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Thread: Persistant Algae, Confused Pool Store Advice

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Los Angeles CA

    Persistant Algae, Confused Pool Store Advice

    30000 gal DE filtered pool with trichlor pucks was fine for awhile. Over the summer started using about 6 pucks instead of 4 every week. After a few days of not replacing the pucks on the usual date. Algae started growing. I filled up the pucks to the usual level but the algae kept growing. I tried shocking it with powder (probably dichlor or trichlor) and it only got worse.

    Went to the pool store.

    Pool Store Test 1
    CYA 60-100 can't remember exact number

    Said CYA levels were caught just in time to prevent drain and they suggested to tone down the puck use so I reduced it to 4 and it was shocked a few more times with the powder and then added a few gallons liquid chlorine to no avail.
    After awhile Went back to the pool store and got water retested

    Pool Store Test 2
    FAC .5
    TAC .5
    CHardness 350
    CYA 200
    TAlk 120
    ph 8
    Acid D 3
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    TDS 400
    Phosphate 200

    Store recommended that I do a 3/4 drain. Person I was working with however didn't want it so I was left to attempt to elevate the chlorine level a couple times with liquid chlorine to no success. Added a few more trichlor tabs but then stopped. After a little while longer I revisited the store

    Test 3
    FAC 5
    TAC 5
    CHardness 400
    CYA 120
    TAlk 120
    ph 7.8
    Acid D 1
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    TDS 1150
    Phosphate 2000

    Store recommended that I do a foot drain then eliminate the algae with calcium hypochlorite shock then use chemicals to remove the phosphate.
    Didn't do the chems but I drained about a foot and refilled. The filter was taken apart and cleaned but the pool was a basically left to sit for awhile longer. Did another retest at the store. Printout was borked for something so only a few results were relayed to me.

    Test 4
    CYA around 100
    phosphates not measured due to algae presence

    Store said Either pH or alkalanity or something was severely messed up and needed to be readjusted with 14-20ish pounds of chemicals. Didn't get around to adjusting the ph but Went back and fully reassembled the filter and added DE. Drop test showed very little chlorine left. Bought 12 gallons of KemTek Liquid chlorine and added it overnight to pool. Next day pool cleared up. Stayed clear for couple days with me adding a gallon here or there then overnight went green again. Went back to store

    Test 5
    FAC 5
    TAC 5
    CHardness 600
    CYA 200
    TAlk 110
    ph 8
    Acid D 4
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    TDS 1100
    Phosphate 1000

    Latest recommendation is to kill off algae with so sort of sodium algaecide and calcium hypochlorite then retest then use phosphate removal chemical.

    Was careful to always take water around foot deep and at least a night after any chems had been added except for the last test. Filter wasn't working for alot of the days though which might have precluded through mixing.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    South Florida

    Re: Persistant Algae, Confused Pool Store Advice

    Stop. Can you see how different all your pool store tests are? They are not helping you, only wasting your time and money.

    If you want to help yourself, get a good test kit. The TF-100 or the Taylor K2006 are the only two choices that give you the tests you need to get control of your pool.

    Your CYA level is likely too high and you need to drain and refill some of your water. Once CYA level is above 100, it becomes difficult to manage chlorine levels and get rid of algae.

    Once you have a test kit, you can post the results here and people will give you specific advice. You should also read pool school in the mean time so you gain the knowledge to take care of your pool yourself.
    10,000 gallon in ground diamond brite, Circupool si30+, Hayward C900 cartridge, 1.5hp Flotec single speed pump

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Re: Persistant Algae, Confused Pool Store Advice

    Welcome to TFP Jarwulf. As a fellow newbie I think you'll find the advice you'll receive from the experienced pool owners here to be very helpful. You can solve your algae problem and avoid these problems in the future. I would recommend reading in the "Pool School" section, specifically the Getting Started and Pool Chemistry sections to help understand what's going on in your pool. Then I would get a good test kit, either a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006 so you can get your own test results. There is not much faith placed in pool store test results on this website. The CYA test has the reputation of being one of the most unreliable pool store tests and you will need to get an accurate result for that before you can proceed. Here are a couple of links to get you started:
    30,000 gal IG pool, vinyl liner, Hayward Superpump 1 HP, Hayward S244S sand filter, Zodiac LM2-24 SWG, Polaris 280 TankTrax cleaner, TF-100 and Taylor K-1776 test kits

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Re: Persistant Algae, Confused Pool Store Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarwulf View Post
    Store recommended that I do a 3/4 drain. Person I was working with however didn't want it so I was left to attempt to elevate the chlorine level a couple times with liquid chlorine to no success. Added a few more trichlor tabs but then stopped...
    Please do some reading, as recommended by previous posters.

    To get rid of algae, you have to follow a consistent plan, backed up by accurate measurement of chlorine levels in the water. To determine what the necessary chlorine levels are, you need an accurate measurement of CYA... all this gets back to the suggestion to get a good test kit, and measure things for yourself. If you just dump in this and that to 'shock' from time to time, you're 'annoying' or inconveniencing the algae for a little while, and then it bounces right back.

    There is the additional concern, based on your quote above, that someone else is making the decisions on what to do with the pool... ? If the CYA levels are as high as the assorted pool store readings suggest, a partial drain and refill is probably going to be needed. If it's not your decision to make, however, that complicates things. Is your area under water restrictions?

