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Thread: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

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    Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Hello,

    I'll cut to the chase, but I'm happy to answer any questions. My grandmother's pool has been green for over a month. Pool store has dumped a ridiculous amount of chemicals in. I know they were putting in liquid chlorine (I'm assuming shock) and I saw tubs of powder chlorine there as well. I went to a different pool store and got an AquaChek test kit - (before I saw what TFPC recommends.) Here's the results:

    pH 8.4
    Free CL 10
    Total Alkalinity 180
    Stabilizer 150-300

    My quick take on this is that with the stabilizer sky high that there is no way the chlorine is ever going to work. It's late in the season here in Milwaukee, so I'm not sure how much it's worth putting into the pool. I'm thinking we have no more than a month, especially with the kids back in school.

    I did (before I saw what TFPC recommends) get some poly-quat 60 and 4 boxes of liquid chlorine shock.

    My questions are - is it worth me tackling this now? Is the stabilizer so high that we're going to have to drain the pool? Is it worth throwing the polyquat and shock in? (They recommended brushing, then polyquat, then all 4 boxes of liquid shock, then turn the filter off for 2 days and then vacuum).

    Paul



    Pool size is 30,000 gal
    IG
    Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter
    Test kit is currently an aquachek - I'd get something better next time.
    I think it's not a variable speed pump
    Pool is 35+ years old and has steel walls and concrete floor behind the liner.
    The liner covered the floor drain, so it just uses the skimmer.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    It will take a lot of chlorine to clear it. Your CYA level will require a lot of chlorine to clear the pool. At least 10 jugs of 10% chlorine to reach 39ppm which is the highest shock level in the Chlorine/CYA chart. And the green pool will consume it quickly. It could all be gone in a matter of a few hours, so you need to keep hammering at it. That means you need to test chlorine levels up around 39ppm, and the only way to do that is with one of our recommended kits. Even replacing half the water may not reduce the CYA to a reasonable level.

    If you wait until spring, some of the CYA will probably have broken down over the winter, but the pool will still be green.

    Check out Defeating Algae for guidance you'll need either way.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Thanks for the response. Yes, I did look over Defeating Algae - unfortunately after I bought some of the pool store stuff and definitely unfortunately after the pool guys put all that stuff in the pool.

    So do you think I should just wait until next year or start hammering it with 10% chlorine now?

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Quote Originally Posted by pmfleisch View Post
    So do you think I should just wait until next year or start hammering it with 10% chlorine now?
    I can only tell you what I'd do, and I'm torn myself. Part of me says let it go and fix it in the spring, but another part would be bothered by closing a green pool. If the pool is heated and will be used over the next month, you might want to go after it. Otherwise I'd lean toward waiting.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    I'm a newbie here too but since I'm in a similar situation I thought I'd respond and share what we decided to do. We have taken over care of an aunt's pool. We have CYA of 120 and have been having algae issues.

    We decided to go ahead and at least start to tackle the CYA issue now. The main reason is the warmer weather and warmer water temperatures. This is both for creature comfort of the workers (us) and that it will be easier/better for testing with warmer pool water temps.

    We are in the process of doing about a 50% drain and fill. Not sure exactly how much water the pool holds. It is oval with varying depths, so hard to calculate. Since she is on a well the pool will be filled with truck deliveries of water so there is a cost for the refill.

    After the drain and fill we will be able to retest the CYA. Then the pool will be closed so the pool water level will be lowered and over the winter we expect to get rain and snow to add more non-CYA water. If we get enough precip, as we did last year, we will be able to pump some water out over the winter therefor further reducing the CYA concentration. Since you're in WI I would expect you could use this winter precipitation to your advantage too.

    Next spring we can retest CYA and see if we need to do any more drain and fill. If we do need to do more it should be minor.

    You should definitely invest in the test kit recommended on this site (we did), the TFTestkit TF-100 and get the XL version since you'll be needing to do a lot of testing. Obviously you should stop adding any pool store chemicals.

