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Thread: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

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    am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    We bought a house this summer with an above ground pool.
    The liner was totally jacked, so we replaced it (FUN!!)
    We filled the pool with our garden hose. At the time, we had straight well water, no softener or purifier system.

    We had no clue what we were doing, and just went by the internet and what the local pool store told us.

    I added chlorine and stabilizer that I bought at a big box store. Water was clear, but turned green then tea brown.

    Pool store sold us metal-out

    that seemed to work, but then we had an algae bloom. SO we added algicide.

    I read your website and went to the pool store (i had a return to make) and looked for a test kit. The lady convinced me to bring some water in and I did because they only sell test strips and a cheapo $10 kit.

    WHen i brought my sample in, it was super high phosphates. SO she sold me $70 phosphate clear. she told me that aside from feeding the algae, the phosphates can cause green water (??) and to bring back a sample in 2 days. She also told me that high phosphates will cause my chlorine reading to be zero on my test strips. I have totally lost trust in this woman because she said to work on phosphates first, then any remaining algae. But then when i got home i read the bottle and it says in big red letters, to treat algae first!

    I have a sinking feeling that the algicide is adding metals back in, and the metal out is adding phosphates. so the problem is feeding itself. Am I right?

    Also, last week, out of desperation to get chlorine levels up, i bought a chlorine tablet and floater system. Today, I have pulled that out. I also have a big test kit on order (one that you recommend)

    Do I need to resign myself to just draining and starting over? I've already spent close to $200 in just chems for this pool that we have gotten in THREE TIMES.

    any thoughts?
    -Erin

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you. This information may impact the recommended path forward.

    We can certainly get you straightened out and start saving yourself some money. Great that you got the test kit ordered already

    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Welcome to TFP.

    It's certainly frustrating and because you've spent so much already it's hard to spend even more. The good news is that you've already made a huge step in the right direction. Buying a good test kit is a big step.

    Do you know if your well has metals?
    What is the ingredients of the algaecide?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Don't worry, it won't be too hard to correct. You will need the actual test results from your new kit before we can tell you exactly how to fix it. It's not your fault you've been mislead by the pool stores.

    The simplified solution is phosphates are a non-issue. They are technically "food" for algae but you should never have any algae in a properly maintained pool so it's not a concern. Phos-free and similar chemicals are only good for padding the wallets of pool stores and/or slowing down the growth of algae in poorly maintained pools where people let their chlorine levels drop down to the point it is unable to kill new algae. If you use the method here you won't let your chlorine go that low and won't have algae in the first place.

    Algaecide is also wasted money in all but a few strange cases. Chlorine kills algae just fine and algaecide does nothing but cost you money AND will often put metals (specifically copper) in your water which is terrible because...

    Secondly, the green color was probably metals in the well water. The metal out doesn't actually take any metal out. It basically "dissolves" it and keeps it dissolved so the water appears clear. You'll have to keep adding it periodically since it looses its effectiveness over time. There's not problem with this except it's an extra cost and hassle. You will never get the metal out without draining the water and having metal-free water added from a pool filling company. Just FYI.

    In order to fix your algae problem you'll just need to add chlorine appropriate to your level of stabilizer (CYA) which you will learn when you get your test kit. Read the SLAM procedure in Pool School as this is what you will be doing. Once the algae is gone you'll just check your chlorine every day and add the appropriate amount of liquid chlorine for your volume of pool and stabilizer (CYA) level. Stop using solid or granular chlorine (pucks or tablets) as they add CYA as well as chlorine. Continued use of this will keep adding CYA meaning you'll need more chlorine to keep the algae away and this cycle will only get worse as you keep using non-liquid chlorine.

