriously, it stunk to high heaven every time I would backwash), I could not be more ecstatic with my results. Now it's just a matter of clearing up those clouds. I'm at the point now where, when standing in the shallow end, I can see the color of my feet at the bottom, and a vague outline of said feet...I THINK I can almost make out a bit of the liner down there, but it might be wishful thinking. It's definitely been getting slightly better every day, and I'm still chlorinating the **** out of it, but I added a little bit of DE tonight (following the instructions I read in Pool School) to see if that'll make a difference for me.

    Now...I apologize for not being able to give you all of the numbers that you typically request, but given the glaring success I've had in the last week and a half, I'm just going to say that for now, my levels are/have been sufficient to kill the s*&! out of that stubborn algae I had. So...I guess my question is...if I continue vacuuming/brushing, considering the track I'm currently on and that I'm seeing some small improvements daily, do you think the DE might help me in clearing up these clouds a bit, at least so I can see what, if anything, might be left in the deep end of my pool? Outside of the question, I sincerely want to thank you guys for all of the information on this site...I would still have a lake (and a lot less money!) if it weren't for you. photo(11).jpg

    Whew...sorry for the novella there, but I wanted to give you as much info as possible. Also, I'm attaching a picture of what I started with (it's so embarrassing! Ew!), and will take an updated picture to show you all tomorrow morning.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Mprysak, Welcome and thank you for your service!

    You are on the right path but I have to scold you just a tinsy bit and tell you to get the test kit! You need to know your numbers, especially the CYA level considering you were dumping Pool Store Chemicals in all last year. At least, run down to the pool store and have them run the full battery of test results and post them up here so we can see what your numbers look like. If you can squeeze a test kit in, I would do so. I know how money can get tight and all but the kit is very important to finish the SLAM so all your work won't be for nothing.
    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: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Casey, thanks so much for the reply!

    Believe me, the test kit is definitely on my radar, and I'll be ordering it as soon as I can...in the meantime I'm stuck with my Taylor kit that only measures chlorine up to 5. O.O I actually went and had the water tested today because my pH came up low (I know it's normal for the levels to be off during the SLAM, but I thought it usually went high...?). So, here's my not-as-accurate-as-we'd-like results:

    FC: 13
    TC: 13
    CC: 0
    pH: 7.4
    ALK: 120
    CYA: 30
    CH: 130

    Also, as promised, here's a pic from this morning. The greenish tint you're seeing at the stairs is discoloration on the stairs themselves...I plan to try a puck to try and lighten it (is that right?), but I'd like to deal with the bigger issue at hand. photo(12).JPG

    One more question; I've been backwashing the pool daily, as mentioned previously, but I'm wondering if I should do it twice a day? I'm confused because when I come out in the morning/early afternoon to check the pressure on the filter, it's gone from its normal 11ish, up to around 20, but the water isn't nearly as murky looking as I'd expect it to be at that pressure (believe me, I'm thrilled that I don't have to backwash as often, or for as long as I used to!). We replaced the sand two years ago, the gauge does read 0 when the filter is off, and I'm not having any other indications of filter trouble. Do you think I need to clean my sand, because of all the nastiness I've been putting through it, or do I just need to backwash more frequently? I hate like heck to waste all that water, but if you think it'll help me clear this thing up, I'm all for it.

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    We recommend backwashing when the pressure rises 25% over the clean pressure, so about 13-14psi for you. See routine pump/filter maintenance and maintenance and cleaning of pool filters.
    I would recommend deep cleaning your filter at this point of time.

    Also, could you please add details about your pool to your signature as described in this post?

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Thanks for the tips, Abigail! I'll start checking the filter pressure before I go to bed, rather than right around dusk, and see what the pressure's looking like then. I've been trying to keep an eye out for the rising pressure so I can catch it at the 25% mark, but it seems like an extra check before bed may be the solution to that part.

    I'm reading and watching the videos on the deep clean, thanks for the links...but I have a really stupid question; could I possibly have the wrong sand in my filter? I noticed the sand in the video looked, like he said, like beach sand, but I feel like from what I can remember, mine is more course..? We replaced the sand while we were still at the mercy of the pool store, so we got what they said to get. Maybe this is the source of my cloudiness issue, because my sand is too big? I'll take a picture when I open it up in the morning and start cleaning it.

