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Thread: Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    Hi Nigel.

    I have just joined this forum and happened to come across your thread. I want you, and everyone else reading this to know that there is a much, quicker, more efficient and cost-effective method of clearing a green pool than most would lead you to believe.

    I have read this sites section on defeating algae, and while I appreciate the effort these guys put in, I disagree with almost everything they have said.

    For starters, liquid chlorine is certainly not more effective than granular. Most liquid chlorine has an active constituent of 12.5% Sodium Hypochlorite. Granular chlorine on the other hand, particularly Calcium Hypochlorite, has a chlorine concentration of 70%. Secondly, the "SLAM" method is completely unnecessary and a waste of valuable time/money. I will explain this later.

    Let's get right to it. When clearing a green pool, there are three chemicals you need:

    -Chlorine (Calcium Hypochlorite)
    -Algaecide (Benzalkonium Chloride)
    -Flocculant

    To address the purpose of using these chemicals:

    1. Calcium Hypochlorite is the best choice for treating green pools as it has a very high chlorine concentration. It is fast dissolving and very fast acting. Also, it does not affect your CYA.
    2. Benzalkonium Chloride is a non-copper based algaecide. It is cheap, effective and does not last in your pool for more than two days.
    3. Floc. This is a no brainer and I'm very surprised the owners of this site have made little to no mention of it. This chemical combines all the fine particles floating in the water together and drops them to the floor of the pool, allowing you to vacuum your pool with greater ease.

    Now I will explain my much quicker method of clearing your green pool. Note: I am assuming your pool is 20,000L.

    Step 1: Brush the walls and remove as much sediment as possible.
    Step 2: Turn the filter on to Re-Circulate. if you have a Cartridge filter, simply remove it and turn the filter on.
    Step 3: Add 2kg of Chlorine.
    Step 4: Add 2L of Algaecide.
    Step 5: Add 1L of Floc.
    Step 6: Leave the filter running on by-pass for a further 30 mins.
    Step 7: Switch the pump off and leave off overnight.
    Step 8: Return in the morning and vacuum all the sediment on the bottom to WASTE. If you have a Cartridge, filter the sediment and hose down every 10-15mins (depending on the size).
    Step 9: Rebalance the pool chemistry.
    Step 10: Viola. You have cleared your green pool in less than 24 hours.

    Notice how there was no need for continuous filtering and backwashing. In fact, there was no filtering or backwashing at all. There is absolutely no need to run a filter while clearing a green pool. Also, chlorine on its own is not an effective product for fighting present algae problems. Note how it requires many gallons and non-stop filtering to kick in! It is very important that you use an algaecide as well. Just ensure it is not copper based. It is not necessary to balance your pH or TA levels before commencing a green pool treatment. Chlorine has a pH between 11 and 12. SO, say you add acid, test your pH and it's now sitting at 7.2... great! Then you go ahead and shock the pool. Guess what? The pH is lost already. So what was the point?

    So you see, those who tell you there is no magical overnight cure for a green pool simply do not know what they are talking about.

    I encourage you to try this method the next time you have a green pool. I guarantee you will find success.

    Good luck!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    You are 100% wrong. Algaecide has almost no effect on an existing algae problem and is virtually useless in most every circumstance and a waste of money. Your understanding of chlorine concentration could not be more wrong. Floc is a crutch for people who don't understand water chemistry.

    If you want to make claims for pool care, back it up with science as we have.
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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    The concentration of the chlorine product you choose only affects how easy it is to carry home from the store. Once it is in the water it makes no difference what so ever. While ease of carrying home from the store is nice, it is a secondary issue here.

    Cal-hypo contains calcium. Depending on your starting calcium level that might be just fine, or it might be a major expensive disaster. Adding too much calcium will cause calcium scaling, which is unsightly and difficult/expensive to remove.

    If one were to follow your procedure you are basically rolling the dice that 2kg of chlorine was sufficient (which it probably is not). If there is any live algae left after adding the chlorine and algaecide (likely) then whole floc procedure is a total waste of time and you will be starting over again the next day exactly where you started on the first day. Yes, there are times where this will work, and it when it does work it will clean up the pool very quickly, but in a true green swam situation this procedure will just throw away money and effort and make no forward progress at all.

    Surely the amounts of chlorine, floc, and algaecide are supposed to vary depending on the size of the pool? You make no mention of that. You don't even mention what size pool you are assuming, so there is no way to properly replicate your procedure.

    This procedure is useless if you are unable to vacuum to waste. Some people can, others can not. If you can not vacuum to waste you should not use floc.

    Chlorine alone is totally effective against algae. We have tens of thousands of members who have used chlorine alone and had it work just fine. Hundreds of them have posted, often with detailed photo sequences, showing how well chlorine alone works.

    You lower the PH before adding chlorine because chlorine has a high PH. If the PH gets too high the chlorine will not be effective. Since the chlorine is going to raise the PH, we need to lower so it doesn't end up too high.

