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Thread: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

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    Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    My first post here, because I'm at my wit's end with this pool.

    I have a 16' x 32' inground pool, 3ft at the shallow end, 8ft at the deep end. It is part of the house I bought last year, and it has been a nightmare. We started looking at the house in the June of 2012. At that point, the pool had not been opened yet, since the occupant was moving out in July, but they agreed to have the pool opened as part of the closing costs. Well, the sale took forever, and did not complete until February 2013, so the pool was never opened in 2012. We tried opening it in 2013 with a professional pool guy, but after removing the cover, found that the electrical wasn't working at all. It took me a few months to get the electric repaired, so it was never opened in 2013 either. Also, the cover had fallen into the pool over the winter before purchase due to a falling branch... so there was effectively no cover.

    Now, 2014 I have the time and money to get this thing going. When we first started, it was a complete swamp. Frogs loved it. Deep dark green, no more than an inch of visibility. We've found tons of problems here. Much of the plumbing needed to be replaced, as it was cracked or poorly sealed. Fixed that. The flex pipe from the main drain was not even connected to the pvc pipe underground, so we dug that up and fixed that. The drain still does not work, as we haven't been able to bust the clog yet. I need to get down to the drain cover, but visibility is impossible.

    Today, I found a vacuum head at the bottom of the pool. Definitely has been there since before I bought the place. At this point, I'm pretty sure the pool was not running in 2011 either, which means the previous owners lied. Too late now.

    I've been working with professionals, but we're not getting anywhere. Color has dramatically improved, but is just not good enough. I have a 200lb sand filter that is roughly 30 years old (by their estimate) that I believe should have the sand replaced, but my guys disagree. I feel like it is doing nothing for the clarity, but it gets jammed up multiple times per day and needs a backwash.

    Clarity is really the problem. I can get the color to improve, but I can't gain any clarity. Yesterday, my guys threw some Poly 60 into the pool and a couple handfuls of "lump alum" into the skimmer basket. Once again, color improved, but clarity has not. We had previously tried over-chlorinating to kill the algae, but it has had little effect. There was copper in the pool, but a quart of Conquest last week took care of that. Levels were really good a few days ago, but the high chlorine count is lowering my pH. It's about a 6.9-7.0 now. Debris is nearly gone, but not perfect. It's hard to find what is hiding in the pool since I can't see anything. I've been raking the pool 3-4 times per day for a couple weeks now and still find surprises - like that vacuum head.

    Here is a picture of the pool to help. There is some floating debris in this photo, but I was just brushing the surfaces and hadn't skimmed the water yet.



    At this point, I'm close to giving up on this and just pack it up again. I've been trying for about a month now to get it nice. While the water feels nice, and the surfaces are not slimy, I still don't want to have to explain to people that the water is just discolored.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    Don't worry, we can get you headed the right direction.

    For now, I'll mention the Pool School button at the top right, you will want to read through that a lot as we "jump in".

    We need the basics, can you please give us a current set of test results?

    Oh, and your sand most likely does not need to be replaced.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    Hi, welcome to TFP! In order to help you we need you to post a current set of test results. That will tell us where we need to start troubleshooting the pool. Don't give up yet, you are getting very close. The 2 main things you need to clear the pool are good filtration and plenty of liquid chlorine. The best investment you can make in your pool at this point is to buy a high quality FAS/DPD test kit, such as the Taylor K2006 or the TF 100 . This will allow you to test the high levels of chlorine needed to clear the pool. Most pool store tests only go to 5ppm, 10ppm max. Often pools will need a higher chlorine level to clean them up. Read through ABCs of pool water chemistry for more information on how pool chemicals work.

    You probably need to deep clean the sand filter .
    There is probably years of gunk at the bottom of that thing.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    Some of these are estimates, it's hard to get an accurate reading from the list test strips and chart. But they're close.

