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Thread: Is it algae?

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    crashd0g's Avatar
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    Is it algae?

    Ok, I've learned some lessons, and this whole pool thing definitely reinforces the whole "the more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn, and the less I feel like I know" idea.

    About 3 weeks ago I purchased a pool blanket. I cut it to shape, then cut it into pieces to make it easier to move, showed my family a system taking it off that will make it as easy as possible to put back on, and then I made my mistake. I didn't check the FC for about a week (it had been stable with my SWG for the past few weeks and I got lazy thinking I had it all set). Well, I went to remove the blanket and the pool was cloudy. I checked the FC and it was at 1. Sigh. I'm guessing that the blanket had some impurities and consumed some FC. That combined with the lowered light throughput allowed some algae that was already present to take off.

    Anyhow, suck it up and SLAM the pool, that should clear it up right? It's been two weeks now, the water is back to the polished crystal clear look. The problem is that as I brush the pool each morning, there is a yellowish/greenish/brownish cloud that brushes up off the steps and the spa seat. It's not a lot, but I don't want to see it at all. I don't see it much, if at all, on the bottom or sides of the pool.

    I just ran a complete battery of tests and came up with the following numbers: FC 23; CC <.5; pH >8; TA 85; CH 350; CYA 30; Salt 2900; Temp 74. Which yields CSI of .28. I have taken the step of adding acid to drop the pH and will test again in about an hour to see if I have pulled it back down enough. BTW, I'm not totally confident in the CYA test. I added enough about 2 months ago to bring it up to 65 (yes it was still a little low, but I was not confident in my reading then either). What consumes CYA? I know my kids splash a bit in the pool, but I really doubt they have splashed half of it out in two months...

    Two weeks of brushing the pool every morning is getting old (I've learned my lesson this time - I think) and will watch the FC in the future. Now, I have not yet run the OCLT due to the fact that FC is remaining at 23 morning to morning with the SWG running at 80% 24x7 (before the bloom it was running at 30% for 10 hours) so I think it would fail. The CC has never risen through the whole process. Am I missing something or do I just need to give it more time?
    30x13 irregular shape with a 6' dia spa - ~12K gallons. 3' - 5' deep, gunnite construction, built in 2006. AquaCal Heatwave H120 Pool Heat Pump. Pool Pilot Digital SWG (DIG-220). Pentair Compool Lx100. Pentair Whisperflo Pump 2.5 HP 230V 011775. Century Electric B855 2-Horsepower motor. Pentair CC150 cartridge filter. Single skimmer, bottom cleanouts.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    You can not do an OCLT with the SWG running over night. And your CYA level is too low for your SWG. Get it in 70 -80 range. Sure it's algae and not pollen?
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    crashd0g's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    Hey woodyp,

    I realize I cannot do the OCLT with the SWG running. And I realize my CYA is low for the SWG (I tried to get that across in the first post but must not have succeeded). I don't want to raise the CYA nor run the OCLT until I have a better idea that I'm done with the SLAM... Here's an arial view of the property showing the surrounding trees and shrubs (https://www.dropbox.com/s/e02dgtf8u0...0view.jpg?dl=0). I don't think there is enough there to produce that much pollen? I could be mistaken...thoughts?
    30x13 irregular shape with a 6' dia spa - ~12K gallons. 3' - 5' deep, gunnite construction, built in 2006. AquaCal Heatwave H120 Pool Heat Pump. Pool Pilot Digital SWG (DIG-220). Pentair Compool Lx100. Pentair Whisperflo Pump 2.5 HP 230V 011775. Century Electric B855 2-Horsepower motor. Pentair CC150 cartridge filter. Single skimmer, bottom cleanouts.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    You are done when:

    CC is 0.5 or lower;
    You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less);
    And the water is clear.

    When all three are true, you are done SLAMing and can allow the FC to drift down to normal levels.

    ....." nor run the OCLT until I have a better idea that I'm done with the SLAM... "

    How you figure on determining if you're "done with the SLAM" then?
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
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    crashd0g's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    So, since the water is clear, and the CC is < .5, I should run the OCLT and if that passes there is no need to worry about the stuff on the steps? Since it sounds like that is the case, I'll run the OCLT tonight and report back tomorrow morning. I was just double checking to make sure I was not missing something.
    30x13 irregular shape with a 6' dia spa - ~12K gallons. 3' - 5' deep, gunnite construction, built in 2006. AquaCal Heatwave H120 Pool Heat Pump. Pool Pilot Digital SWG (DIG-220). Pentair Compool Lx100. Pentair Whisperflo Pump 2.5 HP 230V 011775. Century Electric B855 2-Horsepower motor. Pentair CC150 cartridge filter. Single skimmer, bottom cleanouts.

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    Sounds like a plan! Good luck.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

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    crashd0g's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    Ok, well, I guess I'm done with the SLAM. I set the system back to it's programmed run time and let it shut off last night. When I tested last night (around 9:45 PM) the FC came in at 23.5 (47 drops). This morning, as the sky was showing some light, but the sun not yet up (around 7:15 AM), the FC came in at 23 (46 drops).

