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Thread: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

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    Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    New to the forum, and not sure where to put this.

    A little background on me.

    We have had an IG pool since 2007. Up until this year I have had no issues that I was not able to manage on my own, or so I thought. I drain the pool about every 3 years and refill as we have hard water and I thought I was doing the right thing.

    After scouring this forum it may appear that I was sadly misled and ill-informed -- by heading to Leslies and having the water chemistry checked vs me doing it myself. Relying on Leslie's for chemical guidance seems now - a bit short sided.

    We have an IG pool with the following:

    Pebblesheen with a spa that runs off into the pool. 3.5 ft on one end and 7.5 ft on the other. Contstruction was done by a local company that did excellent work. So no complaints there.
    Hayward Tristar pumps (2) -- for pool and spa and sheer falls (2)
    Hayward 400k heater

    It didn't take much time to convince me that I have been approaching pool care and management all wrong - so I did purchase the recommended pool chemistry tester from TFT. It will be here in a few days.

    Current water stats:

    Clear
    Continual Algae growth that keeps coming back
    Approx 16000 gallons

    Current Chemistry per Leslie's as of yesterday:

    FAC: 0
    TAC: 2
    CH: 300
    CYA: 35
    TA: 90
    pH: 7.6
    Copper: 0
    Iron: 0
    TDS: 500
    Phos: 0

    I have been using the following to manage the pool chemistry:

    3 tabs in floater
    1 to 2 bags shock weekly
    1 bag about every week and a half of an oxidizing agent to free up inactive chlorine
    Brush bottom and sides of pool a few times a week, clearing debri from surface.


    According to Leslie's most people in the central valley area of Northern Ca are all having the same issues that I am... but there has to be a better way to do the necessary - in order to keep my pool a bit more trouble free.

    I have in the past ( per the recommendation from a pool guy ) put in PR-10000 to curb algae food source ( phos )... but it looks like a lot of folks here poo poo that whole thing...

    So what I is some recommendations, guidance and YES I have read the other posts and threads here - but I need a baseline specific to my current equipment, current chemistry etc... so any assistance is very appreciated.


    Regards,


    Brian

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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Brian,

    Your FC at 0 is a recipe for immediate algae. You need to keep that number up around 6 or so (use the pool math calculator). CYA looks pretty good, but TA is a little bit low. Given that you have algae blooms, you should probably consider putting your pool through the SLAM process to fully kill off what's already there. After that, make sure your FC never drops below 5 with your current CYA level.

    After all the reading I've done here, I've gone to using 8.25% bleach as my chlorine source instead of the pucks that the previous owner used. Pucks add CYA to your water and eventually will lead you to having to drain part of your water, as I'm going to be forced to do, to maintain chlorine effectiveness.

    I have a TF-100 test kit and I check my water every 1-3 days. Bleach is a daily add. I've kind of figured out about how much bleach to add without testing every time by noticing the trends in my testing. I usually need to add acid about every 3 days, give or take. If you have an android phone, I highly recommend the PoolPal app to keep track of your testing.

    I have a single variable speed pump that runs at 60% for 12 hours/day and a quad-cartridge filter.

    -------------
    EDIT:

    Reference this chart of FC to CYA levels: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...A-Chart#p18157
    14,000 gallon IG gunnite with round spa and overflow, Hayward Ecostar SP3400VSP variable speed pump, Blue Haven (Hayward) 450 series quad cartridge filter
    Rainbow Lifeguard Model 320 auto-chlorinator, Aqualink RS8 control module, Polaris 360, Laars Lite heater NG heater, TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.

    Well the first thing I would remind you is that we do not trust pool store testing. So, invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits ASAP.

    When was the last time the pool was drained? With the continued use of tablets and weekly magic powders, I have a very hard time believing that you CYA is not MUCH higher.

    I would disagree with the previous post about the TA. 90ppm is just fine (assuming you believe the pool store).

    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
    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
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    If you have read around here much you have probably seen 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.

    Now, with that being said I do not believe the numbers Leslie's gave you unless you just refilled the pool a month ago. With a diet of tabs and powered shock your CYA should be much higher than that. It appears you have been helping that Leslie's location meet their sales goals.

    To follow the pool care methods taught here you need to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to care for your pool.

    The knowledge is condensed in the Pool School link at the top of every page. 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.

    The tools are not limited to the brushes, vacuum hoses and other stuff you use around the pool, but include the most important item - one of the recommended test kits which you have already ordered. Good job!!

    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 so be ready to use it when it arrives. Once we see the results we can recommend what you need to do going forward.