    So my recommendation is start tackling the CYA issue now. You may still have your algae issue but you will be in much better shape come spring to tackle the algae since your CYA levels will be down and it will require less bleach to clear it up.
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
    Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaner, PB4-60 3/4 HP pump

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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Part of me wants to hit it just so the algae doesn't beat me!

    I'm going to try. So just so I know, is there a method to shocking with the chlorine? I'm planning on using 12 jugs of bleach. I didn't see in the SLAM instructions...dump that first amount all at once and then start testing?

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    I wouldn't recommend SLAMing the pool... yet: See how we deal with algae here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...efeating-algae and here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ntain-shocking

    You'll need a proper test kit. One that has a FAS-DPD test that can measure FC and CC up to 50 ppm. Before you even start adding bleach, you need an accurate CYA reading which you will not get from an AquaCheck kit. I'd highly recommend the TF-100 from tftestkits.net with the XL option since you'll need extra testing reagents for a SLAM procedure on a swampy pool. You could go with a K-2006 from Taylor but you'll be reordering reagents almost immediately. SLAMing a pool is a process, not a one time treatment.

    If you're going to deal with it now here's the steps:
    1 - Get a proper test kit. (hint: http://tftestkits.net/TF-100-Test-Kit-p4.html plus check the XL option is your best bet) Once ordered read articles in Pool School, starting with ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    2 - Once the kit arrives, test the CYA. If it is indeed 100+ there is no sense starting with a SLAM/bleach. Drain to waste/submersible pump and refill. This will lower CYA and eliminate some of the organics/algae problem.
    3 - Then start the SLAM process after you've read through that procedure and ask questions!

    Not doing anything til spring does sound like an option as well. However, I would at least try to lower the CYA before winter even if you don't SLAM the pool. This is assuming the CYA level you have from the Aqua Check is accurate/close. Over the winter, CYA can be converted to ammonia in cases where there is no chlorine present. If you have high CYA you have a chance of having a lot of ammonia to greet you in the spring. High ammonia means you'll need TONS of bleach to clear the pool. At a minimum before winter, I'd address the CYA.
    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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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    I can so relate to that thought. Keep in mind that the "AM" in SLAM stands for "and maintain". So it's not a matter of adding 12 jugs of bleach - you need to maintain that shock level until the SLAM is done. If the CL level is allowed to drop below shock levels at any point then you need to start again and any bleach you have already added is wasted. So with those high levels of CYA you may need to be adding many gallons of bleach every few hours for many days. It's NOT just 12 gallons. Plus you need a test kit that can test for that level of CL during the SLAM and many reagents to do all that testing.

    On this site it recommends that you test CL as frequently as once an hour when you start the SLAM. Even if you stretch that to every few hours and need to add bleach after each test (maybe 12 jugs again, hopefully in somewhat decreasing amounts) that adds up to a lot of bleach. I've seen posts where people were able to complete a SLAM in three days but have also read posts where it took 3 weeks for people to complete a SLAM and posters kept encouraging them to keep up the SLAM and they would get to where they want to be. They kept up the SLAM and did eventually get things straightened out.

    You need to decide if you're up to that level of commitment and expense for bleach - otherwise you're wasting money by dumping in some bleach now. But I admit, it may make you feel better and give the sense that you are doing something. I hope I don't come off mean, just doing my best to share my experience and maybe save you some frustration and money. I will admit we did something similar but we did it knowingly. We wanted to keep the water somewhat clear (although not swim-able) so we could enjoy a few more outdoor dinners by the pool before starting to tackle the CYA with the drain and fill.
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
    Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaner, PB4-60 3/4 HP pump

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Also... adding those details about the pool is VERY helpful to have in your forum signature. Copy what you posted above. Click the Settings link in the upper right of the page, then click the Edit Signature on the left side of the next page. Paste what you copied and click Save. You may have to edit some due to maximum lines, etc. That way, every post has your pool details and makes it easier for us to help.
    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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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Quote Originally Posted by swoopman View Post
    I hope I don't come off mean, just doing my best to share my experience and maybe save you some frustration and money.
    Not at all. I really appreciate the help. The frustration is that we lost out on the last great month of swimming weather and that it's such a pain to get things right again.