    Time to start putting some more CYA into the pool (needs over 3 lbs per PoolMath). Where did all the CYA go? Either I never truly got it up to 65, or something weird happened. I have a hard time believing my kids can splash more than 5000 gallons out of a pool in 2 months time...
    30x13 irregular shape with a 6' dia spa - ~12K gallons. 3' - 5' deep, gunnite construction, built in 2006. AquaCal Heatwave H120 Pool Heat Pump. Pool Pilot Digital SWG (DIG-220). Pentair Compool Lx100. Pentair Whisperflo Pump 2.5 HP 230V 011775. Century Electric B855 2-Horsepower motor. Pentair CC150 cartridge filter. Single skimmer, bottom cleanouts.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    I think you never got to 65 like you were thinking. That is a lot to be off by no doubt, but the Cya test is tricky for most people especially at first. I don't believe your kids splashed it all out either. You obviously didn't backwash it out, so I'm thinking error on the 65 PPM first thought. Your cover didn't do anything contaminant wise to hurt you, I just think your FC dropped too far for too long. Part of that was the kids, as bather load plays a big role in Chlorine demand, so always keep that in mind.

    Last point, if you had Mustard Algae prior to the cover going on, having it in place could have helped it, but other forms of Algae need Sunlight to grow and thrive. I'm not saying you had MA, but it does do well in shadier areas. You could have had other Algae growing even with the blanket on and depending on its transparency, perhaps quite a bit. This would have been a contributor to your FC loss for sure as well.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    I also have a hard time keeping CYA in my pool. I am sure mine is due to rain water and having to dump water because of it. I have no idea just how much I turn my water over due to rain so I test my CYA every week to make sure I have enough.

    This something you will learn with your pool. Just how much is enough and how often to check it.

    Good luck!

    Kim
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    crashd0g's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    I hope it's not a problem to resurrect this thread, but I have some more questions. I added 4lbs of CYA and my CYA was into the low 60s. I have added about 1 lb more and am waiting a couple more days to make sure the level is stabilized and hope to see it either in the low high 60s to low 70s.

    The FC was actually climbing with my SWG running at 20% for 9 hours, so I reduced the runt time on my pump to 5 hours and then it was mostly holding steady. I have had the pool blanket on for the past week or so and have done nothing but continue to test the water to see where the FC was at watching the pH as well. The FC is down to about 7.5 today, so I took the pool blanket off and the kids are getting ready to go for a swim (first time in about the past month).

    After removing the blanket I wanted to brush the pool quickly to see how it looked. The flat surfaces for the steps in the pool and the seat in the spa looked fine. But when I brushed, there was this plume of something that brushed up. I have not seen it on the bottom of the pool, but I'm puzzled as to what it is. I'm guessing it might just be pollen, but wanted to check in quickly to see if anyone had other thoughts. The FC is at the lowest it has been since SLAMing the pool (FC=7.5, CC=0). The water is crystal clear and polished looking.

    thoughts?
    30x13 irregular shape with a 6' dia spa - ~12K gallons. 3' - 5' deep, gunnite construction, built in 2006. AquaCal Heatwave H120 Pool Heat Pump. Pool Pilot Digital SWG (DIG-220). Pentair Compool Lx100. Pentair Whisperflo Pump 2.5 HP 230V 011775. Century Electric B855 2-Horsepower motor. Pentair CC150 cartridge filter. Single skimmer, bottom cleanouts.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    Is this the first time you have brushed the pool in a while? Who knows what it is or was. For the next few days make sure to brush it at least once a day just in case.

    I think I would raise my FC to be on the safe side. Just on this side of SLAM level for a couple of days. Better to head off any problems. Hopefully it was just dirt or such.

    Kim
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    Re: Is it algae?

    Resurrecting your own thread is always fine. Resurrecting other people's threads not so much.

    Dust/debris/pollen/dead algae always accumulates on the bottom, even with a cover on most of the time (though that will slow the process down). If it has been more than a week since the last time you brushed the pool then it sounds perfectly normal.
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    crashd0g's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    Ok, As I think through the water movement in the pool, the bottom clean outs would keep the bottom stirred up a bit, but there is nothing that really hits these areas so it would make sense that that is where stuff would accumulate. Like I said, the pool is crystal clear, has no, or very minor amounts of, CC, and the FC has been up over 7.5 for the past month. I'll just go with the theory that it is debris settling whre the water does not have great movement.

    thanks for the reassurance. I'll get used to what is what eventually.

    I think it's about time to jump in and join the kids...
    30x13 irregular shape with a 6' dia spa - ~12K gallons. 3' - 5' deep, gunnite construction, built in 2006. AquaCal Heatwave H120 Pool Heat Pump. Pool Pilot Digital SWG (DIG-220). Pentair Compool Lx100. Pentair Whisperflo Pump 2.5 HP 230V 011775. Century Electric B855 2-Horsepower motor. Pentair CC150 cartridge filter. Single skimmer, bottom cleanouts.

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    crashd0g's Avatar
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    Re: Is it algae?

    Ok, while I was in the pool with the kids, I had an opportunity to find a spot I had not yet brushed. I wiped it with my hand and it felt gritty, not slimy at all. I'm now convinced it was not algae, but instead just debris...
    30x13 irregular shape with a 6' dia spa - ~12K gallons. 3' - 5' deep, gunnite construction, built in 2006. AquaCal Heatwave H120 Pool Heat Pump. Pool Pilot Digital SWG (DIG-220). Pentair Compool Lx100. Pentair Whisperflo Pump 2.5 HP 230V 011775. Century Electric B855 2-Horsepower motor. Pentair CC150 cartridge filter. Single skimmer, bottom cleanouts.

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