    Hardness 100
    Total Chlorine 10+
    Free Chlorine 10+
    pH 7.2
    Alkalinity 40
    Cyanuric Acid 30-50

    As for the deep clean, it's a little late here, but I'll try to do that tomorrow.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    Get the hint so far, we believe in test results and can guide you to a clean pool from there.

    zea3 has already said it, but I will second it - you 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! The professionals will tell you you don't need it. They will say trust them and their testing.

    You will find that not much credence is given here to pool store/professional 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.

    Even less credence is give to test strips, or as they are know "guess strips".

    I also second that you probably don't need to replace your filter sand. It was really old when they put it in the filter and a few years of filtering your pool didn't destroy it. Needing to backwash is a good thing, it means your filter is doing it's job - taking junk out of the water. You can help it though, keep scooping everything you can out of the pool. You found a vacuum head down there, who knows what else may be lurking at the bottom.

    You mentioned clarity several times, but clarity can wait. Lets get the pool clear of junk and the chemicals right. When that happens the clarity will come around. There is no shortcut to this, so resist any/all magic potions that they say will clear it up tonight. reading Pool School will teach you that there is no magic to pool care. The potion you will need is chlorine. Bleach if noting else is available. Most "concentrated" bleach is 8.25% chlorine. You don't want scented or any other special bleaches. If you are lucky you can find chlorinating liquid in CT. Pool stores or big box stores may carry it and it is either 10% or 12.5%. In any case you will have to calculate which is cheaper for you in your area.

    You will have to decide if you are going to follow the "professionals" or take control of your pool yourself. To quote Dave, Site Owner of TFP “Further reading of posts here will draw you to the inescapable conclusion that these guidelines work.......in thousands and thousands of pools worldwide.

    You may or may not choose to use these methods and guidelines or you may use some and not others. Our goal is to teach you what has been proven time and time again and then let you use that information to your benefit.” My advice is simpler, trying to mix pool store advice and TFPC advice won't work!

    Welcome!!
    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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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    Hi Tekcor,
    sounds like you have been through the ringer lately. Well let me tell ya, lots of folks on this forum have and your pool is actually not bad all that bad, compared to others.

    The reason your pool wont clear is because there is still algae living and growing in it. It is as simple as that.

    In order to kill it and clear the pool, you are going to have to raise your Chlorine high enough and KEEP IT HIGH until its done.
    The Chlorine you need to raise it to depends on the CYA. Pool store people do not understand this. If they did, your water would be clear by now.

    You are going to have to make an investment in a reliable test kit. You will need to know exactly what your CYA, PH and FC levels are before you can even possibly clear the pool up. A good reliable test kit will be the best investment you can possibly make concerning your pool. Given the state of your pool now, I recommend the TF100 XL. (this kit contains enough testing supplies to finish the job. Lesser ones will not and you will be stranded in the middle of the process because you have run out.
    www.tftestkits.net is where you can get the TF100. It is not available in retail outlets.

    Next, you need to read up on how to SLAM your swimming pool. This entails raising the FC and keeping the FC high, until all the algae is dead. Here is a link on how to do it. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

    You will also need to learn how to use Pool Math in order to know how much liquid chlorine to add in order to achieve the required FC level. http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    It will take a few days for your test kit to arrive. If order this evening, it will be in teh mail to you tomorrow. Without fail.
    While you are waiting for the test kit, I recommend you add 1 1/2 gallons of 8.25% concentration of chlorine each evening. This will raise your chlorine level and prevent the situation from worsening.

    You are going to need to patience. Your pool did not get the way it is in a short period of time, and by the same measure it will take a while to get it sparkly. But you HAVE come to the right place.

    Others have pointed you to the ABC's of water chemistry and a couple other valuable resources.

    This forum is about learning what is imporatant to your pool and how to take care of it yourself.
    Obvously no one expects you to learn everything you need to in a heartbeat. We dont have a problem recommending to "do this or do that" but there is a method behind the madness! If you deviate from the method, it will just take that much longer to ever clear up.