    So I think I'll get the test kit and while I wait for it do a drain and refill to start to lower CYA. I know my test strips were not high quality, but given what I think the pool store did, I think the CYA must be through the roof.

    Pre-liner, they used to drain the pool way down every year. It makes a lot of sense to me that this also lowered CYA. Now that they are keeping the winter water level mostly full, the CYA is only building up year after year of using the pool store products.

    Any last advice before I go off to tackle this? Otherwise I'll try to report back in a week and see where things are at.
    30,000 gal / IG / Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter/not variable pump
    Currently aquachek will get better
    Pool is 35+ yo. steel walls/ concrete floor behind the liner.
    no floor drain, just uses the skimmer.

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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Glad to hear it came off the way it was meant.

    I can so relate to loosing out on the last great month of swimming weather too (the best of the whole season!). This is actually the second year in a row that we had algae in August and couldn't swim. Last year we had not found TFP, this year we just found it when dealing with this again, yeah!

    It makes a lot of sense that the CYA would be through the roof from pool store "remedies" and that the bigger drain downs in prior years is what had saved them before.

    When you get the test kit get the XL that has the larger size of the reagents. (Did you know that if you become a TFP supporter you can save $10 on the test kit? I'm sharing because I wish I had known before I ordered the kit.)
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-com-Supporter!

    Make sure you know your water table before you drain and fill so you feel comfortable that you won't float your pool out of the ground in the process. If you do a search you'll find some good posts on here about it. If you're familiar with how far down they drained it before or if they can tell you then that will help.

    Read up on doing the CYA test - diluting with 50% tap water (you'll probably need to know and do it this way at first) and doing it outside with your back to the sun. Made a big difference in our results.

    Oh, and if you're going to SLAM before you close, start stocking up on some bleach (concentrated, no fragrance, don't get splashless, etc.) or at least shopping around for prices. I read on the forum today that target has a buy 3 get 1 free sale going on now. I didn't know until I read it here that the bottles have dates on them and you should make sure the bleach isn't old. We thought we found a good deal on liquid bleach at the local hardware store until we looked at the date (thank you TFPF). If you haven't seen it yet, this calculator is awesome for figuring bleach prices: http://poncatechsquad.com/dan/chlorine/. Since you're going to need a lot this is really handy and there are big price differences.
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
    Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaner, PB4-60 3/4 HP pump

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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    I just wanted to report back in that I got the pool in shape by the time we had to close. I wish it stayed warm enough to get in one more time, but that didn't happen. It was just a little cloudy still when we closed, but no more green and passed the FC drop test for several days.
    30,000 gal / IG / Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter/not variable pump
    Currently aquachek will get better
    Pool is 35+ yo. steel walls/ concrete floor behind the liner.
    no floor drain, just uses the skimmer.

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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Thanks for the update. What did you end up doing? Did you do a partial drain/refill? How low did you get the CYA level? Did you SLAM after that?
    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: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    I did a partial drain... twice. First time I got CYA to 150. Second time got it down to 45. Slammed after that. Still took a while since there was so much Algae in there. There also isn't a floor drain, so getting everything up to the skimmer took a while. I eventually got the vacuum hose suspended in the middle of the pool to help with get rid of all the dead algae.
    30,000 gal / IG / Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter/not variable pump
    Currently aquachek will get better
    Pool is 35+ yo. steel walls/ concrete floor behind the liner.
    no floor drain, just uses the skimmer.

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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    Congrats on getting the pool back in shape. I'm sure you're happy to have it behind you.
    TF-100 Test Kit
    22,000 gallon, 20x40 kidney-shape IG plaster pool built in 1986
    Nautilus NS-36 DE filter, Hayward Self Prime Super Pump 1HP
    Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaner, PB4-60 3/4 HP pump

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    Re: Advice on pool store "maintained" pool

    It's better to put a pool away clean as even if it's a bit green when you open it next spring it will clean up easier and quicker than if you covered it as is and it had even more time for algae to reproduce.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
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