    Floc can dramatically speed up the process of clearing the pool, but it only works if you can vacuum to waste, and if all of the algae is already dead before you add floc and even then it only works about 80% of the time. It also costs money and takes a significant amount of work vacuuming. The filter is more than capable of doing the exact same thing with way less effort, just more slowly. If you are in a huge hurry and can vacuum to waste, it may well be worth trying floc, but most people will want to skip it.
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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    callumcdl,

    I would glom on and add support rejecting your ideas, but rather, I will tell you that you are about to be inundated by people who will disprove just about EVERYTHING in your post.

    I suggest you spend some time in Pool School and learn what we teach.....you will find it enlightening.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    Wow . . . I guess before I did anything else I'd like to see a photo of what you consider a "green" pool because I can tell you there isn't any way your system would even put a dent in my typical spring opening swamp.
    Your treating and shocking ritual might work for you but it's far from a one size fits all cure. If it was that easy I'd just go down to Walmart and get the green to blue snake oil
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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by callumcdl View Post
    For starters, liquid chlorine is certainly not more effective than granular. Most liquid chlorine has an active constituent of 12.5% Sodium Hypochlorite. Granular chlorine on the other hand, particularly Calcium Hypochlorite, has a chlorine concentration of 70%.
    If you were solely concerned about the WEIGHT of chlorine product that you were using, then yes using chlorine products with a higher % Available Chlorine would be less weight to carry. However, that has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of chlorine that gets into the pool nor its effectiveness. With chlorinating liquid or bleach you use a lot more by weight than with Cal-Hypo, Dichlor, Trichlor, or lithium hypochlorite, BUT from a price perspective it is not more expensive and has no problematic side effects.

    Cal-Hypo is usually priced close to chlorinating liquid or bleach on a PER FC basis which is all that matters. 70% Cal-Hypo has roughly 70% Available Chlorine while 12.5% chlorinating liquid has roughly 11% by weight, but 12.5% by volume. So you can compare pricing by dividing the price per pound for Cal-Hypo by 0.7 and the price per pound of chlorinating liquid by 0.11 or the price per gallon of chlorinating liquid by 1.07 (because 12.5% chlorinating liquid is 9.7 pounds per gallon). Or putting this another way, to raise the FC by 10 ppm in 10,000 gallons it takes 1.20 pounds of 70% Cal-Hypo or takes 7.74 pounds or 0.8 gallons of 12.5% chlorinating liquid. The price for Cal-Hypo varies by vendor and size, but adjusting to 70% equivalent it's $3.31 per pound for 25 pounds to $3.21 per pound for 50 pounds or more. So for the 10 ppm in 10,000 gallons example and using the 50 pound or more pricing this is $3.85 for Cal-Hypo. I get 12.5% chlorinating liquid from my local pool store for $4.33 per gallon so for 0.8 gallons this is $3.46 for chlorinating liquid. You can see that the pricing PER FC (in some volume) is less expensive for chlorinating liquid than for Cal-Hypo, at least for these prices. Maybe in Australia Cal-Hypo is dirt cheap and chlorinating liquid is very expensive, but you could tell us prices for both in your area.

    So you need to get this idea out of your head that the concentration of product has anything to do with its effectiveness, because it doesn't. It just has to do with its concentration by weight. You pay far less per pound for chlorinating liquid, but that is because it weighs a lot more for the equivalent amount of chlorine because of the water content. Also, with Cal-Hypo for every 10 ppm FC you also get at least 7 ppm Calcium Hardness (CH). So unless your CH is low, you need to be careful with how much you use. We do NOT say to never use Cal-Hypo but rather that chlorinating liquid or bleach won't increase the CH and mixes instantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by callumcdl View Post
    2. Benzalkonium Chloride is a non-copper based algaecide. It is cheap, effective and does not last in your pool for more than two days.
    :
    Also, chlorine on its own is not an effective product for fighting present algae problems.
    :
    It is not necessary to balance your pH or TA levels before commencing a green pool treatment. Chlorine has a pH between 11 and 12. SO, say you add acid, test your pH and it's now sitting at 7.2... great! Then you go ahead and shock the pool. Guess what? The pH is lost already. So what was the point?
    Chlorine at the proper active level (FC/CYA ratio) kills algae quickly. Algaecide does not and is not intended to -- it is a slow killer of algae designed for maintenance in pools that have too low an active chlorine level. Chlorine alone can be used to prevent algae, but the active chlorine level (FC/CYA ratio) has to be high enough (as described in the Chlorine / CYA Chart). Pools with algae go from the dark green to cloudy stage quickly in minutes to hours (see this thread with the sequence) demonstrating that chlorine kills quickly and there is no need for algaecide. What takes time is clearing the dead algae from the pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by callumcdl View Post
    3. Floc. This is a no brainer and I'm very surprised the owners of this site have made little to no mention of it. This chemical combines all the fine particles floating in the water together and drops them to the floor of the pool, allowing you to vacuum your pool with greater ease.
    As Jason noted, not every pool can vacuum-to-waste. Many pools with cartridge filters don't have that capability, for example. Following your procedure in that situation would be a problem since at best one would have a bunch of junk at the bottom of the pool they could not easily remove. Also, there have been situations where clarifiers or flocculants have not worked because sometimes there are other chemicals in the pool that interfere with them. For example, mixing a polymeric anioic metal sequestrant with a polymeric cationic clarifier will create a cloudy precipitated mess (see this thread).

