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Thread: Ready for War

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    Ready for War

    Hello,
    I've been lurking around here for a couple weeks and thought I'd post our progress with the war on algae. I ordered the Taylor K-2006 kit and am anxiously awaiting its arrival today so we can get started!

    My husband, 2 young boys, and I moved into a 25 year old house last May and immediately fired the pool guy because we figured we could do the work ourselves. There were stained areas of plaster and several worn areas of plaster, but it will be about 5 years before we can get the pool/patio redone. Everything seemed ok (I thought it was normal to brush up a little green now and then) until our automatic vacuum broke. I'm guessing that was vacuuming the algae so that it never appeared too bad, and it got worse after it broke. I've visited Pinch A Penny several times, and after using several rounds of what they said was the best possible/strongest algaecide (Spot Out Granular Tri-Chlor) and always having the algae return within a couple weeks, I basically gave up and agreed with the pool store that the algae was just living in our old and worn plaster and I'd just have to brush it up occasionally. We've mostly been using pucks and liquid muriatic acid a couple times a week.

    Now that the weather is warming up here, the algae is growing quickly. The water stays mostly clear, but now when I brush I see clouds of green. The stains are growing and getting worse. So I finally decided I'd give this one more shot and see what info I could find about algae problems with old plaster. I didn't find any link between the two, but I did find this site!

    Now I'm guessing we've got sky-high CYA and will have to drain some water. While waiting for our test kit, I've stopped using the pucks and just been keeping the chlorine fairly high with liquid chlorine and brushing every day or 2, biding my time until we know what our next step is. My poor filter is about 15 psi above normal, but I'm not sure exactly how/when to clean it during this process without wasting too much time.

    I know we can't really take our next step until the test gets here, but I have a couple questions in the meantime.

    1. What is a good starting point for CYA for a sunny South Florida pool?

    2. I'm thinking that I'll spray the filter clean as needed during the SLAM process, but save the good, thorough cleaning for the end. I'm concerned it will just clog right back up if I do that now. Make sense or no?

    Some pictures of the pool today (you can see the stains and worn spots, and some leaves - I usually vacuum on the weekend):
    IMG_4080.jpg
    IMG_4081.jpg
    IMG_4082.jpg
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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    jcowart's Avatar
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    Re: Ready for War

    Looks like you have a good grasp on how it needs to be done. You could start by replacing some water. My guess is the CYA is sky high. Second you said you got the k2006. That's a good kit and one of the recommend ones, but you will quickly run out of the fas/dpd doing a slam. I would go on and order the XL refill from tftestkits. If you get the kit today and order the refill today you should be good. They ship fast. Use the 10 ml test for chlorine. Your filter you will just have to deal with. It's the nature of the beast when it comes to carts and DE. They are great keeping a clean pool but you need to babysit them during a slam. Your pool does not look all that bad. The black spots in the picture might be though. Try and lay a puck on one of the spots to see if it goes away. If it does then get it clear first with the slam, you can work on the spots later. Ask questions and good luck. Welcome to the forums.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Ready for War

    Thanks! I was tempted to start refilling this past weekend but decided to just wait and see how much drain/refill we're looking at and hopefully do it all at once. I'm hoping the UPS guy gets here soon But I'll probably have to wait until later this afternoon/evening anyway.

    Is this the refill I'll need?
    http://tftestkits.net/XL-Option-p62.html
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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    Re: Ready for War

    Oh, and the darker "stains" in the pictures are areas where the plaster is eaten away, so it's like rough concrete or something. Might be stained too, but I'm pretty sure those will stay dark. I'm hoping the other large brown/greenish stains that are taking over the pool will fade though. I'm pretty sure they're from the algae, but I'll go put a puck on there just to see what happens.
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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    Re: Ready for War

    Welcome to the forum Jaja

    Getting your test kit and posting your test results are key. Do that as soon as you can and we can help walk you through the process.


    Your are likely past due on cleaning the cartridges. It's usually recommended to do it when the pressure rises 20-25% over the "clean" pressure. If your clean pressure is 20 psi you'd want to clean again when you hit 25 psi.
    Here is info on when to clean your filter : http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...f-pool-filters
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Ready for War

    OK here we go!