    -----

    As a bonus we will also help get your Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and PH in the right range, but these don't really have an effect on the problems you are having now.
    22,000 gallon in-ground kidney-ish shape: 1 HP pump and Triton TR60 sand filter. NEW: Dolphin Nautilus robot! :)

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    I'm feeling quite impatient. Today the pool looks just as green as it did monday, if not more. I have bleach, borax and baking soda on hand and ready to go as soon as the kit gets here.
    I guess there's nothing more to do? I'm contemplating using my vacuum to do a partial drain just to physically get rid of some of the algae.
    photo.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    We plan to limp along in this beast for a few seasons then build an in-ground. It's got to be 10 years old. All the screws were rusted like crazy when we did the liner.
    13,500 gal AG
    Hayward variflo sand filter, powerflo lx pump
    old pool, new liner installed 7/1/14

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    You could vacuum to waste if you have visible settled material on the bottom to get rid of some organics. You can also add a gallon or so of bleach per day to keep things at bay until you can get proper test results.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    It is generally not a good idea to stock up on ingredients just because they start with a B. The TFPC method is really just about understanding your pool’s chemistry and through accurate testing, adding only what the pool NEEDS.

    Many (dare I say most) members never need borax (to raise the pH) or baking soda (to raise the TA). So there is no reason to have it on hand, just buy it if you happen to need it.

    You can continue to add a bottle of bleach each evening, but I would not do anything beyond that until you have a kit and test everything.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Yea... I did the same back when I started - got 4 boxes of Borax and several of Washing Soda that I've never used. It's not that big a deal since it was so cheap but I haven't need them.

    On a somewhat related note, if you (or anyone else reading this) needs some Jack's Magic Pink Stuff for taking care of metals in the water, I got two bottles for after I did an Ascorbic Acid treatment but never needed them. I'd be happy to send them off to a good home for cheap if someone needs it.

    Like the others have said, just add a bottle of bleach at night until the kit gets there. There's not much else you can do, at least not without wasting money on chemicals you may or may not need.
    22,000 gallon in-ground kidney-ish shape: 1 HP pump and Triton TR60 sand filter. NEW: Dolphin Nautilus robot! :)

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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Not a wasted purchase, use the baking soda for cleaning and the Borax for your laundry.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Like chjade, I too have 2 13lb bags of baking soda and 2 boxes of 20 Mule team I was using before my tfp days to keep my ph and TA where they needed to be because of the pucks I was using. I also have 2 big bottles of phosfree because of being les-lied. Oh, and a couple bottles of 50% algecide I'll never need.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Wow, what a difference already with the bleach. I finally have hope!!

    and the baking soda and borax are not wasted. I don't use commercial cleaning products, just vinegar and soda and borax for almost everything.
    13,500 gal AG
    Hayward variflo sand filter, powerflo lx pump
    old pool, new liner installed 7/1/14

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Quote Originally Posted by newmomerin View Post
    Wow, what a difference already with the bleach. I finally have hope!!

    and the baking soda and borax are not wasted. I don't use commercial cleaning products, just vinegar and soda and borax for almost everything.
    Great! Just stick to 1 gallon per day and make sure you circulate with the pump on while adding and let it run for at least 30 minutes after adding.

    Pop a can of POP (Pool Owner Patience) while waiting for your kit. You'll need POP (and maybe an adult beverage or two of your choice, if that's your thing) later in the process as well. Take some time to read the links jblizzle posted and when they start to make sense, explore Pool School on other topics.

    Post a full set of test results when it arrives and we'll help you from there.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    awesome. thanks all! I looked out the window this morning and saw a stripe of blue!
    13,500 gal AG
    Hayward variflo sand filter, powerflo lx pump
    old pool, new liner installed 7/1/14

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    Re: am I stuck in a vicious cycle?

    Newmomerin, just think in no time you will be able to toss a quarter in the pool and tell if its heads or tails and water so clear it sparkles. Have faith and patients. It will work out.
    Randy H.

    Intex 18' X 48"
    G.A.M.E. Sandpro 75 Sand Filter (Single Speed 3/4 HP, 75 lbs sand, 2650 GPH, 7-way valve)

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