    On my way, will add pool details in just a moment! Thanks again, I appreciate all the help!

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    *coarse...not course.

    Apologies...the grammar nerd in me won't let me go to sleep until I correct myself.

    Also, sorry again if my sand question is dumb...I'm a newbie pool owner, but I'm learning!

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mprysak82 View Post
    I'm reading and watching the videos on the deep clean, thanks for the links...but I have a really stupid question; could I possibly have the wrong sand in my filter? I noticed the sand in the video looked, like he said, like beach sand, but I feel like from what I can remember, mine is more course..? We replaced the sand while we were still at the mercy of the pool store, so we got what they said to get. Maybe this is the source of my cloudiness issue, because my sand is too big? I'll take a picture when I open it up in the morning and start cleaning it.

    On my way, will add pool details in just a moment! Thanks again, I appreciate all the help!
    Not having a sand filter, I can't answer that question from first hand experience, but I have seen many threads where people have been sold the wrong stuff. If you bought it at the pool store, odds are good it's filter sand, although odds are even better you overpaid for it!
    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, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    If the package said pool filter sand you should be good. Adding DE will help filter out the dead algae, but it will also increase the frequency of backwashing, so you will loose more water. Deep cleaning will get years of muck out of the filter that backwashing alone doesn't budge. You are at the stage were pop (pool owner patience) comes into play. Keep slamming, run the pump 24/7, and it will filter out all that algae. Deep cleaning and adding DE will help speed things along a little bit.

    If you do decide to deep clean, take the opportunity to check the spider gasket on your multiport valve. Make sure it is in good shape and give it a little silicone pool lube before closing the filter back up. If you see it is loose or damaged you can replace it.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    LOL Richard, I'm **positive** we've overpaid for everything for the last few years. Lesson learned, now onward to crystal clear pool and cheaper maintenance!

    Ohhhhhhh my goodness you guys! It took me 2...2!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hours to clean that filter! Gee, I wonder why my pool is cloudy....
    photo(13).jpg

    What happened was, as I was moving the hose around and letting it float the nasties out, I was feeling around with my hand to see if there were any channels or anything like that, and I grabbed something that felt gross...so I threw on a glove and started pulling handfuls of sand...that picture is obviously what I was pulling. So...darn...nasty. Ew.
    Filtering my water through sand, gunk, and what's likely a buttload of dead algae won't produce a clear pool. Who woulda thunk?? >.< Heck, you've even made my skeptical mother a believer...when I told her what I was going to do this morning, she thought I was nuts, but because I've been getting results (thanks to all of you) where the pool store failed, she bit her tongue and let me do my thing. Then she saw what I pulled out of the filter, and now she knows exactly how right you all are. She's offering to send baked goods. LOL

    Thank you guys, yet again, for your help and suggestions...you'll be the reason my pool is clear.
    30K gal IG vinyl, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward C48L2N134B1 Self Priming Super Pump

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Sooooooooo I went out and checked the filter pressure just now, and that baby's holding steady at 10psi...incredible how efficient it is when it's not caked with gunk!

    I'm excited guys...my pool is just BEGGING to turn clear, it's almost there, now I just need a can, or maybe a 55 gallon drum, of that POP you guys talk about, otherwise I may ruin it by giving in and buying a clarifier. Deep breath...I will ride this out...I will not jump the gun...

    I feel like someone needs to make a stress "ball" in the shape of a bottle of bleach.
    30K gal IG vinyl, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward C48L2N134B1 Self Priming Super Pump

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mprysak82 View Post
    Sooooooooo I went out and checked the filter pressure just now, and that baby's holding steady at 10psi...incredible how efficient it is when it's not caked with gunk!

    I'm excited guys...my pool is just BEGGING to turn clear, it's almost there, now I just need a can, or maybe a 55 gallon drum, of that POP you guys talk about, otherwise I may ruin it by giving in and buying a clarifier. Deep breath...I will ride this out...I will not jump the gun...

    I feel like someone needs to make a stress "ball" in the shape of a bottle of bleach.
    Is that running with or without DE added?

