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Thread: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

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    Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    I hope someone can help me figure this out.

    Pool has been a nightmare this year. Have had algae earlier in the year that shock level of chlorine stopped. Weather has been tough on the usage of the pool and it barely is warm enough to swim in now that it is August. I admit that I don't check my chemicals daily like I should, but will post several sets of results.

    Currently, the water is slightly cloudy (greenish tint). There is a layer of green dust on the bottom of the pool. I call it dust because it is very fine and does vacuum up, but as the vacuum or any water movement passes over it it stirs into the water. We run the filter 24/7 and have been running the vacuum a lot and it will make paths in the green dust. I have been backwashing it out as well - need to add more water I have backwashed so much. BUT, as I vacuum the cloudiness gets worse. I think the dust is filtering back into the pool as I vacuum. The green dust is not slimy feeling in any way and really feels like silt. We do live on a dirt road (so we do have an issue with brown dust that vacuuming takes care of), have a lot of trees and have a lot of farms around. But this green dust has me confused. My guess it is pollen, but really not sure. I have not had green dust in past years.

    We really want to be able to use the pool, but not sure if we should use it with this green dust/cloudiness. We did swim in it Monday night. The kids want to swim again, so I don't want to raise the FC to shock level unless I have to. If I should raise it, I will. I never have any CC levels. Oh, and I am using a FAS/DPD test kit for the FC/CC readings.

    Latest test results taken today at 2:30pm
    FC=6 - I added a jug of Clorox (from Sam's Club) this morning
    CC=0
    pH=7.5
    Alk=180
    Cal=140
    CYA=40

    8/3
    FC=3
    CC=0
    pH=7.5
    Alk=180

    7/31 (these results a night after adding 2 jugs of Clorox knowing we would be out of town)
    FC=12.5
    CC=0
    pH=7.5
    Alk=180
    CYA=40

    If more info is needed, please ask.

    Thanks.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    It is easy to determine if it's algae or dust.

    Test your FC tonight after the sun is off the pool.....record it.

    Test you FC again tomorrow morning before the sun gets on the pool.

    If you have lost more than 1.0 of your FC overnite, you have algae in your pool and need to shock.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    I had the same problem upon opening in April this year and suggest to vacuum to waste if it is blowing back into your pool. You will use alot of water, but its gonna just go back through the sand filter anyway and then you are just running in circles.

    Good luck.
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    The question I am scared to ask...if it is pollen to that degree, shouldn't it be on the patio furniture, etc.? I have a similar problem. FC always on high side, no CC. I am suspecting dead algae or sand filter issues.
    40,000 gal pool, Goldline SWG, 1.5 hp pump, sand filter, plaster w/epoxy paint.

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    I had the same problem upon opening in April this year and suggest to vacuum to waste if it is blowing back into your pool. You will use alot of water, but its gonna just go back through the sand filter anyway and then you are just running in circles.
    Chad,

    I don't want to get the thread off-topic but a properly operating filter of sand, DE or a cartridge will all capture enough of the dirt, etc. to keep a pool absolutely crystal clear.

    If a filter is blowing back visible "junk" into the pool, there is something wrong with the filter.

    We really ought to start another thread in "pool equipment" if there's more discussion on filters but I wanted to bring up this very common subject.

    End of hi-jack
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    I had the same problem upon opening in April this year and suggest to vacuum to waste if it is blowing back into your pool. You will use alot of water, but its gonna just go back through the sand filter anyway and then you are just running in circles.
    Chad,

    I don't want to get the thread off-topic but a properly operating filter of sand, DE or a cartridge will all capture enough of the dirt, etc. to keep a pool absolutely crystal clear.

    If a filter is blowing back visible "junk" into the pool, there is something wrong with the filter.

    We really ought to start another thread in "pool equipment" if there's more discussion on filters but I wanted to bring up this very common subject.

    End of hi-jack
    What could be wrong with the filter?
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    Savdoc2,

    I think you misread my post.....is your filter blowing back visible paticles into your pool?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    When I was vacuuming the other day, the water appeared cloudier (green). My assumption was that particles were filtering back into the pool. I could not actually see the particles coming from the return. As the cloudiness increased, I stopped to backwash the filter and the water in the glass was quite green. So my thought was that the filter had enough debris and it was unable to filter out anymore. I was just curious what problems there could be with the filter, in case I can't figure anything ele out. This is our 4th year with the pool and have not changed any of the filter sand. The pool store told us to change the sand every year, but I read on the Pool Talk Forum that it was not necessary.

    I am exploring all possibilities at this point. I checked my FC this evening after the sun had set. It read 5.5 - which is down about .5 from earlier in the day. I will check it again in the morning. I read in another post that pollen and fine silt could filter back into the pool and it was recommending the use of a skimmer sock. I don't own any of these and am sure I can not find them locally so I have not tried it.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    When I was vacuuming the other day, the water appeared cloudier (green). My assumption was that particles were filtering back into the pool. I could not actually see the particles coming from the return. As the cloudiness increased, I stopped to backwash the filter and the water in the glass was quite green. So my thought was that the filter had enough debris and it was unable to filter out anymore. Actually, when your filter gets "full", your pressure will rise and it's time to backwash. Most folks backwash when they see an increase of 5-8psi or so.....I like to backwash when my psi reaches 130% of the it's normal reading.