    A detailed technical description of coagulation/flocculation is in this link. You will see that you have to properly determine the zeta potential of the water (or do a jar test) in order to correctly dose with flocculant and be in the proper pH range otherwise if you underdose or overdose you may not get the desired effect. Those in the water industry understand this; pool owners do not. So manufacturers of flocculants for pools put in instructions that may work for some average situations, but may not work for others and is what we've seen on this forum from people who have used such products (this post shows one such use of floc not working though HEDP metal sequestrant was in the water as well; this thread is from a pool industry professional complaining about why floc sometimes works and sometimes doesn't).
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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    callumcdl,
    the methods of TFP are based on science and are proven to work, every time, and with less expense than is commonly proposed within the mainstream pool industry, and using "their" products.

    Many of the products you mention are good products on their own, but ONLY if they are used within limits. Exceeding the limits of pool chemistry will result in an unmanageable pool and the pool owner will most likely spend hundreds of more dollars needlessly trying to fix something they dont understand, nor do the majority of the pool indstry mainteance people.

    Your methods were created by pool chemical manufacturers with skin in the game, pushed upon pool store folks and are commonly used by the uneducated pool store people. You havent posted anything whatsoever that we havent seen many times and the method failed the large majority of the time.
    (Just to mention, there are some pool stores and employees who work in them that actually do know what they are doing, but they are few and far. There are some that are even valued members of this forum. ) Ant to furhter mention, blindly tossing chemical products into a pool without knowing the chemistry is nothing more than Hocus Pocus.

    What you propose is without any doubt whatsoever, nothing more than trouble for the unsuspecting and unknowledgeable pool owner. and in my opinion, bordering on the line of being flat out unethical and for the purpose of nothing more than soaking the pool owners back pocket.

    By the way, I see your join date is today and this was your first and only post.

    Welocme to TFP!
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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    Welcome to TFP !
    Since you have tried to debunk or method of clearing a pool of algae I have a couple of questions for you.
    What is your daily source of chlorine for your pool water ?
    Since you assume you have a better way of clearing a pool of algae how many algae outbreaks have you had ?
    What means of water testing do you use, test strips, pool store testing ? In your post I see no mention of water testing which is one of the major things we preach here. Accurate water testing.
    In your method of clearing a pool of algae do you have any criteria to meet so you know without a doubt that all the algae is dead ? We do. To stop our method you must meet these three criteria to know the pool is cleared of any living algae.
    1. Water is crystal clear. Also includes no visible algae anywhere.
    2. You have CC's of 0.5 or less. You'll know this by accurate water testing.
    3. You can pass the OCLT Test. You'll know this by accurate water testing.
    Yes our way may take longer, but the pool will be algae free. There will also be little if any rebalancing of the water.
    To be quite honest in my mind, your method is a hope an a prayer that the pool is rid of algae.
    All the methods we teach here have been tried and proven to be highly effective at killing algae and preventing it from happen in the first place.
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    Flocc is for amateurs, so is using shock....... How do I know? Because I was one...

    I use five products in my pool....

    Bleach
    Acid
    Soda Ash
    Baking Soda.....
    Liquid Stabilizer....

    Its costs me about $66 a season.....




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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    Welcome to TFP, callumcdl !!! I look forward to your future posts.
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    Re: Trying to Rescue Neglected Pool

    My question would be "How often do you have to do the above mentioned process?". With the TFP method, I have only had to up the chlorine twice (SLAM)in three summers,once because I was unable to maintain the pool due to an ailing family member. The rest of the time I added nothing more than bleach and a bit of trichlor because my CYA was low. I have never added algaecide in my current pool. Even when it was greenish at the start of the season. (The second time I added extra chlorine.) if you find yourself faced with a green pool quite often, you may realize your process isn't quite as reliable as you think.

    I saw it for myself this summer. My neighbor, who also happens to be my brother in law, got a fancy new pool two years ago. Guess whose kids were down in my pool a few times this summer because their pool was green? The ones who's parents follow the pool stores way of doing things..... Not to mention that the lack of a balanced pool and putting pucks in the skimmer caused the two year old hoses to crack. I don't say a word, I just enjoy my clear water! (And the extra money in my wallet!)
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