    Please do start reading the links provided and also, please don't be shy about asking questions. We really CAN help!

    please post more pics too! it would be helpful as well if you would add your pool and equipment details to your signature. It would help everyone else who comes along know about your specifics and not have to try and go back to the first post to see it all.
    CLick on SETTINGs which is right under the POOL SCHOOL button at top right of the page
    On the left side of the page, scroll to edit signature.
    Enter your details and click the save button.

    Take care and we look forward to a great sparkly pool soon!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    Ok, so I've updated my signature per your suggestion. That seems like the simplest thing I can do!

    I'll see what I can do about the test kit. Currently my supplies on hand are 2 gallons of 12.75% chlorine, and 5 pounds of stabilizer. It is pretty obvious I'm going to need more chlorine.

    As I alluded to in my first post, thursday or friday we added lots of chlorine. By lots, I mean 8 gallons of 12.75%. By my math, that was 49ppm. But it sounds like I really can't do anything more intelligently until I get a more advanced test kit.
    Pool: Estimated 21,000 gallon inground with vinyl liner
    Filter: 200lb unknown model sand filter, estimated 30yo
    Pump: Jacuzzi 3/4 HP pump of unknown model

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    pepsiholic's Avatar
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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    You got it! Ordering the test kit is one of the best investments you will ever make for your pool. Read and re-read pool school. Take the time to read some of the swamp to oasis threads too. Fascinating stories! I started this method 5 years ago and rarely have to do anything except balance upon opening and add chlorine nightly (which takes about 5 minutes). If you get yourself one of the recommended kits, read pool school and follow the advice of the fellow experts you CAN take control of your pool.
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
    1 HP Hayward Power-Flo pump w/Hayward 18" 150lb. sand filter
    TF-100 test kit & SpeedStir
    Wanda the Whale Vacuum

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    You are definitely gonna need more chlorine. the 12.5 is good stuff (sorry I missed that part). Add 1 gallon an evening till you can get a test kit.

    49 is pretty high! No need to really raise it that high.. but not a bad idea at all to raise your FC a few ppm above 16 and let it drift down, then add more again.

    Its going to work for man. We promise it will. Lots of us have been where you are now, and we are still here .. now helping others.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tekcor View Post
    Ok, so I've updated my signature per your suggestion. That seems like the simplest thing I can do!

    I'll see what I can do about the test kit. Currently my supplies on hand are 2 gallons of 12.75% chlorine, and 5 pounds of stabilizer. It is pretty obvious I'm going to need more chlorine.

    As I alluded to in my first post, thursday or friday we added lots of chlorine. By lots, I mean 8 gallons of 12.75%. By my math, that was 49ppm. But it sounds like I really can't do anything more intelligently until I get a more advanced test kit.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    Well, one thing you can do while you wait is try deep cleaning your sand filter. Usually you would want to hold off doing that until after a SLAM since the SLAM will definitely result in lots of gunk going into the filter. However, given all the surprises you've had so far and how old you estimate the filter to be, it is very likely the sand could have deep channeling in it and/or you could have damaged laterals. I think doing a deep clean would at least give you some visibility on the "health" of your sand filter. Without good filtration, the sparkly clear water you desire (and deserve!!) is going to be hard to achieve.

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    Re: Going Insane Trying to Clean Green Pool

    Ok, I'll admit I didn't follow your directions precisely, simply because I haven't ordered the test kit yet. It's a good chunk of change and most of my budget I allocated for the pool is gone. I fully intend to order it, I understand the value. I use a similar kit for my aquarium, since the strips suck there too. But it probably won't be until next season.

    However, the good news is I've got it all nice and clear. And according to my guess strips, levels are all in the ideal ranges. After I became confident I could vacuum the entire surface of the pool without the filter becoming clogged on debris, we used a double-dose of poly 60 and a quart of liquid floc. Worked like a charm. I've got a little brushing to do along the edges it looks like, but the pool is wonderful now.

    Attachment 32766
    Pool: Estimated 21,000 gallon inground with vinyl liner
    Filter: 200lb unknown model sand filter, estimated 30yo
    Pump: Jacuzzi 3/4 HP pump of unknown model

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