    I was just curious what problems there could be with the filter, in case I can't figure anything ele out. Most common issues on a sand filter are broken laterals....they will let sand and dirt escape from the filter and you can see them blowing back into the pool.

    This is our 4th year with the pool and have not changed any of the filter sand. The pool store told us to change the sand every year, but I read on the Pool Talk Forum that it was not necessary. I haven't changed mine in 7 years....don't intend to for the forseeable future....there's no point in most cases.

    I am exploring all possibilities at this point. I checked my FC this evening after the sun had set. It read 5.5 - which is down about .5 from earlier in the day. I will check it again in the morning. Yeah, that gets us back to your original post. So, if tomorrow AM your FC is 4.0 or less, you can be very sure you have algae and you will want to shock your pool....remember, shocking is a process, not a one time event.

    I read in another post that pollen and fine silt could filter back into the pool and it was recommending the use of a skimmer sock. I don't own any of these and am sure I can not find them locally so I have not tried it. I do not use them but many do with lots of success.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    Thanks.

    I will post the results from the AM test. Got my fingers crossed - not sure which will be the easier thing to fix though.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    Results:

    Last night at sundown:
    FC=5.5

    This morning at sunup:
    FC=5
    CC=.5

    Would a .5 drop overnight that was converted to CC be algae? It is 1.0 drop for 2:30pm yesterday afternoon. I have plenty of bleach on hand, so I can shock it good. Refresh my memory, to shock for algae, I want to get the FC levels up to about 15ppm and keep it there until I don't lose more than 1 overnight?
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    I see no reason to shock. an overnite los of .5ppm in FC is virtually nil.

    Disregard the .5 combined chloramines. For our purposes in pools, it's virtually the same as zero.

    Okay, that pretty much eliminates algae. Pollen is the next most likely. I would suggest vacuuming again....don't worry about stirring it up....that's good to suspend it and let the filter take care of it.

    I think you probably gonna' neede a little patience. Both for the filter to catch up and whatever it is that's pollinating to stop.

    Meanwhile, I'd swim in it as often as you want.....it should help stir things up and let the filter do it's work.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    I don't have a sand filter, but I have seen it suggested that adding a bit of DE to the sand helps with filtering fine particles. It would have to be added again after each backwash, though.

    Can anyone else chime in on that?
    Nicole

    21' AGP (10,400g)
    Hayward PowerFlo Matrix dual-speed 1HP pump, 75 sq ft Waterway cartridge filter
    4G Liquidator, Aquabot POOL ROVER S2-40

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    A skimmer sock also works well at collecting pollen, especially if it's already on the surface or if you stir it up from the bottom (i.e. get water to circulate through the skimmer.

    As for DE in a sand filter, this is talked about in this thread and this thread though we really need some sort of Pool School sticky or perhaps an article in Further Reading on this.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    Thanks.

    I was gone all morning and so we decided to shock it anyway before I read your posts. I haven't tested the water yet, but there is no change in color of the water or green particles. I don't have any skimmer socks so I put some pantyhose on the skimmer basket for now.

    I will update after it has been allowed to work.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    The pool is looking much better.

    I have put 2 layers of nylon stocking over the skimmer basket - can't get a skimmer sock locally. Running the vacuum a lot - nearly non-stop. Most of the green dust is gone. We swam tonight and I brushed the remaining dusts out of the crevices (result of a poor install the pool dealer farmed out). The water is not perfectly clear yet, but I am giving it time. I am thinking of adding some DE.

    And I was just reading about the borate level and crystal clear pools. I am quite interested in doing that - though muriatic acid really scares me. This is probably for a different thread, but I can't find any place to buy a test kit for the borate level and I don't want to start it without having some kind of test to measure the borates.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    You can order skimmer socks at www.intheswim.com directly and it comes to your house. I have the same issue being 100+ miles away from a local pool place so I do most of my ordering online now. Especially with gas prices the way they are. The little handling charge is not even a big deal considering it comes directly to the house.

    Hope that helps ya out.
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    Thanks.

    We are nearly the same distance from a real pool store as you are. I do order a lot of things.

    The nylon stocking seems to be working fine for now.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    My water is now crystal clear. I do have a small amount of dust on the bottom, but since they just graded our gravel road last week, we will have dust. At least it is brown dust and not green. Due to unseasonably mild temperatures and having to add more water (we are on a well, so we haul the water from the city), the pool is too cold for me to swim in - it was 73 earlier.

    It appears that algae was not my issue, which I am grateful for.

    Thanks for all your help and advice.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

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    Re: Another algae vs pollen/dust problem...

    Between pollen from the corn field and the fine road dust from the gravel road it's tough to get it all filtered out. Plus it just keeps blowing more in. You do the best you can and leave it at that.
    Mona SE MN
    24' round 48" high AG
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