    You need to get chlorine in the water now. Go grab the bleach from your laundry room and pour it in the pool with the pump running. Until you get your test kit a gallon of bleach a day. Plain bleach - no scents, not splashless, generic bleach.

    While you are waiting read Pool School. Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Directions on SLAMing your pool

    You are correct, don't worry about phosphates.
    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

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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Welcome to TFP! First, pour in enough bleach to get your fc up to 7ppm that should be~ 169 ozs of 8.25%. I wouldn't trust any of the Leslies results, particularly the cya. If you have algae, you will have to slam your pool. You could double that bleach dose to get you up to the shock level of 14ppm as a head start till you get your tf-100 in. you can pour in another bottle every day also until then as well.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    If you have read around here much you have probably seen 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.

    Now, with that being said I do not believe the numbers Leslie's gave you unless you just refilled the pool a month ago. With a diet of tabs and powered shock your CYA should be much higher than that. It appears you have been helping that Leslie's location meet their sales goals.

    To follow the pool care methods taught here you need to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to care for your pool.

    The knowledge is condensed in the Pool School link at the top of every page. 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.

    The tools are not limited to the brushes, vacuum hoses and other stuff you use around the pool, but include the most important item - one of the recommended test kits which you have already ordered. Good job!!

    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 so be ready to use it when it arrives. Once we see the results we can recommend what you need to do going forward.

    You need to get chlorine in the water now. Go grab the bleach from your laundry room and pour it in the pool with the pump running. Until you get your test kit a gallon of bleach a day. Plain bleach - no scents, not splashless, generic bleach.

    While you are waiting read Pool School. Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Directions on SLAMing your pool

    You are correct, don't worry about phosphates.
    So, welcome to TFP!!
    Thanks for all of the input. I will add pool data to my signature.

    This site has confirmed what I have begun to believe on my own that the 'kids' at Leslie's are just that... and not pro's. And they want to sell chemicals otherwise they would be out of business. I am a pessimist at heart - so not sure why I didn't put Leslie's in the same category.

    I digress...

    I did in fact drain my pool about 50% in late July 2014 because 'according' to Leslie's my Calcium and CYA were off the charts -- and I was using a lot of chlorine which made sense if my CYA was off the chart...

    I have ordered the recommended test kit. I have been trying to follow the SLAM process. Will continue to follow it by the letter. Will be adding more Chlorine today. And I will continue to be reading and gaining some insight and knowledge going forward.

    Just so I understand ...

    I should be adding a gallon of walmart ... generic bleach to my pool daily? Does it matter that I have no way of testing the water ( except for Leslie's ) and I 'shocked' the pool on Saturday after having the water tested at Leslie's?

    Take the tabs out as well?

    Is this gallon of bleach a day recommendation is based on the approximate volume of the pool? ( 16000 gallons )


    Thanks in advance - please feel free to continue to provide insight and expertise to help a ' new guy ' get his pool a bit more trouble free.

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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by timerguy View Post
    Welcome to TFP! First, pour in enough bleach to get your fc up to 7ppm that should be~ 169 ozs of 8.25%. I wouldn't trust any of the Leslies results, particularly the cya. If you have algae, you will have to slam your pool. You could double that bleach dose to get you up to the shock level of 14ppm as a head start till you get your tf-100 in. you can pour in another bottle every day also until then as well.
    I realize my FC is zero --- was told to use an oxidizing agent ( Free and Clear ) to free up the 'locked up' chlorine... is this NOT correct... and what I should be doing is adding more chlorine?
    Pool built by Pools by Nelson / Hayward TriStar single speed 1.5hp pump for sheer descent / Hayward Ecostar VS for main pump / Hayward 400k Natural Gas Heater / Hayward four cartridge vertical standing filter / PebbleSheen pool surface with concrete deck, spa spill over into pool / TF-100 test kit / Approx: 23200 gallons

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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Hi, and welcome!

    If the product you bought is Leslie's Fresh N Clear, see here:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...chlorine-shock
    for description of contents and utility.

    It's not going to free 'locked up' chlorine -- 'chlorine lock' is an impressive sounding term, but has no basis in reality. Do a few searches here on the forum for discussions about so-called chlorine lock... Yes, you should put in more chlorine (liquid, e.g. plain bleach). Once you have your new test kit, you'll have a better basis for making decisions on how much bleach, whether your CYA levels are too high, etc.
    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

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by wingman1973 View Post
    Just so I understand ...

    I should be adding a gallon of walmart ... generic bleach to my pool daily? Does it matter that I have no way of testing the water ( except for Leslie's ) and I 'shocked' the pool on Saturday after having the water tested at Leslie's?

    Take the tabs out as well?