    FC - 5
    CC - 0.5
    pH - 7.6
    TA - 90
    CH - 275
    CYA - 60

    I am completely surprised that the CYA isn't higher. I did the test twice! I thought that was going to be THE explanation for my troubles, but I guess I just need to give it a good SLAM? Glad I don't have to drain the pool!

    Off to learn a little more about where the numbers should be and how to SLAM. I might not start until the weekend since I have long days at work tomorrow and Friday.
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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    Re: Ready for War

    Your numbers do not look all that bad. Really your pool does not look all that bad. Yes that is the refill. Your chlorine is at the min for your CYA. That's why there is a min and a target. Most pools see about a 2ppm drop a day. Yours maybe different. They all have there own personality. You may try and get your CYA down a little. I keep mine a little higher at 50 during the summer. Southeast Texas heat and zero shade. If you work then bring it up to slam level Friday evening. Then you have all weekend to stay on top of it. I take it you found poolmath?
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Ready for War

    Yeah I thought something would be way off, but not too bad, huh? The thing is the algae just keeps growing. So I'll start the SLAM after work Friday. I think it's just regular green algae, but I'll try to do a little research and make sure it's not the mustard algae.
    I do see that the CYA is at the high end of what's considered practical. We did suspect a leak and generally have to refill quite a bit, so maybe that's why it's not super high. Although now I haven't refilled in almost a month so the dropping water may have just been evaporation. We also get tons of rain in the summer, to the point where the pool overflows a couple times. So I think for now I'll see how it goes with the CYA starting at 60 (it was actually probably just under 60).
    I hadn't seen PoolMath - that is AWESOME. The whole site is awesome....
    Thanks again for the help, and I'll check back in Friday/Saturday then!
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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    Re: Ready for War

    Poolmath is great. Once it is setup it's just a matter of plugging in the numbers. You can also use the effects of adding chemicals at the bottom. Say you need to leave the pool for a week or so. You can use pucks and see what it added to your CYA. You keep seeing new algae because your right there at the cliffs edge. You were below the minimum and it got a foot hold. The slam is a process unlike the pool store way of "shocking" one time and hoping it took care of it. TFP recommends salt water chlorine generators or liquid chlorine "house hold bleach" based on your CYA level. Remember once it's in your pool chlorine is chlorine the same as getting Tylenol or CVS pain relief. Now you can start shopping around for the best place to get chlorine. House hold bleach is 8.25%. You may find a local source of liquid chlorine in 10 or 12.5%. This page has a calculator to give you the price of active chlorine. You can change the % in poolmath if you find a source of pool liquid chlorine.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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    Re: Ready for War

    Yes,
    the XL kit is what you need.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiss4afrog View Post
    Welcome to the forum Jaja

    Getting your test kit and posting your test results are key. Do that as soon as you can and we can help walk you through the process.


    Your are likely past due on cleaning the cartridges. It's usually recommended to do it when the pressure rises 20-25% over the "clean" pressure. If your clean pressure is 20 psi you'd want to clean again when you hit 25 psi.
    Here is info on when to clean your filter : http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...f-pool-filters
    - - - Updated - - -

    Algae can double itself in just a few hours once it has a hold on your pool. Time is of essence!
    If you cant start the SLAM in ernest until Friday, I would highly recommend adding a gallon of bleach now, or ASAP and then another 12 hours later. This will help keep the algae from multiplying so quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaja06 View Post
    OK here we go!

    FC - 5
    CC - 0.5
    pH - 7.6
    TA - 90
    CH - 275
    CYA - 60

    I am completely surprised that the CYA isn't higher. I did the test twice! I thought that was going to be THE explanation for my troubles, but I guess I just need to give it a good SLAM? Glad I don't have to drain the pool!

    Off to learn a little more about where the numbers should be and how to SLAM. I might not start until the weekend since I have long days at work tomorrow and Friday.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Ready for War

    Ok, yeah I was kind of thinking that as I went to bed. I'll add a gallon before I leave today if anything just to make the process faster when I start tomorrow. Kids are on spring break next week so it'd be really nice if they could get in the pool!

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    Re: Ready for War

    Deleted, sorry wasn't paying attention
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Ready for War

    Welcome!