    One basic fact, that comes as a surprise to many new forum members, is that dichlor (commonly sold as pool shock) and trichlor (the tabs you mention) both add CYA to the water. The CYA doesn't go away, and, as a result, more and more chlorine is needed to keep your pool sanitary, and to keep algae at bay... just pointing this out, as you mention continued use of these products, even after you suspected that CYA was getting too high.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  5. Back To Top    #5

    TFP Guide
    Catanzaro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Howell, New Jersey

    Re: Persistant Algae, Confused Pool Store Advice

    Please follow the instructions without any changes. If you take a break for one minute you may fall behind. It is just testing your water, adjusting PH and adding the proper bleach to the pool and maintaining the appropriate levels until you have passed the overnight test, etc.

    I have a friend who I tried to assist this summer and it has taken him over 3 months (the whole season) in NJ to clear his pool up. He constantly was getting bad advice and good advice but never followed a game plan. They used to shut off the filter, not backwash, etc. They never used the pool and now it is too cold. I do not even know if he will finish the SLAM process as his water is still a little cloudy and he has not been testing his water to determine his FC levels and the other levels are where they should be, and may never finish the SLAM process. So he may wake up to another algae bloom prior to closing or next year. And they continue to use the PUCKS which is what probably caused this mess to begin with. To make matters worse they called in professionals and it cost them over $700 for the summer + about $500 in chemicals from the pool store. The whole year was spent on chemicals, services and no pool. Great way to enjoy your summer.

    I still go to the pool store to get results but do not use them. Only need to make sure I do not have any metals in the water as I was using the frog in the beginning of the season. They kind of laugh with me when I walk in there because they all clearly know that my levels are perfect and I am just stopping by to say "hello" and kill some time. Their jobs are important, so they have to recommend what makes the pool store $$$$. In addition they test for phosphates and the levels do not increase gradually, they bounce around from 100 to 530 and next time almost nothing, which tells you these computerized tests really do not work well. Talk about inaccurate testing. Although some of the testing is close. It is like my friend who had Lawn Doctor over & they told him that he has Cinch Bugs, but the tech could not find them. I said to my friend they probably have some laying around in the truck to throw on your lawn. Same concept as the pool stores can alter testing if need be. There is always a way.

    The employees all know that Phos-Free and some of the other stuff they have is not necessary. There is even articles there telling you that when your CYA level becomes too high that you must drain water in the pool store. Wow, how about stop using or selling products that contain stabilizer that eventually will drive your levels through the roof and one day you wake up with a "green mess" on your hands.

    Keep us posted.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Frog Mineralizer System (EMPTY) - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Pool Company tests water (NO LONGER) TF-100 TEST KIT
    Date of Build is 11-2013

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Columbia, SC

    Re: Persistant Algae, Confused Pool Store Advice

    Well, you have proven that the pool store is not helping your pool. They have told the CYA is 60-100, then 200, then 120, then 200 again. This just supports the feeling around here that not much credence is given to pool store 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.

    You now have a decision to make. Do you continue to let someone else make decisions about your pool or do you take control and do it yourself. Remember the old adage of if you want something done right....

    If you want to take control you need to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to care for your pool.

    The tools include the most important item - one of the recommended test kits. You can buy a kit at a pool store, but again the pool store kits generally won't cut it. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. All these kits contain that test while very few other kits do. Think of it this way, do you see a doctor blindly prescribing drugs without seeing the patient or having tests run? Here at TFP we are going to ask for photos so we can see the condition of the water and are going to ask for a full set of test results.

    The knowledge is condensed in the Pool School link at the top of every page. Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    It is a great community here, but we do ask that you read and try to understand the information being taught.

    Questions are always welcome and folks will try to direct you and teach you the methods.

    So, welcome to TFP!!
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Bastrop, Louisiana

    Re: Persistant Algae, Confused Pool Store Advice

    Greetings Jarwulf and welcome to TFP,

    Sit back a moment and think about what has happened thus far with the pool stores testing. As you can see they are all over the map on the CYA reading. Do yourself and your family a favor and order a FAS/DPD test kit. No one will take care of your pool better than you will.
    Taking care of your pool will require a good test kit. Recommended test kits are sold HERE. The TF-100 gives you the most tests and will be the cheapest in the long run. If you order the XL option, it will come with more regents to complete a SLAM. You will need to do a SLAM as you have algae growth now.
    If you prefer, you can Google "FAS/DPD test kit" and order from wherever you choose, but the idea is to get a good test kit.

    The pucks you have been using contain addtional CYA, so your continued use of them is just going to make the problem worse. Dichlor and Triclor also contain CYA so that option is out if you want to gain control. So now that leaves dry chlorine or liquid chlorine. Dry chlorine is going to add hardness to your water. The makeup of dry chlorine is Calcium Hypochlorite. Calcium is hardness. Your CH# is getting elevated quite a bit now so my reccomendation is to stick with Liquid Chlorine.

    Looking at the test results, your pH is elevated and needs to be brought down to around 7.2 for a SLAM.

    At this time, i feel the order of importance for you should be:
    1. Order a good test kit (from where is your choice)
    2. Read Pool School. (Adrob2 gave you some excellent starting material)(Pool School is located at the top of every page of TFP.)
    3. Once you get your test kit, post your test results. (Getting very reliable test results is the cornerstone of TFP as you will see.)

    And finally, if you would please enter your pool info into your signature line it will make it so much easier to help in the future. It lets us know what kind of equipment you have to give you the best advise possible. It also makes it so you do not have to keep entering it if you have problems in the future. How that is done is shown HERE.

    Ask as many questions as you need to understand things, as we want you to learn all about your pool and how to fix it. There are alot of talented people here that will give you the very best advise so soon you can have a Trouble Free Pool.
    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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