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Thread: Treating algae in a pool

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    Treating algae in a pool

    Hi there, We are in our first season of owning a pool and are having some trouble already. We had about a week worth of algae bloom and have treated with algaecide and 10 gallons of shock on Friday. It turned the water teal and cloudy and we took water to the pool store yesterday where they found that the chlorine level was very low (less than 1 ppm). We treated with 20 lbs of Bicarb to increase the alkalnity (which was low) and then two bottles of yellow rid (after 6 hours and vaccuuming) and another 10 gallons of shock yesterday evening at the recommendation of the pool company. This morning the chlorine and free chlorine levels are off the high reading of the strip and the alkalinity is in normal range. The pH is 9 though. Our pool is 20 x 40 and the pool company estimated it is probably 35,000 gallons or so. We have a sand filter which is about 20 years old and the psi reading when clean is 15. We have run the pump/filter continuously since Friday and the water is still quite cloudy (so much so that we can't see deeper than 2 feet or so). We have vacuumed to waste, vacuumed through the filter, backwashed the filter etc. Before the algae bloom came, the water was clear on opening and only had a little sediment on the bottom. We delayed adding chemicals because we found that we had a liner leak and were trying to get the liner replaced but then found out the liner we wanted wasn't available until mid June. That's when we decided to try to clear up the pool. Sometimes after vacuuming there is brown water returning to the pool. It seems to us that maybe this is a filter issue? Shouldn't the water started to clear by now with all the chlorine levels as high as they are? Should we be asking someone to come look at our filter (a 20 year old sand Hayward filter), should we be looking to upgrade to a DE filter? Should we be thinking about using a flocking agent? I know people seem split about the use of those with some people saying they can cause problems, etc. Should we be giving the pool more time to clear? Maybe we are jus impatient? I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this issue. We are entirely inexperienced with pool stuff and would very much appreciate the advice of anyone who has time to weigh in. Thank you and enjoy the weekend.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    You need to decide if you are going to continue following the pool store whose objective is to sell you high priced stuff or go a path that we have found works at much less cost.

    The TFP methods are based on accurate testing and adding what the pool needs, and only what it needs. Pouring inordinate amounts of chlorine into the pool will not fix the problem, and may damage equipment.

    The first thing you need is an accurate test kit. The pool store doesn't sell it because they want you to come in to get your water tested and they will let you know what you need. Get a TF100 from www.tftestkits.net You want the XL option as you will be doing a lot of testing to get things in order.

    Forget algecides - funny thing, they don't really kill algae ( did the pool store tell you that as they were selling it?). Algecides are a preventative product.

    Forget flock, just more problems.

    Forget a new filter, filters don't help cleaning up an algae bloom. The sand filter is great and will work fine for you.

    There is a link at the top of the page for Pool School. Begin reading and check out the article on a SLAM. This is our method for clearing your pool.
    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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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    Welcome to the forum!

    It's ok to be new to this stuff, so no worries, that's why we are here. Tim advised you well, so plan on your own kit, you own results and the knowledge you will gain here. Those things are essential if you want to succeed with your pool.

    Begin reading Pool school and start with the ABC's. Come back and ask all the questions you need to when you have them.
    TFP Moderator
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    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    Welcome! You have found the right place to get a clear pool!

    The first thing you will need to do is get your own test kit. If you look below in my siggy you will see the link to the test kits. I do suggest you get the TF-100 XL as it is the best bang for the buck.

    Once you have ordered you test kit start reading how to SLAM a pool. Here is the link.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

    I know that the pool store will test your water for free but.......is it really free if you have to buy all of that stuff AND it still did not clear your pool.

    Test strips are not any better than the pool store. They just do not work nor are they accurate.

    If you read the SLAM link you will see that the two main things you will need are:
    -good test kit
    -chlorine/bleach

    That is it! Bleach like you can buy from walmart. The plain, unscented bleach. You can also get chlorine at your pool store if you get their jugs to haul it in.

    Let us know when you get your test kit and we can help you clear your pool from there.

    You will want a good test kit when you get your new liner as well. So this will be good practice for you.

    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: Treating algae in a pool

    Welcome! I just wanted to encourage you to take control of your own pool by following advice here. We just opened our pool on our own for the first time using the suggested methods here. It took over two weeks, but we have a sparkling pool and I know how to keep it that way.
    Sand filter
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    25000 gallon IG Vinyl

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    The sure fire combination is your own testing, bleach, and patience. This thread has a number of good photo stories. We can only hope that all those bags of "shock" didn't send your CYA or CH numbers through the roof.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    Thanks, everyone! Just ordered the test kit your recommended. In the meantime, until it gets here should I do anything about the pH of 9? I'm guessing I should just keep monitoring the chlorine levels to be sure they stay high? Vacuum as often as we can and keep the filter running? Thanks.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    The links:
    Test Kit Comparison
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    Chlorine CYA Chart
    PoolMath
    Defeating Algae
    SLAMing Your Pool
    Overnight FC Loss Test

    These will get you this:


    - - - Updated - - -

    Leave pH alone as it's high because FC is over 10. Keep FC on high side til test kit comes in. Keep pump running. Read the links I provided to,you as education is key and will help you understand all the advice you are given. We can help you all day long but it's up to you to pick up what we're putting down.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jmkallinicos View Post
    Thanks, everyone! Just ordered the test kit your recommended. In the meantime, until it gets here should I do anything about the pH of 9? I'm guessing I should just keep monitoring the chlorine levels to be sure they stay high? Vacuum as often as we can and keep the filter running? Thanks.
    Where'd that pH number come from? If it's from a strip or an electronic reader, it's probably wrong. If it's from drops, that chemical stew you're cooking might have affected it. I'd be wary of pouring anything else into that pool right now.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    I would not assume the pH is 9 from the strip. Absolutely unreliable. It may perhaps be skewed by the FC level or other things you've put in. It's anyone's guess to be honest. I hate saying this, but about the only thing you can do is wait on reliable numbers.

    One alternative is that you could purchase an inexpensive OTO/pH combo kit locally to give you a better rough idea until you have a full kit. The new one will come with a good one of those, so it will be duplicating a little, but it would give you some idea perhaps.
    TFP Moderator
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    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    Quote Originally Posted by jmkallinicos View Post
    Thanks, everyone! Just ordered the test kit your recommended. In the meantime, until it gets here should I do anything about the pH of 9? I'm guessing I should just keep monitoring the chlorine levels to be sure they stay high? Vacuum as often as we can and keep the filter running? Thanks.
    No, ph tests read high when FC is above 10. Welcome to TFP!

    Please update your signature as described here.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae in a pool

    With your FC above 10 (I assume it's still through the roof) pH tests inaccurately read high. As Patrick said, it's a guess.

    I know you want to do something, but waiting is the most prudent course of action. Some things to do while you wait (they do ship quickly- it will probably go out tomorrow):

    Pool School, read a lot
    The links in Richard's post are a good read because it will help you visualize what is about to happen
    Add your pool details to your signature. It helps us when we are answering questions.
    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: Treating algae in a pool

    If you follow the TFP method, your pool look great in no time. This is my SLAM process. On page 9 I have a post of day 1 and Day 8. I am still not finished yet but very close. SLAM process takes time and patience. Some are faster than others, but worth it in the end.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...y-SLAM-process
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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