    You are so far ahead of most newbies with the good test kit! NICE!

    I bet your kids have a blast on their Spring Break! Get some pool toys and they will not be able to say "I'm bored" LOL

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Ready for War

    Please remember that your pool needs to be fed a daily dose of *liquid chlorine* daily, even if you don't use the pool. Your constant use of algaecide has contributed to the staining and although you were using pucks, it was not enough chlorine to keep the algae at bay. The simple fact the the pool store says algae lives in plaster is a bunch of pucky if you know what I mean. If you see green, you need more chlorine!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Ready for War

    OK so I added a gallon of chlorine yesterday (Thurs) and haven't had a chance to look at the pool again until this evening (Fri). I got home, added 1/2 gallon of muriatic acid based on Wed's pH, then tested after dinner:

    Friday 3/20 7:00pm
    Algae is visibly growing in several areas on the walls, water is very clear
    FC - 6.5
    CC - 0.5
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 80

    Based on a Shock FC of 24 (with CYA of 60), the PoolMath says to add just under 2 gallons, so I added a full 2 gallons at 7:15. After I got the kids to bed I did a good spray down of the filter (that little $3 nozzle thing from Home Depot is impressive!) and brushed the pool. Lots of green clouds when I brushed, and some whitish clouds, depending on the area.

    Friday 3/20 10:15 pm
    FC - 21
    CC - 0.5

    PoolMath says to add 1/3 gallon, so I added about 2/3 gallon of chlorine. [Edit: I ended up going out and adding the rest of the gallon, figured better high than low since it needs to last all night.] (My pool is a strange shape so I'm not sure how accurate my volume calculation is? Maybe it's closer to 15k???) Not sure if I'll be awake to check before I go to bed, but otherwise we'll see first thing in the AM!

    @Kim, thanks for the encouragement! I'm hopeful this will be fairly quick since things weren't too terrible to start. But I'm definitely going to make sure I keep it up as long as necessary!
    @Casey, yes! That is really what I didn't understand when I started taking care of the pool. I really thought it was just check in once or twice a week, add acid if pH is low [edit: if pH is HIGH!], add chlorine if that's low. I didn't understand the consequence of letting the chlorine go to almost zero, and definitely had no clue about the CYA. It's all coming together now

    Be back in the morning!
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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    Re: Ready for War

    Saturday 3/21 7:00 am
    FC - 27.5
    CC - 0.5

    I have to leave at 9:00 and will be back around noon. I suppose I'll test before I leave to make sure I'm not going to drop below the 24 SLAM level.
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Ready for War

    You are getting there and learning so much! Good job!

    Keep brushing the pool even if you do not see algae. Do you have light in the pool? If so you might want to take it out and clean inside and around it. Can you take the steps/ladder out? If you can you should to do a "super" clean to it. If not then just make sure to brush all of it as algae LOVES to hide....

    Keep it up!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Ready for War

    What she said
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Ready for War

    Thanks guys!!

    I didn't have a chance to test before I left at 9am (3 and 4 year old boys...enough said?) but I did go ahead and add 1/2 gallon of chlorine before I left. Just got back home and tested.

    Saturday 3/21 12:00pm
    FC - 26.5
    CC - 0.5

    I am learning SO much. A week ago I wouldn't have imagined that the chlorine would actually go down in a matter of 5 hours, especially when I have added 1/2 gallon during that time. Now I get it. The kids told me they want to swim, and I told them hopefully in a couple days!

    @Kim, you know it's funny it's a lot harder to see the bottom now because my filter is clean and the water is actually moving
    So yes I'm just assuming that the whole surface is covered in algae. We have a dilapidated, non-functioning light. I'll ask my husband about opening it up to clean it (that can be his contribution to the process )
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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    Re: Ready for War

    Saturday 3/21 2:00pm
    FC - 24.5
    CC - 0.5

    I added 1/2 gallon chlorine (PoolMath says this will bring FC to around 28) and will check again in a couple hours. The idea is to not let it go below 24 right? Or do I wait for it to go below 24 and then add to bring it back up to there? I'm just figuring since it's plaster and we have no heater, I'm not too concerned about any damage from the FC being a little over the shock level.
    12-15k gal, 25 year old plaster, 120 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump

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