    Try to remember it's like the CYA test -- the graduations aren't equidistant. So if you're seeing a slight improvement, it's probably a huge improvement in reality. Anything you can do to improve the circulation will help get the suspended matter into the skimmer so it can get filtered out. If it means aiming an eyeball down to stir up the bottom, or setting the vacuum on edge in the deep end so it draws water from down low where the stuff will naturally settle, do something.
    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, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Richard, yes, that's without the DE. After I cleaned out the filter yesterday, I wanted to see how it ran (clean!) overnight, and whether or not I'd get that sudden spike in pressure that brought me up to 20psi. Lo and behold, I don't. Now that the filter's clean and running well, I'm planning on getting back out there and putting some DE in to help get those suspended particles.

    Oh! Also, you totally reminded me of something; I don't have an "eyeball", my return jet is simply what amounts to a hole in the side of the pool...is this a bad thing? Is there a way to add an eyeball?

    Re: the circulation, I did forget to mention that I had, at the suggestion of a good friend who works on pools (repairing liners and things of the like), thrown my sump pump in the deep end of the pool, because I wasn't sure what was going on down there. Because I can't see, I didn't know if my drain was blocked up or anything, so he'd suggested the sump pump to help circulate the water a bit. So, I guess I'll take my butt out there and chuck it back in, and then add some DE while I'm at it.
    30K gal IG vinyl, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward C48L2N134B1 Self Priming Super Pump

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Feel around inside the return outlet. If you feel threads you can get an eyeball fitting that screws into the outlet. If it is smooth there are eyeball fittings that will work, I think they are called slip fittings. Is the opening 1 1/2" or 2" wide?
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    *nods* Next time I go out to check on the filter, I'll check the inside of it. Thanks for the info! Just going on sight, I think it's 1 1/2", but I'll double check that as well.
    30K gal IG vinyl, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward C48L2N134B1 Self Priming Super Pump

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    By the way...I'm picture-happy, so...I wanted to show you guys this comparison. The top is what I started with (after 12lbs of granular shock and a tub of green to clean...which we did maybe...3 times since June), and the bottom is where I am now. 14 days later. I wish I'd found this site sooner...14 days with gorgeous results, even though I still have a little ways to go, beats 45+ with nothing to show for it. This place is the best thing that every happened to my pool.
    photo(14).jpg
    30K gal IG vinyl, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward C48L2N134B1 Self Priming Super Pump

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Great job so far!
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Somebody is going to be soon!!!

    Tell momma I like my cookies without nuts! Thank you!

    Oh and check this out... I wanted my eyeball to point closer to the wall so I went to the hardware store and bought a PVC elbow and popped it on there... When I add bleach, I take it off so I don't bleach my liner but maybe you can rig something up...



    I like it a lot better than the eyeball that came with the pool because I can get more direction out of it where I need it, when I want it! And, like I said, it just pops right off. I think I paid $6 for the 2 pieces I bought ( a threaded piece and the elbow).

    Oh and one more thing... save the money you want to buy clarifier with and put it towards the TF100. The clarifier won't do anything the bleach won't! Promise you that! YOU DON'T NEED IT!!!
    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: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Casey LOL if I tell my mom that, she'll seriously bake cookies. The woman's over the moon with how great the pool looks.

    Also, that PVC joint is a brilliant idea! I'm gonna have to take a look and see what I can figure out for our return...is that threaded piece you mentioned inside the elbow and threaded into the return?

    Hahaha I promise I won't buy the clarifier...I feel like I'm trying to quit an addiction here...the clarifier is tempting, but I know I don't need it, and it's bad for me (plus my wallet...and my pool)...and yes, I will put the money in my TF-100 fund!
    30K gal IG vinyl, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward C48L2N134B1 Self Priming Super Pump

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    Re: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    The threaded piece is a separate piece that threads into the eyeball socket once I took the eyeball off. You will need to stick your finger in your eyeball and see if there are threads. If there are, measure the width and get to the hardware store and *jimmy* something together so you can shoot water in a directional pattern that suits your needs.

    Let me see if I have another pic on my phone...
    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: Algae, clouds and DE (oh my!!)

    Alrighty... I had to scroll through all my granddaughter's pics to find it... but here it is, just a simple piece that screws into the eye outlet to push the PVC elbow on.
    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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