    Is this gallon of bleach a day recommendation is based on the approximate volume of the pool? ( 16000 gallons )
    Sorry, I missed these questions when you posted them.

    My suggestion for a gallon of bleach is a guestimate based on pool size and the fact that most people want to be doing something while they wait for their test kit. It's kind of it really can't hurt, and it might help a little. Once you get your test kit you will be putting lots of bleach (or higher % chlorine) in the pool when you SLAM it.

    Yes, take the tabs out. While they are adding chlorine they are also increasing your CYA. Generally we do not advocate solid/granular chlorine products except for specific uses because they all have a side effect of adding something to the water in ADDITION to the chlorine you want. Dichlor/trichlor add CYA. Cal Hypo adds calcium. Now, if you have your CYA under control and are going on vacation than using tabs is an appropriate use of them. It's all about knowing what you are putting in the water and what it will do to the water.



    Quote Originally Posted by wingman1973 View Post
    I realize my FC is zero --- was told to use an oxidizing agent ( Free and Clear ) to free up the 'locked up' chlorine... is this NOT correct... and what I should be doing is adding more chlorine?
    In our little corner of the internet we call that being "pool stored", i.e. they tell you something fancy sounding or ominous to sell you a product. Another common item they like to push are phosphate removers.

    You will find that our system of pool care is based on accurate testing of the water and only adding what your pool needs when it needs it. Generally this ends up being a "less is more" approach, meaning lees stuff you buy and throw in the water leading to more pool time and enjoyment.

    Have you been reading the Pool School articles I linked above?
    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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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Yes, until you get your new TF-100 add only chlorine per timerguy's post and nothing else. Chlorine should be concentrated bleach (8.25%), not splashless and not scented that you can buy at WalMart, Target and other places. You should continue to run the pump and brush as you normally would.

    Once your kit arrives you can run a full set of tests, post the results and people will help you from there. When you get your kit be aware that if your FC (free chlorine level) is above 10 then the pH result will read high.

    Yes, you should remove the tabs/pucks.

    Until you have the kit you will not be able to properly SLAM. You do not have a way to accurately measure FC or CYA so there is no way for you to do a proper SLAM until you have the kit. The recommendation to add bleach every day is to hold the pool over while you wait for your kit.
    TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Sorry, I missed these questions when you posted them.

    My suggestion for a gallon of bleach is a guestimate based on pool size and the fact that most people want to be doing something while they wait for their test kit. It's kind of it really can't hurt, and it might help a little. Once you get your test kit you will be putting lots of bleach (or higher % chlorine) in the pool when you SLAM it.

    Yes, take the tabs out. While they are adding chlorine they are also increasing your CYA. Generally we do not advocate solid/granular chlorine products except for specific uses because they all have a side effect of adding something to the water in ADDITION to the chlorine you want. Dichlor/trichlor add CYA. Cal Hypo adds calcium. Now, if you have your CYA under control and are going on vacation than using tabs is an appropriate use of them. It's all about knowing what you are putting in the water and what it will do to the water.



    In our little corner of the internet we call that being "pool stored", i.e. they tell you something fancy sounding or ominous to sell you a product. Another common item they like to push are phosphate removers.

    You will find that our system of pool care is based on accurate testing of the water and only adding what your pool needs when it needs it. Generally this ends up being a "less is more" approach, meaning lees stuff you buy and throw in the water leading to more pool time and enjoyment.

    Have you been reading the Pool School articles I linked above?

    I have been reading what I can on this forum. But, as stated I am flying blind a bit because I don't know really what my baseline numbers are that our pool chemistry is at right now - so how to treat it is unknown to a certain degree.

    I like the less is more approach; will save time and money, and will have a better performing pool as well -- so I am looking forward to gaining the knowledge and expertise needed to do so.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by singingpond View Post
    Hi, and welcome!

    If the product you bought is Leslie's Fresh N Clear, see here:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...chlorine-shock
    for description of contents and utility.

    It's not going to free 'locked up' chlorine -- 'chlorine lock' is an impressive sounding term, but has no basis in reality. Do a few searches here on the forum for discussions about so-called chlorine lock... Yes, you should put in more chlorine (liquid, e.g. plain bleach). Once you have your new test kit, you'll have a better basis for making decisions on how much bleach, whether your CYA levels are too high, etc.
    In my basic understanding of Chem 101 -- I thought the Fresh and Clear didn't make a whole lot of sense - but again I was depending on the so-called experts ... So if 'lock up' is a made up term... what the **** does Fresh and Clear do then?

    Will add more chlorine...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by swoopman View Post
    Yes, until you get your new TF-100 add only chlorine per timerguy's post and nothing else. Chlorine should be concentrated bleach (8.25%), not splashless and not scented that you can buy at WalMart, Target and other places. You should continue to run the pump and brush as you normally would.

    Once your kit arrives you can run a full set of tests, post the results and people will help you from there. When you get your kit be aware that if your FC (free chlorine level) is above 10 then the pH result will read high.

    Yes, you should remove the tabs/pucks.

    Until you have the kit you will not be able to properly SLAM. You do not have a way to accurately measure FC or CYA so there is no way for you to do a proper SLAM until you have the kit. The recommendation to add bleach every day is to hold the pool over while you wait for your kit.
    Thanks for the input - will follow the advice. Will keep you posted and keep reading ...
    Pool built by Pools by Nelson / Hayward TriStar single speed 1.5hp pump for sheer descent / Hayward Ecostar VS for main pump / Hayward 400k Natural Gas Heater / Hayward four cartridge vertical standing filter / PebbleSheen pool surface with concrete deck, spa spill over into pool / TF-100 test kit / Approx: 23200 gallons

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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by wingman1973 View Post
    ... So if 'lock up' is a made up term... what the **** does Fresh and Clear do then?
    It may be the pessimist in me, but I would say it adds to the pool store profits....

    I want you to read and understand Pool School first (don't be afraid to ask questions) as there will be a quiz, but go back to the beginning of the summer in posts and see some of the stuff "professionals" had people add to their pools. It will amaze you.
    Last edited by tim5055; 09-30-2014 at 04:49 PM. Reason: spelling
    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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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    I'm not sure if you come across this or not, but when you SLAM your pool, you PH readings won't be correct at high FC levels. You'll need to finish the SLAM process and once you chlorine has drifted down to the maintenance level you can perform your PH check. Note that bleach is basic, so it raises PH. You'll want to keep muriatic acid (20 Baum, 31.45% available at Lowe's, etc.) on hand to lower your PH as needed.
    14,000 gallon IG gunnite with round spa and overflow, Hayward Ecostar SP3400VSP variable speed pump, Blue Haven (Hayward) 450 series quad cartridge filter
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by goalie28 View Post
    Note that bleach is basic, so it raises PH.
    Actually this is a common misconception. Here is a comment (cut from a larger post from 2011) by chem geek. He can explain the science.

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    Dichlor is actually acidic, but not as much as Trichlor. Though initial addition of Dichlor doesn't lower pH by much, the usage of the chlorine is an acidic process so the net result is a lowering in pH. Only the hypochlorite sources of chlorine (Cal-Hypo, bleach, chlorinating liquid, lithium hypochlorite) can be considered to be pH neutral after accounting for chlorine usage.
    Richard
    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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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Bleach itself is basic. It's pH is ~12-13.
    http://www.bioworldusa.com/ph/household-bleach

    The resulting hypochlorus acid that peforms the sanitation action is acidic.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...cid-%28HOCl%29
    14,000 gallon IG gunnite with round spa and overflow, Hayward Ecostar SP3400VSP variable speed pump, Blue Haven (Hayward) 450 series quad cartridge filter
    Rainbow Lifeguard Model 320 auto-chlorinator, Aqualink RS8 control module, Polaris 360, Laars Lite heater NG heater, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    Yes ... so there is no need to worry about the effect on pH when using bleach daily. The pH will go up slightly when you add the FC and the come back down as the FC is consumed.

    This is one of the reasons we say to lower the pH to around 7.2 before SLAMing because raising the FC significantly will raise the pH (temporarily) until the FC level comes back down. Additionally, the pH tends to rise on its own in most pools, so since you can not test the pH while at high FC levels, it is good to start low since you may not be able to adjust the pH for many days to weeks, depending on the length of the SLAM.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Need help with IG pool maintence and management. Algae growth continuous

    In my basic understanding of Chem 101 -- I thought the Fresh and Clear didn't make a whole lot of sense - but again I was depending on the so-called experts ... So if 'lock up' is a made up term... what the **** does Fresh and Clear do then?
    In response to this question, here are a couple of quotes from other threads (all are comments by JasonLion, site admininstrator). It is not a totally useless product, although it does seem to be a product irrelevant to your current problems:

    > MPS is mostly of value with indoor pools. For an outdoor pool, the only time you might need to use it is when your CC level is very high, which is really quite rare.

    > Non-chlorine shock is mostly useful for indoor pools and spas. In both of those instances it helps prevent and remove the buildup of CC. For an outdoor pool it isn't of much use.

    > Most any spa could use non-chlorine shock. Any bromine system can use it to reactivate the bromine and you tend to have to shock spas frequently and it would be fine for that.
    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

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